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Now that he has found his way out of the box in the garage/storage, Hiker Smurf has taken to the trails with alacrity. He loves hiking.  He loves being outside.  He loves nature.  He also enjoys photobombing my scenic shots. 

Here he is. 

Where is he?

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I sat in front of my computer after a long 12+ hour work day, after listening to some insightful questions from my sweet nephew about how many hours I work everyday and how often I work this late, after eating some warmed over canned chili with much too much sharp cheddar cheese, after daydreaming about welcoming Sweetie back home on Saturday after his long work trip away from home, after taking my blood pressure and marveling at the startling increase in numerals from my blood pressure reading last night……….and I sat in front of my computer and switched on my iTunes and asked my music “What do I want to listen to right now?”

And my music replied:

That’s my Phil!  Hmmmm……sounds about right. 

Long Long Way to Go

While I sit here trying to think of things to say
Someone lies bleeding in a field somewhere
So it would seem we’ve still got a long long way to go
I’ve seen all I wanna see today

While I sit here trying to move you anyway I can
Someone’s son lies dead in a gutter somewhere
And it would seem that we’ve got a long long way to go
But I can’t take it anymore

Turn it off if you want to
Switch it off it will go away
Turn it off if you want to
Switch it off or look away

While I sit and we talk and talk and we talk some more
Someone’s loved one’s heart stops beating in a street somewhere
So it would seem we’ve still got a long long way to go, I know
I’ve heard all I wanna hear today

Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to)
Switch it off it will go away (switch it off it will go away)
Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to)
Switch it off or look away (switch it off or look away)

Switch it off
Turn it off

I’m not going to criticize Facebook.  I like Facebook.  I don’t have any complaints about the site itself.   

I just have a small complaint about what I consider the utter laziness that some people display when hitting the “like” button.  Not most of the time.  Generally, if you see something you like, you hit “like.”  It’s a simple honest message.  It’s quick.  Fine.

What about, however, when someone posts bad news?  “My significant other just died.”   “I lost my job.”  You read that and there, sitting beside this tale of woe, you see a small “thumbs up.”  Maybe, the tale of woe is eased a bit if it includes a statement like “but he was a great guy” or “but then I went out and got blitzed with my buddies.”  But really?  Is that worthy of a thumbs up?!? 

You can’t take the time to say “I’m sorry.”  Or……….or…….well…..anything……anything else??  Ten extra seconds to write something?  I’m not kidding, I’ve seen thumb ups next to the woest of the woes.  It’s creepy.  It’s annoying.  It’s sad.  I want to write a comment say “What exactly about this status do you LIKE?!” 

I succumb to the ease of the thumbs up.  Sometimes, I remain mum when I can’t think of a reply.  But I’m not going to click something for the sake of clicking and leave a symbol of good news next to something that so obviously is not.  Let’s not let convenience technology render us so lazy that we can’t articulate the simplest, and something the most important, of sentiments. 

Thought of the Week

Is it just me, or does everyone turn the kitchen faucet to cold water when running the garbage disposal?  If you have one. 

I don’t know why I always think I should do that, but I always have.  Is there a reason why it should be cold water?  Or is hot water fine?

1.  There has been (and continues to be) quite an earthquake swarm in Nevada.  According to (one of my favorite I-am-a-nerd-blogs) Eruptions: There is the interesting coincident that the focus of the swarm is near the Auroa Volcanic Field – however, Graham Kent from the director of the Nevada Seismological Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, doesn’t think a volcanic eruption is likely.  Eruptions blogger notes that Nevada has seen many earthquake swarms over the past few years (true, says I) and none have led to volcanic activity.

2.  Life is generally good.  Sweetie and I are enjoying our house and the endless list of projects (mostly his!) that come with it.  He is currently constructing two raised veggie boxes for me to plant our own crops.  I am very happy about this!  We inherited, in the backyard of this house, a couple of nice artichoke plants.  I have managed to not kill them yet and they are producing a nice little crop of artichokes.  Wonderful!  I picked three the other day, cooked them up, and served them with my mom’s patented (should be) artichoke dipping sauce.  Delicious! 

3.  Work is good and sometimes crazy.  True to form, my work and overlapping deadlines sometimes results in weeks like last week where I have to work 13 to 15 hours for a while.  Not true to my old (younger self) form, I can’t maintain that level of work/brain effort for very long.  I worked so hard for most of last week, I crashed on Friday.  Went to a meeting I couldn’t reschedule and then came home, hugged my Sweetie, wasted time on the computer, and went to see a movie.  We saw Hanna.  It was good, but not as good as I was expecting. Good, but I was expecting more there there.  But fine because, heck, I was NOT working. I won’t link to the movie trailer because I think it shows too much.  But I will link to a short clip featuring some of the brilliant soundtrack from The Chemical Brothers. That particular music piece was probably my favorite in the movie, but others were quite good.  If you like that sort of thing at all, you’d love the soundtrack.  Sweetie and I definitely appreciated the soundtrack. 

4.  I was thinking of writing a separate blog called “Why I don’t blog about Sarah Palin.”  But then I thought “Well, really.  I don’t blog much at all these days so that seems like a silly title.”  But there actually is a reason I don’t blog about her.  Not that I don’t read about her.  I do.  And there has been plenty to read about lately.  I could say all sorts of things.  The ridiculousness of her posing as some sort of political analyst for Fox News.  How much her reality show (and all the rest of her goings-on) does nothing to really promote the great state of Alaska since she resigned as Governor.  The hypocrisy of her daughter prancing around lecturing about abstinence while supported by a group that advertises abstinence with a close-to-pornographic picture of a young girl wrapped around a guy.  ?  Yeah, that makes sense.  We have to be hip for the young kids and then expect them to absorb a message completely opposite from the visual.  How I don’t really believe most of the conspiracy theories about Trig’s birth.  Mostly because I subscribe to the same belief for almost ALL conspiracy theories: If there were more than 3 people involved, it’s not very likely that a much-talked about conspiracy theory wouldn’t be able to provide proof by now.  I could throw in my two cents about her actions surrounding her son’s birth (was she trying to self-abort for 8 months, including the last few days? maybe).  All of these things (and much more) could have been separate blogs.  But I don’t bother.  Why?  Because when I wrote this, my main interest was that this dear country that I live in not make the horrendous mistake of electing this woman to any high office in this country.  Not in 2012.  Not ever.  I said I didn’t want her on the national stage.  There is nothing I can do about the fact she is all over the national airwaves.  There is nothing I can do about the fact that educated people I know seem to love and support her, blinded by her messages of Faith Faith Faith God God God, without realizing (or acknowledging) what a wicked truly twisted person lies beneath.  But as for high office, I don’t worry about it anymore.   She is a non-entity.  If she runs, it will be for the publicity and her own narcissistic satisfaction.  She is not a viable candidate.  Not for her potential scandals.  Not for her prostituting herself and her family for any amount of cash that can come her way.  And not because she can’t seem to form a coherent sentence on the fly.  But because of this:  She quit.  She quit, ladies and gentlemen.  She was elected to an executive office to serve a term for the voters who cast their ballot for her, and WHAT DID SHE DO?  She quit.  Game over.  Buh bye.  No excuses (should every potential lame duck executive quit??). What more do I, a mere blogger who talks about food as much as I talk about politics, need to say?  Pretty much nothing.  Why do I mention it now?  Because potential candidates are starting to proclaim their intentions right now and there may be another buildup of support for her.  And I may note it as it happens.  But do I honestly believe she has a snowball’s chance in a Texas wildfire to be elected President?  No.  And I trust that a large majority of people of this good country know this too.

5.  If I can’t get my act together and blog more, I resolve to at least be better at reading, and hopefully chiming in at, other folks’ blogs. 

So, I’ve posted a few things that I miss about Maui.  I thought I should post a couple of positive things about my life away from Maui.

Paying bills.  Being able to pay bills is a very positive thing.  I am immensely happy to be paying off all my bills.  The last couple of years on Maui were slow ones for my side of the pay check contributions.  Work from California was barely trickling in and I was working less than half time for many months.  Bill balances were carried over, much to the consternation of Sweetie (and my father if he was watching me around that time).  I didn’t love it either, but it was easier for me (than Sweetie) to just ignore the monthly charges.  I fretted but felt that I would get my feet back under me eventually.

Now that I am back to a full-time job with a steady full-time paycheck, I am loving being able to pay my bills and start socking away money every month.  *sigh*  Nice.  Not that I don’t have new stresses from said full-time job.  But I remind myself how nice it is to pay off my bills.  And that helps.  I have a couple of personal loans I’m paying back and it feels good to be able to do that also.  I can still stress about money if I think about it.  Especially given the long list of house projects that Sweetie and I are compiling.  Some optional.  Some probably soon-to-be mandatory.  Think sewer pipes.  Fun times.  But at least I don’t feel overwhelmed on a weekly basis.

So, much as I miss the laid-back loveliness of island self-employed living, I can appreciate some of the benefits of the daily grind.  Given that I’ve landed in a nice workplace with some interesting projects to work on, I’ll keep my nose to it until the day I become a professional poker player.  ha! 

Don’t say goose.  I’m not goosing anyone around here. 

And is spruce even a word?  Or is it just used so much we all think it’s a word?

Let me jump over to one of my most-used links – Merriam-Webster.  Ah yes….spruce….”to make spruce.”  So helpful.  What’s that?  A link….see “spruce” defined for English-language learners.  And there’s a better definition….to make (someone or something) look cleaner, neater, or more attractive.  For English-language learners?  How about – for people who want a definition of the word that doesn’t include The Word?

Oh well.

*spruce* *spruce*

And oh – there goes my undiagnosed ADD, and I’m off to the next thing. 

Really, the only way to spruce up a dusty blog is to write in it.  And I shall.  Things like – trying again to keep track of the books that I’m reading, blog about the books that I’ve read, comment on news, warn you about impending earthquakes, maybe give a personal update more than twice a year, write about the fabulous food choices in Sacramento since I can no longer blog about fabulous food discoveries in Maui, write about how COLD it is anywhere other than Maui, rant, praise, and generally share some cynical views of the world around me.

Yeah – that stuff. 

And this is not the blog I started earlier tonight.   But it will do for now.