Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Fine Day for January Gardening

I woke up this morning with a minor hangover which usually means I will not be venturing far from the house. We had leftover spinach & mushroom casserole from last night so that took care of lunch. After lunch I was starting to go a little stir-crazy after having been working at home all week, so I decided it was a fine day to start some gardening projects.

I emptied all the soil from pots on the patio into the wheelbarrow. I removed all pots from the patio, got some trays soaking in water to loosen the dried dirt, and then swept all the leaves and acorns from the patio.

A bit later I ran over to the nearby Natural Gardener to select some heirloom tomato seeds. A generous number of those have been planted and are residing on a bench in a south facing window in the living room.

Black Krim on the left and Cherokee Purple on the right. (I think! Who cares! They're all good.)

I also got some seeds for the kitties: mixed greens and catnip!

After photographing everything, I got a few containers of the Amish Paste and Mortgage Lifters planted, as well as the felines' mixed greens. The only thing left to plant is the catnip.

The cats will get their treat long before I do as the mixed greens should sprout and grow rather quickly.

Productivity is a wonderful thing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Pussy Blog: Tres Hombres Edition

What a spectacular Friday! Sunny, calm, 73°F/23°C, it doesn't get much better than that for January!

I really tried to get a shot of the two boys sitting on the mat, but if Tiger thinks there is an opportunity for some fur stroking, he'll come running.

The Tot is content to sit in the sun waiting for feeding time which will happen in about 10 minutes.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Dear Teacher,

The one thing I learned tonight is that I can pick any buttharp out of 6 notes and nail it with Jethro Tull.

Do I get bonus points for that?


konagod (with love most sincere)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Kona Reality Channel

Bankruptcy is a strange process.

Within a week after filing, txrad and I began to get junk mail for all sorts of things including new car loans, and credit card offers. Until now the credit card offers have been outrageously rigged with things like a $300 credit limit, and $39 annual fees.

I have been tossing them all in the trash. I was counting on being able to keep my Discover card which I have had since 1989 based on my excellent payment history, and the fact that whenever I call them, they praise me for being one of their best customers. And during the past 4 years of dealing with the other debts, having credits limits reduced drastically, and interest rate hikes, Discover never touched my $15,002 credit limit. Odd, but that's the fact.

So I did my best to protect them. I quit using the card for 3 months prior to filing bankruptcy so there would be no need to drag them into it, particularly since my credit card debt was 100% business related, and not personal consumer debt.

Lo and behold, txrad informed me today that he was unable to use the card at a store this week. I tried to log into my account and was unable to due to a "special situation" related to my account. Uh oh.

Funny thing is, I had no problem logging in 2 days ago to pay not only the balance due, but all charges since the statement ending date! That's how good I have been to Discover.

So I guess I'll have to get on the phone and see if they still think I'm one of their best card members. I really don't get this. The risk was prior to me filing bankruptcy. But I also understand this is all just a stupid numbers game. I'm supposed to get in line with the others who have suffered misfortune and prepare to pay out the ass for a prepaid credit/debit card to help build my credit, and pay them a monthly fee for the convenience!


Yes, to get a prepaid card, meaning that I give them x amount of dollars every month that I can use to buy stuff, they get transaction fees just like the do on a credit card, but they want an "activation fee" and a "monthly service fee" which exceeds even the $39 annual fee charged by the credit card companies to help folks reestablish credit. I don't get it. (Well, I do; it's called preying on the downtrodden for profit.)

Fortunately, I remembered getting a offer for a CapitolOne credit card this week that had no annual fee. And I know they knew I had filed for bankruptcy for two reasons:

1) They specifically mentioned my need to rebuild my credit, and

2) CapitolOne took a pretty major hit in the bankruptcy!

Fancy that.

I applied online, fully expecting something to go wrong, but it was approved. It'll be interesting to see if my credit limit will be $300 vs. the maximum of $3,000 mentioned in the offer letter, but I'll take it. No annual fee, and presumably I will be able to go online and pay far more than my balance when I have the need to use it for a purchase in excess of my credit limit.

The Discover card situation threw me for a loop today and I had to go see what was set up for autopay on the card and get it moved over to a payment directly from my bank account. The cell phone bill and the garbage collection service were the only two. The last thing I want or need right now is another $24 or $29 payment declined fee. I'm done with that shit.

Yes, bankruptcy is a strange process. It also keeps you on your toes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Pussy Blog & Friday Bitch Blog: Combo Edition

Yes, it's that time again when I'm taking care of the neighbor dogs so I am handling many chores! Yee haa!

Sissy having a nap today.

Tot catching some rays today.

A Tot Loaf!

Scout posing before chowing down.

Rio not posing before chowing down.

Poor little old Mickey after having his weenie stuffed with two pills for his heart condition, and his regular dry food drizzled with bacon grease. Yum Yum!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

All That Remains Is The Wait

Today was the dreaded Meeting of the Creditors in the bankruptcy process. I didn't think I'd be the least bit nervous but this morning I felt like I needed a tranquilizer as txrad was driving me downtown for the meeting.

My lawyer had told me he'd be there at 9:45 for the 10:00 meeting. I got there at 9:40 and was really needing to have a few words with him and for some reassurance. The minutes seemed to pass in slow motion as I waited on him to arrive for what seemed like an eternity. Finally at 9:59 he came in the door.

There were a couple of other bankruptcy cases ahead of mine and I was getting increasing nervous as I listened to the trustee and his assistant quizzing the people.

I'm happy to report mine went quite well, about as close to perfection as you can get. Quick, painless, and efficient.

Nothing more to do now but wait for the judge to dismiss the debt and send me the dismissal of debts letter. That should take about 3 months. But I should not have anymore appearances ahead of me with trustees and I probably won't have to visit with the lawyer again. I feel....released.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Do You ====Know?

Like,,,, I dunno. Things happen and you start to realize. Yes, that's IT!!

How Cold Is Too Cold?

I was checking out Canadian weather this morning at The Weather Network website. That's the Canadian version of The Weather Channel. Anyhoo, I ran across this poll and was curious to see how my northern buds define "too cold."

Keep in mind these numbers are celsius. Needless to say, I voted for 0° because that's freezing and when water turns to ice, that's pretty damn cold in my book. I'm happy to see I would not be alone as 8% of Canadians seem to agree with my assessment. (I can't help but wonder how many of those are immigrants from warmer nations.)

The clear winner is definitely a chilly -4°F.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Pussy Blog: Bright Eyes Edition

This has been a week of much cat-wrangling thanks to cool temperatures. It seems to have the Tot feeling feisty.

Looks like somebody might be due for a diet.

Sissy has been spending a lot more time in the office this week instead of on the bed. I think she likes the heater I have running in here. In fact, so does the Tot. He spends a lot of time sitting under my desk with the heat blowing on him.

We're all cold-natured in this house I guess!

Happy Friday! I can't emphasize that enough.

We Have a Problem

For a number of reasons, I haven't been able to post a thing in nearly a week.

The shooting tragedy in Tucson pretty much eliminated whatever glimmer of hope I might have had for the future of this nation. Rather than serving as a wake-up call, it seems to have simply reinforced the reality that we are a gun nation, addicted to guns, and I can't imagine what will change that.
Erich Pratt, the director of communications for Gun Owners of America, said his organization and others were girding for at least a skirmish in Congress. “But I think after the November election it’s going to be very tough for Carolyn McCarthy and even the Peter Kings,” he said “Why should the government be in the business of telling us how we can defend ourselves?”

Mr. Pratt added: “These politicians need to remember that these rights aren’t given to us by them. They come from God. They are God-given rights. They can’t be infringed or limited in any way. What are they going to do: limit it two or three rounds. Having lots of ammunition is critical, especially if the police are not around and you need to be able to defend yourself against mobs.”

Honestly, how do you combat "God-given rights" even when we stand face to face with an unfathomable slaughter of innocent people?

We don't even seem willing to take small steps in addressing this problem in our culture. Therefore, killing sprees will continue, and regardless of how many "law-abiding" citizens are packing heat, our communities are not going to be safer. That is simply false.

I have a God-given right to go shopping at the mall but that doesn't mean I have the right to park right at the entrance, or to drive my car through the glass doors and park directly in front of Banana Republic! There are common-sense rules and regulations we live with daily, most of which are an inconvenience, but we understand the necessity.

So many of these people flouting their "God-given rights" to stockpiling all sorts of weaponry are the same people who are extremely vocal about restricting the God-given rights of others, whether it's a woman's right to choose, the right to use cannabis, the right to marry whom we love, etc.

Ironic, isn't it?

I am not naive enough to believe we'll ever stop gun violence, even if we were to ban gun ownership entirely. Over time, it would begin to have an impact, but with tens of millions of guns out there now, it would take generations. However, guns will not be banned, despite the feelings of many that Obama is coming after them. I doubt that we will even take steps to ban or even attempt to control the sale of high-capacity magazines.

So I will just sit back and observe this nation as it continues to unravel.

Have a nice day!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Painting My Office

The long-awaited moment began today as I finally decided on a color for the last major room in the house to get a makeover. (I say "major" because the laundry room has yet to be done, but it's tiny. More on that later.)

This event started around 10:00 this morning with the baseboards and door frames being painted using the same color I chose for the trim in the rest of the house. I had leftover paint from those projects.

I finished that shortly after 12:00 and we went out to get paint and some lunch.

Exhibit A, before painting of the walls began.

Exhibit B, in the opposite direction. (Yes, txrad ignored me in both shots.)

I only bought a gallon of paint and knew it would be a stretch as the walls are quite high in this room. But since one wall is mostly windows, and the back wall has a lot of shelving, I thought I might get lucky.

No way. Those rollers suck up that paint.

Exhibit C. Voila!

You'll notice the back wall is not complete and I'm out of paint.

I've very happy with it and I estimate that I'm probably 85% done with this. Sunday wrap-up should be a snap.

I hate having to buy another gallon when there's so little left to do. That brings me back to the laundry room. As I was heading out to the garage to clean my roller I decided to "clean it" on the laundry room wall just to see how it might look out there.

txrad exclaimed: "You're going to use MORE of that awful color?"

I guess he doesn't much care for it. But... I work here; he doesn't. So THERE!

I think it looks refreshing, like lime pulp. I'll try to find something more to txrad's liking when I paint the shelving.

Ironically, there will be even more painting down the road as I've already decided on a new color for the kitchen. And since the laundry room is adjacent to the kitchen, I could be nice and use the new kitchen color in the laundry room. Or not. Depends on how much of a gallon is leftover from the kitchen project.

The kitchen was the first room in the house I painted and that was probably 5 or 6 years ago, so I think it's looking a bit dated. With the new yellow travertine tiles, I'm thinking we need something besides yellow walls.

We'll see if I decide to tackle that project before the end of January. Once I get on a painting roll it's hard to get me to stop!

Then the next project will be to replace the flooring in the office. That linoleum is hideous!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Friday Pussy Blog: Dead Battery Edition

There will be a slight delay as the battery went dead on the camera just as I was snapping the last photo.

5:20 PM: OK, here we go. Beautiful sunny day at the kona ranch today.

The Tot can always find the sun. He likes to bask in it.

Sissy, however, is content with the queen bed.

Happy Friday! I've been off all week so it doesn't even feel like Friday to me!

Spring Cleaning

This is what happens when you start a business in your home for about 3 years.

Those two towers of boxes on the right are all crammed full of paperwork which I am technically saddled with until around 2017. Unless, you know, some mishap occurs or something.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

In the Kitchen Today

txrad puts all this effort into making hamburger buns and ketchup and we continue using Boca burgers. So today I am trying another veggie burger recipe involving black beans and black-eyed peas.

I probably should not deviate too much from a recipe right off the bat, but I looked at several recipes and would see something in another that I liked even though the basic recipes were similar.

The 50/50 combo of peas and beans is what I hope works out. Also threw in a dash of Liquid Smoke.

So far, so good. The mixture was a bit sticky but fairly easy to make into balls to chill for 2-3 hours. Looking forward to seeing how these taste tonight.

The recipe said it makes six. I decided to make four since our homemade buns are a bit larger than some store-bought buns.

After getting that cleaned up, I decided to bake some muffins. There weren't as many blueberries in the freezer as I thought, so these are a mix of blueberries and raspberries.

Oh my gawwwd!! Breakfast anyone?

Sunday, January 02, 2011


I stare down at you
under these long locks of brown
And wish you were me.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Have a Phallic New Year!

Seriously. How can you ring in a new year without some symbolism?