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Monday, March 31, 2003


Go Pedro! Go Pedro!

I love winning the first game of the season!!! Because you know that even though I'm not a member of the team I consider it a win for me.

posted by J L Permalink


I have been meaning to mention:

Keebler Chips Deluxe wins hands down over Chips Ahoy. I know they are amazingly similar and may in fact come from the same cookie extruder, but I now vote Chips Deluxe. The only thing that would keep me from buying them is my desire to a)not regain any of my lost weight, and b)Shaws having Chips Ahoy on sale, buy one get one free, approximately every other week. And they always go on the first endcap when you walk in the store. The weeks Chips Ahoy isn't on the endcap it's usually got Wheat Thins and/or Triscuits on it. I mean, let's have some variety people.

I'm actually scared if Chips Ahoy sales are so successful that it's almost a permanent thing. But I won't complain, my spaghetti sauce is $1.79 or so off per big huge jar this week. I bought three on Saturday, but that's because I didn't even have a little wire basket.

posted by J L Permalink

Boogie Nose

The Boy is home with me today with a bad nose, sore throat and a low fever (100.4). Fun. Oh well, at least I don't have to take a day off. Although I do have things I'm trying to get done. Now that I helped him finish "Mickeys' Magical Mirror" I have been allowed to leave the couch for my laptop.

Finally saw Monsoon Wedding last night. Great movie, although quite frankly, I think the bride was miscast. I cared about almost every other character in the movie but her. If I were the groom, I would have dumped her for her cousin. Those were her cousins, right? I got a bit confused when it came to keeping the cast straight. The guy from Australia - was he a cousin? Was he the brother of the two girls who lived with the bride but weren't her sisters? Was the Donald-Sutherland look-alike their step-father? What the...

Other than that (and hey, it didn't stop my enjoyment one bit) I loved it. I don't understand why it was rated R, but maybe I missed something.

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Yahoo! Weather - Leominster

Tonight: Snow this evening, with continued snow showers late. Low 28F. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph. Snow may accumulate 2 to 4 inches.

Tomorrow: Snow flurries ending with partial cloudiness and windy conditions continuing by afternoon. High 38F. Winds WNW at 20 to 30 mph.

Oh yea. 30mph winds. Ya, my recycleables will stay in the bin. Brrrrrrr.

p.s. Oh, THAT was fun! Doing the rubbish in hail!

posted by J L Permalink

Hello Peoples

It's another lovely rainy day. I'm about to go fire up a fake log, just because it's the kind of day where you get a chill and can't get rid of it. I think by Thursday it will be better around here.

I have to watch a movie now, because it's due back to Blockbuster by noon tomorrow. I should never rent new movies. I know myself. And even though it was a free rental (the ONLY reason I got it) I still want to watch the thing before it's due back. The problem is Junior has a movie HE has to watch before it's due back. So I guess like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I'll be watching this one on my computer with headphones while he's watching his. Else I'll have to take the computer to bed and watch it up there.

p.s. Oh how I dread doing the rubbish. It's recycling day tomorrow. I never know which truck is going to come first, so I can't put it off. I have a whole bunch of cardboard to put out but I forgot to buy twine today, so I guess that will have to wait. Grrrrrrr.

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Yahoo! Weather - Leominster

This weather report makes baby Jesus cry. (Of course, you have to read it like, today for that to make sense. If you are reading this and it's July, you might be confused. Yahoo! Weather - Leominster tells me that it's going from a high of 69 today to a high of 45 tomorrow. Oh, and there's snow on the way. 1-3 inches. Ratzen fratzen weather. Tuesdays high is 38. That had BETTER be an early April Fool's joke.

posted by J L Permalink

Good Day to Fly a Kite...

If you didn't mind the kite string severing your fingers off one at a time. The wind is SO strong, and there is so much sand everywhere left over from the 40 snowstorms we had this winder. I keep thinking I should somehow save some for next winter, but I don't imagine I have a good place to store a thousand pounds of sand.

We actually didn't practice the biking today because it threatened to rain all day, even though it didn't. And then the sandstorm pretty much meant he'd be riding with his eyes closed. It was bad enough when his eyes were open. (Oh, follow-up reply to Susan, I was running behind him holding the seat, but the seat is just low enough I had to bend slightly, and after 15 minutes my back was screaming. Not to mention I was keeping an almost 50 pound kid and a bike upright with one hand.

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, March 28, 2003

Yes, I Finished That Level

I see some people coming here from searches for "Ty the Tasmanian Tiger Ship Rex". I didn't remember writing about it, but I guess I did if you are finding me. I solved that level about a week ago. Two of us were killing ourselves trying to climb the rocks behind the quicksand, thrown off because of a bug in the game that makes it appear you can look THROUGH the rocks.

Okay, so if you really want an answer to something about that level, I feel qualified to answer. So far, we've only officially completed three levels (and I can't even remember their names). And for a forth, all I need to do is find 4 more gems. (That's the Snowy Peaks (?) one with the thin ice you have to swim under). Man, I've been up and down and back and forth that level a bunch of times...I just cannot figure out where those last 4 gems are. I've pretty much given up, actually. Life is too short.

Friday Summary:
Weather = great
swim lessons = great
visiting sister = great
Junior at least trying his new bike without the training wheels = a valiant effort.

I was just glad he gave it a shot. I figure it just needs to click with him. I put the training wheels back on because I'm not a shrew. He tried it, did okay, and will try it again in the future. I didn't want to ruin the afternoon by telling him he could only ride his bike if I took them off.

posted by J L Permalink

Before I Forget (again)

Thanks to Honker who took time out of his busy day to not only cut out coupons for Kaboom, but to mail them to me. I will admit to having a moment where I wondered if I was getting a mail bomb (because I didn't recognize the return address) but I figured that size envelope was probably more likely anthrax, and I could get medicine for that.
(Honk and I go way back to my old CompuServe days. Frighteningly way back, to 1987 or so, eh Honk?)

posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Sorry, I Have No Idea

I was just looking at the logs for how people got here, and looking at the search terms used. (Don't worry, it doesn't tell me WHO searched, just that someone did, and that's how they got to my site).

For the two people who entered the following searches, I am truly sorry that I don't have the information you were looking for. I'm wondering, though, how the 2nd one got linked to my site.

- spells for noisy neighbors
- how llama is spelled in sign language

So, to the person looking for "Pirates of the Caribbean snow globes": doesn't it strike you as odd to have something Caribbean in a snow globe?

posted by J L Permalink

Job Hunt Status Report

To everyone who said the job market would improve if we went to war: Ptbtbtbtbtbbtb.

Actually, I found a job listing today and I think I'd be perfect for the job. I have the right background, and I know they'd be happy hiring me. I just hope that my resume stands out against all the thousands I'm sure they'll receive. Looking over the corporate website I got very excited about the company, too. So if any of you faithful readers of the Dump know anyone who works for CCH Incorporated, could you drop me a line? They have a referral program so if one of you recommends me and I get hired, that's $5000 in your pocket and all you'd need to do to thank me is buy me lunch. For a week. ($5000. Wow, what I could do with that.)

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Hot Pagan Buns

Oh MAN is that going to get me some Google hits or what???! Actually, the topic is hot cross buns, and their origins. I bought some yesterday, because as Catholics we need to have a "food" other than the Communion wafer. I've always been jealous that many Jewish holidays have specific foods associated with it. I guess these buns are ours.

So anyway, I don't know what I'm talking about, which is normal. But I did look up the origins of the hot cross bun, and the two sites I looked at (I didn't say it was extensive research) both said they were originally a pagan food, I believe to celebrate spring. And one pointed out that the cross is a pagan symbol for the 4 seasons. So once again (see: Christmas trees) we've taken something pagan and made it Christian.

Actually, I don't much care one way or the other; I grew up eating them and I like them a lot, thankyouverymuch. Now he's a high-fat hint courtesy of my mother back when we didn't know how bad stuff like this is for you: she used to cut them in half horizontally (so all frosting is on one half) and grill them, then put butter on the hot parts. Sort of like grilling a muffin. Mmmmmm that was good eating, and I've resisted trying to do one that way. Of course, she also did the same thing with stale plain donuts. THAT is a heart-busting snack worthy of Elvis, I tell you. Hot grilled donuts with extra butter? Lordy.

Also, they are no longer "one a penny, two a penny."

posted by J L

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Embrace the FACE

Okay, I just saw a sign for the new specialty license plates. To hell with the Cape and the Islands one, or even the one we used to have with the kiddie drawings on it.

Now I can get one with a smiley face! I am SO going to save up for this!

All you have to do is fill out an application - when the organization has enough, they'll give them to the RMV to begin production. They think they'll have enough by this fall, but I'm guessing they'll have enough by mid-summer. Who doesn't want a smiley face plate? Visit Embrace the FACE for info and the forms.

posted by J L Permalink

Beverage Report: Coffee and NectarFizz

Man, what would we do without coffee? I remember back when I didn't like the taste of it...but when did I cross that line from not liking it to liking it? I know I didn't drink it in college, I was more of a Diet Coke kind of person. I actually wasn't a caffeine fan. So at some point after college I must have started liking it. I know that my first job after graduation we had a Mr. Coffee machine and regular Creamora. This was a 2-person operation, so nothing fancy for us, like, say, real cream, and they hadn't yet invented Creamora Royale, which is actually very good.

While I think about that, I'll give you a beverage review for what I have in front of me right now. It's NectarFizz by Nantucket Nectars. I'm drinking the blackberry fizz, because when in doubt, buy the purple one. So it's 10% real fruit juice, lightly carbonated, with 100% vitamin C. And it's pretty tasty. Actually, it's very similar to that other fizzy juice/soda, Clearly Canadian. I don't think you could tell them apart in a taste test unless you were a HUGE fan of one or the other. Hey, I just like supporting the Juice Guys; if I can buy from a Massachusetts company, I will.

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, March 24, 2003

I Declare Winter OVER

I not only barbecued a steak for dinner, we ate outside. It probably would be better to eat lunch outside, given that once the sun was going down it dropped at least 10 or 15 degrees in half an hour. But it doesn't matter - we ate outside and it was heavenly. Blue blue blue skies, the color you never get in the summer because of the damned smog and humidity. The back yard has dried up a lot in the past two days, so Junior got to run around for a while. Oh, and today we went with my parent's to buy his (belated) birthday present - a new bike. We needed to upgrade him from his original 12 in bike to a 16 inch. He ended up with a red Huffy from WalMart. Maybe he'll be more into it this year, but last year he wasn't much into riding his bike, so we certainly weren't going to pay a lot of money for a lot of bells and whistles. Plenty of time for that with his next bike, anyway. At five, we're just going to work on getting the training wheels off.

posted by J L Permalink


Junior wanted to watch Batman: The Movie. You know, the GOOD one. Who am I to deny him Adam West?

Something just occured to me for the first time. See, Bruce and Dick are out for a Sunday drive and they race back to Stately Wayne Manor. Their aunt is out front in the flower beds and they wave as they run in to take the poles down to the Bat Cave. It occurred to me for the first time - what if Aunt Harriet wants to come in the house and ask Bruce a question...she won't be able to find him. Wouldn't she get worried if she saw him go in the house and he disappeared? I don't care how big their house is, you would eventually wonder why two people who are home aren't "home".

Something to think about, anyway.

posted by J L Permalink

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger

We took an Animal Crossing break (well, *I* didn't want to, but hey, you know how it is) and went back to playing Ty the Tasmanian Tiger again. You know, sometimes you just need a break once in a while to open up your eyes. That and cheat codes.

Okay, yes, we did a cheat code, but it only helped to a certain extent. We couldn't figure out how to finish up the Ship Rex level. Four of us all had turns. I finally looked in the water and noticed a tunnel. Duh. I can't tell you how much effort we put in to trying to climb OVER the rocks (unsuccessfully) when we really needed to go UNDER the rocks. So the Ship Rex level was the first one that we officially "finished". Nothing left to get at that level, and it let us get the fire boomerangs. Did I mention that I love talking about games like this because out of context it just looks surreal to say things like "get the fire boomerangs." If I haven't plugged it before, go buy that game. It's only $20, and everyone who's ever played it on our GameCube has raved about it. So go. Enjoy.

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, March 23, 2003

That Awards Show

I don't want the people running the Awards tonight to hunt me down for trademark abuse, so I'll just call it That Awards Show.

I have no predictions. I have strong opinions, but as has been the case for the past couple of years, I haven't seen all the movies. I'm lucky I've seen ANY of the movies. I wasn't going to watch it, but then I remembered Steve Martin is hosting, and I love him. What if we meet someday, and our ongoing relationship hinges on whether or not I saw him host the 2003 That Awards Show? Well how can I not watch?

Also, picked up Inspector Gadget 2 for Junior and decided that French Stewart is a total cutie. I have loved him since 3rd Rock, but man, he's just so excellent in this role.

posted by J L Permalink

Another Day, Another Quarter

Junior and I are just kind of hanging out today. He's already done some playing outside (riding on his scooter...his bike is way too small now but we haven't figured out when we're going to go out to buy a new bigger one. He has some birthday money (from January) coming from Grandma, so that should really help. I'll have to give her a call about when we'd be able to take him shopping.

It's colder today than I thought it would be, so if you are inside using the computer (like I am) I forgive you.

posted by J L Permalink

Why Are You Reading This?

If it's New England and you are reading this during the day on Sunday, why on earth are you in the house?

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, March 22, 2003


I'm still caught up in the thrill of finally going down a pants' size after years of upward spiralling. I went through the pantal area of my closet reading tags to see what could stay and what could go. I spotted a pair of pants that I used to adore wearing...and they are my "new" size (which used to be my old size, obviously). So I tried them on...and the buttons are missing. So while I could have looked truly fabu this morning, I now have to find not one but two matching buttons that actually fit with the size buttonhole on these pants. And oh, did I mention that I don't sew? If I had more money, I'd just go out and BUY some damned pants. Sheesh. All this work just so I won't have to walk around naked.

posted by J L Permalink

Creepy Fog

Starting off foggy and overcast (which, come to think of it, might be the same thing, right?), hopefully sunny and in the 50's fairly soon. Not soon enough. Yesterday was heavenly. I swear, nice spring weather (not that hot humid crap from the middle of the summer, but the good 65-75 range) makes you feel like you're in a different world. I was in a great mood yesterday, for no real reason. Hell, I'm broke, we're at war, and the Preperation H was needed. What reason did I have to be in a good mood? But I was in a GREAT mood. You could have fried eggs off my aura. Emerging from our winter cocoon yesterday, the slider was open, other windows were open, we wandered in and out of the house without having to find hats, mittens, boots, coats, etc. You need something outside? Just go. Junior put a couple of miles on his little scooter, mostly going up and down the sidewalk. He did wear boots because he was having trouble keeping his feet dry. Walking into huge puddles will do that do you.

The last of the snow melted off the deck yesterday. Now I have to sweep off all the pine needles from where we pulled the Christmas tree out of the house, and start thinking about when I'll have the time and energy to clean it and seal it. I didn't do it last year, so it really needs to be done this year.

Okay, enough chatter about nothing. I finished my Salada Green Tea, and now I'm going to prepare to go sign The Boy up for kindergarten. I'm just not looking forward to this, but hey, I'm not going to homeschool, so there you go.

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, March 21, 2003

Okay, time for the before and after shots. Fun stuff. Only took what, four hours to drain? That's not bad. I'll have to keep an eye on it now, I did have to uncover the drain one more time (right before taking this shot). If nothing else, I feel like I accomplished something. Time to celebrate with some lo mein.



posted by J L Permalink

Later That Same Day

Put up our American Flag today. Seemed like a good day for it.

Also, two images were added to the earlier entry, in case you're re-visiting.

posted by J L Permalink

Coolest Thing In The World

I was trying to find a phone number for a place in Leominster MA but in Google most of the responses for Leominster pointed to Leominster England sites. Yes, we are named after them, as are many many New England towns. Anyway, I stumbled upon a page that said:
"Leominster (pronounced 'Lemster') dates back to the 7th Century and is named after Earl Leofric, the husband of Lady Godiva who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry on horseback."

My God, I have never ever heard this before, and I would have remembered. Read it for yourself at http://www.leominster.co.uk/about.htm

p.s. We don't pronounce it "lemster" in Massachusetts. It's "lemon-stah".

posted by J L Permalink

First Yardwork of the Season

We've still got lots of snow piles here and there, so full-blown yardwork is out (I mean, we're talking lots of much out there...) However, I got to do one of my favorite tasks this morning, in the 60 degree sunshine, in a short-sleeved shirt.

When this development was built, the slope of the land provided natural drainage down toward the railroad tracks. When 40 houses were put in, obviously the land was leveled, and that water wasn't able to flow. As one of the first houses at my end of the development, that means my property gets very very wet in the spring. It's not classified as wetlands (because before they put houses in it wasn't) but man, right now it is. When the house was built the builder had a good idea this was going to happen and he put a drain in out there. My [favorite] job is to go out there and make sure the drain is clear of leaves and debris. Obviously there are a ton of leaves out there simply because it's not cleared. Well I had noticed this week that there was a LOT of water out there, and I made a mental note to go clear off the drain. I'm so glad I did....That water had to be a foot deep OVER the drain! I moved the leaves and it started swirling down. Now this won't get it totally dry, and I will end up going back out there in a week or two to make sure there's a good flow from the absolute back of the property to the drain (because yes, a contractor built a house abutting my property that drains into my yard, on a technicality that it drains out of a pipe maybe a foot on THEIR yard first. Which is sloped and the water obviously comes right into my yard.)

By summer it's usually dry, but I don't really want a quarter of an acre of standing water in my backyard all spring, if you know what I mean. We got over 100 inches of snow, plus some extra rain lately. The ground is still frozen and the water has no place to go. If you have a canoe, come on by!

Click thumbnails for larger (100k-ish) images.

posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, March 20, 2003

She's Still Here

My new daughter-in-law is still hanging around. Apparently she slept in the spare room last night. She hung around with us in the car today but at some point she must have wandered off because he hasn't talked about her or to her for 5 or so hours now.

posted by J L Permalink

Grey Day

Even the sky is sad today. It's the first really dreary overcast day in a long while. It looks like it should rain any second but not a drop has fallen all day. I think it's God's way of telling me he is disappointed with us. As he should be. When I read stories of world leaders saying this is a black mark on our history, I agree with them. I agree that the person who claimed ownership of the Oval Office has his own agenda, American citizens and the World be-damned. I did not vote for that man. He does not represent me. He does not speak for me. And hell, he doesn't even care that he doesn't. I have lost all respect for him, period.

That being said, my prayers are with each and every person whose life he has put on the line. For the parents and husbands and wives who had to kiss someone for the last time as they were shipped out to the desert. I couldn't bear it if it were my son, and yet I would have to. Our President wouldn't have gone, I'm sure his Daddy or his Daddy's friends would have gotten him out of this, just like they got him out of everything else. I wonder if he'd have been so quick to go in guns blazing if his daughters were out there with an artillery group. I seriously doubt it.

Maybe if his facial expressions didn't imply that he was bullshtting us every time he gets on television, I'd have started to buy in to the need for this. But we get the little monkey face with the half smirk and I feel like he's giving me a good old boy act pretending to be my friend while making rabbit ears behind my head. It enrages me.

So that's my post on this atrocity. I see Iraq may have set fire to 3 or 4 oil wells. Ooopsie Daisy Georgie, that's gotta be a big ouchie considering you're so tied to the oil industry that you sweat it from your pores. Do I sound bitter? I am. I'm embarrassed to be an American today. We are the aggressors. We are the bad guys. We dropped the first bomb.

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Ninja Followup

After showing me the "ninja dance" this evening, Junior added "You know why we do that kick at the end? Because the grown-ups only want to see the cheerleaders."

He also introduced me to his invisible girlfriend Julia. When I said hello to her, he informed me that he doesn't speak for her, she does her own talking. This should be a quiet evening.

*newsflash* Oh, wait, it isn't his girlfriend...it's his WIFE! He told me the reason I didn't get to go to the wedding is because "you weren't invited." Wow, I already hate my daughter-in-law and I just met her.

posted by J L Permalink

The Ninja Dance

Junior announced to me this morning that he had to go to work, get into his ninja costume and do the ninja dance (that his boss had taught him) with his girlfriend the cheerleader, Julia.

I had no idea he'd finally found a job.

posted by J L Permalink

Things Learned in the Bread Aisle

I was at the grocery store yesterday, picking up the basics, and I needed to get bread. Well, apparently there's a storm coming cause the shelves were pretty barren. A bread guy (you know, he works for the bakery that makes the bread, not the store, that kind of guy) was standing there and I asked if he handled the brand of bread I was looking for. He told me no, but that delivery guy was there, he'd probably be out in a few minutes. Then he explained that they all deliver on Tuesday because they don't work on Wednesday. If you buy bread on Tuesday look for the green twist-tie because that's the stuff right off the truck, and not stuff left from the last delivery. Oh, and if you buy on Sunday, look for the yellow twist tie, for the same reason. He was very helpful, considering I wasn't going to be buying something from the company he worked for. On the other hand, I used to do grocery merchandising for a cereal company, and it was a long, lonely summer driving from store to store, and I think if someone in the store had started talking to me I would have had a conversation as well.

Oh, and here's an interesting thing - gas prices dropped 2 cents at my favorite place. Don't know if they did it to compete with the new Hess, which at one point last week was FOUR cents cheaper than the next cheapest place. But I'll take a price drop of any kind, thank you. That puts us at $1.59 for regular unleaded, if you're keeping track.

posted by J L Permalink

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Heads Up

Looks like I might be moving the Big DumpTruck to a new host soon. I was trying to support a local company, but my hosting fees jumped $25 this month (and I'm still trying to figure out why, because something looks very fishy to me). Look, I love you guys, and I love writing this blog, but I cannot afford to spend THAT much money just to amuse myself.

If and when I make the change, the site may be temporarily unavailable. If you subscribe to the Dump newsletter, I will post the IP address so you will have no downtime while the change makes its way through the DNS servers of the world.

posted by J L Permalink

The To Do List

Amazingly (and if you know me, you'll agree) I've gotten more items from my to-do list completed in the past two days than, well, ever. No, that's a lie, but still, I've been so freaking productive. I even did all the items that required me to actually leave the house and go out in public. I returned all the overdue library books (total fine =$3.20), got something notarized, and picked up a copy of Junior's birth certificate so that I can register him for kindergarten on Saturday. Somebody replaced my sweet baby boy with a big kid, and I'm none too happy about it.

I even scoped out two projects that I'm bidding on. I don't want to say things are improving and jinx it, but I'm seeing more postings for tech writers, and more opportunities to do web content development. Also, I have had a couple of small projects this week, so I'm just happy to be busy.

I'm going to let the warm weather and the possible work improve my mood and not dwell on the fact that our "elected" leader chooses to ignore the American People and most of the free world, and play High Noon out in the desert. I'm going to ignore the Code Orange and throw open the windows and listen to some peppy tunes. Cause that's the kind of gal I am.

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, March 17, 2003

AIDS Walk New York 2003

If you have $5 or $10 or whatever, consider sponsoring my friend Jeff who is participating in the May 18th AIDS Walk NY.

posted by J L Permalink

Why St. Pat's Day Is Good

I went to The Bagel Inn this morning and the scone of the day was pistachio (you know, green). I love their pistachio scones. The coffee flavor I got was a little iffy, but drinkable. I brought it home instead of eating/drinking there just because I would rather work now and have fun later, instead of the other way 'round.

Yesterday I told Junior that today he should wear green because it's St. Patrick's Day. The interesting thing about a kid this age is they either want lots of details or none. In this case, he didn't even ask who St. Patrick was or why we're celebrating his day. Just matter-of-fact acceptence.

I promptly forgot about it after that, and this morning I put out jeans and a blue long-sleeved shirt with a lizard on it. He came blazing into my room.
"Mom! I can't wear that shirt, it isn't green!"
"Oh wow, I forgot, let's see if you have something green."
We rummage. The only real green-green shirt he has is a turtleneck that is probably too small for him. I think it just comes to the waist of his pants, and who knows how tight the neck is. Plus, it's going to be 60 today. I don't want him to wear it but he insists. Then he finds a green pair of pants that almost matches the color of the shirt. He looks like a leprachaun, and I tell him so. He thinks that's funny, and he also thinks (thanks Blue's Clues!) that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is actually those foil covered chocolate coins, I believe aka gelt.

So he's very green today, and proud of it. He's actually one-sixteenth Irish. My great-grandmother (on my father's side, his mother's mother) was born in Ireland. Reason enough to celebrate, right?

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Blog Question

Does anyone know what happened to Token Ramblings (still listed in my blogroll)?

posted by J L Permalink

Oh, Right, the Dishes

I just realized the fatal flaw of being away from the house all day. See, I won't run the dishwasher unless I'm hope, simply because of that one time the old dishwasher blew something and peed all over the floor. Well you can guess what's coming next. I didn't run the danged thing and it's full. I hate that. Sure, I can run it tomorrow, but I was supposed to run it today. Never mind that I didn't do the laundry, which had my only green shirt in it. So I won't be "wearin the green" tomorrow. Not that anyone would really be seeing me, unless I turn on the webcam.

Okay, time to shut down the internet (okay, not the whole internet, just my current connection to it, silly) and bring the 'puter up to bed with me. I'm doing some work for a friend and for my sister (two different people, although my sister is my friend) and I want to get a jump on it for tomorrow. I have a LOT to do tomorrow, meaning the closest I'll probably get to the 60 degree air is sitting in front of an open window. Of course, after 14 years working in climate-controlled buildings, this is actually a very very good thing.

posted by J L Permalink

Too Bad It's Night

Wore a denim jacket today, and it was too much! It was almost 60 today! Woo hooooooo! Sorry I wasn't here to write long paragraphs of important and tremendously funny stuff, but did you really think I was going to hang out in front of my computer today?

Actually, I had to go out to buy junior a spring jacket at Target. This whole having to dress a kid thing just doesn't get easier. You'd think after 5 years it would occur to me that he's not necessarily going to fit in last year's stuff. Duh. Anyway, he's all set, and we also picked up two pair of shorts, so if we have a freak heat wave like last year (remember, it was 90 degrees in May?) I'll actually have clothes for him. I haven't gone through all his summer clothes from last year but I know some of it will end up in the donation pile. Oh, and we have the official Red Sox shirt of the season. VERY cute. So I think I've spent enough on him for one weekend, thankyouverymuch.

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Later That Same Day...

IE crashed and I totally lost everything I was in the middle of writing here. I hate that more that I can possibly express to you. I don't even remember everything I wrote here. I hate that even more.

It was good. It was amusing. I remember that much. I don't know if it would have won me any awards, but I'm not in it for that. Well, okay, I am, but I'm also pretending to be modest.

Let's see. I think I was talking about how tomorrow it's going to hit 50, and then 60 on Monday, and 50 again on Tuesday, then I was claiming I was willing to do yardwork. But see, there's still a foot of snow in the yard, so my claiming I would do it can't be proved. You are just going to have to take my word for it. Instead, we can't even go to the playground right now. So we and every other family in New England will be trying to figure out how to be outside enjoying the warmth without leaving paved areas. Or walking in the huge puddles formed by the melting snow. Feel free to post your ideas in the comments section.

posted by J L Permalink

Reliving My Childhood

As a follow-up to yesterday's invisible friends entry, I was poking around the tv listings in the TiVo and decided to record The Banana Splits. Guess who is now watching it for the 2nd time this morning? The splits themselves get a big thumbs up, the Arabian Nights cartoon somewhat of a thumbs up (hey, it involved flying water casks and a magic donkey, what more do you want?). But he didn't like Danger Island (uh oh, Chango!) which is probably because that's serialized, you jump right into the middle of a story, and the story was the guys all being captured by the skeleton people, who looked a little scary. I just might have to grab a few more episodes for him...it's a good way to form the boy in my own image, eh?

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, March 14, 2003

Yes, It IS Friday!

It's so odd. Now that Junior spends all day Friday with me (after his swim lesson I don't bring him to daycare) it always feels like Saturday. Compound that with the fact that we go to my parents' house to play with my sister and her kids and if really does feel like the weekend. I am all for 3 day weekends. Bring 'em on.

A lot of people's kids have imaginary friends. I did when I was very little. I actually remember her, to some extent. Her name was Deebee. She was my friend when I was still an only child. Then my sister came along, and my parents, for whatever reason (maybe dad will comment on this, I know he's reading it) decided to name her Debra, aka Debbie. Get it? Deebee? Debbie? Deebee disappeared at that point. I guess the new little person in our house was more interesting. It's hard to say, I wasn't even three yet when all this happened.

Well Junior has an invisible friend too (who only comes out at random times, and he's not a trouble maker - I don't have to set a place for him at the table, but I do have to sometimes call down to him to make sure he comes up for bed.) Today Junior makes an announcement...Jim has some friends visiting. And they like it here so much that they're moving in.

"How many people are there?"
"Ten boys and two girls."

Oy vey, this kid kills me. So now I have 12 invisible people living in my house, but luckily they drive themselves wherever they need to go. Oh, and they have names. Ready? Tammy, Marsha, Jim, Joshua, Fred, Freddie, Anthony, Jeff, Murray, Greg, Allen and Little Critter. (Anthony, Jeff, Murray, and Greg are the Wiggles and Little Critter is from the Mercer Mayer books - we own almost all of them.) Which made me remember something else...when I was only a little older than Junior is now, I used to pretend that I was having adventures with the cast of HR Pufnstuf and the Bugaloos...so I can understand why the Wiggles are living in our house. Jimmy, Freddie the Flute, Harmony, Joy, Courage and IQ used to live at my mom's house.

posted by J L

Is This Friday?

Junior swam from one side of the pool to the other ALL by himself today! I'm so proud of him! He and one other boy in the class are really making great strides. It's so interesting to watch the progress from week to week. It makes me wish he was having more than one lesson a week, but this works out well for us.

It's SO hot in the pool area. I hate just sitting there and sweating. It makes me want to jump in the pool, that's for sure.

posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, March 13, 2003

We Have None. Trust Me.

As those of you who get the email updates know, this page is site #29 on the Yahoo Search results page if you search for "Arab Sex". (There is none here. Really. Have a nice day.)

So I'm keeping closer tabs on the referrals from the search engines, and learn I'm the #7 site if you search for "naked man snowblowing". Okay people, this is just wrong. And of course, I haven't written anything about naked men snowblowing (or mowing the lawn, or weed whacking. Heh.) But apparently I had those three words appear fairly close to each other back in January. I believe I said it was going to get up to 45 degrees and I'd dance naked in the driveway, or something. If you are here because you did a search for this phrase, please, consider getting help.

posted by J L Permalink


It's snowing.


posted by J L Permalink

He Did the Hard Work For Me

I was going to write up a rant about Freedom Fries (I believe this is the thing I couldn't think of in the previous entry. D'oh!) because I think the whole thing makes "us" look like complete idiots, and I want to throw canned goods at the Hair Net who came up with it. But Mister Crunchy did a far better and funnier job than I would have. My favorite on his list is a tie between 7 and 12.

posted by J L Permalink

Ahhhh, that's better

Yes, it looks like our beloved blogger has had the appropriate sneaker to server kickage, and is once again alive. ALIVE!

I was going to complain about something but I don't remember what it was. I could make up something to complain about, if you'd like. It will feel very real to you. Okay, here goes.

You know what really burns my butt? When people use the last of the salt in the shaker and don't refill it. Man, if that isn't the most insensitive thing you could do - leave a gal just sitting there, saltless. I don't think it's specifically my job to fill the salt shaker. You have two hands and two feet. And if you use the shaker and only a grain or two dribbles out, don't just put the shaker down and walk away...either tell someone or fill it! There, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. It's been bothering me for a long time.

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Why I Love James Lileks, part 449

Referring to the made-for-tv sort-of-kind-of Batman reunion movie that was on over the weekend, James Lileks writes:

"Adam West appears to be utterly mad, and Burt Ward looks like he’s auditioning to play Orson Welles in an all-munchkin production of “The Paul Masson Years.” Frank Gorshin, bless his soul, resembles old fruit at the back of an office refrigerator."

God that's good stuff. Utterly mad. I've read his book (Adam West's, although I've read 3 of Lileks') and he may be right. But that's why I love Adam West - you couldn't invent someone like him if you tried.

posted by J L Permalink

More Tub Cleaning Tools

Had to go to the grocery store this morning to cash my unemployment check (yes, I bank at the grocery store. I believe in making as few trips as possible when it's time to do errands.) I was picking up the few items I needed, and wandered up the cleaning "stuff" aisle on my way back to the front of the store. I pick this aisle because you just never know when the perfect dish scrubbie will appear on the rack, solving the problem is the Discontinued Dish Scrubbie. [Insert sound of weeping]

I was pricing 409 Glass Cleaner, when a new product in the tub section caught my eye. First, because the bottle is purple. Second, because of the name of the product. "Kaboom." What an awesome name. I looked over the label, noting the "From the makers of Oxy-Clean" and the "Breath Easy" on the label. As I have mentioned here before, cleaning products do a number on my lungs. I can't buy most of the stuff that's out there, because I can't handle the fumes. I normally use Scrub Free because of all the tub products, that one seems to have the least offensive fumes.

Well, I've found another. Kaboom has a kind of orange scent (you know, the Oxy-Clean people also make Orange Glow, the orange oil (?) cleaning products, so this doesn't surprise me). Other than that, no fumes. You could spray it in the tub and lean right in close and not pass out. And it seems to have done a bang-up job. So I'm going to give Kaboom 4 tiles out of 5. (It loses a half a tile because it's doesn't magically do all the work for you, plus it does say on the bottle that you should rinse, and I hate that.

posted by J L Permalink

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Ready to Fly

I bought a box cutter at Staples today, to deal with recycling cardboard (which has to but cut down to a certain size or they won't take it). I was thinking to myself "THIS is the weapon that they used to hijack planes?" That's amazing. The cashier didn't appear to be evaluate whether or not I should be allowed to purchase a box cutter. No paperwork was required. But I will keep it in a safe place so terrorists cannot hijack my junk drawer.

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, March 10, 2003

A True New Englander

While I'm thinking about it, twice now (well, at least once but I think twice) Adam over at Boston Online has referred to me as "a true New Englander". Well, I am. I've never lived outside of New England. I am 10th generation New Englander. But I think it's funny that he's referred to me this way twice. I need to start acting the part. Maybe I'll grow cranberries in the backyard. It is pretty wet on the other side of the fence. I'd have to cut down a lot of trees, though, because most of the bogs I've seen were out in the open. The water levels may have had something to do with it, though.

So the true New Englander in me has to go put on her winter coat, scarf, hat and mittens on this the 10th day of March because with the wind chill it's 8 degrees outside. Lovely. I swear, I've never seen a winter like this.

posted by J L Permalink

The Mail Thing Again

I used to get my mail at noon. I have lived in this house for almost 9 years now, which is a subject for another day, but for almost all of those 9 years, it was a very safe bet that if you went to the mailbox by 1pm the mail would be there. Our mailman generally delivered the mail between 11:30 and 12:30. For years.

Suddenly, the mail has been getting here between, oh, say 3 and 5. It's 3:20pm right now, and he was just here (dropping off crap, I might add). I just can't handle the change. Why, after 9 years, am I forced to suffer this way? Doesn't he know what he's doing to me?

posted by J L Permalink

A Good Time Was Had By All

One bottle of Merlot, three huge portions of food, and one free dessert later, it's back to normal life. We went to Vinnie Testa's to celebrate my friend's birthday, while her husband watched her two kids and Junior. It is the highlight of his week when he gets to go play with them, so this was a good deal for everyone involved. We were going to eat and then maybe wander around Tatnuck or the Christmas Tree Shop in Shrewsbury, but we effectively killed our whole 3 hours just at the restaurant, talking and laughing. The bummer is that now the next birthday isn't until October, so we'll have to find some other excuse to do this again!

posted by J L Permalink

Updating the Comments Directory

Pardon my dust while I attempt to figure out if I actually wrote the correct PHP statements to get my commenting software to work the way I want it to. Talk amongst yourselves.

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Girl's Night Out

Okay, if you don't hear from me again tonight it's because I'm out having fun!

posted by J L Permalink

Making a Clean Spot

My sister and her family bought a new dining room set and I am inheriting the old one. My dad says they will bring it over today, so that means my job is to create a clean spot for it. Easier said than done, of course. I have to figure out where to put the current table and chairs, and then I have to make sure there is enough room where the little desk is. The little desk is supposed to go up to Junior's room. But then I have to find a place for all the stuff that's ON the little desk. And under it. I'd better get started on that, I suppose. So if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why.

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, March 08, 2003

What Was I Going to Tell You?

Man, I hate when I see or hear something and I want to tell you guys about it but somewhere between hearing/seeing and getting in front of the computer, the thought has been shot out of my ears and into the stratosphere. There was something good, too. I just can't remember what it was.

So I'll cover other stuff. Mailed my tax return yesterday (yes, refund so it was going out as soon as it was done). I took it with me to Junior's swim lesson because the Fitchburg post office is around the corner. I was surprised to see armed guards in the lobby, but duh, it's a federal building. I wonder if I looked suspicious, seeing as I was so happy to actually be mailing off a tax return. I'm surprised they didn't wrestle me to the ground.

posted by J L Permalink

Waffles for Breakfast

I had my Eggo Homestyle waffles for breakfast. They have calcium added, which is why I buy them. Now is it just me, or do you absolutely need a glass of milk when you eat anything with syrup? I think syrup was invented by the dairy farmers of America - it's just part of the marketing budget. Of course I only eat the real stuff, don't even come near me with your pseudo-syrup. Mrs. Butterworth can kiss my maple buns.

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, March 07, 2003

Mouse Update 2

It is so wrong to just never want to have to remove a dead mouse, if in fact a dead mouse exists? I need to go check the trap but I want no part of it...at all. But that's my job, right? I'm head mouse killer.

===5 minutes later===

AAAAHHH AHHHHAAHHHHHH!!!! I don't want to be the head mouse killer! I saw that the trap had been sprung (this trap hides everything, so you just need to look to see if the metal thingy is up or not) and it had, and I freaked out. I considered calling my dad to come get it but that would have fed into the whole "helpless Jody" thing. So I grabbed a couple of plastic shopping bags (one to use to get the back box, one to put it in...and the little tail was sticking out! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I almost dropped it, but I think that would have given me a stroke right there in the closet.

He's gone now, but I have lost my appetite. I may not eat for days. Gah. What a big baby I am. *washes hands for the 4th time*

Here's the one thing that bothers me most...people REUSE these traps?

posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Just Another Day In New England

Ya, I thought I'd share with you why I'm glad I wasn't out on the highway this morning.

I was actually out in it, at the Dentist's office. It was helpful for taking my mind off the fact that I was at the dentist. It was a long slow ride home but I just fired up a fake log in the fireplace and Junior and I are playing a little Animal Crossing. Just another day in New England.

p.s. No cavities for either of us! Thanks Crest!

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Ex-Boston DJ Checks in...with US!

Hey, Lynn Hoffman, late of Mix 98.5 must have been googling herself earlier this evening, because she found my site and left a comment that yes, that is her on VH1 Classic. Am I good or what? Of course you'll see by my reply that I was feeling a little guilty about my earlier post, and I felt the need to explain. See, I loved listening to them, and then suddenly, it seemed like they were making Lynn into the person who had to act dumb so Lander would seem smarter and/or have a reason to explain things. This is a made up example, but if Lander wanted to talk about the Brady Bunch they'd make her say something like "you mean there was a program about two blended families that had to get along with only one bathroom for 6 kids?" See? Like you KNOW she knows that, but she had to pretend she didn't so Lander could say his schtick.

Anyway, this is why I told the reporter from the Fitchburg Sentinel that I don't badmouth people on my site. People actually READ this damned thing.

posted by J L Permalink

Lord of the Dance Update

You old-timers will remember when every update to the Dump contained a Lord of the Dance Update. Well, let's remember those days fondly with a current update: Yahoo! News - Woman Sues Flatley for $35M, Claims Rape.

posted by J L Permalink

Mouse Update 1

No dead mouse yet. Exterminator just showed up at the house but I was gone. Don't know why he did that, I want to find out how much this will cost, first. I don't want him to drive all the way here and not have me home (which is what happened) either.

Oh, non-mouse stuff: You'll have to wait for today's kiddie story. Also, working on editing the NanoNovel still. I haven't removed any characters....yet. Although part of me thinks one whole plotline (and the grandmother character) may have to go. Not sure yet.

posted by J L Permalink

Stupid Mice

The real kind, not the computer kind. Apparently I'm in for round 2 of MouseWars this year. Three nights in a row gnawing has woken me from a sound sleep. LOUD gnawing. I know last year the exterminator told me they were small mice, but it sounds like something bigger. But it's been about a year since the last time we had to do this, I think. I'm pretty sure it was February of last year.

I called the exterminator again (I'd love him to figure out where they are coming in...that concerns me, actually) but he hasn't returned my call. I suppose that's a good thing because thinking about it, I cannot afford to pay for an exterminator. The whole freelancing thing has been a bit slow lately, to be honest. So instead of making a 2nd call to my bug/mouse guy, I spent a couple of bugs on some trap thingies. I put peanut butter in one and put it in the attic. Now my immediate problem is that I only own a step-stool so I couldn't get up into the attic through the trapdoor. So the trap is just over the lip of that door. I know the mouse has been hanging out over my bedroom, which isn't where the door is. Hopefully the smell of peanut butter will attract him.

I guess that means I'm going to need to check the damned thing regularly if I don't want to have to deal with stinky dead animals later on. *sigh*.

posted by J L Permalink

Tuesday, March 04, 2003


(Hooray, it's the Amish Tech
Blog A Day Tour!)

(This post written by guest blogger Laurence Simon. Visit his site!)

Today, I saw that the big headline on Drudge Report was: WASHINGTON POST: Saddam: U.S. Wants Arabs As Slaves.

No thanks. I don't want any Arab slaves, thank you very much. I enjoy doing all the household chores myself. I know it's weird that a guy likes to clean, vacuum, do laundry and clean litterboxes, but I've gotten in touch with something in getting back those domestic maintenance tasks.

Not only isn't there much need for an Arab slave here, there isn't much room for one, either. We've got a cozy little place here, even with the large enclosed patio and garden. Not that I'm complaining, but the time is coming soon when cozy will turn to constrained, and then ultimately cramped.

Adding a slave or three to the occupancy won't help with that situation.

Now, maybe if there were an Arab fitness trainer among the captives I might think about putting in a bid at the auction square, but even then I would be extremely wary trusting an Arab captive with the task of coaching my quest to achieve a more slender and healthy figure. I could work out a schedule with someone to time-share such an Arab slave, where I'd get the working hours rights to him and the others would divide up the evenings or mornings for his services.

Fat lot of good that would do, though. I would not trust an Arab slave to spot me as I did bench presses, let alone refrain from slitting my throat as I did my daily walk. It's the same reluctance I have in letting a stranger cook for me, thinking they might take the opportunity to poison me.

Arab sex slaves perhaps? I think not. As much as Google sends the Arab Sex Foot Fetish Camel Boy Girl Hump searches to my own site, I still believe in the virtues of monogamy and my needs are simple. Third parties need not apply.

So, really, we'll just stick with taking the oil to pay for our liberation services, we're not interested in the whole Arab slave thing.

posted by J L Permalink

Joshua the Elephant

Junior and I were coloring with markers last night, and we were practicing drawing things from his "My Big Backyard" magazine. I wrote a story to go with one of my drawings, and I would like to share it with you, my fans.

Once upon a time there was a little purple elephant named Joshua. He lived in a little purple house with a little purple door and two purple windows. Joshua worked very hard at farmer Ray's Peanut farm, where he was in charge of testing the ripe peanuts before farmer Ray sent them to the peanut processing plant. Every night Joshua would make himself a peanut butter and banana sandwich to eat, and he would sit in his little purple rocking chair and read stories about very brave elephants who were not afraid of anything, not even a scary little mouse. Joshua was a very happy elephant.

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, March 03, 2003

This Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Because I run a family-friendly site, I feel I should warn you that while the picture on this page is g-rated, the language isn't. It's still darned funny, and I'd love to see him using his cell phone attachment.

posted by J L Permalink

Down Briefly

I guess there was a server bloop. Sorry if you tried to get here in the past 15 minutes or so. We're back, though, so pull up a chair and a box of Raisinets and enjoy the show.

posted by J L Permalink

Boy, Is Time Ever Flying

I guess I've been doing a good job of keeping busy. Or at least keeping myself amused. I can't believe it's Monday again. Didn't I just put the trash out? How could it be trash day again already?

Actually doing the trash this week was like an immunity challenge on Survivor. It rained all day yesterday (poured, thank you, for most of the day) and by 8pm last night there was a thin glaze of ice everywhere. And I mean everwhere. Junior and I were coming home from my sister's house, and after we got off the highway, we were on a side street. At a curve in the road, my car wouldn't stop, slow or take the curve. VERY tense few minutes - luckily I wasn't going very fast and pumping the brakes and downshifting took care of things. Luckily I was only a mile or so from home because then I was in a blind panic about the ice...if I hadn't stayed below 20mph I would have slid right through a stop sign (luckily, Sunday nights traffic is much lighter, and there are no commuters on that road so there wasn't anyone coming in either direction.)

Oh, so then I got home, and had to do rubbish. My driveway slopes down...boy howdy, it was a fun walk down the the end of the driveway and back up again!

This morning I ran out to pick up the empty bins in only a sweater (it's nice and sunny out!) and nearly froze to death. Oh my word, is it cold out there. Yahoo says it feels like -7 (wind gusts are 20-30mph) but I'm here to tell you it feels MUCH colder than that. My fingers were aching, and I was only out there 30 seconds to a minute! My goodness, is it just me, or is that a little chilly for March?

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Grocery Shopping Day

I need to go to the grocery store. I'm leaving as soon as I type this (and take a potty break). Man, I'm tired of grocery shopping. Well, it's fun if you're buying something "good". But "good" is all relative. This week a LOT of my staples are on sale, which is very exciting. My poison of choice, Barq's root beer is only 77 cents for a 2 liter bottle, limit 8 per customer (actually, all Coke products, not just Barq's. THIS time I'm going to look at expiration dates. I don't want to have to drink 14 liters of soda in 3 weeks.

Junior's dad is home for the weekend, so he's thrilled. His work has him in London almost constantly. It's very not cool. But he's visiting, and that's all that matters, right?

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Cripes, Did I Miss Saturday?

I swear, I thought I posted something this morning. Then I left for almost the whole day (what? a whole day away from the computer? The shame!) and came back and...nothing.

So I'll tell you this: if you go to Kmart to buy feminine hygiene products and Rescue Heroes figures, get a shopping cart. Juggling tampons and pads etc while you wander the store draws attention you probably don't want or need. I'm sure Martha Stewart would have frowned.

posted by J L Permalink

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