October 31, 2005

Florida Blogger Map Update

I'm still touching up the Florida Blogger's map and should have it finished tomorrow.

Updates to my Florida blogroll are coming too.

I had many e-mail with new blogs in Florida, so I'm just making sure I don't forget anyone!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bloggers I met... Part I

So much to blog… so little time. I met some of the nicest people this weekend. In no particular order, here is the first of the new bloggers I met:

First, Denny of Grouchy Old Cripple. I love this man. He must have the most infectious laugh, as every time I heard him laugh, I felt one bubbling up to the surface in me. What a funny and great man he is. And I posted once on what I like in men (it was a meme, I wasn’t trolling for a date!) and one of them was sincerity. This would be him. There is nothing fake about him, no airs, and when I went back to read his blog, I found… the same thing, smart and sincere. And I could listen to this man sing and play guitar for hours. The whole guitar/kazoo combo rocks. Really.

Next Jim of Parkway Rest Stop. He was the other half of the musical duo and once again, I could listen to this man play and sing for hours. Which I did, but could have done more of. I’d been to his blog in the past, reading his Teresa/John Kerry parodies and his current OJ/Saddam Hussein dialogue and knew he was funny as hell, but in person, it’s even better. I think it’s his deadpan delivery. Another sharp mind with a quick wit, he is a great great man.

Redneck of Redneck Ramblings… we had the opportunity to have breakfast sitting across from each other. I was laughing at the stories of his dogs and it is always good to listen to people who are a few years ahead of you in the whole kid thing as you have a window to what it’s like to be a parent of teenagers. He cracked me up as he kept asking me why all of us don’t evac during a hurricane. “If I were you and I saw that big storm comin’ right at me, I’d get the hell out of there!” I kept telling him I don’t live close to the coast and he kept saying, “I don’t care! I’d leave!!!” Cracked me up.

Key Munroe of Key Issues and her husband were there Friday night and joined us for breakfast on Saturday morning. A nicer woman cannot be found. She has a heart as big as Georgia and is as sweet as they come. I so enjoyed meeting her and laughing with her. My only wish is that it had been for a longer period of time. And this girl is tall… not as tall as Tammi, but still… I think I come up to her waist. I’m the hobbit girl next to those legs that come up to her neck!

ArmyWifeToddler Mom may very well be the funniest woman I have ever met in my life. Holy crap… I was cryin’. And no, I may not be big, but I’m not so ‘tiny’ that she can take me home in her pocket! Hey, but that girl’s got it all goin’ on. Afterall, she got dubbed as ‘Martha Stewart’ but hotter. And don’t let her fool you… she is a beautiful woman. Just keep her away from that moonshine... I hear she wants her own distillery.

And more… TOMORROW!!! I’m breaking it up into bunches. So many people… one long post, they’ll all get lost.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Happy Samhain!

The boys are out Trick or Treating with their Dad. I’m staying at home, answering the door. Some kid dressed as a cowboy just shot me with a pop gun. I nearly jumped out of my skin. Holy crap. Of course he was loving it as I kinda sorta screamed. Sheesh.

In the car today, Bones (my 6 year old for you who do not know), said to me “Mom, mom, mom, what do we say when we Trick or Treat? Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat?”

Me: Um. No. Trick or treat suffices nicely, thank you.

Bones: Are you sure? That’s ALL we say?

Me: Yup. I’m sure.

Bones: (rolling his eyes like this is going to be so boring)

Me: Look, you’ll show up at the door and they’ll say, “Look how cute you are” or “You’re so scary!”

Bones: I know, I know. They’re not picking me up though.

Me: What? Pick you up?

Bones: Yeah. None of that stuff where they say, “Oh you’re so cute, I could just take you home” and then they pick me up. None of that.

Good Lord it is tough for that child to be humble.

I assured him nobody would be picking him up, but if someone offered to keep him, I might just be tempted.

Meanwhile, Son#2 (age 8) has been a real pain in the neck with this costume thing. He’s insisted that he make his own this year. He wanted nothing store bought. He was going as Sir Tristan of King Arthur’s Round Table, an obscure knight that not many have heard of unless they are of course familiar with the legends.

So, with great help from his father, he made his sword and his shield. (My husband created it and my son did all the painting.) And as good fortune would have it, we still had the Shepard costume I made for Son#1 when he was in the Christmas play in kindergarten… passed down to every son to wear in the same play when it was their turn. We dug it out and it seemed to suit him. (If you had told me 20 years ago that I would be sewing Halloween costumes, of which I have sewn a few, or Shepard costumes, I’d have told you that you were out of your tree.)

As he put his costume on, he informed me that next year he was going as the same thing, but it would be better because he was going to… make… wooden sandals to go with it! Good grief. He was telling me how he was going to design them.

I’m hoping something else catches his fancy before then… like he wants to buy his costume. This making your own costume thing is for the birds. Really.

As much as I’m not really into the whole Halloween party thing, I think next year I’d like to get a witch costume and answer the door dressed for all the halloweeners. I think that’d be a hoot. I already have spooky music playing for the kids. (I decided I'd like to run to this spooky music. I might be able to take that 8 minute mile down a notch.)

OK… so pictures of the boys…

This is a picture of Son#2 in his homemade costume. The shield actually has a way to hold it in the back. We’re unsure how he is holding all this weaponry and carrying his Halloween basket. Not my problem, I decided, as I ushered the four of them out the door.

(As always, click to Enlarge)
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This next is a picture of all three boys with costume.

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And for those who have never seen them, this is a picture with no masks. Son#2 is obviously getting into his part. It will be interesting to hear how he acted at the homes. He was putting on a fake British accent, ala Monty Python, and saying something like "Drop your Candy!" while poking with his sword. He's an introvert at heart though. I'll be surprised if he follows through...

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Oh and lastly…I was forwarded this and told it came from various websites:

Samhain, October 31:
Death, the third of the Harvest holidays, the ending of the cycle, death, but with the hope of rebirth and the New Year.The traditional time for the annual slaughter to ensure food throughout the winter months. Take this time to remember departed ones. In some traditions the end of the year . The separation between this physical world and the spiritworld is thin. Halloween customs are a part of this element of death, the thin line at this cycle and remembering the dead and the hopes of rebirth. On this night Magick is more powerful .

Hallowe'en
Ok, everyone knows that Hallowe'en is a Pagan holiday, but there are many misconceptions surrounding what the holiday really means. Pagans call the day Samhain (SOW-en or sow-EEN). The old God dies on this day, and the Goddess mourns him until his rebirth at Yule. We use this day to honour and remember our loved ones who have passed on. In an effort to diffuse the interest in this heathen holiday, the Church created All Saint's Day (November 1) as a holy day to recognize all the Catholic saints. But it wasn't a powerful enough idea to wipe out the traditional Hallowe'en celebrations. Ironically, many Christians do not approve of the celebration of Hallowe'en because of its Pagan origins, not realizing that almost all of the holidays they observe had Pagan beginnings.

So… Happy Samhain!

Posted by Boudicca at 07:15 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

October 30, 2005

Observations in TN

There were a couple things that made me chuckle on our drive to Tennessee. First, tell me folks, if someone gives you directions to their town and then they write at the bottom:

oh, and if you choose this route you will be afforded the opportunity to pass "Ed's World of Concrete".. a fine establishment just across the Tennessee state line..

Does this not imply to you that this person has visited said fine establishment? That's how *I* read it!

So here Morrigan, Sissy and I are, on our girl road trip up to Eric's abode, taking the scenic route as we're all about 'the experience' when we realize we must be homing in on 'Ed's'.

Yeehaaa! We were excited, and sure enough, as we approached, we could see the concrete statues at the front of the lot. A big concrete Easter Basket looking thing greeted us, amongst other things. I never did see the concrete eggs to fill that basket.

As we pulled in, I pulled out my cell phone and quickly rang up Eric and said excitedly, "Guess where we are?!!!" The reply was, "Uhhh... in my driveway?"

I retorted, "NOOO!!! We're at Ed's World of Concrete!" and when he started to laugh (that should have been an indicator) I said, "Oooo! I have to go!" and I hung up.

Morrigan pulled the car up to what was four apartments for rent. It was Ed's World of Concrete and apartments, I do believe.

Ed had statues of everything. Everything but the Last Supper, that is. I found the rest of the Saints and Christ, but no dinner. There were cherubs, and fountains, and bird baths. Pet cemetery stones (tempting to get one for Fiona the hamster as her planted marker of flowers was felled by an uprooted 30 foot ficus tree during Wilma), gnomes, and garden animals. You name it and they had it molded in concrete!

And... AND... ANNNND!!!!, if someone had bothered to come out and greet us, I would have bought something. Or two. I found this really cool concrete snake for my garden. The boys would have loved it. Eric was probably going to end up with a gnome. But, I should not have expected customer service at such a fine establishment that has a sign big as day that reads, "Enter At Your Own Risk". Yeah. I shoulda seen that one... but I wasn't picking up many signals correctly that day. Evidently.

So we left. And come to find out, Eric has never visited this fine establishment of which he wrote. He was joking as he always passes it.

I'm here to tell you, if you are driving up 411 North, just over the TN border and you see it, it's worth the visit. Just don't expect anyone to greet you. It ain't happenin'...

I also noticed when we were driving up to his hometown that there was this little beauty shop called... Curl Up and Dye!

I so wanted to stop!!!! It reminded me of a shop from Steel Magnolias! I'd LOVE to get my hair done in a place like that. It just seems so fun to be a regular at a small hair dresser where everyone knows you!!!

And what a great name. I was picturing some high school girls eating lunch, sitting around talking about their futures when one declares that one day she's going to own her own salon. I could hear these girls, in my head, tossing names into the wind to find that perfect catchy name... when they stumble upon Curl Up and Dye!

That's how it is in my head, anyway.

And lastly, we were driving down the road, having arrived in the city limits, when Sissy and I spotted this black sign. Big black sign with silver letters, as we passed it, Sissy looked at me and I said, eyebrows raised, "Did you see that?!" She burst out laughing, confirming she did.

It was a sign that said, "In these uncertain times, there are some things that are sure..." and it was an advertisement for a funeral home!!!

I could not quit laughing. What a damn riot! I have never seen a funeral home advertise before. Everyone just always knows their location. It's kind of a done deal. Everyone in every town knows who takes in the dead. But these folks were advertising... EVERYWHERE.

We were driving around and I saw another funeral home... a rival I think... and I immediately called Eric on the cell and said, "And this other funeral home... they need to advertise! They don't advertise like their rivals!"

That's when he informed me that the catchy funny funeral home advertisements were for the 'new home' in town. Let the competition begin!!!!


Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Making a Fool and Learning

It’s never too late to learn new stuff. Some stuff is more important than others, of course, but geez, whoda thunk that at age 40 I’d learn so much really good stuff in one weekend. Oh and there was plenty of time for me to make a fool of myself too. There's ALWAYS time for that.

See… I was at Eric’s, the Straight White Guy. He and his lovely wife are truly the most amazing hosts in the South, and that’s saying a lot considering the whole southern hospitality thing goin’ on in Tennesse… ‘cause… it is in… the south! Opened the door they did, to a bunch ‘o bloggers of all different varieties. That takes special people to do something like that.

I didn’t want to come home.

Many stories of great people to follow, I promise.

Anyway, this weekend of course produced much blog fodder. So here’s a story about what an idiot I can be as well as a few things I learned while there.

A few of us were on the back deck, where I met a friend of Eric’s. He was just the nicest guy and evidently a regular to Eric’s Wednesday night pool fests. He had an unopened bottle of beer in his hand that he was trying to get open and the conversation went something like this (keep in mind, it was 32 degrees outside. Yes, this S. Fl girl froze her ass off.):

He: You don’t light anything do you?
Me: Nope. I don’t light anything.
He: I need a lighter….
Me: Johnny Oh has one. I just saw him put it in his pocket.
He: Nah, that one won’t do it (as he proceeds to look around)
Me: Umm… well, I can take that bottle inside and run that lid under some hot water…
He: (looking at me like he has NO IDEA what IN THE HELL I’m talking about… manages to find a small bic type lighter)
Me: What are you doing? The lighter is just to heat up the cap to loosen it up, right?
He: Nope. (I swear this is what he said, but maybe I got it wrong.) It’s called Kinetics (and he pries the lid off the bottle with the bic).

Nothing like making an easy job difficult. Heh. I surprise myself with my own stupidity at times. (Just wait until I blog my Southern Comfort story from high school...)

So three things I learned in the last 24 hours:

1) The word ‘Dick’ has 2 or 3 syllables in Tennessee.
We walked into the hotel, and there at the desk was a very sweet woman, but she surely came across to me as… I’m choosing my words carefully here… conservative. I don’t know what it was, but she just came across to me as a God fearing woman.

Every time she was at the desk, we would either greet her or she’d greet us. Nice. She was just really nice. And sweet. Sugar dripped from those lips she was so kind.

So imagine my surprise when I walked out of the elevator with my sister, Morrigan, and I hear her say, “The cops here are deee-iii-cks.” I just stood there and I am sure there was a double take. Tammi and Sissy were sitting on the couch of the lobby and she evidently had been telling them not to drink and drive (a big no-no with the four of us anyway… I was DD) because the cops were deeeiiicks.

We of course thanked her for her warning. I still laugh when I picture that in my head. Cracked me up.

2) Moonshine burns the whole way down. Yup. I tried moonshine. Folks, I am here to tell you, it has NO redeeming qualities. And should some guy *ahem* happen to tell you that it goes down like butter, HE IS LYIN’ LIKE A RUG. It does not. Drink a bottle of Pine Sol or DrainO. It probably feels the same way.

3) My husband doesn’t like Broccoli. I know. You’re wondering where that is coming from, but here I’ve been cooking for this man for 14 years and when I cooked dinner tonight and put out broccoli, noticing he didn’t eat any and questioning it, I find out he cannot stand it unless I have it in a casserole. For 14 years I’ve been cooking broccoli about once a month. And for 14 years, he’s not eaten it. And for 14 years he’s not said anything. And for 14 years… I NEVER NOTICED! Ack! So much for being observant…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:57 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

October 28, 2005

I Hate Flying

This was written last night as I flew out from West Palm Beach to Atlanta. I have to say, it was odd looking out over Palm Beach County from the air and seeing vast swatches of darkness punctuated with clusters of light. Its had to be fascinating to the pilots as they've been able to watch from the air as communities receive power.

It is a sickness, it is, this perpetual need to write. Computer not available does not deter me as I take pen in hand, writing on the back of my directions to my final destination.

I hate flying. I really do. Never a big fan, it surely got worse when I took my so called 'dream job' at Company X, a job that became my personal hell. Being a crash scene investigator is the only job that would have damaged me more.

Yet, I miss it.

I wonder what it is I hate so much about flying. Is it really too much knowledge? Too much sifting through data, data containing the bad and never the good?

Is it too active an imagination? Growing up knowing that sometimes daddies didn't come home...sometimes they bought the farm. Imagining The Great Omnipotent One walking from the black sedan, knocking on the door of a new widow, yet to know of her new status in life, the wife of one of his own. Imagining the hurt of all, he in the plane realizing his inevitable fate, she at the door unknowing, TGOO on the other side already grieving. Many things from my distant past, yet so close I can still feel it in my heart.

Is it the lack of control I have, relinquishing all to some stranger who I must assume is competent to handle all situations?

I've sat in flight simulators, the first when I was 21 years old, an A-4 sim. I was dating a Navy pilot, a beautiful and funny man he was, now an F/A-18 pilot in California. Two more aggressive, dominant and stubborn personalities could not have joined together.

I could never get the hang of that simulator. The classic line of mine was "What is 'c' 'l' 'm' 'b'?" with his reply being "Ummm, babe, that would be CLIMB". The 'I' just was not readily visible the way I had the ball.

I actually flew a simulator for my 'dream job' and crashed it over and over again.

I gathered two things: It took an awful lot of practice and my eye hand coordination truly sucks.

I was definitely on the correct side of the aerospace industry. The cockpit side was best left to the folks with "balls the size of grapefruit".

So now I sit, on my side... and I listen. I watch. I smell. (Ever smelled burning ozone?) I become extraordinarily religious when I fly. My ritual of reciting the "Our Father" repeatedly until we are airborn, flaps in place, gear stowed, remains intact.

These could be all the reasons I hate flying. Or some of the reasons. Or none of them.

I just know, I hate flying.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:56 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

Boudicca Draws Her Sword- S. Florida's Idiots

It's been a long time since I've drawn my sword. So sit back. I'm pissed as hell.

I’m going to tell you what we did in preparation, what I had planned if we were without power for an extensive period of time, and then I’m going to vent.

In June we bought our hurricane supplies, including bottled water to last us a week.

We shuttered our home.

We watched the weather… for a frickin’ WEEK, before Wilma hit.

The night before Wilma hit, at 11PM, we realized we needed to shutter a porch we had not. We did that at midnight. (It's well protected, but as a Cat 2 or 3, we didn't want to take chances.)

We brought my husband’s Dad here at 1AM, realizing he hadn’t done shit to prepare and not knowing how his house would hold up. We made him come.

We had propane.

We brought our stuff in off the back porch.

I hardboiled our eggs and made banana bread out of the frozen bananas in our freezer so we would have something for breakfast that required no preparation.

My husband bungy corded the fan’s outside so the blades wouldn’t fly off like they did with Frances, taking out our screening on our back porch and causing $1500 worth of damage. (Who would think that fan blades could rattle free? We didn’t.)

Monday morning when it hit, we lost power at 9:30AM. Everyone was forbidden to open the refrigerator or freezer until dinner. That pissed off Pop when my husband told him that he would have Vienna sausages or Peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but no cold cuts or cold drinks. That really put him in a mood. Tough.

Tuesday, I opened the refrigerator to put all milk and cheese and cold cuts in the freezer to keep. I fed the kids breakfast and told them the freezer and refer were not to be opened until dinner.

Power came on right before dinner.

Now, what I had planned: I had three nights of dinners frozen solid in the freezer still. Our milk was going to last another day, two tops.

Day 3 of no power would have been like day 2.

Day 4 of no power would have been no more milk, but dinner was still in the freezer. My neighbors had said we could use their pool water to flush our commodes, so sewage was not an issue.

Day 5, canned goods and dried goods. I had plenty to keep us. The grocery store had that stuff too.

On Day 5, I had planned to go to FEMA or Publix and get ice.

That was the plan for Days 5 and on… given Publix was open. If Publix was NOT open, by Day 6, I would have started FEMA lines for ice and MREs.

By day 8 we’d have been on MREs for dinner… IF Publix wasn’t open.

I currently have a full tank of gas in my car and my husband is at half a tank. We have 10 gallons in the garage that we got ONE WEEK BEFORE Wilma hit. That way we wouldn’t have to wait in gas lines for my husband to go to work.

They told us to stay home… and I have. I am not wasting gas to bee bop around town. We filled up our tanks on the Wednesday before she hit and kept them topped off EVERY DAY.

So this is my question… who in the hell were those people bitching that the FEMA people didn’t react to give them ice and water in a timely manner? It was only TWENTY-FOUR HOURS after the storm. HELLO?!!!

And I saw a picture of a woman on day two, waiting in line for diapers for her baby. What?!!!! WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?!!!

And before anyone says they were the indigent, you’re wrong. I am sure some of them were. There are poor people in S. Fl, but most in that line were not. I saw the people waiting in the lines. They could surely have afforded water and dry goods for a few days. I don’t want to hear it. Some of them came from GATED COMMUNITIES! YES! It is true!!! There was NO EXCUSE for the LONG ASS lines of people waiting in their cars WASTING GASOLINE, only 24 hours after the storm. NO EXCUSE, people. None. And trust me, our truly poor don’t have cars. Cars are a luxury to the poor and our poor take public transportation.

That frickin’ pisses me off. “Oh big brother, come save me, come save me!” People who think other people should take care of them piss me off. And while I’m at it, I’ll lump Pop into that category. I found out when my husband brought him back to our home that he had not bought any water or food for the storm. NOTHING. The big zippo. I was pissed as hell and every now and then would throw a zinger his way about his lack of preparation and the fact he expected everyone else to take care of him. Finally he said, “I had something to eat. It’s no big deal. I had a 6 pack of Ensure and some bags of instant Oatmeal. I would have been fine.”

Yeah. Right. And his place never lost power or water. My husband returned him home on Monday at 5:00 after the storm had passed. It was a sanity action… preserving both his and mine. My spouse was just as annoyed as I was. GRRRR.

When you live in S. FL, you prepare. Idiots. Bunch of frickin’ idiots. The ONLY excuse is for the truly poor. The ONLY excuse. Everyone else.... they make me so mad I could stroke out.

So to all your South Floridians who did not prepare, but were PERFECTLY CAPABLE, money being no object, a pox upon you and your ilk. May you frickin’ rot.

Posted by Boudicca at 04:36 PM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

October 26, 2005

Inmate Breakout

I had forgotten to post, we had an inmate escape right before the hurricane hit. That’s right, Nibbles the hamster had escaped out of her cage and we couldn’t find her. Unlike her now dearly departed predecessor, Fiona, whose gravesite has been desecrated by a fallen ficus tree, we were unsure where Nibbles would hide.

So let us recap… we have no power, no a/c, and a hamster lost somewhere in our home. Wouldn’t that have just taken the cake if she had died in one of our walls? Remember with Fiona, before we learned of her hidey holes (thank you Anita of Fighting Inertia) I almost took a hacksaw to our walls trying to prevent dead animal aroma from permeating our home? Well, that was uppermost in my mind until I found Nibbles at 10:30 Monday night, scampering across Bone’s floor. If she had died somewhere in a wall, we most certainly would have had to move out of the house until her carcass finished decomposing. Blech.

Needless to say, my husband has NO sense of humor about all of this. Every time we have an inmate break out (which actually does not happen that often anymore), I end up peeling him from the ceiling. I guess in the big scheme, a live hamster in my house is not a big deal in my mind. And I always feel pretty confident that we’ll catch them.

Now, if my kids had a pet snake or kept pet roaches, THAT would be different.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

No Power, No Gas, Some Don't Care

I'm way way behind in blog reading. Way way behind in blog maintenance. And, I'll be updating the Florida Bloggers map.

But, I am going out of town tomorrow night, Atlanta bound I am, and this means I will be further behind. So it will be intermittent and it may not be until Monday before I'm caught up.

The South end of Palm Beach County seems to have been hit the hardest. Broward was hammered too. Gas is nearly non-existent. You have to have power to run a gas station.

Today at one of the West Palm Beach turnpike gas stations, the wait was 6 hours long to get gas. Meanwhile, the few local stations that were open, the lines were miles long.

I-95N, about 10 miles from me, is down to one lane due to a sinkhole. Lovely.

Other than run to the grocery store 3 miles down the road, once yesterday and once today, I have not driven anywhere. They've asked us to stay off the roads and my kids and I have. My husband goes only to and from work.

Then you have people like my 80 year father in law, driving all over Palm Beach County. The same man who did NOTHING to prepare for this hurricane. It pisses me off to no end. Just add that to the list. I hope he runs out of gas. Soon.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Two stupid things I did during the hurricane.

First, I forgot to run my dishwasher. That goes on my list of things not to forget. I had this big dinner to use up perishable food, had my father in law and his buddy over, and I forgot to run the dishwasher. Ugh.

Second, I didn’t wear sunscreen when doing my yard work. How stupid is that? I’m mostly Celt. I don’t need to live this close to the equator and NOT wear sunscreen. Just because its 65 degrees does not mean the sun won’t crispy fry my skin. I’m sunburned now and look like a raccoon as I was wearing sunglasses.

Sometimes I do question my IQ. After 40 years, and numerous sunburns, you’d think I’d learn.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

I'm Back

Holy crap, can you believe it?!

I have internet, power, water... no phone. No cell, no home line... I'm cool without phone. Life is good with internet.

Palm Beach County has had massive destruction, but not like Naples and Marco Island. The power infrastructure has been damaged beyond what they ever expected with some 6 million people without power.

There are more people without power than there was with the Gulf Coast and Katrina (think the difference in Population density), but the destruction from Katrina was far greater.

Eventually, there will be a hurricane that combines those two. We should brace ourselves. This is only the beginning.

We are fortunate. Between trees downed and roof damage, I probably have about $3000-$5000 in damage to my home and property. This is the same as Jeanne and Frances last year. And although it is a lot of money, we keep it in perspective... I have a home, my roof does not require a blue tarp... that we can see (we'll find out when it rains), and we're all alive.

There will be massive suffering throughout the S. FL region as people fully comprehend what they have lost. It is truly tragic, as always. But we are fortunate that it is not summer. The heat is not unbearable. Whereas in July and August our days were over 100 deg and our nights well over 90, our days now are in the 70s and nights in the 50s. That's liveable. Doing yardwork in 67 deg is pleasurable. Doing it in 100 degree heat is hellish at best.

Posts on the wings of course. Keep the people of S. FL in your prayers.

Palm Beach County schools are closed through Friday. They're hoping to get schools up on Monday. Our airport opened last night with first flights out this morning.

Florida Power and Light took a serious hit, folks. This is far worse than Charley, Jeanne and Frances. The power infrastructure... the actual transformers were nailed, not just the outposts. It is bad.

But... it could be worse. More to come...

Posted by Boudicca at 03:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 25, 2005

Where do we find these people?

Boudicca and I were just discussing the people we had seen on TV, lined up at a FEMA distribution station and really pissed off because the station wasn’t open yet. Some had been there for three hours. Say what? Less then 24 hours had passed and these folks need food and water? Wilma took several days to work its way into the Yucatan Channel, two more days plummeting the peninsula, and then another day crossing the Gulf to hit Florida. Every news/weathercast several times a day showed the predicted track and warned everyone to be prepared. What were these people doing? Were they gassing up their cars, putting in a cache of food and water, filling their propane bottles? Apparently not. They were doing NOTHING! Sound familiar? We saw it recently in NOLA. There’s an entire sub culture of society that expects the government to take care of them. They’ve entirely abdicated the responsibility for their welfare to Uncle Sam, in this case taking the form of FEMA. That’s scarier than any Halloween story you’ll ever hear. Let’s hear it for LBJ, the creator of the Great Society. Hip, hip… bite me!

Posted by TGOO at 09:27 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

How Sweet it is!!

Electricity is back on in the house of Boudicca. Water, electricity, showers, hot meals; all's right with the world... almost.

Posted by TGOO at 07:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Wilma's aftermath 10/25

Apparently West Palm Beach took a harder hit from Wilma than originally estimated. Florida Power and Light (FP&L) reports major damage to the power distribution system at the major stations. Power is still out in most areas, and the airport is closed indefinitely. So are the schools. Boudicca’s well piping has been repaired, but without electricity it doesn’t help anything.

Posted by TGOO at 01:59 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

Wilma sitrep #5 1500 CDT

The ancient Boudicca was Queen of the Icene. The contemporary Boudicca has been designated as “queen of the hurricane supplies” by her three sons, the Rolling Ball of Noise. When last I talked to her they were into Vienna sausages. She reported that they have become connoisseurs of that snack food. Reportedly the Iberian chicken sausages in chicken broth suck wet socks, but they ate them anyway. The Libby’s sausages are delicious, even though they’re made from the unmentionable parts of various mammals. They consumed two cans of these delicacies. They’re looking forward to canned pears for dessert. Yum!

Posted by TGOO at 04:57 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Wilma sitrep #4 1215 CDT

The weather is beautiful, 65 degrees with a brisk wind. They’ve surveyed their property and found ridge cap tiles missing from the roof, trees down, and their well head damaged by the neighbor’s kid’s slide, which blew into their pump. Numerous houses in the neighborhood suffered roof damage, probably due to a poor design.
Boudicca and her clan sat in their kitchen and played board games as Wilma sped by. She took the Rolling Ball of Noise outside to see what it was like in the eye. They cleaned out some storm drains and picked up some debris until the backside approached.
She commented that it took a year to have damage repaired from last year’s hurricanes, i.e., replacement of roof tiles and screened enclosures. The same damage occurred again, and the roofers and screeners will be busy until next season, when the cycle starts again.

Boudicca’s advice: “This was not Dennis in July, Andrew in August or Ivan in September. It was a Cat II in October. The weather is beautiful, so unless you sustained extensive damage, just suck it up, open your damn windows and enjoy the nice weather.”

Posted by TGOO at 01:43 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Wilma sitret #3 0930 CDT

Boudicca’s bunker is now in Wilma’s eye. A survey outside shows extensive damage to their hurricane roof. The remaining trees are down, and she’s decided that they need to keep a roofer and a tree nursery man on retainer for future storms. Outside is solitude, the hum of nothingness; no power, no birds, just silence. The other eye wall should be arriving momentarily. In the meantime, I encouraged her to get the Rolling Ball of Noise outside to see what it’s like in the eye of a hurricane.

Posted by TGOO at 10:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Wilma sitrep #2 0800

The power is out, so Boudicca's family is hunkered down in their bunker listening to the radio. Her birthday tree, the Shady Lady, just blew over. The eastern eyewall is beginning its pass, and there should be a couple of hours of calm as the eye passes over Should be fun for the Rolling Ball of Noise to watch its passing.

Posted by TGOO at 09:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wilma sitrep #1 0745 CDT

Boudicca's server went tango uniform, as is usual during the storms down there. They're getting steady, hurricane force winds. She heard a roof tile depart, probably the first of many. You've gotta love those skilled tradesmen who install the hurricane roofs down there. Sons #1 and #2 are bugging her to let them go out and play as the eye passes over. I don't know what they expect to see, probably a large iris and pupil looking at them from the sky. They're expecting the northeast eyewall wihin the next 20 minutes, according to their local doppler radar.

Posted by TGOO at 08:51 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Score

This is the score folks, I'm going to lose power tomorrow. Consider that a fact. I will live blog what's happening here as long as I can, but once I lose power, blogging will turn to The Great Omnipotent One (my Dad for those who do not know) who I will be keeping in touch with via phone.

We have no idea what's going to happen and as usual, the waiting is the worst part. We thought for sure wind sheer and cooler weather, and Wilma hanging over Mexico awhile would bring it down to a Cat 2 or 1. That was short lived.

So... when you watch the Weather Channel guys talking about Killer Sticks and should they mention the following places, you know that's about where I reside, from west to east: Loxahatchee, The Acreage, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach. Any of those areas mean I'm effected in some way. All those communities are within 10-15 miles of one another.

I'm up and blogging late as my Better Half has had to go get his Father. Pop, who was here for dinner tonight, decided he didn't need to stay, it was no big deal. He was adament he wasn't staying, but now, he's been watching the news and is nervous... as he should be. 80 year old men with Parkinson's disease, who refuse to plan for hurricanes, do not need to be alone during one.

So now... I'm awake until they return. It's going to be a late night. Pop doesn't live THAT close. GRRR.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:37 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 23, 2005

Shutter Talk

Oh I forgot about this conversation. It was pretty funny.

My Better Half and I were putting shutters up on a particularly difficult window. The bushes were in the way below us and a Wasp nest was above us. I was over it. It was near the end...

So as we're struggling and cussing and putting the shutters up, holding them in place while we secured them with wing nuts, I said, "I hate this f---ing window. We need to get an accordian shutter for it so we don't have to do this sh-- next go round." And the following ensued...

BH: I'm not spending another damn dime on hurricane shutters. Well... other than the 8 foot sliders with transoms that we're not shuttering on the covered porch. We need accordians for those. We can just deal with this window."

Me: Oh yeah? Well if you die, I'm getting accordians on this window.

BH, pausing at what he's doing: If I die?

Me: Yeah. I think your insurance policy is enough that I can afford accordians on this window if you leave me widowed with three kids. (We're both laughing at this.)

BH: Hell, you won't get accordians. You won't stick around. I know you. If I die, you'll be out of S. FL so fast... You hate this place.

Me: No. I'm trapped here. This is the kids' home. I'll be using that insurance money to buy an accordian shutter for this frickin' window.

The odd things that you talk about when spending 2 hours putting shutters on one's house. Boggles the mind. Really.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Maps, Hurricanes and Holy Grails

I just finished updating my last version of the day for the Florida Blogger Map. Go HERE.

I'm not posting it on this post as the last post is the one everyone is linked to. I will continue to update that post for a bit longer, just adding in the new map.

If you are a Florida blogger, please feel free to send me your site and I'll continue to update as needed.

Oh! And if you left me a comment or sent me an e-mail and it's not on there, it's a MISTAKE! I'm trying, so send me another comment and I'll put it on there. Nobody is being left off intentionally.

As for my current status, I'm beat. I'm just really beat. My feet hurt, my back aches, I'm hot (no a/c), and I'm tired of this weather crap. Pretty much, I'm over hurricane season. The local guy here says that where I am in Palm Beach County is going to take a nasty hit. I'm in the Western part of PBC. You know how I keep saying, "Don't worry about us, I don't live near the beach?" Well, still don't worry, but when the 'canes come from the Western side, that would be me.

We all know that at this point, the weather guys can get the target zone within 30 miles pretty accurately. That elusive brass ring seems to be predicting intensity accurately. So we're not taking this lightly.

I'm not worried at all. We're ready. The house is shuttered, we've moved stuff in, I'm ready. I think we all just need for this to be over. Yesterday.

The thought of losing my kid's school again is pretty nauseating too. Last year what Frances didn't take, Jeanne did.

I'm in the process of trying to recreate a post I accidentally dumped earlier, pissing me off to no end. I'm tired enough that I hit 'close' when I meant to hit save, and I closed out my internet session losing my entire post, pictures and all.

I hate it when that happens.

On a funny note, we rented Monty Python's Holy Grail for the boys and they're really getting a kick out of it. My 2nd son said to me today, "Mom, Where's the snake? I keep waiting for the snake."

Me: Snake? There are no snakes in this movie. A killer rabbit... but no snake.

Son#2: Really? Then why is it called Monty Python???

Funny guy, even when he doesn't mean to be.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Total Suckiness of Suckdom

GRRR. Looks like we're putting up all our shutters. Dammit.

What does that mean for you all? I'm taking pictures. That's right. You get a frickin' blow by blow. If I have to suffer through this you do too.

Who knows. Maybe you'll get a gratuitous shot of me in my running clothes. I'm sure as hell not showering after my morning run only to spend three hours hoisting aluminum shutters.

Damn. Did I remember to buy hornet spray? I'm the one on hornet/wasp patrol as they like to nest in the channels for our shutters. Note to self: stop by Publix for wasp/hornet spray after run.

And let me tell you what just adds to the overall suckiness of it all. I still don't have a/c. That's right. My a/c broke last week, I need a whole new unit, and it's been postponed due to Wilma. So now... I get to have aluminum... that would be metal that will absorb HEAT, all along my house and I can't open my windows.

Isn't that just totally suckalicious?

I'm over this.

I'm going running.

Pix tonight.

GRRRR.

Oh... and TGOO... if I lose power, you're on deck per the usual. That should give my readers something to shout about. It won't be 'Wow. Sucks to be Bou getting hit by a hurricane". Instead it'll be, "Whooo hooo! The Great Omnipotent One is posting!!!"

See, I knew I'd find a silver lining in there for my readers.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:09 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Extra Sunday Chores

Well... it appears we may put shutters up on some big plate glass windows that face the South and West. My husband stored them out in front of the others, easy access, in the event we ever just want to cover those.

I keep looking at those daggum forecasts and tracking maps, willing this hurricane to do something that we can rely on here on the East coast. Nada. It's too far out.

I just got a call from some Church we don't attend telling us services are canceled. Wha? The weather here in Palm Beach County is NICE. Bones asked me if we could go swimming today.

So, after my Better Half gets back from Mass with the boys, we'll move porch furniture in and put up the shutters on a few high exposure windows. I have another load of laundry to do and then I'll fill up the washing machine with water... as well as the bath tubs.

Bah!

We're ready. I've had my supplies since June, as all of you know. My gas is topped off as of yesterday.

As for now... I'm going to go run 3 miles and bike another 5. No sense in letting the unknown effect my cardio.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2005

I Can't Be Singin' No Blues

I was in the car the other day and Bones said to me, “Mom, can you sing the Blues?”

Wha?!!

So I replied, “Ummm, no. I know the Blues, but I cannot sing them.” (Side note: I can’t sing anything. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. I think I’m tone deaf. I can only tell when bagpipes are out of tune. That’s not a good sign.)

Bones: You can’t sing the Blues, Mom, because your life is not sad enough. Your life is happy.

Thank God! Sheesh. I can’t very well have a sad life with these three monkey men in my life! I have been blessed…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Things That Make Me Do the Happy Dance

You know you’re having a good day when…

There is a hurricane making it’s way to your state and you go to the grocery store to find… it fully stocked.

You run errands that afternoon and think, “I need to top off my tank” and as you pull up to the gas station, the gas tanker is just finishing filling up all the pumps.

When you pump your gas, you can buy REGULAR!!!! You don’t have to buy Premium because that’s all that’s left!

And when you pump your gas, it’s cheap! It’s only $2.85 a gallon! Holy crap!

I’ll tell you though, I got to our grocery store to pick up extra milk and something for dinner for tonight and there was milk and bread as far as the eye could see. Fresh produce was in abundance and meat was plentiful.

I asked the cashier what the deal was. I was fully prepared to not have found much of anything. She told me the panic had been on Wednesday and it had been calm ever since. Good. I’m glad it was nice and early… then again, that’s when Wilma was a Cat 4 and they expected her to hit Naples on Friday.

And… I was talking to The Great Omnipotent One and we were laughing. Here I was, doing the happy dance over only paying $2.85 a gallon… this time last year, the same price would have caused a massive coronary. I’d have been dead before I hit the ground from sticker shock.

Amazing how much things can change in a year…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Not Running from Wilma

We are all of course watching this hurricane as it creeps its way over to the West Coast of Florida. Kathy of On the Third Hand is in that area. She evac’s tomorrow.

Last I read, it might come in as a Cat 2, but is moving so quickly that the storm surge will be like that of a Cat 3. That’s devastation to their beaches… billions of dollars of damage is expected.

It might miss them all together and hit The Keys. Nobody knows for sure. I’m saying my money is on the fact that the grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette will once again protect the citizens of Key West.

Maybe we need our own grotto in West Palm Beach. Or maybe one big MONSTER GROTTO for the entire state of Florida. I’m all for that.

Anyway, people in my neighborhood are going nuts. Shutters and plywood are going up. In the back of my mind, I keep hearing Fred Sanford, “Ohhh...this is the big one. You hear that ‘lizabeth? I'm comin' to join you honey!" Sorry… but I just don’t think we’re going to get hammered here. I think they’re overreacting.

And… maybe overreaction is good. I think many of these folks just got hurricane shutters and want to see how long the process takes to cover their openings.

The thing is… I KNOW how long it takes to haul all ours out and put them up. I’m not doing that unless it’s a 2 or more. I’m not. Now tomorrow morning if I wake up, and Wilma is coming in strong, and she’s gonna nail the West coast as a 3, yeah, my Better Half and I will be hauling down shutters and putting them up. Otherwise? Nope.

My updated map is below. I had a couple folks in the wrong place and added a couple more. Folks… there are a lot of bloggers in Florida. If you are a Florida blogger and want to be added, just let me know your location. It’s no sweat. But I decided I’m not just going to add here and there or… we definitely won’t be able to see Tampa. Holy crap, have they got the Blogging Religion there. I almost want to say, “If you live in Tampa and you DON’T blog, let me know!” heh.

Also, if YOU personally know of a Florida blogger that you read and like, I’ll add them. They don’t have to e-mail me.

I may go so far as to make this map more ‘interactive’ in the sense that you can click on the name and get the blog (Dave at The Glittering Eye has been giving me tips on how to do it), but it won’t be too soon. That would take time and I’m still Treasurer of the School, working, Den Mother to a Pack of Bears, working with Katrina’s Kidz, and working as a State Chairman for a National philanthropy. Oh and I have three kids, a husband and a hamster. So… I have to make it fit in. I think it will become a long term project. I really do.

fl blogger vs 11.JPG


Posted by Boudicca at 09:10 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

Chicken Little

I’ve spoken before of the Alpha Male with whom I work. It is more than that, however. The man has NO sense of humor. Never in my life have I ever met anyone as intense as he is, and trust me, that is saying a lot. Keep in mind, I’m in aerospace engineering. I work with and have worked with some pretty intense individuals. I’ve even been accused of being too tightly wound and too intense myself.

But this guy, it is so way beyond that, it truly boggles the mind.

I’ve tried to joke with him. Nothing. I’ve teased him like I tease the other guys I work with. Nothing. I’ve watched him interact with other people who have been laughing. Nothing. Stoic-man. Completely stoic.

It doesn’t stop me from ribbing him. As a matter of fact, I think I am probably more determined to occasionally get a jab in here or there. For instance, we’re about to send him to a foreign country to train their military on something pretty important. A country that is in an area that gets the Avian Flu.

The guy is retired military, USAF to be exact. He was a mechanic and knowing his personality, having watched him work, I’m sure he was damn good at what he did. Thorough and anal retentive don’t even begin to describe him, so I’m sure any USAF pilot felt safe when he strapped into the cockpit of this maintainer's aircraft.

However, given his personality traits, imagine my surprise when I found out… he doesn’t have his shot records. Not only does he have to get the normal inoculations to travel to this country (tetanus, typhoid, etc.), but he also has to be reimmunized against all his childhood diseases like MMR. And… since he doesn’t have proof that he had the chicken pox, he has to be immunized against that too.

He is going either to the Public Health Department or the VA for his immunizations, I cannot remember which, but whichever the case, this place does not cover MMR or Chickenpox. He’s had to call around.

For some reason, perverse as it is, I’ve been finding some humor in all of this, we all have been, as we’ve been listening to him bellow from person to person on the phone, trying to arrange all these vaccinations, trying to find someone to give him his childhood immunizations.

Finally I walked up to him when he was off the phone, gently put my hand upon his shoulder and whispered just loud enough for the guy next to him to hear, “You know, I think I could call my kids’ pediatrician and he would have what you need…”

The guy next to him laughed, I laughed to myself as I walked away… but Alpha Male? Nothing. Not even a smile.

Alpha Male is so tightly wound and has so much energy, I think when he sits in his chair, his cube reverberates. He’s in his mid-50s by now… there is no mellowing taking place. At all.

So today, I walk in and they tell me that a phone call was received from Alpha Male and he said something like, “I couldn’t take it anymore. We’re going to get hit by a Cat 5, so I evacuated. I’m on my way to Kentucky.”

Ok, let’s look at this from a couple different angles of rationality. First, we’re all prepared down here in Palm Beach County, but none of us are panicking. At best we’re going to get nailed with a Cat 2 and most of suspect it will be a 1 or TS force winds. The folks who I’m worried about live on THE OTHER COAST. This hurricane has to make it across the state, which granted, is not so big, and then slam into us.

Yeah, a Cat 1 is intense, but as we saw with Miami when Katrina was a Cat 1, the people who died there cleansed the gene pool of stupidity. You don’t run a frickin’ generator in your home and you don’t drive around in hurricane strength winds. A Cat 1 is survivable if you just follow instruction.

We don’t panic over Cat 1s and 2s. We stay prepared and aware for them. Period.

Then second, and last… WHY KENTUCKY? Holy crap. If I were going to evac, I’d go to Jacksonville (5 hours), or Atlanta (9 hours) or… Pensacola (9 hours). But, Kentucky? That’s gotta be like 13 to 15 hours. Why in the hell Kentucky?

The whole thing is so irrational. I’m having a tough time wrapping my mind around it. Really.

I heard this story and finally I said to the guys in my cube, “Follow me on the logic path here, guys, we’re intrusting this guy to go to a foreign country, train their military on A, B, and C, but he’s such a whack he freaks and evacs for something that might not even happen? Am I the only one seeing a problem here? God help us if they really get the Avian Flu in that country. He’ll have a frickin’ breakdown.”

I end up going over to one of the secretary’s desks. I’m not really ‘in’ with the secretaries. And I don’t mean that in a snotty way or in a ‘I feel so left out’ way. They laugh with me all the time, but some of these women go way back to Company X, whereas I go way back with most of the men. So the women have certain things they would just ‘never’ joke with me about. Like sex. They don’t know me well enough and I’m 10-20 years younger than they.

So I’m in her cube and we’re laughing about all this and she tells me that Alpha Male has had the same girlfriend for over 10 years. I’m stunned. Finally I said, “What in the hell keeps her around? It’s GOT to be the sex.”

She looked at me like she wasn’t sure what to say. Finally she laughed and confessed that she and the other women had been having the same conversation and then she added, “Can you imagine? He’d be yelling, ‘DID YOU CLIMAX YET?!!!’

I’m laughing hysterically now and I replied, “Holy crap. Talk about performance anxiety. I’d be yelling back, “YES! YES! YES!” at which point she raises her hands and says, “I’d scream, “Hallelujah, Praise the LORD!”

I was almost crying. Poor guy. We’re sitting there imagining what his sex life is like and he’s evac’ing to Kentucky.

I’ve taken to calling him “Chicken Little”. Hey, he could be right. We could get slammed with a Cat 5. The last laugh could be on us. But I still think Kentucky is a wee bit too far to run. Just sayin’…

Posted by Boudicca at 12:01 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

Version 5, Florida Blogger Map

I have to say, this has been a fun little project. I have been getting e-mail from Florida bloggers and help from Non-Florida bloggers, adding people to my little map. What started out as a fun jokey, on the back of a napkin thing, has taken on a small life.

I've been shifting locations as I got a few wrong, and adding others. If you stumble across this post and you are a Florida Blogger, throw the name of your blog in these comments or e-mail me and I'll add you to my map.

You will see the map continually change as I make room for new blogs. I'm now clumping blogs by city as well as I'll probably start including only the blog names. (As opposed to saying Boudicca of Boudicca's Voice.) I can see that coming soon, depending on how many extra names I receive.

So here's the latest. Thanks to all who have taken the time to forward me names.

And on a quick sidenote... I know I'm in the trajectory to take a hit from Wilma, but I am a secondary hit. Keep those folks in Mexico in your thoughts and prayers and then toss a few over to the Naples region of Florida. We really don't know whose going to end up standing without a chair to sit, in this awful game of hurricane musical chairs, but it's still looking like the folks in SW Florida are going to get hammered on Sunday or Monday.

(Click to Enlarge)

Fl Bloggers vs 5.JPG


Posted by Boudicca at 11:42 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

Scary Photo...

I found this on the NOAA site today. Holy Crap. Sucks to be Cuba.

For those wanting to know... Jim Cantore last I saw was still in the studio. I figure we'll see him in Naples in a couple days. I hate it when that happens... Jim leaving the studio that is.

(Click to Enlarge)

Wilma.jpg

Posted by Boudicca at 10:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Pleasantville

I had a consultation with a surgeon today as I am scheduled for some surgery at the end of December. I wasn't going to blog on it, but I'm realizing that in the end, this could be some great blog fodder. And you know me... I'm all about blog fodder.

I go out of my way to be nice to the office staff in doctor's offices. They put up with a lot of crap and I just have this attitude that if I'm that one nice person they meet that day, and it helps, then its a good thing. It doesn't take much effort.

Don't get me wrong. If they're rude after I've done my best to be nice, I'll jump down their throat, let the doctor know, and go so far as to switch doctors if he does nothing about it. I don't put up with anyone's crap.

BUT... it takes a lot to set me off and I think it's safe to say that I enjoy the staff of all of my doctors and they in turn seem to enjoy talking to me.

Besides, I have no real desire to piss someone off with bad attitude when they're going to take a knife to my body while I'm sleeping. No thanks.

I was REALLY impressed with the woman at the front desk of this surgeon's office. She was helpful when the Imaging folks... just.were.not, and I made sure at the end of my visit the surgeon knew what a gem he had up front.

The nurse and I hit it off which was easy as she was really funny.

The surgeon, I wasn't sure how he'd be. My one physician of 14 years, who had recommended him to me said, "Of the list of surgeons you gave me from your internist, THIS guy is who I think your personality will jive with. You can goof with him and he's an excellent surgeon."

Hey, you can't beat that. Excellent AND personality.

Now the guy wasn't a stand up comedian, but the physician whose opinion I consulted was right, I did click on some level with this surgeon. We did laugh and carry on a bit, the exam went well, and it was a non-event... not a bad way to spend my morning.

At the end, he had his handy dandy tape recorder and started to record his notes and he said, "I have met with Bou, a pleasant 40 year old woman..."

Later he dictated his letter to my internist, my actual referring physician and said, "I met with your patient Bou today, a pleasant 40 year old woman..."

OK... I've just got to say... what is with this word 'pleasant'? And did we have to continually say, '40 year old'? NOT that the age bothers me, but geezoweez, if I had been 38 would he have repeatedly said, "38 year old woman"? Well, yeah, probably, but still.

Really though, back to 'pleasant'. I rang up my sister as it was over and said to her, "So if I had had really bad attitude, what adjective would be used?"

We decided there would have been NO adjective.

But then I wondered, is there something better than 'pleasant'? Morrigan said, "Delightful. He could have said 'Delightful'".

Great. I wonder what in the heck I could have done to have gotten 'Delightful'.

Sheesh. Then again... maybe 'pleasant' is the pinnacle. It sounds so... so... vanilla.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:19 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Florida Blogger Map

Below is a real map, as opposed to the jokey one I did yesterday, of the Florida Bloggers I have on my blogroll. I've added a few per request.

This should give you a better idea of where we're really located. I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, but if someone told me a big snow storm was hitting Madison, Wisconsin, I don't know which of my Wisconsin bloggers would be affected. I may know major cities per each state, but not all the smaller ones.

So, I hope this helps. I am able to edit this map, so if I got your location incorrect, or think I should add someone, throw it in the comments or e-mail me.

(Click to Enlarge)

Fl bloggers vs. 4.JPG

Update: Thank you to Dave of The Glittering Eye for helping me find the Florida Bloggers. If you want to be added, put it in the comments and make sure you tell me the county of your location.


Posted by Boudicca at 09:57 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

Contain Your Excitement...

Pictures of my Generator are coming. Y'all are going to be sorely disappointed.

And... if we have to put shutters up, I'll post pictures of what a complete pain in the neck it is. GRRR.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Florida Blogger Map

Ever wondered where some of us in Florida really live? If you aren't from Florida, you don't know the cities really.

So I've created a little map with the Florida bloggers I know of pinpointed. My only problem is... I'm not exactly sure where some of them are located. I had to guess. My bad.

Feel free to add corrections.

Without further ado, my Florida blogger map, with some commentary, with Wilma in the background, courtesy of Microsoft Paint and the US Navy. Have I mentioned lately how much I love the Navy? Oh yes I do.

(Click to Enlarge)

Some Florida Bloggers.JPG

Posted by Boudicca at 09:51 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Talking Heads, No Brains

There is a very low hum amongst the population right now. I think if we were about to take a direct hit from the Atlantic there would be more of a frenzy, but knowing some Florida brethren are going to take the hit first, weakening it, may be keeping the reverberation of human panic on simmer.

That or... we're just so damn sick of this shit we almost couldn't care less anymore.

Pick one.

Obviously, this is going to be a testy post. I'm feelin' kinda cranky.

So I walk into the family room where my Better Half is watching Fox News. As I start to wash dishes, I hear the commentator say (No KIDDING):

"Wilma is NOW a Deadly Category FIVE and it's Heading RIGHT FOR America!!!"

Holy crap. I could not believe I heard that frickin' idiot say that. I HATE the media. HATE them. Anything for viewers. I picture the talking heads at all the major news sources saying, "Damn! I hope people die in this one! We can get some serious mileage out of death. We need more than wind, rain and killer sticks."

Katrina set that bar pretty damn high as far as media mileage goes. Leave it to the media to make sure there is some way to top it. Short of 10,000 dying and the dike on Lake O breaking, I don't see it happening. But that's not going to stop the media from HOPING it will happen.

Sound cynical to you? Come live in S. Fl. I assure you, you'll feel the same way.

So let me set the record straight here... as there needs to be some voice of reason and I've elected myself as THAT voice.

We don't know where she's going to hit. NOBODY knows where she's going to hit. But let me assure you, she is not going to hit all of America. There is even a remote possibility that it will stay at the Yucaton and not hit Florida at all.

And, no offense folks, but let's get rid of this America crap. She's not hitting America if she comes this way... She's hitting FLORIDA. I love the fact the media wants to pretend they can share our pain... but they can't. So they can quit faking it. They can save the faking it for their partners or Meg Ryan.

So let's assume she is hitting Florida, because that IS the highest probability. There are so many factors that come into play here. If the front comes in from the North like its SUPPOSED TO, then it will hit Florida... probably the Southern-most part, and come across the state. And then those of us from Miami to Orlando will take the secondary hit...with the folks in Naples taking the Primary.

BUT IT'S ALL SPECULATION.

If the front doesn't come through... this sucker is going right up into the Gulf, up into the New Orleans, Mississippi, Mobile, Pensacola region. Hey, it could happen.

And, if it hits us down this way, we are not going to get pounded by a frickin' 'KILLER CAT 5!!!" Good Grief. There's something called wind sheer. And cooler water. And all this other crap that comes into play. So she's going to hit as a nasty storm, a mean and powerful and destructive storm, but a KILLER CAT 5 sinking all of Florida isn't going to be it.

And if the media thought they could get viewers by saying that Florida would break off and sink into the ocean after this pounding, trust me, they would.

So I'm sitting tight. And I'm ready. I feel pretty confident we're not avoiding this one. I do think Palm Beach County could get spanked in this one. But I don't know for sure.

I can only be ready.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

Lions, and Pumpkins, and Santas... OH MY!

Over at Eric's he has this GREAT post on a picture his Mom had taken of him when he was but a wee lad. The entire post is great, as only Eric can write, but this quote here cracked me up:

... I mean, there I am... sitting upright in a 3/4-facing position... jaw slack... eyes slightly unfocused.... head like a cueball with only the faintest sheen of the coppery-red that would soon be blossoming... and, I'm dressed to the nines in a genuine blue and white pinstriped Railroad Conductor's uniform... complete, people... jacket.. trousers... and waistcoat...

Now to you women folk, can't you just picture this? And how many of you Mom's out there haven't done the same thing to your wee ones? All of us have. You just can't help it. Their big bald heads. Their dopey little expressions. They're so cute, you could just eat them up.

They're BEGGING to be messed with. Really.

We have so many dopey pictures of my kids. I love all of them. When I get my scanner working I'll scan some in, but I have babies dressed as a pumpkin sitting in a pumpkin patch amongst the pumpkins.

I have a baby wearing a Santa hat, holding a package and behind him sits a big stuffed animal that's supposed to look like a reindeer, but looks more like a St. Bernard had his way WITH a reindeer.

I have babies in hooded towels that were sewn to look like ducks.

Toddlers dressed as lions, bumblebees, and ladybugs.

I have a baby surrounded by stuffed animals... so he looks like one of them.

That's half the fun of having kids. Dressing them up. I'm telling you... on the weeks you've not gotten but 2 hours sleep, the kids have been crying, someone is always unhappy... its those pictures that keep you going. Seriously.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Generators or Air Conditioners... Which is #1 in FL?

Hurricanes seem to be good for blog fodder. GRRR. As of last computer model, it looks like GuyK from Charming Just Charming will take part if not all of it of it. If she’s a monster storm like Rita and Katrina, we’ll take some too.

I got an e-mail from The Great Omnipotent One today asking on the status of my generator. Here’s the long sad story.

First, I need a new air conditioner. That’s gonna set me back a chunk of change. I’m going ahead and ordering it now. If it were not for that, we STILL wouldn’t have our generator operational, the story of why is following, but mainly because of my husband’s ‘bigger is better’ mentality.

Do you think he could buy us a simple generator that would simply run our water system (we're on well) and maybe our refrigerator? Oh no. And my mistake started when I let him meet with our electrician, also A MAN, alone, without my input. That’s right. Silly me went off to work and actually uttered the words, “It’s OK, hun, you handle it.” A man who is into sports cars, going Mach 3 with his hair on fire, and big engines. Yeah. What was I thinking?

And next thing I know, instead of a $600 generator that’ll run my water system and my refrigerator intermittently, I get a piece of MACHINERY that would keep the frickin’ space station lit.

And NOOOOW, we’re talking natural gas instead of gasoline and a big tank for it which means the debate of burying the tank or having it stand stationary… and now we’re talking permits must be pulled.

And 170 gallons of LP ain’t cheap. And you have to BUY THE TANK. And on… and on… and on…

So, essentially, we own the generator, I will be paying it off for another 5 months, interest free thank you very much Home Depot, but it isn’t getting hooked up for another 6 months because… well because. It isn't. Pick a reason, any reason, and I'm sure it fits. Keeping in mind Cost is probably a good bet.

Now I just hope that this non-portable, permanently part of the house generator that frickin’ primes itself, will turn itself on IMMEDIATELY WHENEVER we lose power and is no louder than an air conditioning unit and has it’s own spiffy metal case, doesn’t have something fall on it during a hurricane, rendering it useless. Or, that the gas tank doesn’t have something fall on it. That would suck.

I mean, it COULD happen. Afterall, when we were having the extension put on the house a 2 ton roll of tar paper fell off the roof and landed directly on top of my water system, taking it out. What was the probability of THAT happening?! Not high.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:37 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Strange Flavored Lollipops and Odd Drinks

I was just telling another blogger today that I had writer’s block. I had nothing to say and quite frankly, didn’t care. I don’t like to fight to write. I can either do it.. or I can’t. There is no middle ground. The past week has been rather dry anyway.

So leave it to my dear sweet disgusting boys to give me loads of blog fodder this evening. What would I do without them? Oh probably sleep more peacefully and not spend at least once a day trying to fight the bile rising in my throat as some antic of theirs has made me want to hurl.

Of course life would be boring.

First, I took them to the pool. I try to take them every night to burn off extra energy. Bones has an energy problem and with my taking him swimming every night, changing his diet, and eliminating TV and video games after school, we’ve seen a big change.

So they’re drying off so we can go home and IN UNISON, the three of them say,

“You’re about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop.”

Ack! I replied, “WHERE in the WORLD did YOU hear THAT?!”

Together they said, “Dodgeball!”

My husband let them watch that movie. I turned a blind eye to it, but was not happy. For the longest time, the sayings were somewhat benign. The typical, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball” type stuff. But lately, it has changed. Thrilled I am not.

There’s nothing quite like watching your dear sweet blondish red haired 6 year old with an impish grin and smoochy cheeks, banter in unison with his older brothers, the following dialogue. And keep in mind, Bones is the one who can get the cadence and accent down when he wants. So he sounded just like a grizzley Rip Torn.

“Are you sure that this is completely necessary?”

Rip’s character: “Necessary? Is it necessary that I drink my own urine?”

“Probably not.”

Rip’s character: “No, but I do it anyway because it’s sterile and I LIKE the taste.”

Lovely, huh?

And they are now BEGGING me to rent Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Evidently one of the boys at school has seen it and all the boys are already quoting it. I’ll probably bite that bullet soon.

We got home only for me to realize that the kid’s bathroom commode was still plugged up. This was a revelation this morning, one I forgot as I rushed out of the house to go to work.

But this stoppage, do you think it stopped them from using it this morning? Oh no. Oh no no no. As a matter of fact, I caught all of them emptying their bladders this morning in that same stopped up commode. And THAT is how I realized there was a problem. I’d never seen yellow water so high in that porcelain bowl. What were they trying to do? Create a waterfall?

No doubt.

And we have TWO other bathrooms. This is a THREE BATHROOM house, yet… we must all use the one that is temporarily out of order.

So here we are coming back from the pool and I’m doing a quick inspection of the bathroom to make sure the bathing suits are hung up and I notice that this commode IS FULL.

No description here. Let’s just say it was full and it wasn’t yellow. I wanted to vomit. Literally. It seems Bones just wanted to see how full he could get it. That left me with the nasty plunging.

Oh sure, I could tell him it was his job, but that’s WHAT HE WANTED! He loves that plunger! He’ll come hippety hopping through the house with it, swinging it to and fro at the prospect that a commode may be plugged, secretly hoping in his 6 year old heart that those little ears will finally hear the glorious words, “Sure, you can do the plunging this time”.

It’s not happening.

And all the while he is doing this, I am fighting the urge to crawl into a ball in the fetal position in my room, continually reminding myself, 'I did sterilize that. I did sterlize that" as I can almost picture the fecal germs being spread through the air.

So the commode is back in working order, I didn’t vomit, but nearly did, and they’ve been instructed not to let it happen again.

And to think that as of 6:00 PM, I had no blog fodder. Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:27 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

October 17, 2005

I Hated That Movie 7, but The Meme Isn't So Bad

The Lovely and Talented SarahK, soon to be SarahJ, tagged me with a Meme. A meme that made me think. *shaking my fist at Sarahk*

Actually its a cool meme. It's taken me a couple days to come up with answers and even then, I know soon as I hit publish I'll think, "Wait! This one is better!"

So here you go... A meme with 7s.

7 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:

Speak another language, another two languages would be better

Go to Scotland and Britain and walk parts or as much as I can of Hadrian's Wall and see Stonehenge.

See my Kids graduate from College and find a good relationship

Go to Alaska

See the Aurora Borealis

See the Great Pyramids

Walk the Appalachian Trail

7 Things I Can Do:

Wiggle my ears

Pop my left shoulder

Leg press a full set at 250 pounds

Make my kids laugh

Make my husband shake his head

Play the bagpipes

Play the Flute

7 Things I Cannot Do:

Touch my toes

Chest press anything over 70 pounds (I have shoulder problems)

Run a marathon (I'd rather poke my eye out with a pencil)

Do the splits

Lie

Live in S. Florida for the rest of my life

Take the cold, below 35 degrees, for any length of time (about 5 minutes)

7 Things I Say A Lot:

Holy Crap

Evidently

Ack!

Is everybody buckled in?

Why would I know that?

What part of NO did you not understand?

Smoooooochy!!!! (I say that to my kids)

7 Things I Find Attractive in a Male:

Intelligence (the ultimate aphrosdisiac)

Hands (This is almost up there at #1)

Forearms (I love the winter when men have their sweaters or shirts rolled or pulled up just to their forearms)

Shoulders (Standing straight is a big big bonus)

Eyes (Color is irrelevant)

Laughter (as in, their ability to laugh at the absurd... and at me)

Sincerity

7 Celebrity Crushes

I know this is odd, but I don't have any. I joke about a few celebrities being hotties or I joke about Day Pass material, but I have no crushes on celebrities. I am unable to develop that type of attachment to someone I've never spoken to... I have to know how someone thinks. I know... craziness... but it's true.

The good news is no celebrity ever has to worry about my becoming some crazed stalker. Ain't happenin'.

7 People I Feel Like Bugging:

This was tough. There are a bunch of people I'd like to put down, but will refrain. Has this one been around? If anyone is INTERESTED, throw me an e-mail or throw it in the comments and I'll post it here in an update and I'll link when you have your answers up!!


Posted by Boudicca at 10:13 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Karate- Session 2

Mondays are going to be my test of endurance. I'm not giving up my regular work out routine just because I started Karate again. So Mondays add up to about 2 1/2 hours of work out.

You'd think I'd be some skinny stick bug. I'm not. Chocolate and carbs help keep that extra poundage on. Once I break those ugly habits, I'm home free.

Hey, everyone has to have a vice. It could be worse.

Anyway, this was the second class and only once did I mutter to the guy next to me, "I so suck at this". He had to be thinking, "Ahhhh, just like old times." When I trained before, I'd quietly mutter this to him a couple times a training session. He got off easy. I only said it once.

My ankles are tighter than they were and my hip flexors are giving me problems. I'm just not bendy dammit, but I'm working on it. It will come.

I'm just feeling ever so thankful that I remember as much as I do. I'm not where I was... but the journey back seems doable. It is a brass ring that I can reach. If I can see my goal, that's half the battle.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Talkin' to That Greek Guy Named Charlie

So Tropical Storm Wilma is out there, milling around. Projections are too varied to determine where she’s going to hit.

Honestly, I don’t give a crap anymore. I’m more of the mindset of ‘Let’s just get this over with’. If she’s going to hit us, let’s be done with it. Like pulling off a band-aid, rip it off already. No sense dragging it out.

I’m resigned to my fate living here in S. Florida.

Anyway, I was talking to VW at breakfast the other day and I was talking about how life is different growing up in the family of a Naval Aviator. We have colloquialisms that others don’t have. I’m waiting for some retired Aviator to stop me one day at the local pool where I take my kids when I yell at them, “That’s it. Time to go home. Pull up chocks. We’re outta here!”, as I give them the hand signal for pulling up chocks.

And as I said in one of my earliest blog posts HERE (F is for Foxtrot!) I spell out my words using the military alphabet. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie… I’m surprised I didn’t learn my alphabet that way when I was three. I grew up hearing Sierra Hotel while all the kids in my elementary school class were hearing, “That’s Groovy!” or “That’s Cool!”

And for any of you military types out there, I also know the single hand signs for numbers. And I use them.

Now, we all know I’m a mathematician, just in an engineering position. When majoring in math, one uses the Greek Alphabet constantly. My last two years of college, when I took mainly Masters Level Statistics classes with my Mathematics courses, I used the letters ‘alpha’, ‘beta’, ‘omega’ and ‘theta’ as readily as I used the phrase, “Can I have a rum and coke please? Easy on the coke…”

So last night as I was going through the Wunderground, looking at what was then TD24, but is now TS Wilma, I was thinking, what next? And that is when I realized, I have a language deficiency when it comes to my Greek Letters.

In my head I said the following, “Alpha, Beta, Charlie, Delta…” Yeah. That’s not right. One of those things just doesn’t belong there…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:34 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 16, 2005

This Upcoming Week

I am doing blog maintenance this week... adding some blogs I've had bookmarked and meant to add. I'm adding a Mil-Blogger section of my blog, so you'll see some changes in my left sidebar for those of you who read off my blogroll.

I hate to do it, but I'm deleting blogs that have not posted in the last few months. As of now, I'm thinking 6 months is it.

The Bad Example Family continues to refuse to use any sort of Blog Birth Control and they have spawned more. So I'll be adding new BE Family members.

I got tagged with a Meme by the Lovely and Talented SarahK (soon to be SarahJ). Answers will be forthcoming.

I'm beat to hell. Standing in my kitchen, cooking for two days, I feel the need to sleep for days. I will say, a big highlight was cooking with my husband. He was doing the Italian portion of the meal, while I did the rest. At one point he was teaching Bones how to make Eggplant Parmesan. It made my heart go soft watching him pass on his family tradition to our youngest.

Anyway, our kitchen is a nice size, but we were still on top of each other as we cooked. We divided up the stove. He took the left, I took the right. We're coming up on 14 years of marriage and there is an ease between us as we maneuver around each other. Neither needs to speak, both of us working individually, yet together to get a task accomplished.

It's a good feeling and a very good way to begin our week.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Oink Oink

It's the Carnival of the Recipes... Pork Style. All pork... All the time... this Go Round. So go on over and take a look HERE.

Ala of Blonde Sagacity did a GREAT job.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Food, Family, and Fun

Tonight was Pop’s 80th birthday. Everyone came over and there was a plethora of food. Too much food. Why can I not ever gage how much food a big meal really needs? We sent food home with people for their dinners throughout the week, and I still have so much food leftover it’s disgusting.

And of course, as always, the night before the big dinner, I decide that I’m going to be short and we need MORE food, so I added a dessert, and 2 appetizers.

Blech. We were all sick by the time we left the table.

It was a good time. It was a really good time. I was concerned as to how it would go. There is such a vast political spectrum in my husband’s family, from the staunch right wing conservative who believes and votes for all of it… always has… always will… never questions, to the staunch left wing liberal… who is so left wing that I wonder if they are secretly members of a Socialist party somewhere.

And I was concerned because in this day and age, rarely do you see both political factions co-exist peacefully, let alone with the vast extremists I was having in my home. With things so politically charged, with both parties acting like “You have to believe MY WAY to be an American”, I was nervous and anxious.

But, it was not only very peaceful, it was pleasant and fun. Politics NEVER came up and I had already decided in my head that no matter what foolishness was said on either side, that I would not take the bait. I would not voice my opinion. It is mine after all, and mine to choose to share… or not share.

And I had decided that if things were getting testy, that it was MY home and I would stand up and tell them ‘no politics’ or I would show them the door.

I was pleasantly surprised. It was family. Everyone had a GREAT time. My boys played with their uncles. They latched on hugging their aunts. We ate, we laughed, we joked, and we reminisced.

It was good. If there was one thing I would do differently; however, I would cook less food!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:57 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Quizzes Galore

From blog daughter VW, I got a whole grunch 'o quizzes HERE. She and I usually score the exact same thing. Whew. Not this time.

This first one said she should get her Advanced Degree in Law. I'd rather poke my eyes out with a pencil than study law. No offense to my readers who practice law, but it takes all kinds, and the law kind I am not. Anyway, I got the below and I'm sure 99% of you are thinking, "Booorrrring! I'd rather poke my eye out with a pencil than study that!"

Not me. This quiz nailed what I'd want to study, but I do question that bit about innovative.

You Should Get a PhD in Science (like chemistry, math, or engineering)
You're both smart and innovative when it comes to ideas.
Maybe you'll find a cure for cancer - or develop the latest underground drug.
What Advanced Degree Should You Get?

Next we had this one about what kind of candy I'd be. I can't believe the tag line associated with my answer. There is just so much wrong with it... holy crap. Or... maybe I should just get my mind out of the gutter...

Tootsie Roll Pop
It only takes three licks to get to your center!
What Kind of Candy Are You?

And last we have this one, where VW scored Innocence and I blurted out a laugh when I saw her result with this cute innocent cherub. I hit refresh thinking I was on the wrong blog! LOL!!!

As for my answer, yeah, parts are true, but I've never had anything tell me to be more assertive. I'm the one who was told during the Corporate Assertiveness Training that my boss sent me to, to mellow me out, that I was 'too agressive'. I almost freaked when my boss mentioned he thought I might have to take the class again. I hate that role playing crap.

Solitude
Dominant Personality: Solitude

Good Traits: You don't need people to hype
up your self-esteem. You take care of yourself,
and don't follow the crowd. You're unique.

Bad Traits: You don't have many (if any)
friends. People aren't going anywhere and you
have to learn to handle social situations.
There are people out there who understand you.

People see you as: Lonely, extremely quiet,
and unfriendly. You are never seen around other
people, and you don't talk that much. People
think you're too selfish in that you don't take
the time to make friends.

You're Most Like: Confusion. You wish you
had the answers to everything. The difference
is that you keep it to yourself, and express
yourself in a different way.

You Need More: Grace. You probably walk
around with your head down. You need to hold
your head high and face the world head on. Be
more assertive, but not to the point of
aggresiveness.


What's your dominant trait? (10 unique results)
brought to you by Quizilla


Posted by Boudicca at 09:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 14, 2005

Pork Recipe- With Scotch Baste

This week's Carnival of the Recipes has a theme. Pork recipes. So with that, here is the recipe I received from The Great Omnipotent One... the one where I tried to use the Laphroaig in the baste but was stopped.

The pork comes out tender and this recipe is a staple in the family.

Pork marinade
Combine olive oil (3 TBS or more), salt, pepper, seasoned salt, 2-3 cloves garlic (pressed or diced), fresh basil and parsley chopped in abundant amounts (2-3 TBS), dijon or other spicey mustard (also 3 TBS), soy or teriyaki sauce (3 TBS). Just rub this mess all over the tenderloins and refrigerate covered overnight.

Grill slowly over low heat and put the pork on a sheet of aluminum foil to keep the marinade from turning black. Pierce the foil with a fork in several places to allow the juices to drip out.

Glaze: melt some jelly or marmalade (I use orange marmalade) in a sauce pan and add a shot of brandy or sherry to keep it in liquid form. Baste the pork with this stuff in the last 10 minutes.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Do YOU Know What YOUR Kid is Reading?

I’ve written of this Reading Counts thing my kids have at school. On a recent trip to the library, my eldest told me he wanted the book, The Day After Tomorrow. He even had the author. So he checked it out and we went on our merry way.

Imagine my surprise when he came into me that evening and said, “Mom? Something is wrong. This is from the Reading Counts list, but… it’s not about the weather.”

I looked at it and read the following from the back:

In a Paris café, American surgeon Paul Osborne looks across the room and spots the man who murdered his father thirty years before. In London, a grizzled LA homicide cop named McVey joins Scotland Yard to unravel the mystery of a severed head and seven headless corpses.

Neither American knows the link between the long ago killing and the recent murders. But Paul’s obsession to catch is father’s killer will send him careening through Europe at breakneck speed, his life in the balance, his heart in the hands of a beautiful woman, who may be his lover--- or his downfall. Etc., etc., etc.

OK. My kid is 10. This book is obviously NOT about the weather. So I jumped on Amazon.com and found there are TWO books called The Day After Tomorrow. One is like the movie and one is… not.

So I took the book to school to show the teacher ahead of reading counts. I had told her about it before and she said, “Are you sure?! Are you sure it’s the wrong book?” to which I replied, “Oh yes.I.am. This is the WRONG book.” She looked at the back and said, “Ack! Yes, this is the wrong book.”

I'm not sure what that key indicator was that it was the WRONG book. Maybe it was the severed head. Or the headless corpses. Or maybe... the word lover.

She is doing some research. Reading Counts does go to college level too, and someone may have just made a mistake an picked the wrong book and wrong author putting it on the middle school list.

Meanwhile, I do believe that *I* will read his book.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:17 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Big Noise and Big Heat

Sunday I have the masses coming for dinner. I think it’ll be around 15 people. Maybe more. I quit counting, but know it’s not more than 17. It’s my father in law's 80th birthday, which in my book, officially makes him old. I know many people in their 70s who are very young. I’ve never heard anyone who is 80 called young. Because it isn’t.

Besides, even if it was, Pop isn’t anyway. He’s been old since I met him. Old and cantankerous.

So the eldest daughter is flying in with her husband from California to celebrate. Family and friends locally are coming for dinner. Here. At the house of Bou. I’m trying really hard to make it perfect. Really hard. I know my sister in law from California would like nothing more than for it to be like the old family dinners they had when her Mom was alive. I know that’s what Pop wants too. Things have changed since Ma died.

This is the menu as follows: Lasagna (better half is making), Eggplant Parm (BH), Meatballs and gravy (BH), turkey, broccoli and mushroom saute, stuffing (I can’t make oyster as I can’t get them), cranberries, salad, green bean casserole (sister in law from Lauderdale is bringing), fruit, and a three layer Hummingbird cake.

I’m making anything on that list not otherwise specified.

Meanwhile, my air conditioning broke, my water system needs replacing, and I’m praying my septic system doesn’t decide to back up this weekend to boot. Due to the a/c issue, my husband seems to think we might just pack up all this food and take it to eat elsewhere.

That ain’t happenin’. I cook it here, we eat it here. I don’t give a crap how hot it gets.

Dinner with the masses is scheduled for Saturday evening at some Italian restaurant in Boca. My two year old niece will be there. I never allowed my children to behave in public the way she does. It will be loud. No doubt.

So that’s what is planned for this weekend. Lots of people, lots of noise, lots of food, lots of heat… and all I feel like doing is eating chocolate and sleeping.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:12 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Just a Few of Eric's Favorite Things

Some guys are fun to shop for. Really.

Today is Eric’s birthday. I don’t know what year. I know it’s over 30, but less than 35… so I’m playing the odds and saying 33.

Anyway, in the extended entry is his birthday gift. Let’s call it a collage of Eric’s Favorite Things. As for the picture of Fiona, the hamster, I didn’t have a picture of Eric’s lovely wife, Fiona, so the picture of our now dead hamster had to be the placeholder for her. So just picture his lovely Scottish wife instead of that hamster and I think that covers it!

Happy Birthday, Eric! You can go wish him a happy birthday HERE.

bday collage eric.JPG
(Click to Enlarge)

Posted by Boudicca at 09:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

My Big Fat Italian Life

I received this e-mail the other day and it made me laugh. I married into an Italian family. High energy would not even begin to explain it. Quite honestly, I could do my entire blog, entries every single day, just on marrying into an Italian family.

Did you see “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?” That’s my life… except in reverse. I laughed so hard, I cried in that movie. My best friend from High School, PFB, was in town and she and my husband and I went to see it. At one point, the main character’s sister, who had three boys, is leaving the restaurant with one of the boys and pops one in the head. I looked at her and she and I said together, “That’s you/me!” I’ve picked up a lot of the family’s traits, although by far, I am the biggest introvert.

My meeting the family is huge blog fodder. I’ll have to remember to post on it one day.

Anyway, so I got this e-mail and I had to add my own responses. It’s in the Extended Entry as it’s so long. My replies to the e-mail are underlined.

Eye-Talian

Why do Italians hate Jehovah's Witnesses?
Because Italians hate all witnesses.
I’d not heard this one!

Do you know why most men from Italy are named Tony?
On the boat over to America they put a sticker on them that said - TO NY.
In all seriousness, I think every Italian family has a name that every branch of cousins has within it. In the movie I mentioned above, the Greek’s common first name was Nick. We have one in my husband’s family, I won’t mention it out of his family's privacy, but I swear that name is ALL OVER the family tree.

You know you're Italian when . . . . You can bench press 325 pounds,
shave twice a day and still cry when your mother yells at you.
Oh hell yeah, you don’t mess with the Mamas. And I am officially one, even though I’m not Italian. The Mamas rule.

You carry your lunch in a produce bag because you can't fit
two cappicola sandwiches, 4 oranges, 2 bananas and pizzelles
into a regular lunch bag.
Good Grief. My husband is 5’6” and weighs 150 pounds. When we would go visit my folks when we first got married, they would have to literally DOUBLE what they cooked for dinner as my husband could EAT what ALL OF US combined could eat. One day we were at Thanksgiving at my folks house and my husband leaned over and said, “Hun, I just realized, my family grossly overeats. This is our typical Sunday dinner.” You don’t EVEN want to know what Thanksgiving looks like if the typical non-Italian Thanksgiving looks like an every day Italian Sunday dinner.

Your mechanic, plumber, electrician, accountant,
travel agent and lawyer are all your cousins.
Hmm. If we lived in New Jersey, the answer would be yes. Our accountant is an Italian childhood friend of my husband’s. Our lawyer is family (of course. What’s an Italian family without their own family lawyer?!). We don’t use a travel agent. The rest are people we’ve known for years and have grown to trust. BUT, as I said, if we lived in Jersey, yes, that would be so.

You have at least 5 cousins living in the same town or on the same block.
All five of those cousins are named after your grandfather or grandmother.
If we lived in New Jersey, this would be so. And yes, there would be a ton with all the same name.

You are on a first name basis with at least 8 banquet hall owners.
Yes. This is true.

You only get one good shave from a disposable razor.
Coud be. My husband's 5:00 shadow is a beard for some men. He uses an electric razor. And I personally have a thing for hairy men, so this is very cool with me. Very very cool.

If someone in your family grows beyond 5' 9", it is presumed his Mother had an affair.
Hmm. Yup. Pretty much. We do think Bones will top out at 5’8, having the height in the family. As a matter of fact, a good friend of mine went to Italy and when she came back she said her husband said, "Oh man, Bou would love it here. All of the men here look like her husband." In general, Italians are not tall people.

There were more than 28 people in your bridal party.
No. I was the bride and I'm not Italian. The very first Italian wedding we went to, however, this was true. Blew me away.

You netted more than $50,000 on your first communion.
I don’t know about first communions, but I will say that after our wedding, we had enough cash to buy my family room furniture. And we bought the good stuff…

. . . . . . . . . . . .

And you REALLY, REALLY know you're Italian when . . .

Your grandfather had a fig tree.
Nah, they didn’t. I asked my spouse. But, MY DAD (TGOO) owned a fig tree. So I think that counts.

You eat Sunday dinner at 2:00.
When Ma was alive, yes.

Christmas Eve . . . only fish.
Absolutely.

Your mom's meatballs are the best.
His Mom’s were not only the best, but we have the recipe, making my husband’s the best.

You've been hit with a wooden spoon or had a shoe thrown at you.
I’ve heard stories about his Mom and the wooden spoon. I use the back of a hairbrush.

Clear plastic covers on all the furniture.
Holy crap this is true. I’d never seen anything like it. We sat at the dining room table and all the chairs were covered in plastic! If you wore shorts, when you stood up, your legs would be stuck to the chairs. I remember when we were watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding, there was plastic on the furniture, but then I leaned over and said to my spouse, ‘Hunhead, I think your Mom owned a lamp like that” and his reply was, “My Mom owned ALL the furniture in this movie.”

You know how to pronounce "manicotti" and "mozzarella."
Phht. If y’all haven’t heard it, I don’t even know if I can phonetically spell it. My husband and his brother may not speak Italian, but they sure as hell know how to say manicotti and mozzarella, which comes out more of a ‘manigot’ and ‘moozereeeella’.

You fight over whether it's called "sauce" or "gravy."
No fight. It’s gravy. Well, to them it is. To me it's still sauce.

You've called someone a "mamaluke."
I’ve been called a mamaluke. Not by my husband...

And you understand "bada bing".
Absolutely. This gets said… a lot. Bada bing, bada bang…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

They say *you* and I say *Y'all*

I have said before, I don’t have a heavy accent. Light Gulf Coast Southern is how I would describe it. Mostly it is totally non-existent, for instance when I’m at work. But sometimes, it is stronger than others.

My boys, however, have picked up that I don’t speak quite the way the average South Floridian does or even like their father, who originally lived in New Jersey. Of those on my husband’s side of the family, cousins, wives, in-laws, I am the only Southerner, everyone else if from the North East.

Yesterday at dinner, out of the blue, Bones said, “Doooo yooou allll want some waffles?”

Puzzled I looked at him and said, “Pardon?”

Repeating he said, “Dooo yooooou allll want some waffles?”

Me: Where did you get that?

Bones: You. That’s what you sound like.

Son#1: No she doesn’t, it would be ‘Do Y’ALL want some waffles?’ She normally says y’all.

Bones: Oh. Yeah. You’re right. But it sounds like ‘Do YAWL want some waffles?”

Son#2, laughing: That’s it!

Bones: Or how about, “Do YAWL wanna have some coooookies?”

Lovely, eh? I think they best be a bit nicer to she who packs their lunch, does their laundry, and over all looks after their general welfare and well being.

Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:38 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 12, 2005

Life with Boys Continued

I was over at Blog Grandson Spurs at Pull My Finger and he had THIS post from an e-mail he received. I received a similar one a couple years ago from an Aunt. It’s an e-mail of cause and effect from having boys.

For instance: 1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft.
House 4 inches deep.

When I received this e-mail, I could not resist. I had to reply and send my own list. Yes, all this happened to me. All of it. My own personal experience list of what you notice when you have children. This is from 3 years ago, so you'll see that one or two of them matches the Mom's from Austin.

1) A baggy full of green peas takes less than two weeks to turn to compost and emit an awful odor in your car. (Son#1 asked for steamed green peas for a snack one day and took them with him to the car… leaving them there… unbeknownst to me.)

2) A slightly leaking sippy cup full of chocolate milk takes less time to omit a similar odor.

3) Marshmallows in the seat well of your van (where the removable seats meet the floor of the van), mixed with water, will ferment and like milk, take less time then peas to emit a rotting odor.

4) Crayons do not like the dryer.

5) Boil water with detergent, apply spray and wash, then boil clothes to get out crayon stains.

6) The color of the crayon appears to be permanent on certain parts of the dryer drum.

7) Legos pass through the digestive system. It is scary.

8) Cellulose is not digestible. Poop with pieces of magazine inside is nasty. Being able to identify it is part of a Southern Living magazine boggles the mind.

9) Rocks make lots of noise in dryers. Extent of dryer drum damage appears to be relative to the size of the rock.

10) Rainbow ice cream from TCBY will produce funky colored poop.

11) Ants burned with the magnifying glass are deemed fried, so they must be edible.

12) Soap will make you puke.

13) If you call their help line checking on toxicity of a product, Johnson & Johnson will send you coupons after your child has eaten one of their non-edible products.

14) The people at Poison Control are very nice.

15) So are the people at 9-1-1 (unrelated incidents).

16) Hardboiled eggs do not fit down a bathroom drain.

17) Baby Powder on wood floors is slick.

18) Baby Powder makes a mess when mixed with water in a tennis shoe.

19) Vacuums do not like packing popcorn.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:03 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Am I REALLY Looking for more Blog Fodder?

How insane is this? I’ve been thinking about triathlons. A lot. I’ve thrown it around over the years in my head, just kind of a ‘thought’, but lately, it’s been worse.

Part of it might be Anita over at Fighting Inertia. She’s been doing them and I keep reading. Where her weakness is her swimming, that’s my strength. I’m a very strong swimmer. My weakness is my running. I hate it. Between the two of us, we’d make the perfect triathlete.

I’m not serious yet, but I’m probably going to start my personal training going more that way, adding the swimming again in the next month or so. I haven’t had swimming in my fitness regime for over a year. I miss it.

On MSN they had THIS article on the Ironman (I’m not insane, that’s NOT an option) and lesser triathlons. I was thinking along the lines of a Sprint Triathlon. I think that’s what Anita does.

Hmm. Mulling it over.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:55 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 11, 2005

Sissy Rules!

Lots 'O stuff is going on at Blog Daughter Sissy's of And What Next...

First we have my sister, Morrigan, guest posting HERE. (For those not in the know, that's my real flesh and blood younger sister.)

Then... stand back folks... something odd happened with the blogosphere Ecosystem and my very own blog daughter Sissy ended up #1! In the ENTIRE blogosphere! She even has a screen shot! Go HERE.

Sissy RULES!!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Reading With His Eyes Closed

Bones reads to us twice a day, once in the morning going to school, in the car with my husband and once in the afternoon while the boys do their homework. Every day, the story of the week is read. It can be torturous at times as he truly is struggling to learn how to read, but I continue to tell him how great he’s doing even though I want to pull my hair out and scream when he misses the word ‘was’ for the umpteenth time.

Yeah, ‘tis good I did not become a teacher. I have not the patience.

So this evening we sat down and he read this week’s story to me. He read the first line to me and said, “Umm, Mom. Do you want me to read this to you with my eyes open or closed?

(Big Frickin’ Pause from me.) Me: What?!!

Bones: You know, do you want me to read it with my eyes open or closed?

Me: Peeeeople don’t read with their eyes cloooosed!

Bones: Sure they do. I do it all the time when I read to Dad in the car on the way to school.

Me: NOOoo they can’t. Show me. Show me this reading with your eyes closed.

Bones: (closes his eyes, puts his hand on the page and recites the 2 sentences on the page.)

Me: (aghast) That’s not reading! That’s called having the page memorized. Do you have this entire story memorized?

Bones: Yeah. I’ve read it so many times…

GRRR. It is making sense now why his reading is not improving. Bones has a verbal memory. He can remember anything he hears, once maybe twice. He can quote movies, with full voice inflection and hand motions should the character require it. He knows ALL of his Catholic prayers, something most kids don’t learn until 2nd grade.

So he’s reading this story a couple times out loud, listening to it over and over as the kids read out loud to the teacher and by day 3, TOPS, he’s repeating it from memory. No wonder it sounds like it’s flowing so much better. It is. Flowing from his memory.

This kind of explains some of the attention problems they’re having with him during reading. He has attention problems in general, but the kid is bored out of his frickin’ mind having memorized The Bugs and the Bath on Day 2.

I’m changing our reading strategy now. Heh. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some REAL improvement.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:11 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

The Magical Little Black Dress

Army Wife Toddler Mom found her dress for her big event! It’s always stressful shopping, in particular when you are truly unhappy with your body. Ugh. It sucks.

Bones was a year old. I was tired and much heavier than I am now. I hated this body I had acquired after the birth of my 3rd child. Hate is not a strong enough word. Loathed is better, but still not strong enough.

Because of my husband’s business, there are times when I have to play the social wife and attend functions with him. Some are formal affairs, but whether they are formal or not, I truly DO hate them. I’ve blogged on a couple. Plastic people attend many of these events and there have been many many times when he has dragged me to these affairs with my cussing and ranting the entire way. Of course once the valet opens the door, I am sweet and smiles and nothing but butterflies and flowers leave my lips the rest of the evening.

I hate them. If I never attended another, it would be too damn soon.

So here I was with this new nasty lumpy body and he comes home to dinner and informs me he has an affair he must attend and that I MUST go. I looked at him across the table and said, “I’m not going.” He said, “Yes you are and I already got a sitter.”

Me: I don’t have anything to wear. Nothing fits. I’m not going.

Him: That’s why you’re going shopping tonight. Yes. You’re going.

It got ugly, but I ended up going shopping and as I left the house I YELLED at him over my shoulder, “I hate this! I hate shopping and I hate going to this shit! And I’m NOT buying a black dress. EVERYONE wears black. And I’m DEFINITELY NOT buying a black velvet dress…” and with that, he closed the door behind me and walked away.

I got in his truck and drove to our department store, pissed as all get out. I walked in and there was this sale rack. As I flipped through it… nothing caught my eye, except for this black dress, black velvet dress. It was long and had high slits and a low neck. It had a black scarf that one draped over the front of one’s neck to hang in the back.

I picked it up, tried it on… and it fit. And I looked kind of sort of not fat.

I took it to the register and it was… $25. Holy crap I could not believe it.

I walked in the house, having been gone for all of 45 minutes and he gave me this stern look like he was ready for a real rumble and I said snottily, “Fine. I found one. I bought the first one I saw and it was only twenty-five bucks.”

Then I had to try it on for him because… it actually made me feel pretty.

I don’t remember where we went for that affair, but I do remember I looked forward to it and I wasn’t my typical nasty, “I don’t want to go and YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!” shrew.

I still have it. It’s my favorite dress. And... I bet AWTM looks FABULOUS in her new dress. And maybe its going to be a fave.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Cubs and Firefighters

I had a den meeting today with my Bear Cubs. We were to go to the local Police Deparment, but the recent capture of a really bad guy being housed in their jail, rendering that part of the tour off limits, sent the good folks of our PD to do some wrangling and we ended up with a tour of the Fire Department.

We were sitting in the entry way of the Police Department and I gave all the boys the big religion on behavior. I told them, “You will keep your hands to yourselves, you will listen, you will not be rude, because… I know your Moms and I’ll call them. Do you hear?” I feel certain that would have worked on its own, but a little bribe of promising Italian Ice next Cub meeting didn’t hurt.

When the boys first heard we couldn’t go into the jail because a bad guy was in it, they were all a twitter. A game of 20 questions ensued with me being the recipient of rapid fire questions. Luckily, having 3 boys of my own, I am getting good at dodging their verbal bullets. I promise you this conversation was real.

Cub A: A really bad guy? So do they have him in chains in that jail?

Me: Mmmm. Probably not.

Cub B: Do you think he’s like this? (pretending he has each hand on a bar from the jail, shaking it back and forth) and is he yelling, ‘Let me out! Let me out!”?

Me: Uhhh, no. I think not.

Cub C: (looking stiff like from the Count of Monte Cristo… no kidding) Are they going to throw him into the ocean?

All the cubs: Yeah, yeah, are they going to throw him into the ocean.

Me: (eyebrows raised) No! We live in America. There is something called Due Process. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial. He’s innocent until proven guilty.

Cub C: Then will they throw him if he’s guilty?

Me: Just because he’s guilty doesn’t mean he gets the death penalty. You have to do something really bad for that, like manslaughter.

Cub A: Like if he shot a policeman?

Me: Yeah. That would DEFINITELY be a bad thing…

But before I could explain to them that we don’t throw people into the ocean, wrapped in chains with their feet embedded in cement, two young firefighters came around the corner. They were to take us on our tour.

They were THE NICEST guys in the whole wide world. And I don’t say that because I have some primal lust for firefighters. I don’t. I never have. I know, I must not really carry two X chromosomes to admit that firefighters don’t make me all nervous and short of breath. However, I will say I have a great admiration for firefighters. To me they are heroes. I felt that way before 9/11. I even felt that way before they showed up on my doorstep the night, almost 7 years ago, to make sure my eldest son made it through his first asthma attack.

Anyway, we stopped by the fire fighter’s lounge room, where they have their recliners and TV. They recently bought a projection TV with donations they had received, but the shape of it led the kids to believe it was a plasma TV.

“Wow! You have a plasma TV!!!”, they shouted in unison.

“No, no… it’s not. And don’t tell your parents it is either! It’s a PRO-JEC-TION TV”, they replied.

It’s true; it was. But it was so funny. I leaned over to one of the firefighters and said, “You do know that they’ll all want to be firefighters now. It’s all about the snacks and the toys…”

The guys showed us their space where their bunks and lockers were located. The kids got a kick out of that.

They took us to the kitchen where one of the kids said, “Hey! Do you eat pizza?!”, which was a lot better than what they told me they wanted to ask the police. One of my Cubs told me he was going to ask the policemen where they bought their doughnuts. I wasn’t looking forward to that one. (By the way, this was the same kid who when I chaperoned at the Turtle sanctuary and the nice people gave us a tour, taking us to the beach to show us where eggs were laid, started talking about omelets. He’s my loose cannon.)

To the garage we went to see the Fire and EMT trucks. Of course the kids were all over this. They may have taken a tour of a fire station when they were in preschool, but now they’re 8 and it all looks different.

The firemen opened something on one of the trucks and showed them their axes and crow bars etc. The kids went nuts again. I leaned over to the firefighter from before and said, “I stand corrected. It’s all about the toys, the snacks… and the weapons.”

They pulled one of the trucks out and went through all the sirens. The boys kept thanking them.

And then one of the Cubs said, “I’ve never seen a fireman with all his equipment on…” and…they obliged.

Folks, it was 90 degrees out, we came unexpected; these firemen took time for us. They were GREAT with the kids. Patient and fun. And now here it is 90 degrees in the shade and one of them WILLINGLY and with a SMILE dons his full uniform, all of his equipment, to satisfy a small group of 8 year olds.

He let the kids hold his boots and coat so they could see how heavy they were. He let them wear his helmet. All these little sweaty heads wearing this guy’s helmet. Then he suited up. All of it. From boots to that hood they wear over their head before putting on the oxygen mask. He put his mask on, helmet and tank. Only his hands weren’t covered, until one of the little boys said, “oooo! Can you put your gloves on too?” He did.

He was muffled at that point, so the kids were straining to hear what he had to say, but they all caught it. “If I have to come to your home to save you, do not be afraid. You know what I looked like before and now you know what I look like with all my gear.” The kids were ecstatic.

And I? I was impressed. On all accounts. Never once were we treated as a burden. Never once were the kid’s questions blown off. Every question was answered with a smile and a laugh. As a matter of fact one of the last questions asked was, “If you blow your fire hose at someone, will it peel the flesh off their body?”

Oh yes. That was a real question. And not a blink occurred as he seriously answered the question, “No, there’s not THAT much pressure.”

A good time was had. I love the guys at that Fire Station as do the people of their town. I understand why.

And a quick aside, something that made me laugh… all the guys at this Fire Station are having a moustache growing contest. I am hearing their wives are none too happy. We had been joined by the other guys on duty at one point, and they were showing me who was winning. I was laughing when they said their wives were kind of put out and I said, “Phht. Put out by a moustache? They should be thankful it’s not a beard!”

One of the guys shook his head and said, “Our wives won’t let us grow beards.”

Here is this group of men, real men, fire fighting men, they have all this equipment, they save lives, they live on the edge at times, for that I am sure, and they shake their head solemnly and say, “Our wives won’t let us grow beards.” That frickin’ cracked me up!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:57 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

No More Dojo Drama for Me

Today I started training Karate again. It’s probably been 8 months since I set foot in a dojo. My last dojo was fraught with dojo drama and the experience in the last few months was so awful, I knew I would never train again.

(The remainder is in the extended entry for those who want to know the rest.)

I threw my gi in the bottom corner of my closet and tossed my brown belt in the corner of my bedroom. My husband picked up my belt, rolled it up and put it on my dresser. I refused to look at it.

I was that angry. Angry, disappointed, disillusioned… I was not in a good place.

I posted before that I was thinking of training again. I saw a couple of black belts from my old dojo while I was out one day for lunch with the kids. They told me they were opening their own dojo and said they would love to have me back. I was polite and told them I’d think about it.

I did. For a week. Then I decided, NO. I could not do it. I could not walk that path again even though they were never the source of the problem. That was July.

A series of events have occurred in the last week. Phone calls from old students I trained with, E-mail from this Sensei who opened his home dojo… and then I have a friend who decided to take… and it made me rethink it.

All of it. What did I miss? What did I not miss? Pros and cons.

I hated the obligation before. I was always at the dojo. Never again will I let anything like that run my life. Never. And this Sensei, in the new dojo said, “I will be happy if you train once a week. Just come.”

No obligations. No expectations. I don’t have to test or do tournaments or teach. None of it.

Suddenly it seemed like I was the one being foolish if I didn’t give it a chance, considering it was something I truly enjoyed. So… today… I went back.

The guys were genuinely surprised and happy to see me. Really surprised. I missed them. I missed the smell of the dojo. I missed the movement of Karate, the rhythm that is developed when one is training against another. I missed the kata… it was always my favorite part of training… the kata. (It is called ‘forms’ in other Martial Arts.)

Odd things. I missed odd things, like the familiarity of the people I trained with for those years. I know how they smell when they sweat. I know how they move. I know their idiosyncracies and they know mine. I missed them.

I knew when I put my gi on I made the right choice. I was nervous I had forgotten all of it, even how to tie my belt. But once I stepped on the floor, it all came back. I trained for 3 years, never less than 3 hours a week and sometimes as much as 6 hours a week, and that amount of time dedicated towards something is not easily erased.

I made the right choice. I am back.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:38 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

A NEW Version of The Polar Express

OK, all you Mothers with Daughters, feel free to chime in and tell me if I'm wrong... but the following piece of 'artwork' created by my eldest... I don't think this is the kind of stuff you find hanging on the refrigerators of homes with little girls.

Hey, I could be wrong. I'm always willing to be corrected.

First, let me explain where this lovely artwork came from. Son#1, who is in 5th grade, was tasked to create an alternate book cover for a 'children's book' that had won the prestigious Caldecott Medal and then answer a series of questions. Oh and this book cover could be done any way they wanted... it could be 3D, painted, traced and then made to look different, she did not care. Son#1 chose to use Paint and draw the entire thing out on the computer, with the exception of a small clip art.

Now, this whole 'report' may seem dopey, but it wasn't. She was clearly trying to show the kids what exemplary work looked like and make them really think about what they were reading. She had questions regarding the artwork, and whether they would recommend it for children and WHY they would do so, etc. And there was the opportunity for their own artistic expression. Always a bonus in my book.

The kids enjoyed doing this report. It was beyond the tedious, 'title, author, main characters, summary' repetition they typically do.

So... Son#1 picked, The Polar Express. Click on the link to see the real cover if you are not aware of what it looks like before you see my son's below.

Son#1's New Artwork for The Polar Express book cover.

(Click to Enlarge.)

Polar Express.JPG

Granted, I haven't read this book in about a year... but I just DO NOT remember this scene.

And just for giggles, do you remember what the first Caldecott book was that you read? Mine was Where The Wild Things Are. Still one of my all time faves...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:07 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

I'm a Half Full Kinda Gal

It's all about perspective. Really. That... and that glass half full/half empty attitude.

We're in the process of moving my father in law into a retirement community. This isn't just any retirement community. This is a frickin' cruise ship that never leaves port. It's one of the nicest... to the point that when I originally went to scope it out for the family 2 years ago, I was thinking *I* should live there.

Many a resident stopped me in the halls, pointing a finger and laughingly saying, "You DO know you're too young to live here, right?"

My standard reply was, "Yes. Unfortunately. What a bummer!"

Finally after all this time, the place has a vacancy. Pop is going, but mostly to appease everyone else. His life and what has been happening to us the last year or so is not blog fodder, but let me just say it's not been a good situation and it is time for some changes.

So in the car today my eldest says to me, "Mom. You know that place that Pop is going to go live? He can play poker EVERY night if he wants."

Son#2: Yeah, Mom. And he can play on their pool table every day too.

Son#1: And Ping Pong.

Son#2: And they have a pool. He can swim all day if he wants.

Son#1: Did you see their library? They have their OWN library! It's huge! And on the back porch they have a piano. Someone was there playing it. And they have people come in, musicians and play all the time, different instruments, so they can listen to good music. LIVE!!!

Son#2: And they have computers. Did you see their computer room?

Son#1: OH! But you should have seen all the cool arts and crafts stuff they had. They had wood working and someone made a dragon....

*Big Pause*

Son#1: ... But Pop isn't going to do any of this cool stuff is he?

Me: (not having said a word yet through their youthful exuberance over Pop's potential new abode) No. He won't.

See, Pop is a downer. He's a glass is half empty kinda guy. Life is always giving him the short stick in his eyes. Life sucks and he's mopey. I find it irritating. We all do. But I tolerate it, constantly trying to put a positive spin on things so my kids aren't effected by it.

It is draining.

Son#1: No. He won't use it Mom. What a waste. Such a GREAT place to live and he won't do any of it.

Me: We make our choices in life sons. This is a big thing for you to learn, watching your Pop. YOU must decide what type of attitude YOU want for YOUR life. Do you want to live like Pop and refuse to look at the gifts before you? Or do you want to enjoy every minute?

Let us see if this lesson takes. Sometimes I think Pop is an exceedingly poor example of growing old. Yet other times... I think he is a good example of how we don't want to be. Sometimes that has a bigger impact.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:41 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 09, 2005

If I Were A Killer...

I found this over at Blog Brother That 1 Guy of Drunken Wisdom. (The picture may or may not show and I'm hating computers enough right now, that I'm not going to bother to figure out why.) After reading through my results, I think I understand why Bones gets on my nerves...

Samurai
You are a Samurai.
You are full of honour and value respect. You
are not really the stereotypical hero, but you
do fight for good. Just in your own way. For
you, it is most certainly okay to kill an evil
person, if it is for justice and peace. You
also don't belive in mourning all the time and
think that once you've hit a bad stage in life
you just have to get up again. It's pointless
to concentrate on emotional pain and better to
just get on with everything. You also are a
down to earth type of person and think before
you act. Impulsive people may annoy you
somewhat.

Main weapon: Sword
Quote: "Always do the right thing.
This will gratify some people and astonish the
rest" -Mark Twain
Facial expression: Small smile


What Type of Killer Are You? [cool pictures]
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Boudicca at 09:53 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Women's Undergarment Link Fest Plus Some

So many funny posts on women’s undergarments. It’s a virtual link fest.

First we had Eric HERE on his funny visit to Victoria’s Secret with his lovely wife. (I may never be able to walk out of that store again without looking around and seeing who's sitting out there!)

Then we had Amy HERE talking about ill fitting bras.

There is also blog son Contagion’s frickin’ hysterical post HERE on his visit to VS so his wife could buy a new bra.

Last, I then saw Songstress’s post HERE about fighting the urge to post Too Much Information. (I’m not fighting the urge. I’m making this post!)

If you were to do a comparison contrast of Eric and Contagion’s posts, the one thing that sticks out is that both men notice that women leave VS with tiny little bags.

I hate wearing a bra. I’m fortunate enough that I’m considered medium built at best and when I’m in peak physical condition, I tend towards small breasted. I’m very very cool with that because I prefer to go braless, which really only happens in the winter. I LOVE winter… jeans, socks and no shoes, sweatshirt and no bra. That’s my favorite winter attire. No bra. Bras are like shoes. Confining.

I am fortunate as I never have a hard time finding my size bra. All the stores I go into happily cater to a 34 B or 34 C. I can get the most gorgeous lacey, push ‘em up and push ‘em out, sexy, select any color of the rainbow bra that I want. But I don’t. I consider bras a functional tool. I wear only white, beige or black and I get them only in cotton. And… I refuse to do under wire.

Whoever invented under wire should be shot for torture. OK, I’m being harsh. I know women who can only wear under wire bras as they provide maximum support, but SURELY there must be a better way. Those damn wires are always poking me in soft tissue not meant to be poked by a wire. That tissue is meant to be caressed and… oh, well you get the picture. Poking by bra wire, creating a bruise or wound is not what that white meat is for.

Anyway, one day I was in my cube at work at my old company, wearing the last under wire bra I ever bought. The wire had become twisted or something and it was causing great discomfort. I kept shifting in my chair, moving my bra around, but it was keeping me from working. I couldn’t concentrate on my data with that wire poking at my left breast. It was distracting and just annoying as hell.

Keeping in mind I work in a cube, I was no longer working in what we called the ‘bull pen’ which was desk upon desk of engineers in a big open room, I reached my hand under my blouse and found the piece of wire had actually started to tear through the stitching of my bra.

It was more than I could handle. Not typically impulsive, something must’ve snapped in my brain, because I grabbed a pair of scissors with one hand, reached down the top of my shirt exposing the part of the bra with the wire, and then cut a hole in my bra. I then pulled the wire out.

Yes. They wires are removable.

Instant relief and I never bought another under wire bra. I just can’t.

I have often wondered what would have happened if a guy had walked into my cube while I was cutting that wire out of my bra. I feel certain I would have looked up over my glasses without batting an eye and said to the guy, “Wait a minute. I’ve got to cut this wire out. It’s killing me.” He’d probably have had more of a problem with it than I would have. It wouldn’t have fazed me; after all, I was the one being tortured.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:48 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Not Worthy Of Being King of HIS Jungle

Yesterday in the car from Son#2 we had the following question, "Hey Mom and Dad, why is the Cheetah not the King of the Jungle instead of the Lion?"

I wasn’t sure what in the heck to say. So luckily, my Better Half piped up and said, "Because the Lion is bigger and even though the Cheetah is faster, if it came to blows, the Lion could beat up the Cheetah. The Lion is bigger and stronger.”

I just sat there thinking, ‘Why does my brain not think like this?’ To me, they were both cats and I had NO CLUE. I wasn’t even sure what data point to start with when going through the Cheetah vs. Lion war.

So Son#2 responds, “Are you sure, Dad, because the Cheetah is REALLY REALLY fast and he could just run away before the Lion slapped him down, and then come back.”

To which my husband replies, “Yeah, I’m sure, because the Cheetah can only run away and when he eventually comes back, the Lion is still bigger and stronger and will take him out.”

The whole conversation was very odd. Funny, but very very odd.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Computers Make One's Life Hell

I got my proverbial ass handed to me by some nasty virus on Friday night. I worked on it for five hours to no avail. I finally had to call in the big guns. My home IT guy came out Saturday at 1:00 and it took him two hours to rid my computer of the virus.

I have NO CLUE how I got it. I do everything I’m supposed to do. I have anti-viral protection, fire walls, anti-spyware, and I delete my cookies nightly. And still, it found its way in and I have no clue how.

What did I learn? I ran my Norton Anti-Virus that took a normal 1 hour job, 3 hours, where it found the virus but was unable to quarantine or delete it. However, it gave me a website to give me instructions on how to eliminate it.

I went to the site, where I downloaded the ‘fix it’ tool. It then told me to set my system restore to ‘off’. When I did so, a box popped up informing me that I would be erasing all my restore points. I hit ‘yes’.

Imagine my horror when the ‘fix it’ tool would not work. That’s right. I would hit ‘run’ and it would stall, throw me out and give me that frickin’ box I HATE that says something like, “Do you want to send a report to Microsoft?” I’m at the point that I wish I could program that box to read ‘HELL NO’ instead of ‘send’ ‘do not send’. It’s every bit as annoying as the Blue Screen of Death.

Anyway, when the ‘fix it’ program didn’t work, I was sick about it. Now I had no restore points and I still had a virus and… I had exhausted all my options within my own personal realm of capabilities.

Luckily when I called my great IT guy, Dan, he informed me he knew he could fix it and to quit sweating it.

But what I learned was, I will not turn off my restore system points again. Dan said he doesn’t typically do that. Lesson learned on my part.

Obviously I’m up and running. And for the record, he had a special disk he ultimately used to get rid of the virus. I know I could not have fixed the problem on my own.

AND, I’m not up at 100% now. I’d say I’m only running 50%. I have to have him back. For some reason, performance has been steadily deteriorating throughout the day, so something’s not quite right. I’m annoyed. Actually, beyond annoyed. There’s been enough swearing in this house the last 3 days to last a life time. I've moved into combining cuss words with other words and creating my own.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 07, 2005

No blog tonight.

Due to a computer virus, it's likely Boudicca will not post a blog this evening. We all wish her well.
TGOO

Posted by TGOO at 09:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 06, 2005

Explain to me Please

I am going to visit my sister in October and was booking my flight today. I was going through the on-line checking and it had my flights listed. Next to the flights was a '% on time'.

What? They actually tell you the percentage of time that flight is On-Time?

And what a joy it is to see that my flight from West Palm to Atlanta is only on time 20% OF THE TIME! Holy crap.

Let me get this straight. EIGHTY PERCENT of the time, this flight is... what? Late? Canceled?

And HOW LATE is late? Does 5 minutes jack up their stat or is it, "I'm sleeping in the airport" late?

Little things like that are kind of nice to know. I wanted to scream, "MORE INFORMATION PLEASE!!!"

Posted by Boudicca at 10:40 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

B is For Bones and Bubbles

Sometimes I have to wonder what I'm thinking and then I realize, I'm just not. Thinking.

Bones has been begging me to play on his slip 'n slide. So yesterday I got it out. The big thing is to put dishwashing liquid upon it, making it even more slippery.

Son#2 decided that instead of playing on the slip 'n slide, he'd be in charge of the soap.

I handed him a full bottle, Economy Size, and told him to be careful.

What does that mean, 'be careful'? Nothing concrete. In his hands that meant, 'don't pour it in your brother's eyes' or 'don't hit your brother over the head with the bottle' or 'don't let your brother mow you down when he's running through the yard for the ultimate slip and then slide.' Myriad things, yet nothing at all.

What I should have said was, "Don't use more than 'this' much" showing him what 'this' meant.

But I didn't. So I am partially to blame. He is too... for just not using his brain.

He used HALF A BOTTLE of Dawn soap on that slip 'n slide. HALF A BOTTLE!

I was starting to prepare dinner when I heard a banging on the back porch slider and it was Son#2 yelling for me to come quick, as I could hear wailing in the background. I thought for sure Bones had slid into a fire ant pile I hadn't seen when doing my fire ant walk. (It's very much like a FOD walk, except I'm methodically scouring the area for fire ant mounds instead of FOD.)

I go outside and there is Bones head to toe in either blue soap or bubble, eyes shut. He was SCREAMING like a banshee.

I grabbed my t-shirt and started wiping off his face, but evidently, half a bottle of Dawn soap on one 12 foot slip 'n slide, can put a serious hurt upon one's eyes. I ended up carrying him into the bathroom and putting him in the shower to rinse him off and clear his eyes. I couldn't believe the quantity of bubbles his little body generated when in the shower. A virtual bubble machine was he.

Evidently he was not blinded for life or there wouldd have been no blogging last night, but a lesson has been learned by all. Their lesson is my mantra to them, "less is more" which also coincides with my 'bigger is not better' since that bigger/better thing is something those with y'chromosomes are BORN WITH and it is NOT learned. My lesson was 'extropolate'. I should have told him what I meant by 'be careful'.

We've been getting some rain from some icky weather and of course when I awoke this morning to rain, and realized I hadn't put up the slip 'n slide in all the commotion last night... I just HAD TO run outside to see what a half bottle of Dawn creates in bubbles, but alas, it had been raining all night and there were none.

I was so disappointed.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Kermit for President!

Alex of Just Us Chickens occasionally does a post like THIS one where she shares with us about her Mom, English being her Mom’s second language, and the amusing things she says unintentionally. They’re always funny.

Today I went to see my manicurist. I go every two weeks and before anyone gets all up in arms about how could I possibly be a low maintenance woman and get my nails done, allow me to explain. I have a HORRIBLE habit of picking at my hands. I was a nail biter as a kid and although I am no longer, I still pick at them. I am the worst when I’m either very nervous or I’m lost in thought, which is most of the time. (My other bad habit is biting the inside of my cheek, which I found myself doing right now as I typed this.) I will pick at my fingers until they bleed. It is that bad. And what makes it worse for me, is I have a thing about hands. I watch people’s hands. I notice them. It is one of the first things I notice about people.

I have found, however, if I keep them manicured (I don’t have acrylics, they’re mine) and polished, I’ll leave them alone. That’s it. If I keep them manicured, unless I’m really wigging out, which has happened, I won’t pick at them. So every two weeks I get her to shape them and get them looking beautiful, and the off week, I can keep them up.

And yes, my manicurist can tell when I’ve had a tough couple weeks. She’ll take one look at my hands, head bent, looking over the top of her eyes and say in heavily accented English, “You have tough weeks since last I saw you…” and she’ll shake her head.

I’m not even embarrassed anymore. We’ve been doing this for two years.

She is Japanese and during my half hour we talk about her family, my family, and… politics. I don’t talk politics on my blog, but I talk them to my manicurist.

Today we were talking about who could run from both parties in 2008 for President and she said to me, “Oh that Hillary Clinton. I do not like her. If she gets in… she’ll be nothing but a muppet for her husband.”

I sat there for a minute and thought, “Muppet?”, but then had to laugh. Actually, I think Bill was probably more of Hillary’s ‘muppet’. Either way, I kept picturing Kermit the Frog as President.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:18 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 05, 2005

Bones' Domain

For some reason, I just never got around to getting Bones a comforter for his bed. It wasn't intentional. The kid has been using a 40 year old electric blanket at night as his blanket. I had it on my bed when I was a kid. I feel certain that if it were ever plugged in, it would start a fire. (We've lost the plug; its no longer pluggable.) It doesn't even look nice. It's light brown and pilled from all the years. And it's hard and lumpy from the heating elements or whatever they put in electric blankets.

But... my boys love this thing. I bought Bones a comforter the other day and immediately my eldest laid claim to the old ratty electric blanket. It is soft... in spots. I give it that.

Anyway, I took Bones to The Big K to look at comforters and the only one he LOVED was the one that was all about Darth Vader. That's it... it's black and red and has Darth Vader on it. Figures that my child that walks on the Dark Side has to have a Darth Vader comforter set.

I can't believe I said yes. I figure it's his room, but between the super hero border, the light blue and yellow paint and then the BLACK and RED comforter... oh and throw in this purple squishy pillow he HAD TO HAVE, it just looks like the room needs a black light... with maybe a disco ball.

See for yourself. (Note Pregnant and Not Pregnant are on his pillow. He sleeps with them religiously and STILL calls them that. Along with Ernie. His heros: Ernie and Darth Vader.)

Per the usual, click to Enlarge.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

My Mirror Image Pin-up Girl?

I saw this today over at blog and 'gag reflexless' sister, Michele of Letters from NY. (Hysterical post HERE on her lack of gag reflex. Funny stuff. Really funny.)

OK, so I got Betty Grable. Obviously it wasn't by physical characteristics other than if I were going to pick one body part I'm not ashamed of, its my legs. But hells bells, they don't look like hers! Mine are athletic from the running, biking, and Karate.

And I'm not blonde.

Or tall.

And I wear glasses.

So basically I look nothing like her...

You are Betty Grable!
You're Betty Grable!


What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

And I think my sister would take exception to the sweet part. Blunt and insensitive have been muttered in my direction just a few times...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:49 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

October 04, 2005

Meet our New Hamster

I put in one of the comments that the boys finally named her. Her name is Nibbles. Of course my brother informed me that this was the name of the hamster from the Simpsons and I'm telling you, no good can come of that. I hope they don't find out... Blech. I don't need some nasty quote about Nibbles in my home.

I have enough grief!

And so... the pictures of the newest addition. She's a baby and I'm still getting used to her. I don't interact with her as much as I did with Fiona. Maybe I just don't want to get attached to anything else that I have to have a viewing and funeral for within the next couple years. Maybe I know that when she dies, it means I'm the one taking a bath in tears for the next two days. Or maybe I am just dreading paying another 38 bucks to have another hamster put to sleep.

Oh trust me, I am getting PLEEENTY of harrassment at work over that whole hamster euthanasia thing. Someone said they wanted to nominate me for mother of the year.

So... here she is. Nibbles. Remember, click to enlarge.

Nibbles1.JPG

Nibbles2.JPG

Posted by Boudicca at 10:04 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Our Own Little Syndicate

I had a meeting in my home this morning, a board meeting. I’m in an organization that has chapters throughout the county and the heads and former heads of the area chapters get together three times a year. We have organized into a ‘council’ under the guise of helping each other out.

Our chapters are organized by territory, so everyone has their own territory. Sometimes there is bad blood between the chapters and it can take years to smooth it out. We’re on a good glide right now… we all get along well and try to assist, especially assist the newbies.

It has not always been that way. My small council of 9 chapters split off from a very large council last year. It was tough and there was bad blood… there still is. I remember when a small group of us finally got sick of the crap going on with the big council. Quietly we all got together at a small diner, in a room hidden in the back, and planned our split. We created by-laws and came up with a slate of our new officers and a calendar… so when we made our break, we had all our ducks in a row.

If I can do anything… I can plan. And so we all got together in this diner, eating breakfast, talking about our break, who was going to call who in the State Society, approaches were planned, skids were being assigned to be greased. I remember joking that I felt like with this secret meeting we were part of some shady syndicate. Like we were the frickin’ women’s mafia talking about territories and who we would be rid of and who would take over for whom.

So now, whenever we get together, I refer to it as ‘I’m having the heads of the major families over to my house.'

Today was that day. It always makes me laugh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It Isn't Easy Being Green

I found this old quiz and had to post it. I laughed as I read it. Tell me, those of you who read me frequently, how many times have you seen me post, "Sheesh!" Heh heh heh.

And those who know me know, that when I'm frantic, I get very demonstrative and the arms go a-flailing.

For the record, I was a big Muppet fan. I LOVED the Muppet Show. And if it were on today, I'd still watch it. It would be one of two shows I watched if it was still on the air... The Muppets and 24. That's a helluva combo.

kermit.jpeg
You are Kermit the Frog.
You are reliable, responsible and caring. And you
have a habit of waving your arms about
maniacally.

FAVORITE EXPRESSIONS:
"Hi ho!" "Yaaay!" and
"Sheesh!"
FAVORITE MOVIE:
"How Green Was My Mother"

LAST BOOK READ:
"Surfin' the Webfoot: A Frog's Guide to the
Internet"

HOBBIES:
Sitting in the swamp playing banjo.

QUOTE:
"Hmm, my banjo is wet."


What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Boudicca at 09:31 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

October 03, 2005

I Need an IT Translator For Work

You read e-mail circulating of IT guys making fun of consumers. The idiot who thinks their CD player is a cup holder or the person who tries to FAX from their computer by pressing the page to the screen. This is a post from a user… about the IT guys. Not a bad post. Just a ‘I don’t get them’ post.

First let me say that at work, that our computer systems have gotten SO complicated that I sometimes need two different interfaces just to work on one program. That’s a bunch of passwords, by the way. And speaking of passwords, security is so tight, every time I get notice I have to upgrade my password, I start to panic. One time I had an intermittent keyboard failure in the middle of changing my passwords and the systems were pinging off each other, thinking I was an intruder and I got locked out for two days. I’ve been damaged.

But it’s not just me. You can hear quiet swearing whenever its time to change passwords. One of the engineers confessed to me 2 months ago, ‘I just changed my passwords. I’ve been here a year. It’s the first time I got it right and didn’t have to call the IT guys.’

Oh I feel his pain. Friday was the first time I ever got it right. November will be a year for me in this job.

IT guys don’t speak the same language I do. It is that simple. Sure, they use the same 26 characters and I recognize the same conjunctions and prepositions… but that is where it stops. From there, it is a foreign language.

Now before you think I’m a complete computer idiot, I’m not. I just know how to use my software. At work the other day, I counted 25 different screens open as I moved from item to item, running different programs and doing research in the various networks required of my job. I know my software applications.

Just don’t ask me how they run. Or where they’re located. Or if there are alternative ways to get there except the way I know. Or about platforms. Or servers. Or shadows. Or anything sounding remotely like IT talk when it comes to my software. Because… I don’t know. And quite frankly, I don’t care. I don’t even care about all that stuff when it’s broken.

When my stuff is broken, I just want the IT God to wave his magic wand and fix it. That’s it. And the dreaded words that any IT God can speak are, “I have NO CLUE why this is happening…” Those words will make me quake.

Every now and then I get an e-mail at work from one of the various IT groups with whom I work. I work with two groups, one from my company and one from the company for whom we subcontract, Company X. (I was an engineer for Company X for 12 years.)

I never understand a damn word they say. Ever. I scan it looking for any hint of anything I can possibly latch onto… and very rarely do I find one. We got one of these last week. I called my Tech Lead, an absolutely phenomenally smart engineer. It went like this.

TL: Hello?
Me: Hey. It’s me.
TL: Whatcha need?
Me: Did you get this e-mail about something going away from the IT department?
TL: Yup.
Me: Did you understand ANYTHING it said?
TL: Nope.
Me: It’s not just me.
TL: Nope.
Me: You promise?
TL: Yes. I promise. Delete it.
Me: Delete?
TL: Delete.
Me: Delete.

That’s us pretty much. Monosyllabic conversations at times. I think it comes from knowing someone for almost 20 years.

I have come to trust a couple of the guys in our in-house IT team A LOT. One guy’s name is George. He’s in his late 50s I think and worked at company X the same time I did. Very good guy… very patient. I try not to ask stupid questions, but I think he realizes my main problem is the stupid answers I give. I pretty much stick with, “George, I DON’T know.”

I mean, he needs SOMETHING, ANYTHING to work with. But I like him because of his answers. I called the other day because I received yet another one of those ‘cannot translate’ e-mails from Company X’s IT department. In it, I recognized a string of characters that might apply to me… and it was not good. So I called George.

Me: George, it’s me. (He has caller ID.) Did you get that funky e-mail from Company X’s IT department that says they’re deleting a server and all these directions on what to do if you’re on that server?
George: Yeah, it was forwarded to me.
Me: I think it applies to me.
George: It doesn’t yet. But it will.
Me: I gathered that. I think in December it will apply to me.
George: Yes.
Me: It’s a bad thing.
George: Yes. It could be.
Me: I don’t get any of it. I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do if my server gets elminated. I don’t get the directions. I…
George: And… we’ll wait until December. Let me read it, digest it, and figure out how we’ll handle it. Don’t worry about it. It’s MY job to worry about it.

And there you have it. I’m not worrying about it. George will take care of it… take care of all of us as he always does. He’s become my IT translator. Everyone needs one.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

October 02, 2005

We've got the keys, and we're using them.

Blog Daughter VW is up in Orlando visiting King Rat with Tater and Tot. Her blogdaughter Sticks decided we should redecorate her home while she's gone. So far we have lava lamps, a heart shaped vibrating bed and her walls are being painted black.

Feel free to come over and offer suggestions, HERE.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Who Cares HOW It Gets There???

Around 14 years ago, when my better half and I first got married, there was a restaurant that we’d frequent that served THE BEST steak sandwiches. Oh, the steak was so tender, as it should have been… since, it was made of filets, as in filet mignon.

I occasionally make steak sandwiches, and I added it to my menu when this restaurant changed hands and their sandwich came off the menu. Not wanting to spend that kind of cash on a meal at home, I typically used sirloin.

One day I decided I wanted a damn good steak sandwich for our dinner, so I bought the filet. We sat down for dinner and my husband said something along the lines of, “Wow, this is a GREAT steak sandwich!” and I replied with, “Yeah it is. Filet meat makes great sandwiches.”

He stopped eating and said, ‘You USED tenderloin meat for a SANDWICH?” I couldn’t believe he was so shocked so I told him I did. He said, “WHY?! I could have grilled it. Don’t waste a good piece of meat on a sandwich!”

I’m sorry, but I still don’t get it. Who cares how it’s cooked if you truly ENJOY it? I mean, really. Steak sandwich or grilled steak. It should not matter. But in HIS mind it did. I’ve yet to use that kind of meat again, but mainly because we have a family now and its expensive meat. I don’t buy it in general. However, that doesn’t mean that I WON’T ever again. *grin*

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago. The Great Omnipotent One has a GREAT pork tenderloin marinade recipe. I made it the night before, marinating the pork tenderloin all night for my better half to grill when he came home from work. With this recipe is also a basting recipe that you use at the very end… the last 10 minutes.

So I’m talking to TGOO on the phone and I’ve got out my orange marmalade for the basting and I’m looking for a shot of brandy that it calls for, going over my half stocked bar. He’s saying to me on the phone…. “You can use whiskey for that…”

Just as he says that, I look over at my husband’s bottle of Laphroiag that he and TGOO drink when TGOO and my Mom are in town. And just as I go to pick up the bottle, TGOO says to me, “But don’t you use that good scotch of you husband’s! Use some cheap shit. Don’t use the good stuff.”

I now have bottle in hand and I said, “Why? Who cares? It’s just a shot?” and he’s saying in the phone, “NO! You have something else you can use. Don’t USE that!” So I put it down and found some cheap crap brandy I had in the back of my bar.

Now… I am back to the steak story. Same same in my mind. If you’re going to enjoy the scotch, really, who cares if it’s in a glass or boiled up with some marmalade and basted on a pork tenderloin?

It’s all going to the same place!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:32 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

It's Those Italian Immigrants In Ohio

Today I heard Bones say to my husband as he was getting in the shower, “Capisce?” He said this to me the other day. In the proper context.

I could not figure out from where he got this. As much Italian slang as my husband and his brother occasionally spout off, “capisce” is not a word they use. Then I remembered, he’s been watching Shark Tales.

So with Bones in the shower, my husband says, “Capisce. Do you know what that means? It’s Italian.”

Bones: Nope. But I know other Italian words.

Better Half: You do? What else do you know?

Bones: Hola and Ohio.

Silence.

Better half: Umm. Well. Ola is Spanish for hello.. and… Ohio… that’s a state. In OUR country. Those aren’t Italian.

I kept myself busy in Bones’ room getting out his clothes for school while trying not to laugh. He was just so daggum confident about his knowledge of Italian.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 01, 2005

Here Lies Fiona…

The Best Hamster Ever.

This is what I have been instructed to put on the cross that will mark her grave, instructed by my 2nd son. I don’t understand him really. One minute he’s talking about ‘the new hamster’ and the next minute he’s bawling his eyes out.

Sheesh. The conversations we had yesterday boggled my mind. We went from great concern that something was going to come eat her after we’d buried her to “Mom, can she come back in another body?” i.e. reincarnation. We’ve run the whole gamut.

The previous night, I had promised the boys I’d take her to the vet if she was alive the next morning, and she was. I was surprised. Very surprised. I found a vet who saw ‘exotics’ and made an appointment. They were truly the nicest folks.

Fiona was suffering and so I told the boys a big lie. I told them that I took her to the vet and was holding her in my hands while she slept and she just quit breathing. If you ask them, she died in my hands. I didn’t have the heart to tell them I put her to sleep. I could just hear it, “You killed her?! You killed our hamster? But Mom, we could have prayed harder and she would have gotten better!”

And in case you’re wondering, 38 bucks is the going rate for hamster euthanasia. Actually, the office visit was $38, putting her down was free.

When I got her home, the boys wanted to see her. It was like a frickin’ viewing. They kept the box open and kept touching her fur and talking about her. The Vet had obviously done this before. When we opened the box, we lifted this little towel, and there she was, lying on her side, little paws on top of each other like she was praying. I’m sorry, but I almost laughed. Of course if I’d lifted the towel and she was 4 paws up, I’d have croaked.

My husband dug a deep hole and Son#1 placed her box in it. Son#1 and Bones threw dirt on the box and all the while, Son#2 took pictures. Some good words were said over her body and flowers were planted over her site. I’m to make some little cross for it.

Our Pet Cemetery is officially open.

And a very big thank you to all of you who have expressed your condolences to my kids. It is very real to them. This was their pet. I keep laughing at all I did for that rodent, but the fact remains, it was their pet and part of their lives. THEY cared for it… not me. They loved her, fed her, got her fresh water, took her out every morning before they went to school and loved on her, same for after school. They treated her better than most kids treat their dogs and cats. So it’s been hard for them and I appreciate all your good thoughts sent their way.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:30 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Hamster Fighter Pilots

The kids woke up this morning and the younger two kept talking about getting a new hamster. However, when my eldest and I were out and about I COULD SWEAR I heard him say, “Can we get a dog?”

Wha? This coming from my canine phobe?

I said, “Wait. Did I hear YOU correctly. Did you say you wanted a dog?”
He replied, “I think I just want something that lasts longer than a hamster. They die too soon.”

I can’t do a dog yet. I can’t. So I told him we’d just go look at new hamsters.

Now, when we bought Fiona, she was the only hamster in the cage. I just figured that all of them looked the same and you had to have a magnifying glass to tell the difference between male and female.

Oh no my friends… holy crap. This new pet store the Vet recommended had an enormous tank divided in two. On one side it said ‘female’ and on the other ‘male’. They need not have labeled it. The males… lets just say parts of them ‘drag the ground’. I think if human males’ balls were directly proportionate to their height in the same way a male hamster’s balls are to the size of a hamster, that men would not be able to walk. As a matter of fact, I think they’d require a wheel barrow to carry their balls around in when ever they had to walk… and running would be out. Forever.

No kidding. Big. Male hamsters have balls the size of grapes. Big. If they were human, hamsters would be fighter pilots. Big balls. Big.

Obviously I can’t get past it.

Needless to say, when I saw all of ‘them’, there were a whole mess o’ male hamsters, I looked at my better half and said, “We’re getting a girl.”

I’m sorry, I have enough male bits and pieces around my house. There is plenty of talk about ‘parts’ ALL THE TIME. A male hamster with two parts constantly dragging the ground would only make it worse. “Mom, Mom, Mom, can I take my hamster to school so I can show all my friends’ my hamster’s balls?!”

Yes. That would DEFINITELY happen.

The boys fell in love with a little black and white GIRL hamster. This is the quote, “Mom, mom, mom, she looks EXACTLY like Fiona… except she’s black and white.” Essentially they look nothing alike.

This new hamster is small. She’s a baby, something I asked the kids to keep in mind per the advice of Caltechgirl. She has worked a lot with rodents and said with the short life span, we may be better off with a baby… it’ll last longer.

The boys have not followed family tradition in naming her. They gave her a new name. In MY family, we call all pets the same thing over and over, just add a number at the end. Originally they told me it would be Fiona II, but there was a change of heart.

Son#2 wants to name her Soomee Soomee. I have no clue why. He made it up. Son#2 said, “We’ll call her Little Soomee Soomee, then Soomee Soomee, then Big Soomee Soomee, then sick Soomee Soomee, then dead Soomee Soomee, then Graveyard Soomee Soomee.”

I’m thinkin’ that kid’s got that circle of life down pat.

Bones however is calling her Hubert. Once again, I don't know why.

Consensus seems to be growing on the original name... Oreo. Black and white hamster... what else?

The new pet store we tried gave me a 7 day warranty. If she dies within the week, and I bring her body back, we get a new one. I personally don’t think I can handle the trauma of another pet dying within the next 7 days. One hamster viewing, grave digging, and funeral this week is enough.

Pictures of the new pet to come.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:36 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack