felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
It appears to be spring, already. Middle of February. Been 40+ degrees during the day all week, next week doesn't look any different. The maple sap has been flowing for 2 weeks now, almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

I'm not ready for spring yet. We didn't even have winter. There's still snow around the house, but that won't last much longer. The driveway at work is a mudpit... I am definitely not ready for mud season.

But in two weeks the little baby plants will come in, and the greenhouse will be wonderful. R and I have some work to do in it beforehand (I'm getting a new potting table! One that's the proper height! And maybe won't collapse... that will be nice); there are a gazillion pots to put price stickers on, hooks to hang for baskets, and a little bit of re-routing of driplines, now that the tables are in a more efficient (I think) layout. Or were, till the boss moved them. "We made narrower aisles! Look how much space we have now!" he said, ever so pleased with himself. Yes, I said, except the aisles *needed* to be 4' wide, because that's how wide the gaps between the hanging basket hooks are. Despite his protests of 'oh, it'll be fine', I walked over and found the row that, were it full of baskets, would hang precisely down the middle (ie, walking space) of two tables, right at head height. I am not ducking around baskets, thankyouverymuch. I clunk my head on them quite enough as it is. I actually got him to agree with me. The tables will be moved back to the way they were. I'm the one that has to work/live up there, I'd better be able to do it efficiently and safely.

I am pretty much done with the miserable headcold; my faucet of a nose shut off on Wednesday night, but I worked from home yesterday anyway. Better to be miserable at my desk at home and not have my boss complaining at me. All set for Tourney o' Luuuv tomorrow. We head out bright and early, return late. 'Twill be a good day.
felis_lupus: (Lancelot)
Your campus is beautiful. The Florence Keigwin Amphitheater by the lake, with the beautiful granite terraced seating and picturesque view is delightful. The buildings are lovely and clean. Your signage, however, sucks.

I looked at a map before I left, and still missed my turn, because I was expecting somehow, that on one of the major roads that goes through the fair City of Lewiston, there would be some sort of indication that I was somewhere close to a large Institution of Higher Learning. None. Not a single, solitary "Bates College This Way" sign anywhere on Rt. 202. The one sign I did see, after heading several miles out of town, turning around, turning onto "Bates Street" and "College Avenue", neither of which led me, really, to the college, and asking three fairly unhelpful people for directions (people of Lewiston - how do you not know where the College is in your city?? even a little bit??), I stumbled upon a side road, with the single, solitary sign that said "<- Bates College". A little bit more directional assistance would be appreciated. I still have no idea how to easily get onto campus from Rt. 202, nor back to it.

End rant.


Thursday evening, after work, Giovanni and I headed out to see the Yankee Brass Band, of which my brother [livejournal.com profile] pet_spider is the youngest member (by about 10 years...). Apparently the penchant for dressing up in funny clothes on the weekends runs in the family. :) It was a delightful concert, though I missed the first three pieces (see rant above). Beautiful open air amphitheater, on a lake, all kinds of people sitting, enjoying the music of the 19th century. A few dozen musicians sat, playing on old old old brass instruments, all properly attired. An osprey circled overhead, searching for dinner, for several minutes, eventually coming away with a shining, wiggling fish. The audience was appreciative, the music ended just as the sun set, and I was treated to a delightful rendition of The Anvil Chorus, from Il Travatore, complete with a fellow beating the heck out of a steel I-beam.

Had a few minutes to visit post-concert, then headed out while it was still light so I could have a prayer of getting back on a familiar road before I couldn't see anything anymore... Nice ride home.

Photos from the concert are up in the usual spot. 'Twas truly a fine way to spend an evening.
felis_lupus: (Howl)

Winter Morning
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Storm is over. Tuesday through Wednesday evening, I'm counting as one "snow event". Learned and confirmed several things over the last couple snowy days. Just in time for the next one that comes tonight/tomorrow morning.

Some observations:Wow... this got long... I guess I've been saving up some rant energy... )

Hopefully the snow really will be done by tomorrow early afternoon. The goal is to get to my parents' Friday night, and then to Springfield early Saturday morning, for lots and lots of fencing. And friends, who share a sadness this day... We have lost a lovely and gentle Lady in the East.
felis_lupus: (Howl)
So, I go to Home Despot this evening, to pick up a few switchplates, other odds and ends we need to finish the bedroom (soooooon!), and what do I see the moment I walk in the door?

Christmas.

Christmas has exploded all over the front of the store. It's OCTOBER 6TH. And I know the display hasn't just been up for a day or two... it probably went up over the weekend. Ornaments. Garland. Little houses for the light up villages (I will admit to owning a half a dozen of these, all different greenhouses/floral shops...), and trees. Oh god, the trees. Plain or pre-lit, white, colored, twinkly, blinking, different colored needles, you name it, it was probably there... Too much.

I guess I hadn't quite recovered when the lovely lady in the purple shirt asked "how are you today, can I help you find anything?" and all I could do was gape and point and sputter incoherently at her... It would have been rather embarrassing, I suppose, but she laughed and understood, and we shared some "ARGH" together.

C'mon, people... the lady was right, she said "we wouldn't put it out if people weren't buying it already!" It. Is. October. OCTOBER. The first week of October. We've not even made it to Columbus Day yet! Let it go, for just a few more weeks?

I will decorate Sam the Tangerine again this year, I think... According to [livejournal.com profile] kurlon, it's tradition now... done it for 2 years in a row. I'm good with that.

But not before December 13.
felis_lupus: (Default)
On the way to fencing practice this evening, my brain cleared a bit, and I realized... I have 3-day weekends now. Saturday AND Sunday off. I can... I can... I can take the MSF course and get my motorcycle license. Without having to BEG for a Sunday off. EEEEEEYAY. Now to see if I can come up with the cash, and still get into one of the classes in the next couple months. Perhaps buy some actual motorcycle boots, since I need them anyway. [livejournal.com profile] kurlon is pretty sure I won't fall off the bikes, so I'm OK on that front, at least.

Meant to include this in the earlier post tonight, but honestly forgot about it, till I passed one of the places in question on the way to practice... Here follows a few rants about customers and the media... Got long. I'm on a roll tonight, apparently. )
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
...I knew I had to create a basic website from scratch today for our little Independent Garden Center Group. Finished that early evening, will be some tweaking once everybody else gets a look at it, which is fine. I got $25/hour to do so. Good money, cash, I'll take it, for what my limited webby skills could bring to this little endeavour. What I hadn't planned on was a panicky phone call from my boss at 11:00 this morning that threw off the rhythm of my entire day, made me really, really grumpy, and necessitated my going into work for a half hour. Something about the logo not showing up right on the commercial... )

In other news... I've filled out my tetra school(s) now, all fishies are accounted for and happy. Had to bring one of the neons back that I bought today; the poor li'l guy did nothing but gasp for air when I put him in the tank with the others, while his purchasemate was fine... he's been replaced, the pet store probably put him out of his misery rather than try to save him, but I have two more healthy fishies now. 4 neon tetras and 3 black, with the 2 catfish makes a happy tank. Hopefully the littler of my two original neons won't be picked on quite as much with the additional two new fish to chase around.

Garden is slowly coming along; I have 18 little seed plugs of basil growing indoors; most of the seeds I planted came up, which is just wonderful. I love basil... delicious tomato-basil-mozzarella sandwiches are in my future. Planted lettuce seeds, and several rows of both 'Purple Haze' and 'Carnival Blend' carrots. Hopefully I have better luck with both this year. Had not much of either one come up last year. Filled in the spots where the peas did not germinate, and promptly grabbed a handful of the soil where the lettuce seeds were sprinkled to fill in the holes... whoops. I guess I'll have lettuce all over the garden this year. Planted just half the packets of all my seeds, in case we somehow find a new place before garden season is all over, and I can start over... Put in the 'Jewel Mix' nasturtium seeds along the border too; I didn't have any volunteers this year, which is unusual. A few pansies, and a tomato (which I pulled out... the Tomaccio have come in!Tomaccio! )), but that's about it. Carol (our awesome veggie grower) dropped off some cold crops and herbs today, so I can start the Haus Wanderstamm Mobile Herb Garden tomorrow afternoon! Also: will have Kohlrabi. So excited. :)
felis_lupus: (Default)
Nothing new, really... except that when it's used as punctuation, it somehow loses its effect.

I have no problem with a well placed curse. I do it myself. I do it moreso now that I've worked with landscapers for nearly a third of my life, and they don't have the cleanest language. This bothers me some... sometimes they just slip out, and it's horribly embarassing when it happens in front of one's parents, who I don't believe I ever heard say anything worse than "darn" in the 20 years I spent living beneath their roof.

It's awfully irritating to hear f*(%, and it's various conjugations on an average of three times a minute (yes, I kept track) coming out of my boss's office, as he and one of our plow drivers were 'discussing' the wonderfulness that was plowing the town roads this winter. O noes, mah poor earz, i haz never heard such awfulness in mah life... not really, but there was no door between here and there that I could shut (except the one to his office), and each subsequent rapid-fire usage of the word made my ears ring. Tossed in the middle of a sentence, used as a comma, used as a modifier for the awful roads, for the trucks (which haven't given us nearly the headaches that they have in the past), for the snow itself... Sounded similar to this video, except f*(% was used a little bit more frequently.

[livejournal.com profile] attack_laurel had much to say on this very subject this past week, and her very well written thoughts are here, said much more coherently and poetically than I probably could, and they bear repeating. The anti-profanity club (warning: site design may cause eyes to bleed) out in CA has its merits, but not for the reasons they're pushing for. Cursing (or lack thereof) does not inherently make one a "bad" (or good) person.

I'm not on an anti-profanity crusade here, just needed to get some frustrations out... it's gray and cold and cloudy again...
felis_lupus: (Cat Fencer)
sigh.

Worked a half day this morning, had a nice lunch, cleaned the fishtanks, ran some errands... Picked up fishfood and tank filters, attempted to buy a few pairs of jeans, and found that the only ones in my size were of the "pre-distressed" variety. I ask, what the heck is the point? Wear them for a little while, they'll look the same. A trip to LL Bean (the store, or one of the outlets) it is. If I'm spending $30 for a pair of jeans, they are darn well going to fit, and last, and look good.

Stopped in a little shop I'd never noticed before (the lady who owns it said she's been there about 3 months), that carries all secondhand, but nice, woman's clothing, mostly vintage. Ho boy. I may be in trouble, once I'm more awake, and can do some serious looking/shopping in there... I did leave with a beautiful deep green wool, rabbit fur trimmed 3/4 length cloak, Victorian-esque styling. Very warm and comfy. Too nice and too good of a price to pass up.

Picked up the truck at work, prepping for tonight. Rinsed the salt out of my shoelaces/off my boots/out of my gloves, so I will at least be able to put them on without shriveling my hands.

Good news, kinda, on the shovel front as well. Survivor: Maine may be a shorter season than originally planned. Jess has gone back to school, doing a bit of a career change, as she doesn't think her back will be up to garden center work in the spring, and I tend to agree with her. Her at school full time means nobody in the office when it snows. Not exactly conducive to getting work done, so bossman had me put an ad up on the web. Wanted: Snowblower Operator/Snow Shoveler. Position available immediately. We've gotten a few responses already, which makes me happy. By Monday, he's supposed to make a decision. After which, I will return to my cushy job as a desk monkey, catch up on my sleep, and be able to go to Birka without worries. I hope.

For now... naptime... 8 AM was far too early this morning, and 1 AM will be far, far too early next.
felis_lupus: (Howl)
I... win?

Guh. Zombified. Saw the sun rise at LL Bean this morning, yet again. Is it sad that that felt "right"? When I was there the other night at 8:30 PM for snow clean-up, I kept expecting the sky to lighten, and it didn't... This morning we were treated to a lavender sky in the early hours, dotted with snowflakes (which have finally stopped falling). Was pretty.

Had planned on getting a few hours of sleep after the Burlesque (which was pretty good), ended up taking Syd home in 4WD (as the roads were awful), while J drove her car, came back to find a message of "helloooooooo???? Where are youuuuu?" on the answering machine, from about 20 minutes prior. Dang, was hoping he wouldn't call till 3 or so... Didn't even listen to the whole thing, not gonna. Good little employee that I am, I called right away, let him know I was on the way to the shop, and I would meet Michelle (my new shovel buddy...) there. Oh goody. Off to Portland about 20 minutes later.

Thank heaven for light, fluffy snow, even if it was several inches more than we'd expected. And drifty. And 8 degrees, with OHMYGODCOLD windchill for the entire morning. Just a few minutes into our routine, the familiar ache in my back and shoulders returned... ah yes... we remember this now... it's been what, 2 days? There was a new attraction on our snow shoveling tour as well... a huge, brightly lit, white statue of the Virgin Mary on the roof of the building next to the church near the Rite-Aid. I don't remember her being there previously, and coming around the corner to do the side steps, it was a little bit too close to Dr. Who for me. I cleared those steps faster than I ever have before, and got the heck out of there.

Otherwise did OK till we got to LL Bean, and then could not get the snowblower going. Did what shoveling we could, by the time we were done, Dennis had gotten there and started it for us (the boss had given me incorrect directions. Small wonder.). I had never used a snowblower before, and do not wish to again. Self propelled is great, if you have the body mass and strength to get it to go where you want it. I have neither on the best of days, less so after already doing 6 hours of shoveling. Stupid thing. I honestly don't think we saved any time at all using it, because we had to go back around and scrape the sidewalks afterward. Stupid thing. I will shovel 15 inches of snow before I attempt to use that machine again. The vibration killed my hands and arms, I spent an.. hour? I don't even know how long it took me... inhaling exhaust fumes, which did wonders for my sleep-deprived brain, and we had to go back and shovel afterward anyway. The wind did nothing to help us, blowing the snow right back over where we'd just shoveled it.

Here's where I get grumpy )

Went to bed at 10:30 this morning. I had been up since about 8 AM. Friday. Yes, my own darned fault. But I don't think that 3 or 4 hours of sleep would have helped a whole lot with tiredness after 8 hours of shoveling. Woke up at 5:30. Felt... kinda rested. Glad I staggered to the bank before heading home this morning, though I don't really remember the trip. Went to bed when it was light, got up when it was dark... that's not how this is supposed to work, is it?

It's going to snow more tomorrow, and on Wednesday, and on Christmas. Will I get to go home? Will I tell my boss to shove it and find another job? No... I'll stick it out... because there's not much else out there... But I do not think I will be doing this next winter. I can't control the weather, but I can take control over my own happiness and sanity.

rant

Dec. 8th, 2008 09:50 pm
felis_lupus: (Default)
So... this was going to be a lot grumpier. But I have had food, and chocolate chip cookies, and things are better.
ranty ranty rant )

Was all excited when I came home for lunch (I forgot my bread...), too. A note in the door! A package that could not be delivered because I was not home! It's my fuzzy from ebay! Yay! Upon picking up said package from the local USPS, No... 'twas a lovely note from the US Dept. of Fish & Wildlife stating that the fuzzy from ebay was confiscated at the US border (shipped from Canada), because it's in violation of the Endangered Species Act, and *I* failed to declare it. Eh? Not, as it were, my responsibility, I don't think. I'm just the buyer. The seller should have properly declared things, and then maybe I wouldn't have been waiting nearly two months for any sign of this thing (refunds issued, no bad feelings between me and ebayer, but argh.). The fox has been dead for 30 years, I don't think that particular animal is still a threat to the survival of the species... I just wanted a fuzzy to match the bits I bought at Pennsic... I can dispute the claim (papers sent and filed in triplicate, please), which I still may do, and see what happens.

My In-laws are coming tomorrow, I think we're supposed to go out to dinner with them. I'm going to miss fencing practice, probably, unless we move it to Thursday... when I'll miss illumination class. My parents are coming up to see them for lunch on Thursday, and I had to call mom tonight to say "no, please don't come see me at work. It won't be nearly as much fun as you think it will be". If we were actually open, and selling trees and stuff, it would be entirely another matter... I don't know if I'll even be there, let alone in any mood to socialize.

Ok... so that was a little bit grumpy... I think I need some tea.
felis_lupus: (Default)
So... Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is on the way. Still quite lovely outside, even though it's getting dark rather early and rained all day today. Business is slow at work, inventory is being done, projects at home are being poked away at. I have some busy weekends coming up, and busy time at home, working on the next scroll.

Syd and I stopped by AC Moore on the way to music practice last night; needed some bristol board and possibly brushes. I was greeted by a shelf full of ornaments, beautiful fluffy white Santas, and wreaths. Ok, great, the Christmas stuff is out in force already. I kinda expect that. I've decorated the tree in the shop at work in cat ears before. Looking at the paint brushes, trying to decide which ones I should grab an extra of, I finally caught an earful of the muzak being pumped over the in-store speakers. Usually it's a mix of 80's stuff... I thought they'd taken it straight out of RockBand last time I was in there. This was not 80's stuff.

Christmas Carols. 5 days after Halloween, the stores are playing Christmas music. Shoot me now, somebody, please, or I shall have to become a shut-in for the next month, until I am ready for my ears to be assaulted by choruses of 'falalalala' when I go out shopping. Don't care if Thanksgiving is "late" this year, I don't wanna hear 'Jingle Bells' till after I've had my turkey.

I snapped. Something in my brain tripped a switch, and the sheer ridiculousness of the situation settled in. Ranting followed as we walked through the aisles to the paper, partly for hopes of recovering my own sanity, and maybe finding some empathy in fellow consumers (who probably thought I was nuts), but most definitely not directed to the poor cashiers and employees who have to listen to that all day... they have no choice over what music is played, I don't think... Sydney took it all in good humor. I apologized later.

But I swear the lady in line behind me was humming and singing along just to spite me...... *twitch*

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