Feb. 26th, 2017

howeird: (localhost)
Slept well. Spook was on the bed for a few nanoseconds before parking herself in the tiny space on the bedroom floor between the cat bed and the laundry basket. She is definitely insane.

Didn't have to get out of bed till 10, so I didn't.

Plan A accomplished with only a slight snag. First stop was BofA intending to use the ATM, but the check from Avis didn't have a real reverse - it was a postcard, on one side was a check, on the other side were the addresses and postage, so I brought it inside to find out how to endorse it. There was a long line and only two tellers, one was a trainee. As soon as I joined the line a Chinese man toward the front started a loud argument with someone and ended up being escorted outside by several staff members. And then it took 15 minutes to get to the teller. She simply had me sign at the top margin on the address side. And while I was at it I made the withdrawal I was going to make at the machine. One WTF, if I had used the machine, it would not have required any paperwork. But the teller had to fill out, by hand, a deposit slip.

Next stop, Lowe's, where a pair of actual Girl Scouts, not brownies with their mom, were happy to take my $20 for four boxes of thin mints, and happier to hear I had found them via the cookie app.

Next stop, manicure. Perfect timing, the best manicurist was available. The cute one was busy cutting hair, which saved me from a mediocre nail job.

Then across the lot to Grocery Outlet. They didn't have PayDays, or EggBeaters or much in the way of edible frozen foods, but they had smoked turkey legs (which rung up on the register as ground lamb) Hershey's syrup and trail mix. I also took a chance on small meat loaf frozen meals, and mac&cheese.

Home, finished binge watching The Good Witch, with a season ending teaser.

While I was watching, Fedex dumped a huge jet.com box on my porch and ran away, leaving it open. Whomever had packed it had done a sloppy job with the tape, and completely missed the long top seam. And Fedex had dropped it enough that what little tape was in place ripped apart. And again, huge box, massive amount of brown paper but not enough to fill the space. I took pictures and sent a nastygram to jet. In half an hour I received email asking me how Jeff From Customer Service did in response to my complaint. 3 minutes later I received boiler plate email from Jeff From Customer Service. An hour later an executive at jet emailed with a personal note, giving me a $15 credit toward my next purchase. Not sure when that might be, the two deliveries pretty much contained everything I buy from jet.

While it was still light I did some gardening. Pulled out some dying and tangled Bees Friend stalks, used the last of the lacquer spray to touch up the spirit house, which had been washed down to bare wood in the rains. I should get more and put on another coat.

Today's Big Effort was cutting back the rose bushes. Drastically. I was inspired by Professionals™ - at work there are wild rose bushes all around the perimeter of The Hole, and over the 3-day weekend all of them had been cut back as close to the ground as possible, even the ones which had stunning bright red flowers. I did leave one stalk in place because it had a flower, but I think after the flower is gone I'll cut that branch too.


As you can see from the photo, this one has many big sharp thorns. Some of my roses do not. One has no thorns, and a couple have very small thorns. It's kind of a booby trap, because I'll cut one branch and grab it, and throw it onto the heap uninjured. Then another branch is cut, and it makes holes in my arm.

In the park slot was the rent bill and a 2-page rant from the new park administrator who needs to learn two things, at the very least:

1. Don't write letters when you're angry
2. Consider the effect of blasting an angry letter to 247 households when your issue is only with a small handful.

He also misses the fact that we are first and foremost homeowners, and land renters second. One more reason to start looking for a place to move to. I may be better off in an apartment after all.

Printed the rent check, and after an exhaustive search online found a new massage place, and drove there. It was more expensive than expected, but the room was large and comfortable except the face pillow was a little too low, made it hard to breathe. The tiny young woman gave the hardest massage I've had in years, but she didn't hit any pressure points so it was okay.

Since it was on the way home, I stopped in at Ranch 99 and got some rambutan, longons, sui mai, steamed pork buns and tropical ice bars. Also some agar agar - for a recipe I saw on Youtube at work for a Thai dessert which looks a lot easier to make than I thought it would be.

https://youtu.be/o_u21ZAAQuo

For the recipe I got a case of mangoes, 7 for $8. Product of Peru. They were out of ha gow and flying fish eggs though. :-(

Next door is Nob Hill Foods, where I lucked out on a sale of Marie C dinners, buy 5 get 50 cents off per. They also had Lactaid ice cream, and on a "shopping while hungry" excuse I bought three split pea soups. Two soup-in-a-cup in a 2-fer sale, and one Campbell's can.

Home,  plugged in the car which had been running on gasoline. I can always tell, because at a stop light the engine turns off. On battery there's nothing to turn off. Put all the things away, made one of the soups in a cup. It was meh.  Nuked a beef pot pie after pulling myself away from the computer. Watched Shark Tank. The investors play this game where  A makes an offer, but if the applicant wants to hear offers from B-E, A withdraws the offer. Mark Cuban made a "take-it-now" offer and the nice young lady said yes. I hate that - advice from dad and others is that when someone makes you an offer you have to take right now,  it's probably a scam.
A couple of weeks ago TRP had sent a note to investors (me) that one of its mutual funds was going away. I sold my shares both brokerage and IRA, and those funds landed in my cash stash in both places. Read an article by Warren Buffet saying index funds were the way to go, and he specifically mentioned Vanguard as a leader in those for personal investors (most brokerages only offered those for corporate accounts). So last night I looked up Vanguard's long list of index funds, and chose three to invest in which had the highest current return plus a record of staying in the black for all but the worst year (2008). I had $36k in the TRP fund, now I'll have $10k in two and $15k in one Vanguard fund. I'm leaving the brokerage alone, there wasn't enough in the stash there to re-invest.

Plans for tomorrow:
Relax
Take out all the garbage/recycle
Change the litterbox & order more cartridges
Drop off the rent check
Maybe spend Quality Time downtown if it doesn't rain.
howeird: (Default)
This morning while YouTubing, something popped up on my screen suggesting a porn site. I thought it was a prank, after all, who would name a porn site "chaturbate"? So I checked it out. It exists. You probably don't want to read this... )

By the time I had had seen enough, it was noon.

Slept really well, but woke up with a slight headache. Spook jumped onto the bed and head butted my hand for petting for about 10 minutes, possibly a record.

No lunch, instead went to downtown *$s for the first time since employment, I think. Windows update took over as soon as I opened up Outlook. Small update, it didn't take long.

On my way out, a pair of brownies and 3 moms had set up a cookie stand, and I was going to pass them by since I still had 4 boxes of thin mints, but the moms were in refugeeware, and it occurred to me that enrolling your kids in Scouts is a really good & brave way to make a commitment to America, so I bought another box.

Before & after Starbucks I played Ingress, and a whole slew of green, two of which I'd converted from neutral, were now blue, with very high resonator numbers. Bummer.

Home, on the porch was a large but thin Amazon box, the 2nd compost bin. I hauled it to the back of the house and set it up next to the almost-full one. Transferring clippings to it will be on the docket for next weekend.

Inside, changed the litterbox and tossed the old one. Collected all the garbage bags, put those in the bin and wheeled it out to the street. Flattened the Amazon and two Jet boxes and taped them into a bundle. Next project took about half an hour in the recliner, converting about 30 feet of packing paper into balls small enough to fit in the recycling bin. Took the two buckets of recycle stuff to the bin, then filled them with the paper balls and took those to the bin, wheeled the bin to the street. Carried the flattened box bundle outside and parked it against the bin.

Had a chat with a neighbor who was on his way to walking his microdog. He was even less pleased with the administrator's rant, because it mentioned what he complained about. We agreed it was not the right way for the new administrator to introduce himself.

On to the recipe I posted yesterday. There was some improvisation, because the boxes of agar2 I had bought at Ranch 99 were about 3x the size of the one in the YouTube video, so I needed a larger pot and cake pans, and it took longer to set. I cut up 7 large mangoes, about 5 went into the blender along with half a lime's juice. The box said it contained sugar, so I didn't add any. I picked a few mint plants and plucked then chopped the leaves to mix into the mango gel.  For the coconut layer I used a package of string agar agar, and half the amount of water because there wasn't much room in the mango pans, so the coconut layer would be thinner. I added sugar & salt, and whisked a lot of the strings out of the pot, I'd added too much. The coconut layer ended up denser and a bit lumpy, but probably will be fine.

While waiting for the mango gel to set, I watched a round of Match Game where once again they had some questions which only had one good answer, but most had no good answers. They gave away $25k, though. Dinner was wedged in there somewhere, Marie C turkey.mashed/stuffing.

Online for an hour while the coconut layer set, then both pans went into the fridge. I'll check it out tomorrow night.

Loaded the dishwasher and started it up.

Plans for tomorrow:
To work on time
Boss will bring over my new test laptop, and set me up with the tests.
Home whenever. Try the experimental dessert

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