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Memorial Day

Posted May 30, 2016 By Ruth

 

What can you see from your window?
I can’t see anything from mine
Flags on the side of the highway
And scripture on grocery store signs
Maybe eighteen was too early
Maybe thirty or forty is too
Did you get your chance to make peace with the man
Before he sent down his angels for you?

Mamas and grandmamas love you
‘Cause that’s all they know how to do
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

Your wife said this all would be funny
When you came back home in a week
You’d turn twenty-two and we’d celebrate you
In a bar or a tent by the creek
Your baby would just about be here
Your very last tour would be up
But you won’t be back. They’re all dressing in black
Drinking sweet tea in styrofoam cups

Mamas and grandmamas love you
American boys hate to lose
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

Now the high school gymnasium’s ready
Full of flowers and old legionnaires
Nobody showed up to protest
They just sniffle and stare
But there’s red, white, and blue in the rafters
And there’s silent old men from the corps
What did they say when they shipped you away
To give all in some God awful war?

Nobody here could forget you
You showed us what we had to lose
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

No, no you never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

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General updates

Posted May 30, 2016 By Ruth

My rain barrel system that I was putting together when I caught myself with the drill bit is up and running.  Course, it helps when you remember to close the drain taps before you try to fill them.  But I’ve got one barrel full, and two more half full, so I’ll take it.

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Now to set up the soaker watering system so I can use that water!  BTW, that scratch is well healed now, just a shiny scar down my arm.  Though you can still see the marks from the bandaids too.

Good god Robins are stupid birds…..ever since we put in solar power the Robins have been determined to nest on top of the switch box for the panels.  Several home made deterrents failed and we resorted to bird spikes to keep them off the box.  It was a bad place for several reasons, including that in the event of a fire we would need access that box in a hurry.  Plus it was easily accessed by a pair of dogs.  A week or two ago a Robin tried to build a nest on top of a tiny light fixture on the side of the garage, equally accessible to the dogs, though at least a few more feet higher in the air.  I went to go dig out the spare bird spikes, but by the time I got back I discovered that the nest had fallen off the light!  Over the next 4 days the scene was repeated, Robin would build a nest, and an hour later it’d fall off the light.  The bird finally gave up.  Yesterday I found where it had moved too.

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Those boards are the remains of the A-frame I used to cover the broccoli over the winter.  The nest is nose height on Apollo, along a path we walk along several times a day with the dogs.  Its under the edge of the pool, which is only about 4feet high, which is why we’d not noticed it till I happened to look in the right direction while gardening.

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To late to try to convince the bird to nest elsewhere, we’ll just have to watch out for the nestlings I guess.

The weather has been an almost literal killer lately.  We’re pushing record breaking heat, temps in the upper 80’s to even low 90’s, and harsh sunny.  Very little rain, what there is has been only in scattered showers, or thunderstorms.  So I’ve been watering the garden daily.  Course, then there’s me, working in the garden dept of said big box store, during the Memorial day sale madness.  Normally SPF 55 is all I need, but when its this hot even reapplying it twice throughout the day isn’t enough.  I came home from work Saturday decidedly pink.  On top of almost collapsing from the heat despite drinking water constantly.  I spent my last two hours on Saturday inside the building doing non-difficult tasks after that.  Yesterday I picked up some of the sun screen that is supposedly sweat proof, and while I was at it made I picked one that was 70 SPF.  Gotta find a hat I can stand to wear at work that’s legal for the dress code too.  They’re predicting a hotter than average summer, so I’m going to need it.

Yesterday (Sunday) started out equally hot and nasty, but mid-afternoon a string of storms rolled by and we even got some rain, cooling things off enough to make it possible to work outside.  I got the 2nd level of the potato bed on and the potatoes mostly hilled:

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Here’s a shot of the entire garden from a few days ago:

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Had THIS article run across my feed this morning.

New Orleans Pelicans player Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot to death early Saturday in Dallas, with his agent saying it happened because the player mistakenly entered the wrong apartment.

Emphasis mine.

Ok, he “entered” the wrong apartment.  That implies the door was unlocked and he walked in.  Still not sure I blame the legal resident of the apartment for the shooting, certainly not enough details there one way or the other, but “entered” certainly sounds not violent…..

….but wait….

A Dallas resident told police he heard someone enter his apartment by kicking open the front door, police spokesman DeMarquis Black said in a statement. The resident said “he called out to the individual, but was not answered,” and when the resident’s bedroom door was kicked open, the resident fired his gun, police said.

Emphasis mine.

Assuming that the legal resident of the apartment isn’t lying I don’t blame him one single bit for shooting.  Nor does race enter into it, though I’m sure someone will try to insist it does.  Really, I don’t care what color the skin is on the guy who just broke down my door, the reaction is the same across the board.

(Why was Jones trying to break into his girlfriend’s apartment?  What was his intent when he found her?  Did this random guy just save the life of girlfriend and kid?)

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……but I don’t think I’m quite up to capturing my own swarm yet!

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In a baby pine just over the line onto my neighbor’s property.  Who is, of course, out of town this weekend.  If the swarm is still there tomorrow I’ll try her cell phone and get permission to call a bee-keeper to remove it!

Update: swarm has been removed, I took a video, but its a HUGE file…..not sure uploading it is going to happen!

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Links

Posted May 24, 2016 By Ruth

Look, I don’t care if your dog is always in your yard when you check on it, if its not restrained in some manner it is very likely it is leaving your yard at some point through out the day.

I need one of these.

I can’t imagine not being able to picture…..

New Orleans is sinking (not that I’m surprised).

Some of those folk remedies actually work.

I can’t wait till I can add this to my first aid kit.

Quaker Oats…..Quaker Oaks…..no difference, right?

If your computer gives you a popup about installing Win 10, do NOT just hit the red-X to close the window!

Some of the odd laws you run across…..in AZ you can’t hold a potluck in a private home!

The opioid epidemic might not actually be.  Course, now that its on the public radar we’ll never be able to back-track either.

If you see something say something.  Cause a camera is scary…..

Beaten for looking too male.

I don’t care what it looks like, if it really works that well on motion sickness, I want one!

The stupidity of the general public.

Why you should always take a close look at those parking tickets before just paying them.

I love this idea, and not just for the animals either, I get really tired of listening to them all summer.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s finally some pushback on the various .GOV organizations using SWAT style raids for everything.

Yet another reason to buy Carhartt!

If you don’t read the Bloggess I highly recommend her.  For reasons 1, 2, 3, 4……

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Healing nicely

Posted May 22, 2016 By Ruth

See here for a description of the incident.

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The Nexcare bandages worked awesome.  Except that the 2nd day (Friday) of wearing one, two hours after putting it on, I had to pull it back off because it was causing my arm to itch unbearably.  That day I wore one of the Curad bandages for the remaining couple hours of my shift with no obvious problems.  They might not be technically waterproof, but they did a perfectly fine job at sticking to my skin and keeping things clean.  The 2nd day (Saturday) I wore the Curad bandages however things didn’t go quite as smoothly.  I made it through the 8hr shift with it on, but the above picture is what my arm looked like after pulling it off.  This morning that irritated red area has evolved into rash bumps.

*sigh*

So basically either bandage is fine for short term use, but once again for any situation where I’ll need to keep a wound covered for an extended period of time I’ll have to come up with another solution.  Dammit.

At least I don’t work again till Tuesday, so I can leave it bare for a while and hopefully the rash will be gone by then…..

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Planted tomatoes

Posted May 20, 2016 By Ruth

I started planting out my insane tomato seedlings today.

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These are the Black Icicle Tomatoes.  They look leggy, but the stalks are nice and thick, they almost don’t need support.  And none of the other seedlings look leggy.  Just how tall are these going to get??

 

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White CHerry Tomatoes

 

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Blue Berries Tomatoes

I’ll plant out the Black Plums this weekend hopefully, I gotta construct more cages first.

 

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German Butterball Potatoes are doing nicely

 

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Notice the one big carrot on the right?  Thats the one that survived the winter

 

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Lettuce, and onions (oops, and radishes, how did I forget the radishes??)

 

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Sugar Snap Peas

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Did you know drill bits are sharp?

Posted May 19, 2016 By Ruth

I KNEW, but somehow I’d never put that into context with human skin.

Ooops.

Yesterday I was attempting to drill out the holes for the hose hookup and over-flows in my new rain barrels.  Discovered that the 3/4″ bit was just a bit too small, and the 7/8″ bit was just a bit too big.  But in the process had a bit of a error……

In the process of drilling I had apparently not tightened the drill down to hold the 7/8″ bit properly and when I went to pull it out of the hole, I apparently did so at a slight angle, and the bit got stuck in the hole and came free from the drill.

Muttering rude words at myself I braced myself with my right hand and yanked the drill bit with my left.

I spare you a picture of the un-bandaged cut, but I promise no stitches were required, luckily.

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Basically I managed to take off a nice layer of skin for close to three inches down the inside of my lower arm.  Missed, or didn’t go deep enough to hit, everything important there.  And yes, I’m up to date on my tetanus shot.

Washed it out, slathered on antibiotic cream, and Band-aids (yes, brand name ones, I have horrid reactions to the adhesives commonly used in such and the brand name ones are usually marginally less likely to cause me to break out in a rash).  And remembered that I was scheduled to work a full shift at work on Thursday (today as I’m typing).

See, big box stores like the one I work for try really really hard to be as clean as physically possible, but in reality are actually really dirty places.  ESPECIALLY when you have saws of all sorts running, and carry dirt and chemicals and all sorts of other things for sale.  Never mind the occasional bird in the rafters.  Which, btw, means bird shit on (and occasionally in) boxes.  Trying to keep everything spotless in a situation like that would require a literal army of cleaners who were willing to climb into the stacks, 20ft up, and wipe down everything almost daily.

Its hard enough trying to keep your average papercut from getting infected in that sort of environment.  Something like this?  Crap.  Digging through the first-aid kit I discovered a rather major failing.  I have regular Band-aids in all sorts of sizes and shapes.  I have telfa pads, gauze, medical tape, and vet wrap.  But I didn’t have any big bandages of an appropriate size to cover this sort of scratch without having to wrap my whole arm.  And since I’d rather NOT go into work looking like an attempted-suicide survivor the whole gauze and vet-wrap option wasn’t my first choice.

So I got in the car and drove to the local pharmacy to look at bandaging options.  Discovered that “x-large” does NOT mean the same thing from brand to brand.  While the over-all bandage sizes were all within 1/2″ of each other, the actual portion that covers the injury varies by AT LEAST that much in size.  My little scratch there was long enough that I had to pick and choose to find something that’d cover it all the way.  The Band-aid brand ones weren’t going to work.  Crap.

Nexcare’s waterproof bandages in xlarge were big enough, and sealed all the way around so that hopefully I’ll be less likely to get grime into it.

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And maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to explain to everyone that, no, actually, I wasn’t trying to commit suicide with a drill bit…..

But just in case I also bought a box of Curad’s Performance Series xlarge bandages in “assorted colors”.  Maybe a bright purple bandage will freak people out less.

 

*all products mentioned in this post were bought by me for me

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To continue the griping about work

Posted May 16, 2016 By Ruth

Profanity warning…..

I mentioned, a few posts back, that the woman who is now managing the department might not be the right person for the job.

Yah, about that….

Last week we had a sale on two brands of mulch that ended on Wednesday (May 11th).  In addition the week was predicted to be absolutely lovely, weather wise.

Either of those factors makes for a busy as hell day.  The two of them combined meant for a fucking busy week.  And it was predictable that it would be like that.  They were predicting that weather for the entire 10day forecast ahead of time, and that sale on mulch had been ongoing for over a week prior.

Every single, experienced, person in the department looked at that and was groaning (or swearing) in anticipation of how busy we were going to be.

Except, apparently, the department head.

Last week was also the week that the store was scheduled to have the floors polished.  Why now and not mid-winter I don’t know (well, I DO, but yah….).  This means that there are people in the store from the time it closes to the time it opens.  And typically, when this sort of thing happens several departments will pull one or two people (the department head and maybe an additional person) off of their scheduled shift and have them work “overnights” to get stuff done that is hard to do while there are customers in the store.  As long as it’s not a busy week this isn’t the end of the world.

Last week was not a good week to pull someone off schedule to do overnights.  It was a really BAD week to pull TWO people off schedule to do overnights.

She did it anyway.  Resulting in the rest of the department getting fucking pissed.

We were swamped all week, even after the mulch sale ended, just due to the lovely weather.  Having had that additional one or two people, AS SCHEDULED, would have made a significant difference in our ability to cope.  Even though one of them was one of the useless new guys, I could have at least sent him out to help people with mulch and help with the heavy stuff freeing up someone else to help customers inside the building.

Tuesday was such a fucking mess that I ended up in frustrated tears infront of a customer, who was pretty damn horrified at the mess he walked into even before that.  And the rest of the week wasn’t any better.  The one more useful newbie ended up BY HIMSELF in the department for 2.5hours on Monday because of it.

I KNOW we had customers leave pissed off.  I KNOW we had customers who were mad cause they waited for 15-30 minutes for an associate to get free to help them.

I’m HOPING that they used the receipt survey to express that.

Cause not only did the department head make the decision to pull herself and one of the useless newbies off the schedule to do overnights (why him I have no idea, useless is the keyword here, I saw just how much work he was doing the night I closed last week), but then the assistant manager approved it as did the store manager.  I SUSPECT that what they did was take her word for the fact that there was plenty of coverage and didn’t check it themselves.

Tuesdays the store manager has an “open office” day.  Where us employees are supposed to feel free to approach her about problems.

I don’t normally take advantage of such.  I’d MUCH rather deal with issues on a much lower level TYVM.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking up that offer to have a chat.  Cause last week was fucking ridiculous.  And it didn’t have to be.

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Its an education problem

Posted May 12, 2016 By Ruth

And it has nothing to do with how intellectual the job is that the woman is doing, though I know my mom (who has a masters in engineering and worked for GE for a while) has stories to match Roberta’s.  As she points out, there have been women doing “all that” since before it was popular.  Your average housewife with reasonable cooking skills runs power equipment daily and uses tools that could kill you multiple times a day.

I’ve had male customers (generally they’re at least twice my age with a thick accent, though not always) literally refuse my help because I’m female.  They’ll demand I get a guy.  When I tell them I’m the only one in the department right now they’ll storm away in a huff.  It’s always funny when they’ll find some male employee in another department and drag him over only to have the male employee refer them back to me.

I’ve had customers (always male) get quite snide when they see me driving the electric order picker (the power equipment that lifts the operator high enough to pull stock off of the top racks) or reach trucks (basically a small electric forklift).  I’m sure the comments will become more interesting since I’m about a week short of getting my license for the big propane forklift.  Apparently a “little girl” like me isn’t supposed to be using equipment like that.  Some percentage of the comments may be meant admiringly, but that doesn’t keep them from being annoying when I’m concentrating on keeping the big-ass-end of the order picker from taking them off at the knees (something it very well COULD do).  I’ll note that my male co-workers don’t have this issue.  More than half the women in the store have one or more of their licenses.

 

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