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      Monday, September 05, 2016

02:25 PM - 09/05/2016

The topic: Saturday night

I feel asleep on the sofa. The weather cooled down and sleep was nice. The ceiling fan was going, cool breeze through the window, it was nice.

I messed up my back somehow a couple of weeks ago, like carpal tunnel for the muscle between my spine and my shoulder blade, just an achy pain. I've been taking a lot of Motrin for it. Each day it's a little better, but if I sit at the computer too long, it starts to ache a lot. So, I try not to be online, but I've got lots of things I need to do.

Anyway, I love the breeze when I'm sleeping, it helps me to relax. If the air isn't moving it's harder for me to relax.

So, I wake up around 12:30 or so, and head off to bed (Brian's already asleep). He's turned the ceiling fan off. There's no breeze through the window. My back starts screaming.  I figure I'll get up and take something for the pain and just sleep on the sofa, where there is fresh air and a breeze.  I lay down and Bernadette joins me. She lays next to me.

We fall asleep. She was next to me all night long, if not by my side, then down at my feet. And around sunrise, she did something she hasn't done as long as she's been here. She climbed on me and laid down. And she fell asleep.  She was there for over an hour. It was nice.

      Wednesday, September 07, 2016

08:28 AM - 09/07/2016

The topic: Well, that’s been a fun morning

And it's not even 8:30 yet.

Start up the computer, get a message it can't connect to the networks. Well, why the hell not? That's what I need to find out.

The router, the new router isn't working. It keeps going off, then coming back on. The internet would be up for a few minutes, then shut down. Then come back up.

Brian was at his computer, he was losing connection, then it was back. Which is what happens when the router isn't working. And he mentions a clicking sound. Then it stops, then it starts. I tell him to check his phone (magicjack, connected to the router).  No dial tone. At my direction, he unplugs it, then plugs it back in. Now there's a dial tone.

Now, there's not.

He says "you do what you need to do, I'm going to go take a shower".  And while he's gone, I hear the clicking he was talking about. And I go over to his side of the desk and listen some more.

It's the back up power source, the battery thing. You know, in case we lose power. The modem, router, weather computer, and Brian's computer are plugged in to it. In case the power goes out, you're supposed to have enough time to safely shut everything down. And now, it's the cause of the problems. Yeah, we really need this right now.

I hit Amazon, find something for half the price of the one we're using and order it. Then I got a power switch from the other room, the one I use for charging batteries, come back into the office, unplug everything from the back up battery, unplug it, plug the power strip in and plug all the other things into the power strip and we're up and running! This should take care of things until the new power supply shows up. Yay!

Except the weather computer is really noisy. The fan isn't happy and I'm pretty sure it's because of dust, lint and dirt. Oh, well, may as well do what I can here. I wait for Brian to open up his shop, make sure the compressor is on, and I unplug everything from the back of the weather computer, take it outside, open it up, oh, my, GOODNESS!!!! The sheets of dust and dirt and lint and cat hair just peel off. This really isn't a good, healthy thing for a computer. I take it back to the shop and blow all of the crap out of it and the front cover.  Pretty sure I've gotten it all, I bring it back in, plug the computer in and start it up. It's noisy to begin with, but after it runs for about a minute, it's nice and quiet.

I plug all peripherals back in and it's good to go.

My work for the day is done. I wish.


      Saturday, September 10, 2016

01:42 PM - 09/10/2016
The current weather is still frikking hot and I hate it

The topic: I was a little worried about Bernadette this morning

She seemed to be a little under the weather, but she finally ate some Fancy Feast (I think she threw up the first stuff I gave her), took a nap and has been better since. She also drank quite a bit of water from the fountain. This morning doing the skin pinch test she showed a little dehydration, but now she's okay.

I haven't uploaded any photos recently, I've been busy working on other stuff (that's finally done! Yay!).  I took a couple of her this morning and I thought I'd show the latest one as well as repeating the one I took four weeks ago today.

Taken August 13, 2016:

You can see how much better she's looking. She's still not showing any interest at all in the out, even though she looks out the doors and windows. She's content to just sleep on the sofas and next to us humans. She's not yelling at the other cats as much, either, although she went a little nuts on Pancho this morning, but Pancho is most likely an unknown to her since he spends most of his time outside now. (The past couple of days he's come in for some attention and this morning he got his claws trimmed when I couldn't handle the pointy things sticking in my tender, delicate epidermis).

I'd really like to get the crate out of here, but when I feed her in the morning and at night, it's easier to put the food in there and just shut her in until she's finished. There's no pushing her to eat faster that way and Charlie Ahole leaves her be. By the way, Charlie is terrified of her. He gives her wide berth. Not that she's done anything other than lunge at him, while screaming (this is when I ask Brian about calling her "Taz" instead of "Bernie"; for tasmanian devil). It really sounds awful and if she did that to me, I'd be a little scared of her, too.


But she likes her humans. She likes them a lot. She's comfortable climbing on us now and I find it annoying, because she walks over me, then walks over me, then walks over me until I finally tell her "that's enough" and pull myself into a position where she can't walk over me. I stay like this until she settles down.

Occasionally, she shows signs of being able to hear a little, but it's not all of the time. I wish she could hear.



      Sunday, September 11, 2016

mrs. crankypants
01:57 PM - 09/11/2016

The topic: I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned

At least once or twice, the fact that I have a bunion on my right foot. It's a hellacious bunion. Here's a picture I took back in July, wearing my new Skecher's GoWalks.

I've had this thing for a long, long time now and occasionally, it affects the rest of me. Well, because it messes up my foot. The toes next to the big toe are out of line. They're pushed over to the right, so everything on the top of my foot, you know, muscles and tendons and stuff, is out of alignment.

I'm not a fan of shoes. I've never been a fan of shoes, barefoot is best, in my book. I'll wear socks without shoes around the house because the tile is hard. And dirty. The tile is dirty, thanks to cats and Brian's line of work (lots of black dust) and it sticks to the bottom of my feet. Rubs right off.

It wouldn't be so bad if the stupid ass weather wasn't so stupid ass hot for so stupid ass long. I want to clean the floors. Botti is good at vacuuming, but the floors really need to be washed, but I'm so delicate that I can't work in the heat (which should really not be that much of a problem now that I've quit playing Candy Crush Saga after all of my boosters went missing again last night, something that's happened before, but last night was the last straw, now, I'll have a lot more time to contemplate doing something constructive, like washing the floors). I should wear shoes for the support, but just dayum, who wants to wear shoes when it's a million degrees? Certainly not me.

I think the not wearing the shoes has become a problem. Because I will sit at the computer and since my chair isn't the perfect height for me (it's a cheap rolling dorm chair I got a hundred years ago, very uncomfortable), my feet end up with my toes curled under. Or on the rolling leg part. Curled. But hardly ever flat on the floor. I've tried a foot stool but I forget it's there. And my toes and feet go back into a bad position.

Because of this, every once in a while I mess up a tendon on my bunion foot. It's on the top of my foot and so painful that I can hardly put any weight on it at all. It's actually swollen on the top. But I can do nothing.

I have laundry that needs to be done. I have floors that need to be washed. I have a wall to prep and paint. I need to re-organize my card stock.

Yet, here I sit. Bemoaning my painful right foot. Walking up that hill is out of the question. Not fun at all.

Stupid ass foot.



      Monday, September 12, 2016

04:29 PM - 09/12/2016

The topic: I’m beat.

I'm just worn out.

Get up this morning, the weather computer isn't on. Again. It isn't on. There's no reason for this. I turn it on. Lights flicker, it goes off. I turn on my computer. Same thing. Brian's computer won't stay on. The stereo on the file cabinets keeps restarting.


When we were having problems the other day, I thought maybe it was the outlet on Brian's side of the office. Because that's the one that was giving us problems with the battery backup. I got the outlet tester and there was no power to the bottom outlet. Okay, that needs to be changed out. I told Brian and he changed it out, looked the old outlet over, couldn't see any reason why it no longer worked. But, we're back in business. Right?

Wrong.  Weird 14110102 kept happening. Brian ended up shutting off the electrical to the entire house so he could pinpoint exactly which circuit breaker fed the office (the set up is a mess, whoever did this originally wasn't paying any attention to what went where). He found it and he told me "listen to it".  I could hear a faint clicking. The breaker needed replacing.

He went to Home Depot. He got home and didn't even come in the house, he started to change out the breaker. And the new one was a little too big for the breaker box. He had to leave again. He finally found one that would work at Lowe's and got it changed out and yay! Four hours later, we have consistent power to the office.

Then we tried to find out why the electrical in the living room wasn't working right. There's the outside patio light, an outlet in the office, and two in the living room. The tester shows an open neutral. He checked all of the outlets again, changed the switch for the light and it's still not working. I think maybe it's different breaker, but a breaker with only five things on it doesn't even make sense. Brian finally gave up and took his shower. I made breakfast.

At 11:30, he was ready to go to work.

My foot was a little better and I'd planned on staying off of it today, but walking in and out of the house, climbing around to outlets, really took its toll on my legs. Since I was hobbling, my leg muscles weren't use to it and they are so tired right now.

The weather is great at this point, nice and cool, to be cooler tomorrow. Perfect for sleeping. I hope nothing else sucky happens. I did tell him that it was great that the office was up and running again, that it could have been worse. He agreed. he said it could have been a lot worse.

So, we just plod along....

      Tuesday, September 13, 2016

09:20 AM - 09/13/2016

The topic: Before Bernadette came to live with us

I'd taken a little video of Spot happy on the bed. Remember, Spot is the kitty who had his penis removed back in fall of 2012 because he kept blocking. It was a scary time for us. Four years later, he's doing quite well.


      Wednesday, September 14, 2016

02:08 PM - 09/14/2016

The topic: This intrigues me

I think it would be awesome here at home when watching a movie and ask it about a cast member. Or ask it anything, anytime.  I may just spring for one. I've been looking at the regular Echo, but that's $179.99. This one is a lot more affordable.

Shop Amazon Devices - All New Echo Dot.


Some of the fun things she (Alexa) can do. (Maybe I won't have to look up movie casts when watching a movie, maybe Alexa can do it for me.)


04:39 PM - 09/14/2016

The topic: Office whimsy

On our walks, I'll pick stuff up.  If it piques my interest and is small enough, I'll slip it into my pocket. Usually, I slip pennies and nickels and dimes into my pocket. Once I slipped a ten dollar bill into it.

But other times, I find something more interesting. Like a child's little toy.

When we got married, I had a few little troll dolls. I still have them somewhere around here. This little guy ended up in the office. I call him "Trolly". As in "troll" doll. Then a few years ago, I picked up a tiny dog. Brian named him "Bolt" after the Disney animated film. On another walk, I picked up a blue whale. Name? Whaley. Then there's Deeno, the dino. I got him in a Woot Bag of Crap.

All of these little creatures ended up on top of Brian's computer. And on more than one occasion, Dammit would knock them off. Between the fax machine and the PC, or onto the floor, or behind the thermal printer. It was annoying. (For those of you who don't know this, Dammit is Bobby's tail; yes, we named his tail because it has a life of its own, without any obvious input from Bobby.)  After years of the knockdown, earlier this year I came up with a plan. I'd build a fence. With paper. Using my Silhouette.

I found an acceptable file in the Silhouette Design Store, as well as a tree. I had to do a little modification on both files to make them work, but they turned out nicely. The tree was a little trickier than the fence, because it wasn't designed to be like a round tree, just a tree that would lay against a wall. There's a fence in that file as well and and that's what I used for the fencing.

It was really adorable all put up, but Dammit still knocked it over. After the mess with the electrical earlier this week, I cleaned off the top of the computer and used some of the removable mounting pieces I bought for my photo wall to keep everything a little more safe from Dammit. It seems to have worked nicely. 

The complete scene.

Trolly in the swing.




05:15 PM - 09/14/2016

The topic: Remember my excitement over the clothesline?

About the same time as it was put up and put to use, Brian had turned off a huge fan he had in the shop (he had no idea that fan used as much electricity as it did). 

Got our latest utility bill a few days ago. We're down about a hundred bucks for the month. The only difference? No fan and I'm not using the dryer.


      Friday, September 16, 2016

06:20 PM - 09/16/2016

The topic: Remember way back when,

All the way back to Monday? When there was a problem with the electrical in the office?  And once Brian got that fixed, he tackled the living room without any luck?

The living room electrical problem started when we got the Spinalator. Plugged it in, started it up and the breaker blew. We tried a different outlet and it worked. But five outlets and one light didn't. Over the years since, every once in a while he tries to fix it. Never had any luck. Tuesday, we (I) did some research and watched videos on wiring. Everything was coming up with a loose neutral, but we couldn't find it. We didn't even know all of the outlets on that breaker.

But even though I actually did some research on Tuesday, the outlets are still dead. I learned that on an outlet, the gold screws are where you connect the black (live) wire. On the outlet, the short slot is the live slot. The silver screws are where the white (neutral) wires connect. The long slot on the face of the outlet is the neutral. Brian examined all of the dead outlets and every one of them was wired correctly. 

Since these outlets quit working, I ran a heavy duty exension cord to the one outlet that worked, on the other side of the room. Just one light on the extension cord, over by the litterbox. I also had a power strip for the other lights and the sewing machine in that same outlet. They all worked. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Yesterday, the new Cameo 3 showed up. It came UPS and UPS usually runs late in our area. Not a problem, I'd been up early that day to score a Fukobukuro (that's where Botti came from, a Fukobukuro) and didn't want to get started on settng the new machine up so late in the day. I could do that today.

I opened the box this afternoon and got everything plugged in, got it registered with Silhouette, got the software that runs the Silhouette Design Studio updated and then did the firmware download, then got that installed. We should be good to go. I did some test vinyl and learned a few things, surprising to me, but not a really big deal. I used a blade holder that I'd gotten on eBay, just to see if they worked (they do). Then it was time to start the rearranging of the stuff.

Because of space, I had decided that I would move Botti from under my work table to under the sewing machine in the living room. First thing was to pull everything out from the wall.

When I saw the outlet, I just shook my head. This is the outlet that worked, right? It was in really bad shape. I walked into the office, where Brian was working on quotes.

"I think I found where the loose neutral is."

He said he'd check it out and get the outlet switched out. It hadn't been changed since we moved in here over thirty years ago. Might as well do them all, right?

I pulled everything as much out of his way as I could, then wiped down the wall with vinegar water and wiped the floor.  I got a lot of fuzz on my cloth. Yeah, it was bad behind that end table.

He came into the room, looked at the outlet and was amazed at how bad it was. He went outside and shut off the circuit breaker, and after clipping and stripping the wires that had been so badly corroded, changed out the outlet  ("it's this outlet," he said, "the wires are just falling out") and turned the power back on and EVERYTHING WORKS!!!!  No loose neutrals! The patio light outside of the office door works! 

So, the week ended on a great note. No more worrying about a loose wire in the wall starting a fire! I have more plugs! Now I won't need extension cords to run the floor cleaner. Botti is running right now and things are good.


      Sunday, September 18, 2016

08:02 AM - 09/18/2016

The topic: Storage and organization

I got it!

So, I have the totally awesome Kobalt storage cabinet for my paper and stuff. In the last photo on that entry, you can see the other side, where I have more containers.

One of the problems with this has been getting to the container I need. Pulling these off of the top of that one, you know? And I had to reach over the vinyl storage. I'd been after Brian to make me some shelves, but he's just too darned busy. Frustrated, I started looking online

I found something over on the Lowe's website that I thought would work. Brian wasn't really sure of what I wanted to do, for some reason he was thinking I wanted this for under my work table. Nope, I want it right there! And he said to go ahead and get three. I ordered them Friday and he picked them up yesterday morning. They weren't expensive, the shelves are adjustable and they each hold up to 160 pounds. Which is more than enough. I took some pichers....

Here we have the before. Brian suggested I move the vinyl storage away from the table where I'd be putting the shelves. This blocks my heat press, but it's not that big of a deal to push the vinyl holder back when I need to access the press. And it has the added benefit that now the cats won't be able to spray the little containers and I won't have to cover the shelves for pee safety. (That's what I'm hoping, anyway.) That blue blanket to the top left of the picture is what I used to protect from cat marking. BTW, that table is six feet long and two feet deep. The height is adjustable. It will hold 3000 pounds. I got it on Amazon a while back. I have some stuff under it, now I can put more stuff there since I can access it!  More stuff! Always an awesome thing!

The shelves out of the box (I got three sets). See my two Cameos under the table? Gonna try to use them at the same time today. 141031018


All done!

With the vinyl storage pulled out, I won't have to stretch to find what I need, it's all right there. I think this will be much nicer to work with. The only thing is now we have to come up with something to keep the cats out of the rafters. They're not young and spry anymore and I don't want them up there. I think we'll probably lay lattice over the openings. So, they see it and they see that they can't get up there. Fingers crossed that they stay down until it goes up.

I have to say this past week turned out to be a huge Yay! for me.

02:25 PM - 09/18/2016

The topic: It’s hot again today

Is this summer ever going to end?  I want to do things that need me to get up and do and the heat just sucks all of the wanna out of me.

So, today I washed my wash towels/rags so they'll be clean for when the wanna comes back, probably tomorrow.  I want to wash the windows and screens. I want to wash the floors, even under and behind the sofas. And in the garage. I want to wash the floor in the garage. I want to wipe the fuzz off of the walls. I started working on the fuzz a little bit today. I want to dust up high, which means hauling in a ladder.

Today, I did some more rearranging in the garage. Now, the heat press is readily accessible. I realized that I really did need to have a cover over the storage containers, because there are ink pads and acrylic paints and marking pens and other things that wouldn't do well with light hitting them. I used the bungee cord that held the navy blue blanket which previously protected the containers. Now I just have a towel, but it should do the trick.

And I played with the new Cameo and software. It took me a while. I tossed the test papers on the floor and I pointed them out to Brian; he asked if they'd blown off of my table...no, I threw them down there....his eyes got big, "that's a lot of paper" to which I replied "learning curve". He nodded his head. Anyway, after rebooting the computer, I was able to get the software working the way it was supposed to be working. Now I'll be able to cut the same design on two machines at the same time (great for repetitive things, such as greeting cards or, as I like to do, when I change out paper colors for the projects I make). Or cut two different designs at the same time; this will cut down prep time for projects. I'm really stoked about this. It feels great to be excited about something again.

The electricity still works in the living room.  I can't even begin to explain how good it feels to finally be working as it should be. And today I put a night light in the outlet in the office that's by the door.  Since I shut down the catcam, it's dark down there at night and kitties have been nudged with a foot a time or two. But now that that outlet is live again, this littel LED light should help.

Right now, at this moment, life is good.


      Monday, September 26, 2016

07:59 AM - 09/26/2016

The topic: Cats…whaddya gonna do?

We're in a middle of a heat wave. Today is supposed to be the peak. Brian has the sprinklers on.

Bernadette doesn't spend much time in the crate anymore, but she does have her morning meal in it. We have this thing, the bottom gate is always open, there's a litter box in the bottom that she uses. I have water and kibble on the top and that's where she gets her morning Fancy Feast. She waits on the bottom shelf, I place the food in the top, close the gate (don't lock it, she could easily push it open) and she jumps up to the top to eat. Closing the gate is her notice that the food is there. She doesn't always finish, because she does eat kibble out of the feeders, but this is her special treat.

Brian was in his chair and I said "I have to let Bernie out" (because she doesn't push the gate open) and he said he'd already had.  I wondered where she was. He told me he'd seen her out by the shop before he turned the sprinklers on. I do NOT want her in that shop with no way out.  Yeah, the doors were open, but I didn't want her feeling trapped and getting herself in a situation that she would have a hard time getting out of. Remember, she's deaf.

So, I run through the sprinklers to the shop, I'm in the shop looking for her, he turns off the sprinklers and yells at me that he sees her. She's outside of the shop. She's eating something.

A gopher! Bernadette had herself a huge, fresh gopher! I pointed out a hole in front of the door to the shop. He said "that's where she was when I turned on the sprinklers".  So, she caught a gopher this morning. I wonder if her deafness helps her be more sensitive to the movement of the gopher under the ground. Whatever it was, she was busy macking out on this rodent. I got video.

Warning, it's pretty graphic.


      Wednesday, September 28, 2016

the morning walk
09:10 AM - 09/28/2016

The topic: For the first time in two and a half weeks

We went for our morning walk. I had a problem with my bunion foot.

I hate shoes so I wear them as little as possible. But there's some sort of support issue with barefeet and the tile floor or something and I walk weird and I pull muscles or tendons or something on the top of the foot and it hurts like crazy, I can't put any weight on it at all.

Yesterday was the first day in almost three weeks that I actually left the house. Brian has been doing all of the shopping (I love not leaving the house). We hit Walmart yesterday and I walked okay.

So, this morning we were on the road again.

And we found forty-seven cents!  Four times, one nickle and two pennies.

Well worth the time. And I feel a lot better for having gone on the walk.

      Thursday, September 29, 2016

10:35 AM - 09/29/2016

The topic: Now that we all know that Bernie eats

Let's take a look at how well she's doing. I think you'll agree, she's looking much better. The first picture was taken August 13, 2016. Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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