Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Baggy pants and Hip-Huggers

Ok. So, I am old. Officially a 49er, you know. And a fashion guru NOT.

But I do know baggy pants have been a fashion, status, whatever statement for many years. And believe me, I am in to comfort. In fact, the pair of pants I have on tend to slide down with the best of them. Especially if I have my phone, wallet and keys in the pockets.

But what I don't get is this: Why bother wearing pants? I was at the DMV when four young men, all about 20-25ish, arrived. All were wearing varying degrees of baggy pants. One in particular had Tartan-red-plaid boxers on. The boxers went below his knees. His pant's belt loops were around his knees. He walked like Howard the Duck. Not Daffy or Donald, but HOWARD. And, quite frankly, his boxers were better looking than his jeans. So, I repeat, "Why bother?"

The other trend I just can't comprehend is hip-hugger jeans. Actually, I understand hip-hugger jeans; I guess it’s the young ladies who wear them that I am having difficulty relating to.

Here's the deal: Why wear hip-hugger pants, if all you are going to do is pull them up? Same afternoon. Same DMV. Young woman comes in with a mid-rift shirt and hip-hugger jeans. Lord, she had the body to wear 'em (that is another story). She was in front of me in line and the entire time, while the aforementioned gentleman was letting his pants go lower and lower, she was standing there pulling her top down and her pants up. Seems like an awful lot of work for nothing. And, don't even get me started on wearing hip-hugger jeans with thong underwear showing. Again I ask, "Why bother wearing underwear?"


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No wonder there is a childhood Obesity Problem

in the US.

"THEY", (it is always a they, there never is a real person to maim, or ridicule or call to task) have done it.

This sign was posted in a local Sacramento County park.

I can understand not running on a pool deck. I even understand the no rough play. But come on, NO RUNNING at a park. No wonder parents find the easy way to raising their children is through video games.

I really want to be a grown-up, not babysat by my bureaucratic friends who have nothing better to do with my money than make up silly, non-competitive signs and games.



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ten left

Well, the rain stayed at bay for part of the day, but I only got another 5 roses done. I did fill two green waste barrels for the county to pick up next week. Reuben helped mucho.

Ten remain. Little buggers have already started to put out new shoots. Don't they know it is winter.

Speaking of winter, it has rained here for eight straight days. I like the rain, please don't misunderstand me. I am beginning to hate the MUD that is a result of so much rain. Don't know our actual totals, but my rain gauge has another 3 inches in it since a week ago Saturday. That means 8 or so inches since January 1st.

Are you tired of it too?


Well, I am not as good a liar as I thought

but, I didn't lose the farm. (Darn!) Came home pretty much even.

And Yes, I didn't get so desperate that I had to bet Reuben.


Had a great time with seven great women. Competitive, ruthless, but Great!!!!

Thanks for the fun evening, "guys".

Love you all.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Know when to hold 'em

Well, it finally quit raining long enough for me to go outside and prune more roses. Only 15 more to go.

Went to the barn this morning. No lesson. Arena is too mushy. BUT, I did learn there is a Poker party tonight. We used to play every other month, but haven't played in months. Not much at stake, money wise, but always tons of fun.

Do you think they will take Reuben as payment for any IOUs?

Friday, January 25, 2008


Don't tell anyone, but computer manufacturers have made setting up a new system damn near idiot-proof. Everything is color coded and if you take the time to READ, any fifth-grader, ah hell, first grader, can set-up a new computer.

However, they haven't made the process completely boss-proof yet. Thank goodness. There is partial job security in this knowledge. I look like a genius and all I did was read.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

So, I am (a) 10

Hee, Hee. Just love saying that.

Here's the scoop. I qualified for a study of how grape anti-oxidents affect inflammation and blood sugar at UC Davis. They were looking for 35-55 year old women, who were overweight, but who had not yet shown any signs of Type-2 Diabetes. (I originally applied for the exercise and diet program, but I already exercise too much. Go figure!!!)

So, I went and picked up my magic powder today. I am control number 10. I take the magic powder for 4 weeks, record my exercise and food intake, and any changes I may experience. Then, I go in for a blood sample and receive the second four week supply of the magic powder. One set of four weeks the magic powder is a placebo and one set it is the real grape powder. You don't know which.

It will be interesting to see what happens. But so as to not screw the results, no raisins, grape juice, green tea or wine for me for eight weeks. Only really hard one is the raisins, which I like on my salads.

That is all for now.


Human Experiment #10

I applied for and qualified for a study conducted at UC Davis Medical Center.

I am #10. It will last for 8 weeks and depending on the results maybe another 4.

Will outline the program and what I am doing and not doing later.

Now, I am not only officially a 49er; I am also a 10.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It is EASY being Green....

Thanks, Kermit, for the tag line.

Anyway, received a call from the service manager today. IT IS NOT THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM OR THE HYBRID BATTERIES. (Which, by the way, have a 150,000 or ten year warranty).

It's the water pump: the one that is responsible for making sure the batteries are "cool". It died. Since that part is a standard Escape part, the car is fixed. I get it back tomorrow.

YEA!!! Cruise control, GPS, and quiet blinkers. How I missed you!!!! Let me count the ways.

Yep. I love my Hybrid.

BTW ;) found a chat room. Its called Green Hybrid. Lots of neat information. I posted about mileage, will let you know whether I have a "record" or not. *giggle*

Monday, January 21, 2008


I have discovered why most drivers no longer feel it is necessary to use their turn signals.

What is that reason?

THE NOISE they make while on. The rental car has the most annoying tick, tick, tick to its signals. I am not very rhythmic, but I assure you these clicks are not created equal. I swear every third one is shorter than the others. Two longs and a short.

Isn't that Morse code for something?

I want my Escape back.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

They can co-exist

Well, we are still looking for Reuben's home. BUT nobody is claiming him.

So, we are out in the yard today with the dogs. We are pruning the roses, apple tree and the other trees that are pruned this time of year. Reuben proceeds through the flower beds, like they are his own. Scratch here, Scratch there. Looking for bugs. Moving the compost and bedding around the roses. Completely ignoring the dogs. Well, almost.

Indie, seeing Reuben, decides to initiate the game of chase. Reuben takes one look at Indie, turns and lands a peck on Indie's nose. Startled, Indie sits down, trying to figure out what just happened. Not even the cats have refused to play the game of chase. Reuben goes on to the business at hand. Indie gets up and walks over to Reuben, sniffs and then, apparently decides the game of chase is only fun, if both parties run.

We are NOT keeping Reuben. We are NOT!!!!!

Know anyone who wants a Rooster that minds his own business, but isn't afraid of the dogs?

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I rode Luke today for the first time since the compression fracture of t-12 and hairlines of l-1 and l-2 were confirmed. (That would be July 2007).

He was very good, a bit lazy, but did everything I asked. Now that I am home, feel like I should have done more, but still have tree limbs to munch and roses to prune.

Being a 49er is fun, you just have to know your limitations.

Go Packers and Chargers.

You know it is cold when

your 18 and a half year old dog goes out to do his business, but won't step foot on the grass and relieves himself on the concrete patio AND upon impact with the ground, liquid immediately turns to ice.

Now that is cold. For California. For here. (Having spent several winters in the Illinois, I didn't realize I had become a cold pantie-weight until this morning. I looked at the thermometer and it is at 25 degrees F. I remember when that temp felt like a heat wave.)

Guess temperature is truly relative. Bring me another blanket.

Meet Mr. Cogburn

So, I wrote a couple of weeks ago about surviving the hurricane force winds that graced our area, but I haven't updated you on what the wind blew in. (Well, I mentioned him in my 12 of 12)

We lost the normal number of severe winter storm branches and one smaller tree; nothing major. We also acquired a rooster. Yes, a male chicken. Very pretty. Very loud at dawn. Quiet otherwise. Manages to stay away from the dogs and the horses. Has assisted in the moving of compost around the roses.

He has a white neck, green and rust wing feathers, and green and black tail feathers. We have asked all the neighbors two questions. Their responses have all been the same. “Did you lose a rooster?” No. “Do you want a rooster?” HELLLLLLLL NO!!!!!!!

So, although I have been told we aren’t keeping him, “we” did name him, Reuben J. Rooster Cogburn.

Maybe this is why we don’t have any children?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Being at the forefront of Being Green isn't easy

I drive a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid. It is a company car, but our company is ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental responsibility. I have been driving it since September 2004. On average, I drive 110 miles per day. Last week, I took the car in for its 95000 mile check up.

I love this vehicle. I drive way too much on the freeway to get the full benefit of the electric motor, but I was averaging nearly 31 miles per gallon. That is, until about 10000 miles ago. My mpg dropped to 28. No explanation could be found at the last two checkups. Don't get me wrong, that mileage is still WELL above the regular Escape. But when you are used to driving380-400 miles per tank and now, you are only getting 320-350, it does get a bit tiresome.

Most everyone knows that when you buy the FIRST of any model, service and glitches become synonymous. The Ford technicians in the greater Sacramento area have gone to school on my car. They have to check the Ford tech website to know what to look for each time I bring it in for service. And, that my friends, happens every 5000 miles.

At about 22000 miles, it took three weeks to get the headlights fixed correctly. I went through eight bulbs, all that had to be special ordered because they are "different" on the Hybrid than on the regular Escape. They weren't supposed to die for 150000 miles. Turned out it was a simple wiring problem. It ended up becoming a service order bulletin thing for ALL Escapes. Truly, other than that experience, it has been a reliable and trustworthy vehicle. Until yesterday.

As I approached the left turn onto my road, the car died. I don't mean got a bit doggy and rolled to a stop, no I mean the entire car shut off. Half way through the turn. DEAD. The dads were with me then, because the on-coming cars did stop. I pushed it out of the intersection and down the little hill and pulled over. The gas engine was still working, but the electric components were dead. The error message just kept saying, please safely stop car NOW. It reminded me of the robot in Lost in Space, Danger, Danger, please safely stop NOW. I pull out the owners book and look for the little symbol that is flashing at me. (Amazing how it shut down electrically, but all the electric signs and symbols were flashing at me.)

The book says that it is a SEVERE ELECTRICAL MALFUNCTION. Car may stop working. Turn it off, and turn it back on. If it starts drive to a safe location and stop. Drive no more than 5 miles. (I was only a mile from home). I drove home. I called my service rep. He said, tow it in. (I live about 40 miles from the dealer). Thank goodness, the vehicle only has 95000 miles on it. Towing is covered up to 100000.

So, I call this morning, have it towed, and get to the dealership. Turns out that I also get a rental car. They tell me it will be Tuesday. No problem. I have the rental. I come home. About 4:30 this afternoon, I get a call. Good news and Bad news.

The part that broke could have, but didn't, fry the hybrid electrical entire system. However, the part has to come from Detroit and it will take no less than 10 days. First time this part has broken. They don't stock them, and neither does Detroit. Guess they are going to be working overtime?

I wonder if I should petition Ford to have them pay me to drive their car, after all they are learning a bunch from my current one. I sure hope if anything else breaks, it does so in the next 4500 miles.

I am just grateful that I was going 30 mph, not 70 and glad I wasn't on the freeway.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Shocked, Just Shocked, I am"

To paraphrase and steal the quote from Casablanca.

What are the "leaders" of Sacramento thinking? (oops, that sentence in and of its self is an oxymoron. leaders and thinking. Never happens).

Here's the link to the Sacramento Bee Article. I don't know what planet our fine mayor has been living on, but it certainly has been the one that includes the Natomas basin. Every fifth grader in the greater Sacramento area knows that if you are surrounded by rivers, the area inbetween the two rivers is flood prone.

Sacramento will ALWAYS be waiting for the "big" Flood to come and no matter what protection they make, IT WILL COME!!!!!!

The key is to be prepared. I am.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So, Fashion Statement I am


After yesterday's little tirade, I became more aware of what "other" people are wearing. And low and behold this morning on the early morning news show, what is the female anchor wearing?

You guessed it. A green variegated diamond patterned sweater. UGG. I am back in fashion.

Ah well.......

Monday, January 14, 2008

Strange Compliment?

Today, the most extraordinary and bizarre (well, to me it was bizarre) compliment was bestowed upon me. My first response was defend my choice, but then realized, OMG, he meant it as a compliment, not an out-of-fashion comment.

Here's the scoop:

Today, we were expecting outside visitors to the office. (A rarity). So, no regular club uniform: i.e. Staff shirt, warm-up pants and jacket and athletic shoes. Regular business attire. Now, I knew this day was coming, but did I look in my closet prior to 9 pm last night. NO.

So, last night I decide on the maroon sweater and black pants with my dress black flats. (Thank you, Princess Diana, for making flats fashionable.) And that is what I dress myself in this morning. THEN, I look in the mirror. UGHHHHHHH!!!! I don't like the way the black pants look. DAMN!!!! What to do?

Change to the grey dress slacks. Ok. But, now, the maroon sweater just doesn't look right. So I pull out the green sweater. It has a diamond pattern on it, with dark green variegated into light green. But it's not a heavy sweater, and our office can be a bit cold on Mondays. So, I pull out the salmon colored cardigan that has a similar green diamond pattern to its sleeves. Yea, I know, that it is more of autumn color, but I never pay any attention to that sh......

Anyway, I am the first one in the office. As my cohorts file in, one-by-one, everyone likes the cardigan sweater, but comments on it being autumny, not winter or springy. What's a girl to do? The last of the troops arrive and states, "My that's a nice sweater, did you know that that pattern has come back in style?" "Good for you for wearing it." BACK IN STYLE???!!!. Hell, I wear this sweater with a different pair of pants at least once every ten days or so. Have for the past seven or eight years. Never caught this comment before. Oh, yea. And today's hair style is very professional too. UGGGHHHHHH!!!

Fashion Statement I am not.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

12 of 12

The first opportunity of 12 of 12 for 2008 was today. I still have no camera.

So, here are some of the photos I would have taken today.

The fog settling in over the barn as the day began. No fire today. Air quality is going to be too bad.

Angus waiting for his Saturday morning breakfast of bacon and eggs. Hey, he is now 18 and half years old. Nothing is too good or bad for him. He still climbs several times a day, the 12 steps up and down to the yard without too much fuss.

Luke, not happy about going across the street to spend the day. He is hanging out, alone, on days when I am home, because he needs a job, so his is now to behave.

The fallen oak tree. Didn't realize last week that the oak in the creek had toppled over. Glad we got the chain saw fixed.

Numerous photos of the Saturday morning lesson at the barn. Nearly everyone was there. It was truly the first day that we could ride. Sara and Dillion; Sara (yes there are two) and Riley; Megan and Magic; Mel and Laddie; Cheryl and Patrick; Arlene and Lightfoot; Teresa and the new guy; Amy, Diana, and, of course, baby Seth. And, Dana and Livy stopped by to say hello.

The "new addition" to the farm menagerie. Still looking for his correct barnyard. A Rhode Island Red Rooster. Very pretty. White neck, green and rust wing feathers. Very pretty. None of my neighbors claim him. Don't know how long he has been hanging around. Today was the first day we saw him. Dogs don't seem to care.

Rufus running through the creek enjoying the first dry day in over a week.

And, then finally, the sun set. Peeked through an opening in the clouds and made everything that pretty color of red/orange.

So, there is my 12 of 12. Now, to get a camera.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Muse must be ADHD

I came to this page armed with words of such exquisite enunciation that I could hardly contain my fingers. My ears are still ringing.

Now that the page has finally loaded, words elude me.

Next time, I will scribble them down the "old" way and ask Angus to translate while Indie tries to eat the paper.


Sunday, January 06, 2008


I am researching an EXTREMELY emotional issue affecting a small but interesting segment of our national heritage. (More on the topic later).

Here is what I have discovered thus far:

The more I read, the more I find that everyone is VERY passionate about THEIR side. And critical to the point of hatred, quickly pointing out how useless the opposition is.

  • Never mind the "facts", or lack there of.
  • Never mind that for "every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." (Hey, Professor, you thought I wasn't paying attention didn't you?)
  • Never mind that there is a reason, albeit economic, cultural, or lifestyle that dictates the practice. And it is done on a large scale in many other areas.
  • Each side has their "Lady Macbeth's". (Me thinks thou dost protest too much).
  • And the number of "do as I say, not as I do" mentalities I have encountered has been a real eye opener. It is hypocritical to say the least.
So, I am learning to accept their points of view as I dig for the facts to my questions.

Let you know what I find.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Surviving the Storm of the Century

They (the weather people, the news people) had been warning us that the “Storm of the Century” with Hurricane force winds was on its way. For about ten days, they have been going on and on about how January 3-6 were going to be treacherous for all alive especially those of us in northern California. “Worse than the storms of early December in the Pacific northwest”, they warned.

WOW!!!!! For once, they had it pretty well pegged. Unbelievable. There were supposed to be three storm systems: one coming in Thursday afternoon; the second around midnight and the third on Saturday morning.

Right on cue, storm one arrived. Sometime yesterday afternoon between three and four it began to rain. Some wind, but mostly just breezy. Then about midnight the “house began to twitch” to mangle the movie quote. The dogs became unsettled. Fortunately, we were able to convince Boy to come in the house and stay, so I knew they were all safe. Woke up around 6, to gusty, but not usual for this time of year breezes. Had only lost one branch off the tree at the end of driveway by the time daylight arrived.

“It is going to get worse before it gets better”, the weatherman said. The snow levels are high. Really glad today was my day off. Well, you know the rest. It blew. Closed the airport for several hours; closed the freeway because of overturned big rigs; power lines down all over. Reported gusts upwards of 75mph.

BUT, we survived better than in years past. Will probably take several hours to clean up the tree limbs. Stopped counting at 40 branches, but only three are really big. So not bad.

Thank you, Thank you, SMUD and Direct TV. For the first time in years, we did not lose power. Yea, it fluctuated so much that is was mildly irritating, but never long enough to require resetting every clock in the joint. YEA! AND, only when the tree near the dish was in the process of losing a limb, did I lose any of my Direct TV signal. But it was only that mildly irritating pixel thing that the dish can do.

All-in-All, not a bad weathering of this storm. Now, we await the runoff. Last look at the weather channel, the area to the east of us received nearly 3 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. We will see.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


We all make them. Some are made for us. Some are exasperated by our surroundings.

Without realizing it, I, apparently, chose not to blog for four months. It wasn't intentional, just made an entry on September 6th and then never wrote again.

Thought about it. Even wrote several master pieces, all tucked away in the vast grey matter, known as my brain. Once again, I chose not to pontificate so it would be remembered. Ah, well.
Choices. Someone once told me that at any given point in time, we are all exactly were we chose to be. We could chose to be elsewhere, and we would be. But, what happens if I chose to be someone else? What if I am tired of being me? I am not, not really. I am just tired of making the choices that make me be so silly.

I mean, after all, I celebrating this year as a true 49er. I am supposed to be a grown up. Why can't I act like one? I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. What could be better?

However, I have chosen not to get back on either the proverbial or actual horse. I have chosen not to do this and have chosen to do that instead. Why is the easiest choice usually the wrong one. Water always gets to travel the road of least resistance, why can't I?

Oh My. I might succeed. And heaven and hell should forbid that from happening.

Trust me.