Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Always Something!

Have you ever noticed the width and breathe of Murphy’s Law? Or as Rosanne Rosanna Danna wisely said, “ It’s always something.” Life is filled with the little epiphanies written by Mr. Murphy.

The day you are running late to work is always trash day, which you realize is today, right after you dump the dog’s food in his water dish.

Computer systems never break on Monday, they always break on Friday… of a three day weekend… after 5pm.

It’s the final day of August and the third or fourth day we’ve had some sort of precipitation. I like a rain day that cleans the air and lets you enjoy the rest of the warm weather… not that we get much warm weather on the Oregon Coast. Usually one to three days between May and mid September that hits the upper 90’s maybe even triple digits. This year, not one day in the 90s. I kind of miss that, it always reminds me of why I love Florence.

Really my day wasn’t that bad. Yes, it was trash day. Yes, I dumped Arlo’s dry dog food in his full water dish. And no computer systems broke down, but then it is Tuesday. I did, however, have to take out an old CD player and install a new fangled two-piece duel deck. Not hard in concept, it just took an act of Congress in reality.

Exhibit A – electricians designed the control room they would
1) never have to work in
2) never have to fix things in
3) never have to listen to me scream at because they both went their separate ways after the new station was built.

Exhibit B – I’m allergic to dust
1) electronic equipment attracts dust
2) electronic equipment creates dust
3) electronic equipment kills, the hand that feeds it, with dust. Thankfully I remembered an allergy tab this morning.

It still took me the better part of two hours to uninstall (the really it's not broken folks but I get tired of guys whining their scratched to batshit CD's jump-ump-ump-ump-ump), remove all the excess cordage, stuff the huge plug-in through a tiny hole in the counter already filled with too many wires. Install the new multi faceted, oooh that’s way kewl, two-piece dual deck.

In that time my intern did all my afternoon work and then the work that would have taken up the rest of this week's afternoon, too. He rocks. I like rainy August afternoons after all.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Talk Thursday – Way late – pt 1 – Oh, Baby Talk Thursday To Me

When Kent posted his multi listed Talk Thursday Topic several weeks ago I was jazzed. And then life came barreling in without the horse and two guns smoking. Ack. I knew immediately what I wanted to write for part one. I’m a DJ, but I don’t talk dirty. I’m a writer and much to my husband’s consternation I can’t write smut. But boy have I been in some strange situations.

About two or so years after I became a DJ (yes that really translates into I can’t remember how long) I was working a Sunday afternoon shift, crocheting an afghan (which makes two years or so seem accurate) when I received this phone call.

“Good afternoon, KCST, this is Calista how may I help you?”

“Oh, I have the wrong number.”

“No, problem I hope you have a nice day.” And that was pretty much where I thought the conversation would end. But as I was just about to pull the phone away from my ear he said,

“You know you have a really nice voice.”

Laughing at the stupidity of the statement, “That’s good, it’s how I make a living.”

“What do you do?
“Ummm, you called a radio station, I’m a DJ.”

“Oh, okay well have a nice day.” And he hung up; I turned back to my afghan just as the phone rang again.

“Good afternoon, KCST, this is Calista how may I help you?”

“Oops, I called the wrong number again.”

Again chuckling, “You’re going to need to work on that dialing finger it can get you in trouble.”

“Oh, no I’m okay. You know you really have a nice voice.”

“Well, thank you.”

He said a few more things, punctuated with the nice voice comments again and I was finally able to disconnect the call. Except the phone rang again. This time I knew who was on the other line.

“You know you really need to fix that dialing finger and write the right number down in large black numbers before you dial.”

“I really like your voice, it’s so nice.”

I was beginning to get a bit worried, it was Sunday afternoon, I was a lone in the station in about the loneliest part of town – the business park next to the airport. (I know three phone calls, I’m a wee bit slow.)

In a very dreamy, hmmmmm hmmmm hmmmm voice he said, “You have a really great voice, the kind of voice a guy could…” At about that time in my pea size brain I realized could really was, and crap oh crap am I dense!

At that point I arose out of stuporville and said, “Crap, dude, we have seven second delay you’re going live.”

And he hung up.

And of course never called back again. Radio, ain’t it wonderful? Next remind me to tell you about the stalker who fell in love with my voice. Ooh, he was a duzie.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Talk Thursday: What I Learned This Summer

For the last day or so I was totally flummoxed, despite the ramblings in my last post I couldn’t figure out what I have learned over the summer. And, the other option? I’ve been nowhere, except for a Ringo Starr concert in Eugene.

Well okay, balderdash! I learned how to make a superior thermodynamic survival shelter if I’m ever stranded in the frozen tundra with a solar blanket, plastic tarp, and a flint. I learned how to gig a piranha if I am ever hungry in the Amazon rain forest. And well I just couldn’t watch the episodes with rattlers, cottonmouths, and vipers. Ugh. Really some shows should come with viewer warnings. Hey, I know how to pasteurize water to a drinkable consistency without fire – now that one I might be able to use.

So here you have it… What I Learned Over My Summer Vacation Replete With Satellite Pictures Proudly Stolen Borrowed From NOAA

Years ago I took a weather seminar by one of Oregon’s better meteorologist that was absolutely fascinating. We learned how to read thunderclouds (hey on the Oregon Coast we don’t get a lot of lightning and thunder), rain clouds, and things I’ve long forgotten. I loved the seminar… and never took another one; yes I’m that friggin’ lazy.

And then it hit me, all summer long I’ve been badgering Tyree up at the National Weather Service about satellite pictures. No really. I give the weather forecast at least seven days a week (hey, that was a totally plausible statement) and while NWS and NOAA are fairly dependable… if you live inland… I have long learned that I need to…hmmm tweak the prognostication into something with more… potential plausibility. So I read the forecast, read the marine forecast, read the warnings, and constantly watch the satellite pictures and I write my weather forecast beginning with

Morning clouds giving way to partly sunny skies with increasing northwest winds 15 to 25mph… northwest marine winds 15 to 20 knots… today’s coastal high temperatures in the low to mid 60s.

Coastal Weather Rules of Thumb:
#1 If you have more than three days of heat in the valley you get fog on the coast… just sucks that puppy right in.
#2 If the wind is not up by 10 it will be up by 2.
#3 We have three weeks of amazing weather somewhere in January/February
#4 If it’s going to snow it will on February 12th
#5 The power will go out when the emergency generator’s battery is dead
#6 The best weather on the Oregon Coast is in September… when all the above is nil and void

If you’ve every been to the Oregon Coast you know that is a totally doable forecast. If it’s winter, we have...

rain with coastal winds southwest 25 to and 35mph, gusting to 90 on the beaches and headlands… marine gales south 40 to 45 knots… Coastal high temperatures 40 to 45 degrees…

Really a baby could do it. Just don’t write your forecast for more than a day and a half in advance.

I am finding satellite pictures amazing, mesmerizing. And it helps to have a real weather guy answer my questions. It all began with this picture.

Surprisingly I just about had it figured out. But still I sent a description of what I was seeing on the satellite at 140 longitude and what I thought it looked like. Airplane contrails. Shocker. Tyree wrote back and said I was very close – they are ship contrails that are only visible by satellite when weather conditions are just right. Which must be summer because I’ve been able to see them a lot through out the season. Dig the weather system’s swirl in the gulf of Alaska. BTW - Someone should let those captains know you shouldn’t drink and drive.

NOAA’s satellite pictures also offer a water vapor picture. Way kewl and very colourful. But what’s that orange? Heat? I figured the white mean thin clouds or fog, the darker the green the more the water concentration of the clouds. And the cool puffy things? Thunder heads. I forgot to as about that. But I did ask about the orange. I was kinda wrong. Orange is dry air… which in my mind looks like hot dry air and there you go.

These are pictures I especially love…

They are like the world at peace…

Well at least it looks good.

And totally off the subject, who are they fooling with these phones that feature touchable, expandable screens? WTF who can see that crap? Watch a movie? Excuse me, I want a 52 high definition flat screen with unending buttered popcorn (in someone else’s house, mine’s too small.) Read a map? Honey, I get my pictures printed larger than that, frick I’m middle aged, it takes a pair of readers and a magnifying glass to read which color of mascara I’m buying.


PS Congrats to Tandy, Simon, and Baby Zander - I wish you a wonderful life.

PSS - Thank you to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the unauthorized use of their beautiful satellite pictures.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Talk Thursday: Growing UP

I have spent the last fifty-four plus years growing up, fairly certain in the knowledge I’m far from completion, but hoping I manage to get there before my body is through. It would be especially splendid if both occur, generally, around the same time, wouldn’t it be awful to be old, spent, and stupid? Or how about old, spent, and bored because there are no boundaries left to conqueror?

While I have no desire (at this time) to return to the hallowed halls of education, I am usually glued to a program on History, the Do It Yourself channel, or Discovery. That’s not to say I can’t further my education in books, but I’m more interest in learning to do, expanding my knowledge on what is in small weekly doses. Plus I love my job and as long as it last, I’m not looking elsewhere. I’m under no illusion that I am the smartest, end all - be all of any endeavor I gravitate towards. You can tell that by looking at the dressing screen I started two weeks ago and have yet to finish building – Ducky had to rescue it. I have figured out measure twice cut once. My down fall lies in measure once, take a gander, measure twice look at it again…. Measure three times – now drill. Someday it will not lean up against my water heater in the garage, but hopefully reside on my deck. And if you need further proof I’m a work in process my lilies suck and my lawn is dead. There you go.

What I have learned in my years of growing up is that there are all kinds of people, with all kinds of abilities, all types of qualities, ignorance’s, graces, foibles, and over all arrogances and stupidities. Often all rolled up in one person. Ain’t diversity grand? Where do I stand in the grand scheme of things? I’m still learning to fit in. Years ago I was the wallflower, the girl who got beat up in the school line and few teachers cared. You see I was rather quick mouthed, a talent that almost got me booted from Girl Scout Camp. I’ve since learned that it’s my way of coping in fear of being rejected. A trait that runs off all but the bravest or those keen sighted enough to see below the loud brash exterior.

My wallflower status has actually stood me well over the years and social situations. I am content to watch and read people, but growing up on the outside taught me to have compassion of wallflowers less adept and further out of their comfort zone… a wall fish of sorts? It has also allowed me to see beyond the external and into the depths of people and how they interact, how they react, and how they exact what they want in different situations.

Over the years I have learned what and whom I adore; what I dread and fear; what renders my heart insensible; and what it takes to get it done. I have also learned that if I don’t know, seek. If another speaks, hear. If I love tell the recipients and tell them often. If I need help, ask (I’m still working on this one.) If I have it in me, give it freely and cherish the fellowship of all. Rejoice in myself, rejoice in others, rejoice in all the universe has to offer.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ack! It’s a Tuesday in August

Ack! It’s a Tuesday in August, worse I think there’s more than one.

I had all these wondrous ideas about last Thursday’s Talk Thursday topic. It was a stroke of genius – 7 topics, one week. Well I let that one slip by. Maybe yet.

Today is Burp’s ninth birthday. Nine, can you believe it? It’s blown by and that scares me. Psam’s childhood seemed like a fleeting moment and I miss it so much. But as the Beatles would say, Ob la de, ob la dah, pass the bong. Except please don’t, I’m allergic. Really I need a new saying. Ob la de, Ob la dah, I’ll take another margarita isnt’ catchy.

So, anyway, today is Burp’s ninth birthday. My thing is to call family and friends in loving hit and run episodes of the notorious Birthday Cake Polka. Except, I only sing part of the song that I remember from my childhood. Aren’t people lucky? Lately I’ve begun playing the Sheriff John mp3 where he sings the whole thing with the correct lyrics. Burp was my most recent victim.

I adore him. Saturday night he gets to have a birthday sleep over. Oh, Psam you gutton for punishment. A living room full of sugar addled seven, eight, and nine year olds – what joy. They are having a movie marathon – Toby Tyler or 10 Days in the Circus and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He borrow those and the Last Starfighter from Ducky the last time he was here. All three movies are Ducky’s favs, Burp seems to love them too, he said Willy Wonka was better than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sadly, Burp’s grandma hasn’t figured out what to get him for his birthday, besides tickets to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and I get those for free. Back to school clothes seems like a cop out, needed, but a cop out.

I know Ob la de Ob la dah. Life goes on – onnnnnn - la la how the life goes on.

It’s Tuesday night and in a total stroke of stupidity I went to Grocery Outlet to find what tasty dash of hell I could eat to make my thighs and butt fatter. Who came up with the Dove Ice Creams that have the layer of solid dark chocolate on them? I bought one and stuck it in the freezer. When the munchies hit me I pulled it out. Deviously chuckled to myself because Ducky wouldn’t be able to catch me eating it.

And, what the bloody hell?

Who’s friggin’ bright idea was it to freeze a layer of unbreakable dark chocolate on top of the ice cream? I suspect a dieting guru. Truly. A diet genius. It was rock hard. While I was hit by a wave of late summer-spring-cleaning I let it thaw. An hour later the chocolate layer is still hard as a rock and the ice cream is less than milk shake consistency. My hips and butt have been saved to blossom yet another day.

Ob la de, Ob la dah, life goes on brah! La la - did you know John hated this song?

Life at work has been crazy. We have just finished our huge Summer Entertainment Giveway (tickets to everything we could get our grubby little hands on, given away everyday, with a massive grand finale drawing on the final day – which would be why it’s called the finale drawing.) You know what thirty drawings are followed up by? Thirty phone calls – and you know how I love the telly. Then I get to address and lick thirty envelops. Oh what joy and fun. No wonder I’m fat. Now were are in the final leg leading to Friday’s Hot 100 Radio Auction. You know what that means? I got to put 100 (plus warm up) items on the station’s website. Turn it all into reams of paper work and then sniff dry markers until they are all sold (the hot 100 - not the dry markers – really who came up with those things they reek?). This is all followed by thank you letters to our Summer Entertainment Giveaway venues, and FOOTBALL SEASON!

I’m taking vacation in September. I think I will be really, really tired.

Paul said it best, “Ob la de, Ob la dah, life goes on brah! La la how my life goes on!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Talk Thursday: Beautiful... Release

Well it took all summer, crap it's already the beginning of the middle of August which is really the beginning of the end of sumer (I know shoot the bearer of bad tidings - but I come with flowers), I have lilies.

It seemed to take forever, but it was worth the wait. The lily to the left was suppose to be a stargazer - it's not, but it is beautiful. The lilies to the right are on their third year, the picture doesnt' do the color justice.
I had some beautiful bright yellows too, but I never got them photographed.
I have several Rudbeckia that are just budding out, a holly hock or two (I miss pictures of Sacred Sister's hollyhocks) and these Hellisomethingorothers,
and an abundance of daisies. This bush is my favorite (but only because it is so round. I have a bolder double daises, and this really ruffly one that browns too quickly.
They are beautiful, but crap, no release. I will have to try again.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Odds and Ends Revisited & Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band

Oh so many things, so little time to blog, but what the heck, chores be damned.

Ducky is gone Tuesdays and Thursday nights, I honestly believe that is part of the reason our relationship has lasted so long. It’s not like I have the best track records, but this guy is totally a keeper. His night’s gone are two of the reasons I will always have a dog, it holds any potential loneliness at bay. It also gives me the opportunity to have Thursday – girls night out, and the chance to misstate a fact or three on Tuesday nights, when I say, “I got three laps done on the cross-trainer, I think tomorrow night I’ll go for four. The lo-fat salad was almost too much for dinner.”

Instead of saying, “I munched on a grilled cheese sandwich and peanuts, while I was blogging, followed by a three truffle chaser.” I know, I know may lightning strike. Okay, crap, it was five. Leave me alone it was not six.

Saturday night the radio station sponsored Joe Diffie at Three Rivers Casino. We had a great time, the concert was very enjoyable, the crowd could have been a wee bit bigger. But then again the Bellamy Brothers had played the night before and the three-day Oregon Jamboree was well underway in Sweethome, drawing crowds with the likes of Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, the Oakridge Boys, Travis Tritt, and Miranda Lambert. My favorite lyric?

If the Devil danced in empty pockets,
he’d have a ball in mine.
With a nine foot grand, a six piece band,

and a twelve girl chorus line.
I’d raise some loot in my three piece suit,

selling one dance for a dime.
If the Devil danced in empty pockets,

he’d have a ball in mine.

Or maybe you’d prefer…

Cause and effects, chain of events
All of the chaos makes perfect sense
When you’re spinning round things come undone
Welcome to the Earth, third rock from the sun.

Great lyrics. Fabulous energy.

Sunday night we went to see Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band at the Cuthbert Amphitheatre in Eugene. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it many times again, this is my favorite venue. The band included Walter Palmer of the Romantics, Rick Derringer of the McCoys, Edgar Winters but no White Trash (Frankenstein was it amazing), Gary Wright, Richard Page of Mr. Mister, and Gregg Bissonette. We met Pinecone, the Crown and Bridge guy, the Landlady (not theirs, my nephew Arnie’s Landlady,) and several others at the top of the grassy berm just as the sun was hovering above the horizon. You know that moment, right when it hits golden peak. Ringo called it’s “God’s Light” which I thought pretty kewl – and I guess he would know it was shining right in his eyes. We rocked out and watched the loonies and free spirits in the crowd dance to the music. What a night. I would show you the pictures Pinecone took (because I didn’t take my camera) but she’s notorious for taking these fabulous shots and keeping them among her pixel count for eons.

So you get a shot of my nose instead. I’m sporting this “come from nowhere” bruise on my nose. Truly, I’m not sure how it happened. And it hurts enough I should. It wasn’t there Saturday night. I didn’t see it Sunday. Yesterday I really didn’t look in the mirror, until Ducky offered an exhausted me dinner at a local Mexican Restaurant. I went in to brush my hair, check and make sure the old makeup was gone and noticed the bruise on my nose. Where the heck did that come from? And darn don’t touch it, ouch, I said don’t touch it. I, for the life of me, don’t know how I got it. It straddles the bridge of my nose, about the location of my sunglasses, but I never put them on this weekend. Today it rides a bit less down the sides of my nose towards my cheeks than it did Monday. Today it’s also a bit brown rather than the fuzzy gray and pink of last night. No idea.

Despite hours of watering my lawn is dead. I don’t know why. It’s not like I don’t water it for hours on end, three to five days a week. I had it aerated, I give it Scott’s Lawn plus, or Turf builder with water saver… a big sarcastic oooohhhhhhh. But, nada. Sad sad sad. The good part, it will be green again by mid October without any effort from me. See why I love the rain?

And finally here is a shot of the glorious bouquet that Ducky got me for our anniversary last week. The roses are slowly being removed as I wrap and dry them. The double lilies are browning, the Speedwell remains amazing. And the carnations are still spicy smelling. I love flowers…and chocolate too. Have I mentioned truffles lately?


PS if Pinecone ever sends me those pix, I'll addenum. Tata