29 April 2009

New Wheels!

Hubby picked me up from work today and we went to Bicyclitis where we each got a new (to us) bike! Yay! I got a very 80s mountain bike -- a Kuwahara Parkway -- and Hubby got an manly looking red number complete with shocks on the front forks.

retro_lettering new_ride

It was short a pannier rack so I grabbed one of those too (and installed it this evening, despite having to scrounge for longer bolts than were supplied). Kiddo has a bike too -- we found one at Value Village last Friday -- so today Hubby also picked up (and added) training wheels and a big sproingy safety flag. We also went to Sports Traders to grab a rack for the van (to hold all three bikes) and new locks.


After adjusting things, I went for a quick loop around the block. Oh, how I missed that feeling! I hope to bike to work tomorrow; I expect it will take me about half an hour. I'll let you know.

28 April 2009

Me and Zombie McGee

This exercise was prompted by a friend's Facebook status -- she posted the line, "Zombie's just another word for nothing left to lose" and I immediately thought, "I could re-write that whole song." I told her so and now, here's my first attempt (with apologies to Kris Kristofferson, Fred Foster and Janis Joplin)...

I met him down in Baton Rouge, lookin for some brains,
His skin almost the colour of my jeans.
Zombie thumbed a diesel down, ate the driver’s brains,
Then rode us all the way to New Orleans.
Took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
And was blowin sad while Zombie sang the blues,
With them windshield wipers slappin time and
Zombie clappin hands we finally sang up every song
That Zombie knew.

Zombie’s just another word for nothin left to lose,
And nothin aint worth nothin but its free,
Feelin dead was easy, Lord, when Zombie sang the blues,
And buddy, that was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Zombie McGee.

From the coal mines of Kentucky to the California sun,
Zombie ate hitchhikers young and old,
Standin right beside me through everythin I done,
And every night his body felt so cold.
The somewhere near Salinas, Lord, I cut his head off clean,
He was lookin for more brains and eying mine,
Well I’d trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday,
Wishin' Zombie’s body was alive.

Zombie’s just another word for nothin left to lose,
And nothin aint worth nothin but its free,
Feelin dead was easy, Lord, when Zombie sang the blues,
And buddy, that was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Zombie McGee.

La la la, la la la la, la la la, la la la la
La la la la la Zombie McGee.
La la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la, Zombie McGee, la.

La La la, la la la la la la,
La La la la la la la la la, ain't no blood in my Zombie McGee yeah.
Na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na na na na
Hey now Zombie now, Zombie McGee, yeah.

Lord, I'm calling my lover, calling my man,
I said I'm calling my lover just a dead old man,
C'mon, hey now Zombie yeah, hey now Zombie McGee, yeah,
Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Zombie McGee, Lord!

Yeah! Whew!
Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Zombie McGee.

home today...

Took a sick day. Just a basic head/chest cold again but I am too foggy to focus at work and with all the swine flu panic, my coworkers were giving me pretty wide berth yesterday. Instead, I am reading through newsfeeds... and playing games on Facebook... and watching Donnie Darko (we bought The Director's Cut last weekend).

A couple of stories that amused me:

It's the first time in a long time that I've seen Donnie Darko. I remember being really impressed by it but there was so much I'd forgotten. It's an odd film... but our collection is full of odd, haunting, similar-feeling films: Final Destination, Butterfly Effect, Waking Life, and of course Southland Tales, another Richard Kelly film. There are aspects of the typical teen outcast film but those are largely overshadowed by meditations on philosophy, time travel, the existence of god, literary theory, good versus evil, human nature, and redemption. Yeah, there's a lot of layers in that movie.

27 April 2009

most bizarre auction ever....

From a Video...I Hope
Originally uploaded by Paulscheer
Recently a bunch of items from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch were auctioned off.... among them, this bust.

W. T. F. ??

If you can handle the weirdness, coloured by whatever lawsuits and tabloid reports you've heard over the past decade or so.... I highly recommend watching the whole slideshow.

26 April 2009


Our trip up-Island netted no free lawn ornaments but Micro-She (the GPS) did get us into one gargantuan argument (just fantastic as we had both Kiddo and my Mother in the van with us) as it sent us on a long trip along Shawnigan Lake road for no good reason and then tried to send us all the way around the lake -- another 20 km!! In fact, Hubby decided at only the last minute not to throw it out the window at high speed. Aside from that useless detour, the day was enjoyable. And we did get lawn ornaments at JYSK ($7 each; just a little over the $5 ceiling Hubby was hoping for).

At home, I tidied and vacuumed the basement, did lots of laundry, and started the cleaning upstairs. Today was more cleaning, tidying, furniture moving and all that. Hubby's birthday party went well, but in the midst of dinner I realized I hadn't bought or made him a cake (oops -- I made up for it by going out to grab Dairy Queen sundaes later). There were lots of kids around though most were old enough not to be underfoot. We had the decks cleared and ready for people but it ended up being cool enough that most wanted to eat indoors. Otherwise, I think everyone mostly enjoyed themselves.

This week I don't think there is anything major on our books... which is good. I plan to settle in to garden planning and planting (I picked up some great pamphlets which include lots of info on companion gardening), and maybe get back to some crafting or writing.

Bad parking giggle

Damn. Now I really want a torch to carry in the van...

24 April 2009

Change and no change....

Didn't get the job; at least got a call early in the day so I could get on with what I was doing. The person who was hired is likely a much better fit, I feel good about having gone through the process, and now I don't have to fret over upgrading my professional wardrobe; I can continue to wear my sassy Threadless tees. No change is fine.

A large part of the day was spent moving dirt (this is the change part). Hubby had started the process yesterday, I put a dent in it, and he pretty much finished it late in the day. We moved 5 cubic yards of dirt from our driveway into the three beds we'd already built, a new bed I built today (5'x3' for lettuce and spinach) , and a big old pile beside the fence into which we tucked a bunch more potatoes.

I added up our total square footage of raised beds -- we have 136 square feet of garden space (a little less, maybe because the 8x8 plot is pretty large and hard to get into the middle) plus the weird tire-beds in the front and a few more piles of potato growing craziness around the yard. Now I have to plan where everything is going (I have a good idea, but need to check things like soil acidity and various other tolerances) and get ready to garden! Even with all this, we still have plenty of room in our back yard:


I love our yard. :)

23 April 2009

Wait, it's Thursday already?

(Oh heck. It was Thursday when I started writing this; it's just past midnight now, so it is officially Friday.)

This has been one busy week - and continues to be. Work has been full of tasks that are heavy on the time they take and the physical side but light on the brain function required. Today I had my usual hour-long webinar class on Photoshop CS4 (totally free -- offered by Creative Techs in Seattle) but prior to that I had an interview for another job in the library. The position is at a much higher level and is in public services but with a tech and training slant. I should know by the weekend, or possibly early next week whether or not I am the successful candidate. If not, I still have my current job so it's all good.

Tonight I am off to see got to see The Killers in concert -- so exciting! The last concert I went to was Blue Man Group and really, I don't think that counts as a rock concert. We also took our niece for her first ever concert (she's 16) and she seemed to be pretty excited about it all. The opening act was Wild Light -- kind of a Killers/Coldplay hybrid -- unremarkable for the most part though they did have one song I enjoyed. Of course that was the one they didn't name. Sigh. The Killers started strong, worked in some newer songs in the middle, then ended with three of my favourite tunes: Read My Mind (I love this song soooo much; I listen to it almost daily), Mister Brightside, and All These Things That I've Done (that's the one that goes, "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" -- I can't separate that from Justin Timberlake, though, thanks to Southland.) They also came back for an encore with Bones, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, and When You Were Young, complete with pyrotechnics. A few times I just closed my eyes and smiled, feeling the pounding bass course through my whole body. Worth. Every. Dime.

Tomorrow, I will be moving as much of the 5 yards of dirt we had delivered today from our driveway to the raised beds. Saturday we are off to Nanaimo, in search of garden ornaments for zombification, and Sunday is Hubby's birthday so we are celebrating with food, friends and family.

17 April 2009

Friday Follies undead edition

Star used to regularly write "Friday Follies" posts and seldom a Friday goes by when I don't think about them and how wise she was to post every Monday and Friday (coincidentally the days when my page views here are also highest.) So, here for you are some fun, silly, and interesting things out there on the web:

  • Spelling with Zombies. Much better than those glitter words applications and you get results like this:

    Zombie Letters from e-zombie.com

  • Speaking of (un)dead... how about bookshelves which convert into a coffin after you're gone?

  • Or maybe you just feel a little undead and could use some caffeine. I'm looking forward to trying out this method of cold-brewing coffee concentrate for summer iced coffees. However, I really want to point you toward one of the most beautiful espresso maker designs ever: the Otto. I love designs that are so bold they look like nothing that has come before; the Otto definitely fits that bill.

  • And finally, some video fun....classic Ray Harryhausen stop-motion skeletons from 1963:

16 April 2009

Stress relief.

It's been that kind of week, even though it is truncated.

On Tuesday, I made the last-minute decision to apply for another job in the library -- not because I don't like the job I have, but the other position (at much higher payband) has a variety of duties and responsibilities that are a good fit with my skill-set. It was the first time I had to use the new online resume-builder that is built in to uHire (the University's job posting interface) and that proved to be a little bit of a challenge. Now I keep wondering if I proofread everything enough times. No word yet on when interviews will be scheduled.

Tuesday evening, I tried to take my mind off the resume by sorting more stuff for the yard sale this weekend. (If you are in Victoria, drop by! Head for Finlayson and Quadra and follow the signs.) We have a small mountain of boxes but I still feel like it isn't everything that should be going...

Yesterday work was a constant stream of interruptions -- largely Union-related issues -- so I left feeling like I hadn't accomplished much. Still, last night was a treat for us: one of our favourite restaurants, Eugene's recently relocated from downtown to Gordon Head and they quietly opened for business yesterday in the new location.

Then last night I crossed one BIG item off my to-do list. It's been on my list for well over a year and I started working on it earnestly last fall but the Drupal-ized version of my Unofficial Guide to Victoria is now live. It's far from ready for the big leagues; there's lots and lots of work left to do but the basic frame is there and I can stop being embarassed by how out-of-date the old site was. So go ahead, check it out, and let me know what you think. I can tell you that I plan to add more photos, longer reviews, and possibly a blog or similar section where I can add opinion pieces and local history articles but I also want to be more responsive to readers and those who use the site!

Today started out OK but quickly went to hell -- around noon, Kiddo's school phoned; she'd been sent to the office with an "angry looking eye infection" eww. A trip to the clinic and pharmacy preceded an hour long ordeal between the two of us trying to get eyedrops into our child's right eye. Not fun.

This evening we all needed to get out of the house so we checked out the new Lee Valley Tools in Colwood. Just the recipe; I feel much better now.

12 April 2009

Happy Easter!

It's Easter morning which, around here, means an egg hunt before dinner with Hubby's family. In my continuing quest to find stuff other than candy to put in the eggs, I decided to split a LEGO set up and hide it for her. Don't fret, she got some candy, too... just not a mountain of candy.


It took her almost no time (certainly less time than it took me to hide them) and now she is merrily building a drag racer from the LEGO.

But what else have we been doing? It's been almost a week since I last posted! Well, we've been sorting stuff for the yard sale and trying to source dirt for the raised beds. We've fallen behind where I wanted to be for planting, but there's still time. We got a truckload of "busted up sod" delivered for free but getting the grass out of the dirt has been a huge challenge. On the plus side, I bought some compost accelerator a while back and it has been working wonders on our compost -- it should be ready to spread in the beds very soon.

Yesterday, I mowed the lawn (first time it was dry enough to do so) and it looks good. The day before, I discovered to my delight that there was rhubarb dormant in the back yard which I had unknowingly insulated by covering the area with leaves last fall. I had been gradually using the leaves to layer the compost and had finally cleared enough away for the rhubarb to sprout through! Yay!


04 April 2009

Precious memories take up too much damned space.

Months after moving in and many more months after we started to fill the self storage locker we are almost done emptying it. Hubby made one stuffed-to-the-roof van-run today and we spent much of the day opening, emptying, merging and sorting the stuff in the boxes.


I also shuffled a lot of stuff around in what we call our cold room -- a little storage area more or less under the front stairs. In the process I found a few treasures and a lot of clutter. I am honestly at a loss for what to do with some of this stuff. One of the several organization books I own (yes, I am embarrassed to admit that I own multiple books on decluttering) suggested taking photos of some of the stuff that lives in the keepsake boxes then get rid of the stuff but keep the photos. To some extent, this makes sense. I really don't need that New Kids on the Block fashion doll that is still in its box... and yet it's still sitting under a pile of other stuff I don't really need. Eventually, I will sort all that stuff out -- some of it will end up in the yard sale in two weeks.

The bigger problem is some of the other clutter. The remaining texts from my plumbing courses more than a decade ago; a mountain of greeting cards; schoolwork; stacks of photos that weren't good enough to put in a photo album but aren't lousy enough to throw out; that kitchen gadget I asked for and got for Christmas then only used once.

There are memories attached to each of those things, some more precious than others. Where does one draw the line? True, for each box I opened, there was something inside that made me smile... but overall, I ended up feeling defeated by the Stuff.

And there's 40 more boxes in that storage locker. Sigh.

01 April 2009

Trying something new...

Since unearthing my stash of knitting needles, I wanted to knit something. I still haven't decided what to do with the green wool so I hauled out a bundle of chunky chenille style yarn, grabbed the last print issue of Craft and looked through my needle stash for 8mm dpns (double pointed needles). I had a 7.5mm set which I decided was close enough if I knit the larger size of the pattern for Knit Gradient Mitts.


I had no idea at all what I was doing with all those needles but the pattern for fingerless gloves is ridiculously straightforward otherwise (just knit stitch) and I further stupid-proofed it by omitting the stripes (mainly because I only had one colour of yarn). I am making some progress, slowly, and regardless of whether my technique is sound, the end product seems to look the way I expected it to look.


I don't think I will ever consider knitting with dpns relaxing (Amy's description of "wrestling an octopus" keeps popping to mind), and I don't think I'll be knitting in public with dpns until I can compare my technique to someone else's.... but it is good to remind myself that I understand enough about knitting to be able to pick up a new tool and make it work by just applying what I do know.