Friday, January 30, 2009

It was a good day

A really good day, in fact.

I had the day off, so I pretended I was a slug. It's nice bein a slug, ya know?

I did manage to rouse myself enough to do our taxes. We're gettin a ginormous chunk 'o change back. Schweeeeet.

And this evening, Da Zigster got a phone call that he's been waitin on for...oh...about seven years. It made him incredibly happy, thusly, makin me incredibly happy, too.

Oh...and I finally got my FOID card in the mail today. Geeeze...Ziggy and I mailed our apps in at the same the same damn envelope, even...and he's had his for a couple-three months, now. I was startin to get a little paranoid.

Betcha can't guess what a little of that ginormous refund is gonna buy. heh

Monday, January 26, 2009


The Zigster Queen Family Truckster!

Our poor little PT 'vert was, indeed, sick. Very sick. Fortunately, she held herself together enough to make a really, really nice trade-in value. Well, except for the CD player, which very conveniently died today. Ok, so we didn't mention the fact that she was sick...other than the CD player, anyway. In other words, the transmission didn't make that intermittent, but terrible clunking sound when they test-drove 'er. Bless her little heart.

I'm tellin ya...if you can do it, now is the time to buy a car. Especially something the Truckster.

We got one helluva deal. The Car Fax Certified (for what it's worth) "Truckster" is a '08 with 15,000 miles...and she was a rental. She's got all the bells and whistles, including the remainder of the warranty...and they even threw in an additional 12 month/12000 miles on top of they knocked off an additional 200 bucks of the price...which was already dirt cheap. Ok, not exactly dirt cheap...but very reasonable.

The offer was so good that Ziggy didn't even dicker.

Actually, we had our choice of colors, too. They had three or four...same year and model...same options...nearly the same mileage...for the same price. I was kinda partial to the black one, though.

Ok, so it's not exactly the original Truckster. And it's certainly not as fun as the 'vert was. But it's got enough ooomph to pull a boat...if we ever get one. And it's got enough room in it that we can haul furniture...without havin to put the top down. Hell, we could even camp in the damn thing.

The practical side of me is tickled pink with it. And I've gotta admit...the Zigster and I have talked many times about how damned handy one of these would be.

On the other hand, it's a...a...I'm not even sure I can say the word...a....ohmyfuckingawd...we bought a minivan! Oh, they try to call it an SUV. They ain't foolin me. I'm gonna hafta join the PTfuckinA and go find some little bastard to haul around to soccer practice.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


  • Leslie
  • has a couple vids of pole dancers that reminded me of this gem Jules sent me a while back. I laughed til I thought I'd pee my pants...because it looks exactly like what'd happen to me, should I be foolish enough to try it. heh

    In fact, it makes me laugh every time I watch it...and right now, laughter is about the only medicine that seems to be workin. Yea. I'm still sick. Better, but not back to my normal self, by any means. I don't know what the hell that bug was, but I hope ta hell I don't ever meet up with the little bastard again.

    I'm sick of bein sick. I'm sick sick sick of the weather. Snow and ice and freezing fog and -20 degree temps. Ack! I'm sick sick sick of winter, period.

    And I'm heartsick, too. Our beloved...our cherished...little PT 'vert seems to be...well...sick. If it's what da Zigster thinks, it's bad. 'Course, we paid it off early...just a few months of course somethin bad was bound to go wrong. It's been a honey. And we've had some wonderful trips in her, so I suppose we'll always have our memories.

    So, it looks like we're goin car shoppin. In fact, we've already got our eye on something that's big enough to haul a boat. Well, if we ever get a boat, we'll be able to haul it.

    It's not nearly as sporty as the 'vert, but what the hell...we're not nearly as sporty as we used ta be, either. heh

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    I think he needs to hone his skills...just a tad

    This is...what we believe to be...a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. We believe that's what it is because of our well-worn copy of
  • Common Birds of North America
  • that we keep on the table right beside the window.

    You'll hafta excuse the quality of the photos. I suck as a photographer. Besides that, I'm takin the shots through double-paned, dirty windows.'s been too damn cold to wash the winders on the outside, ok?

    Aaaanyway, James D. Wilson, the author of the above-mentioned book, says that the Sharp-Shinned Hawk is reclusive. Well...this one? Not so much. He's sittin on the fence just beside our deck...right out in the open. And he sat there for probably...I dunno...15 minutes, maybe.

    Mr. Wilson also states that they like to hang out in "...neighborhoods where bird feeders concentrate small birds..." Ok, that's a check. The fence is like...3 feet from the deck...where we have a couple of hanging bird feeders. Stealth isn't his strong suit either, evidently.

    We normally have anywhere from 2 or 3 up to maybe 25 or 30 birds of various descriptions hangin out on the deck, suckin up the free buffet...hence, the handy-dandy little book. 'Course, while this guy was in the area, there wasn't hide nor hair...nor feather...of another bird in the vicinity. I think they musta read the part where it says "Captured prey is taken to a favorite perch, called a "butcher block", where the predator, while furtively glancing about for thieves, quickly de-feathers and consumes it."

    Um. "Butcher block"? This little guy...a butcher? He's definitely got a lot to learn.

    We also have a ton of Bald Eagles that hang in the area. My puny little Pentax just isn't powerful enough to get a really great shot of one of those babies...even though I keep tryin. I wish we could lure one up on the deck and have him pose for this little guy did.

    I suppose hangin a couple dead rabbits from the bird feeders might be a little...gruesome?

    Yea. Probably.

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    The end of the world as we know it

    That seems to be the attitude of a lotta folks.

    Some believe that tomorrow's inauguration will bring about the death of the constitution, the rise of socialism, the end of all our personal freedoms, all manner of horrific events and zombies running about, eating our brains.

    Others believe that it will bring puppies and rainbows and free healthcare and manna from heaven and...well...change.

    No matter what we wind up with, somebody's gonna be real unhappy. Ya can't please all the people all the time, ya know? Personally, I think it'll wind up being somewhere in the middle. It won't be as bad as some people believe...but it won't be as good as a lotta people hope, either. Change isn't necessarily always a good thing.

    I guess my attitude would be dubiously hopeful. But thinkin back on it, that's my usual attitude as far as politics is concerned. I'm always dubiously hopeful. And I'm usually disappointed.

    Some people believe that Bush caused the current economic crisis. Hey, it took a loooong time for the shit to hit the fan...longer than eight years. And it's gonna take a long time to dig our way out of this. I think anyone who'd want to be president right now is just plain nuts. I wouldn't wish it on anybody.

    I don't think that anyone can dig us out of this in any kind of timely manner. In fact, I don't think we should...I don't think we can expect anyone to dig us out of this. I think we have to do it ourselves.

    The big problem...the really sad fact is...that some people...many people...don't know how to do it themselves. And right now, even if they did, they can't.

    And so it goes.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009 a "Hello Kitty" kinda way

    Didja ever see anything cuter than the
  • Nissan Cube
  • ?

    Or the
  • Kia Soul
  • ?

    I'm thinkin I really need one of these little babies.

    You're not gonna stick that there, are ya??

    Since I've gotten older (ahem), my sinus problems have gotten worse. Sometimes, I feel like my eyeballs are buggin out, the pressure gets so bad. This last cold, while pretty much gone, has left me with an almost-continuous sinus headache and the feeling that my head is stuffed full of cotton. I've taken sinus meds, ibuprofen, nasal sprays...tried almost everything. Nothin has touched it.

    A while back, I caught an episode of Oprah that featured Dr. Oz, talkin about
  • Neti pots
  • . It's supposedly good for everything...stuffy head colds, sinus problems, allergies (are you listening, Jules?)...and it's even supposed to keep ya from catchin those nasty buggies in the first place. But....

    What the hell? Pour water up my nose? On purpose? I can't even stand to get water in my nose when I go swimmin, fer shit's sake.

    Yea. Well. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

    I checked out the nearest Walgreens today. And, they're all near. One on damn-near every corner. Anywho, they have Neti pots.

    However, I decided that I'd rather spend the 20 bucks on...oh...I dunno...something a little more fun, and preferring to eschew the trendy little mini tea-pots and pre-packaged salt packets, I decided that a plain, ole water bottle...the kind with the squirty thing on top...would do just fine. I found the "recipe" somewhere...1/4 teaspoon of sea or kosher salt to 8 ounces of body-temperature tap water...and figured I'd just make my own.

    So I did. I poured about two ounces of hot tap water in the bottle, added the kosher salt, shook it up good so it dissolved completely and then added about 6 ounces of lukewarm water and tested it on my ya do a baby bottle. And lemme tell ya. I was more than a try it the first time.

    Oh. My. Gawd. I'm hooked. I can't believe how much better it made me feel. When I take a deep breath, I can feel the air goin alllll the way up into my head. My sinus headache is almost gone. And I can smell!

    Hell. I didn't know I couldn't!

    I know. I know. It just sounds gross and icky. But it really wasn't at all. It just goes in one nostril, up into the sinuses and out the other. Then ya reverse it and do the other nostril. Honest ta actually felt kinda good.

    Anywho, it gets a big thumbs-up from moi. I just need to remember that this particular water bottle is for my nose...and not to drink out of. heh

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Sunday was for the birds

    (Click to embiggen)

    Da boids like to hang out here at the River Rat Retreat. Mostly because da Zigster keeps 'em pretty damn well fed. This pair of doves are frequent fliers (no pun intended) at the all you can eat seed and suet buffet. They hung out here on the deck railing for probably a half hour or more yesterday just...I dunno...watchin the river, I guess.

    Actually, they were probably keepin an eye out for this guy who landed in our tree...

    ...though I'm pretty sure he's not interested in bird seed. Maybe if we'd hang a couple dead rabbits or squirrels out on the deck, we could lure him a little closer?

    I got so excited when I saw him land just outside that I damn near fell over the table tryin to get to the window with the camera.

    Friday, January 09, 2009

    Random thoughts

    I really wish I could stop watchin the
  • news
  • . The man's ego-maniacal attitude makes me do totally crazy yell bad words at the tv. Just to add to the crazy-town atmosphere, he drags out the blacks and the handicapped and the poor and downtrodden to stand beside him at the circus that was his latest press conference... and quotes Alfred Lord Tennyson, fer fucks sake! Why, he's not fit to give Alfred Lord Tennyson a gawddamned enema!

    He's being impeached because he "tried to help the families of Illinois".
    Oh, of course. It had nothing at all to do with tryin to sell a fuckin Senate seat to the highest bidder. No, uh uh. Fuckin wingding.

    Jeeezus H. Keerist on a crutch. Nero fiddles while Rome burns. He makes me be ashamed to be an Illinoisian.

    Work has whipped my fat ass this week. I'm just gonna say...there's some really mean, sad streets out there. And they ain't all in the 'hood. I came home today, went right to bed and took a two-hour nap. When I'm asleep, I don't hafta think...ya know?

    I love my cats. I really do. But sometimes it's like havin a pair of two-year old toddlers in the house. Every time I come in with bags...from the grocery store or from shoppin or whatever...they're all over 'em. "Ooooo! Whatcha got here? Is that chicken? Oh! I think there's a new jug of cat litter...Whoopee! Did you buy another new sweater? Wait. Is that the kinda cat chow we like or did ya buy that crappy kind again? Mmmmmmm...this plastic bag is yummy. I love the way it wads up in my intenstines and makes me puke like a volcano! Wait! Lemme help ya put those paper towels away."

    And speakin of new sweaters, this morning...just as I was gettin ready to walk out the door...Stewie (the one with the plastic bag addiction)...yakked up an enormous, cat chow-crusted hairball on my fuckin brand-new sweater from
  • Coldwater Creek
  • .

    I wonder if he'd survive as an outside cat?
    Ya know when you're readin a blog and ya just happen to have a mouthful of coffee or Diet Coke or water and ya read somethin that's soooo fuckin funny that it makes said liquid shoot out yer nose and all over yer keyboard? Doncha hate it when that happens?

    I...well, with da Zigster's help, anyway...have created a brand-spankin new blog award...

    I'll soon be bestowing said a spiffy, small, those spew-worthy posts.

    Hit those keyboards and make me spew, peeps!

    I think I'm finally on the downside of my current affliction of epizootic. I've sucked up my last bottle of Ny-Quil and I'm no longer using Puffs at the speed of sound.

    Paranoia, "Pammy" be thy name.

    Da Zigster and I applied for our FOID cards several months the same the same friggin envelope, fer chrissake. We've both had 'em before, but let 'em expire.

    He got his probably a month and a half ago. I still haven't gotten mine.

    Wait...was that a black helicopter that I just saw fly overhead??

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009


    Me too!

    I'm always tryin to come up with new ideas for meals. Today seemed like a hearty beef stew kinda day. But I wasn't exactly in the mood for beef stew. I wanted something a little different...but using the stuff I had on hand. I'm far too lazy to slog out to the store's icky...snowy and blowy.

    I remember my mom used to make something she called "Hungarian Beef Stew" that was awesome. I never got the recipe...don't think there was one, really. It was big chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots and little pearl onions...maybe peas...I don't remember for sure, in a tomatoe-y/sweet/savory sauce. I do remember her using...gasp!...ketchup in it.

    Hmmm...what do I have on hand that I could "experiment" with?

    Ok, I've got a nice arm roast in the freezer. A variety of cans of RedGold tomatoes...whole, diced and crushed. Potatoes. Onions. A green pepper that's almost past it's prime...gettin a little wrinkly, ya know? Oooo..and part of a package of frozen carrots. I've got Hungarian paprika, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and garlic. We always have garlic in the house. It's as important as...toilet paper. Maybe more. heh

    Hell, I can do this.

    Pammy's Crockpot Hungarian Beef Stew - Sort Of

    1 1/2 - 2 pounds of stew meat...or beef roast of your choice
    1 28 oz. can RedGold crushed tomatoes
    4 medium-sized potatoes
    1 medium sized onion
    1 large (slightly wrinkled) green pepper
    1/2 package frozen carrots or 2-3 fresh ones
    1 C water
    2 T Worcestershire sauce
    2 T Hungarian sweet paprika
    1 heaping T brown sugar
    1 T crushed or minced garlic or 1 t garlic powder...or to taste
    1 C flour (to toss the meat in)

    Chop up the meat and veggies into hearty-sized pieces. Toss the meat in the flour, shake it up and brown it in a little oil of your choice. Throw it into the crock pot when it's browned. Add the tomatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, brown sugar and garlic and cook on "high" for a couple hours or until the meat is tender. Add your chunked-up veggies and cook on "medium" until they're tender.

    Or you can throw the whole mess into the crock pot and cook on "low" all day. Whatever. I'm tryin to rush it a little and my crock pot cooks pretty fast.

    Now, it's not done yet, so I can't exactly boast about it. But I've tasted the sauce and it's pretty damned good. I think a nice, hearty sourdough bread or maybe some home-made biscuits would be perfect with this. 'Course, I don't have either one on hand. But I do have some good rye that'll go just fine.

    When it's all done, I'll update with a photo (if it's pretty) and the definitive taste test. heh


    YUM! The only change I made was that I thought it needed a little I added a few splashes...maybe a couple tablespoonsful...of balsamic vinegar. Perfect!

    Monday, January 05, 2009

    So far, 2009 sucks

    It sucks. In a big, hairy balls kinda way. It sucketh on so many levels, in so many ways.

    Remember that little "head cold" I came down with the day after Christmas? Yea, I'm still sick. It's morphed into this all-encompassing, multi-symptom, snotty, coughy, feel-like-shit-in-a-general-kinda-way sorta monster. And I'm gettin really tired of this fucking thing.

    Buyin Puffs and Ny-quil is about to break us.

    I scare myself every time I look in the mirror. I'm pasty and washed out and look like some homeless person...draggin around the house with my hair in a headband, stickin out every which-way, and my Sponge-Bob Squarepants pants draggin the floor. All I need is a shoppin cart, some empty soda cans and a few plastic bags to complete the look.

    And we're flooded again. Not nearly as bad this time, but bad enough to close one of the roads out. And bad enough that our sump pump runs about as frequently as my nose. On the bright side, the river is goin down. Slowly. On another bright side, we don't currently have any snow, ice or mixture thereof on the ground. Well, except for the frozen flood water, anyway.

    Of course, bein Illinois, I'm sure that's about to change.

    Good gawd. There's only what?...another four months until spring?

    I wish I was a bear.