Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Faking It

Ever since he was a kitten, Burnie has had a limp. Some days it is more pronounced than others. The vet has seen him, but there doesn't seem to be a problem. The vet says that cats are very adaptable and he can live with it.

I'm planning on going away for about a week in two weeks. Since I'm trying not to check my bags, I thought I'd bring them in from the garage to get an idea of the size. Of course, both Crash and Burn noticed and they're not too happy.

Burnie had been doing very well lately, he's been running around the house with no problems. But, as soon as I brought the bag into the house, he started limping. It's a very pronounced limp and he's not running.

I'm beginning to think he's also an actor. He has been known to limp very badly whenever I return from a trip, but this is the first time BEFORE I go away. He's trying for the sympathy vote to keep me home. Of course, it won't work, I'm on to his tricks.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today.

I learned that lesson the hard way this week. I'm the editor of our community newspaper and the deadline for submissions was last Sunday. I spent the early part of this week checking the articles and preparing them for the paper. I sent them out for proofreading, and reformatted them. Everything was going along smoothly, so smoothly that I was tempted to bring them to the publisher early. But, a couple other members of the staff wanted to go, so I decided not to change the date.

I went happily along and took my time setting everything up. After all my files are together, I have to save them on a memory stick and bring to the publisher. Since I had four days I took my time and decided to wait to save to the memory stick until Sunday. BIG MISTAKE.

Thursday morning I discovered that I couldn't save anything in Word. I did what computer experts have long suggested. I shut my pc down for a couple of hours. When I started it up again...you guessed it. Nothing happened. Dead. My first thought was that everything was lost.

Fortunately, my son knows me very well. He signed me up for automatic back-up Carbonite.com (thank you, thank you Bill) and everything on my computer is backed-up.

I spent the better part of today accessing my newspaper documents and pictures and saving them on my laptop. Now all I have to do is sort them and, of course, save them to the memory stick.

Of course, now my next project of scanning my menus will have to wait until I decide whether to install the scanner on my laptop or wait until I get my replacement computer. I was so looking forward to working on them. I even bought more frames, mats and backing for them.

At least nothing was lost.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Misleading Advertising

Today I received an email about a cruise in Lakes Erie, Huron and Superior. It looked so good that I called for information.

According to the email, they have limited single cabins available. Since I'm so spoiled that I don't like to share a room, I was thrilled. When I called, I was told that the single cabin was no longer available and I could go on a wait list, which I did.

Thinking that the rate would be the same as that listed as per person sharing a room. No, I was wrong. They still add a single supplement. I questioned why the single supplement since it would be a single cabin. I was told that the "single cabin" was actually a regular cabin made up for a single.

I would think they could do that for any cabin and not make it sound like they are doing a favor for a solitary traveler. It's just not fair. After all, singles use half the services of a couple.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quotes & History

Today in 933, German King Henry I beat Maagyaren at the Battle of Riade and in 1560, there was a failed assault on the royal palace in Amboise France. I know these bits of trivia because a few months ago I subscribed to worldofquotes.com.

Every morning I receive a quote like today's, "It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting for them on this earth". This was written by Joseph Conrad when he was writing on "Earth". Some of these quotes are thought provoking, some are silly. But, it is a nice way to start the day.

Recently, they started adding historical facts. Today, they had 406 facts starting in 493 when Theodorik the Great beat Odoaker of Italy and ending with 1999 when Pluto again became the outermost planet.

I don't always have the time to check all the events, actually I've never checked them, but I hope to some day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Two Thoughts

DRILL BABY DRILL! When will the president realize that having a domestic supply of oil is to our benefit. I realize that, even if we start drilling tomorrow, we won't see the oil for many years. It may though relax the futures' traders and speculators who are driving up the price of a gallon of oil. We do have enough in our own country. And, we won't be dependent on conditions in the Middle East.

Speaking of the Middle East and the riots there, congratulations to Governor Walker and the legislature of Wisconsin. They found a way to lessen the control of the unions. Those poor union workers will have to write a check for their dues each year, the government won't be automatically deducting them from employees paychecks and sending them onto the union. This is one of the collective bargaining "rights" taken from the unions. They can still bargain for salaries.

The behavior of the pro union and anti Walker groups is reprehensible. Last night, after the vote was taken, people started climbing through the windows and yelling. I've even heard that some of the legislators have received death threats. Don't get me started on the democrats who left the state because they didn't get their way on the bill. They acted like spoiled children having a temper tantrum. Did they hold their breath too?

With all this going on, where is the president? Why isn't he calling for civility? I know he has budget problems of his own, but he is giving tacit approval for this type of behavior. What will happen when the Republicans cut the country's budget? Will we have more protests and possibly riots in the streets?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lesson from a Messy Office

When I worked, I was notoriously known for my messy work area. I remember one time when my boss was expecting the chairman of the company. As she walked by my desk she told me to clean my desk quickly, even if it meant putting everything on the floor under my desk.

The only problem with my desk was aesthetic. The various piles of papers and files never interfered with my performance. I knew where everything was. I could pick out a letter or file at a moments' notice. No one could understand my system. That's known as job security.

Now that I'm retired, my office and desk are still messy. Usually I can find everything although it does take a little while. The other day I wanted to work on a new project.

I have some beautiful menus from a cruise I took to Bermuda on the Queen of Bermuda many, many years ago. I had been keeping the menus in a plastic bag in a drawer marked "Memorabilia". I went to the drawer and they weren't there. I checked every drawer. I couldn't find them. I've been trying to organize my office, but I knew I would not have thrown them out. I looked all over.

Finally I found them buried under some paper on my desk. Now, all I have to do is scan and print them. I don't want to use the originals since the cover has some very ornate drawings and the food selections inside are very interesting. I thought it would be nice to frame them and hang them on the wall from the dining room to the kitchen, right next to the bookcase holding my extensive cookbook collection.

I think I may have learned my lesson. It's time to clean my desk.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rising Prices

In a little less than 2 weeks, the price of gas has gone up 20 cents a gallon. My next worry about gas will be rationing. I remember the gas lines in the 70's and the odd and even days. I would take the car and wait on line for my turn at the pump and hope there would still be gas when I got there.

My son was about 3 at the time and he quickly caught on to the situation. He would line up all his cars, trucks and wagon and play "gas line". It seemed cute, but it also made me realize how quickly a child can pick up on current events and how they affect him.

Now the rising gas prices present another challenge - rising food prices. Back in the 70's and 80's I looked at the high prices as a challenge. A game to see how much I could save. I guess it's time to remember those money saving ideas.

I would stock up on sale items. Sometimes I would have as much as 6 boxes of cereal or pasta or 6 pounds of coffee. I even learned how to cup-up a chicken since a whole chicken cost less than chicken parts.

My situation is very different now. Instead of family of four, I live alone with my two cats. It's time to start the game of how much can I save on food this month. I figure if I cut back on the treats I buy and make smaller portions I can win two ways. I'll save money and lose weight (hopefully).

My first step is to do supermarket shopping only once a month unless I'm expecting company. I don't know about you, but I have never in my life just bought what I needed. There's always something else that looks good or is a great sale. I do look a little strange though when I buy 30 or 40 cans of regular cat food. In fact, one day some man asked me just how many cats I have. I said just two, but I don't like to shop too often.

What tricks do you have to win the game and beat the high cost of gas and grocries?

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Lately I've been watching Burnie more closely. I've discovered a lot about him that I never realized before.

I've always thought that he is the most laid-back cat I've ever known. I've had him for about six years and I have never heard his hiss or growl. He is a trouble-maker though. He teases Crash a lot. She seems to be afraid of him.

About two months ago I bought a small rug for the cats. There was only one in the store, so whenever Crash was sitting on it, Burnie wanted it. He would come close to Crash and after swinging at him, Crash would leave it.

Last week I bought another one. Crash sits on it first, the other is empty. As soon as Burnie enters the room, he goes right to Crash's rug. He only wants it because she has it.

Anyway, I discovered something else about him today. It doesn't make sense to give human qualities to cats, but I think Burnie understands time. This morning, he was waking me up as usual by tapping my head and "combing" my hair with his paw/claws. I wanted to sleep longer so I asked for 20 minutes more.

I went back to sleep and awoke 19 minutes later to find Burnie tapping my head to wake me up. Can he really tell time? Have I misjudged him? Is he really smarter than Crash?

'Tis a puzzlement.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vacation and Homework

A couple of weeks ago I received an email about a trip called, " In the Steps of Lewis & Clark". It sounded interesting, cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Oregon. I signed up for it.

When I received my confirmation, I also received a list of four books which are required reading and several others which would be informative. Whenever I travel somewhere for the first time, I usually buy a guide book or some other book on the area. That's voluntary, this is different. This is HOMEWORK!

I don't know if I can do any required reading any more. Now, I read for pleasure. Will my old rebellious side come out and avoid my homework until the very last minute - like reading on the flight to Oregon?