Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spilt Milk and Other Matters

Yes, it's more tidbits. Don't tell me you expected a cohesive entry with real substance! ;o)

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A few weeks ago, Donald and I found milk in a new type of package, at our local Sam's Club. It's cheaper, so we've been buying it, even though the jug looks a little odd:

I wouldn't hold its odd appearance against it if it weren't for the fact that it seems to be a very poor design for reasons other than aesthetics. You see, we find it difficult to pour from this jug without dripping a bit. (And no, it's not our faults. (g) We've both been pouring liquids without spilling for several years, now.) True, it's a very tiny bit-- but it's still annoying to have to wipe up every time you eat a bowl of cereal or have a glass to drink.

To add insult to injury, the last jug we bought had this label on one side:


Gee, thank you, Mr. Milk Jug! Thanks so much for the lesson in how to pour milk! I feel like such an idiot, now! I'd been trying to pour it by getting Donald to hold the cereal bowl a yard away and sloshing it at him. (Too much sarcasm? Sorry about that. In future, I'll try to hold back.)

Well, ok, I thought. I'm pretty sure I've tried that "just tilt and pour" method before, but I'll give it another go. . .

Nope. Still very nearly impossible to pour without a little dribble or drop of waste and annoying dairy mess! And the very fact that they have this informative little label suggests that it isn't just us-- that they may have actually been getting complaints about their defective design.

It's a little thing, but still I manage to make time to grumble about it. ;o)

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We're still planning the patio. We've mapped it out-- sat on a "pretend patio" to get a feel for how much room it would actually give us-- Donald's made little cardboard models-- I've taken photos of things at different times of the day to calculate optimum shade potential-- etc.

Then, the last time we were discussing it, a totally new idea presented itself. Shade cloth. It's pretty fancy stuff. Depending on the type (and color), it can block as much as 90% of sunlight and harmful UV rays. It's supposed to be very durable. It's not cheap, but it could be cheaper than buying lots of wood to make a more traditional pergola roof. Plus we wouldn't have to paint (and repaint) so much wood. And it would provide more complete shade than the wood, most of the time. (Donald is fair-skinned; I don't want skin cancer, either = We luv shade. (g))

My main concern is how it would hold up against violent thunderstorms and, of course, hurricanes. I hope we won't have another major hurricane here for years to come, but you never know. . . Of course, even an all-wood structure could be completely destroyed, if we had bad luck.

As you can see, we still have some decisions to make. Unfortunately, I seem to be incapable of doing anything without considering all the possible resultant problems. ;o)

One thing has been absolutely decided-- When we buy supplies for the patio, we're also getting supplies to build for a pump house. (Still no concrete plans for how we'll build that, either. . . Maybe I'll ask for advice at the family get-together this Friday. Family, you have been warned. (g)) It has taken way, way too long for us to do that. Once it's done, there'll be one less reason for me to hang my head in shame (figuratively).

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The house finch with a nest in our back porch is still in residence. No sound of baby birds, yet, but I don't imagine it'll be too much longer.

There's another bird nesting in the decorative birdhouse Grandpa W. gave us a few years ago. Seems like there's a bird in that house every year. This time, it's right outside a window! Of course, it's almost always covered by a closed mini-blind, so I guess they don't feel they're being scrutinized too closely. (g)

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Donald has some vacation time stored up, and he has to use most of it by a particular date (in August, I think). We're still thinking about what we want to do. Maybe we can use a little of the time to work on the patio. That is, assuming that we've decided by then how we want to build it. . . ;o)

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I had one of my "I'm walking around outside and there are snakes all over the place" dreams. They come up from time to time.

I was walking a dog/puppy, and was worried the snakes would bite it. One of the snakes was very exotic-looking-- purple and dragonish and sort of "hinged" (like those plastic toy snakes that kids have-- the ones that seem to move on their own). I went inside to look it up and blog about it (g)-- but on the way, I discovered weird burned/singed spots on the floor-- and in an "it made sense at the time" flash of brilliance, immediately deduced that there was some bizarre geothermic phenomenon at work and that was what brought the snakes out in hordes. (Apparently, in my dream-world, there are lots of snakes living in holes in the ground around our house.) At that point, I think I forgot the snakes and began worrying that the house was about to erupt. ;o)

And I just realized where the burned floor bit came from! Last week's episode of CSI. On the one hand, I'm mildly disappointed that it wasn't my own concoction but something I recycled from TV. On the other, at least I can be fairly sure that this wasn't a vision from God warning me to vacate the premises because of impending destruction of hearth and home. (g)

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I have a feeling I'm forgetting something I wanted to mention. . . Oh well. It must not have been very important. Hope the week's off to a good start for you all!