New Orchids

Yeah, I know most people don’t give a flying eff about orchids, let alone Hildegard Hamhocker, whose nose got all out of joint about muzzle rules, but that’s not my problem.  If a muzzle won’t protect me, it won’t protect you.  This is my blog.  Read it, or don’t.  It’s your choice.  IDGAF.

I ordered another couple of orchids from Kawamoto, which is on Oahu.  For 20+ years, they have never failed me.  Their stock is wonderful.  My climate isn’t Hawaii, but when kept indoors for most of the year in the sun porch, orchids do fine here.  I’m well aware of which species I can grow well, and which ones I can’t.

I’m looking forward to the arrival of these two new babies.  They won’t be small, and will grow to double their size within a year, if they’re happy.

Face Muzzles

We’re on vacation in a state in which the governor has signed an executive order saying we must wear face masks muzzles upon entry to a place of business.  It’s a shore town, and it’s now off-season.  We had planned to visit in April for bird migration, but two days before we were due to arrive — TWO DAYS — the same governor who forced nursing homes to take COVID positive patients, with predictable results, and now demands muzzles prohibited “short term rentals.”  So, our April visit got canceled.  The owner of the B&B issued us a gift certificate for the amount of the deposit we had already paid, and told me there wasn’t an expiration date on it, when I mentioned that since we normally visit during bird migration in Spring and Fall, we probably would not want to redeem it until October.  Well, it’s October, we’re here, and damn near everybody is over the face muzzle thing.

Normally, the owner of the B&B commutes to work, but he’s been working from home since March, so I actually got a chance to meet him after staying here for a number of years, but only on weekdays.  I got the key to our room from him in person.  Neither of us wore muzzles.  Nobody wore muzzles the next morning at breakfast except the woman on staff who cooks and serves the meal.

As a beach town, it’s touristy, and attracts people from all up and down the East Coast, as well as Ohio.  There is a pedestrian shopping mall in the center of town.  I would estimate that ~70% of people walking outside the shops wore muzzles, but they were theoretically only required to wear them to go inside to shop.  There were no “Karens” screaming at anyone who didn’t bother wearing one outdoors.  Nobody shot anyone else dirty looks for not wearing one.  Everyone was perfectly civil.

This morning, we went over to Sunset Beach, which is sort of a town away, because it’s got a couple of gift stores that have some nice stuff, that are under the same ownership.  One stocks the off-season sale stuff the main gift store couldn’t sell during the summer season.  I found a couple of really nice anorak style windbreakers with hoods, kangaroo pockets, and separate velcro pockets.  One for $15, or two for $25.  I completely forgot to put on my muzzle, while I browsed the store, and approached the cashier to check out.  Whoops!  Apologized, and said I just realized I’d left it in the truck, and would go get it, if she wanted, then come back to pay.

Her response was the best thing I’ve heard in months.  “Don’t worry about it.  I’m soooooo over that!”

So, I paid, and turned to leave.  There was one couple behind me waiting to pay, wearing their muzzles.  They didn’t seem to have a problem with me not wearing one either — or if they did, they didn’t express it to me.

The cashier had it right:  we are soooooo over it with the muzzles.  The politicians may care, but ordinary citizens have had enough.


We needed some replacement cord for our weed wacker.  Home Depot didn’t have it in stock, but Lowe’s did, so I ordered two reels of it for pickup.  Supposedly, they had eight of them in stock, and we only wanted two.  I got an order confirmation, then thought “give them a couple of hours, then we can go get it from the customer service desk.”  Nope.  Right before we were ready to drive down there, I got an email saying my order had been canceled by the store.

So … I went back to the website for our local Lowe’s, and ordered them again, for delivery.  No problem.  No cancellation of my order.  But, it’ll take a few days to get them, and I had to pay shipping charges.  Dafuq was that all about?  Yeah, I know — first world problems, and all that.  Still, it’s frustrating.  If you have the items in stock as claimed, why should I have to have them shipped, when I can walk into your store in person, and buy anything from a $5.38 toilet seat to a couple of gallons worth of redwood colored water-seal deck stain, and a bag of Sakrete?  It makes no sense unless someone looted their entire supply of weed wacker line right after I ordered it.

Birthday Present

Those lightweight hikers were a huge hit.  My husband wears out a pair roughly every three years, whether they’re Timberlands, Merrells, or whatever.  Other than pac boots, those are all he wears for yard work.  When the old ones wear out, he puts his former “dress boots” into farming duty.  Then, I get him a new pair to serve as dress boots.  This pair worked out fine — easy to put on and get off.  So … the old ones with the soles that were falling off went into the garbage, the beat-up old ones that weren’t falling apart yet are now the “shit kickers,” and he’s got a nice new pair that will probably end up doing barn duty 2-3 years from now.  In the meantime, the old ones that weren’t thrown out are good for log splitting, saw milling, tractoring around for lawn mowing, hauling off logs, brush, etc.

On another note, his truck needs inspection, stickers, etc., so I had to follow him to the place in town to drop off his vehicle, and drive him home.  The route I told him to take to get there was much more direct than the way he knew, which was rather circuitous.  Anyway, I’ll have to drive him back there tomorrow to pick it up.  No biggie, but, with the appointment that was made, it really should have been done within half an hour, or an hour, if you add an oil change to it.  Next day is weird to me, even if it costs half the price most places charge, while you wait.  Oh, and the driveway into that place is brutal.  There’s no way to avoid the bump at the edge of the road and their driveway.  I’m lucky I took it slowly enough to not scrape my undercarriage.

Summer Is Gone

*sigh*  Although I’m not a huge fan of temps in the upper 90s, with humidity to match, I already miss summer.  Today, we moved half the upper patio furniture — anything that has cushions — into storage.  The rest of it can stay outside all year.  We also moved the big-ass maple wood rack back from the barn to where the patio furniture we removed was.  Next up is filling it with firewood.

Although I will miss summer, cozy fires in the wood burning stove at night (and sometimes in the mornings) are nice.  The chimney will need to be cleaned before we light one, though.  It’s not a big deal, but does involve rolling back the rug, hanging a tarp over the fireplace area, disassembling the chimney pipe, and getting filthy dirty.  Think chimney sweep from Mary Poppins, to get an idea, but Dick Van Dyke never got as dirty as this job really is.

As for closing the pool, I could not schedule people to get here to do it before the 29th of October.  That means I’ll have to keep sprinkling calcium hypochlorite in it for another month, and vacuuming/skimming it as all the leaves from the walnut trees land in it.  Bummer.  I’d wanted to get it closed before we left for Cape May.

We did get an appointment for our black cat to get her exam and vaccines before we leave for our birding vacation.  The cats can stay here without us for a few days, given plenty of food, water, and clean litter boxes.  The dog is going with us.  We were supposed to go back in April, but Governor Gormless announced two days before we were going to go that “short term rentals,” which included the B&B, weren’t allowed.  The owner graciously gave me a gift certificate for the 50% deposit I’d paid upfront, for a future stay, that didn’t have an expiration date, rather than refund me.  That was fine, since we’ve stayed there many times before, and planned to visit again, once we were allowed.

So far, Fall is working out alright.  I got my rifle (yes, with a federal background check for you international readers), and bulk ammo for it, in case the lefty loonies show up in my town.  The pool will get closed.  The furniture has been moved.  The firewood’s ready to go.  We got a bigger log splitter than our old one.  The repair kit for a broken trailer hitch fit, and works.

Mostly, what we need now is a replacement toilet seat for that crappy squishy foam filled vinyl one the previous owners installed before they sold the place, a couple of gallons of barn red paint, and maybe a roll of chicken wire to keep the deer from eating my newly planted Sombreuil roses before they root in, and go dormant for the winter, although I think we have some extra chicken wire that could be wrapped around the rose arch.

I love old garden roses.  Sombreuils are super thorny, but they’re gorgeous white climbers, tough cookies, and are easy to train while they’re growing.  Oddly enough, my next favorite OGR is Reine des Violettes, which, unsurprisingly is sort of a nifty violet color, and not quite thornless, but close to it.

RBG Replacement

The global legacy media is freaking out about Trump’s ability to nominate a replacement for Ruth.  This is ridiculous, because nobody else has the authority to do so.  Once a candidate is named, it’s all up to the senate to decide whether/when a confirmation hearing will be held, then a vote.

I wish civics was still taught in school  This is fifth grade civics, and doesn’t even come close to what happens if a
POTUS election gets thrown down to the house of representatives.  It’s the senate that controls whether a new SCOTUS nominee gets confirmed.

Car Dealer and Local Talk Radio Station

Yes, I know they’re two different subjects.  On the first topic, my car dealer sent a guy over to pick up my car to bring it in for inspection.  During this weird coronavirus semi-lockdown, they’re not charging extra for valet pick-up and delivery service.  I left the key in the car, and the paperwork on the driver’s seat.  They called ahead to ask whether I needed a loaner while my car was gone.  Nope.  If I had to run an errand in the meantime, I could have used the pick-up.  So … they left an XC-90 in my driveway, anyway.  Alright, but I have no need for it.

As for the radio show, I called in, and the producer who fielded my call decided to put me on the air.  There was about a three minute delay, but I got on-air, answering the host’s question of the day about what I would never pay for, no matter how rich I am.  A Tesla.  If you’re road-tripping, you can’t just pull into any old motel to stay for the night, and plug it in for a recharge, and who wants to spend hours at a gas station sniffing fumes, even if it has a recharge station?  Five minutes in and out for a combustion engine refill works for me.  The host and producer both got a kick out of my answer.

The last time I called into a radio station was 20+ years ago, when I won four tickets to a Moody Blues concert (two of which I gave away).  I did not win today’s “giveaway,” but it was worth calling in just to hear the host and producer chuckle over my answer for the next minute or two.


We both needed to get our driver’s licenses renewed, so we decided to go visit our local DMV this morning, mid-morning, rather than wait until this afternoon, or closer to the weekend.  It turned out to be a good choice.  It wasn’t that busy.  There were only a handful of people ahead of us, despite the “social distancing,” a door guardian letting people in one or two at a time, etc.  That was never the case in years past.  It was always much more efficient in this state than previous ones in which we’ve lived, but this time we were in and out in half an hour, instead of two hours, let alone half a day.

The only hitch is that our renewal is temporary for 15 days until we get our “permanent” four year one from the state capital in the mail.  Supposedly, the reason is so they can make sure our photo doesn’t match one on file under another name to avoid ID fraud.  I had to make sure it had my current address, indicate my US citizenship, indicate that I was already registered to vote, and did not want to change my party affiliation.  Other than that, it was a breeze.

The employees there were nice, instead of the rude jackasses I remember from elsewhere.  “Thank you,” “You’re welcome,” and “Have a good day” were exchanged as polite pleasantries, rather than venom spewed through gritted teeth.

Nobody at this DMV location has ever been a jerk, but the lines and waits have been a lot longer than this in years past.  What a pleasant surprise.

Night of the Lepus

Svengoolie has a lot of super cheesy movies, but this is the cheesiest one so far.  The cast has half a dozen famous people in it, but the entire premise sucks, as does the screenplay.    Lagomorphs on steroids, and writers on something more than a little illegal, sums it up in a nutshell.  The best part is Rich Koz’s commentary, and his parody of The Monkees theme song.

9/11/01 Press Coverage

This disgusts me.  I was there in Lower Manhattan when those planes hit the Twin Towers.  Nineteen years ago, the press was all “OMG, how could this terrorist attack happen?”  Now, they’re all “Meh.  Whatever.  That pales in comparison to the COVID deaths for which Trump is personally responsible.”

WTF is wrong with our media?  Never mind.  I know the answer.