Category Archives: Personal

Another ordinary day

Beautiful weather, worth mentioning. Not too hot. Sunny with a breeze. Very nice.

Watered the tomatoes and the potatoes. Decided to put down some turf in the corner pocket of the yard for the hammock. I’ll pick up the first installment of the gravel tomorrow morning.

Decided against hacking away at the cabinets above the refrigerator. Although if I were to remove them altogether the worst damage ought to be that I’d have to patch that wallpaper. Where the cabinets used to be, as in paper that area after giving it a skim coat. Which, at least, I know how to do by this time.

Repositioned the 2x4s over the tub and stacked stuff up on them, plastic bins, the cases of toilet paper, the sewing machine, all the Goodwill clothes and stuff like that. My backpack. Some buckets. Have more space in the living room now.

Half the tomatoes have flowers. Looking forward to the tomatoes. The potatoes are up in front of the house. Never tried growing potatoes before.

The iceplant that I took a cutting of from in front of the elementary school is flowering and it is exactly like the iceplant with the little purple flowers that grew in front of the house I grew up in. Kind of nice to see that on a spring day.

Right now volunteer alyssum is all over the front beds, white and purple. I want to eventually get the iceplant established in that area. It ought to choke out any weeds.

Need to complete some kind of shade for the solar power inverter. Back to considering wood at this point. Fabricate nine pieces and attach those to the metal pieces I’m going to put onto the house. I had thought of vinyl fencing material or metal but wood seems the cheapest. Something that could stand being exposed to the elements, such as they are here.

I need to rearrange the dining room. Going to temporarily put the new/old refrigerator in the corner where the tool chest is now and move the tool chest into the kitchen until I can decide how to raise or remove the cabinets there to accommodate the new/old refrigerator.

When did Sear’s begin charging $140 for a service call? It used to be $70. $140 was more than the cost of the used refrigerator. Sear’s strong point was that you could get stuff serviced that you bought from them. But at $140 a call plus parts and labor that’s not much of a deal, you can obtain new or used appliances. Maybe that’s their point, maybe they couldn’t make enough money repairing things. Hmm. Kind of doubt that, though.

What else? Easter weekend. Why do I look forward to weekends? They’re more work than weekdays are.

Pay the water bill soon and the AT&T bill. Pay the mortgage. Pay Cassidy’s initial orthodontic down payment. Cassidy is going to return to the corneal specialist, though that should only be about $60.

Need to pay auto insurance in May. And pay money on the credit card.

Hopefully the truck will carry half a ton of gravel tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have the wherewithal to remove it from the truck bed and get it in the backyard somehow. How much space will it take up? I think it will more than fill the area I’ve prepared for this first installment.

One bottle of Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck left. Thinking, again of not replacing it when it’s gone. Not much of a habit. I do like my cup of good coffee in the morning. Need to lose some weight. Cutting out alcohol seems obvious.



I was excited enough about this to post it here, too. Man, the hunter-gatherer, cashes in his store of Challenge Butter coupons and buys six months’ worth of good butter. Stores it in his handy chest freezer. $2.87 per pound. The best price I’ve ever paid was $2.50 a pound, that’s when I bought all the butter that had all the coupons which I used today.

I have a couple cases of bathroom tissue and a case of paper towels. I love having Costco-sized supplies of things on hand. Wait for the price to come down and then buy all we will use. I’d probably save much more money by buying cheap milk instead of Alta-Dena milk, which was $5.99 a gallon today. I wonder if they charge more for the Japanese nuke plant radioactivity? Added value there.

I went to K&R Rock in Poway hoping to bring home some gravel but I ended up ordering some gravel which I’ll pick up there next Tuesday.

I’d e-mailed some guy about buying his used refrigerator, since ours seems to be slowly dying. It stopped making scary noises which makes me think it’s really on the way out, now. Plus it seems to be dripped red fluid inside which I thought was melted strawberry jam the last time I scrubbed it out.

The freezer hasn’t been working in some time. I have the chest freezer, so I didn’t think much of it. Because of the dubious value of the “frost free” freezer build into the refrigerator it wasn’t great for long-term freezing of anything. But this guy had a small fridge for $125. I e-mailed some woman in Carlsbad who has a small fridge she’s parting with at the end of the month.  Maybe put one in the dining room and one in the kitchen. The kids can have the larger one for soft drinks and juice. Keep them from opening the food fridge too often.

Unsure how I’d lay that out … hmm..

Finished digging out the first area I’m going to put gravel in, right in front of the stairs. Then I’ll excavate the next section. And so on. It ought to take three stages altogether. I’ve got a tomato growing next to this first section and an empty triangular patch I thought I’d plant flowers in for decoration, look nice from the street.

I want to even the back most patch, which is bare with a couple tomatoes in it near the fountain. Wait until the gravel is done so I’ll have some place to pile up the excavated soil. Then do something with the excavated soil… smooth it out or build raised beds. Something. Maybe a patio? How civilized.

I kind of like the bare earth. Where do you even SEE bare earth any more around here?

I am excited about the gravel. The gravel I put out in front looks good. This gravel has smooth edges and is colorful but not too colorful.

Doing laundry. Cassidy has a friend coming over tomorrow (for the first time ever) so I washed her sheets and Flynn’s sheets and even my sheets and blankets. Want to change the fish’s water. Clean up in general.

Sunday I’m supposed to take Cassidy to Diane’s. Not too thrilled about that. I imagine they’ll return Cassidy stuffed with food, which kind of dismantles my notion of Easter Dinner. Not that I had anything all that amazing in mind… some ham and some scalloped potatoes. Peas.

Oh well.

Feel relaxed and happy for the first time in months. Possibly years.

April 20

Went to the market, bought inexpensive things (Mr. Value Shopper), got a few dollars worth of gas (which is over $4/gallon), found some Bic lighters, could not find any Mr. Bubble bubble bath… went to Petco, bought good dry cat food, good cat litter and treated myself to six neon tetras and two albino cory cats. Gorgeous girl working at Petco.

So that was my big morning out. Woohoo.

3 months and 18 days

Until preseason starts.


Got up

Fed the cats

Made coffee

Made a piece of toast

Loaded the dishwasher

So far, so good.


Real rain. Pissing down. Between dawn and dusk, not just another San Diego stealth rain.

I used to notice that during the times I was at a Dead show, on acid, that life seemed… real. I feel the same way when it’s raining. As if these are the only times of my life that I truly feel alive. It rains so infrequently down here in Suburban Hell that it may as well be a high-quality hallucination — water falling from the sky? Is this actually taking place? Am I dreaming?

I love rain. It’s never rained enough for me to get sick of it. In 1969 it rained for nine days straight. I loved it. Of course, our house wasn’t one of the homes washed away in a mudslide. Pays to hire a geologist before you build, I guess is the lesson here.

Rain. Maybe not an all-day rain, but at long last a decent “Winter storm” as they’re called down here in the corner pocket of the USA.

The worst thing that could happen is having the sun break through the clouds on a rainy day. About the only time I’ve ever felt what I guess people described as a “Panic Attack” — I just want to hide in a dark room like a vampire caught out after hours. Somehow the sun breaking through an otherwise Heavenly rainy day is depressing to me like nothing else.

A day that has rain all day long from before I wake up until late at night is perfect. I love rain. Throw a fireplace and a warm cat into the picture and I just cannot improve upon it.

Quiet life

I was looking at my alleged finances and have to chuckle at how simple they are. A few enormous expenses, like the mortgage payment, the AT&T bill, truck registration… and then various tiny-in-comparison expenses for food and gasoline and utilities. A subscription to Netflix, a subscription to Gamefly. Nothing much. Examining my checking account I see when I took myself out to eat the good local Indian place in December (under eight dollars), I see the time when Cassidy and I went to Pinkberry, the expensive but tasty frozen yogurt place… ($14). We’re living pretty close to the bone, I guess, there’s not much money around.

I passed on that part-time job at the printing place. It was a solo situation. There was a lot of derelict equipment in the shop and the shop was dirty. Should I have interviewed a second time? The Chinese-speaking guy didn’t seem to understand me when I called and thanked him but I didn’t want to come in for a second interview. Now I’m second-guessing myself. Something I excel at…

And so it goes…


And the pantry

Reorganized the pantry. In the upper left I have pasta, soup, chili, refried beans, then the ten boxes of macaroni and cheese that Cassidy likes which I bought this morning (on sale, of course), then my life support system of Two-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s. On the lower-upper left-hand shelf I have snack-type items, graham crackers, goldfish crackers, et cetera. Then some spices. Then the popcorn popper and 1.5 bottles of popcorn. In the lower area on the left I have napkins and dishtowels with powdered sugar stashed behind them, then grocery type items like canned tomatoes, then two cases of ramen noodles on the right. The next shelf down I have rice and beans on the left and dry and canned cat food on the right. The bottom shelf has the juicer and the big crock pot and four five-pound bags of sugar. Apparently sugar is going to go way up in price later in the year.

I threw out a bunch of stuff, outdated canned goods, some spices and things I never used, the last jar of those good pickle chips that Mom gave me, things like that. Feel good about reorganizing the pantry. Very satisfying.

Freezer inventory

Defrosted the chest freezer in my bedroom (what, you don’t have a chest freezer in YOUR bedroom? Why not?) as an act of solidarity with the two-thirds of the country that’s freezing today. Decided I’d better take an inventory:

Triscuit Rosemary & Olive Oil 7 boxes
Ritz 7 tubes
Hash browns 5 bags
Whole chickens 7 birds
Chicken carcass 1 bird
Hillshire Farms sausage 3 ropes
Apple juice 3 cans
Orange juice 5 cans
Hot Italian sausage 2 pounds
Farmer John breakfast sausage 1 pack
Mango chunks 3.5 pounds
Blueberries 1 pound
Challenge unsalted butter 12 pounds
Bread 1 loaf
Soy flour 1 pound
Corn meal 1 pound
Potato flour 2 pounds
King Arthur AP flour 15 pounds
Farmer John thick cut bacon 3 pounds
Hot dog buns (8 pack) 6 packs
Farmer John hot dogs (10 pack) 6 packs
Eggo waffles (10 pack) 1 pack


This morning I took Flynn to his robotics club meeting then drove on to the local farmer’s market.  I had the price of a pound of “Taza Divina” coffee beans on me and made a beeline to the coffee lady (whose name I once learned but who I refer to in my head as “the coffee lady”) who was friendly and cheerful as always, even though someone in the next booth had carbonized something or other, wiping out the coffee smell her booth always has. I thanked her and she thanked me and I was off to Trader Joe’s for bread and cheese to make a grilled cheese sandwich with later on for Cassidy and a modest amount of “Two-Buck Chuck” cabernet for myself. My mother had mentioned “Two-Buck Chuck” a long time ago and that her friends raved about it, but since the only wine I’d ever actually poured down the drain before had come from Trader Joe’s I was extremely dubious. It’s not great, but it is an incredible value. American table wine. Then I got back home, unloaded the truck, admired the laundry room which I’m finally nearly finishing the drywall details on… overall a nice, ordinary Saturday morning.