elizilla: Gladys Kravitz (Gladys)
No tree crews here today, but they have a drain snaking truck in the library parking lot, going into the various manholes in the lot. One of those trucks with a giant pump and a snake a half mile long. I hope the sewer isn't backing up. I guess I should go down in the basement and check on things.
elizilla: (Default)
The crew took the tree almost all the way down. They had the stump down to about three feet tall, and were cutting it lower, when something happened. I wasn't looking when it happened, I only noticed when the cops arrived. Then the fire department. Then two ambulances. I scooted sideways in my chair to see what was up. One of the crew was on the ground and everyone else was doing first aid.

He had had a mishap with a chainsaw and sliced a gash about six inches long in his thigh. They took him away in the ambulance. The rest of the guys packed up and left without cutting any more and I can't blame them at all! I hope their buddy will be OK!

They will be back later to cut down the last bit, grind the stump, and install the new (small) tree.
elizilla: (Default)
BTW, importing my data from LJ took almost a week, but it has now completed and seems to have been successful. Even the comments came over.
elizilla: (Default)
The city's contract arborist has condemned the big tree in front of our house. It is an 80 year old maple and it is huge and beautiful in spite of the dead branches here and there. They told us it must come down, last fall, but then they didn't show up for one planned execution date after another. But the stay of execution has ended; the crew just pulled up out front.

This is the tree the city engineer planned the sidewalk around, and we had JUST poured that sidewalk when the city notified us that their arborist had decided it had to come out.

There are also painters here, working on the outside of the house and garage. The painters have three trucks and the arborists have a chipper truck, a bucket truck, and a pickup with trailer. So it's a hotbed of activity here this morning.

We are getting a whole parade of neighbors coming up to chat with Steve and get underfoot with their dogs.

The chainsaws just started. I can't bear to look. :(
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
With the latest updates to the ToS, and the disappearance of yet another group of my long time friends on LJ, I am contemplating joining the crowd over at DW.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
Yesterday afternoon there was a sheriff's car at the library. I learned why, when it pulled out of the library and into my driveway. "Is this your dog?" The deputy had a dog (puppy, really) in the car. It had romped in through the automatic doors, into the library, alone.

It was not my dog and I didn't recognize it. The deputy meandered off down the street and out of sight around the corner, talking to whoever was around.

A half hour or so later, I saw a guy walking down the sidewalk, calling out and peering under bushes. I opened the window and hollered, "Are you looking for a dog?" He was.

I let him know the sheriffs had it. He immediately hurried off.

I hope he caught up with the deputy and dog before the dog got taken to the humane society - they are pretty far away.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
So, I called the company that sent this cart here. Despite the fact it was delivered with a bill attached, they aren't waiting for me to pay them - they say it is already paid for. By [livejournal.com profile] pi3832. Thanks Mike! Steve put it together and we filled it with laundry. It works well in a household where things can be rolled to anywhere. :-)
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
The UPS guy just dropped off two boxes. Addressed to me, at the current address. One large and rectangular, one long and thin. I couldn't imagine what they might be. And now I can't imagine why they are here.

The large box is a rolling laundry cart, and the long thin box is a hanging rail to attach on top. Like what you find at the laundromat. They came with a bill; the company that sent them seems to think I'll pay for this thing I did not order.

WTF? Did someone I know order this for themselves, and have it delivered to me because they know I am at home in the daytime to receive it? If so I hope they plan to pay for it.

Trying to decide whether to call this company right away, or wait a little while to see if anyone comes forward to tell me they ordered this sent here and are going to pay for it. Trying to think who it might be.

Is it anyone here on LJ? Probably not - there's hardly anyone left here. Ten years ago maybe.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
Every day, around this time, one or two stink beetles show up and start beating themselves against the inside of my office window. You don't want to squash them. Yuck. Sometimes I open the window and shoo them out, sometimes I catch them and flush them down the toilet, sometimes I just try to ignore them. I'm ignoring today's beetle right now. I know that when I get rid of it, another will take its place pretty quickly. In the evening when we turn on the lights in the living room, eventually one will start flying around the lights. Never a swarm; they appear in ones and twos. When the house was being painted, a couple of them managed to get stuck and die in our paint. The are just here, all the time.

I don't think this house is unusually infested with them. We had them in the old house too; they arrived in this area sometime last summer and they have never stopped appearing since. Somehow they are suddenly very prevalent here. According to that Wikipedia page they are a new invasive insect. At least they don't bite or sting, and they are mostly slow enough to make them easy to capture. Maybe eventually the population will wane again, the way the invasive ladybugs did.

I wish I could figure out where they are coming from and stop them popping up in my office.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
There's a sign out front of the library:

LIVE REINDEER HERE!
DEC 23

I haven't seen any reindeer yet but the place is packed. Parking lot is full, cars lined up dropping off passengers, other cars circling the neighborhood. streams of families walking down the sidewalks. This could rival Big Truck Day.

I look forward to their arrival... ooh, a horse trailer has pulled up...

The reindeer arrived. There is just one. It (he?) has enormous antlers. They have him posed at the corner of the building where photos can be taken against a backdrop of trees. The crowd has been coaxed to line up, they don't all get to approach him at once. At the peak the line stretched the length of the building and wrapped into the parking lot. It's about half that now. Parking lot is still full. Lots of wired up kids over there.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
So a couple months ago I posted about ordering a lot of bulbs. A few tulips, a few more daffodils, and hundreds of blue squill.

Well, what with the project delays, Steve's achilles tendon injury, and the difficulty in hiring anyone who would make time for our project, they never got planted. (We couldn't even get people to finish seeding the grass; Steve ended up out there on his peg leg finishing the job, and got the last of the seed down just before the snow.) Obviously it is now too late.

So I am trying to decide what to do with these bulbs.

I don't know what the shelf life of bulbs is. Can I save them to plant next year?

I looked up what is involved in forcing bulbs and frankly it looks like more than I am prepared to do, not to mention that I didn't choose the right kinds.

My other idea is to just throw them out into the yard, on top of the snow. The deer and rabbits will eat the tulips. The daffodils are less tasty but I still doubt they'll grow. But perhaps some of the blue squill will make it; those bulbs are tiny and don't need to be planted very deep. My hope is that they'll drop down through the snow, into the bed of straw that covers the grass seed, and some will take root. And if any make it, they will spread. It's more hopeful than just pitching them would be.

Anyone have an opinion on this?

Fire!

Dec. 8th, 2016 10:43 am
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
Last night I was sitting on the living room couch and I looked out the front window and noticed something odd. Flames. Flames, across the street, in the backyard of the house next door to the library? That neighbor is a retired single lady and very nervous - I can't imagine her having a bonfire at 10pm on a Wednesday night in this cold weather. Or indeed at any time.

I went outside to peer at the fire from the porch. Yes, definitely a fire over there. I went across the street and determined it is not in the neighbor's yard, though - it is farther away and not even visible from the slightly lower elevation of the street. Seemed like it was on the other side of the railroad tracks, which runs along the back edge of the neighbor's yard, and is elevated about ten feet higher than her yard. What is on the other side of the track? Well, there's a sewage treatment plant, and a park, and a Mcmansion subdivision that you can't get to from here without going a couple miles round. In summer the subdivision can't be seen from here, but with the leaves off the trees some of those houses have become visible from the second floor windows. Is someone in the subdivision having a really enormous bonfire? You'd think their HOA would have something to say about that.

By this time it had been about ten minutes and the fire hadn't grown larger or gone out, which implies it's controlled. But I was still concerned enough to call the fire department.

It turned out this is a methane burning thingie over at the sewage plant. I don't think it runs all the time since we have never noticed it before, and we have spent a lot of time gazing out from the front porch. But it is still burning this morning.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
I have been seeing the same dentist for nearly 30 years. Last time I saw him his hands had gotten scarily shaky. I was glad not to need any fillings that visit. I was hoping he would retire before I had to choose whether to ditch him or have my teeth drilled by shaky hands. Well, I just got a call from someone who has taken over his practice. He has retired.

I see no reason to continue driving back to the neighborhood I lived in 30 years ago, to see a dentist I don't even know, when there are several dentist offices within a block or two of my current house. Time to pick one, I guess.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
Part of our project was to install a new concrete pad for the mailbox, next to the new sidewalk. But the actual moving of the mailbox had to be done by an official post office person. We have been waiting, and hounding the postmaster, and having the city hound him.

About an hour ago I watched a white van pull up. It had ladders on top and a small post office logo on the door. I was afraid he was only here to find an excuse to not do it, but after looking around carefully, he got to work and moved the mailbox!

He then did extra things, sweeping the base and oiling all the locks. And he cut off the four bolts sticking up from the old pad on the road shoulder, so no one will damage a tire on them. Nicely thorough, five stars.

The mail carrier has just pulled up and parked on the old base. I guess the tires he saved by cutting the old bolts off, are the post office's own.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
Since we are both currently gimpy, we are trying a new thing. A local chain supermarket, Meijer, offers curbside pickup. We can go to their website, order up a pile of groceries, and pick an available time slot. For $6.99 they will have the bags loaded up and ready, and we can drive up and they will put them in the car at the appointed time.

They don't have it at the closest Meijer but it is at the one that is two exits farther down the freeway. And with only one good leg each I think it will be worth a few bucks and a few extra miles.

I am not brave enough to order produce or frozen food this way, not yet, but I did order some milk and bread. We shall see if they foist the items too close to the sell-by date onto us.

The next available pickup time is late tomorrow, so that is when we will go.

Edited later to add:
The curbside pickup thing worked quite well. They made one error: I ordered six bottles of Diet Dr Pepper, and they gave us five diet and one regular. I think this is a reflection of the way that shelf is commonly stocked - there are always intermingled bottles in the too-small space allocated to Dr Pepper, so this is an easy mistake to make. The milk and bread were not unusually close to the sell-by date.

One limitation is that it doesn't work for reusable bags. And in fact we discovered that curbside is delivered in paper bags with special printing on them. Interesting!

Altogether, I am satisfied enough to do it again.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
On my work laptop. Grrrr.

My employer has a fancy contract with Dell where they are supposed to handle these things - in fact they are supposed to send a technician onsite within one business day. I think the phone center is in the Phillipines, based on the accents of these people. The guy could NOT understand "My A key is not working" but I finally got him to understand I have a keyboard problem, that just one letter has failed. I don't think it matters whether he can understand which letter it is.

He had a script for keyboard failures.

First he wanted me to reboot in Safe mode, and try an accessory keyboard. Well, my laptop is encrypted and my password has an "A" in it. And the accessory keyboard doesn't work till we get past the encryption screen. So I am dead in the water.

Next he wanted me to reseat the keyboard connector. But he could not explain how to do it. I asked if I take the screws out of the bottom and he said no, I should lift the hinge covers. I can't see how one would do this and he had no other instructions to offer. I will hafta go look for a youtube video.

And while the internal helpdesk claims Dell is supposed to send someone out here, in person, within one business day, that's news to Dell. The best I could get was to convince him to send a new keyboard for me to install myself, and it won't arrive until Weds.

Maybe tomorrow I will take it to Staples or Best Buy and see what they can do. Or make the trek to MicroCenter - it is an hour away but they have things, at least.
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
I just ordered several hundred bulbs for fall planting in the new yard. Crocus and daffodil, because we know they do well here. A few tulips, though not very many since the deer will eat any that we plant outside the circle of the porch light. Blue squill (aka scilla) which will naturalize in the lawn - it is endemic in the neighboring yards already, but rather than waiting for it to spread to us, we'll jumpstart it by putting some in - this house is supposed to look old fashioned and old houses have blue squill! I found there is also sqill that is white with blue stripes, and plain white - is the blue just that much more vigorous, or has no one tried the other colors? I got some of each and we'll see which wins. And I got a mixed assortment of asiatic lily bulbs.

Some things that are not bulbs can be planted in fall as well. I ordered a variety of hostas, and something called widow's tears, and some hydrangeas. Most of the places we want to plant things are shady, and these are all shade tolerant flowering perennials.

Lilac is supposed to be planted in the fall, too, but while I do want some lilac, I don't know where we can put it - it needs sun and we don't get much. Plus it's probably better to source locally so I can get a bigger starting size, so I decided against ordering it. We'll figure it out, and go to the plant nursery when we are ready.

Looking forward to a winter spent looking at gardening catalogs. :-)
elizilla: (s10 sidecar)
Friday night we went to see "The Full Monty, The Musical" at the Encore Musical Theater in Dexter. I saw the movie it is based on, back when it was new. The version we saw Friday night, though, is set in Buffalo NY. I was glad not to see the actors trying to do English accents. Other than that the story is pretty much the same, though unfortunately no lawn gnomes were harmed. Instead they have a whole set of musical numbers which were not in the film. Lots of male singing roles, which is unusual for local theater. I thought they did a pretty good job and the singing was excellent. They used the lighting in such a way that I couldn't quite tell if they truly did the full monty or not. I suppose that also hews close to the film, which carefully left anything that might have gotten them an X rating, on the cutting room floor.

Last night we went to a wedding. Steve is friends with the bride's parents. I had never met either of them. But it was a lovely wedding and very emotional. The music at the reception was uncomfortably loud during dinner, and was turned up to painful when the dancing started, which I suppose was the cue for those who are too old, to retreat. Which we soon did. But I wished I hadn't become an elder, since it was very fun to watch. There is obviously a new dance everyone knows. I was not familiar with the song (couldn't even tell you what it was) or the dance but I got a huge kick of watching people do it in unison. And there were two young men, one black and one white, both very tall and skinny, who were putting on quite a show out there. I would have watched longer if I had thought to bring earplugs. Need to carry those next time I go to a wedding. Get offa my lawn, etc. :-)
elizilla: (dexter)
The city says they are going to take down the big maple out front. It is 80 years old and has too many dead branches and they have decided it is unsafe. It is on their property so we don't have any recourse. But we love that tree and don't want to lose it. I hope people don't blame us; we'd have stopped the chainsaws if we could!

The tree is on our side of the proposed sidewalk and is closer to our front porch than to the street, but it is on city property. This whole town is platted with the city owning 99 foot wide strips for even the small side streets like ours. So most residents here actually don't own very much of the land that looks like their front yards; the city owns it. Which means they own the tree.

They are also taking out a bunch of smaller trees. The place is going to end up looking shorn. :( At least we are allowed (encouraged (in some cases required)) to plant new trees on that land. We will have to study hard and pick good ones.
elizilla: (dexter)
Fireworks have been going off like crazy out there for hours now. I remember this happened before and I posted. One thing about LJ is I can look back and find out when that was. Is today the unknown pyro's birthday? It must be. The prior night of many things that go boom, was Sept 26 2015. Also a Saturday. Must be a hell of a party!
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