Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tiny Home Improvements

Well, I've spent all winter being a lazy git and only doing the smallest of the "I really ought to do this around the house while it is winter and I'm stuck inside" chores. Last night I did one of the first of my "It's spring, time to get the garden spruced up" chores - which was a TINY, TINY thing - but very important to me.

See, I have this stupid latch on my gate that the condo association decided was the best latch for our gates - in their infinite stupidity. The latch consists of this weird "catcher" thing that moves up and down when it's not frozen in place, and is supposed to grab hold of this piece of 3/4"o.d. pipe that is flattened on one side and rivetted to the gate.

2 problems with this design. Well... more than 2....

First off, when it gets below freezing, the weird catcher thing freezes in place and the gate cannot be opened until it thaws or the iced up blockage is removed. As long as I am on the inside of the gate, this isn't a huge problem, because I just keep a metal spade in the back yard and whack the hell out of it until it moves. If I am OUTSIDE, however, I'm S.O.L.

Secondly, the guys who put in the fence posts did a crapass job of it and so when the weather changes, the fence posts heave up and down and many times the catchy thing cannot catch the pipe.

and not necessarily last, and certainly not least - the pipe is a pipe. A round object with a dark round hole. Attached to a WOODEN fence. Wasps make houses in these.

So - my itty bitty yet hideously significant chore was to stop at Ace Hardware, buy some of those plastic caps that you put over the bottoms of chair legs, except these were very thin and black and 3/4" inside diameter - and a bottle of all-purpose super-adhesive. I glued one of the little things onto the end of the pipe thing. Hopefully nobody will EVER be able to remove it. Hopefully the farking Association will never notice it is there. Wasps cannot get into it. I hate wasps.

Not too fond of your average W.A.S.P. either, for that matter.

291 Days

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The earth - it thaws...

This morning I left for work and noticed that ALL 4 of my little mini-solar-powered lights were laying on the ground. The freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw had worked the spikey bits all the way to the top and they'd fallen. The first time this happened, I had to stick the light into a flowerpot because the ground was frozen solid and I couldn't even get the spikey part to go back into the ground at all, not even in the same hole where they'd fallen from.

This morning, however, I was able to stab them all back into the flowerbed nice and neat and in a row like they belong to be. Yay.

I should go get some seeds for sweetpeas - this is a good time to plant them because they take forever to grow, and then I get flowers a little earlier, even if it does freeze again, they can take a bit of cold-abuse.

I've been sleeping with the window cracked open the last few nights, but last night the wind was blustering so much that I had to close up. It's been nice having the window open, the "fresher" air, and the MOIST air, rather than the Sahara-dry forced-air-heat atmosphere was great. No need for my little spaceship-shaped air hydrater thingy (not really a "vaporizer" or a "humidifier" - kind of a hybrid)

It is time, I think, to start picking out in my head what kind of flowers and veggies to plant this year. I love Spring!

293 days

Monday, March 31, 2008

Perception - Point of View

Over the last few days I've seen the power of perception and point of view in action. As stated in the previous post - I found out last week that one of my closest friends has been diagnosed with Cancer. This is not "internet drama" - yet someone has told me that they percieved it as such.

Sorry to disappoint.

There are 3 kinds of lies, alledgedly according to Mark Twain - Lies, Damned Lies, and statistics.

I think many of the "Lies" problem comes when one person's vision of the "Truth" collides with someone else's vision of the "Truth".

Perhaps the eye-witness to a traffic incident would say "The guy was all over the road, weaving and swerving as if he was drunk!!"

Perhaps someone with another angle viewpoint would say "The guy was doing great, a bit over the speed limit - but when the little kid ran into the road, he swerved to avoid hitting her. I think he over-corrected, though, because he had a bit of back-and-forth before he got things straightened out again"

How much pain is "pain" - for instance?

I'm gonna admit something here - and Lea is gonna get mad at me. I wasn't sure she was being entirely up-front with me.

When she told me she was having pain from her "gall bladder" - but that it wasn't "all that bad", I was somewhat skeptical. Not that she had pain!! But Lea has a high threshold for a lot of things (she eats Thai food that brings out the entire kitchen staff to see if her head explodes from the spices, for instance) - and what I was afraid about was that she was DOWNplaying the actual severity of the problem because of her resistance to pain and stubborn (yes, You, Lea!) refusal to push herself forward and "inconvenience" other folks.

Do I suggest that she was "lying"? No.

Am I lying about that? NO!!

The fact is - I could not personally feel what Lea was feeling - and I've had gallbladder disease in the past, so I know what gallstones feel like and all - FOR ME. But even *I* have a fairly high pain threshold, so I'm not blind to the possibility that what would be "excruciating" for one person is "mild discomfort" to another. Listen to 20 women tell you about their childbirth experience and you'll get the general idea.

I think this hit me strongest when Lea made a comment about something she'd made arrangements for if "the worst" happened. She thought I would be angry at what she was proposing - I'm really not sure why - but from her POV, it was something I'd disapprove of. From mine, it was a very sweet something to plan on doing for someone she loves.

I don't know how to resolve these things. One person's "Truth" is another's blatant lie - or something similar. And yet I also know that there are relatively few "Dr. Evil's" in the world. Bush and Cheney and their ilk are an abberation, not the norm.

If we can be at such opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of those we respect and care about (LOVE!) - how can we possibly expect to ever find peace and harmony with those who have proven by their actions and words to be completely 180 degrees opposite our own thoughts/feelings/beliefs - Truth?

294 days