Sunday, October 21, 2007

Autunm Rambles

Today was autumn perfected. The weather was amazing, sunny and warm with temperatures in the 70s! The leaves all around are ablaze with color. Since my hubby abandoned me, on this glorious day, to go play with his friends; I decided to climb faithful Mt. Philo.

Since Mt. Philo is only 968 feet above sea level, it makes for a good, short workout (45 minutes to an hour of walking up the road or light to moderate hiking up the trail). It's outdoor recreation that fits easily into my schedule and provides gorgeous views of Lake Champlain.

Upon my arrival at Mt Philo State Park, the driveway was blocked by emergency vehicles and orange cones. Strange. I thought. So I parked my car across the street, changed into my trail shoes and crossed over Mt. Philo Road.

I was greeted by a pleasant woman who informed me that the park was closed to hikers all weekend because there were cars doing "time trials". How disappointing. She proceeded to tell me that they did it every year on the same weekend in October. Who knew?

Further investigation led me to the Sports Car Club of Vermont's webpage where I found the annual "Hillclimb" on Mt. Philo. I also found the New England Hillclimb Association where I discovered these events happen all over Vermont as well as my beloved Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. I wonder if they tell people that they can't hike Mt. Washington on those days?

What a drag. :) So I tried to use the situation to my advantage. I visited the Shelburne Country Store, where I bought maple chocolate fudge, maple sugar candy and some King Arthur Flour whole grain chocolate waffle mix. I then visited the Flying Pig Bookstore, where I had to resist buying some really cool books; in particular 600 Black Spots, a totally awesome pop-up book.

All dressed up with no place to go, I drove back towards town and headed for Red Rocks Park. With my fancy digital camera in hand I wandered through the woods, taking pictures of the lake, mountains, trees, leaves and other plants. I explored paths I had never been on before, and found a number of dead ends, but it didn't matter. Everywhere I turned it was gorgeous.

What a beautiful day for walk in the woods by the lake.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

!kresreB enoG s'retupmoC yM !pleH (Help! My Computer's Gone Berserk!)

Last week my computer literally went berserk. It did everything backwards.

Everything I typed was backwards (online and with word processing software) and when I tried to check the TV schedule with my trusty online TV site, it scrolled backwards through the TV grid!

Here is my desperate chat with my hubby (do ignore the poor syntax):

September 17, 2007
9:13 AM me: iH
9:14 AM sdrawkcab abag ngnipyt won si enihcam ym suriv a aevah dluoc kniht uoy od
Chris: olleH
me: ysub
Chris: are you kidding me??? typing backward????
me: puy
9:15 AM Chris: did you reboot?
me: puy
Chris: I have a meeting right nowish... I thin kit's something. Do a search on the computer room computer for ideas.. I've never heard of such a thing
9:16 AM me: ko

In the end I ended up reading the link Chris sent me, installing a new version of AdAware, and updating my Avast! virus software. However, I'm not sure either one of those things necessarily fixed anything. Since I was also having trouble with the track pad on my laptop, I plugged in my wireless USB mouse, and from that point on, no problems . . . .

By 10 AM all was well. :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

School's Out

School's out for the summer. Yippee!

We packed up all the papers, folders, journals, art projects and other miscellaneous items, tossed them in backpacks and grocery bags, and sent the children on their way. By 11:30 they were on the busses, in their parents' SUVs or on their bikes, headed for home as we waved goodbye on this gorgeous sunny day.

I'm looking forward to the chance to work on some quilting projects, tend the garden, "spring" clean the apartment, read some good books, visit the family and hang with my hubby.

Summer vacation is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Trouble with Cars. . .

New cars are great. They look cool; modern, shiny and super clean. That distinctive new car smell. I personally like the peace of mind of knowing that almost anything that goes wrong with the car is someone else's problem to fix, and will only cost me some of my time. We have a new car, a Subaru, and I really like it. It has yet to give me any problems.

Then there's our not-so-new car, the Honda Civic. I really love that car. It is very well thought out. It's not perfect, but the engineering is impressive. We've had the car for almost four years, and it's lost some of its sparkle. In the past four years its been through a lot. It has many dings and two very large dents from falling ice and snow. It has been broken into to twice and in the first robbery sustained a broken window, torn seat and chipped paint, resulting in repainting of the rear passenger door. The windshield is currently a mess. Chip #1 happened within a month of owning it, followed by another a few months later. There is a crack in the windshield that has managed to make it through 2 inspections, which we have been psyched about. Rust spots are appearing left and right, and there is a scratches on the rear bumper, driver's door and trunk. In other words, there is an abundance of cosmetic imperfections.

On the day known as Easter, we received a giant, dime-sized, chip to the windshield, which quickly grew when (ahem) my husband pushed on it. . . and has grown slightly since. Today it grew some more, and is now peeking out from under the sun visor, indicating that we will have to replace it sometime soon. I noticed this new growth on my way for the 55,000 mile oil change, and was feeling a little bummed that our car wasn't as new as it used to be.

Then I ran over something on VanSicklen Road that made a horrible sound. It sounded like I scraped off the whole bottom half of my car. I looked in the rear view mirror, and didn't see anything of consequence, so I continued to drive. Then I started hearing strange noises. I quickly realized the noises were emanating from my vehicle, and I pulled over to check it out. I had a flat tire. Damn. (Using gmaps pedometer I discovered I drove over 3 miles before I noticed the flat.)

I figured I was on my way to the Honda dealer anyway . . . so I kept driving. I stopped a second time when the noise got worse. I was closer now, so I kept driving. I didn't think it was possible but the noise got even worse, the kind of noise where strangers stare at you. Then the car started acting strangely on curves and turns, and then I encountered a little bit of rattling as I approached the dealership. That tire did not smell good. I was stupid enough to touch it, it was hot! (In hindsight, I understand about the friction, etc., but I just didn't think about it at the time.) All said and done, I drove approximately 6.5 miles on that flat tire.

The nice people at the Honda dealership put the "donut" on my car and advised me to get a replacement tire, citing that my current tire was not repairable, but they put it in my trunk nonetheless.

I raced home (well, as much as you can race on a donut) and called Costco, since I had purchased my tires there. The man on the phone said he had my tire in stock, but his first appointment time was on Monday! I tried to impart my dilemma, and how I was driving around on a tiny tire and he did some checking for me. He said if I came right away, they could fit me in! I drove right over in 5:00 traffic and was out of there by 6:00, after spending the majority of my time sitting in a display patio chair and reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. To my amazement, they didn't charge me for the tire! (It was a little more than a year old, and I use snow tires, which they gave me two new ones of in November, due to one torn bead.) Thank you Costco!

So, that was about four hours worth of my afternoon. Now it's time to replace that windshield.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

In My Next Life I Want to Be a Cat

As I sit here on the sofa stressing about finances, trying not to over schedule myself and second-guessing recently submitted job applications; I glance over at my cats.

They are sitting on the sofa calm and chill. Do they worry about anything?

I really do think cats have it made. They act friendly, we pet them. They scratch, we let them out. They puke, we clean it. They poop, we clean it. They meow, we feed them. They nudge, once again, we pet.

Yet, we totally accept the notion that they often prefer to be left alone, and (guess what) we let them be. I think the only things my cats want that they don't have are freedom (we keep them imprisoned inside) and one of those giant carpet covered cat towers (they don't have any rich kitty friends to tell them what they're missing).

Yup, I could lounge around the house, sleeping on anything soft, or at least anything that's not the actual floor. I could lick plastic (Modem *loves* plastic.) I could act pissy when someone tries to pick me up. I could chase shiny things, lights and bugs. I could even pay attention to my human friends at my convenience, if I felt like it.

Cats have it made.

In my next life I wan to be a cat.

Modem in a box, or just not on the actual floor.
Prince Omar (enough said).

Monday, May 21, 2007

i am not that kind of girl

i am not that kind of girl

Where does the name come from?

My husband has been urging me for a couple years to create my own blog. In his opinion I have some interesting thoughts, and musings; not to mention the fact that bizarre things seem to happen to me.

So I had yet another strange experience recently, and once again he suggested I write it in a blog.


Then I needed help to set it up. I had no idea about all the decisions I would have to make! Title, layout, do I want people to have my email address, etc. It was a bit overwhelming. I was ready to write, I didn't need all the red tape.

We were working on the title, when my hubby asked me a question, to which I snapped in exasperation: "I am not that kind of girl!" He smiled at me and said, "There you go, you've got a name."

Note: The title is meant to be written in all lowercase letters, I just like it better that way.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Rendezvous with Rocky

Thursday, April 12, 2007
Burlington, VT

It was a sloppy, snowy Thursday afternoon. I returned home, parked the Honda in the driveway and was removing my bags from the front passenger side seat, just a normal day. Or so it seemed . . . .

Suddenly, I felt something grabbing on my left leg. I looked down. What the hell! What is going on here? A giant raccoon was grabbing my leg and making crazy grunting and snorting noises.

Needless to say, I screamed my head off! Luckily, this scared the raccoon and it turned tail and ran away. I prefer to refer to the situation I found myself in as an attack. Although, the term has been challenged by so-called friends. :)

Thankfully, it didn't bite or scratch me. It literally just grabbed me. Later research revealed that raccoon are not only incredibly smart, but can be rather vicious as well.

Two college girls who had just parked their red car on the street saw it too, and they ran away to their porch. After hearing my screams, my husband came downstairs to investigate the commotion. Naturally, he made fun of me and then proceeded to question the validity of my experience.

I ran upstairs and immediately called my landlord. Being that it was after 4PM, I left a stern and rather scattered message. (It was clear from the tracks in the snow that the raccoon had leapt out from a dilapidated garage.) Then seeing the humor and absurdity I called my parents to share my story. (I should have guessed that my dad had had a raccoon encounter as a teenager.)

Later, I called the police department and spoke to an animal control officer. She suggested the raccoon had found a food source, and that it was mating season. This meant that it could be mother with babies, or a rather confused oversexed animal. At the urging of co-workers I then proceeded to call the state rabies hotline and then the state veterinarian (due to the fact that the rabies hotline guy thought the situation was of epidemiological interest).

Had I simply spooked the raccoon, or was it trying to mate with me?