Feb 26, 2009

working amongst engineers

Most offices would just post a note reminding you to make another pot if you drink the last cup of coffee.

Feb 24, 2009


Last weekend my sister and brother in law came down to pick up the Butt Ugly Boat's furniture so Jim can take it back to his shop and reupholster it.

He wanted to see how all the parts and pieces fit together in their native habitat and how they attach to the hull, so we paid a quick visit to the BUB. Unfortunately it was too darn cold and windy to take a cruise, not to mention the boat is currently a total wreck--we're having new shifters and cables installed in the pilothouse and flybridge and there are boxes and hatch doors and wires and boat parts scattered everywhere. It really is a disaster area these days. Egads.

So while the guys hung out admiring loose wires and gaping holes on the BUB, my sister and I paid a little visit to my favorite spot in Buford, the Blue Lotus Spa, where we signed up for facials and reflexology treatments.

The facial lady took Loretta first, so I headed back with the reflexology therapist to a room with dim lights, soothing music and a fluffy soft table with piles of cozy warm blankets. For the next hour she massaged my feet and ankles, putting pressure on specific points on the soles of my feet that stimulated various organs.

"This point will stimulate your pituitary gland"


"And this is your heart"


"And this is your thorax"


"And this is your right ovary"

"mmmmm....." (I don't even have a right ovary but I was totally going with the flow by this point)

"And this is your left ear canal"


...and so on until I was a puddle of buttah lying on that table. After an hour it was time for Loretta and me to switch places, so I lumbered off the reflexology table and slithered across the hall to the facial room while Loretta slithered in the opposite direction on her way to the reflexology room.

As I struggled to stay awake on another soft fluffy bed with warm cozy blankets, the facial lady slathered me with all sorts of creams and wonderful smelling lotions. After awhile she brought out a big magnifying glass to inspect my skin on the cellular level.

She pondered my skin for a couple of minutes and then suggested a Glycolic mask to tighten up my pores and smooth out my wrinkles. By that time I was so relaxed that I would have agreed to an amputation of the limb of her choice, so I roused from my stupor long enough to say okay. And as she disappeared into another room to prepare the mask I laid there in a dream-like, semi-conscious state, a boneless mass of mellowness with my mind drifting about in outer space.

Soon she returned with her magic bowl of Glycolic wrinkle-removing goodness and commenced to applying it to my face. The mask immediately felt wonderfully cool and tingly. And then it felt quite refreshing and slightly invigorating in a tingly kind of way. A moment after that, it felt tingly in an insistent, slightly disconcerting way. And then that tingly feeling morphed into the sensation of having a thousand bumblebees jacked up on crystal meth stapled to my face and neck. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.

My mind instantly returned from its leisurely orbit around the planet Saturn and snapped into high gear as I excitedly mumbled from underneath the blankets something about being burned alive in a vat of searing acid. The facial lady chortled and said Glycolic acid is acid, silly, and the burning sensation is what would excite my skin and remove my wrinkles.

Oh. I see.

My face was under chemical attack but I was being de-wrinkled. Whole different perspective. So I laid there with my face on fire and silently ordered my pesky brain to knock it off with the urgent telegrams about imminent death and disfigurement.

Later after she had removed the acid and applied a few more creams and lotions, and after my adrenalin level and heart rate had returned to normal, she handed me a mirror to inspect my skin. It looked soft and smooth and noticeably less wrinkled.

She asked me if the pain had been worth it and I said yes--no pain, no gain. The facial lady commented how funny it was that my sister had said the exact same thing.

Feb 23, 2009

Shea and Sean Hannity

Be sure to listen to Sean Hannity's radio show today--my neice Shea is going to be on the air with him talking about...well, I'm not exactly sure what she'll be talking about but I know it will be wonderful and interesting and the best part of the whole show. You're a great American, Shea.

PS: Sorry, I couldn't resist the chance to say that

PPS: I hope you get a LobsterGram

Feb 22, 2009

Feb 19, 2009


I was on my way to Kroger after work yesterday because the only food in the house is a can of beanie weenies and a jar of Karo Syrup to buy a few final ingredients for the gourmet dishes I will be serving when my sister comes to visit this weekend when my husband phoned me.

He told me to head home because there was a big storm headed our way and he didn't want me to get caught in it. Although I was disappointed to miss out on grocery shopping (snicker), I turned the car around and was home within a couple of minutes.

A minute or two after that, the storm hit. We got pelted by hail stones:

...big 'uns:

As it rained and hailed like crazy outside we were glued to the TV and Channel 2 with its fascinating new technology that gives a dimensional view of storms. There were tornado warnings issued for the counties south of us--always exciting to watch--but the weatherman was making a really big deal of how much hail was inside the storm (the white part of the photo below).

I joked about how freaked out people here get over a little wimpy hail storm compared to the real hail storms we experienced in Texas. I regaled Morley with stories about those big storms with hail stones the size of watermelons and how blase we former Texans are about big storms. WIMPY GEORGIA WEATHER, I MOCK THEE.

I was very cool and sophicated in a knowledgeable, world traveler kind of way as I passed the time snapping photos of Shelby and the cats staring out the window at the hail coming down, and scoffing at the wimpy Georgia hail storm.

And then the storm outside suddenly intensified and the sound of hail beating down on the house was almost deafening. And then this message came on the screen:

Tornado warning. For our exact neighborhood.

So I dropped that sophisticated world traveler bullcrap and shot towards the foyer like a missil headed for Bagdad and huddled in this closet until the big scary Georgia storm passed.

Feb 18, 2009


Morley told me he wanted to have input on the choice of new chairs for the Butt Ugly Boat. So I woke him up about 4:00 AM one morning, shoved the laptop in his face, and asked him if he liked this chair. He mumbled something that sounded like "huh? wha? sure. nice. what time is it?" and then he rolled over and fell back asleep.

So I took that as his thumbs' up on the new direction for the boat's decor and ordered some. Is he ever going to be surprised when they get here.

Feb 17, 2009

Pushing up daisies

So. The reason I haven't posted an update recently is because last week my beloved computer--my main computer, the mothership computer, the one where all the good stuff lives--passed away peacefully in her sleep. I was with her at the end, gently stroking her mouse and assuring her it was okay to walk towards the light, and when her BIOS screen slowly faded to black and the monitor went dark for the last time I wept bitterly. And then I tried to reboot her sorry ass but this time she is good and truly gone. She's in a better place.

Anyway, my husband who is still hyperdiligient about gift opportunities following the regrettable forgotten birthday incident last month has generously offered to spring for a new one and I, who am still milking the situation for all its worth, graciously accepted.

The problem is I can't just get a new computer and immediately hunker down to computing on a newer, faster machine like normal people do. If only. First I will have to transfer over the three hard drives from my old machine.

Because I am too lazy concerned about losing vital data, I never got in the habit of transferring the contents of the old hard drive onto the new drive when I replaced my computer. I just added the old drive(s) as a slave(s) to the new one(s) and kept going. Over and over.

For example, I still have "Piglet", the 8 gig hard drive from my old ITMG computer in my current PC. It is so old it has dinosaur dookie on it but I cling to it because I just never know when I might need to refer to spam received in 1999, or like last week, want to take a trip down Memory Lane by reading websites I published on R&B in 2000. And I have "Good Stuff", the 40 gig hard drive from the PC I bought in 2001. It stores photos I took with my original digital camera in breathtaking 1 megapixel resolution which was amazing technology back in the day. Plus it archives my vast assortment of animated gifs that were lovingly collected back in the stone age when every website needed a moving cartoon character or two. And so on. Basically important, vital, irreplaceable, earth shatteringly critical stuff.

And so like the crazy cat lady who hoards old newspapers, cardboard boxes and plastic bags until she can no longer find her sofa under the piles of garbage, I kept adding hard drives, one after another, over and over, for a decade. And the last time I went computer shopping I found it very difficult to find a PC with enough slots to house all those hard drives along with the other peripherals which I must possess in order to live another day on this planet. And now I find it impossible to find a PC that will hold it all. Gah! So we're talking custom build here, plus a weekend or three peforming ten years' worth of deferred maintenance. Also, possibly some soul searching to decide if I really need to archive cigar jokes dating back to the Clinton administration.

Point is, until I get the new computer up and running I'll make do with my laptop and the data contained on Hard Drive #4 (codename "Rodney"), a 500 gig external hard drive with back up copies of my 2,000 MP3s, my stash of 50,000 or so photos, and most of my data.

What? You think I'm nuts? Of course I backed up all that stuff to an external drive. But it just isn't the same as having ancient hard drives running Windows 98 hanging around like little tiny time capsules of ten year old emails and useless software applications that you just can't find anymore. Sheesh.

Hello, my name is Susan and I am a geek.

Feb 13, 2009

All together now

If you're in a bad mood, here's the perfect antidote:

Feb 6, 2009

Snow in England

My darling sister in law Carol emailed these photos she made from her front window this morning. England doesn't usually get much snow, but what with Global Warming and all, they are covered up with it. Go figure.

Looking at these photos makes me want to wear fuzzy slippers, make a pot of soup, and curl up by a crackling fire to read a Charles Dickens' novel.

Feb 3, 2009

Butt Ugly Boat
...not so much

The blue carpet is gone. Hallelujah. Here are a few photos of the amazing transformation when the new carpet went in last Saturday.

This is a "before" shot of the salon looking towards to steps to the pilot house--except we'd already hauled off a few dozen dock carts full of junk so it is really a "during" shot:

...then the carpet guys pulled out the blue carpet and it looked better immediately:

...and now it looks like this. Mo bettah.

Note my husband coming up the stairs carrying a vacuum cleaner. I'd like to take this opportunity to mention that one of life's great pleasures is watching your husband use a vacuum cleaner.

The BUB has a central vacuum system which would have been a better choice for sucking up the little pieces of carpet fluff that were everywhere, but we blew a hole in our last filter bag about five minutes into the clean up so we had to use the little one and empty its teeny tiny little dust bag about a thousand times.

Here's a shot of the pilothouse with its new floor. It looks three feet bigger without that gross blue carpet, seriously.

And here's a "during" shot of the salon. We'd already hauled off loads of junk by the time I took this shot, plus we'd carried off the massive, oversized, klunky, ugly, beat-up wood table left by the previous owner. We put the table on our friend Mike's houseboat. Mike loves that table. Mike is a bachelor who can decorate to please himself.

And here's the salon now. We've ordered some really pretty leather and as soon as it comes Jim is going to recover the sofa for us.

Obligatory butt crack photo of carpet installer. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Here's the companionway that leads to the bedrooms, office and bathrooms. It had always looked like a dark, gloomy cave but the very minute they pulled out the blue carpet it lightened up like crazy. The guys spent about half an hour scraping the old padding off the floor.

And here's the companionway now. Much, much, much mo bettah:

We still need to update the lights with more modern versions that will really light up the area, but at least we can now find our way to bed without getting lost in the dark hole.

It was such a morale booster to see the new carpet installed--you just can't imagine how much we had been looking forward to this day. I'm thinking it won't be long before we'll have to think of a new name for the Butt Ugly Boat.