Blog .:. December 2010 5 Entries

It’s that time of year again

27 December 2010 Comments

For boring, technical reasons, I only have website search terms for the last three months. However, here’s what my statistics program says people are using to find this site:

im dreaming of a white christmas

I’m not! That’s why I moved to Heat and Humidity Central!

exhibitionist blog (and similar terms, like exhibitionist grandmothers)

I know what entry generated this search term, and I am pretty sure there are a lot of disappointed nude browsers out there.

halt near x

Amazingly, if you search for the name of my blog, you will find my blog. How cool are search engines these days?!

horse show ribbon quilts and show ribbon quilts (and other variations)

A perennial favorite.


I suspect that if I knew what that meant, I’d probably have to kill someone.

buying a green horse

Hey - after all my agonizing about it, I went and bought a green horse! I think that disqualifies me from giving anyone else advice on the subject.

some disturbingly accurate stalkerish terms

You’re weird and creepy. Go away.

song lyrics let me taste your applesauce

You should meet up with my stalker searchers. I think you’d get along great.

easier than making a quilt

I want to know the thought process there. How do you decide you are interested in activities that are easier than making a quilt vs. activities that are, say, easier than making ice cream sundaes? Or making jet planes? Or making the bed?

aphorisms about the past

I suspect this was not the blog you were looking for.

Actually, I suspect this was not the blog anyone was looking for, since (aside from the weird stalker search terms), non-horse-related search terms far outnumber horse-related search terms. Or else I have been more off-topic than usual lately.

Other random search terms people have been using:

  • the importance for clarification and misunderstanding
  • clarification blog
  • molasses covered alfalfa called
  • im not normally a
  • clarification importance

Someone is obviously searching for clarification. And they keep ending up here. I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry.

And, of course, New Year’s Resolutions are coming up. I’m going to circumvent that and just say two things:

  1. This year I almost met a resolution from a couple years ago, when I said I wanted to go to a horse auction. I did go to the auction, but the tack portion went on for so long, and was so boring, that we left before the horses were run through. Thus, I never actually met that resolution. Given how very far behind I am already, it seems kind of pointless to make new resolutions.
  2. I was chastised at my family holiday party for not checking in on the weight loss competition this winter, and then I was browbeat into agreeing to participate in the January - Easter competition. I’m not sure if that qualifies as a resolution or not, since it’s participate or be cast out of the family, but that’s all I’ve got this year. I will lose 15 pounds by Easter. Or… else. I don’t know what follows the “else.” I’m not sure I want to know.

Tagged: Communication Difficulties, Holidays, Site Status

When technology turns homicidal

20 December 2010 Comments

So, this weekend was my extended family’s Christmas party. They always do a white elephant gift exchange.

This year, I was out of ideas and finally settled on a basket of gourmet chocolate. You should always bring a gift you’d want to keep, just in case you get stuck with it.

Unfortunately, between work stress and holiday stress and PMSing, the chocolate… uh… Look, I wrapped it, ok? And then I desperately needed some chocolate and figured no one would know if I grabbed the liquor-filled stuff. And then, you know, I don’t know. I woke up and there were wrappers, wrappers everywhere, and not a gift to give.

My scale assures me that I am to blame, but I don’t believe it.

Moral of the story: bring a gift you’d want to keep, but not one that you really want to keep. Otherwise, you’ll have to go out and buy another gift.

Which I did. And then my gift and my GPS and I headed off to the party, which was outside Austin.

Do yourself a favor: never drive in Austin. I live in Houston, and I know what people say about Houston drivers. I will take them any day of the week over Austin drivers. In over two years of driving around Houston, I have never actually thought I was going to die. I thought I was going to die about every other second in Austin.

But we made it through Austin and to the rural neighborhood where the party was being held. It was a little too rural for my GPS,  as all the roads disappeared and my GPS began advising me to turn left, turn right, and turn around when possible in increasingly desperate tones. I turned it off and found the party on my own.

Apparently, that offended the GPS unit.

The next morning, I turned it on again. Still no roads, but this time the GPS knew exactly where it wanted me to drive: right into the lake.

When I declined, it got sullenly silent until we hit a road it recognized. It then decided I couldn’t be trusted to stay on the road at all, and began to give me turn by turn directions.

And I do mean turn by turn. Every curve. Every. Single. Curve: Bear left. Bear right. Keep left, then bear left. For over an hour, it refused to act as though the road was longer than a couple hundred yards, and every couple hundred yards gave me an update on what I needed to do to make sure I would stay on the road.

Eventually, it settled down and decided to trust me just a little. About that time, we were arriving at my next destination—another rural area. Which, again, my GPS had no maps for. I shut it off when it advised me to drive in an ever-increasing spiral until I found a road again.

As there were no lakes around, it couldn’t advise me to jump in one when I turned it back on. I figured everything was good—it was back to acting like, you know, a piece of technology and not a grudge-possessing demon. It got me pointed back home with normal directions of the sort you’d expect from your run-of-the-mill GPS. All seemed well with the world.

Out of the blue, it advised me to turn left and then turn right. As we were on a highway and had at least 100 miles to go before the next change of direction, I wasn’t sure why it wanted me to turn. I looked at the screen.

That’s when I realized I own a homicidal GPS.

It was telling me to cross the median and drive the wrong way up the other side of the highway.

When I declined, it reprogrammed my route for me and advised me to take the next exit.

I checked the screen again. It was going to loop me around and then run me up the wrong side of the feeder road.

In retrospect, I suppose the GPS may have just reached the end of its rope and was trying to commit suicide—that it didn’t particularly care if I died, too. On the other hand, I’m the one who never updates the maps on that thing. Maybe it was happy at the thought of taking me out. God knows I ignore what it says half the time. The “Turn around when possible” subroutine gets a major workout every trip.

I did get home eventually. After the second attempt to kill me (third, if you count it trying to send me into the lake), I turned off the GPS and got out my paper map. It turns out I can still read one, even if there aren’t any blinking icons to tell me where I am on the map.

I desperately need some chocolate right now. And a drink. Or both at once. Too bad I already ate all the liquor-filled chocolates. And all the other chocolates.

But hey—at least I have a present picked out for next year’s exchange. I might even update the maps in the GPS before I wrap it.

Tagged: Cars & Trucks, Computers & Gadgets, Holidays, Living in the Digital Age, United States, United States - Texas, United States - Texas - Austin, United States - Texas - Houston

Signing off for the holidays

13 December 2010 Comments

Barring something unexpected and earth-shattering (well, aside from my singing), I am not expecting to post much, if anything, until January.

Weirdly, my shopping is already done, so I will not be out on Christmas Eve as I usually am, trading secret desperation-filled looks with other Christmas Eve shoppers. If you are out that night, know that I am with you in spirit. Do not buy the karaoke machine; there is a reason it’s the only fully-stocked item in the store. No one wants it.

May Christmas morning find everything you ever wanted under your tree. If you happen to open boxes that contain a spray-in bed liner, a weight-distribution hitch, or a back-up camera, Santa has clearly confused your house for mine. Email me, and I will let you know where you can send my presents. In return, I will send you the wool socks and tins of multi-flavored popcorn that incorrectly found their way under my tree under my fake tree next to a drawing of a tree on my wall to the corner where I’ve been stashing gifts.

If you do not celebrate Christmas at all, come on by on the 25th. We’ll have some lasagna and watch a Ghostbusters marathon.

However you plan to spend the next few weeks, I hope everything goes as well for you as it seems to be going for me.

And, seriously, the weight-distribution hitch—it has my name on it. Call me. Let’s sort that mix-up out.

Tagged: Holidays, Movies - Ghostbusters

This passes for logic… somewhere

9 December 2010 Comments

I once went on a trip to Canada to meet up with a friend. We went out and she took me to a club where they had drinks based on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I remember ordering a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. The next thing I remember, we were in our hotel room and a delivery guy was handing us some chips and lemons.

The next day, my friend had to explain that whole scene to me. Apparently, there was a whole industry where you could call people up and they’d go shopping for whatever you wanted. In our case, it was chips. And lemons. Neither of us were sure (and are still not sure) why we wanted the lemons, but I have made my peace with that particular mystery.

The mystery I still fail to comprehend: why can’t I call someone up in the U.S. and send them out for my groceries? How is it that we do not have this service?

They could make a fortune on PMSing women alone: “Hi, yes, I’d like to order some frozen chocolate chip cookie dough, some chocolate donuts, and a box of tampons. Throw in a bottle of white wine while you’re at it. Oh, and I’m out of dishwashing soap and kitty litter, so maybe pick up some of that too.”

Since we have no such service, I dragged myself to the store tonight and picked up a box of donuts. And then, since my desire to cook inversely proportionate to my stress levels—and my stress levels are very high right now—I stopped by the frozen food section to find something for dinner. I settled on some sort of Lean Cuisine thing, figuring the pseudo-healthy nature of that would counter-act the donuts.

That would probably be true, if I had actually eaten the Lean Cuisine thing and had a donut for desert. Instead, I’m eating the box of donuts for dinner and drinking beer for desert.

What? The holidays are almost upon us. I need to get my gastrointestinal tract in shape.

[The lack of coherency in this post may be explained away by the looming holidays. Or, more accurately, by what the looming holidays represent: end of quarter / end of year stress. In approximately one month all that will be over and I will be able to decompress. Until then, I think I may move to Canada. Being able to send people out to run my errands is almost certainly worth dealing with winter weather. I think.]

Tagged: Canada, Cooking Eating & Food, Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Adams, Shopping, Travel

Bling I Can Live With

4 December 2010 Comments

When I bought my little Subaru, it was a very practical choice: decent gas mileage, but lots of room for stuff. In fact, I could get three bales of hay and some feed bags in there without having to think too hard about how to arrange it all. It was a perfect rider’s car.

While my little Subaru was great in a lot of ways, it was also the most under-powered car I’ve ever driven. Sometimes it needed a threat and a kick in the bumper to get on the freeway.

Technically, I believe it had a towing capacity. Technically, I could be a pro soccer player. However, the actual odds that my Subaru could have pulled more than a hanky are about the same as my playing in the World Cup.

This made my little Subaru, which was great for a rider’s car, somewhat less than ideal as a horse owner’s car.

To be sure—a friend has been more than generous with her trailer and has taken Ro and I everywhere we needed to go. I have a list of people I can call in an emergency, should my friend be unavailable.

But it’s very hard for me to be dependent on others. And so, ever since I bought Ro, I’ve been trying to figure out when I could/should get a truck and/or trailer. I am now halfway there. More than halfway, actually, if you consider the overall cost factor.

Behold the Wee Beastie:

She’s an F-150 XLT and she’s shiny.

Well, she was shiny. She’s already been to both barns and is a little mud-splattered now.

I will miss my Subaru, particularly the gas mileage. It’s very weird to have gone from the car every truck is trying to squash to the truck every car is yielding to. I am also having to actually park the thing; the Subaru could just kind of fit into a space however it wanted, but the truck is too big for that. Who knew there was a reason people parked straight? I thought they were just being OCD about things. Of course, I’m still trying to figure out the turning radius and reference points on the truck, so I’m sure my neighbors are having fun watching me try to back into a parking space every time I come home.

All of which are details. Little details. The Wee Beastie, on the other hand, is big and powerful and flies up on ramps like the bumps in the road they are. And did you notice the lovely color? She coordinates perfectly with Ro, who looks fabulous in dark blues!

Tagged: Bling Bling, Cars & Trucks

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