Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hump Day

Why a camel?

* It's the middle of the week for people with M-F jobs.
* This is what trying to write the middle of a book feels like.
* Camels are notoriously bad-tempered, which is what writers are like in the middle of a book. (Bite me.)
* It's hot out there.
* To remind me to go to the chiropractor today.


Nancy P said...

I need to straighten out my plot, my upper back, my living space, and my mood.

A good grumpy morning to you.

Please complain about something. Bitch away. I promise to enjoy it! :)

Nancy P said...

But first!
WAVE at Beth who claims to be officially off to Florida this morning! (Sure, sure. We know you're really going by way of Toronto.)

I hope she finds at least one good small town cafe where she can get a cup of coffee and a fresh piece o' cherry pie.

Anonymous said...

I have to drive 728 miles! :-)

Waving, waving...go ahead and grump. You've earned it! You can't be perfect forever.

Have a great day, everyone! I'm outta here. Will check in from Glendive. Okay, maybe it'll take 12 hours...

Family Man said...

Morning Nancy and Beth.

What's to complain? When you're retired everyday is Saturday. :)

Oh OK I do have something to complain about. We've been having trouble with honey ants in the kitchen. I've been trying to get rid of them without pesticides. My brother decided after I was asleep last night to spray the whole kitchen with this ant/bug spray. After I had made my coffee and had a couple of cups he tells me about it this morning. I'm just waiting for the twitching to start.

Enjoy your drive Beth and be safe.

Nancy P said...

Oh, ugh, fm. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "coffee with."

I have only found one non-toxic way to get rid of ants, and this technique is tailor-made for the retired. :) In desperation, the last year I had them, I stood vigil by the kitchen counter for a couple of days and wiped them up with a damp cloth and washed them down the drain every time the little buggers appeared. Believe it or not, they gave up! Tried coming back briefly once or twice that summer, but they were feeble efforts. :)

Nancy P said...

Hm, well there is the way some traditional religious Asians do it. Every morning take wee trays of some sweets and set them at the corners of the house for the ants. I never had quite the nerve. I was afraid their little eyes would light up and the word would go out along the Antenae Wire: All You Can Eat!!!

Family Man said...

I had this battle with them last year and it's not just an ant or two. It was like one of those cartoons where you see plates moving. I usually do a good job of keeping the counters clean and that keeps them down. But my relatives decide to make something in the middle of the night and they don't clean up as well as I do.

Why can't everyone be perfect like me? ;)

katiebird said...

Oh, you guys with your ant stories!

(picture uncontrollable shudders)

When I was about 10 years old our house was invaded by ants.

Not long before that a work-friend of my father lost a child when she ate a moth ball.

After that the rule in our house was no poison. No poison at all.

So our house was invaded by ants. And there were ant tracks everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere.

Until we moved to Kansas when I was 13.

Those cute little harmless ants? Still make me break out in a sweat.

Jen said...

Camels are notoriously bad-tempered, which is what writers are like in the middle of a book. (Bite me.).

lol. I can totally relate to this. Nancy, I hope your mood improves pronto. And Beth, hope you have a safe, fun journey!

FM, I had a mini-war with the ants last year and I am sad to say that my character failed the test and I gave in to the temptation to use chemical weapons. I set out traps in four corners of my kitchen, last year and again this year. I am probably a worse person for it, and perhaps with a permanent stain on my soul -- but there are no ants in my kitchen. Your call, brother. :)

Nancy P said...

Oh, god, Jen, that is a funny post you wrote about ants! Is there any critter on earth that drives sane people nuttier than they do? And I see that my wipe 'em up with wet paper towels did not work for you as it did for me. Nyah. I've got better ant karma. Or did until I said that. :)

Family Man said...

Hi KB and Jen.

KB the ones in the kitchen are the harmless one, but out in the yard we have the fire ants. When I was a kid I step in a fire ant mound once and that taught me I never wanted to do it again.

Jen I'm not totally against using a pesticide, but my brother didn't move anything off the counters when he sprayed. So this morning I'm washing and washing everything that was on the counters and in the cabinets. Now the work that I usually do for ants has been been increased about 10 fold.

But I don't have any ants at the moment. :)

GreenMinute said...

Mountain Pest Control

There is a beautiful little plant in the mtns called Fly Poison. It grows under trees and I have only found it once on my own in deep shade of some truly ancient pines.

For flora dolts like myself it has to be blooming to be noticed.

Okay, it's a chemical combo and is harmful to dogs and cats for sure. But it is a natural chemical combo and I believe we are supposed to prefer that?

It works quite well. It is fatal to flies and ants. The Granny Woman way is to grind up the root (it's a bit tuber-like)and place it in a saucer with sugared water.

I have a Cherokee friend, Davy Arch, who says his grandmother used something similar but he was unsure if it was the same plant.

I usually carry bugs, spiders and such, outdoors when they get in the way.

One of my home puppies eats bumble bees and houseflies. When flies are silly enough to come by, she snatches them up. But she is really waiting for bumble bees, which are more of a challenge because they fly backwards sometimes and sometimes straight up.

I had a Great Dane once that loved finding ants. She liked watching them and she would follow their trails up and over and around for what seemed like hours, her dangling jaws less than an inch from the grass. I think she thought they were going somewhere.

Are they?

Anyway, if you have a few ants right now and big ghostly black-as-night Great Dane shows up to give them the eye, say hello for me before she leaves. Her name is Desdemona.

She will not harm you. Like most Great Dnes, Desdemona is about as ferocious as Minnie Pearl.

GreenMinute said...

P.S. Okay, I don't usually carry bugs. But I often do.

Nancy P said...

Hi, Green & Kb!

Green, I love your doggie stories. Coincidentally, over at Iowa Victory Gardener's blog a day or so ago, he was talking about a plant that's also called Desdemona.
If her name pops up three times, Jen will have to take it as a sign. :)

Kelly McCullough said...

All right, since you asked.

Arghhh! Which translates loosely to my wi-fi card or bus is fried and when I try to use wireless I get a kernel crash. Since we only got fast internet a month or so ago and since it is wireless, and since I am now forced into using my laptop's internal modem to do dial-up to get access, and since it will be some days at the very least before I can solve the problem, I am somewhat aggravated. See, "Arggh".

That said, hi everyone. Except the ants that is.

AndiF said...

I have a distraction from grumpiness, dial-up, and ant for you all. When I took this picture, I immediately thought there needed to be a dinosaur in it. I think that it must have triggered some sort of memory of the dino illustrations of my childhood. It amazes me how insistent my brain is that the picture is missing a critical element.

I realized I've had this happen before -- where my brain imposes some sort of tangentially related visual memory on a scene. I particularly remember one time on a hike in southern Utah having an incredibly insistent feeling that I'd just walked into a down-on-the-plant Star Trek set. Does this happen to anybody else?

AndiF said...


that's "down-on-the-planet"

Jen said...

Yeah, Andi, I get that all the time. And I think you're right, that scene you posted probably has a velociraptor (perhaps named Desdemona) hiding right out of the frame.

Nancy P said...

Kelly, you came to the right place to AARRGH. I'm feelin' it. Good to have you back around, though. I hope your wife's conference was a Good Time for All.

btw, I have no idea what a "kernel crash" is, and I think it might be better not to know. Shroedenger, and all that. :)

Nancy P said...

Jen, I'll be giggling all day over the velociraptor named Desdemona. Watch it, cause you nearly put me in a good mood.

:) :( :) :(

Andi, that never happens to anybody but you and Jen.

AndiF said...

Hey Nancy, I always knew Jen and I were special. :P

I found my reaction kind of freaky because of the strong "what's wrong with this picture" feeling.

But it would definitely have been a diplodocus (for which Desdamona would be more appropriate anyway -- a velociraptor should be Lady Macbeth or Tamora).

Nancy P said...

Diplodocus, perfect. Even if I did have to look her up on google. And guess what? Some of them may have had a hump-like ridge,in keeping with our camel theme.

katiebird said...

Were we supposed to remind you about your chiropractor?

Maria Lima said...

omg, totally a grumpy day here, too.

100 degrees; smog alerts; etc. etc.

And hey, menopause!!


katiebird said...

Yesterday was my grumpy day. I'm sure glad I'm past that (and the menopause too!)

Nancy P said...

maria, lol. Now that was well-done bitchery! Welcome, m'dear, you're among grumpy friends and dinosaurs.

katiebird, thanks,and I did manage to remember to go. I have a magic chiro.

GreenMinute said...

...where my brain imposes some sort of tangentially related visual memory on a scene.

Andif, yes, yes, yes! It's called deja view.

Nancy P said...

deja view!

Green, that's brilliant.

GreenMinute said...

Jen, Andi, you both have a marevlous visually keyed esp. No kidding.

Trust it.

The idea might be, and who the heck really knows?, that you are sensing history associated with the spot... and/or future events tied to the location.

You two are special in that your sense is visual... or at least you recognize it as a visual something or another out of kelter.

I know a woman who hears children crying where old cabins have been and are no more. Children always cry sometimes, it seems. And she is basically a very maternal soul.

But, treasure hunters could use her to find homesites that disappeared generations ago.

A friend of mine says he can hear children playing where ancient Indian villages have been. He thinks it may not be that he hears the actual children who romped in the area, but that his own sense of an existing Woodlands village is subconscious and that his subconscious alerts his conscious by associating the sounds of children playing when he wanders onto a site.

As for imposing your own memory on a place you haven't seen before... that's a possibility as well. But I like to think the better part of our memories is not entirely our own. I believe we inherit memories.

Nancy P said...

Greenminute, I STRONGLY suggest that you get your friends who hear those things to read the book, The Secret Vaults of Time by Stephan A. Schwartz. It's about psychic archeology and it's a classic on the subject. I just checked Amazon, and it's there. Your friends might like to know how their skill has actually been put to good use by reputable archeologists. (There has been great resistance to it, too, of course.)

Nancy P said...

p.s. to greenminute

Although, if they could get it through an indie bookstore, that would be better! :)

katiebird said...

Wow. I miss so much when I lurk from work. I just now read through the whole thread and there are comments from early this morning I missed in my haste.

I know we're supposed to concentrate on our inner-grumpiness (and I intended to, I swear.)

But, I am SO glad that I don't hear the cries of children from the past.

Really, I don't know what I'd do if I did. I can pretty easily lull crying babies to sleep when they're alive. But, how do you do it when they're gone?

katiebird said...

Oh, and Andi!! Your photo reminds me of the misty island where they found King Kong. Which isn't the same as an actual memory.

boran2 said...

I feel thirsty just looking at that photo.

Nancy P said...

Well, you know what Ms. katiebird would say to that, b2--have you had your 2 liters of water today? :)

katiebird said...


FARfetched said...

Two major bitchables in my life right now: the IT department at work, and Quark Xpress:

I have often said things like "you can't spell 'idiot' without 'IT'" and "'incompetent' begins and ends with IT." What more is there to say about people who depend on crappy software to stay employed? Ah yes, they have this "web filter" thing that blocks YouTube and other sanity enhancements (but not Blogger, thank God). So I go to download a Quark Xpress update yesterday, and after jumping through a bunch of hoops to get to the actual link (wait, the Quark beef is coming) I get the "this site is blocked" message. I forwarded a nastygram to what they laughingly call the "help"desk, and they told me they'd "look into it." Lovely. I downloaded the thing at home last night, copied the 328MB file to my cellphone, and installed it this morning.

Quark. Quirk? Quack. I'm looking at moving user guides to Quark, primarily because FrameMaker no longer works on Macs. (I hurl curses at Adoobie fairly regularly, but that's not tonight's bitchable.) They claim to have "long document" features, but they don't work too well, and I was getting persistent crashes trying to update styles. I finally got past that this afternoon by dumping the text to what they call a "tags" file and importing it back into a clean template. Now I can find out if that was actually worth the effort… my initial exploration of Quark's "long document" features have left me profoundly unimpressed.

(The upside to getting familiar with Quark is that I can probably find work writing AppleScripts to automate publishing workflows.)

Nancy P said...

Excellent bitching, far!! In fact, I think the very word "Bitchables" is excellent." Maybe it ought to be a Keebler cracker. Some nights a person just wants to have Bitchables for supper.

katiebird said...

{{FAR}} I feel your pain. I really do.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks! I feel like I missed out on all of the fun (and bitching) today. Made it safely to Glendive, MT, population 4 1/2. Drove through smoke for the first few hours - luckily no sign of the actual fires, but I could barely see the mountains. Anyway, my butt is numb, but 728 miles are under my belt (tires?). Tomorrow is a lighter day - 644 miles. But the bridge disaster in Minneapolis is going to affect my trip...I'm not sure how. I'll let you know!

Ants - I rented a house in Charlottesville, VA last summer that was infested. The pest guy told me that if you spray them, the colony will sense the loss of life and split itself, resulting in twice as many ants. (Which it did - they began showing up in the kitchen AND my office.) He said the only way to stop them was to spray specific chemicals that they take back and infect the colony with, rather than our using OTC sprays.

It was a nasty summer - I still am finding ant carcasses in my stuff (shudder). I sympathize, FM.

Haven't found that cafe yet, but I'm looking for it!

And andif, I agree - I was looking for the dinosaur too - gorgeous picture, BTW!

Sympathy re computer problems, bad moods and hormones. And the crying babies - I might use that in my current story...thanks for the idea.

Off to post to my blog - hope you all had a good day - I'll check in tomorrow! Wish I could figure how to read this on my cell phone...I guess a little withdrawal won't hurt me!

Nancy P said...

Beth, wow, what a drive. And another big one tomorrow. Sleep well!!

GreenMinute said...

Thank you for the book tip, Nancy!

FARfetched said...

Nancy... it *is* a good word, isn't it? Anything that makes you want to vent is a bitchable. BTW, you know that Kelloggs had a cereal targeted toward outlaw bikers? It's called "Nut 'n' Bitch."

(I was going to make a comment about 728 miles under one's belt, and horrified tailors, but one bad joke per comment is quite enough.) *waves to Beth* Have a good drive today, and skip the greasy food, it will make you miserable sitting in the car all day. I know this from experience.

Checking blogs from your cellphone is going to be painful too, unless you have a really high-end phone. The alternative, if your phone & laptop both have Bluetooth, is to "pair" them and use the phone as a modem. On second thought, don't do that unless you have data service — unless you're into big-time surcharges. Now that I think of it, I'm wondering how you're getting online from Glendive MT (pop. 4.5)....