Sunday, August 31, 2008


Meet your new blog mascot. This is Earnest. Earnest is not, all appearances to the contrary, a Yorkshire terrier. Nor yet an Ewok.

Earnest is a largish spider, as seen through a microscope at InbioParque, where I took the girls yesterday.

I'll post more photos tomorrow, but this one just wouldn't keep.

Waiting to hear

My neighbor fell and hurt her arm. She's 7 months pregnant and worried about the baby. Pray 'em if you got 'em please.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pictures tomorrow

The girls and I spent the day here today. I have some nice pictures, but no energy to select and edit them, so check back tomorrow :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Her name is Tuga

As in tortuga.

I knew she was small, but it wasn't till I saw her on the floor that I realized, were she not fully as wide as she is long, she would be almost the exact same size as a cockroach.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thanks, y'all

It would seem that some combination of the advice I took, well...took because I am, happily, not sick.

And, on the spectrum of states of being, "happily not sick" is, if not my actual favorite, certainly more than acceptable under the circumstances.

PS - Cleaning the dust out of the computer suddenly made the DVD audio work right - for the first time ever. Who'd have thought?

PPS - Nim's Island is great!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not getting sick. NOT!

Seriously. The entire first half of this year, and all it entailed, and I didn't even come down with the sniffles. Why now?

I have been prescribed both C and "Bee" vitamins (that's honey), rest, fluids, and orange juice (yuck). Anybody want to pile on the advice bandwagon? I'll do my best to humor you.

PS: Just on the off chance that anyone has lost count? This is my 950th post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In which the word "season" loses its meaning once and for all

Trusted sources say
This year beats last by two weeks:
Christmas trees in stores.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Paying the price

What kind of past life--
just semi-bad--sends one back
As a pet turtle?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In which a reptile makes all the difference

Julia's birthday party was today.

There was cake and a piƱata and dancing and jumping of ropes. But the real star of the show was Present Number One (name TBD):

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Please don't take my computer away

My computer has been running very slowly lately. The hard drive is only slightly more than half full. I've run virus scans on it, cleaned out the registry, uninstalled unused stuff, defragged...all the stuff you're supposed to do.

Finally I opened it up to clean it out physically...the photo's not that clear, but friends let me tell you. That was a dust-choked computer. The easiest place to see it is on that fan right in the middle. The one that has radiator fins behind it in the bottom picture, but more like a solid wall of dust in the top one.

I'm sorry, little computer. Please like me again.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fun with SiteMeter

Searches leading to my blog tend to be pretty pedestrian.

Lots of Owen Meany and Bean Trees searchers. Nearly as many people looking for balloon figures.

Still get tons of hits from image searches, resulting from that time when I posted all those celebrity lookalike quizzes - I think the key there was that I listed the celebrity names.

Then there's someone who comes in each day by Googling the phrase Coasting Richly ... does this mean I can never change my tagline? Not that I plan to, so I guess that's fine.

And today I learned that my blog currently comes up second on Google when you search on the phrase ba dum bum ching. Most excellent.

Waiting for a text message

Well, okay. I'm signed up for the email version. (Ironically enough, text messaging is one thing my phone actually seems to handle pretty well.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Before and...well, a little after "before"

This is my hot water tank leaking:

It's not there anymore. Now there's an on-demand heater sitting there instead. But the electrician guy who installed it says all the wiring and the breakers are all wrong for it. So I don't think it's quite time for an "after" picture.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I say nice things about technology all the time, and this is the thanks I get? Hmph.

Stupid computer.
Stupid cell phone.
Stupid Internet.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Julia

Julia was born seven years ago this morning.

Alex, Robin (then age 2.5), Lisa and Mom were in the room while Dad and Scott hovered in the doorway.

I took her back to the birth center when we were in town last Christmas:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Whose idea was this?

Pre-toasted bread? Really?

I have scoffed at this product ever since I first noticed it on the grocery store shelf.

And yet. You have a kid that won't (can't) eat, you start trying things. It's not bad, really. I mean, my expectations were pretty low, which helps a lot. It's like an extra-thick cracker, I guess.

Anyway. Now we know.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mind? Hell no, I don't mind. That's why I wrote it, QD :)

I went back for the rest of the ants last night, and this morning there were just two, wandering around the empty closet with WTF? looks on their faces.

I have pictures of that last stronghold, BTW. But I like y'all more than that.

Instead, I will share with you the following collaborative effort:

Band Name: The Ant Colony Annihilators
Album Title: Boraxico
Hit Single: You Stomped My Heart into Formic Acid Paste
Lesser-Known B-Side: My Nest Egg is Gone and the Acid Took My Daddy, Now I'm Back in the Closet, Dreaming of my Queen

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Pink Panther Post*

So, as a result of Julia being sick and the girls being with me all weekend (I usually have them on weekdays), I finally caved and admitted to them that I had to get cable TV in order to get cable Internet, and that we can therefore watch cable shows on the computer even though I don't have a television.

They watched George of the Jungle 2 on the Disney Channel this afternoon, and I cleaned out a box in my closet.

That was the official plan, anyway.

In fact, I pulled the box about halfway out, saw about sixty million hangers-on, and remembered about the ENORMOUS BLACK ANTS I've been seeing in that part of the closet for several weeks now.

I pushed the box back in.

Alas, it was too late. I'd passed the threshold of plausible deniability - not to mention sounding the alarm throughout the Queendom of the Ants.

I decided to remove individual items from the box without removing the box from the shelf (shaking or brushing them off as needed) and proceeded to do that for a while. There was a lot of junk in there, some fabric scraps, and a couple of shirts I'd been saving for the girls. Some of it's been pitched already, and the rest put away elsewhere.

I thought the colony was behind the box (and, in fact, it was), but it was also in the box, with the mother lode of eggs (looking exactly like Rice Krispies) nestled handily in a child's t-shirt, just right for lifting into a plastic bag and then shaking (and flicking) off of the shirt.

There was another batch in a book bag in the bottom of the box.

When the box was empty (except for a little dish of boric acid and honey) and the girls' movie was over (Okay. Technically? The movie and the two shows following it), I took a break to make them a snack and get them into something besides television.

Then I went back to check on the ant activity, knowing there were still plenty of Citizen Ants between the box and the wall, and between another bag and the wall on the same shelf.

What I saw was a lot of egg-relocation activity. To another shelf.

Oh. Right.

Pulling out the built-in drawer below, I found a squatter community including at least as many eggs as I'd already dispatched, so once again it was pick, shake, set aside until the drawer was empty except for the ants.

This time I pulled the whole drawer out and took it outside to do the plastic bag maneuver - a good move, since the bag was smaller than the drawer and ants get pretty good traction on unfinished plywood. There were at least as many escapees as there were ants in the bag.

(For bonus points: The balcony is visited by cats, who pee there. It was an attractive scene.)

Meanwhile, back inside, the ants that were still trying to relocate to the drawer no longer found it there, so of course they headed for the next drawer down. I pulled everything out of that, removed it, and then cleared the shelf below, leaving them a big open space in which to do as they will.

There's still a colony behind the bag on that top shelf, and two little knots of them up in the corners of the big empty space.

I'm not sure whether to go after them tonight, or leave the job to the honey and boric acid (which I learned about not three days ago).

You don't think they'll come for me in the night, do you?

In closing, I will say this: If you ever find yourself in circumstances such as these, the ponytail that's looped half-up again to keep it out of your way, leaving stray strands that brush the back of your neck ever so lightly every once in a while? Not really the 'do you want in a situation such as this.

* DeadAnt, DeadAnt, DeadAntDeadAntDeadAnt, DeadAnt, DeadAnnnnnt...

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in Costa Rica. I've never been terribly into all the various "... Days," but this one ended up being sort of fitting.

I spent it mothering.

Julia came down with something very suddenly on Thursday morning. It turned out to be a glandular infection, and she's on antibiotics now, but they're really not making her feel as much better as I'd have liked. I sure hope they start kicking in overnight, because none of us needs another day like we had today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rule of Thumb

You want a medicine for which generic dosage information is published online by children's hospitals. You don't want a medicine associated with vulture death in India.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More than one commercial establishment in this country would have benefited from some additional market research.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rain falling, coffee
Afternoon of Mom's birthday
Haiku just for you

Monday, August 11, 2008

I write letters

Dear Whoever Gave the Girls The Last Unicorn,

Whoa. I know you meant well. And, in fact, they actually are old enough to deal with stuff like this.

Umm. Mostly.

But, have you seen this movie?

No offense,

Dear Motion Picture Association of America,

"A G-rated motion picture contains nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. [...] Depictions of violence are minimal. No nudity, sex scenes or drug use are present in the motion picture."

Have you seen this movie?

J. Tucker
A Few Choice Words

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's for your own good, dear.

Hmmm. Great tracts of my day were spent scanning and cleaning and adjusting my computer, which had begun to worry me with its behavior.

And I just don't see blogging much of that.

I also read a friend's blog and learned some new ... things ... that I'm definitely not repeating here, so...

Can I interest you in a photo of my lunch?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Coming to you live from one of San Rafael's six known Internet cafes...

My ISP and I are still getting used to each other. They think it would be nice if I paid my bill on time. I think it would be nice if I were notified sometime during the billing cycle that the time is coming up.

We'll get it right eventually.

I'm not actually positive that my Internet is out because of billing, but I know the cable part of the bill expires tomorrow, and the Internet part--or part of the Internet part anyway--is paid separately, to a whole different institution, which may have a different cutoff date.

The cable TV works fine, and all the lights are shining their designated colors on the cable modem, which is usually not the case when it's an external connection problem. So I went down and paid the bills (three separate ones for one simple Internet connection) this morning, in hopes that that's the issue.

In other utilities, the water company sent a guy around yesterday because there's a big bad leak from my hot water tank, and they had noticed the elevated consumption.

I thought that was pretty cool.

Would have been even cooler if he'd been able to talk to my landlady, who knows about the leak and will be fixing it soon, just to motivate her a little more. I do understand that "soon" can mean a lot of things--and she's been out of the country and just got back--but I hope it's not too long. I realized after entirely too much time had gone by that I could just shut off the water before it got to the tank, but that means I have to go down and turn it back on any time I actually want to use the hot water. And I am a fan of the hot water, at least on a semi-regular basis.

As I was writing this post, the cable company was texting my cell phone to remind me that my bill expires tomorrow. I actually received the text as I walked away from the Internet cafe, an hour and a half later. And I got home to find my service back on. So, happy ending all around. And, while I reserve the right to complain about them from time to time, I'm still pretty impressed with the public services here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

How people have been finding me lately

Google searches on
"Words with colors in them" and
"How to stop sighing."

Wow. Stimulating fare.
Perhaps I should be asking,
Am I boring you?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

So I guess you're going to keep asking till I tell you

They wouldn't take the quilt when I took it in to the cultural center where the show is going to be held, but not because the deadline was past. It was just that the receptionist wasn't sure she was authorized to accept the quilts - in terms of collecting the entry fee and filling out forms and whatnot.

I thought I would take it over to the other branch of the cultural center after work - where the person in charge of collecting the quilts actually works - but traffic was bad enough that I wouldn't have gotten there before closing time anyway.

So I took it to the guild meeting and the president of the guild said she would take care of it. Turns out they got far fewer entries than they had hoped for - like 16 instead of 40-some - so they were plenty happy to see another one. They were even talking about wanting additional quilts to fill out the show, but they haven't responded to my email listing what I have available at the moment, so maybe that's taken care of already.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What the kids are calling it nowadays

You never know what'll be playing at the video store on any given day. A lot of times it's something I wouldn't even want to see myself, let alone have the girls see - or ask about.

Today was fine, though. It was some sort of concert/interview/rockumentary about the Rolling Stones. Julia stood there watching the classic Mick Jagger strut for a few minutes, and we talked about how much he was enjoying singing and dancing.

Quoth the (almost) 7-year-old, "That looks like a group of old mens that are playing in that band."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Asked to answer the question "Who am I?" in fabric, I responded thusly:

Now I just hope they'll take it - the deadline for drop-off at the quilt shop was yesterday, but I'm going to take it over to the cultural center where the show is actually going to be held.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A haiku of apology

I finished my quilt
Took a picture for you but
Blogger disagrees

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Who is it?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Quiet day at home

The parrot is enjoying a little out-of-cage time this weekend. She has a new favorite spot.

Friday, August 01, 2008

And there you have it

A click a day for good causes

The Hunger Site The Breast Cancer Site The Child Health Site The Literacy Site The Rainforest Site The Animal Rescue Site

Added 6/12/06

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