On another social networking site of an inferior quality I characterized myself as a liberal and an old friend said she didn't think of me as a liberal but as more of a libertarian. "A liberal-itarian, perhaps?"

This was my response to her:
In some ways I am probably kind of an old school libertarian. I think people should be able to live their lives as they like, and I do think that the military and the military-industrial complex should go begging, and we shouldn't be subsidizing big business. In other ways I have to admit to a distinct liberal bias - I don't see any point in having a government if it's not to protect and serve the people. A government should be the way we pool our bargaining power. It should fund itself to inspect corporations by fining them for polluting our earth, our water, our bodies, by fining them for selling us shoddy goods or foods that endanger us. And yes, it should be our way to pool our resources to get things like education and health care delivered to everyone so that we all have a decent fighting chance to have a healthy and productive life.
Whelp, today those of us who've been with the organization for 15 years got pins to commemorate our... stupidity determination. We got pins, and there was cake. It's really odd how some of us just stick even though there's huge turnover in general. I don't know if those of us who started together have a sense of mission, or if we're just scared to attempt getting another job.

The main thing we're all aware of, though, is that we're now going to get even more annual leave time that we won't be able to take because of under staffing. Supposedly we're only just a little under fully staffed at the moment, but if that's true why is it so difficult to get time off?
I need to order my thoughts on this story, as I hope to write my brother (Hawk) a letter, today, to put in a box with some high school yearbooks of his which I found.

It began with a cousin of my mother's sending me a facebook message saying that as he had relocated his family to a new home, he was now hoping to clean out his old house and sell it, and my mother had left some things in his barn. Some time went by before I found a day when I could get down there to his old place, it being an hour's drive away. Of course, when I had time he was not available, but he said I could go on down there and I would find my mother's things clearly marked, in the barn loft on the left. I did not relish the idea of going into the barn of an old abandoned house by myself, so I contacted my cousin, Di, on the same side of the family, and asked her if she was up for an adventure.

A typical New England farmhouse in all but color - J.N. painted it a kind of pale orange with slightly more fluorescent trim - the place is tall and weathered with the barn attached at the back corner. As we climbed out of the car, taking the whole scene in, we noted that not only was one of the pair of large rolling barn doors standing open, but the house door was also standing open. Clearly some of the piles of stuff around the driveway were complete garbage, and had been there a while, but some gave the impression someone had recently been bringing things out, but had just left, possibly in a hurry. The gas grill just to the side of the driveway had grass growing up around it, but the fishing rod leaning against it had not yet been knocked down by wind. A small set of shelves on the covered steps had items stacked upon it - perhaps a baby bassinet with other fabric-covered items stacked inside it - which had not begun to mildew, as any cloth left out doors tends to do in a few days in our climate.

"Should we go in?" I asked Di.

"I didn't bring a gun," Di responded.

I wondered if I should loudly say that I was armed, but that would have been a lie, so I did not.

"We have no idea who's in there," she continued. "Sure."

We both sent texts to J.N. to let him know we were going in to his house to investigate why the door was open.

Inside was a bit of a shambles. It was surprising enough to me that there was some minimal, if badly worn, furniture, but then there were clothes and shoes lying around, lights and ceiling fan on, stereo powered up, half-empty fifth of whisky on a counter, beer and a bong on the coffee table, and a rifle leaning in the corner. (Yes, I could easily have stolen a gun last weekend. And probably should have, because anyone who leaves something like that lying around should really have it taken away from them.) Di took pics and sent them to J.N. and we continued on to the barn, wondering all the while when these people would show up - stoned? drunk? - and shoot us as trespassers. (The electricity being on gave their habitation a certain legitimacy, and we realized we'd entered under a false assumption, and really should not have.)

The barn was much the same sort of shambles only on a bigger scale - lots of furniture, lumber, mildewed books, at least two old exercise machines, several quite new looking bicycles that seemed in decent shape at quick glance, but were tossed in on top of everything else. Piles of small wooden boxes. There were several levels of lofts, and we picked our way to the back and found a set of stairs, but the things on the left in that loft were not marked in any way as my Mom's, and try as we might we could not find a way to get to the loft immediately to the left of the front door. At one point we went through a door, hoping there was another set of stairs, and found more lights on in a sort of back workshop area with a stand-up freezer, which Di teased me was where they stashed the bodies.

Finally I moved a ladder over and we climbed up to investigate a pile of things that looked somewhat orderly. They also were not marked, but some were my mother's. Others clearly had J.N.'s mother's maiden name on them, which is the same as the road the house is on. (Old New England families...) That was the only sure indicator that they were not my mom's, as his family name is the same as the maiden name of the grandmother Di and I have in common. (I'm honestly not entirely sure how J.N. is related to me and my cousin Di, because as far as I know our grandmother did not have any brothers, so I think one has to go a generation further back to find the connection. He may be a descendant of my great great grandfather.)

At any rate, it was old books and papers, two stuffed filing cabinets, the occasional broken chair. I was completely overwhelmed, and Di, who did not even want to climb the ladder in the first place, was amazingly supportive and understanding, directed my thoughts, helped me pack stuff into a random tote bag we found there, carried chairs down the ladder for me - I was impressed - and packed the car. We basically grabbed a very few quite random things and got the hell out of there.

Which is how I got three yearbooks which belong to my brother. Also, two dark lanterns, the two (broken) chairs that match each other, and some beads.

And then I went to her house to wash my hands and meet her goats.

Later we heard from J.N. and he says the people living in the house are his wife's sister (I think?) and her new husband.
The local farmers who work together with their cows showed up to put another strand of barbed wire on the fence bordering our septic area. Eor saw them, while I was making breakfast, and commented that an escape artist cow is usually the first one to become hamburger, because it's just too much trouble to run around putting up more wire.

And this cow IS an escape artist. Now that he's learned the trick he just keeps testing the fence. While they were working on the fence by the septic field, he got out at another spot, and they saw him behind our barn. Dick brought David's truck up to our driveway while David was walking along the fence bordering the back of our property, so Eor went out to talk with him, and reported to me that Dick says, "A cow like that, the best place to keep him is a twenty-one cubic foot enclosure at below zero degrees."

But for now they're going to put him inside an electric fence enclosure, to convince him that fences are not to be pushed against.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Aug. 25th, 2017 04:11 pm)
One of our cow neighbors (a fat little brown thing, I have no idea if it was a pregnant heifer or a young steer) was down grazing on our septic field when I got home about a half hour ago, so I called the owner, and he came over with a bucket with a little grain in it to lure the cow back over. Here's where years of experience wins - what it looked like to me was, he rattled the bucket, then showed himself, and cow looked around as if to say, "I have no idea how to get back over to you... and anyway, I've found good grazing here." So the farmer went back out of sight behind the trees, and in a few seconds the cow got curious and went back through the fence. He ducked his head under the top strand of barbed wire and stepped over the middle strand. The whole fence squealed and groaned, but he went through nimble as a cat. It's obvious the fence poses no barrier aside from psychological. But, the farmer knows his cow psychology.
I've got a million things to do, but I had to post about this.

Between last night and today I've been working on mowing the lawn, because it was supposed to rain today for the first time in, like, a while. Last night I went to refill the gas tank of the lawnmower, and because it was getting dark and I didn't think I could see the level of gas well enough, I fumbled one of my earplugs out so I could hear it filling... and the earplug dropped right into the gas tank. That hole is what, a little over two inches wide, and already mostly blocked by the nozzle of the cannister?

This morning I was back at work, and had to move the ladder which has been leaning against the side of the barn for long enough for the grass to grow a bit too long, there. (I left it, last mowing.) When I went to put it down the mechanism which allows to to telescope back down was jammed by a small rock, just exactly the right size to fit in just to the top of the space, so that I could touch it but not get my fingers around it. I had to turn the ladder upside down and rattle it around for a minute to get the pebble to fall out. All I can think is that it must have fallen off Eor's shoe when he climbed up the ladder, and somehow managed to fall and slot itself right into that tiny gap, just the right size for it.

I'm beginning to think we have a mischievous spirit of some sort, here.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Aug. 2nd, 2017 06:31 pm)
I've started to try reading "Perdido Street Station" by China Mieville. After three pages I found myself scanning Archive Of Our Own for Tintin/Captain Haddock slash.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Jul. 21st, 2017 07:52 am)
Well, I did not manage to do anything useful yesterday, or at least not before Eor got home. Okay, two loads of laundry were in process when he arrived, and I was just finishing loading the dishwasher, but that's not much for having been home at least four hours before he was. Today I want to be better. The grass is still wet, but needs to be mowed. The garden needs weeding. When it gets too hot there's a chair in the barn that my aunt started painting while she was here; she only got halfway through the primer coat, so I can keep on with that. Or I can do more dishes, because I dirtied more than I washed, yesterday.

And then there's the guy who lives in my mother's house I should call and talk with. He needs to find someone to co-sign on a loan so he can buy the house, and I suspect I'm going to have to start calling him and telling him that repeatedly. We've offered him a really good deal on it - one third less than it's assessed at for tax purposes. Honestly, this is because we know he can't afford much and we are not interested in anything besides getting rid of the place and recouping what it took in lawyer's fees to get the property line straightened out. But if anyone asks we may say that the low price is in light of the fact that he took good care of the place for my mother. (Living in it completely free - she was even still paying the taxes.)

So, yeah... while it's still cool I should not be reading my Thursday Next book. But I have been, of course. They're facing an outbreak of the mispeling vyrus at the moment. Actually, I'm sure I saw that on the loose yesterday, at work. I had an email from a customer support person telling me that this one report query requires 'enchantment.' In the context of the sentence I read it as he intended it, as 'enhancement', initially, and it was only as I was responding that I noticed that was not what he actually had written. :)
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Jul. 21st, 2017 06:27 am)
I was just looking at the inside of my kettle, and thinking that I don't know if I've ever had scale on the inside of my kettle before, when I realized that the scale has two distinct layers, a darker and a lighter. So it seems likely that it had scale from some previous place we lived and that the layer on top developed in the last four years. I guess I just never noticed or cared before.

I tried lemon juice last night, and I guess I'll do another round today. I think it took some of it off.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Jul. 21st, 2017 05:56 am)
Something I just noticed about DreamWidth and LiveJournal - when I first moved to DW I felt as though the default 100% size text was about the same, but now when I look at LJ I have to increase the text to 140% in order for it to look about the same. Are the folks who run LJ trying to make me feel old in order to make me move on to some other platform? :)
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Jul. 20th, 2017 03:10 pm)
It is so ridiculously hot. And I have the kettle on, because I need tea so badly.

Work sent me to a training in the next state, lodgings got messed up, I ended up doing things for work for too many hours in the last two days, and then I was told that because I was IN class and traveling for being in class (not TEACHING the class) I would get comp time instead of overtime pay. Which I think it complete and utter bullshit, because my pay grade is part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The problem with accepting Comp time is that it becomes time off that has to be used, and getting time off when you want it is almost impossible. So I was basically offered the option of go home early today or try to figure out when I would be allowed to use more time off when I can't even use my vacation time. I was so tired that I chose going home early today, and just took a nap.

Now I'm trying to revive myself with tea to see if I can get anything useful done.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Jun. 4th, 2017 06:38 am)
A few years ago a co-worker told me that whenever you have belt loops, you should have a belt through them. Well, the other day I was in a store where the cashier did not have a belt in the loops of her jeans. Yesterday morning I was telling Eor that now that I know there's a rule I'm really bothered when I see someone not following it.

"Rules were made to be broken," he said. "YOU, you're concerned about rules?"

I said that perhaps I've gotten used to following rules, at work.

"You mean you've been broke by The Man? Next you're going to tell me that resistance is futile, Locutus?"
Has anyone had posts disappear? I could have sworn I saw some things Eor posted - book reviews - in the past month or so, but now it's saying the last thing he posted was in December.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( May. 22nd, 2017 05:06 am)
"Normal" people seem to think I'm weird when I try to say that I don't know what I was thinking yesterday. I strongly suspect that everyone is like this, they just don't like to admit it.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( May. 10th, 2017 04:50 am)
At this point I know it's Wednesday, but can I tell you about my Monday? It started with hitting something while I was driving the company car. What did I hit? The boss's car. On the one hand, how much worse can it be? On the other, as the cop we called said, "At least it keeps it in the family." And the boss, who used to be a terror, acted supremely chill about the whole thing. It was just a scratch on the bumper.

Aside from the combination of his car being black, and a dark, small (well, for American cars) parking garage on an overcast day, I suppose the most important factor was that I was feeling stressed and harried. I was on my way to teach a class with the new trainer, who has already proved himself to be back-stabby, and I was getting a slightly later start than I had wanted to, and my direct boss (not the one who's car I hit) was waiting for me to come around and load up some stuff, so I started moving too quickly and without properly checking my seat hight and mirror visibility. I'm usually very careful on that kind of thing, and I guess there's a reason why.

So, no injury, no real damage, but government paperwork took about two hours. And then, of the two hour drive, about an hour and a half was in the rain. People at both ends were under the impression that it was overcast but dry, but the terrain in between brought me about every permutation of rain, on the highway at 70mph, with ridiculous numbers of cars pulled over. It turned into a ten and a half hour long day without real meal breaks (I snacked while driving), and very brief pee stops.

But the class went okay, I think. :)
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Apr. 26th, 2017 09:09 pm)
I am attempting to struggle through the evil which is self-evaluation in preparation for half-year review. (For some reason Eor's company is on end of year review, but I'm pretty sure we're only at the half.) I had an absolutely miserable time at second quarter, when I lost my shit at my manager and told him bluntly that I did not have TIME for pissing around with this review garbage. He was not amused, but I hope he realizes that I was stressed, worn out, and at my wits' end because of over work.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Apr. 17th, 2017 08:19 pm)
"Some days I wash the floors in milk, some days in orange juice." Tonight I've washed it in cider.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Apr. 17th, 2017 08:16 pm)
I had to travel to another office today to deal with a certain individual (I'll label him A), and happened to see another particular individual (she shall be B for the purposes of this exercise). She said, "Good luck with that guy. He doesn't like me." I very nearly said, "Who does?" but it didn't quite pop out of my mouth. I don't know her that well. I'd probably say that to someone I actually liked, but right now I actually don't like her, either.
Actually didn't really do a lot of stuff that was primarily 'outdoor.' Hauled down some firewood from the shed, started restacking some bricks to discourage creatures from coming under the garden fence, peeled up some sprue (pachysandra terminalis, a non-native invasive), managed to finish uprooting a crushed drainage pipe which we'd had to leave halfway rooted last fall. (Playing in the mud ftw!) Mainly looked around and noted the winter damage. It all looks like hell right now, and several trees had fallen in our tiny patch of woods.
derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
( Apr. 12th, 2017 05:27 pm)
Every time I come home whimpering in pain from a bra (which is pretty much every day) I wonder why the plastic surgeon said he couldn't take these things all the way OFF. And why he looked to Eor when he said, "Let's just see what we end up with, shall we?" It went over Eor's head at the time that the doctor was seeking his approval as a guy-guy sort of thing, expecting my husband doesn't want them A cups. If Eor had realized that his approval was being sought he'd have said, "I love A cups!"* But regardless I should have walked out on the doctor for seeking my husband's input on what my bra size should be! Why didn't I seek a second opinion? I can't afford to have it done again, either in time or money or discomfort - I really just can't take it. If I could go back in time and change one thing... well, really there's probably billions of more important things in the flow of all time and events, but right this minute my ribs hurt like hell.

*I say it went over his head, but I know the fact is he wasn't looking at the doctor, he was busy looking to me to see what my opinion was, like any good, supportive partner does. He did not consider himself part of that conversation, it was between me and the doctor.


derien: It's a cup of tea and a white mouse.  The mouse is offering to buy Arthur's brain and replace it with a simple computer. (Default)
Curried Goat in a paper cup


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