Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Senior Tax Day at the Library

It appears to be Senior Tax Day at the library today. They've taken up most of the tables, and I hear people talking about taxes, both Missouri and Federal.

Unfortunately, they took my usual spot, so I'm having to sit at a table that's much left comfortable. The one I'm usually at is really a booth seat, like at a fast foot place. Neither the seats nor the table are fastened down, so I can move them to a comfortable distance apart, and the booth seat hits my back at just the right spot to be comfortable. Most of the other seats at tables aren't quite as comfortable. And they have some really comfortable chairs with an attached desk-board on one side, but it's not at a comfortable level for typing. Sometime I'll sit there if I just want to write on paper.

I'm having more difficulty working on my story this morning because the noise, though not really all that much louder, is much more purposeful than usual. I got a couple hundred words in, though, so I'll consider it a win. (After I wrote this, I found a table on the other side of the library that was much quieter. Still not as comfortable as my normal table, but I was able to write a couple hundred more words and finish the scene.)

I've tried writing at Panera at times before. I have the same problem that only some of the seats really hit my back in the right spot, though there the chairs are more comfortable than the booths. And there's a McDonald's near by that also has comfortable booths, and is even pretty quiet (probably because the noisy kids are all in the play area instead of the restaurant proper).


A few years back, my folks gave both Jonathan and I initialed attache bags, suitable for carrying files, with slots for pens and cards, etc. Jonathan's gotten quite a bit of use with his over the years, but I've not had much reason for using mine. But it's just the right size for slipping in my Neo and a journal, and even my Nook, if I feel like it, so I dug it out and have been using it for lugging my stuff to the library these last couple of days. It works pretty well, though I think I'm going to see if I can sew a division into one of the sides, to keep the Nook and journal from bumping into each other.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Snow, and Non-Escaping Dog

Funny, last week, it was so warm we had all the windows open and were wearing shorts. Now, as soon as the weekend came, it turned cold, and even snowed. It snowed all afternoon yesterday, and didn't stop until sometime late last night. Of course, for most of the afternoon, it didn't stick at all, just turned everything wet and yucky. Overnight, it did start to stick though. Just enough to cover the grass and the tree-branches. Not enough to actually stick to the roads or driveways. The snow was still there when we got up, and when I took the dog out, but it didn't stay around much longer. Pretty much as soon as the sun hit it, it was gone. Fortunately.

I'm from Michigan, so I'm used to having nice weather, then snow again the first week of spring. But even there, we didn't usually get shorts weather before hand.

I think it's now been several months since the dog escaped. Which means that we've gotten considerably better at keeping ahold of him, rather than that he's reformed at all. I can tell that he's still longing to race around the park all day, chasing squirrels and cats and whatever else he'd find, and coming home filthy, soaked, and tired. Then, of course, he'd have to go through the horrors of a bath (why does he like playing in the water so much and hate baths?), and spend the next day or two barely able to move with his sore muscles. Of course, delayed consequences don't discourage him much at all. Even that bad cut on his foot last spring, and the six weeks wearing the cone of shame and hardly being let out of the house didn't discourage him, either. That was hard work keeping him cooped up like that. The first week or so was easy, since he didn't feel like moving, but after that he felt better, and was back to his bouncy self, and couldn't understand why we weren't taking him for any walks other than right around the house, and just long enough to do his business.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tree comes down

A couple weeks back we noticed that there was a downed tree on one of the empty lots down the hill from us. I don't think it was dead, just falling over, and still partially connected to its roots. The tree was being completely supported by the streetlight electric wire (not the main power lines, they go behind the houses). The streetlight wire was really being stretched, and you could see the strain that was being put on the streetlight poles, especially the near one. So I called it into the city, figuring it was a no-brainer. The tree was on city property (We think. It appears to be connected to the park, and no one could possibly build a house on it anyway), and was endangering city property (the streetlight), and when (not if, but when) the wire decided to break, it would also almost completely block the road.

The answer I got back from the city (via email) was that they weren't going to do anything about it, since they didn't have enough money for routine maintenance/tree clearing. I wrote back that this wasn't routine maintenance, like a downed branch, or ivy growing on the wire, which we see at other places, this was emergency maintenance, a whole tree down. I got exactly the same reply back.

So, we waited a couple weeks, watching the tree continue to sink further down, and more strain being put on poles. The streetlight pole was being pulled out of true, we figured 5-10 degree bent in it.

Finally, Jonathan called it in again a couple of days ago. They didn't take any of his personal info, which was weird, because they asked for mine, so he didn't get any reply back. But yesterday morning there was a tree-truck there, and a couple of workers chopping down the tree. They left it there, with a big pile of brush, but at least it no longer is putting that strain on the wire. We all heaved a big sigh of relief at that.