Monday, November 30, 2009, fun, wait.

I felt like the above kitty this morning.
I just could not go to sleep last night. Then in the morning ............I could sleep for the world.

We had been busy over the weekend.
We have put up all the outside lights/decs now. Just as well as there is snow predicted for Thursday and Friday.
Blooming cold here too.
I have also put up nearly all of the inside lights/decs now too. This is a mammoth task but so worth it when it is done.

We took a little time on Sunday to go to the mall.
We needed to get a couple of gifts.
I do find men so amusing at times. It is little wonder that many of them don't like shopping.
I needed to go to the ablutions hut (toilet to the Brits, restroom to the Americans).
Philip said he would be in the dvd shop so off I went.
On my way I passed by a ladies dress shop and outside were no less than 6 men all waiting patiently.
Coming back ...........the same six men were still there, and are possibly still there now if you take into account it was a dress shop that their other halves were in.
Why didn't they go into another shop?
When Philip goes into the "smelly shop" or Game Stop as it is officially known, I go and bimble around shops that I like and can breathe in.
I don't know if you have Game Stops over there but there must be something similar that sells all computer/X. Box/ Playstation type games.
They all have the same obnoxious smell.
This is the odour of pubescent youth which has yet to discover a use for soap and water.
The aroma of unwashed, sweaty oiks pervades the store.
If Philip is still in there when I return I find the only safe way to enter this shop is to take an enormous gulp of air before rushing in to retrieve him.
I cannot stay in there for more than a few seconds.
I wonder how their girlfriends stand it............OH SILLY ME........GIRLFRIENDS.......HA HA HA.

By the way, when we were leaving the mall we passed the dress shop again.......yep....same 6 blokes waiting outside.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

Well..........that's another Thanksgiving come and gone.
We had a dodgy start as we had our first snow of the season on Wednesday night.
It was a strange feeling looking out of the bedroom window and seeing snow on all the rooftops again.
But, fortunately, it didn't stay around long............this time.

We didn't have the traditional turkey as we have that at Christmas.
I did roast pork for Philip and Gary and I had roast Quorn.
For dessert I did not do a pumpkin pie (this is what you are supposed to have) as we don't particularly like it.
We don't particularly dislike it just doesn't seem to taste of anything.
So, I made a tiramisu, which we all like.

After eating and drinking far too much, we watched some diddly dees (dvds).
We watched part one and two of Hogfather.........which is an adaptation of a Terry Pratchett book and then we watched Night at The Museum, because Gary hadn't seen it and it is funny anyways.

I have to say I was most impressed by my hubby in Pick and Spend....I mean Pick and Save.....our supermarket.
We couldn't find the parsnips. Now he hates parsnips but I am partial to a few roast parsnips with my dinner.
Anyway, while I was off parsnip hunting........he called to me and waved a bag of parsnips at me.
When I asked how he had found them he said.................
Everyone should be sitting down at this point because this is a bloke I am talking about...........
He said..................................
You are sitting down right?
He said.....................................


I very nearly had an attack of the vapours right there in the middle of the turnip greens.
Oh my quote my mum..........

"Never has there been such times...not since old leather bum died".

This would have been one small step for woman but it was one enormous, big, buggery, leap for man.

Well done that chap. There is hope yet.

On another note.
Quote from one of my favourite writers. Dave Barry.

"A hundred years ago, it could take you the better part of a year to get from New York to California; whereas today, because of equipment problems at Chicago airport, you can't get there at all."

Monday, November 23, 2009

To Go Boldly.............

Oh almost forgot.
Yesterday, whilst perusing Man Wonderland.........i.e. BestBuy, we happened upon the pre orders for Star Trek Online.
This game has been in the works for years and is finally coming out in February.
For $5 you can pre order the game plus get to play in the Beta testing which will be happening soon.
Take a look

I have been wanting to play this game ever since I heard it was in the pipeline.
In the meantime I played World of Warcraft until I was sick of it.
Shame really as "in game" I had thousands of gold and very high level characters.
Since I stopped playing that I have been playing Lord Of The Rings online and this is brill.
I love the favourite is my Hobbit who I called Glumly Dunnabit.
The scenery is amazing and the fact that you get to meet other people and game with them is fab too.
Philip plays Lord Of The Rings also and we are in the same guild/kinship.
Of course, his characters are much higher than mine and he likes to raid etc.
I am happy to bimble about, gradually levelling.

I do hope this Star Trek Online game turns out to be good.
Philip isn't sure it will but will give it a go anyway.
I think this $5 pre order malarky is brill as you get to play the Beta and if you buy the game, the $5 is taken off the price.
Plus, if you decide it is pants then you have only spent $5 on it.

I wonder if we are all captains or if you start as an ensign or something and have to work your way towards being in the big chair.
I shall have to start thinking of a good name.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

All is calm...................

Ok...I have calmed down and am now over my kniption of yesterday.
It was just the thought of Hershey making Cadbury.........oh ....I will start myself off again.
There is only one English person I know who likes Hershey chocolate.......well maybe two if I count his lovely lady friend.
Big Big Steve likes it.
Don't ask me how but he does.
When I was coming over last time I asked if anyone wanted any sweeties brought over and he alone requested Hershey chocolate.
I got him some but still felt bad giving it to him somehow.
I suppose because I find it so disgusting I can't imagine anyone liking it.

The last couple of days I have been busy getting the Christmas ornaments out...............boxes and boxes of them.
I have to start now as it takes so long to do.
These are Christmas ornaments.........not Christmas tree ornaments, so I have to put all the usual ornaments away so that I have room for this lot.
The other good thing is I managed to print my Christmas cards.

This year I decided to do a simple Christmas painting and then make that painting into Christmas cards.
I say I decided but if I am honest I was sort of guilted into it.
When I was over there I visited an old friend of mine I worked with many years ago when he was head of art.
We talked about the clay Christmas figures we made one year for all the staff. We worked most of our lunchtimes to get them done.
He was surprised when I told him I still have mine and they come out every year.
They hold so many memories for me. I am amazed that they have survived, considering the number of times we have moved apart from the trip from England to here.

He showed me the cards he made last year and sort of challenged me into saying I would do it too.
So I did.
We took the finished painting to a copy place and shrunk it down a bit. Then scanned it into the computer.
Today we bought card and envelopes and after a bit of fiddling we managed to print the cards.
I shall send one to my chum..........I wonder if he has done one this year.
Of course I know now that I shall have to do a different painting every year and make cards from it. It was quite fun though.
I have also started on two more dragon paintings.
One is a red dragon in a forest in summer.
The other is a white snow dragon in a winter scene.
I will put pictures up when they are finished........well if they are any good I will.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I have just seen on the news online that Hershey have put in a bid to take over Cadbury.
Hey you guys must not let this happen.
I don't know what you can do but whatever it is you must do it.
Hershey chocolate is disgusting.
It is that stuff I always bring over just so that I can watch your face crumple up as you eat it.
It tastes like baby sick.
Cadbury is the bees knees of chocolate.
Do not let this happen.

"Breathe....breathe......not pollute Cadbury....not pollute Cadbury"

Truly the end is near if Cadbury are taken over by gods.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Flying by...........

Well, time seems to be flying by.
Is it me or does it seem to go faster every year?
Next week, on Thursday, it is Thanksgiving.
Now, that really isn't that big a deal for us as we have never been brought up with this holiday but we have tried to embrace it.
I love any excuse to cook and Philip loves any excuse to eat so it works for both of us.
We have our friend Gary over simply because, according to everyone here, no one must be alone for Thanksgiving.
We like Gary anyway so it isn't a hardship having him here for the day.
We always get loads of invitations to spend Thanksgiving with various friends AND all their families.
It works rather well for us to say.........."Oh we are having our friend over.........he would be all alone you know".
No one argues with that.
We really wouldn't want to spend the day with a house full of someone else's relatives and it would seem rude to refuse.

Time flying..............Christmas always seems to be upon us immediately after Thanksgiving so I suppose that is what is freaking me out a bit.
I know I have the cakes, puds etc organised but I haven't done a great deal of Christmas shopping yet.
The weekend after Thanksgiving is the big Christmas Craft Fair at the State Fair Grounds.
I love this fair. So many shiny things. So many sparkly things. I am in Heaven.
I am sure it usually takes longer to get here than this so it is another thing that has snuck up on me.

When Alan phoned last week he proudly told me it was only 8 weeks until he arrives. He had even worked out that in 8 weeks time, exactly, he should be sitting in Philip's car on the way back from the airport.
Only 7 weeks now............and we have to fit Christmas and New Year in before then.
Alan will be here around 6 weeks and then he and Philip fly off to visit their older brother in Scotland.
That will give them something to look forward to.

I hope they manage to get decent seats on the flights. The above picture made me think of them sitting for 8 hours snuggled up together on the plane.
Quite amusing really.............oh I am being wicked...........must stop...........heh heh heh heh.

On another work today I was phoning people re their appointments and giving them the room number.
Now as there are still some that have a problem with a British accent I always say thing like " the room is 5 A for Apple".
Saves going over and over it.
Anyway, today the room was 9 I said " the room is 9 D for Dog".
Pretty straightforward ......I thought.
Bearing in mind the people I am talking to are working at a bank.........dealing with our money...... I got one lady who said.

" Is that nine as in eight, nine?"
"Pardon ", said I " It is room 9 D for Dog"
"Yes but is it nine as in a number....eight, nine, etc?"
"Yes it is the number nine" I sighed.
"Oh ok" she said.

Now on reflection, how many other versions of nine.........leaving out the German, nein, which I would hardly be flinging into a conversation about room numbers, are there?
I can't think of any.
What other nine did she think I might mean then?
It makes me wonder some times.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bit of a knot here Russ.........

All very fine having all the wonderfully coloured leaves in is having said leaves, now brown and crunchy, all over the lawn in November that is the problem.
Not just the lawn.
The gutters are clogged with them, the basement window wells are overflowing with them....sigh.
Time to do something about it.
So, out came the ladder and the gutters got a "coat of looking at" first.
Bunged up.
At this point it got amusing.
Philip had been up the ladder, scraping leaves and muck out for about 10 minutes....when..........across the road.......out came Merv, Mrs Merv and ladder.
He started doing his gutters too.
We were smiling, sneakily.
His lawn is immaculate........not a leaf in sight..........ours, as you can see below, not so much.
But, he must have forgotten his gutters. I mean he is always out there doing something but, he had forgotten his gutters.
He must have been mortified when he saw Philip up his ladder.
Look at Merv's garden and compare it to ours.

We go for the "au naturelle" look.
Well we did.........we had to rake the leaves up and clear out the basement window wells before the snow flies.
Then, after spending hours testing the poxy, wonderful, LED outside lights we eventually put them up...all over the house and garage.
That isn't to say it all went swimmingly. Lights that worked when we tested them indoors had given up the ghost as soon as we got them outside.
But, after a few...j...j...j....jiggle its , some replacements and more than a handful of swear words .....they are up there.
We won't put the garden decorations out until December. It is just the roof you want to do before it is covered in ice.
We won't have them lit until December either although it wouldn't surprise me if half of them don't work by then anyway.

Philip's mates are coming this afternoon to play AD&D.
I am going to make them some hot dogs then I shall make myself scarce.
I recorded a wondrous film the other day and I shall watch that or a Poirot probably.
The film is..........MOTHRA...............bliss and joy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UH HUH...........Oh Yeah...............

I know it takes all sorts............but there seems to be more than our share of "all sorts" in Milwaukee just lately.
Yesterday I was at the mall (posh for I'm told) ..........I was in the food court actually just grabbing a coffee. a nearby table sat a man with a bottle of water.
Nothing unusual in that I hear you say.
He was drinking said water.
Still nothing strange there.
He was drinking this water by pouring small amounts into the cap and drinking from the cap.........over and over again.
He had obviously eaten something as he had plastic bags with remnants of something in them.
He wanted to throw these away.
Nothing difficult in that you would think.
Poor guy must have been even more OC than me.........he would pick this rubbish up.........walk to the rubbish bin..........lift the flap ...........stamp his foot really hard............put the rubbish nearly in the bin and then change his mind and bring it out again.
He then took it back to his table.
He repeated this procedure about 6 times before he was eventually able to put ONE of the bags of rubbish in the bin.
I left before he had managed to dispose of it all.
He is probably still there, stamping his foot and trying to throw his rubbish away.
Poor soul.

Then, coming home from work today...................Elvis is alive and well and travelling on Milwaukee buses.
I know this because he got on my bus.
He does look a little different......he had a little captain's hat on (I don't ever remember seeing him in one of those) and he carried a walking stick.
But it was definitely him because as soon as he sat down he started singing........LOUDLY........

"Yes-sir-ee, uh, uh
I'm gonna stick like glue
Stick, because I'm
Stuck on you"

He occasionally accompanied himself by banging his stick on the floor.............LOUDLY..........
He was still singing when I got off the bus. Everyone else was staring fixedly out of the windows and probably wishing it had been their stop too.

Lovely quote from one of my favourite writers.
Dave Barry

Q. Have scientists cloned any organisms?
A. In 1997, a group of Scottish scientists cloned a sheep named Dolly, which was genetically identical to the original sheep.

Q. How could they tell?
A. They had the original farmer take a hard look at it, and he said, quote: "That's her, all right!"

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Sniffles Please.........we're British

An odd weekend.
We had plans to put up the outside icicle lights as the weather was really good.
In fact we made a stab at putting them up until I stupidly asked if he had tested them first.
No he hadn't. We had only bought these ones last year. New fangled LED lights that save you loads of money.
Well.........they probably would save you money if they lasted more than one year.
Most didn't work.
So, we took down the ones we put up and starting trying to find the dodgy ones.
According to the box.......they are supposed to stay alight even if one is busted.
We dragged them all indoors again amid mutterings of " I don't fancy paying another $60 for more poxy lights" and I left him to test them.
It turned out that quite a few had corroded. The wire that makes them light up (I know this might be a bit technical for some of you but stay with me) was all cruddy......right through.
He thinks these ones might be the ones that were frozen in the real icicles for about 5 months.
Seems daft now I think about it.
Blooming house is covered in snow and icicles for months at a time and we put "icicle" lights up.
Anyway, they need another "coat of looking at" before we decide if they can be salvaged.

The next job on the "to do" list was steam clean the carpets.
We found a steam cleaner at a bargain price in the sale. So, the plans were to whizz all around the house steaming and cleaning like Billy O.........whoever he is.
We soon found out that you don't "whizz around" with a steam cleaner. You progress very slowly going over and over one little bit until it looks cleaner than it did. You then try to go on to the next little bit only to find out your super, duper, machine is out of water and cleaning fluid, is bunged up with carpet fibre and needs to be emptied and refilled ad "nauseam".
Fortunately we had several buckets of "ad nauseam" that needed using up so we pressed on.
Actually we gave up after doing half of the living is ......."to be continued".

My better half has got a bad leg. Well a bad leg, hip and knee.
He has been limping around like a limping around thing for days. It wasn't the lights fiasco or the carpet cleaning expedition that caused it as he had it before then.
He should really go to the doctor and maybe have an x ray, but he can't.
Why? Because he is only allowed 8 sick days a year and because he hurt his leg earlier in the year and then he recently had flu, he has used them all up.
At least he gets some sick days. A lot of people don't get any. The first company he worked for would take a day off your vacation time for any day you had out sick.
When you consider how little vacation time you get .......that in itself is sick.
A lot of companies here don't give any vacation for the first year. After that year you begin to accrue vacation days.
You would get maybe a day per year for every two months you worked after that first year.
So you could get maybe 5 or 6 days a year.
This is just how it is here, the vacation days are so precious. He doesn't come over to England as it would take most of his vacation for a decent trip so he prefers to have a few days spread out through the year. The trip to see his brother is special but he only has 5 days.
Mad isn't it? They wouldn't stand for it in Europe.
Americans are very hard working people and I suppose this is the way it has always been.
At Christmas they only get Christmas Day off. One day!!!! Boxing Day doesn't exist. This year will be brill for us as Christmas Day is on a Friday. This means Philip will get Saturday and Sunday making it a much better break for him.
At Easter he gets two hours off on Good Friday ..........but Easter Monday doesn't exist here so it is back to work.

He phoned me a little while ago. There are 15 people out sick with oink flu in his department.
Oh poor things........I hope they haven't used all their 8 sick days already. I also hope that the flu he had recently was oink flu then he won't catch it now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gym, gymineee...............

A rather interesting drive to the gym last night.
Very interesting really if you consider it is only about 10 minutes away.

We had stopped at the red traffic light.
Two of the three lanes of traffic opposite us had stopped too.
Then, as we watched, a truck comes hurtling along in the inside, third lane, and has obviously got no intention of stopping or even slowing down.
We was unfortunate for him really because coming from his left was another truck, equally hurtling, but with the right of way as his light was green.

I buried my head in my hands and just hoped that neither of them swung around and hit us sitting dutifully at the red light.
Oh bugger, thought I, now we are going to have to be witnesses.
Now we have to hang around here and wait for the po - lice (that's how you have to say it here) to show up and tell them what happened.
And, the guy who ran the red light is probably going to deny it all and then get mad with us and maybe pull a gun and then we will all be dead and who is going to feed the kitties then I ask you.

There was an almighty crunch and I looked up to see the truck who had run the red light limping to the curb.
Then a very odd thing happened.
I was looking at the driver, he looked OK.....I looked at his door, which was far from OK.
I was just starting to say to Philip that we would need to be witnesses for the other guy who had the green light, when we noticed what he was doing......or not doing actually.
He was not stopping.
He turned the corner and carried on going.
There was glass all over the road so his truck took a fair amount of damage. He wasn't the one in the why didn't he stop?
The guy who ran the red light had stopped but not the other one.
We sat for a minute to make sure and then just had to carry on.
We wondered if one or both had been drunk. Even the guy who was in the right would have got a ticket if he had been drinking.

After driving a little further I saw something in the road.
Initially I thought it was a cat. This in itself would have been odd as cats are not allowed outside over here.
But, as we got closer and slowed down to avoid hitting it.............we saw it was a raccoon.
He was trying to pick something up in the road and sitting on the pavement was his mate, who seemed to be urging him on.
I love raccoons.
They look so bandits with their masks on.
He rummaged around for a bit and then scooted back to his chum. Of course I had to lean out of the window and tell them off like unruly children.

"Oi stay out of the road"

I don't suppose it worked any better than when I yelled out of the bedroom window to our rabbits to stop doing what they were doing in the middle of the lawn.
The result of that was 8 baby rabbits.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The goose is getting fat..............

I love this picture.
I wish I could do the "ditto" thing with our house...........just for fun, but I so enjoy seeing our house all lit up that I can't.

The Christmas lights have started going up on some of the houses here already.
I know....some of you will think it is way too early.........but you have to understand why.
Why.........because anytime now we could get 2 or 3 feet of snow and that makes putting lights on the roof, gutters and windows no fun at all.
I think we will hang on a couple of weeks. We waited a bit last year and had a stroke of luck.
The weekend after we put ours up we had tons of snow which continued until April.
Hopefully we shall have the same luck this year.

On another note. I think our friendly (not) neighbourhood red tailed hawk got one of our squirrels this morning.
There is a load of fluffy squirrel fur under the bird feeder.
At first there looked like a head there too and I didn't want to look.
But this afternoon I had to go out to fill it up and found that it seems to be all fur.
So, I am hoping that maybe the squirrel got away and left most of its tail fur behind.
I shall watch out for a tail free squirrel.
I am not all that hopeful, really, as that is a very big hawk and the squirrels are tiddy in comparison.
I know it is all "nature" but I just wish "nature" would find somewhere else to happen rather than right outside my window.

It is cold today and I caught the weather man saying "wind chill"...............oh poo...........and so it begins.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poor Merv

Autumn/ Fall is here once more and it is keeping our Merv very busy.
Those darn leaves keep falling on his grass and he has to keep sweeping them up.
Looking at this picture, can you tell which house is Merv's house?
The bloke next door must drive him nuts..........look at his lawn........or you could look at it if you could see it.
I have to admit our lawn is like the bloke's next door to Merv.......Chuck I think his name is.
Merv probably thinks we are all chavs........or he would if he knew what a chav is.

Aren't these tulips beautiful?
Our friend, Julio, brought these with him when he came to dinner on Saturday.
I am so chuffed with them.
I love tulips but to get them at this time of year is a real treat.
They can't taste all that good because Bubba had a go at them and then left them alone.
I can't usually have any real plants/flowers indoors as he chomps them.

Yesterday Philip's mates came over for gaming.
I don't play any more. I think it is right that it is a "guy thing".
I did venture down into the basement, where they were playing, to check out some stuff on the computer.......listening to the conversation, remarks, banter etc .....I can tell you that the Americans are just the same as the English when it comes to gaming.
It quite carried me back to long gone Monday nights at Shalamar.
Happy days.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why do I bother.........sometimes I really don't know?

Yesterday was Halloween and Trick or Treat day.
Trick or Treat is usually assigned to a weekend day around this time but fortunately it was actually on the day this year.
It is a lot of fun.....a really family affair. The kids are always accompanied by at least one of their parents and they are often dressed up too.
Even the family pets get in on the act. The above dog was brill.
She was so big and to make her into a ballerina was so funny.
My favourite costume was the one bellow.

This one.......Nemo.
It was so funny. The whole tail and rear section waggled as she walked along.
I shall probably put some other pictures on Facebook.

In the evening we had some friends over to dinner. We have done this for the past 3 years now so I think it has turned into something of a tradition.
It was fun and relaxing. We watched a scary/funny film.......I think it was called Army of Darkness...or something similar.
I do enjoy having friends over.

Ok.......the reason for the title of this blog.
I am going to try to not be so concerned about other people. I do worry myself silly over friends and would always try to help out .........if I can.
But, it seems I would be better off not bothering.
What is the point of worrying about people and trying to help if they don't even acknowledge it.
Oh well.........I want to say I will learn by it but I probably won't.
My intentions were good.....maybe they were misinterpreted ......who knows?
I will still worry about people........Philip calls me a Worry Wart........doesn't sound too attractive does it?