Thursday, August 30, 2012

Don't Ask Me Why; I Don't Know.

Going through a bag of yarn I recently bought at a thrift store, I found a few interesting, "vintage" labels.  This one takes the prize for Most Amusing:

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull Yarn

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Handicraft Yarn. I remember my parents talking about reading the novella in school (back in the 70s), and it just strikes me as hilarious that there was a brand of yarn "based on" the book. 

(I see that it was originally 48 cents at K-Mart.)

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull Yarn

Check it out! This is "a very special yarn based on the very special thoughts expressed in JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL."  It's "for creating any number of imaginative, unique items by any handcraft process you choose-- rugs, crocheting, knitting, macrame, etc.  The versatility of this acrylic yarn is limited only by your desire to create."

Limited only by my desire to create... That's deep, man.  Deep...  ;o)

"Acrilan!  An acrylic fiber by Monsanto."  Capitalizing on the popularity of some random book (that as far as I can tell had nothing to do with yarn).  It's the American way!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac Changed His Mind

Well, it seems that Isaac won't be coming this way, after all!  (This is why we shouldn't waste time and energy worrying, though that's easier said than done.)  Looks like Louisiana will have to deal with it, instead, though the local weathermen/women are still holding on to hope ;o) that we'll get something out of it all.  Meanwhile, schools as far east as the Florida panhandle have cancelled classes (some as many as Monday through Wednesday)... So enjoy those free days, kids!  (You'll be making them up later in the year, though, I guess.)

Ok, I guess it's still possible that we'll see more than a few drops of rain and a breeze, here, but it feels less and less likely as time goes by.  Better safe than sorry, etc., but there's caution and then there's a Henny-Penny-level sky-is-falling over-reaction.  For some reason, the media has made a bigger deal of this particular storm than it appears likely to merit.  There's no denying that a lot of people were hoping Isaac would disrupt the RNC even more than it already has, so it got a lot of coverage from that angle-- and now (despite the fact that it missed Tampa altogether) they've already worked themselves up to such a fevered pitch that they can't just admit that (comparatively speaking) it's not that big of a deal.  (Even if it is headed toward New Orleans on the anniversary of Katrina.  This is not another Katrina, and even if it were, I fervently hope that people have learned the importance of evacuation from low-lying areas and preparation/self-reliance until things get back to normal.  Possibly?)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mobile Bay, Hurricane Magnet

So.  Trying not to worry too much.  The projected track could (will) shift between now and whenever, and even if it followed this exact path,  a weak category 2 isn't another Ivan... but I can't deny that my stomach has been more prone to knotting over the past few days...

No time's a good time for a tropical storm / hurricane, but we've got company* from overseas coming sometime in early September... and the people building our garage were tentatively planning to start bringing in materials on Monday.  Somehow I get the feeling they'll want to put things on hold for a few more days, now.  ;o)

* Speaking of our company, the last we heard (on Thursday or Friday), they were planning to stay on in the Florida Keys until either today or tomorrow. (I think Donald said Monday...)  I guess a mere tropical storm is something of an adventure when you don't have property damage to worry about and can easily pick up and leave at a moment's notice.  (I do hope they won't get stuck in traffic trying to get out of town, but apparently the locals weren't worried, so there likely won't be a traffic jam.)

Friday, August 17, 2012


We've been trying to take photos of each stage of the garage-building process.  The concrete's curing, and the builder has been informed.  Now we wait for the concrete to cure a little longer and the builder to start bringing in the materials.  (Not yet sure when, exactly, but soon.)

Here's one current photo.  There are several more over on our Flickr photostream.  :o)

Garage Construction

This photo is taken facing the southern side of (what will soon be) the garage. The larger ramp/apron on the right is where the garage doors will be.  The two others will lead to a personnel door and a larger door for the lawn mower, wheel barrow, etc.  (There's also a small concrete square that's there just temporarily.  The "concrete guy" found that when he was clearing the sod, and I guess he set it there when they finished cleaning up today...)

There's a little left-over dirt around the site that we told them to leave as-is, because we have a few spots around the yard that could use filling-in. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Baffled Again

Sweden was a trending topic on Twitter, so I had to check it out (of course).  Turns out it's trending in relation to some new development in the Assange case.  It's baffling how many defenders that guy has-- and how obsessed they are.  People really can become obsessed with anything, can't they?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Have No Fear! Goateesaver's Here!

I know it's early yet to think much about stocking stuffers, but... all you ladies with husbands or boyfriends who like to keep a little facial hair, take note, because we've found the perfect gift!

I present to you... the Goateesaver!!

For only $20, you get this nifty plastic (?) thing-um that (if I understand correctly) a man can hold in place with his mouth.  It's an adjustable template for shaving a goatee!  (How did they manage to shave before the invention of this life-changing device?!)

Donald thinks this other photo (showing the results of using the Goateesaver, I guess) looks Photoshopped:

(Men's beards don't usually grow so thickly and uniformly over parts of that area under the mouth, but possibly he's a werewolf... or Chuck Norris.)

I love it that one of the Amazon reviews of this product is titled "Very OK".   Ha!

But for all my joking, it has over fifty reviews... so maybe it really is a good gift idea for someone out there.  Twenty dollars seems high, though.  You could just make your own with a cut-off drinking straw taped/glued to a "custom-made goatee template" (i.e. an oval-ish piece of cardboard-- or if you want to get really fancy, something cut out from the lid of a tub of margarine).

Use the money you save to buy The Facial Hair Handbook!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Late Summer?

I keep coming across people referring to "late summer" and being on the verge of a seasonal change.  Admittedly, I don't spend much time outside, this time of year, but I'm not seeing it-- or more to the point, feeling it.  Notable:  None of them live around here...

So, I'm still counting the days until the end of September.  October is the Best Month of the Year (weather-wise, at least).  ;o)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Oh, and One More Thing ;o)

Since writing my last post, it has come to my attention that the "no closer than 40 feet" rule has something to do with a goal to "Preserve the Beautiful Rural Nature of B-------- County's Roads" (or some other such nonsense to that effect).

Point Number 1:  
In that case, O Brilliant Minds of Local Government, why not have a rule that you can't build within 40 feet of the road (as opposed to one's property line)?  If I didn't make it abundantly clear before, we live-- and our property line lies-- way off the road.  There's no way our garage will affect the nearest county road at all.  I doubt you'll even see it from the road, and if you do, you'll have to be looking for it (which isn't a safe driving practice).  In the next twenty or thirty years, two or three more houses could easily be built between our garage and that road.  So... basically what I'm saying is that you need to re-write your dumb rule for it to make any sense at all.

(Oh, and if/when we alter the property lines so that our proposed garage will satisfy the zoning ordinance or whatever it is, the garage will be the exact same distance from the road as it would be if you DIDN'T put us to this unnecessary expense and trouble.  ~youdarnstupididiots~   ...See my point?  No?  Oh.  Well, I tried...)

Point Number 2:
I am a native and lifelong resident of this county, and in general, I like it (though you shouldn't ask me what I think about its government, right now).  I think that it has at least its own fair share of natural and man-made beauty-- but let's just be honest.  Like most large counties, there are also plenty of eyesores right off many roads, in very plain view.  Junky trailers.  Run-down or abandoned buildings.  Overgrown fields of weeds.  Our proposed garage, even if it was closer to the road and not hidden by eleventy-hundred trees and shrubs, would not be as offensive to the eye as hundreds of other extant spots along the county roads.

Just sayin', is all (as the cool folks put it).

On Building Permits & Idiotic Zoning Laws

You decide to build a garage on your property, which is way off the nearest county-maintained road.  You try to follow the rules by going to get a building permit, even though you really feel that it isn't any of the county's business, anyway, where / when / how you build said garage.  (Seriously, why must you pay the local government for the privilege of building a simple garage on your own-- decidedly rural--  property, which you own free and clear?)

But still, you go to apply for the permit.  And then they inform you that you are not allowed to build it where you've planned it (and in fact, have already had dirt brought in and leveled, because who could have foreseen that there would be an issue?).  No, they say, it's too close to the property line.  You see, that's the property line that faces the nearest county-maintained road (which, again, is way off through hundreds of yards of trees), and any structures built on your property must be at least 40 feet away from that property line.  Now, if it were the side property line, 15 feet would be enough of a buffer.  (Our buffer is currently about 18 feet.  We had no idea our rural area even had zoning laws.  I am SO VERY VERY HAPPY to know, now, that it does.  Yippee, hurray, hurrah.)

You explain that you are way off the county road, and that the proposed garage, like the already existing house, will face the (non-county-maintained) easement... so really, that is the front of your property. (Through gritted teeth:) ...Right? 

Sorry, not so!  We, the Mighty and All-Powerful County Zoning Poo-Bahs do hereby proclaim that the front of your property is now and forever shall be that north-facing side, because of how it is oriented regarding the nearest county-maintained road.  But no biggie.  Just move the garage (extremely inconvenient) or have the property line moved.  Simple as that!  Then (and only then) we'll be more than happy to accept your money and generously grant you permission to build ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY.  You're welcome.

Oh, and have a nice day! 
We're always happy to serve!

They don't care that no-one lives anywhere near that property line.  Neither are they moved by the information that the land is owned by family, who would not care about the location of the garage and would sign a document to that effect.  Nope.  (In robo-voice:)  Does not compute.  Must not build within 40 feet of front property line.  MUST NOT-- MUST NOT-- MUST NOT...

~soul-weary sigh~

We're fortunate that my family owns that land, and there's not a house or something already on it-- so we can work something out-- but still, incredibly infuriating. 

One of the things I want in our garage, should it ever actually be built, is a punching bag.  No, seriously.  I mean it.  I need an outlet for my rage.  In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to hold it in.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

...Something Completely Different

Summer music.  Almost makes you want to go to the beach.
Almost.  ;o)