Dec. 9th, 2010 07:43 pm
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
My sister, bless her pointy little head, notified me last week that she'd put a package in the mail for us, that it likely would arrive around Monday, and we are to start using it right away. This is a sort of code in our family that there is food in the package. Pretty common around this time of year, as well. Package probably arrived Monday, possibly Tuesday as that's the day I stopped at the Post Awful and found the Call At Window notice.

I mean, they could of put the package in one of the keyed lockers, eh? Or so I thought at the time. Stopped in at the Post Awful today, it being a day off from Hospital and myself running errands, and called at the window. In honesty, the box is probably a bit big for the keyed lockers. Into the car it went, and trundled into Hoggetowne and back on the errands. Errands included stopping by the bank for some forms completion, filing those forms with the HR department at Hospital (intrigued yet? Stay tuned!), then groceries. And electronics. More on electronics later too.

Back home, unloaded the car with help from Houdini and Herself. On the second or third trip into the house, brought in the package. Opened it up. Sure enough there is food in there. Yum. And something else. Toward the bottom. I dug through the crumpled newsprint packing and pulled out --

Boots. And spurs. Made in Mexico boots and spurs. Bought by our father as a young man, while hitch-hiking back, after driving a car for hire to California, through the Southwest and a sojourn through a part of Mexico. Vaquero boots and spurs.

I now think, since the comment in the e-mail specifically said 'you are to start using them' that she meant something other than start eating the food. And this evening, the day the package arrived, for some reason I can't connect to G-mail to tell her, they've arrived.

Go figure.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Attitude)
While I'm quite appreciative of the 'shopping list' or 'wish list' features found on several commercial web sites, including Amazon and B&H Photo, I've not used them personally. I suppose I should start, after all it is a good means to an end of communicating what would be both useful and appreciated by someone. What makes this post unusual isn't that I don't use the wish lists, it's ... well, I'm going to create a single item one here.

One of my nieces contacted me today regarding this watch:

She'd been contacted through a bit of a round-about manner by the person sourcing that auction for additional information regarding the individual cited as the recipient of the presentation. The auctioneer is correct about the patent mentioned, and about the race. As well there is at least one other important automotive innovation which he built the very first prototype, and that would be the windshield defroster/heater system we all use these days.

Not so much about the number of living relatives, however, nor in how many generations removed. There's at least a dozen in the second generation (grandchildren) and I've not heard that the last surviving child passed away yet.

I know this because the fellow was my grandfather.

Yes, there is a slight difference in the spelling of family names. That would be due to a fellow who set that spelling down when Gramps went to work for Mr. Olds (prior to his going to work for Mr. Hudson). Gramps never changed it because that spelling also went along to the IRS for income tax purposes. My dad changed the spelling along the same lines, first employment records. Neither one of them nor myself spell the name the same way Great-Grandfather did.

At any rate. Yes, if anyone reading this can spare the change and wants to bid on that watch, I'll provide a shipping address if you win the auction and feel inclined to let me know. Meanwhile, I'll be pretty happy with the assorted hand tools I own which I know came from Gramps tool chest or shop.


Dec. 7th, 2008 07:00 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
Houdini and I started getting the kid milk ready for the Herd of 6 when the phone rang. I kept working; we screen calls when necessary through the simple expedient of leaving the answering machine on all the time. This call I picked up, even though it interrupted getting the milk ready. I'd been expecting one albeit probably next week. The call led to dinner with an old and dear friend.

She and her husband are driving her mother down to mother's winter home, another four hours or so further south in Baja Jorja, and timed their trip to stay overnight hereabouts. Her father died earlier this year, this is Mother's first winter (and holidays) without. She will not be alone, however.

A good dinner. It's been nigh on 15 years since we've seen each other. Much less for contacts, just time between seeing. A good visit. Their children are now grown, they are grandparents, and this year her husband A told his employer, 'It's been grand. Please pay me not to come here anymore.'

Ah, a good visit.

Oh, and the Herd of 6 did much better with the Bucket'ONipples, including Bigger B&W Buckling though he needed a bit of 1 on 1 time to catch the clue bus. Shiners seemed not to have, as he kept trying to climb on top of the bucket. Then it occurred to me, Shiners is used to a bit more touchy time since he is one of the smallest, and Herself always made sure he got his share. Well, so did I, eh? What he was looking for was that touchy time. He got quite enough nutrition on his own, what with there being 4 nipples to spare. At the least. Five in function, as Bigger B&W sort of hung out in the background sulking because the nipples weren't right (at first). We'll see if he's still got the clue bus ticket this morning.

Herself got home late from Parade, so I still don't know how things went, other than the quick report phoned in while I parboiled myself in the tub. Sorry, I'd just gotten in, wasn't going to get out again to go halfway across the house for the phone.
madshutterbug: (c)2001 by Myself: Photographed in the Miyazu Gardens, Nelson, New Zealand (Meditation)
We've gotten to a confusing time of year, I suppose. Not necessarily big confusion at least for me, but at least some confusion probably for most people. I don't have a solution to that, but it's what I'm on about today for some reason.

I'd gotten thinking about some things I'd written some time ago, three parts of a longer story or three short stories in an arc, take your pick. Seemed like a good idea to find them and post them during November, just as my own little bit of tossing fuel on the fire which is NaNoWriMo, either encouragement for the participants or gentle teasing for same. You know, hey, look what I wrote no it isn't part of that game.

I couldn't find them. Well, I couldn't find the files of those manuscripts, more accurately, since I've not started looking for hard-copy which may be available. This is where life gets interesting, you know? I remember writing the first part using the very first computer I bought. An Apple II which the salesperson wanted to know, whatever was I going to do with 64K of RAM? Write stories, obviously. That particular rendition of the arc, the start of it, I'd used at an SCA event in Trimaris to help keep the ball rolling on a new (then) public award/bauble/event to showcase people's abilities.

See, back then the two annual and specific 'competitions' in Performing Arts, not the Arts and Sciences events themselves (though at least one was held at each of the two Art-Sci events) were the Poet Laureate, and the Bard Laureate. I expect anyone will be able to follow the Poet Laureate title, at least anyone who's read much poetry, as countries usually do name one of their best poets as their Laureate. It's the same concept; original poetry for one, original song/music for the other.

Trimaris as a group decided to go for a third, for another category of art which did not fit neatly into either of those two because it mightn't involve poetry, nor song or music, but was Performance Art. And so the concept of the Masque Laureate arose, to honour someone who originated performance art of some sort. Dance fit into this, as did theatre. The start was slow, though, and on the occasion of the second competition it looked as though it wouldn't happen because the required three entries didn't exist. So I put my name in the ring as 'Storyteller' to give the other two people their chance, because I knew one of them would definitely be the winner. And with two competitions completed, the Masque Laureate would be on a roll.

So I told the story of how the fellow I played in the SCA left home and started on his journey of adventure and personal vision quest. And I proved at least half-correct in my reasons for this; the Masque Laureate did keep up the momentum and still persists today in Trimaris. The person I just knew would win, though, a Middle-Eastern dancer of great skill and reputation (and who did receive, shortly after, a Laurel for her dancing skills), did not take the Masque. But that's another story.

That part of the story I wrote down, as I said, on the first computer I ever bought, so that would be in '85 or '86. Shortly after, early in '87 I wrote another part, providing background mostly for the SCA wedding event which Herself and I did. Herself's primary persona (for those who are more interested in SCA things) is not married; a secondary persona is married to my old personna. That's what went into the background story for that event. And sometime after that, because I remember writing it out here on the Ranch, I did a third part, set in time after the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and before the Battle of Sekigahara.

Now, I could be off in my recollections on when specifically I wrote two of those; it doesn't matter. I did write them (as opposed to composing them but never writing them). I learned the important lesson about what a 'hook' is, and why it needs to be at the very beginning, by showing them to a friend who made his income writing. At any rate, I went looking for those files yesterday. I don't think I've gotten through all my CD backups yet, but I know I didn't find anything on CD's dated as early as 2001. And I know I converted all the files from the Apple disks to what was then called IBM. Pre-Windows, eh?

Now, since I probably wrote two parts on the old Apple, which never saw a hard drive much less a CD burner, this means the backup files may be on old ZipDisk media from after the conversion in formats. I'll check that out today. Still, I will be surprised if I didn't copy those onto CD's at some time as well. Pretty darn sure I did. Which means, I've probably not tracked down all my backup CD's yet. The quest is on.

I did find a couple voice recordings from August 2001. A ton of memories swirled up even seeing the file names. How I made the recordings. Who the recordings were. Things which were happening then. Very briefly, that since these dated from August that year, all before the whole Twin Towers thing. My brother had called me from their boat, on their first trip south along the Intracoastal Waterway, their first voyage after moving aboard full time.

All three of the males in my immediate family sounded alike, and via either recorded or telephone media could be extremely difficult for others to tell apart. I used to say we could tell each other apart, but let's be honest when one is calling either of the others, it's pretty sure that we would know the other voice couldn't be our own.

Houdini lay behind my chair at the desk in Office when I found those files; he'd been 'helping' me herd files as it were. You know the thing, being patient and near, responding to voice (talking to oneself or even to the dog) with tail wagging and occasionally sitting up and nose-nudging for attention. He definitely stretched across the floor behind the chair when I started the first file because he scrambled to sitting, staring at the laptop with his ears perked and doing the RCA Dog 'Masters Voice' head-cock. Then looking at me, with my mouth closed, lips still, no sound. Back at the laptop, head cocking the other way. Back at me, with an entire expression of 'How can you be talking from there when you're here?'

Mamma Mudge whelped Houdini and his litter-mates the Brothers in 2002, over a year after that recording. John and Kay came by the Ranch between Christmas and New Years, 2001. The next year, though, on their second (and his final) trip south before leaving the US shoreline, we went over to visit them near Daytona. Houdini never met my brother.

I guess our recorded voices really did sound that much alike.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Well, one of them, anyway. Well, actually, it wasn't exactly a vacation.
Though I did Vacate )

And now...
The photograph please, cut for dial-up kindness )


Apr. 28th, 2008 04:19 pm
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Chanoyu)
rather sudden, eh
daffodil and dogwood bloom
time for new paintbrushes

And, In Other News... )


Apr. 27th, 2008 06:25 pm
madshutterbug: (c)2001 by Myself: Photographed in the Miyazu Gardens, Nelson, New Zealand (Meditation)
Considered, quite seriously, an invite to head down to St. Pete for yesterday evening. Good food, good company, promised to be good times.

Been traveling too much this month. Herself headed off in the morning for SCA, fairly local event called Gathering of the Clans (Scots theme). She took some of her store for setup, had fun. I know 'cause I asked this morning while we chatted over morning coffee.

Me, I opted to stay home. Walked Ranch rounds with Houdini, spent some good time with him. We sat and watched teh cows for a while talking. Well, I talked, he listened. Afternoon, I made a run to the edge of Hoggetowne for a gift card for office-mate who's leaving, taking a new position. Also picked up a couple things for Studio, and replenished the larder a bit for dog and cat food, as well as milk & creamer. Caught up on a couple other little chores about the Ranch, again with Houdini for company. And in the evening, a hot, hot soak. Much needed.

Today we achieved laundry completion, plus some photo sorting, plus a haircut I've been needing for a bit. Feels much better shorter. Herself says the gray hairs are becoming hard to see. Took the luggage bags over to Studio which is where we store them when not in use. There's a few things in one of them which needs to be 'unpacked'. Not really anything I traveled with, they're all things which needed to move over to Studio as that's where they will live longer term. Didn't get the big cotton backdrop washed this weekend; I'll do that next weekend.

It's probably a good thing I didn't take the backdrop with me. As it is, washed six loads and the local migrant workers were in doing their laundry also. There's a lot of work going on now for the migrants, planting work and some harvesting (strawberries, I believe). Sunday is their one free day. So I didn't hog six washers to get all loads done in one fell swoop, leaving more available for everyone to use. Not bringing in that backdrop then this week is helpful to them.

Now it's time to go feed the horses, and the cows their evening ration, and then the Bros. Then it'll be time for our dinner. Tonight is the sausage on a stick pieces Herself did up for her upcoming SCA feast. It's still experimental. These ones were frozen after initial prep work, and the experiment is to see if that changes their flavours or textures at all, thawing and then preparing. If not, it makes prep work easier. She can put them together long before the event (call it a month or so), freeze, and then thaw and cook on site.

So, time to go. Need to keep my chores done 'fore I can eat dinner myself.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
Actually a bit later now, you'll get over it. That's when I got out of bed, giving up on the effort to try and get some more sleep. House is now stirring, and currently Grand Niece is packing her bag for a day at the beach with school-mates. This is Spring Break week on the Cape, and this is an organised activity for ... well, something associated with school. I'm drinking my coffee, which is coffee only by attribution. Brother-in-Law purchases 'Caffeine Light' something or other.

I'll need to start packing in a bit, won't take long. Truth told, things are almost packed already. One question is will I swap cards in the D70s or not; camera needs to go in for annual service I suppose, though the problem I'm experiencing may be due to the age of the compact flash card. I'd recently purchased another one because of problems with the second (of two) 1 Gb cards I'd been using, both over 3 years old (not by much), and both at this point with a huge number of files moved on and off of them. Those two cards are occasionally giving me a message 'Card can not be used'. Whatever photograph I took to get the message doesn't record.

And Now, In Other News )
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
Another day. Another visit. Some chores done, classified in with the 'In charge of nothing' category. Dropped grand-niece off with niece (grand-niece's aunt) in Dartmouth, passing through New Betha (New Bedford, local pronunciation) (New Bedford, of whaling ship/industry fame). Grabbed dinner on the way back, snatched the checque away from brother-in-law. A successful conspiracy. Coming home, ran up along the western side of the Cape Cod Canal. Did you know there's a Cape Cod Canal? There is, has been for a long time. Since it was build, does that make Cape Cod an island? Is surrounded on all sides by water.

Some photographs. Mostly snapshots. I've not even really looked at them closely. Need to look at photographs from Other West Coast trip for g'ness sake. Still making photographs. In fact, if I wake up before rest of house again tomorrow morning (probable) may just go out to make photographs early. There's a cemetery not far from the house. Could be interesting.

Saw a couple meme in friends blogs today. Look interesting, but I don't want to play.


Apr. 17th, 2008 07:53 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Default)
Not for eating though. Arrived at the house about 22:00 last night after a wonderfully uneventful trip up from Baja Jorja by way of Chicago and Boston. Well, yes, because Sandwich is on Cape Cod and that's fairly close to Boston.

I am impressed. There is a wireless network here. I am impressed.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (harrison ford)
The drive by the clock isn't any longer than either Tampa or Orlando. Parts of it feel longer, probably because we aren't as used to coming this way. It's been a long while since any of us flew out of JAX. Four or five years, at least. We made it without any problems, Herself dropped me off and headed back and I'm checked in waiting to go. JAX does provide wireless free, nice touch. So a last bit of on-line before departing, possibly before final destination as well.

Believe it or not, no stow-aways. Oh, there is one Little Fellow riding with me, but he won't be coming home with me. Made some quick photos yesterday evening while packing up camera gear for this trip, all for a project which might get done, might not. Come to think of it, that project wants another trip down to St. Pete & environs, but that is probably coming up in another week and a bit.

Meanwhile, on to other things besides LJ (believe it or not).
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Tsuji)
In Anno Societie XII 'Murieann Deora-de, called Strider, founded the Shire of Starhaven'... 'alas, poor Yorrick...' I knew her well. It's been quite some time since I paid much attention to specific dating regarding the Society for Creative Anachronism. Ran across this bit skimming through Herself's Tailwinds (the Trimaris newsletter) this morning. It's now A.S. XXXXII, and it's been 30 years since Strider founded Starhaven.

People have been born to parents who played in the Current Middle Ages, and now are playing themselves with children of their own.

The mind boggles.

Today I set off for points north. Thanks to those who've offered comments and support in response to my cryptic postings. It is not something needing venting, it is simply part of life. It is simply a deal with it kind of thing.

And So On

Apr. 14th, 2008 07:38 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Chanoyu)
Several more things done about the house and Ranch. Flight scheduled for this week. Need to confirm this with New Boss, not expecting any problems. Need to take care of some other items before departing. Otherwise, not much and that is well.

Such is life.

ETA: New Boss is quite OK with travel plans, so Wednesday am departing for Boston and Cape Cod.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Default)
We enjoyed a quiet and laid back Christmas Day here on the Ranch. Didn't make rounds until nearly noon, all present and accounted for. Except for the three that went AWOL months ago, months and months. Herself is making noises about posting a Wanted notice again. I'm leaning more toward Schedule F write-off.

Santa brought us a portable DVD player, something someone asked for in order to make copies of particular features recorded for reference. Costuming, time period research, and such like, of course we wouldn't violate copyright. I happen to believe pretty strongly in that, so no, we won't. Not sure we'll be able to with the particular DVD recorder; it's only a USB connection. So it's up in the air; we'll see. Could certainly work in the photo studio for multiple copy burns.

Houdini did take off following a scent trail near the end of rounds. Didn't go far, but did follow it over onto Next Door Neighbor's property and started toward Cater Corner Neighbor's. He came back to me when I called at that point, but I'd needed to follow him and get closer. We spotted deer sign, that might be what he'd scented.

Received a phone call from Herself's Youngest Sister, whose husband is one of Orlando's Finest. Seems he's pulled special duty over the New Year's holiday weekend, as part of the traffic escort detail for one of two college teams playing in Orlando. Asked if I wanted ... or could find on a wish list of some sort ... for something unusual to happen to the Leezards on their way to play the Wolverines. I said no, not really, just a nice, fair game wherein the Michigan Wolverines evicerate demonstrate to the Florida Gator's that SEC still needs to learn some things about playing Big 10 teams.

Made a phone call to my Oldest Sister. Found her already starting on the Big Family Christmas Shindig, but we chatted for a while. She does wander over here to LJ to read my meanderings (Hi, Sis), but, well, Oldest Sister is not computer challenged exactly, more computer just means other things. She's got e-mail, and such, and reads it. Not terribly often I suspect, which is why I keep her on my phone list always. She'd caught the early news about Mr Stone and sent me some other info, and I'd replied and let her know the game plan. Mentioned in the reply she probably didn't see the other news about Hospital and changes because it's filtered. Over the phone, she was surprised it's all done and out now... well, like I said not sure how often she reads her e-mail, just sure she does read it.

I may need to make her her own LJ. Just so she can read the filtered stuff. I'm not expecting her to blog. That's not her. *G*

For our Big Dinner, Herself did up a rotisserie chicken, sweet potato soufle, dressing, and pumpkin pie for dessert. Why, yes, [ profile] ichthyus it is the recipe we talked about, we'll get it to you. Nom Nom Nom...

So now I'm just sort of waiting for night time pain med to kick in; it's all muscle aches now, really. Though I'm still observing the 1 KitnzOfApocalypse unit lifting restriction.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
So, as I started late last night, I'm now in South Dakota visiting relatives. Rapid City, as a matter of fact. But no visit to Rapid City is complete without going to visit George and the Boys.

For Bandwidth... Dinner with George and the Boys )

Retreating the Colours )

Today, it's off to one of two places; either Rapid City itself (sis & B-i-L live outside of town, much as we do out on teh Ranch), or Deadwood. I'll let you know.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Attitude)
Off to the first of two nursing conferences; both of them are weekend conferences (call it two and a half days each), on the next two weekends. In between, I'm planning to visit my sister. I'd say my sister the RN but since both of them are... well, anyway. Visiting the one who lives near Denver.

Near is a relative thing. She lives nearer to Denver than I do. The first conference is in Denver, so it's a short hop up to visit. I'm ambling along here I know; burning a bit of time winding down from the drive before crashing. Up at way to effing early tomorrow to get to the airport. However, the airport is a mere 15 minutes away now.

Anyway; sister, visit. I expect I'll go have lunch with George and the Boys. There's one other place I would like to go photograph, and I've the time to do this. Sister, you see, will be working and I've no desire to disrupt their schedule excessively. So I'll entertain myself during the day and visit in the evenings.

For these trips, rather than spend the money on (even off-site) long term parking, I usually rent an inexpensive rental car, grabbing a compact at rock-bottom prices. This usually at least matches the (even off-site) long term parking, and often comes in less than. Today, Budget did not have compact on the lot, even though their reservation service guarenteed one. So, I got a free upgrade. Pontiac Grand-Am. Fancy.

Sunroof. OK, that was nice. Cruise control is hardly an extra much more these days. Fancy trip computer (Range on Fuel Left, Average Milage, Distance Travelled, Distance to Go) none of which features I used. Radio controls on the steering wheel, OK, that helps for safety purposes.

Arrived in time (two hours) and into my room, nice room but it's a motel. Not much on the tube, the Internet is free. Oh, and I've a pint of Ranch water to drink up, because I won't be allowed to bring it on the aircraft, eh?

And up too effing early tomorrow. Well, probably the otter will wake me up anyway.


Jul. 22nd, 2006 08:43 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
So today we are off to Deltona to pick up the last of the items which Herself is bringing home from Mother Mary's house. We've got a u-haul rental to pick up down there, and plan for a single day turn-around. Even so, I figure to bring Houdini with us; forecast is for thunderstorms here, and we know what will happen if he is alone.

Gimpy Longears, the doe goat who was attacked by coyote/dog, appears to be in the early stages of tetanus. Herself hit her with some pennicilin this morning. She was quite fine yesterday evening. She's separated from the herd again, in 'hospital' up by the house, well shaded and watered. We'll see.

Now, if I can just find my dog. Houdini! Where are you, huh?
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
I've looked at this particular screen several times this preceeding week. Just never got around to typing anything.

Ten years ago today, we wandered through a shopping center near where I'd grown up, looking for a few Christmas presents for some people. We'd flown up to Detroit for my father's funeral, which would need to wait until the day after Christmas. It proved an interesting time, lots of feelings of bitter-sweet. We'd not all been together as a family at the same time for, oh, a long time, eight years or so. It was the last time I saw the house I grew up in, because we cleaned it out and sold it during that family get together.

My Dad once said to me that on Christmas Eve, the animals can speak to celebrate the Christ Child's birth. We both knew that to be legend, and we were talking about that because Ruthie and I had started raising goats. The year before that comment, he'd sent a present of cash to replace the metel shed we'd been housing the, at that time, seven goats in. It was one of those garden sheds you can get at any garden center, and because it wasn't anchored to the ground if a big enough wind came along it would lift the shed off the goats. Dad figured out how much one of those would cost, and sent that to us.

We had some other building supplies here already, and his gift allowed me to purchase the parts we needed to put up a small pole barn instead of a small metel shed. It measured 10 by 20 feet, providing shelter not only from rain but also from most wind and definitely north wind. We named it the John and Rita Macheski Barn for Barnless Goats, made a sign, and photographed a ribbon-eating ceremony when we completed it. Mom loved that photo; Dad probably chuckled over it too. He did appreciate becoming a philanthropist, and told me, "I've never had a building named for me before."

That barn lasted about 15 years, despite having the posts beaten on and broken by horny buck goats trying to impress each other. But it blew down last year during Hurricane Frances. About 15 goats were trapped under it. Several goats died before we could go get them out. There's more goats now; this year's kidding replaced them, and the Winter Kidding is just starting.

I think I'll go out and listen to them talking tonight.

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