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Thu, May 31st - 10:41PM


The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
110.2 miles
warm, COLD at night!

65 recordings of 19 types. 60% clear.

Don Surber: Dear PolitiFact, the first (and only) budget Obama signed into law was FY 09 -- not FY 10,, you cheap lying b*****ds. EVIL.

The Ultimate Dark Horse
Nobody is challenging Obama in the primaries--and doing surprisingly well.


Michael Wells Two truths necessary to understand the liberal thinking mindset. First, if liberals don't like reality; it is reality that much[sic] change (see homosexual marriage, etc.). Second, to change reality you need multiple (and often overlapping) government programs based on multiple "studies" to change reality.

Unions, Democrats, and Wisconsin.
Democrats have made it known that they tried to warn the unions against picking this fight in the first place.  By now, it’s too late to do much.

Venomous Kate: Of f**k yes, he is.[financing 0bamacare on the back of Veterans]. My husband retired from military service after 25 years (but we couldn't raise a family on his retirement pay). Due to his MOS, he was able to get his current job, which meant we had to relocate, and we gladly did so. Due to his job, he's missed birthdays, anniversaries and surgeries. We didn't complain. He was glad to continue serving his country. And now? Now, thanks to Obama's budget, his job is going to get cut. We'll be fine, but I feel for the families of my husband's coworkers who'll now have to do double (unpaid, because they're salary) the work to handle the jobs they're doing now along with the responsibilities of those who're being let go.

But, HEY, we got to send the Obamas on a number of vacations far, far more often -- and far, FAR nicer -- than we've ever taken. EVER.

The toaster spring is beginning to go out, just like the last one of this type that we had.  Rich insisted on getting this new one, while I was OK with holding the lever down. I'm not getting a new one this time, at least for awhile.

Today I played Scrabble with the WPAC ladies.  We had three tables of three, and the table I was at was just FAST.  We played 5 games in the time everyone else played 3.  Of course, only the first three counted, and one of our ladies won the Starbucks gift card. But she's Mormon, so it was no good to her. Again, I was middle of the pack. I did help the other players a couple of times, showing one how to get to a triple word score and another where her Q could go.  One lady, the overall winner, started one of our games by putting down a 7-letter word!  EXPORTS.  This started her with 80 points.  Anyway, it was a fun time.

Vince called.  Niki is taking some time off work, and says she's a "kept woman."  It's the only way to go. 

I'd kind of thought about going to the Memorial Day event at La Sierra, but I just can't.

The cactus flowers are stunning.


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Tue, May 29th - 9:12PM

May 24: Babysitting

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
110.2 miles

64 recordings of 20 types. 61% clear.

"Uncommitted". Heh.

I forgot to mention the fight and arrest yesterday. We were waiting for the train when voices were raised across the street.  There were three RT cops there, but soon they were joined by at least 6 police cars, a paddy wagon (parked on the tracks) and I lost count of how many police officers.  They handcuffed a woman, and popped her into a car, and the guy who was doing all the yelling was just sitting down as we left. Interesting, but I'm glad it was across the street.

Today I was babysitting down at Bernadette's.  She has to move Joanna's seat over to my car, as Gareth is two pounds too little for the booster seat. (I think the booster doesn't have 5 points anyway, so not as good as it could be.) I drove over and picked Gareth up, brought them home, fed them, and kept them from destroying themselves until Robert came home. Gareth has an iPad, but at least he has a 20-minute limit on it.  Later I saw him sucking on a suction cup. Eeek!

The handyman called and said he hasn't called earlier because he was taking his wife back and forth to the hospital. This was on the answering machine so I didn't voice my first selfish thought ("oh, no, I'll never get the bathroom built!")

My new homeowner's insurance policy came. I get a 10% discount because I also have my auto policy with them, and another 10% because of not submitting any claims (for quite some time. About 10 or 15 years ago the wind blew our roof off and we had a claim then for that and the fence that went down too.)

And there was a fatal accident at Pope and Watt, just around the corner.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, The Lonely Furrow, Norah Lofts, Galapagos, a Natural History, Michael H. Jackson, Death, the Final Surrender, Fr. Cedric Pisegna.

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Mon, May 28th - 10:11PM

May 23: A Blindside

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
110.2 miles

76 recordings of 19 types. 55% clear.

Heh. Rough Night… Obama Loses 36 Arkansas Counties to Unknown Democrat – Loses 66 Kentucky Counties to “Uncommitted”

Jim Treacher: "Obama doesn't believe you're smart enough to choose a car or health insurance or even light bulb without the gov't."

Disgusting pigs. I hope she sews for tens of millions. (I forget what the story is, I just like this spelling of "sues.")

Jim Treacher: Refusing to vote for the guy who vowed to destroy one of your state's biggest industries is... can you guess? (The answer is, of course, Raaaaacist.)

Today Ron surprised me by offering to pick me up. So we got to the light rail station way early. So we walked the long way around the Capitol, which was interesting because it was "Science" day and there were bazillions of kids at various stations learning about rocks or bugs or chemistry or physics. We also looked at the roses again. Still beautiful.

The concert was Chris Goslow, doing piano and some singing, classical, rags, and pop.  In the program he had "Boogie Woogie Bugel Boy" which of course I read as "Bagel Boy" and later the guy actually said that, so I'm guessing he really thinks it's spelled that way, and didn't just make a typo.

I enjoyed the whole concert till he sang "Till There was You" from Music Man and suddenly I was in tears.  It wasn't particularly a favorite musical or song for Rich and me, but I just related to the words: "there were bells on the hill, but I never heard them ringing, no I never heard them at all, till there was you." I guess I'm not hearing them again. I miss Rich so much.

Oh, well.  Afterwards we walked down to Old Sacramento again: as long as the weather's good, might as well go for Ron's favorite place (Joe's Crab Shack.) Then on the train on the way home, he offered me his wife's bike and helmet. I had to think about it for awhile (I do still have the tricycle), but I think it's a great idea.

At home I showed him the cacti I keep talking about. So that was a nice afternoon.

The grief support group topic was about rebuilding your life. I felt much more like I was ready to hear it this time, not like a three months ago when this one, in particular, really bothered me. I didn't feel like I could plan the rest of my life... not even the rest of my week!  I'm a little better now.

0bama's Denver Speech falls flat.

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Mon, May 28th - 6:33PM

May 22: A Day With Pagan

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
106.0 miles
hot, windy

74 recordings of 20 types.  56% free/

Jim Treacher: Hey, everybody, you should worry more about how the Romneys spend their own money than how the Obamas spend yours.

Jennifer Rubin:

I confess that not in my wildest dreams did I imagine President Obama’s campaign would be so awful. Oh sure, I knew it would be “awful” in the sense of going negative, being disingenuous and blaming everyone for his failings. But I was taken by surprise by how “awful,” in the sense of incompetent and ham-handed, it has been.

Pastor Manning to Obama: 'If you had a son, would he act like Trayvon?'

If you had a son, would he also act like Trayvon? Would he have been expelled from school because of marijuana use? Would he have been smoking pot, theoretically, possibly on the night?... Would he jump on someone smaller than himself and begin to beat them to within an inch of their life?
...Congress needs to issue a statement that the deaths and the beatings that have taken place all across America now where black thugs are attacking white people and saying 'This is Justice for Trayvon'. Those beatings and those deaths are laid at your feet Mr. Obama. You and Al Sharpton... And these people that have been beaten up ... ought to get themselves some good lawyers and bring lawsuits against you.. the NAACP.. Al Sharpton... for damages because they stirred this racial pot.

A Ravening Justice.

I had breakfast with the WPAC ladies this morning. Nice conversations.

I weeded the garlic a bit this morning, then just before Pagan came I got out the hand truck and moved the two huge succulents off the porch. If he'd come just a minute earlier, he could have helped me, and I could have used it, but it worked out all right. Amazing how much more I can see out the windows.  Somewhere I have a twirly thing Monica gave us that I want to put out on the porch.... Somewhere.

Pagan brought me a really nice 3D book of Galapagos wildlife. He told me he doesn't want to drive me to the geocache party in Lodi on Friday.  Karma.  It's my punishment for not going to the funeral tomorrow.  So I posted on the website that I won't be attending
 since I don't want to drive home in the dark. Sigh. I'll never get to 7900!

We went to lunch at Linda's Pizzeria.  This place is a spinoff of Zelda's , downtown, which we tried last year and which was a disappointment (dark, poor service, and just OK food.)  Everyone raves about their pizza, though, so I wanted to try it. Linda's was busy, light, had good service, and the pizza was fantastic. I'll have to write a TripAdvisor review of it.  Yum.

Then I wanted to go to Thunder Valley and get a player's card. Pagan was bored, but I only played for a half-hour. (Got $5 from them, and lost $10 over all.)  I'm told Wednesdays are half-price buffets for seniors, so I'll do that sometimes. (When I don't want to go to the concerts.)

Then we stopped at a cache Rich and I couldn't find last August, and because I now knew where it was, it was a quick find.  Although it took Pagan to point out that there was a tool right there to push it out of the hole it was in. I wonder if I would have ever figured that out by myself.

After Pagan dropped me off, I went to the store to get a couple of salads for the funeral, and I dropped them off with Laurie so I don't have to take them over tomorrow.  She offered me a glass of wine... someday I'll have to walk over so I can do it.

I changed over, reluctantly, to summer jammies.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, death spins a platter, Ellery Queen, Galapagos, a Natural History, Michael H. Jackson, Death, the Final Surrender, Fr. Cedric Pisegna.

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Sun, May 27th - 7:47AM

May 21: Guilt Trip

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
105.9 miles

76 recordings of 21 types. 56% left.

This [Obama] is a guy who literally is walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch of leadership.” (Chris Christie.)

Born in Kenya?  (I don't see that would make a difference, since his mother was an American. But like Warren's "Indian heritage", it's interesting.)

I went to Mass this morning and discovered that someone I know from Sharing God's Bounty lost her mother while I was gone and the funeral will be Wednesday. I don't want to go on Wednesday, that's the day I like going down to the concerts, and I missed last week.

So when I was called to bring food to the reception, I said I would (and found out that lady's husband, one of Rich's friends, is getting much sicker) but that I wouldn't go to the funeral. So I was feeling guilty when Roni asked again for me to babysit the first week of June so that R.J. wouldn't have to be alone with his kids. (He wants to go to Chicago with her and they've pulled a lot of strings so that he can... I was the last string.) I reluctantly said "yes" but she owes me big time. (I'm missing something here that I wanted to do.) I've adjusted, now that I've figured out how she can repay me (take me to the airport and pick me up when I go on the Galapagos trip.)


This evening I drove to Woodland and got a couple of caches before going to the geocaching party. I was sitting with friends, and enjoying it well enough, and then a guy from Davis came in.  He returned my hug, though he seemed a bit surprised, and then looked around and asked "Is Rich here?"  He was horrified when I told him Rich had died and apologized for asking. No, I kind of liked it. It was proof that he hadn't forgotten Rich. I got home before it was dark, so all in all a good party.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Heaven is for Real, Todd Burpo, Galapagos, a Natural History, Michael H. Jackson, Death, the Final Surrender, Fr. Cedric Pisegna.

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Sat, May 26th - 5:34PM

May 20: Home Again

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
105.4 miles
sunny, hot

71 recordings of 21 types. 58% clear.

Judith Weiss: Once I made a list of the 4 stages of Liberal Obama Denial:
1) He didn't do it
2) ok maybe he did, but they all do that
3) Bush did it even more
4) you're a racist for even mentioning it

I left Monica's about 7:30 and went looking for caches. It was a bad start, with a no-find at the first one, but then I made up for it by finding the one in Confidence.  Then I overshot parking on the next one, so went on to a viewpoint over the New Melones and did the virtual there.  Then I thought I would head straight to Jackson, but then I saw all the miners' laundry hanging like banners over the main street of Angel's Camp.  So I stopped to take pictures.  I also got some of the "walk of fame" of the frog jump winners.  Dan'l Webster jumped 0'0".  In the '60s the jumps were like Monica's frog, not the 20' or so of nowadays.

DSC01009     The Angel's Camp Hop of Fame     DSC01012

Then I looked for a cache in Jackson, but again I couldn't locate the proper parking. (It's named after a parking space, but I couldn't see the numbers.) So, after all those years of taking Bernadette up and down from camp, once I got into Jackson I knew the route home, no problem. I had a cache marked in Drytown. 

Shortly I noticed I wasn't getting any closer, in fact I was getting farther away. I pulled off and turned the GPSr to the map screen. Uh-oh, somehow I'd missed my turn and was on highway 88 (heading to Stockton. Noooooo!) I pulled a U-turn and went back half a mile to the turn to Ione.  From there I knew my way to the Jackson highway.  Past the black powder range where Rich had such a good time, and the Van Vleet Ranch where he and the Boy Scouts (and I) camped.  Rich found some "cannonballs" there that he really liked.  I began Vince's driving lessons there. LOTs of memories. 

I passed Rancho Murieta, more memories and tears, and somehow missed the entrance to Davis Ranch (I would have bought a couple of things).  The last time we were there was August, picking up late slough-house corn. Rich wasn't really enjoying food at that time, and I froze a lot in the hopes that he'd like them later.

Oh, well, I've got to go to these places eventually, and the first time is the hardest. This was actually a better route home. 111 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes including caching and sight-seeing time.

When I got home, the pets were fine, and to my surprise and delight, the grass seed I put out in back grew! It's patchy, but it grew!!

I got home in time to go to the Sunday Support group. I ran into a new guy in the parking lot so introduced him.  Afterwards I went to the restaurant with the people, and got out in time for the eclipse. I got a couple of pictures of the crescent shadows. I think they look like peacock feathers. Nifty!

Annular Eclipse

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Fri, May 25th - 6:22PM

May 19: Ribbit!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
105.4 miles
sunny, hot

Today we went to the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. We worked our way over to the frog jumping and Monica and the girls signed up to jump frogs. I just wanted to watch.  I enjoyed watching the real competition (with people's own frogs, not a borrowed one.) 

The girls aren't familiar with the story and don't know who Mark Twain is.  Once they made it to the head of the line, Monica gave her frog an air kiss, and it did jump farther than the girls' frogs, but nobody cared much. 

DSC00964     DSC00969

Then we went down below the stage to the "spa" where these frogs are kept during the jubilee.  Then they're returned to their "ranches."  The frogs jump only once a day. I imagine they lose some to escape (in this heat they wouldn't last long) or accident, but they do take good care of these amphibians.  For the competition, people have their own frog transport, and the judges check the water temperature (too warm and the frogs jump farther, it's unfair like using steroids in baseball.) In the spa they get lots of crickets. 

Monica had read a review of this event that was fairly lukewarm. However, we found it to be a typical county fair, except for the frogs.  And the frogs were everything we wanted.  Also, we saw an osprey and nest, as well as acorn woodpeckers feeding their babies. (Hop down the pole till you find a full hole, pull out the acorn and take it back to the nest hole, and start beating on it till you crack it for the chicks.)

On the way home we stopped at "Mark Twain's cabin", which isn't, it was one he stayed at for some weeks, but never mind. I couldn't remember if I'd been here (I decided probably not: I probably saw it on Huell Howser) and I spent a little time poking around in likely places for a geocache.  Turns out there is one there (but I didn't find it because of the spiderwebs).  On the way back down the hill, we saw an emu.

At the cabin, Monica put up a couple of hammock chairs, and I decided to go caching. I found one a half mile away, but didn't find parking for the second one. A nice dinner, the kids went to bed, and Monica and I, tired, also went fairly early. They're leaving at 8 tomorrow. 

I was a little worried that I got so tired. I have to have more stamina for the Galapagos trip!!

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Fri, May 25th - 12:29AM

May 18: To Mi-Wuk Village

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
104.2 miles
sunny, 80s, cool in the mountains

59 recordings of 15 types. 63% clear.

I almost caught up with this blog, but of course then Things Happened and I got way behind again.

Mark, the handyman, called with an estimate for the job on the back bathroom, and it's $1500, which includes the toilet and installation. I thought I'd pay at least that before buying the toilet and having it installed!  Yay!

I went to the Zoo today to meet Gareth's class, Bernadette, Joan, and Joanna. On the way, I was thinking about how Rich was always talking me up, so proud of me. Even on our honeymoon, at the La Brea Tar Pits, he said "she's a paleontologist" to one of the guys digging out a bone.

When I got to the zoo, I almost forgot to lock the car. Holy Toledo, that's a LOT of kids!! There were a lot of schools there. Gareth's class was a little different. Every kid had a parent (or in G's case, a parent and two grandmothers!) so we didn't have to meet at a set time and all leave.

Joanna was clingy and didn't want to walk until she saw an ostrich.  "Duck!" she proclaimed. From then on, she was interested in the zoo.  Especially the  giraffes. And the manhole covers.

I managed to get Gareth to actually climb on the fiberglass frog this time and to walk (holding my hand) on the tongue.

Gareth wanted to ride the train, but it didn't start till later, but he decided he wanted to ride on the carousel.  Joanna was back to clingy and tired, and held onto Bernadette and cried. Gareth (on a giraffe) was all smiles this time.

DSC00923     DSC00934

They came back here to the house so that Bernadette and Joan could go look at the booksale.  Then they stuck around a while, and I kicked them out in time for me to pack.

And off to Monica's cabin in Mi-Wuk village.  I got the pets set up, and packed the car, and off I went.  I forgot the map I'd found of the area, and the camera batteries which I was recharging. Oh, well.

Triggers along the way (south on 99 to Salida, then over to 108 and on up to the mountains) included Pollardville, the ruins, and Oakdale, with a memory of a couple of cache runs there.  There was a Knights of Columbus memorial to unborn children along the way.  And a big sign that there was a detour at Oakdale for a special event.  Fortunately, at 5:30, when I was there, the event was over and they were taking down the cones and all. There was Knight's Ferry, which I remembered as I passed... we found a couple of caches down there. I did stop and look at an earth cache, though the glare made it hard.

Jedediah Smith was very prominent here (as in all of Northern California and Oregon.) I'm really annoyed that one of the schools is thinking of changing their name because old Jedediah was a slave owner.  Political Correctness shouldn't be retroactive. I'm still steaming about how they are erasing Charles Goethe's name from this town, after he did so much for it.  His eugenics ideas were no worse than Henry Ford's, but Ford had a family to continue to defend him. Grumph.

I got there at 6:39 (a little over 3 hours) and 137 miles. I managed to beat Monica and the girls there by about 20 minutes. I went out and sat on the steps and read.  It was so pleasant. I saw the school bus signs... I cannot imagine driving a school bus on these tiny roads in the snow.

This is the third time I've been to the cabin. It might even have been OK to bring Pharaoh, but Rogue would have gotten too excited.  She just doesn't listen to everyone telling her to slow down, she'll hurt herself.  Anyway, I didn't bring my computer, though Monica had one and so I could log in to Facebook enough to be vague about being out of town.

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Wed, May 23rd - 7:34AM

May 17: Jammie Day

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
103.2 miles

61 recordings of 20 types. 63% clear.

Rasmussen: 47/52:16

6 Ridiculous Lies:
"a small carbon footprint before elements were wearing shoes."  Heh.

I declared it a jammie day. It's almost time for me to put Rich's jammies away for the winter and I'm not looking forward to it, so the blustery weather outside and the fact I had no plans made this a good day to just sit around the house.  I hoped it wouldn't become a Wallow Day, and it didn't.  Sad moments, but no real shrieking and crying.

I watched TV.  One more episode of "Revenge" to go, and I saw the cliffhanger ending of NCIS. I assume most of them survive, but it looks like maybe Duckie doesn't.  :(

I hoped to finish the 1500-piece puzzle, so I can throw away the disappointing jigsaw puzzle table. I see Bits&Pieces isn't selling it any more. This puzzle is frustrating. It seems like it's close to done, but then I discover a piece that doesn't really fit and I seem to spend as much time disassembling it as assembling it.

I read some of my Norah Lofts book. Sadly, I don't have "The Homecoming", the book in between "Knight's Acre" which I just finished and this one, "The Lonely Furrow."  I always enjoy her historical novels, and I like the way she takes a location and shows what happens to it through the generations.

I'm getting housewarming coupons from nearby businesses.  I guess changing the title to me alone alerted them to my "new home."  I'll take it.

What I haven't been doing is sorting through paper boxes. I did finally change out the seasonal clothes and take over most of Rich's dresser, though there's still the top drawer of Stuff I will need to go through. Some other day.  There are a lot of pins and things, and the ones on his cowboy hat, that will have to go in a shadowbox display, but that, like the quilt(s), is a project for another day.

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Fri, May 18th - 8:01AM

May 16: Cache Creek

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
103.2 miles
windy, mild

57 recordings of 19 types. 64% left.

Rasmussen: 47/51: -15

The funeral was 6 months ago, and Mom died 21 years ago. So it was a good idea for me to get out of the house. I had an offer (for Rich) for $25 food credit and $25 slot machine credit at Cache Creek casino, and I'd e-mailed them a couple of months ago to ask if I could use it.  They sent me an e-mail confirmation which I printed up and clipped to the offer, so today was the day.

LOOK at the gas prices!  $3.93 last week, $4.19 today, 8 days later!! Ouch!

I saw a guy crossing the street, wish I'd had the nerve to take his picture. It was almost an Aladdin outfit, black harem pants, bright red shirt with a tight cummerbund at the waist, red pants peeking out at the bottom of the black ones, red tall hat. 

Along the way, I saw a field of egrets and night herons! Lots of memories of fun times with Rich along this route, though we never went into the casino.

I couldn't find two caches in Esparto, but did find one. And was duly surprised that the casino isn't just outside of Esparto. In fact, I pulled over at one point to figure out where the heck it actually is and it turned out to be just around the corner. I parked in the garage (49.2 miles) and made my way in.

I totally confused the people, who stared at the e-mail and letter and went for help, but eventually I got my card. I came out, when it was time for lunch, $10 ahead.  I'd had to go looking for a different change machine as the old guy at the one I first saw was so confused he was going to take a long time.

The buffet wasn't open so I went to the Mexican restaurant and had a delicious grilled chicken thingie. With onions and cilantro!  Rich would have hated it! Right behind me, a guy had won $8,284.56 on a $1 bet.

I left about 1, having dropped $5 back into the machines (still came out ahead). Looked for 3 caches on the way back but again, only found one. (One I missed because I put the coordinates in wrong.) It was a nice drive, though, and a pleasant day.

I went to the Grief Support Group which was about roles and relationships. Another air force widow said something I've thought a few times, that we've kept things going while the husbands were on TDY or in Viet Nam, but then they came home. Sometimes denial kicks in again, and I think Rich will be coming home soon.

Another woman said she missed being "G's wife."  I wasn't so much "Rich's wife" after he retired, because I was the one who got us into things and so he was "Jan's husband" more.  Or, in the case of geocaching, we were both involved.   Bowling was his, and of course his school reunions, but the Internet, D&D, BBSing, and other activities were mine.  Mostly, though, we were kind of a closed system.

Obamateurism of the Day

RIP, Occupy

bandit says: OWS = losers who don’t want to work to pay off their college loans.

Steve says: I believe the Left provides a very valuable service to humanity…..Don’t Let This Happen To You.

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Thu, May 17th - 10:20PM

May 15: Weeds!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
103.2 miles
windy, mild

53 recordings of 18 types. 66% clear.

Rasmussen: 47/52: -17

Mighod.  Narcissist, anyone?

This morning, while it was still cool, I pulled weeds.  I tackled the miner's mattress in the back corner, at least 8 feet high.  It's easy to pull. When I pulled it through the wire fence a bazillion seeds popped off, so I'll be doing this for a long time.  I also realized why it is the squirrels are getting into the plum tree this year... they have a walkway on the fence the neighbors built.  Hmmm. I could bend the wire over and make a tunnel near the plum tree so they'd have to go on the ground (with the dog) to get to it.

I was clipping privet out of the strawberries and spied some prickly pear flowers.  This is behind the shed, hardly visible from anywhere. I also see one of the irises on the side bloomed. I was going to tear all those plants out, but I suppose I can leave the irises.


Spooky somehow got himself trapped between the fences. I was glad to see him, but concerned that he couldn't get out.  I have no idea where the wire cutters are. However, he got to the wide space they made in it so he could jump up (and wander around their back yard. I finally got him into the house.

Then I didn't feel like going to breakfast with the ladies.  I poked around the house till it was time to go out to the Retreat House for Father Tom's lesson.  This time it was on feminist and womanist interpretations of the Passion and I just was uncomfortable for most of it.  And then it didn't end at 9, because someone asked a question and Father just kept talking and answering.  He was interesting but I was so antsy and I wanted to go home.  But I hadn't been smart enough to sit by the door. He finally stopped at 9:30. Long drive home.

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Thu, May 17th - 10:04AM

May 14: Monday Mail

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
103.2 miles
windy, mild

55 recordings of 19 types. 65% clear.

Oh, yes, Steve called yesterday, too. And I didn't remember to wish him happy birthday.  World's Worst Mother.

The cleaners came. It was a different team from my usual one. I had a lot to do to get ready. Starting with that I broke a china bowl and cleaned it up but I was glad for their backup.  My Swiffer broke!  I probably will get another, eventually.

My Brit friend was in the hospital last week and now is on oxygen.

I got buzzed by a hummingbird when I went out this morning. My blue T-shirt has one red spot and apparently it attracted the bird.

I went to Mass. I do wish Father E. would quit smoking! I moved my little patio table out of the carport to the front. It sure needs some paint. Always something.

I got a "welcome to your new home" coupon from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and after some consideration, I think I'll use it on King bedding, which means a commitment to keep this bed. Other mail included the news that SAFE has an accidental death or dismemberment insurance for me, which I apparently have. $2K, but let's not do that.

On FB I listed the mail: in the mail, a really cute card from Roni's kids, some people wanting money or votes, the news that I have an accidental death or dismemberment policy, (for real), things about the Children's Museum membership night and about the Fair Oaks theater festival (Puss in Boots, Bernadette?) and a bill for my Tdap shot. I'd forgotten that was coming. The doctor had defined the machinations. Medicare doesn't pay for it. I said OK, I'll pay now. No, she said, first we have to submit it to Medicare and have them refuse it, THEN you'll get a bill. The commentary about government waste just writes itself, doesn't it?

Jo-Anne Dupont-Horvath Yes, this* must be stopped NOW. This CANNOT be allowed to happen in the USA. I'm telling you, OBAMA is getting all set up and prepared for civil war. He is also working on rendering the American people and military weak and helpless for his coup. Take heed and demand he be charged with treason and be taken out of office now before it is too late. Waiting till Nov will be too late. Whether he is re-elected or not, he will have his personal army fight the people to become the communist country he is aiming for. OBAMA is a dictator/terrorist who hates Americans, it's people and it's Constitution. He is going to take everything away from you and make you depend on him. He is nuts.

*drones in the US.

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Wed, May 16th - 11:06PM

May 13: Mother's Day

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
103.2 miles

53 recordings of 19 types. 67% free.

Roni Yarnot-Krajeski: I am so proud and happy to be a mother to these wonderful, challenging, frustrating children, I can't even explain it. I am also so happy to have had the wonderful mother I had. Smart, interesting, different. I love you Mom, and am so happy to have the great family that I have.

So: two gift certificates to Barnes and Nobel, candy, a difficult puzzle, and two books about the Galapagos.  This is a great pile of loot!

Since I went to church last night, I could sleep in this morning.  Yeah, right.  I was up at 6.  So after his breakfast, the dog and I went out for a 4.5 mile walk.  It was nice, until the pit bull attacked. I was pulling Pharaoh away, wishing I had a stick, yelling at the dog and for help.  Fortunately, for some reason, the dog broke it off and I started saying "BAD DOG! YOU GO HOME!" Apparently his owner was down the street and started calling him.  No blood shed, just a very scary time.

After we got back, I drove out looking for nearby geocaches. I got 1 out of 3. Very discouraging, not helpful in my current mood.

This afternoon was the support group. I don't much like one of the facilitators: and don't think she was very helpful.  However, it was nice to see my friends.  I sat at dinner afterwards across from a lady who seems to have a lot of opinions, and nothing is ever good enough.  So the day was pretty much a wash.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, The Lonely Furrow, Norah Lofts, Galapagos, a Natural History, Michael H. Jackson, Death, the Final Surrender, Fr. Cedric Pisegna.

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Tue, May 15th - 2:02PM

May 12: Frustration!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
98.7 miles

53 recordings of 20 types. 66% free.

I packed everything up for the geocaching picnic and started off. I'd seriously underestimated the time it would take, but would have been only 15 minutes late except... road closure.  I did stop shortly on the way at an Eagle Scout carwash. I didn't have time to have the car done, but I wanted to give the kid some money and wish him well. His project is to make benches in the Old City Cemetery.  In Folsom, I passed that branch of La Rosa Blanca, and, sadly, the zoo. (There was a run there today, apparently.) I remember Rich and I taking Gareth there last summer. There were lots of memories and I was feeling very vulnerable when I reached the road closure.

I considered just giving up, but decided to try the detour.  5 very winding, rough road miles and I came out at highway 50.  There was another sign, but I misunderstood where the road I was supposed to turn on was, so ran into another roadblock, and just thought (this was now 10:30) "to heck with it" and came home.

I wanted a rest room, so I decided to check out the California Welcome Center in El Dorado Hills.  That is, until I saw the big event there, and the lack of parking. I then thought I'd go to Target, but didn't see it, but there I was on White Rock Road, so instead of going back on the freeway I followed it toward Rancho Cordova.  Nice country roads, probably chock-a-block full of caches. I recognized one place where Rich and I had been long long ago, but most of it was fairly new to me. I came out near the children's museum and decided to get back on the freeway there.

Tooling up Watt Avenue, I suddenly noticed the SPCA booksale, which is local to me this year.  So I pulled into the mall, visited their rest room, then had a fun browse through the booksale.  I got three more jigsaw puzzles, including one that's borderless and has 5 extra pieces.  Oh, THAT's going to be fun! Also: some kids' books, and

  • Ellery Queen, Death Spins the Platter
  • Catherine Drinker Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia
  • Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson (I may have read this before, guess I'll find out)
  • Peru the Rough Guide (!)
  • Insight Guide, South America
  • The River of Doubt, Candice Millard (about Teddy Roosevelt)
  • Sue Morris, Overcoming Grief
  • Citizen Soldiers, Stephen E. Ambrose
  • David Balducci, 1776

Not that I really needed ANY of that, except for the guidebooks.

Still, frustrating day.

So I went to 5:30 Mass and the Filipino dinner. It was nice, but I was lonely.  Rich would have been all over, but I just sat with the people I'd chosen, and enjoyed the program. I did see one of my former Girl Scouts, though I am pretty sure she wasn't clear who I was.  She'd claimed to be 21, and I told her that then I was 48. I can live with that.

NOOK, 332 books, 18% left.

Charlie Foxtrot: This is why affirmative action is a blight on the American meritocracy. How can anyone look at a minority Harvard professor again without thinking "are you there because you are the best or because you checked off a box?"

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Mon, May 14th - 10:44PM

May 11: Hauled!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
98.7 miles

48 recordings of 19 types. 68% clear.

I had workmen today.  Mark came by to look at the back bathroom.  He asked a few questions and said he would get back to me with an estimate.  I really like him and he seems reasonable, so I hope this will get done fairly soon.

Then Greg came by with a kid (20s).  He isn't the one in the neighborhood, that's his parents, who have lived there longer than we've lived here. He's actually about a mile away, over by Cowan School.  He liked the big mysterious hunk of wood and was talking about maybe keeping it. I said that's just what WE did. He thought it was from a State Park.  Who knows?  It's gone now, as well as a couple of other big hunks of stuff, and the railroad ties from in back and the rest of the trash pile except for the stuff I wanted to keep.  There was some rebar, and they took all the plastic plant trays. And later I noticed we all completely missed a piece of roof gutter.  That's OK, there's a sandbox full of flower pots I need to go through and then finish destroying the sandbox... so I'll have another midden soon, but it's nice to have that one gone.  A lot of black widow eggs and a huge ugly white worm went, too.  Good riddance!

Then a quick trip to the commissary. I needed to get the stuff for the Frito corn salad, as well as more kitty litter. I'm still avoiding the big trip, though I do see some impulse items.

And down to see Bernadette.  Gareth was trying to tell Bernadette about his classmate "Wahkin" and finally told her "it starts with an L". Oh, Larkin! It's a good thing he can spell since he doesn't yet talk clearly!

Bernadette gave me Jordan almonds for Mother's Day. Under the flap of the bag it says "sharing is overrated!"

I took my neighbor a dish of the cacti she likes, and then later, when I was selling off the Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets which I got last fall, in hopes (in September I still had hope he'd start to feel better), I also gave her a cactus.  So slowly they're going. I'll call the Carmichael bunch again next week.

Archbishop Pelosi riffs on Catholic theology again

But I do have to wonder: What exactly would a person have to say or do until a bishop finally says, “You know, why don’t you find another church?”

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Sun, May 13th - 9:23PM

May 10: We Win

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
98.7 miles

45 recordings of 21 types. 70% left.  It goes quickly!!

Because I would be going to a funeral in the afternoon I walked the dog first thing in the morning. I forgot to mention, when I was walking the other day, suddenly he lunged forward, and it was a rat! A very very SLOW rat, that was still climbing into the hedge it was hiding in as we walked by.  Pharaoh could have caught him easily. Not that I wanted to deal with that mess.

Today, nothing quite so exciting, but I did see a bluebird!  Then when I got home I called the hauler.
(I'd seen into the back yard on the way home, and I doubt much he hauls actually ends up in the trash! Looks like a "collector" to me.)  Then I began to tackle the miner's mattress forest in back, which I just noticed.  The neighbors must hate me.

So, the funeral.  Gary was a grand Knight of Columbus and there were at least 30 of the guys in full feathers and regalia.  They made an arch of swords over the coffin and the family. Large family, including grandkids and, woe, his mother. Lots and lots of KCs in the congregation.  But I think there were more people at Rich's funeral.  We win. Anyway, I made it through OK, and I'm glad I went.  Sort of.

Afterwards I went to Emigh Hardware for some nozzles for the mister. I saw a church friend and asked about her husband who just broke his hip. Mary has been through so much. She's recovering from breast cancer.  And her husband has been forgetful and pretty helpless for years.  Yet she's always smiling and cheerful.

I'm pretty happy with the credit card balance.  Without the trip, I'm still keeping it low enough so I don't need to worry.

Brian Colaluca Let's talk about nothing but gay marriage for the next six months. It the most important topic concerning this Republic since Mitt Romney's dog.

Jim Treacher: If you think Obama changed his mind on gay marriage, what was wrong with him before? Or, if he believed this all along, why say so now?

Charlie Foxtrot ^^^ This. You can't have it both ways. Either he used to be a bigot or he use to be a liar.

Legal Insurrection

I once participated in a group which gave someone a wedgie when I was at summer camp in the 1960s.  That’s why I’ll never run for President, my record is stained.

Now about that Obama trip to Pakistan and his 20 years in Jeremiah Wright’s church … bigot, racist, Islamophobe, wingnut.

Ed Morrissey
WaPo gives us a cutting-edge look at Romney's high-school pranks. So where are Obama's college transcrips? #crickets

John Hawkins: Oh wait, the Mitt being a jerk kid stuff was actually happening when Obama was snorting coke, but before he attended the anti-Semitic church.

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Sat, May 12th - 3:53PM

May 9: AAA

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 90
95.7 miles

35 recordings of 19 types. 74% clear.

"a well-reasoned, landmark Federal Court opinion out of the Ninth Circuit" (Krugman). Talk about an oxymoron!!

I went out to go to church this morning, and the car battery was really dead. I thought I'd have to wait for the neighbors to wake up so I could get a jump and then go to Les Schwab, but Monica told me that AAA would actually replace the battery in my driveway!  So I called them, and in a half hour they did that, with a diagnosis on the whole car, all is well, and a three year full replacement warranty and three more years pro-rated. Whew! I'm so glad Monica knew that and told me!  I've told a lot of other people who didn't know they did that, either. 

I didn't even have to ask Ron for a ride to go to the concert!  I drove the recommended 10 miles (to reset the car's idle) and stopped at Capitol Nursery for a hat. They look like they are in real trouble. Very little stock, empty shelves, and employees who don't know anything. After 10 minutes, I did get a price on the hat (not the color I wanted, but the only one they had) and got back home in time to get to the light rail.

Ron's all excited because his son is coming overnight. (This happens a lot, but he really likes it.) I told him about the Galapagos trip and he's quite enthusiastic for me.  The concert was the Travis Brass and they're wonderful. It was nice to stand for the National Anthem before the concert and to clap and sing with the Service medley. Afterwards we walked to Old Sac (when was the last time I was in Old Sac? I kept thinking I was with Bernadette, and probably after Rich died, but I can't think of an occasion. So maybe I was with Rich. In any case, lots and lots and lots of memories.) Ron knows everyone at Joe's Crab Shack (and he should. He goes about twice a week!) and I just followed his lead and had soup and salad. Very good, and I now see why everyone raves about the place.

Everything breaks at once. I had to replace a curlique light bulb.  Then I decided it should go with the dead batteries, to be disposed of someday when I feel like going to HazMat. I think the new one is brighter, which is nice.

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Sat, May 12th - 7:13AM

May 8: Nerve-wracking

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
91.8 miles

31 recordings of 19 types. 76% clear.

What a nerve-wracking day!  I went over to breakfast with the WPAC ladies, then filled the car (8 cents a gallon more than last Thursday!) and when I went to drive off, it wouldn't start!  I couldn't even get it out of park so I could move it.  A guy at the station came, turned on the key, took it out of park and helped me move the car to the side.  I called AAA.  After a 40-minute wait, the guy came. It seemed to me that all he did was touch the car and it worked, but he must have given it some juice. I thought he was like Rich, one of his least-endearing traits: I couldn't do something and he'd come and just touch it and all was OK.

Well, then, good thing I wasn't babysitting today. I didn't feel like driving anywhere, too scared. I did go out for the half-price pizza, which was fine.  Fortunately, the class out at the Retreat House was cancelled tonight.

Also, my computer is grinding as it boots up. Argh argh argh.

The day improved somewhat when I got a couple of books about the Galapagos from Monica.

Donovan Colbert: Wait. What if THEY just let ME keep MY money and I was RESPONSIBLE for my OWN healthcare? Wouldn't that cut out a wasteful middleman? ;)

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Knight's Acre, Norah Lofts, Galapagos, a Natural History, Michael H. Jackson, Death, the Final Surrender, Fr. Cedric Pisegna.

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Fri, May 11th - 7:30AM

May 7: Phone Calls

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
91.8 miles

22 recordings of 19 types. 80% clear.

Today I made three of the four phone calls I planned, but didn't call a hauler because I don't know who to call and don't really want to just throw a dart at the Yellow Pages.  The first call was to Road Scholar the extension to my trip. I figure if I'm in the area already, might as well see everything I can!  That went well.

I called Rich's regular doctor and he called back in the evening. I wanted to know if he might have a use for the CPAP.  They do recycle somewhere in the midwest, but I can't find a place here.  He's going to research it and get back to me.  He does indeed want the Nicorette gum. I think I have another bigger box of that somewhere. 

And I called the guy who installed the water heater last year. He and Rich had talked about replacing the subflooring on the back bathroom, and I'm ready to do that now.  I was waiting till the weather was better, but now is the time.  He's coming to talk to me on Friday morning.

I checked my finances and have gotten ahead this month (that is, before paying deposits for the trip!) so it's nice to know I'm living within my means as a rule.

I didn't manage to clean out the nozzles on the mister, so I will have to buy new ones.

The laptop has started making noise on bootup sometimes.  Woe.

I got back to editing the document of Facebook posts about Rich. I've gotten to when we went into hospice.  Sad. My intention is to print it up and put it into the box with the cards and funeral book.

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Wed, May 9th - 10:26PM

May 6: Titanic

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
90.3 miles
sunny, windy

17 recordings of 14 types. 82% clear.

Laurie and I went to see Titanic the Musical in Davis.  It was great fun, especially as the stage tipped up and  up and up. Laurie wasn't at Mass so I was worried, but it was all OK. 

Rich's brother claimed back when he was first married that he'd done better than his brothers... none of the sisters-in-law really liked that.  Well, his daughter, who is a little older than Bernadette, just had a formal wedding since they had a JP earlier.  And there is the brother's whole family, and lets just say I'm not that impressed. Hah.

I called one of the WPAC guys, the one whose wife died 3 days after Rich and I wonder how much in denial he is, to wish him happy birthday.  That because I didn't make the Sunday Support group because of the play.

So: 6 month summary of things that have changed: shelves in the kitchen and some patchy tiles down.  New toilet. New doorknob. Hedges trimmed. Rich scattered. POPPIES!!! Century plant down.  Little tree alive, and I replanted the carnations. New dustbuster, new camera, jigsaw puzzle table (which will be gone when this puzzle is finished. Living trust.  2 new geocaches out. AJ born. Got rid of a lot of the softballs and some of the trash wood, almost all the firewood.  I had a haircut. And a breakin.

In town, Flapjack's, Fresh & Easy, JR's BBQ.

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Wed, May 9th - 5:56PM

May 5: Cinco de Mayo

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
90.3 miles
sunny, windy

16 recordings of 14 types. 83% clear.

I went through Rich's tie drawer.  Roni already has all the fun ones she gave him.  There were 32 regular ones, from skinny to really wide, short and long, and 10 clip-ons.  I hope St. Vincent can find some use for them.

The gardeners were really late. I thought maybe they were celebrating Cinco de Mayo and wouldn't come at all.

The DVR blorphed for a second, I was being too quick on the remote, I believe.  Anyway, it reset itself and still works fine.

I registered, at last, for the Galapagos trip.  That's a scary amount of money.  But I'd better go while I'm still in good enough health to do so.

I walked 3.5 miles with Pharaoh and did some more crying.  Then I started trying to figure out caches for next Saturday. This led to a lot of memories of our early finds in the area, and Cronan Ranch (2008) and our 100-point caching day in Folsom.  Sigh.

Then I remembered that Christmas I had the chest pains and said I guess we were at an age when this would happen more and more... but I didn't realize it would be him, with his knee and his fistula and the prostate and then, of course, last year's mess. Dammit.

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Tue, May 8th - 10:25PM

May 4: 6 Months, Sad VIP

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
86.8 miles
sunny, nice

English doesn't borrow from other languages.  English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.

6 months, and that was a Friday, too.  I kept missing Rich during VIP day. We were at the last two, and he enjoyed his grandchildren so much. Mamama, their other Grandmother, was there, and we watched the show together and then split up the visitation so that we both got to see both kids. I started with Genevieve and she had a bit of an interview. The only greatest person of this century I could think of was Mother Theresa, and we had a bit of a discussion was the century from 2001 or the last hundred years.  My advice on how to make friends was to smile. Then we traded and Charlotte showed me around her class. 

Genevieve     DSC00867

I took them to lunch at Sonoma Chicken Coop.  (Actually, Monica took us all, meeting us there). I parked over by the Campbell museum which she didn't know was there.  After lunch we went to her friend's candy store, Rocket Fizz, which was fun. I picked up quite a bit of candy.

Then I started to drive home at 2, an hour earlier than I thought I would, so I ran into traffic in Sacramento instead of Stockton at 4. It took 45 minutes to wind my way from I-5 to home.

Abby was thrilled to get out of the bathroom and Pharaoh was so excited he scratched me on the arm.  Then I started work on the jigsaw puzzle and Spooky jumped up on it, completely breaking one leaf and dumping about 300 green pieces onto the green carpet. Well camouflaged!  I hope I managed to pick them all up.  I've braced up the leaf of this piece of crap table, but what a disappointment it has been! So shoddy.  I ordered a roll-up mat which I'll have to use on the dining room table.  Sigh.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Knight's Acre, Norah Lofts, Death, the Final Surrender, Fr. Cedric Pisegna.

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Tue, May 8th - 2:01PM

May 3: To San Jose

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
86.8 miles
windy, cold, some rain

8 recordings of 7 types. 87% clear.

On my way to the Retreat House this morning, I nearly had an accident through my inattention (making a right on red forgetting the left-turn people.) Argh. Then I had a headache at Mass, which worried me, but it went away.

I started for San Jose at 10:45.  Along the way, I remembered the last time the granddaughters saw Rich.  He was very sick but he did muster up a smile for them. Sniff!

They've completely redone the Pleasant Hill Target so I had a hard time locating the rest rooms!

I arrived in San Jose at 1:15, so had some time with Monica.  She's disbanding her Brownie Troop because of lack of parental involvement.  Charlotte can join a neighborhood troop and Monica will be a good parent for them!

We went to pick up the girls at school and I managed to embarrass Genevieve by making her hug me!  Good.

Back home, I almost let my Hatchlings die.  Fortunately, I fed them in time.

I was thinking about 6 months ago. I couldn't get Rich to lie down.  "Oh, hi!" he said to me, which was the last time he actually knew me. Sniff.

Charlotte helped Monica make sopes.  Really good. I've never had these before, but it looks like something I could make.

And so to bed.

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Mon, May 7th - 3:31PM

May 2: Culture Day

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
86.8 miles
mild, sunny

Today was very pleasant indeed.  My friend Ron met me at the light rail station and downtown we went. We had time to look at the gorgeous roses in the Capitol Rose Garden. He particularly liked the two-color ones. We also talked about cacti.  Please, Ron, take some of my cacti!!

DSC00858     DSC00857

Then the concert was a pianist, and not as well-prepared as you would expect. She was doing a Liszt piece and kept pausing to find the keys... because I don't believe Liszt wrote in those rests.
Then lunch at a little cafe, and we walked down to the Crocker so I could see the Edward Payne exhibit. I just loved it.  Mountains! Seascapes! I wish I'd seen it sooner so I could see it again, but I'm really glad I didn't miss it in the long run.

The weather was perfect except for a bit of a breeze. We then walked over to light rail, and so home. What a really pleasant day!

Then I drove a friend to the grief support workshop. There were some people there I haven't met before. One guy was wearing a Navy ball cap and an Air Force camo shirt. I was reminded of Rich's joke about the services which always ended up with how smart the AF was. The talk was pretty well taken over by a recent widower who feels like people aren't friendly. At least I was OK since I'd given him a hug. And home in the dark.

Patrick Dorinson, Commentator, host of the radio talk show “The Cowboy Libertarian” :

Afghanistan is Pashtun for Vietnam.

Time to leave and tell Karzai and his pals that are looting the country six ways from Sunday that he is on his own. And I would tell the Taliban that if we hear one peep out of them or one attack comes from there we will be back. And it will be from 30,000 feet and they won’t even hear it coming. 10 more years? At what cost?

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Sun, May 6th - 9:05PM

May 1: Installation

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
83.7 miles

5 recordings of 4 types: 88% clear.  (Which is one reason it needed replacing. Also these recordings erased themselves before I got the new machine.) 

Long day today. I slept in a bit, then went to breakfast with the WPAC ladies, then had my mammogram. Ow.  On the way home I passed a UPS guy, so thought it might be mine. Then when I got home I fretted that I'd left the wrong address on the note, and maybe I'd missed him.  The web page said it would be delivered by 3 but he didn't turn up till 4:30.  Whew.

The instructions said it would take 35 minutes to install, but since I only had three things to change over, it only took me 10, including getting the wrench.  And it worked perfectly... oh, except that it wasn't recording. My series and coming up recordings transferred over without trouble.  However, it wouldn't record. I looked at the help files and couldn't see anything that applied, so I went into online chat and got Amey. At first she seemed like a robot, but soon she was working like a human being checking out what was going on.  Finally she suggested I unplug it and plug it in again three times... and that did it. It worked perfectly.  She made sure I checked all the screens and left me her name/number in case there were further problems.  Such great customer service!! Such a contrast with that creep at Ford Credit.

Then I went out to the lecture on the Passion.  Father Tom sure gives you a lot to think about.

I'm beginning to backslide a little, so many memories and the 6-month anniversary is approaching.

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Sun, May 6th - 7:51AM

April 30: Customer Service

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
83.7 miles

Today I called AT&T.  The voice mail hell wasn't too bad and I got to a human being fairly quickly.  Chris listened to my problem, then asked a couple of security questions.  And I totally blanked on them. I should have known the 4-digit code, since it's one Rich used a lot.  Then they asked for his favorite singer, and the answer was actually a composer. Finally, Chris just said she'd call me back.

After that, however, things went very well.  She tested a few things from her end, then said they would send out a new machine and it would arrive tomorrow.  During the conversation she expressed sorrow that Rich had died, and said her sister lives in California, so I asked where she was.  I was gobsmacked to hear she was in Asia (India, I assume.)  She speaks better English than 90% of the people I run into every day.

I will have to install the machine myself, which is a little scary, but we'll see how it goes.  During the course of this discussion the machine erased all the shows again. So much for Mad Men. 

The cleaners came pretty late and took a long time, but did a terrific job.

I got my new credit card (it's pretty, with the Wyoming bucking bronco on it) and used it for the Aerospace Museum renewal.

Ford Credit sent the death certificate back.  That was quick.  Now, you awful customer "service" guy, that wasn't so hard, was it?

I suddenly realized that on the bus, talking to a guy about Sudoku, I really put my foot in it. I tend to say I do those to keep Alzeimer's at bay, but it sometimes seems I'm too late.  His wife had Alzeimer's.  Ack! STUPID!!

I took a 3+ mile walk with the dog. 

Monica's list of what she would do when she grew up:
1. I will be tall.
2. I will have gone to college.
3. I will be married.
4. I will be a hairstylist.
5. I will be helping to pay for my brothers and sisters education I will have matching furniture. .
6. I will have a car..
7. I will know how to drive. .
8. I will live in my own house..
9. I will pay for work for a living. .
10. I will have two kids.

A Cartoon

What - you thought Obama was behind everything? Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! No, no - as the photos from the situation room clearly show, Barry had to be dragged off a golf course the day of the mission so he could be photographed watching a computer monitor in the same room as a lot of grown-ups.

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Sat, May 5th - 10:08AM

April 29: Sprinkler Toy

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
80.6 miles

I'm 2.5 pounds up for the week with high blood pressure.

Bre McGloughlin: The Secret Service was bound to pick up some bad habits after so many years of exposure to presidents.

Gareth behaved pretty well in Mass, a little busy but he stayed in the pew and didn't make too much noise. He's coming along.  Afterwards we went shopping at Walmart and I got a little pool that I can probably pump up by myself, or if not, I can get it into the house on the gardener's day.  I gave Bernadette the elephant pool which is just too hard for me alone.  Their last year pool got punctured, so it works out. I also got Gareth's birthday present, a sprinkler addition that sprays water around.  He was so excited, and wanted me to set it up here, right away. I said he had to wait till he got home, and this caused major tears.  When they did put it up, apparently he played till he turned blue, and didn't want to come in then, either.  I'm guessing it's a success.

I went to Sunday Support and talked to a lot of my new friends, and to dinner, but I do think I'm beginning to feel a little worse. One other thing I got at Walmart was some cortisone cream for this mysterious rash, and then I remembered Rich had some, in his bedside table. Oh dear, that's going to be hard to go through.  When I opened it, I discovered the boudoir picture I gave him long ago (I think I was 43 or so) which I'd hastily stuffed into the drawer when Father Eduino was coming over to anoint him. It isn't that bad, no nudity, but still. That's kind of funny, and I have to cling to any bit of humor I can find.

I was watching Mad Men thinking I'd better watch it quickly before the DVR repair guy comes, and suddenly had the thought that I needed to get organized before Rich comes in. Argh.  It didn't help that the show had a cancer scare in it.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Whiteout, Ken Follett, Death, the Final Surrender, Fr. Cedric Pisegna.

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Thu, May 3rd - 8:23AM

April 28: Ready for Hauling

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
80.6 miles
sunny, hot

This morning there was a big red x on the TV screen, this is not good. Again it erased everything and says it will only do 27 hours in total.

Jim Treacher: It was very brave of President Obama to order the killing of Bin Laden with the understanding that if it went wrong he'd blame somebody else.

The President Has a List

Don Surber Dear Barry: I deserve to be on this list because 1. I disagree with you. Do I need any more reasons? OK 2. I mock you. 3. I hope the Supreme Court hands you your hat on Obamacare and SB 1070. 4. Mostly, I want America to succeed, which should be reason enough.

Bernadette and Rob came over and took some of the wood and junk.  I stopped them from taking the lumber on the carport, since I still have to have the back bathroom subfloor replaced.  They did take some electronic stuff which was probably GoE's, and some shingle on the back.  Rob also will want the asphalt rolls but there's no hurry, I haven't even started on the carport.

Monica's neighbors want some cacti, so I'll take a few on Thursday.

Joanna looked at Pharaoh and said "Dog. Go 'way!" I suspect they will be great friends one day.

Gareth is spending the night.  I took him to the park and he was a little afraid to climb the steps because of the gap, so I went up with him once and then he was brave enough. When he goes down the slides his hair gets all dandelion.  So funny.

He was funny going to bed, too.  Flail and toss and turn, and suddenly out like a light.

DSC00850     DSC00851
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Thu, May 3rd - 8:06AM

April 27: Scrabble

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
80.6 miles
sunny, coolish

159 recordings of 46 types. 16% free.  Till mid-afternoon while I was watching Hannity.  The screen froze and the DVR completely died. I lost all my recordings. Rats. A sharp whack and it sort of works, but I'm calling in on Monday.

I played Scrabble with 6 other people and finished in the middle.  I had 365 points, and the winner was in the 700s. She's impressive, but I had a couple of good moves.  Because the WPAC room was in use, we went to the organizer's house.  She's near a park I didn't know about.  I checked for geocache sites, but when I came home found we'd found not one, but TWO, caches there in the past. And when I logged the one in 2008 I said that we kept saying we didn't know about this park, but Rich recognized it as the place where we'd found a cache in 2003! I really have a blank spot on this one.

Two of the Scrabble players have new relationships. It's been 10 or more years for them.  But, all selfishly here, I just wouldn't want, ever, to do this again. And I'm getting used to living alone, watching what I want, going to bed when I want.

I got a facebook friend request from a high school boy friend! (I can remember at that age thinking this guy wouldn't be my first husband, but could be my second.  No imagination then, it seemed like that would be easy, like changing a pair of shoes. Teenagers are very weird.)

The alarm clock has been flashing, and I thought it was getting disconnected. It finally dawned on me that it could be the battery. I replaced it, and yes.

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Thu, May 3rd - 7:31AM

April 26: Day Trip

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
80.6 miles
some rain, wind, cold, sun
0bama's enemy of the day: Jim Treacher

160 recordings of 49 types. 15% clear.

Twitter / 'Jim' 'Treacher': I don't want to say @DavidAxelrod is having a bad week, but now he wants to change the subject from dogs to THE ECONOMY.

Today I went on a bus trip with WPAC to Eleven Roses Ranch near Clear Lake Oaks. This was the best-planned day trip I've ever been on.  She'd assigned seats, and also passed us the meal tickets. We started off and there were jokes, then we stopped at Granzella's in Williams.  They've rebuilt since the fire. Rich and I had been to the original, once, though he didn't remember it too well (he didn't remember the stuffed polar bear!) Then we went back when they were re-building, and I was pleased the polar bear had been saved.  Now it's back to speed.  They've got all the exciting foodstuffs, and I had some ideas of stuff I might want when we returned. And onward.

Later I found out there would have been a geocache for me to look for.  Today was our 9th anniversary of caching.  Sigh.

On the way, deer, heron, the theme from Bonanza, turkeys, a bridge made from a flatcar.  The driver told us some information about Long Valley and the different ranches.  It was first settled in 1859.  Interesting.  The people who own Eleven Roses are the grandchildren of the original owners. It's a great family ranch.  We had wine.

The port-a-potties!  Definitely the most elegant I've ever seen!  And I was totally appalled that I dropped a water bottle from my pocket into one, though I didn't own up while I was there.  Darnit.

DSC00795     DSC00798

We had our (delicious) BBQ and then had a story and performance by the
Gypsy Time Travelers.  They made a truck into a motor home is your castle. The forge is next to the kitchen so they have hot water. He made pony shoes while she told the story. Then they gave the shoes away, but, sniff, I didn't win. Then we went out on a truck to look at the valley and the wildflowers.  Nice.  The ride was cold.  It's a beautiful ranch. 

Then it was back to Sacramento. I got a couple of soup kits and some sauces at Granzella's.  I was really really tempted by the striped bow tie pasta, but really have no use for it. 

What a nice day!

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Tue, May 1st - 1:46PM

April Summary

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 78
83.7 miles
sunny, not too hot

Last month's summary: 25.0 miles in April, .2 pounds down, and 12 pages read.

I read 8 books, went to 3 movies (1 movie twice, actually) and 0 plays, and 9 Masses.

I found 25 caches last month, and I'm at 7883. (interesting how this is the same as the miles walked.) I'm (sniff!) 316th in the world,  and 16th locally.

In proofing, I'm in 1086th (out of 39320 proofers) place in the first proofing round, with 873 pages proofed, 19th (out of 4749) in P2 with 23523 pages, 597th (of 973) in P3 with 469 pages and formatting 713th place (3729) with 1020 pages.

In Flickr I have 42474 pictures, with 92917 views, and 213 sets to work on.

All I watched with Netflix was Homicide season 1&2, disc 4, which I took with me and watched in Snohomish. I had a chance to watch another disc while the DVR was acting up, but didn't.

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