Monday, October 29, 2007

Your Mama Said There'd be Days Like This; There'll be Days Like This, Your Mama Said.

Forgot all about the wheat berries I've had soaking in the pantry for several days. The bushes are still sitting outside on the patio in their pots (which is okay for maybe up to 7 more days), and I have ALMOST 2 holes dug. 2 more holes plus soil amendments and we can plant those puppies.

It seemed kinda strange that Em had really bad cold symptoms last Sunday that went away by Monday morning (I'd thought) through the shotgun approach I took supplying remedies. He was fine the whole week up until Friday when his back started to bother him. Big day at the Racetrack on Saturday, working 9-9. His back was still bothering him in the morning, but he thought he could do the shift. Simply put, he couldn't. They drove him home about 2:30pm with spasms in his back. They'd wanted to take him to a hospital, but we're not hospital people.

We've been attacking the back problem probably as much as we can (or should) while it's still in the spasm phase. I have some familiarity with back problems having suffered from them over 20 years ago. We figure he'll be okay, but I'll be wondering for a while why he got this at this time and did it have something to do with the cold that he lost within a day that's lingered on in me for a full week now. Who Knows, right?

No. 1 came today to work on a paper for school. She has a plethora of papers due in the next few weeks, all in APA format. The one due this week is for her most anal-retentive professor, so it was kindof the test case and one that really required the services of anal-retentive mama. Who knew THAT feature of my personality would come in handy some day? APA format and Microsoft Word mix like oil and water. Her prof warned her, and we saw first-hand today. Frustrating doesn't quite describe the experience, but after a whole day we thought the product "good enough" and actually managed to save a copy without Word modifying the format. If she wants to (if she's anal-retentive enough), No. 1 will hunt down where the tab is 3 spaces instead of 5 and where the reference source is font 10 instead of 12). She's the one who needs to keep the 3.5 GPA to sustain her scholarship. Or, she can hope her anal-retentive prof is too busy or unforgiving to notice/care. Feeling lucky?

She stopped at the store for a few things for us on her way over and had the realization (fantasy?) that she's become part of the sandwiched generation without the bottom half of her sandwich. Now she's totally worried about us and talking about getting us on her cell phone plan. Of course, Em looked to be about 140 years old with his bad back and I had to ask her to help him out of the chair to come to the phone when his grandson called. The boy suggested he could call back. I had to tell him, "You don't want to get your grandfather out of the chair and then hang up." lol. Good times;good times.

Em's son mentioned coming to town next weekend. Might need to get the guestroom bed made up in case he spends the night here.

In the puzzle/game department, I've found online jigsaws. Right now I'm limiting myself to puzzles within the 50-70 piece category because they take less than 30 minutes to solve. That works for me. I like to mix my more obvious productive time with short sessions of non-obvious productivity and it's really kewl how online puzzles don't require any space in the home.

24 comments:

#3 said...

APA? Is this a science class? I don't think anyone but the MLA people cared when I did papers.

I take it 1 is out of the house? When did she move out?

Oldnovice said...

Social Science. Your sister is getting her degree in Social Work and the social sciences use APA format exclusively (and prolifically). It's totally anathema to environmentalism, particularly when margins need to be SO specific that pages must be reprinted and reprinted until perfection is achieved.

She moved in early June; where have you been? The local mission now receives only sundries, pb & j from us as food purchases with charity in mind go to her each week in addition to other healthy foods we provide her while she's on this 2.5 year stint to a profession that'll never get her much past the poverty level in the end. She seems to be loving the process, though, and loving the process is a big part of life, IMO.

#3 said...


She moved in early June; where have you been?


Out of the loop apparently...

I just tanked (kind of) on two of my Midterms...looks like I am going to have to study harder now. :(

I can see how helping people would be fulfilling for her, being a people person...

Oldnovice said...

Out of the loop apparently...


Dave lost his last roommate and made her an offer she couldn't refuse with rent almost equal to what she was paying in storage costs for her furniture while she was staying with us. They tolerate each other, both work odd hours, seldom share the same living space but when they do try and make it work to the benefit of both.

I just tanked (kind of) on two of my Midterms...

Bites when it happens, but it happens. Did I ever tell you about the Calculus final where my brain just fell out of my head? I suspect alcohol was involved (it usually is when my brain falls out of my head). I looked over the exam, knew NOTHING, put my name on the paper, turned it in and walked out. I had an A or B going in the class until that point, so got a C for a final grade, but what an experience of NOTHINGNESS!

being a people person...

Yeah...she's always struck me as too nice to people...give ya the shirt off her back kinda person, so helping people will definitely be her forte if it's not her downfall.

#3 said...

You would make a terrible Bond villian no .2

#3 said...

Gah, and you left the name in it!

Oldnovice said...

I've been editing a paper for No. 1 all morning, #3, so needed more than one pass to get all the personal information removed.

Let's try this one on what No.2 meant to say:

I really don't have much to contribute to the current conversation except that I hope Em is feeling better and I hope #3 did better on his midterms than he thought he did.

In other news, I've been in contact with our cousin Ricky and Aunt Claire about the Aunt Helen memorial service Nov 10th. They are both coming down that Friday and hopefully we will all be getting together. Kind of a big family event that it seems most of that side of the family is going to be in town for. With the exception of Lincoln, of course, who I believe is still stuck on a boat somewhere on the other side of the world.

Gotta get back to class...

#3 said...

In other news, how are the plantings going?

Are fruit bushes even going to survive in TX?

Also, is em feeling better?

Oldnovice said...

I really need to turn this editing project back to No. 1. The tabs, rolling headings, etc. won't stay put!

Plantings...I haven't done ANYTHING on plantings since I last mentioned plantings.

We did some grocery shopping past two days. First day Em was fine (relatively speaking). Yesterday, though, OH. MY. GOD. lol. He scared pretty much everybody at the grocery store. lol. I felt like Cruella trying to encourage people to "move on...nothing to see here...". By the time we left the store I was having a panic attack myself.

There's NO WAY he's going to work today. He's reading now (under the influence of Alleve), we'll try a short walk this afternoon, and maybe another this evening. I'd like to see him take the whole rest of the week off and he agrees that might be a good thing. He works with the public, and right now he's scaring the public. lol.

If I can get this "20 minute editing job" done in something less than 6 hours, I'll get out there, finish my holes and get at least 2 bushes planted today. Then, No. 1 comes over again with more stuff, trick-or-treaters come, etc.

Some fruit bushes do well here and between information from Texas A&M and the nursery I used I'm fairly sure I've ordered correctly for my locale. If they don't survive, it'll probably be due to an operator problem (story of my life).

Do you use Word or does your browser have its own editor? No. 1 uses Firefox, as well, and the document she sent me was (she said) in WYSIWYG format while what I opened was a huge mess.

Oldnovice said...

P.S.

No. 1 called yesterday to tell me I was an evil woman... (drumroll) ... because I sent her the link to FreeRice and both she and Dave had spent so much time doing vocabulary words that he was going to be late for work and she hadn't even gotten out of her pajamas or eaten breakfast and it was already time to leave for her night classes.

Thought you could appreciate that.

#3 said...

If you are used to playing a game until the end, the never ending rice game is a deathtrap. A link to our nintendo heritage...

I use OpenOffice.org for the vast majority of my word processing needs. You have to make sure that you save in word97 format, if you are going to want to open it in Microsoft word, though...

Also, Google has a web based text editor in googledocs, which works pretty well. I have only used the spreadsheet version, but it took and ODF spreadsheet pretty well.

You should get 1 in on the yardwork...How much planting could you have done while you were working on her stuff...
;>

What was she editing it in?

Oldnovice said...

I don't know what she used, but she used a copy of what I sent her from our whole day spent on this thing Sunday. Anyway, she's gonna fix what's left because I simply CAN'T unless I use something else/another template, yadda and I don't have any more time to play with it.

Biggest news is that the Aleve (had to check the spelling since I'm doing a commercial here) worked so well that Em said he felt fine and was going to the gym and then work. I said, "Hold on there; let's try a walk first." So, we took a brisk 40-min walk and he did fine, so I sent him with a list to the last grocery store. If he passes that test, he should be able to handle work, IMO, and if he doesn't...

No. 1 will bring Ekans this evening because this is the first year the trick-or-treaters wouldn't see him here. We usually wore him to the door or put him in the bowl of candy as we invited them to help themselves to a piece of candy.

Off to dig holes now.

Oldnovice said...

That wasn't bad. Amended soil for additions to two holes, finished the second hole, unpackaged fully and watered all 4 plants and planted both blackberry bushes while Em did the final grocery shopping. He's still okay; I even saw him leaning over putting eggs into the frig, so he's gonna go on to the gym and work. Gave him two more aleve capsules for if/when he needs them later today. They're good for 12 hours, but the 12 hours will be over before his shift.

Pollen count out there must be bad because I barely made it through the first planting when I needed to take some allergy medicine. Seems like I need that stuff more and more these days and it's unclear why.

#3 said...

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/04/no_impact_man_o.php

#3 said...

Didn't realize that that last link was cut off, but I was linking to the no impact man on the colbert report

So, despite doing really bad on the intrusion detection test, I did the best in the class, so it should be graded, but man did I feel like I did not know the material...

Oldnovice said...

I'm not a Colbert fan; don't know why. Had already seen Colin on his show a long time ago. You read Treehugger? (gasp! How insane!)

So, despite doing really bad on the intrusion detection test, I did the best in the class,

Yeah...I remember doing really bad on one exam and approaching my prof with "I did REALLY bad on..." just to hear... "How do you know you did bad? I haven't graded it yet." Then I heard everyone else chime in with "I did REALLY bad on that..." and No. 1 heard similar things with midterms in one of her classes after she'd told me pretty much the same thing you just said about having bombed the thing.

"That was a doctorate-level exam" said one of her co-students who actually works in the field. I'm not sure she's even gotten the results back yet, as her prof said that he didn't grade question 1 until he'd read all the responses to question 1. WEEKS could go by before the guy gets through the hundred questions.

What happens is: you get points for scribbles in the margin. True story. If your scribbles are better than the person sitting next to you, your grade is higher than the grade of that person. lol. /good times...good times.

#3 said...

H has the same issue with Colbert. She likes him on some days, but hates him on others. I think it has to do with the quasi-pompous sarcasm.

He normally hits the nail on the head, though. The word segments are the most funny, and his sarcastic worship of Bush means that there is a constant spotlight on him, which is nice considering the media blackout on most issues...

I find quite a few TreHugger articles from digg which has its own environment section.

I actually got most of the questions that I answered right, even the graduate level ones, (which were extra credit). Turns out that the majority of the questions that I answered were right, but I left 8 questions blank.

Pollen count out there must be bad because I barely made it through the first planting when I needed to take some allergy medicine. Seems like I need that stuff more and more these days and it's unclear why.

The conspiracy nut in me is saying that there must be something going on with the air, since more and more people are getting worse and worse allergies...I remember reading something about people getting more allergies these days since they are raised in a more germ-free/pollen free environment. That does not account for the horde of people getting "new allergies", which makes me think that it is air.

Maybe its chemtrails!
Spooky

Oldnovice said...

Could be a whole lot of things. Em and I were just talking about that the other day as we watched something on the news about how the plastic in baby bottles could be dangerous. I'd already read about some "bad" plastics and tend to follow what some consider the latest in the feminist movement: Mamas blogging. Who'dathunk?

So, Em suggested that this plastic issue was hype because WE'RE not suffering from these maladies. But, WE didn't use these things during our formative years and who's to suggest that the combination of (pick 3): hormones in milk and meat, antibiotics in food, plastics in packaging (including liners in canned foods), waxed products like the milk cartons from previous years being replaced with plastic products that LOOK like waxed products, leaf blowers, toxic waste, teflon, soda pop [I'm personally convinced that soda pop is the worst thing to happen to mankind, which is why I didn't allow you guys when young and still don't give it to kids to drink.], etc. etc. aren't responsible for some of the physical problems MY kids have, and y'all only got exposed to a teeny bit of what little kids today get? (breath)

I'm familiar with the chemtrail concern, but have never seen one and don't think I ever will. The air sucks from so much already that the government planting little seeds in the clouds could only modify air quality by maybe 2-5%, IMO. I don't even need conspiracy theories. IMO, we (as a species) had the best intentions. We wanted to make life easier for everyone and it isn't as though we didn't consider the consequences; most of us simply didn't know about the consequences YET. That's why hindsite is 20-20.

#3 said...

"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence"?

There is plastic in Cans!?!

I've been cooking them on the stove in the can, when I am too lazy to clean a pan/microwave safe bowl...that is disturbing...

I would blame construction materials for new allergies, if I had any Idea what I was talking about...

Just don't know about enough yet...

I can't believe how much plastic there is out there...reading all the hippy-blogs kind of warps your perception. I thought that canned food was somewhat safe from that...

How can you recycle them, if they come with plastic?

Oldnovice said...

I'm guessing they can be recycled because the plastic is minimal (maybe melts/turns into toxic fumes during the recycling process?) I don't know, though.

Bad Plastic

The cheap plastic water bottles that we saw thrown all over Chicago last summer contain bad plastic, which is ONE reason why I've been evangelizing so much on this stuff.

I don't think we (again as a species) can succeed if we take an all/nothing approach to plastics (or anything else). I think it's something that must slowly evolve one step at a time (kindof like how we crawled out of the slime pit). So, rather than see clean air, water, etc. in my lifetime we're more likely to see air, water, etc. get cleaner through successive generations who incorporate environmentalism in their lives accompanied by advances in science that make environmentalism easier.

Oldnovice said...

Oh yeah...

"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence"?

Somewhat...yes. There are a lot of things that COULD be blamed on us trying to take shortcuts/change the rules, etc. Lots of folks suggest that women should never have been given the vote or jobs outside the homes; it was the beginning of the downfall of the family structure. Feminism (overall) could be said to have been a major cause of our current environmental problems. Afterall, we used less electricity when women spent the whole day beside the woodstove heating the iron, washing the clothes in a tub with a washboard (or earlier at a stream with a rock), blah blah.

How constructive is it to assign blame, and how likely are you, H, or anyone else to go back to rudimentary methods of existence now that you've "tasted the forbidden fruits"? Everything we do has consequences.

Oldnovice said...

Been reading the Dalai's book on Happiness, #3, and just noticed that the other two books came in today at the library branch Em uses at the gym. So, I have TONS of reading material for this weekend at No. 1's place.

#3 said...

Lol, I have piles Queued up, but never enough time to finish any.

I did manage to finish The Fountainhead recently, which I really liked, despite my friend's assertion that Ann Rand is a sociopath.

I think I'm going to try and finish The Count of Montey Criso next, since I recall being more than halfway finished. I can't believe that the abridged version is still like 600 pages!

How are you liking the Dalai Book? Which one is it?

Oldnovice said...

Art of Happiness. Reading it simultaneously with Everything That's Bad for Us is Good for Us and Animal, vegetable, Miracle. It's nice to bounce back and forth between them for a change in pace.

I'm enjoying myself for a few days her at No. 1's place. I feel like I'm on vacation. Took a little walk this afternoon up to their most reasonably-priced grocery store. It's like being in a different country in her neighborhood. The store had prices considerably more expensive than the stores in my neighborhood, too. That's because the people are poorer in her neighborhood. Stopped in at one of those dollar stores, too, only stuff wasn't $1.00. What's THAT about?

One library book is due back in one week, so I've got to knock out the reading fairly quickly.