Is this dog ADD?

Walt cannot make up his mind which toy to play with, and piles them all around him (or rather, piles them all around me until he thinks of another toy and goes to get it). He finally decided on the squeaky ball this time.

walt123007b.jpg walt123007a.jpg

Carpet repair! Check out this damage Cow and Mallory (both Flemmies) did in my living room. I had a guy patch in new carpet and now it looks great! Meanwhile I recarpeted three rooms and now I’m broke.

carpet1.jpg carpet2.jpg

It’s a car, it’s a truck

Saw this El Camino today with “Hell of an El” on the trunk.
hellofanel.jpg

Holiday sightings:
My neighbor goes a little nuts on the lighted plastic figures in the yard (he also has some for Thanksgiving and Easter), but I won’t complain because they’re very nice people and he looks after my house and blows the snow out of the driveway for me!
narvayard.jpg

I really liked this snowman down the street with the spray-painted features. He needs to work out–arms are a little twiggy.
snowman.jpg

Tweaking

I made a few changes to the blog, and finally fixed the apostrophe problem in my title. It took some forum searching and a coded entry for the mark, but it worked! At least I’m not having the /’ problem throughout my text like some people are! I was just about to beg Carlton for help but I’m glad I was able to solve this and fix some sidebar items as well. Not sure I’ll leave the red links in here but I was having trouble seeing the light green of the visited links, so this is festive for now. Someday I’ll change the picture at the top to my own… but I still like the hay bales and the green.

One more day of work for the year! Too bad I have so much to do. It’s getting quiet here since a lot of people are already on vacation. Today’s highlight will be going down to our Health Services and getting a tetanus booster. Yesterday a coworker helped me learn how to use my cell phone better; we have the same model and I was stumped on using my new memory card, among other things. Another coworker shared this picture he took last week:

marysnow.jpg

Notice that all these work-related things don’t actually involve real work? I’m doing plenty of that too, but no one wants to read about quarterly reports and performance reviews.

A gift for you, your mailbox, and the environment: opt out of catalogs you don’t want at CatalogChoice.org. You sign up, pick the catalogs you don’t want, and they contact the merchants for you. I did this a few years ago with a free stop-junk-mail service and it worked quite well! I don’t shop at more than a couple of online places, but this time of year several catalogs still arrived.

Goodbye, Julia

I was very sad to hear today that Julia Carson, our Congressperson, died this weekend. We learned a few weeks ago that her cancer had returned. I had just taken this picture last week on my way to work; people put out her campaign signs after they heard of her illness.

julia.jpg

Julia was known for representing the poor, discriminated against, and just everyday common people in a way few candidates are considered to represent their constituents. She is one of the few candidates for whom I’ve ever voted that I felt so excited and proud to do so.

A dog of a different color

Poor Casper was napping on the floor next to the couch when I spilled my wine everywhere. She had it on her back too.
winecasper.jpg

I joined the YMCA recently and they have TWO misspellings on their signs. Should I find a different gym?
ymca1.jpg ymca2.jpg

I had fourteen teeth installed today. I actually feel pretty good (nine injections, ya know) except that my jaw hurts from the 4.5 hours in the chair, having to hold my mouth open the whole time or clench tightly to seat the crowns and allow the cement to cure. My back doesn’t feel that great either after being in the chair that long. And that’s the most money I’ve spent in one day since I bought my car.

We saw the newish Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight. I hope I don’t have Johnny Depp-Willy Wonka teeth now!

While at the dental school, some of the departments had decorated:
iusd1.jpg iusd2.jpg iusd3.jpg

‘Tis the season

I suppose ’tis is short for it is. Then shouldn’t it be ‘t’s or ‘t’is? I can’t stand messed up marks in shortened words. Someone at work kept using 06′ in a report like he was signing a high school yearbook. The worst one is lil, which I’m not even going to try to do the accepted way, because I can’t tell what that is. Shouldn’t it be li’l’? That’s where all the missing letters are. Yet I see l’il and li’l and it makes me want to scream.

Today was a busy day, moving furniture to the new place. Dad drove down to haul it all and we accidentally rented a truck, which made things easier. I got off like a girl and didn’t have to carry the heavy stuff. I wasn’t trying to get off like a girl, but my arm is still messed up with tendonitis and I had a lot of directing and organizing to do to make sure the right things were moved. Then I nebulized congested JuJu the bunny (more of a fuzzbucket than my Vegas!) and put the bed back together enough that we could sleep in it.

I found this holiday meme at Geggie‘s.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
We always made fun of my mom (or rather complained) for using gift bags. But I have to admit, I reuse any that end up at my house. The rest of the gifts get wrapped. I like fun, colorful paper, but not the foil stuff that cuts your fingers.
2. Real tree or Artificial? I used to do a real tree. The best year was when I lived in that house from the 1880s in Seymour with the really tall ceilings. I somehow got a ten-plus foot tree in my Impala, but it was too big to get in the stand by myself so my brother had to help. Now I have an artificial tree and some years I don’t even get around to putting it up.
xmastree3s.jpg
3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever I get around to it and the weather is nice enough to drag it from the shed.
4. When do you take the tree down? Eh, no planned date. Second week of January?
5. Do you like eggnog? Not sure I’ve had it in years. It’s ok.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? That’s tough. We always had really nice Christmases (no, I never got a pony nor the skates I always asked for), so there were always fun things. I bet we got the most fun and work out of our Apple IIGS, a gift in 1985?
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Hahaha, no. And especially not the plastic yard light-up kind.
8. Hardest person to buy for? David’s parents.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My brother. His list is pages of DVDs, video games, board games, t-shirts, Simpsons stuff, and then normal things that other adults want.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Never sent one yet and I don’t plan to start now!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A framed picture of Mrs. Beasley. (At least I knew the reference when someone recently named an ancient foster rabbit after her.)
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I don’t like holiday movies much, but Christmas Story is good. Bad Santa is more up my alley.
13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I know I’ve Freecycled some!
14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mashed potatoes and homemade chocolate chip cookies (not together) and punch!
15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored
16. Favorite Christmas song? I hate Christmas music.
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We’re traveling to see both families but not leaving the state. No parties at our house, though!
18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Of course!
19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Growing up, we opened one on Christmas Eve morning, a pre-selected toy from Mom, to keep us busy at Gramma’s while she watched us for the day so Mom could get the house ready. Then we opened with Dad’s side of the family that night and Mom’s side the next day. It’s still like that now except for the toy in the morning! And I always loved stockings, with good things like chocolate and stamps and little goofy and practical stuff.
20. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The music in the stores? I get annoyed with the parking on shopping days but I try to plan my shopping during off hours, and I get most things online anyway.
21. Favorite ornament theme or color? I like to get a cute or quirky or meaningful ornament each year, and I have lots of childhood ornaments too.
22. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Right around Thanksgiving, but I’ll pick up one or two things during the year and usually remember to give them rather than lose them!
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? David and I already exchanged the big fun things, so I’m just enjoying shopping for others now. A Roomba would be great!
24. Angel or star on top of tree? I had this horrible janky star that I probably bought at KMart because it was so gaudy (I think it’s in the picture above!). Now I have a nice star. When we were kids, my brother and I took turns each year putting the angel my mom made on the tree.
25. What do/did you leave for Santa? I think we left cookies and milk for Santa on a special placemat my mom made. But I’m not sure I’d do the Santa myth with my kids.

Ouch

My brother finally sent me pictures of his injury. He lost an argument with second base around Memorial Day and only recently is off crutches. He broke his lower leg in multiple places. This is him put back together, but you should see all the metal plates and screws in the xrays! He had a big nasty thing like that on both sides.

leg.JPG

This is for KNH:
chickenbreastcomic.jpg

Curbside recycling: boo

Indianapolis is not known for its fabulous recycling programs. There was a push for improvement in the past year but I only know about it since I was looking for the information in the first place. Someone identified that lack of awareness and availability of cheap, accessible, incentived programs were an issue (no kidding), but I can hardly say that anyone not stuck on the government public access TV channels knew any of this. (I prefer to watch the zoning meetings myself.) In fact, the best source of this “relaunching Indy recycling” information now is another local blog and a news article, both over a year old, not the indygov.org recycling site itself!

I did see increased publicity this year for ToxDrop, the proper disposal of household hazardous waste, which is a relatively comprehensive program with reasonable hours and locations to deposit items. This year they began accepting home electronics as well! Did you know the average CRT computer monitor/TV has four pounds of lead in it? Don’t throw that in the trash! And until ToxDrop provided this service, most homeowners had to pay a private firm to recycle old printers and hard drives and monitors. Even I threw them in the trash when they no longer worked well enough to give them away on Freecycle.

I used to live in the tiny town of Seymour, where curbside recycling was free and each of the 6,000 households had a blue bin. Everyone used it because it was there and easy.

Bloomington, about twice the size of Seymour, does a great job: it’s free, curbside, and they include paperboard and all plastics #1-7, including plastic grocery bags! Even better, it costs $1/bag to put out trash, so there is incentive to reduce the amount of trash by putting more in the recycling bins.

But moving to Indy, the capital of the same state where those little towns excel, and the 13th largest city in the nation, didn’t mean an upgrade in recycling programs. It’s more like a drop off the edge of the Earth. So for five years, I have been saving my Indy-generated recyclables in my blue tote (which I took from Seymour!) and placing them in the various remote recycling sites at Kroger parking lots around town. Okay, it’s free, and I’m cheap, and that’s why I’ve used it. But it’s not convenient to store and haul that quantity of stuff (ToxDrop items don’t accumulate nearly as rapidly, so dropoff is reasonable), and only #1 and #2 plastic, glass, cans, and newspaper can be recycled. Meanwhile the containers are usually overflowing (at least there are other people using them!) so there’s no room to place items without dumping them on the ground. The bins are also in outlots in shady places where it’s not always safe to be by yourself at night.

Now that David and I are sharing a household, and I’m sufficiently tired of hauling both of our recyclables to Kroger parking lots (he may not have always wanted to save and recycle his items, but I give him credit for saving them so that I could haul them!), I’ve signed us up for curbside recycling. For which we have to pay extra. No wonder the participation rate is terrible: 28,000 out of 325,000 households, or less than nine percent.

A few years ago a friend signed up for this service at $5/month. Okay, not so bad, but why would anyone pay for it unless they really believed in it? Except I called today to sign up, and the Mayor’s Action Center helped me find out it’s now $5.75. And they gave me the number of the trash company to which they contract the service, where I really signed up, and found out there’s a 75ยข monthly fuel surcharge. Now we’re talking $78 per year to divert items from the landfill (and I would still have to take all the other numbered plastics and plastic bags to alternate drop sites). How much do you think that weekly pickup cost would drop if the city required residents to recycle, or made it “free” along with the property-tax-billed trash service? Right now the contracted company makes so few stops, not only do we personally pay $78/household to do it, but the city is LOSING MONEY on it!

So few participate that instead of breaking even, the city’s losing money on the program to the tune of more than $1 million a year.

“We currently charge $4 to $5.25 a month for curbside recycling. However, our costs are more like $8.57 per week,” said Margie Smith-Simmons, Department of Public Works.

(from WTHR article mentioned above)

Would the $78 be better spent as a donation to an environmental organization, to buy carbon credits, or in some other use? I’m sure it’s lost in administrative fees (you know the trash company is selling the collected recyclables anyway). Or is it better to show my support for city recycling by being the only blue bin on my block on trash day, hopefully encouraging others to participate, until we finally have a good system? (Let’s hope the new mayor’s administration fixes the program rather than scraps it.) Could I at least get a tax deduction or something?

I’ve opted for the curbside blue bin for now. But Indy, you get a D- for recycling.

You can make your voice heard! Fill out this easy survey on the kind of recycling you want in Indianapolis! Survey

The sort-of move

So I’ve finally moved to David’s house. I say it’s a sort-of move because most of my actual belongings haven’t arrived yet, like I’m waiting for lost luggage or something. I should really say that my computer, my dog, my rabbits, about 20% of my clothes (i.e. what fit in two laundry baskets and on some hangers), one of my cars, a couple boxes of cereal and a carton of chocolate soymilk, and I have moved. I feel like I’m living in a hotel since nothing is put away (HELLO, no dresser). I spent a hundred bucks at WalMart to patch up some missing things I didn’t have at home to bring, like a suction cup thingy to hold a razor and hooks for the doors to hang up my ugly pink fleece robe (I love it… David not so much) and a hamper and new wiper blades since I now have to park outside and apparently the Jeep doesn’t like it on the street. The Jeep actually had been in my driveway for the most part, but it’s harsh to move in the rain and then have a snowstorm on the first day. Getting up to shovel, brush, and scrape is not nearly as nice as hopping in the car in a dry, warm garage!

bunnyroom1207.jpg
The new bunny room is mostly set up, but Joey and Annabelle don’t like the ramp in their fancy expensive new condo, so they’re being evicted to make room for a switch with fosters. Poor old one-eyed Annabelle is wobbly and falls over now and then anyway so I suppose it was only a matter of time before she fell off the ramp, so maybe Joey’s freakish resistance to use it when I helped him was simply a way to protect his beloved. (I think he’s just a chicken and doesn’t like change, but it sounds nice.) They are happy and grooming each other when out to play, though, so all should be well.

dwaltchair1207.jpg office1207.jpg
The office is mostly done besides doors and trim, and David’s custom desks look really nice. I specified the height for mine and made it all ergonomically friendly (thanks, Employer, for teaching me how to keep my tendonitis at bay).

Casper is starting to feel better about being at the new place. She acts like she’s still waiting to go home and also falls a lot on the hardwoods when Walt plays with her (I can’t tell if he’s more of a pest to her or to us), so we keep the dogs separated a lot to give her a break. She didn’t try to take his face off yesterday when he played with her squeaky fish, so that’s an improvement. And it’s very gratifying to see all the tail-wagging when I get home from work, as if every day she thinks I abandoned her there with the boys. (Casper’s not much of a tail-wagger on normal occasions.) She also figured out the basement stairs so now she can hang out while we watch TV. We just hooked up cable yesterday with the brand new TV and TiVo so I think we’ll be down there a lot! What’s up with paying for a bunch of HD channels and then half of them not tuning? I foresee a cranky customer…

Here’s Casper all wound up the other day.
casperbark1107.jpg

On the list to bring next from home: forks and drinking glasses (boy it sucks to not have enough of those), and tweezers since the single chin hair I grow periodically decided to make an appearance today. How does that thing get so long overnight?

Also, how did my page become “Amy’s”? That’s just weird. I guess I better find my way back to the admin page.