Sunday, April 22, 2018

Who is that fondling that Divine tombstone?

Muscato is such a handsome man.  And brilliant as well. 

So, WHO up and shows up at our door at Cookie Manor yesterday?

Mr. Muscato!  Sort of like a visit by Mary Poppins, sans the umbrella and the carpet bag.

Well, he didn't show up uninvited.  Cookie invited him.  So it wasn't a surprise, but it was pure joy.

The reason was simple enough - its spring and in spring, well, you need to go out and see different people, places, and things. 

And what better place to see "things" than Baltimore?

As we welcomed him into the bosom of our house, Kevin was having none of it.  Yappy, yappy, yappy. But soon, he was giving our friend big love and snuggles.

And where does one take guests when they visit?

First stop was Divine's grave because one must pay tribute to Divine.  As you can see, it hasn't been decorated for springtime, and it looks a bit mondo trasho, but Muscato was enchanted and entranced and as in life when he was living, Divine was embalmed.

From there, we hit a twofer.  Lunch at Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art.  Followed by viewing of art at the BMA.

Lunch at Gertrude's was, and always is, DIVINE.  

However, Cookie kept getting attacked by an old woman in one of those walkers with handbrakes and a seat.  Evidently, this is a woman who either has a bladder issue or never had a Sister Mary Immaculata in her life. ("Cookie, Control. Your. Body. Or. It. WILL. Control. You!")  No sooner then I had a bit of my club sandwich then WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! as she tried to slink by me like a female cat in heat.  Had the dear old Dowager said "excuse me" as she snuck up on my back, I would have gladly stood, moved my chair.  No, she was a darling, yet passive aggressive Quaker woman intent on not bothering anyone by bothering anyone.

So what does one see at the BMA?  We went to see the "Cone Collection", which is really rather fascinating.  The two Cone sisters lived on the same apartment floor, in Baltimore, had a lot of money and were friends with Gertrude Stein.  Stein had a lot of artist hanging around her place in Europe, trying to make ends meet so she brought the Cones and the artists together and the Cones bought the paintings.

The paintings were then donated to the BMA when the sisters left this world.

Which, if you think about it, is rather remarkable for a museum like the size of the BMA to have a collection with such a direct provenance.  In this way, the BMA is like the Columbus Museum of Art with their Sirak Collection, but better focused.  And the Cones knew the immortals whose works they were collecting. 

The BMA also has one of Rodin's "Thinker" statues, and the last one I saw was the one at the Cleveland Museum of Art before it was blown up by an unhinged person 46 years ago.

We stayed as long as we could - but when I saw the Dowager with the equipment making a beeline for the Cone collection area, it was God's way of saying "time for today is up."

Thus, was our day.

In other news, I am struggling with allergies.  The shots are working as far as sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and stuffy noses, but I can feel my body at work trying to respond to the allergens but being unable to come up with a response.  It's a bit like one's immune system sensing that something is afoot, but unable to figure out why it hasn't the energy to respond. 

"Why," asks my immune system, "aren't you sneezing and itchy?"  to which my body is saying "Dunno, but a nap sounds lovely."

On the books for tomorrow is an oral coronation ("Arise, Sir Molar!") and more work on this L.A. Project.  Ugh, because I would rather be in L.A. than be in Baltimore.

Anyway, Spring has arrived as I sit in my office typing this, I am serenaded by birdsong from outside.






Friday, April 20, 2018

Mr. Sneakers



Found this on the Face of Books and it took me back - way back to my early, early childhood.

Cleveland had three major department stores that I can remember in my life.  May Company.  Higbee's. And The Halle Brother's Company, aka Halle's.

But The May Company's "May's on the Heights" store - quite possibly one of the largest standalone departments stores built outside of a downtown area was near our house by about 10 minutes.

While I am happy to report that Mr. Sneakers and I never made an acquaintance that I recall. the ad does feature the childhood tennis shoe brands of choice for those us born in the Eisenhower and Kennedy years, namely Converse, Red Ball Jets and PF Flyers.

I was a Red Ball Jets child until I graduated to PF Flyers.  Converse was not the shoe for flat footed kids like myself.

By the way, the "PF" in the PF Flyers name?  Stood for Posture Foundation.

I do not, however, remember "Little Abernathy".

From winter into summer

Angela Cartwright reminds us that Spring fashion is possible, just not on earth.


Cookie is really feeling very vexed with Mother Nature and her minion, the groundhog, aka a Mr. Phil of Puxatauny, Pennsylvania. 

So this year, Phil tells us it is going to be a short winter.

Phil lied.

We have, however, seem to find ourselves stuck in Groundhog Day type weather.  Grey, cold, and dank.

Even Easter this year was a stinker.

The dogs are so disgusted by it all that "going out" has become a Kabuki Theater effort.

They fritter about like they have to go out.  I open the door.  Out goes Rocky to the top of the deck stairs while Kevin remains at my feet.  Rocky looks around determines that its just grey and "blah", turns around and comes in.   Now, these are dogs that like to shoot down those deck steps and charge at anything in the yard, real or imagined under normal circumstances.  But no.  They just go and sit for their treat that they haven't earned.

"Don't blame us - the weather sucks."  And it does.

Well, according to the Weather Channel THAT changes today, and in a BIG way.

Over the next week, we are going from the 50s to the 80s in as fast as time as we can.  And it's going to stay like that for ten days or so.

And that means - no rest for the wicked.  Cookie will be installing air conditioners in the windows downstairs.  Ugh.  I loathe window AC units.

But, beggars can't be choosers.

Feast or famine for us.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ohio-lag, or these things happen



"Some days you're the windshield, some days, you're the bug."
                                                                                               ~ Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Cookie is having a low energy day. 

It happens.  It is most likely the "Ohio-lag" - that moment when the adrenaline of last week finally wears off and you realize that five days worth of a nine-hour drive, conferences, visits with old friends and pressure to be here, be there, be everywhere, and then another nine-hour drive, take their toll.

And we can't be perfect every day, every moment.  If Cookie thought that he must be perfect every minute of every day, then you would most likely find half-full glasses of brown liquor hidden about the house.  I would be ready for the rubber room.  Curled in a fetal position. Or I would be Martha Stewart.

But no.  I am hauling my lazy ass up and out of the house to do something productive. Unlike Forest Gump, who claims "life is like a box of (generic) chocolates," without a map in the box lid to keep you from eating the Dark Chocolate/Apricot Creme bonbon.  Cookie sees the stuff of life as a series of dirty plates.  You might as well get them done or they start to pile up. 

For if I don't get this errand done, verily it's just going to be another dirty dish waiting to be washed, so to speak. 

So please, NO comments wishing me well, or hoping I get better.  I will. I am. I am not Bar Bush in palliative care.  But when these moments occasionally happen, I am wise enough to know that you have to embrace them. 

I am basking in the low energy knowing that it, like this lousy spring weather, shall to pass.

Words from Cookie



If SPAM had never been invented, our unwanted email and unwanted social postings would be called "TREET".

Let that sink in.

This has been Words from Cookie.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Ohio's beckoned me


The Ohio's (yes, plural, because there is no unified State of anything in Ohio) called my name and I harkened back that "YES! I'm coming..."

The Ohio Genealogical Society had its annual meeting in Columbus, and I will ALWAYS go to that event when it's in Columbus because it's on my home turf.

Cookie is now heading home to Baltimore.  Leaving everything behind that I hold dear, with the exception of my husband, the dogs, and our house, which are in Baltimore.

I shall miss the grocery stores, the pizza, the manageable traffic and that feeling that it is safe to drive just about anywhere, at any time of the day.   Menards, BD's Mongolian BBQ, Hell even Wendy's*.  And the FRIENDS!  ALL. BETTER. IN. OHIO.

The suitcases are loaded down with Ballreich's potato chips.  I wish there were a real way to transport the pizzas and the subs that I ate.

I learned lots and lots about genealogy that I already knew, and remain totally bamboozled by the DNA aspect of it.  I know enough to get through the basics, but the glory of the chromosome browser really escapes me. 

But it also reminds me that Summer travel is already booked up!  Trips back to Ohio, to one Chicago, and one, we hope back to Los Angeles.


*Wendy's in Maryland and northern Virginia are beyond disgusting.  Run down, stark, ancient buildings.  It's so bad that they sued the franchise holder, DavCo, for the region in 2015.   DavCo claims that Wendy's business plans are unrealistic. Well, the outlets are still nasty, with "yellow" roofs - yes, YELLOW.  Unfortunately, nothing has changed, here, while the rest of the country the outlets are, for fast food, fabu.  That tells me it is still in litigation.  So whenever we travel, we scope out a Wendy's for old time sake.   You can read more here, here and here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Debbie's a doll. But she's moody.



I would like to introduce you to "DEBBIE in Different Moods".  Debbie is not creative Photoshop.  Debbie is or was the real thing from the late 1950s/1960s.

A Barbie knock-off fashion doll (Her clothes form her torso, so her knees are jointed to her skirt), you couldn't change her clothes, but you could change her moods.

Unlike Barbie who came with a wardrobe, Debbie came with four heads, each one conveying a different mood.

Debbie came with:

- A HAPPY face
- A SAD face
- A FURIOUS face - more like I AM GOING TO RIP YOUR FUCKING BALLS OFF Furious.

and a generic RESTING BITCH FACE.

ALL of these faces most striking detail are the Divinelike arched eyebrows and blue eyeshadow.

Each head has the same penis shaped ponytails on its top.

My question is WHY DID THEY STOP MAKING THESE?????

Can you imagine having one in your cube at the cube farm?

"Cookie has a smile on his face, but Debbie has a Furious face.  I would stay away."

Anyway, if you have deep pockets, you can buy Debbie online through eBay every now and then, but she'll cost you a little more than sixty-nine cents.  Debbie in package is listing north of $100 these days.  And worth EVERY PENNY.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

DHTiSH Book Club Selection


The current book club selection is T.S. Eliot's classic, April is a Motherfucker. In it, we are lashed with the stinging whip of a winter that refuses to release us from its loins.  We are beaten by March winds in the month following, drenched in its rains, taunted and teased before relief is finally delivered to us, a bit at a time, and a bit more each time.

And don't even get me started on the scourge of Bitter Wintercrest.

I picked it up this it was a tell-all on April Stevens, which would be some great escapism from this miserable weather.  Thankfully it had nothing to do with April Stevens who is Goddess and very sweet woman.

But, it's really more like T.E. Lawrence, than T.S. Eliot if you ask me.

What are your feelings on this miserable April 2018?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Who's a dumb bunny, now?

The rabbit with the thousand yard stare.  The man inside did everything he could to remain calm.


On Sunday, the *leader of the "free" world*, United States President Donald J. Trump, took to the stage to greet thousands of parents, children, and journalists, and standing next to a decorated veteran wearing an Easter Bunny costume, said the following:

“I want to thank the White House Historical Association and all of the people that work so hard with Melania, with everybody to keep this incredible house or building or whatever you want to call it because there really is no name for it,” the president said, referring to the White House. 

“It is special. And we keep it in tip-top shape. We call it sometimes tippy top shape,” said Trump.

Let that sink in for a moment. 

The leader of the free-world found himself without facts as he gave an off the Tippy Top of his head speech to thousands of children. 

Now Linda Ellerbee once said, "Ideas off the top of one's head are a lot like dandruff, small and flakey."  It was a cute quip of common sense, but now it has real meaning.

The man who knowingly ran for the office of the President of the United States cannot remember the following:

1) The building is the White House.
2) The building was built approximately 218 years ago to serve as the official residence of the President of the United States.
3) When it was finished it was named the Presidential Mansion.
4) When it was burned in the War of 1812 by the British, all that was left were the four outer walls.
5) AFTER it was rebuilt and its exterior walls were whitewashed to cover the scorched surfaces of the stone, and it was nicknamed the WHITE HOUSE.
6) It has an address - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and it is also known as such.
7) It is a building of State importance.  And that is State as in it the universally recognized residence of the serving leader of this nation.

ALL of this is taught in schools across this country.  It is on and in the news. This is not something that requires an advanced degree in anything.  This is basic knowledge.  It is fact.

But the dumb (as in silent) bunny in the picture's expression captures this all.  The President is lost. 

And it makes me wonder when Hope Hicks ordered this costume did the phone conversation go something like this:

"I'd like to place an order for an adult Easter Bunny suit for the White House Easter Egg Roll.  Yes, the facial expression should be one of amazement, because the man wearing it will be standing with the President.  And yes, the President will be saying any crazy-ass thing that comes to mind, so the look has to be "amazement", not shock or consternation..."

The President, the man in the bunny suit, the first lady, and their son are standing in the South Portico, so named because it faces the South.  They are either standing under, or on, the Truman Balcony, so named because it was built by President Harry S. Truman - a man who was intellectually smarter than the President could ever be, and a man who was adult enough to understand that "THE BUCK STOPS HERE" means that he as the leader of the free world takes the blame when something goes wrong. 

This type of responsibility eludes the current President who blames everyone else for everything and hoards accolades like a demented Daffy Duck's "It's mine! It's mine! I'm a greedy miser."

We can take this "no one knows what to call it" even further. The President is looking out over the South Lawn.  Why?  Because it faces the God Damned SOUTH.

As for "Tippy-Top", that sounds like a three-year-old who can not articulate that he wants a toy located on the more complexly structured "Very Top Shelf".  Even Gloria Epson, the empty-headed debutant fiancee of Patrick Dennis in Aunti Mame would grasp "Top Shelf".  But like Trump, Gloria found books very decorative. So, now we have "Tippy Top." 

Amazingly, the President did not close the event by saying "All Gone," when it was time to chase the toddlers off the property.

God, I hope someone remembers the job that Hope Hicks had to do every morning after kissing Donald's ass.  That would be hanging a tag around his neck with his name, address and a phone number that someone will answer.  Because evidently, Donald doesn't know the basics of his name, his address or his phone number for the policeman who is his friend so they can bring him home.  And we no longer have pictures of missing children on milk cartons, so that option is out. What a terrible tragedy that would be.

It used to be an aspirational goal for parents to tell their young child that one day they could grow up to be the President. 

Now, parents can say to their five years old's, "you can be president right now.  Who wants to go to Iowa and Caucas?"

The president is teaching us every day that adulthood and maturity mean nothing when it comes to his agenda.  Even MAGA is dead.  Now Donny "want to make America Tippy Top again," diddems.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Before the Clothes Come Off



You will never see blatant sex on DHTiSH because that would be, well, not what this blog is about.  No one is going to stamp DHTiSH as an adult content blog because that would be unseemly.

But, I've been in Baltimore for five years and it's getting to me.  At some point, I have to at least bend to this warped place, but I will never yield completely.

Thus I was utterly delighted to find a Tumblr that cracks me up.   "Before the Clothes Come Off" is a look back the adult material of years ago, but only at the point before the clothes come off.  It's not X-rated, adult in content, but more W-rated.  W for wonderfully warped.

Thus I give you samples from the Tumblr:


Here we have a woman who looks like Camilla in her macintosh gear - you know, rubber fetishwear for the horsey set.   She certainly looks very chummy and good-natured.  Yet under that raincoat, embalmers gloves and waders rests the clammy heart of fetishist. 



This is self-explanatory.  He's wearing a cheap leather jacket, and she's wear more fake leopard than anyone has a right to.  PLUS, the decor.  Exposed wiring, cheap luggage and you have a horny welcome in multiple languages. 




No expense was spared on this set.  Works of important art.  Fine folding chair furniture.  Strappy high heels.  A man with a towel around his head like Ursula Andress in Casino Royale.  You know where this is going.   And these men are about to become pretty-pretty.


What is the sickest thing that you could imagine in porn?  Yes, you have it. A greasy pre-orgy meal at Burger King by three people, two women, and man who all have the same haircut. Oy, the gas!  And the onion ring breath!  Can you imagine!  Snatch!


There is more of this adult fun on the Tumblr itself.  Enjoy!

Before the clothes come off. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Love, all sixteen flavors, and that douche bag


Cookie has run this image before, but it came up on a friend's "What the Fuck Wednesday" feed and it got me thinking about the late 1960s, and the fucked up commercial culture of that era.  For what its worth, Cookie thinks the guy is fugly and Amy needs a bra.  But they both look higher than the Graf Zeppelin.

I mean a douche that smells and tastes like apricots?  The only people I know who like apricots are all over eighty and live in trailer parks in Florida.

Anyhow, reading down the ad, it says "One of sixteen delicious flavors-of-love from LOVE," What are those sixteen flavors?


Well, here's my guess:



1) Strawberry.  Its a given - everything in the late 1960s was Strawberry.  From Bonnie Bell Lip Smack to Boons Farm.  Strawberry is an automatic given.



2) It's citrus, its clean, sure, why not?




3) So far, so good.  I am not a fan of currants because I think that they taste gamey, but then again, someone thought that apricots would make a fine scent for a woman's secret lady place.




4) It's plausible. Not likely, but if the ugly dude like apricots, then prunes are a logical step, right.


5) I figured that since dude likes apricots, and then assumed that prunes would be next, what raisins?


6) Rhubarb - tangy, in the spring.  After spring it gets pithy.




7) Avocados? Imagine, Judy Tenuta, saying: "It could happen."  And it could.



8) It's natural, and garlic has curative powers in folk medicine.  And it would keep the vampires away during that magical yet unspeakable time each month in a ladies life...Again, as with Judy Tenuta, it could happen.



9) It's exotic, has anti-inflammation powers.  Popular with the Brits. What's not to LOVE.



10) C'mon, everyone loves a little heat, right?  I am not that person.  I eschew hot food because food should not hurt you.  But we're not talking about food, we're talking about douches.


11) Again, it's exotic!  What other food do you bury in the ground so it can rot in peace and then dig it up so you can enjoy it?



12) Not that I would ever eat it, but dude looks stoned enough that he'd go for it.   To me, it smells like cat food.



13) I know.  I shifted gears on ya.  C'mon, Winnie the Pooh Face looks like he'd like to eat out the honeypot.  Pot?  Did someone say POT?  Dude!



14) Dude!  It's served at the restaurant in Dad's Country Club.  Yes, it is an establishment dish but with butter anything is good!



15) Yeah, I know.  Could be worse.  Could be Marmite. Pass the Ritz. AND


16) Pumpkin Spice.  Yes.  THIS.  Someone had to get the idea somewhere.

What flavors should I have included?


Four Easter



Cookie is today reporting from the southern edge of the fourth Nor' Easter, aka Four Easter, to hit the Eastern Seaboard in three weeks.   My head needs to be examined, because I am certainly going crazy in the farkatae weather.

There are things that Cookie likes about living in Maryland - it's not all rude ass drivers who can't park a Mini Cooper between the lines on a (U.S.) football field, the simmering racial hatred on all sides.  No, there are some things that Cookie that Cookie likes. 

First, there is the term "Nor'easter".  For those of you who say "You're getting some snow, big deal," I say, no, no, no. 

A Nor'Easter is different from your average low-front delivering lake-effect snow.  A Nor'easter is the joining of two weather fronts: one, a low, from the northwest/Midwest, and one coming in from the south that hooks into the jet stream and collides with the first front, producing "bombogenesis" that circulates counter clockwise. 

Nor'easters produce high winds, terrific amounts of precipitation, snow or rain, and its determinate result are based on whether or not the southern front tracks inland west of the Eastern Seaboard - rain, or tracks east - rain, snow, and ice.

And that brings us to the second thing I love - the term "Eastern Seaboard".  Other places have coasts.  We have a "Seaboard".   There is no Western Seaboard - it's the West Coast.  I just love the term.

Third, I also love being in the "North" of the "South".  In this age of "truthiness" and smug internet trolls who think that they know everything, but don't, when you see them discuss the south, they inevitably leave Maryland off the list.   To them, the South is Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisana, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  They leave off:

1) West Virginia - "it was a border state, so it doesn't count."  So was Kentucky, but you are counting it, right? "But it's different because it broke away from a slave state."  But its residents could own slaves even after the Emancipation Proclamation.  Border states slave owners could own people as property up until the end of the war.  It's the south, suga.
2) Arkansas - "What? Oh, where is that?"  Next to Louisana, and Texas, South of Missouri. It was part of the Confederacy.  "They had slaves in Arkansas?"  Meathead, yes, and segregation.  Do you not know anything about the National Guard being called into Little Rock to desegregate the High School there?  Meathead.
3) Florida - "Well, Florida is different."  It's only different in that you take your kids to Disney World.  Slave State.  Moreover, the southernmost point in the continental 48 is at Key West.  Can't get more Southern than that.

AND...

MARYLAND- "Maryland isn't a Southern state.  It's more northern than southern..."  Moron, have you ever heard of Mason Dixon Line?  Have you never listened to the lyrics - every verse - of Maryland My Maryland?  This was a slave-holding border state. Just like West-by-God-Virginia.  And that is nothing to be proud of.  We may seem like a Northern state to you, but it's not.  There is still a great deal of "south" around here.  "Not around Liberal Washington, D.C."  The D.C. region is but one facet of the state.  Maryland isn't perfect, but it sure as hell isn't a northern state, Meathead. 

And you can't just make shit up in the name of "truthiness" to fit your argument.  I love Steven Colbert like anyone else, but come on hipster scum.  Stop being a total douche.

Make no mistake, Cookie has no intention of living out the remainder of my life here in the old line state.  I am a Midwestern lad, and I have left the husband explicit instructions that should the end be imminent, that I am going to the Ohios (five states, all different) to expire.

But for now, I am here, in the midst of the fourth Nor'easter in three weeks, just trying to find something that makes me happy about being here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

It was the dishwasher, in the kitchen, with a gel-pack that did it



We have been going through DISHWASHER WOE.  Woe to me, to the husband, and stress with dishpan hands!

But seriously, read this - it could end up saving you a couple hundred bucks in repair bills.

The woe to me is that the blasted thing started leaking water after two years.  Couldn't figure it out.  It's a Kitchen Aid for God's sake.  So it took three visits from the repairman before we figured it out.  The washer arm split at the seam, in a Kitchen Aid, for God's sake!

How Queer?  Seriously, why did this happen?

So the suspects were:

1) The manufacturer
2) The operator(s)
3) The gel pack detergent
4) The water pressure
5)  The water heater
6) The house
or
7) All of above

The Facts:

1) The manufacturer built this wonderful tri-spray arm.  One arm has a stationary head, one arm has a large head and the other is small head at the end of the last head.  The small head turns rapidly, the large head turns more slowly.  The arm is made of plastic that ruptured.  But why?

2) The operators read the manual, ran the hot water on in the sink, running it until it was HOT.  We plopped a gel-pack into the hopper, and the door closed easily enough.  We set the cycle for normal and we walked away.  In an hour and a half, we opened the door when the cycle ended and a big cloud of steam rose up revealing clean dishes.  So?

3) The gel-pack was from a major label - no off brand.  Bought them at a nation store.  Innocent enough, right?

4) The water pressure was fine, but water can flow, and when it's under pressure, it's going to find a way to break through and it will break through at the weakest point. Which it did, shooting water out between the bottom of the door and the flood pan.

5)  The water heater - a couple-year-old, this one is traditional, nothing newfangled here.  It is supposedly the brand that the plumber's plumber recommends for his plumbing clients.  And they aren't cheap.  In fact, when we bought the house, it was in the + column.

6) The house.  90-years old, traditional.  Center hall colonial, living room with fireplace on one end and the dining room and kitchen on the other. Newer copper plumbing.

The Detective:

I called Trusted Appliance Repair because everyone recommended them.  I mean everyone.  Even the women who turn up their noses at foods at the neighborhood progressive dinner, which are potlucks, and say "I only eat raw organic vegan cuisine harvested by virgins under a new moon because I have* blah-blah and everything upsets my stomach and agitates my Balfour** gland***."

So they send in BatMoe, and BatMoe is terrific. With him is his trainee, Robin, the boy wonder, who hasn't shaved yet.

They come once to look at the problem.

The come twice with the replacement part, which they think is installed correctly according to the training video.  Why are they unfamiliar with the part?

"Yours," says BatMoe, "has this three arm designed that came out about two and a half years ago and it takes a while for these to fail.  Yours is the first to fail that I 've encountered - this just doesn't happen.  So I am doing what the video says to do, but the new arm is just flying off and getting stuck."

Boy Wonder, who is actually really good at looking at stuff on his first day of work says "What's all this jelly doing in here?"  He starts to pull out gunks of junk that look like shredded condoms. "It has no smell, no decay."

I could go one, but it took another day to unravel the mystery, including a call to the detergent manufacturer.  Long story short the solution is on the third visit:

The SOLUTION!

All of the above.  It was a FUBAR all along the way.

First: The water temperature has to be 125 degrees for every dishwasher, throughout the entire cycle.  That 125 degrees is important because a) The materials in the detergent are formulated to work at that temperature for the detergent, and b) the gel-pack dissolves fully at that 125 temperature.

Second: We run the water at the beginning of the cycle to get it up to temperature, but the temperature reduces filling the dishwasher and reduces further hitting the cold dishes since the dishwasher is in on...

Third: ...an uninsulated outdoor wall.  Plus the water in the pipes cools down between fillings because the hot water tank is under the far wall in the living room because that's where the chimney is.  And even though the copper pipes are insulated there's a long enough time between cycles to let it cool down just enough.

Fourth: When the gel-pack is unable to fully dissolve that gel - which is a starch compound - gunks up the washer ports and then the heads and then the secondary holes, and when under pressure...

Fifth: The arm wall breaks, causing the leak.  BatMoe also points out that...

Sixth: The training video for the arm replacement fails to mention the correct position the arm needs to be in AND says nothing about a secondary clip that locks the arm into place by turning the assembly three clicks clockwise.  He shows me the manual, he shows me the training video and he shows me using to parts from the warehouse. And none of them say to do any of this.  So we run the washer and voila! The arm stays seated, the excess rocking is solved and it clears the racks!

Seven, and this is humiliating, but Cookie always found those products to clean out your dishwasher to a be a load of hooey, but as it turns out, not only do they descale, but they also have an enzyme that breaks down the gel-pack residue.

The Fix

I can stop using gel-paks and opt for the old-fashioned liquid or the detergent brick.

I can throw the gel-pack into the washing chamber instead of in the detergent shute in the door.

I can turn up the hot water tank.

I can choose high-temperature wash which will raise the temperature of the water by heating it in the chamber itself.

I will clean the dishwasher using a product designed to keep this from happening again.

So, why share this?  Because this really shouldn't happen, and it is better that you learn from me than have it break your wash arm and land you in a mystery of your own.

So remember, if you use gel-packs, keep the water at 125 or above.  Use a cleaner or vinegar in a bowl with a normal wash cycle, or whatever the manual says to do.   Just don't throw the damned thing in there and not think about it.


* Disease/condition of the moment, or what was covered on The Doctors on the last episode that they watched.
**It's always a body part that has some obscure, or made up name, or the name is hatched up.  Cookie's mother got dreadfully sick when he was about seven.  She was in the hospital for a week.  Turned out it was a Brenners Tumor, which she called a "Bruins Glan Tumor".  Anyway, that was for real, and scary.  And I knew it was serious when the family from Marion drove to Cleveland to see her.  We always went there, they never came to Shaker.  So it was a bad thing.
***Its always a gland.  Until it becomes a tumor.  See above.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A rather disappointing day, but at least the sun shone brightly



Well, the day started out with great promise.  The Husband and I drove the new Prius to Rosslyn, across the Potomac from DC for a Postcard and Paper Show.  For postcard collectors and collectors of ephemera, these are fun events and items are generally priced reasonably. 

But when we got there, it was a Post Card and Photography Show.  Problem with these is that the postcards tend to be more, and the photographs - things which ten years ago cost a pittance - have skyrocketed out of sight, price wise.

We saw lots of interesting things, but everything was priced beyond our means, or the dealers said "Ohio? No, this is a MidAtlantic..."

It's been years since we've been to these shows and people tend to cluster up in front of the long, deep boxes that hold the cards.  This means two things - you can't get to what you are looking for because some idiot has placed their briefcase or shopping bags on top of the boxes you want to look for, or if you ask them to move you either get a grunt or a "I'll be done in a minute," which is rude.  The older men love using an elbow to get you out of the way, the younger people will shove you aside while you are waiting.

Anyhow, I came away with nothing.  I even looked for nursing home postcards for Baikenage Overkill, but alas, none were to be found.

And when we went into the photography room, I felt very lost, because it's a different "thing".  The pictures are always overpriced, and they aren't sorted well.  Moreover, the early photos, like the cased daguerreotypes and tintypes have been bought one place and shipped to another so many times that no one is sure where they originated from.  So it's not about who the people are, but about collecting pictures of boys with dogs, or women with a hairstyle or daguerreotypes with a certain type of case. But who the people are has been lost, and that to me is a shame.

Then it was off to Vienna, Virginia for lunch at the regions only Donatos Pizza, which we found had put out of business.  Strange - its still live on the company website, but it is closed.  So we ate at Wendy's next door, and that was a downer. 

Wendy's in Maryland, DC and northern Virginia are mirthless places, sad, barren and dreadfully old.  At one point Corporate was trying to sue the franchise owner into compliance.  Lunch today wasn't about local cuisine, it was about food on the go.

Finally, after a stop at the SUPER Bed Bath and Beyond at Tyson's Corner, we headed home, but the Toyota's navigation system kept trying to force us from Maryland 29 (Coleville Road/Columbia Pike) onto 95N.  It kept warning us about terrible hold-ups and slow traffic on 29, so we switched to 95.  THAT was a mistake.  It dumped us into downtown Baltimore where traffic restrictions had everything shut down for a St. Patrick's Day race.

But, on the plus side, we got to spend the day together, and the sun was out, so it was a better day than it could have been.  And truth be told, the last thing we need is more crap.

But I am bummed about Donatos.
 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sometimes, you have to leave, Part II




When we last left Cookie, that is I, was telling you about poor Merry Mary and how she had to go to Africa. To forget.

She didn't have to walk a block up to UDF and buy a pint of ice cream.  No, she had to to go to Africa.  To forget.   Which is a very Victorian thing for a liberated woman to do.

Sometimes, all of us get to a point where you have to get out, see something new, go someplace safe.  Sometimes the world squeezes and squeezes and you have to let the safety valve do its job.

WELL, we had this windstorm last Friday, and it was a doozie.

It was not a typical Nor'Easter, aka Bombogenesis.  It was a Super Bombogenesis event.   Two low-pressure cells, one headed east and the other - over the Atlantic - heading north converged and the result was would deliver a real blizzard.  But the Mid-Atlantic was too warm, so what got was more akin to a dry hurricane.

It was terrific wind storm with 50-70mph gusts over an extended time range.  It started at noon and the power was up and down all afternoon, with transformers going off like a cannon.  All that was missing was Alfalfa doing his "Charge of the Light Brigade" recitation.

By 4:45 the rain had stopped, and the house was a rocking and Cookie needed a shower.   So I hop in and as I am going through final rinse two unrelated things happened:

1) The power went out with a cannon blast, and it wasn't one of those sounds that tell you it's coming back very soon;

2) This was followed an earth-shaking boom and metal.

The two were unrelated.

Number 2 was a large Sycamore that snapped off at the ground and fell on a car almost killing a woman driving up the road.

Number 1 was our power grid going down for the NINTH time in three years with a protracted outage.

So, I call the husband to warn him about the tree on the car - the woman was fine, the car totaled, the street blocked - and to tell him that the power was out.

Now mind you, the NINTH time in this house and without power, Cookie begins to panic like someone panics when they are in an elevator that is stuck between floors and the cables are snapping.  Power means connectivity and without connectivity, we have no cell service, no computers, no lights and no heat.  Add to that trees falling everywhere.

So when I tell him the power is out, and he knows that my nerves are frayed from an afternoon in this creaky old house, he responded in a very logical, measured New England "I'm sorry."

I am flipping out in the middle of a dry hurricane and I get "I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry" works when you drop a plate and it breaks.  "I'm sorry" works when you say something that ruffles a feather.  I'm sorry works when little shit happens.   But a prolonged power outage?  No, that's when you say "What do we need to do."

I'm sorry is what the clerk at Tim Hortons says when they are out of the Maple Bacon donut you were craving.

But when your spouse is having a full-on panic attack, "I'm sorry" doesn't work.

I hang up, and my nerves go up exponentially, the situation is getting worse, not better and I suffer a flight response.

I called the husband, put on a coat, grabbed my keys and iPad and said when he answered "For five years I have lived with constant, long power outages, and every time I want to do something about them, you say you're sorry.  I can't do this anymore. I can't stay here.  I'm leaving."

And the Husband, who loves me dearly and is blindsided trips over his words and says "where are you going?"

"Maybe I will call you when I get there," was my response.

There is only so far that Cookie can bend when pushed up against the wall.   But now I was climbing over that wall and I needed my own Africa, so I left our house. I had no idea where I was going, but I was going in that direction.  Traffic lights were down, driving chaos abounded because drivers in Baltimore don't know that a dead traffic signal is treated as a four-way stop.

And finally, I got someplace.  I handed the keys to the valet. and walked through the doors of the only place open with power.

Mary may have gone to Africa. To forget.

But Cookie went to P.F. Chang's. To forget.  And calm the fuck down.

I got a booth and I lost it.

To cope, the server said, can I get you anything and I ordered a Diet Coke with a water. The hard stuff.  Booze is not going to help anyone in my mindset.  She brought extra napkins.

I remind myself that there are places on earth where people would be happy to sit in our dark house and not complain.  This is my issue, my problem and in the greater scheme of things, I am being a total pussy.  But, this is my crisis, internally and externally.

I sat and thought about all the time I had said we needed to get a generator for the house - because the power doesn't just go down in the neighborhood.  It goes on a vacation.  It can be three hours, it can be three weeks.  And between both houses, we are looking at 15+ times in five years, nine of which have been in the past two and a half.

And the power company is of absolutely no help what so ever.

Honest to God, these people know nothing.

"Use our app to report your outage!" they suggest.  How the Hell are we supposed to use the fucking app when we have no wifi, and no cell service?

"Check our outage map!" Kind of hard to do when the map has a huge banner across it that reads "Due to high demand, our website is unable to handle your request."

You call their customer service and are told: "You may expect a longer than average wait time."  When you do get a human being, they know nothing.  "If you see a crew in your neighborhood ask them.  They are more informed than we are in the call center. Sorry."

So I am sitting there and the phone rings, its the Husband who tells me he's arrived home, the dogs are fine and walked.  "When are you coming home?"

And I tell him I don't know.  Because I don't.

"Can I come to you?"

Yes.

So I tell him where I am and he arrives and we sit in a booth and we communicate.

In 22 years we've had one fight, and that night we were not going to have the second.

He hears me out and agrees, it has to be dealt with.  "That house is really dark."

Cookie has never asked for a new Lexus, a trip to Europe.  I have never demanded a Wolfe range.  I have never gone out and spent thousands of dollar on clothes.  Ever major expenditure has to weighed and looked at.  I don't drink, and I don't smoke and I don't gamble.  I also don't sleep around.

He acknowledges that.  And my isolation working out of the house as I do.

We agree on a whole house generator only after I contact a real estate agent and confirm that it would be a plus when we decide to sell the house.

We also agreed on getting rid of a couple trees and drain the backyard which floods.  And then plant the right trees in the right places.

And then we eat and hold hands.

Because at the end of the day, all either of us wants is to be with each other, at home, with a light on to read by or play a game of Scrabble.  To curl up in our bed, to sleep and wake and begin another day together.  We could do it in a trailer, we can do it in a studio apartment. It doesn't have to be fancy.  We just need to be together.

But during the day, when he goes to work, I need electric.  And now the Husband understands that this really is a thing, and we both see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And we leave my Africa together, we came home and went to bed in the pitch blackness.  The next morning it is 42 degrees in the house and the Husband says "Yeah, this has to stop."

By the time the power comes back on, we are rejoicing.

And our plans are moving forward, as we move forward.

Sometimes you have to leave home in order to go back home. Together.



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sometime, you just have to leave



Cookie has shared a great deal with all of you, and I expect one of my life experiences to end up in a book someday so I can sue someone for my original writings.

"What the fuck was that for Cookie?" you are asking.

Well, I am in a Mood.

And this latest storm last Friday was the catalyst for that mood.   "The winds breed depression," according to Paul Bartell's Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills.

To understand what happened, we have to go back, back, back, back in time to what happened about 18 years ago with one of our old neighbors, Mary Merry, who was in a relationship with a woman name Nurse Nora.  They were a cute couple, but...

There is an old joke that goes: How many dates does it take before two Lesbians to move in together and form a household based on shared common beliefs and egalitarian values?  Answer: One.  On the second date, they hire a U-Haul and move in, on the second day, they cats together, then they spent the remainder of the relationship trying to figure out how to move out without hurting the other womyn's feelings.

Well, this happened to Mary and Nora.  They met, fell in love and then one day, Mary came home to find Nora's stuff and the cats are gone and note saying that she was accepted in a Masters of Nursing program in South Dakota, and "It will be better this way."

Suffice it to say that Merry was no longer Mary, she was, understandably very hurt and upset.  Inconsolable, actually.

Fast forward about three months and Cookie - that is I - and the husband gets up on a summer morning, he to take the terrier for a walk and I go out to get the paper on the porch when I spot someone who looks like a monster from Where the Wild Thing's Are mucking about in a freshly poured cement sidewalk section.  WTF?

So I see Merry Mary's next door neighbor and we meet on the sidewalk and I ask what in the name of all that is righteous is that beast doing in our new sidewalk?

"Oh, that's Jerry - he is an Anarchist.  AND is squatting in Merry Mary's house," says Neighbor.  "Last night he was screaming "FUCK YOU" you at 3AM and pissing from the front porch roof.   It woke us up and when I opened the window to tell him to pipe down, he called me "a Fascist Pig ready for slaughter."

Where is Merry Mary, I ask?   I wanted to ask more, but I think our neighbor needed a drink and I was afraid at 8AM, telling me more would drive him to crack open the tequila.

"Mary went to Africa."

"Africa? What? Like Africa Road up by Alum Creek State Park?" asked I.

"No.  The real thing.  Mary went to Africa. To forget."

"To forget?"

"To. Forget. It's this Nurse Nora thing.  She felt she had to leave everything and clear her head.  So she is spending a month in Namibia.  So she leased her house to her friend Connie, and Jerry is Connie's boyfriend, and two weeks ago Jerry tried to sell Michelle's furniture and moved all of his anarchist friends in.  There is nothing we can do with Mary being in Africa. Because she is not reachable.  Because she is in Africa. To forget.

And in fact, it was a Hellish three months for everyone on the block because Jerry turned into a 300-pound 40-year-old man-baby who should have been medicated years ago. Even Connie left him - LEFT HIM - in her friend's house, unchaperoned.

He destroyed property, he graffitied our garages, threw trash in our yards.  When Mary arrived, she could get him out because, under Ohio law, he had squatters rights.  So she had to cohabitate with Jerry until the process to evict him went through.  He even told sweet Mrs. Houston to "go to Hell, Imperialist!"

Mrs. Houston looked like Judith Lowry. Her late husband Ned taught labor rights at Ohio State.  And she had a mouth on her that would either spin pure sugar or saltwater.

"I told that vile man that he could 'fuck off'.  I told him I have lived in my house for sixty years and he could shove that Imperialist shit right up his ass," said the 90-year-old woman.  "Then I told him that I was a progressive Democrat and I won't stand for that Mother Bloor bullshit. He doesn't know his head from his ass."

"And I told him if he thought he was going to shock me with his language he had another thing coming."

So what did he say, I asked.

"Oh, he tried to outshout me, so I turned the hose on him and told him that was for urinating in my geraniums.  Hit the bastard in the face with the power nozzle. He squealed like a  stuck pig."

Finally, the police carried Jerry down to the jail, feet first, out of that house and was charged with destruction of real property (Mary's house and our garages) and grand theft when he gave away all of Mary's stuff claiming she had abandoned it.   And then Mary listed the house, mad at us for either calling her parents and demanding that Jerry be dealt with or not calling her parents and letting Jerry get away with this.

It was a no-win situation.

Except for Mrs. Houston, who also put her house on the market as well.  "Now that the fartless wonder is gone, I'm moving in with my son Sidney and his wife.  I am just too old for this bullshit. And I couldn't put it for sale with that jackass next door. Poor Mary - she tried to pull a Margaret Mead and it backfired on her and all of us.  Well, he's gone.  Piece of pie, dear?  It's peach.  Made it myself."  The Husband had two helpings.

But Mary damned us if we did, and she damned us that we didn't.  She would glower at us if she saw us.  Maybe she was embarrassed.  I don't know.  Cookie was no longer "Poor Mary," but was more "fuck that."

Seriously - if you go to Africa - to forget - and you don't get your legal affairs in order, you create the opportunity for all sorts of bad ju-ju.

So today, I am just going to leave my story at this point, and in Part II in the next couple days, I will explain why Mary, going to Africa - to forget - came into play last week in Cookie's life.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cookie tells his cousin she needs to just stop. Stop it now.



Cookie has a Cousin Wendy.  And everyone knows it's Wendy when Wendy storms into town and loudly announces herself.   She literally will stand outside my house and bellow: "COOKIE!!!  COME OUT HERE AND GIVE YOU COUSIN WENDY A BIG OLD HUG."

It's Wendy's style. 

You can't take this woman to a professional sports game because she will want to run out on the field and BELLOW out the Star Spangled Banner.

Anyway, Wendy was driving through Baltimore on her way from visiting her daughter Jazzmin (I know, I know, but no one listens to Cookie) who attends school at Catholic University, and she calls me up to say that she is driving up 95 to New York to see her old college friend Midge who is in from some European country where she moved to blah, blah' blah and could I meet Wendy at a Panera near exit blah, blah, blah for a cup of coffee and pastry.

So I drop everything, literally, because its either Wendy or it's folding laundry and if I have to go to a Panera, it might as well be to get out of folding laundry to see Wendy.

So we meet and she bellows out to everyone in the store that "THIS IS MY COUSIN COOKIE AND COOKIE IS MARRIED TO A NICE MAN AND THEY LIVE HERE."

People look at me like "Huh?" I look back at them with a "Yeah, I know - I want this to over too."

But the girl has to do what she has to do because Wendy is a force of nature.

Folks, this has been going on since I was a kid.  I am used to it. 

The only thing louder than Wendy's mouth is her heart, which is huge and full of life and love.  Sometimes, you just need to let the people you love be who they need to be.

Except on my Birthday, because Wendy is never allowed to spend any time with me in my birth month because it will end with her standing up and BELLOWING "HEY EVERYONE, IT'S COOKIE'S ANNIVERSARY OF HIS TRIP THROUGH THE BIRTH CANAL, and then a mariachi band will appear.   And the restaurant doesn't have to be Mexican for that to happen.  Trust me on this.   I have lived through it, twice.

Anyhow Wendy is all about all things gay, Gay GAY.

So this Olympic season, she is all about the whole Adam Rippon/Gus Kenworthy kiss. 

"Did you see it?  It is so fabulous to have a same-sex couple not only kiss but fall in love at the Olympics!"

Huh?

The first openly gay hook up at the Olympics!

No - no.

"Well, what would you call that passion."  Now she's looking like Kathy Najimy in Sister Act.

Wendy, STOP.

I explain that it was done for the camera, but that Gus Kenworthy has a man, and Gus is most likely a big old bottom. 

The look on her face is one that you would expect when a Christian Woman sees one of the LOLCats memes that reads "Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten."

"Gus is cheating on Adam?"

I have to explain to her that Gus is cheating on no one.  Gus and Adam are not anything to each other except Olympic buds who happen to share a love for cock.

Well, "QUELLE HORREUR" comes over Wendy's face and she slaps the table in disbelief.

"But they make such a cute couple!"

The balloon is burst. 

I show her a picture of Gus and his man/boyfriend/husband/hunk and still, Wendy is crushed.

"But what about Adam?"

I put my hand on hers and remind her that there will always be Stars on Ice, and then Dancing with the Stars, then porn for Adam. 

"And you need to stop.  Seriously."

Later that night I get a text from Jazzmin who said that she spoke with her mother, she made it to New York, but that she was crushed that "Adam and Gus will never be together."

I text back "What advice did you give?" 

"I told her that Sally Field is trying to fix up her son with Adam and it will work its way out.  And to have another bottle of wine.  And I told her that no, Gus and his boyfriend will not break up so Adam and can move in for the kill."

Thank GOD these Olympics are coming to an end.  Between the Curling team getting gold, and this Gus and Adam thing, I just can't take it anymore. 

And Wendy needs time to go through the five stages of grief.

And I need to fold the damned laundry.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mother nature is just 'effing with us



No Norma, we're having a heatwave, you're having the heat flash.

Mother Nature (who will forever look like Dena Dietrich to me - you remember Dena as Mother Nature in the Chiffon commercials?  Chiffon Margarine? You don't?  Well fuck you for being so fucking young.)

It got up to SEVENTY-SIX today, and it's only February 21st!  Oy!  It was so hot I have to think cool thoughts and not turn on the AC.

Cookie started out the day in jeans and mock turtleneck, and by noon I was in a tee-shirt and shorts.

Well, thank the green goddess that tomorrow we slide back into bleak, wet, cold February, again.   I love a warmish day in February, but 76 and sunny just fucks with you. 

By the way, I have no idea what Miracle French dressing is.  I think it went onto become Catalina brand dressing.

Cookie.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This ain't my first time at the rodeo, Shirley



So the Husband and I were at the Late Late Early Late Winter Cocktail hour the other night chatting and drinking and looking over the gay boy couple's addition (learn by seeing the mistakes of others) and we bumped into Shirley, the neighborhood busybody.

"I was talking with LaVaughn and she tells me that you are planning an addition," Shirley states.

Shirley *thinks* that she is the self-appointed committee on architectural review for the civic association.  Make her a couple Manhattans, and she becomes the design Stassi.   She has created numerous headaches for people and scared off a young couple that we met at our local watering hole who said: "She started telling us that we had to buy all new closable shutters for every window and all of sudden the house got more expensive than we budgeted for."

And she has no authority to do this.  Nothing but her big old nose.

The husband and I knew that this was coming and we had been keeping the plans under our hats until we knew exactly what we are doing.  Now that we know, we are waiting for the money to make it become possible - hopefully before 2022.

It's a modest remodel.  A small (120 square feet small) with a small area with a new foundation, but we're building up, not out.  Doing that will allow us to reconfigure three bathrooms and redoing the kitchen remodel.   So we are only adding a wee small area of the new roof.  Nothing near the 1,000+ of new structures being tacked onto the houses around us.  We are building up, not OUT.

Shirley started lecturing us on runoff - if anything, this will fix the current runoff problems around our foundation and it will not impact any neighbors.  We explain that we have had the expected runoff calculated and would love to show her the figures.

Then she states that the design will have to be reviewed for its appearance to verify that it conforms to the style of the house.  We explain that the architects are known for their work in Homeland, Ruxton, and Guilford, and we would love for her to see the plans.

Then Shirley - clearly getting frustrated that we are neither afraid or rattled by her says that the neighbors will have to sign off.  Done.

Finally, Shirley states that the design will have to be approved by the Board, and this is the kicker.  Shirley isn't on the Board.   Husband is, and of course, he has to recuse himself for the vote.

Shirley waddles off, perturbed and Jack, the Chair of the Board, comes up to us and knows my background in historical architecture and preservation and says "Man, she was hammering you and you were ready."

This, I explain, ain't my first time at the rodeo.  "I have doing battles with her ilk for decades."

Then Jack lays something on me. "Hey, you know that David and Molly are moving, and David has been the architecture committee since Shirley got booted.  How would Cookie like to become the review committee?"

I ask if I can appoint some helpers to aid me, and the answer is yes.

I smile.

Here's my thing, when you live in an older neighborhood that has design standards you can do one of two things.  You can either become Shirley and turn off everyone to the point where they start getting defensive, or you can use it to educate people and make suggestions to help them to help them see what makes good design and will enhance their property.

The idea is to help people become excited so they do the right things, and hopefully steer them away from doing things that will present them with headaches later on.

"A pool? Great?  Have you looked at the increased price of liability insurance and the fencing costs?  Have you formulated a plan on what to do during a water restriction or drought?"

"Great fanlight for the front of the house.  But have you considered using a thicker molding around the outside with a keystone or another design to make it stand out instead of making it look skimpy?"

One of the other duties is to go out and measure the site to make sure the 10-foot buffer by the property line stays in place.

I can live with that.

As for Shirley, I'll invite her down for some Manhattan's and let her feel included.   Isn't that what we all want - to be included?

Like I said, this ain't my first time at a Rodeo.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

February Blahs



You know, there comes a time every winter where Cookie says "I really have had quite enough of winter."  Today, February 17, 2018, is that day.  Normally it happens earlier in winter, around the first week of January, but I was distracted by the week in Los Angeles.

I am just at the point where I am tired of the cold, I am tired of the wet, I am tired of snow, and I am tired of people hunkered down in their homes finding something to do other than listen to more and more news about the mess in Washington, or children being slaughtered by guns and Wayne LaPierre.

About the only thing that polite people can talk about these days is the Oxford Comma, in support of, or against.

Really, this is getting to us all.  We need the first of March, the second official day of spring in Cookie's Calendar of Annual Events to happen. (The first, if you missed it is Ground Hog Day.)

I keep telling myself that you only have 12 more days to March, less than two weeks.  Anyway, tomorrow is Sunday, then Monday and so forth and so on.  "Never wish away time," my mother would say. 

But Cookie is looking forward to his (gulp) 56th spring on earth. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Anger and Charges of Elitism: Thursday was not my day



Thursday morning was not my day.

I am knee deep in my HUGE project for the year when two shoes dropped.

Shoe number one involved a young woman in a Facebook group (isn't always in a Facebook group) who called Cookie an elitist for wanting to know what we could do to get more people involved in an online discussion on Shaker's foreclosure blight.  Following the collapse of the real estate markets in 2008, Shaker's Lomond and Moreland neighborhoods were dealt a blow as houses went into foreclosure and Cleveland economy as a whole went into the toilet.

Cookie contended that the discussion online was well and good, but that more people needed to be heard and give opinions.  Young lady, fresh from a shaker education and college found that idea to be "Elitist" and "none of (your) business whether or not people participate."

The young lady who called me an elitist then went on to:

1) Announced that not only did she receive a Shaker Schools Education, but that her education was superior to mine because "You didn't even graduate from Shaker." (This is true. But she knows not why. It had nothing to do with IQ, but everything to do economics and personal safety) and,
2) Announced that not only had she graduated from SHHS, but that she had graduated from Sarah Lawrence, and,
3) Stated that her sister held a high ranking position within city hall and that her sister had also been a Shaker graduate and graduated from Yale, and,
4) Her other siblings had graduated from Shaker, etc., and,
5) Moreover, her parents still lived there.

All of this meant one thing to the young woman, she, not I, was better able to judge what was best for the discussion.

Here's the thing about this young woman: she may have learned a lot at Shaker and at Sarah Lawrence, and how nice for her that she could attend such a school, right?  But the one thing that she didn't learn was that you don't call someone an "elitist"  because they want more people to be involved in a discussion.  And if you do call someone an elitist, don't lord your imagined superiority over them.

Why?

Because the Young Lady was outing herself as a bully, and an ignoramus who IS the true elitist.

This was followed by others jumping into the fray, which resulted in the young lady shucking her elitism and 1) calling Cookie a loser, and 2) doing victory posts - "Samantha  (not her real name) shoots and scores over Loser Cookie and "Samantha is on record that Cookie is a loser."  In other words, the ignoramus proved her point about herself. 

Evidently, she was never cursed with self-awareness.  But she was embarrassing herself.

In any event, a moderator defenestrated her from the group.  I received a message from Mickey saying that "Samantha was removed for violating the rule on bullying, and being a total douche bag."

This was good news as I don't have time for people like Samantha, and it answers the question that indeed, women can be douche bags. which I thought was a male-only club.  "Women are never "douchenozzles" - that is a male thing."  Thank you, Mickey!

Shoe number two involved a distant cousin who sent Cookie a package between Christmas and New Years that arrive at Cookie Manor about a week before I went west for the week to work.  The package contained two booklets, written by the distant cousin - the second set she sent.  Somewhere, things got mixed up and Thursday there was a little Facebook (again with the Facebook) note asking if I got the envelope and I acknowledged it through the Car's system while driving by speaking two short sentences "Yes, I got them.  But I don't think I'm ready to write my own just now."

This was followed shortly by a great amount of unpleasantness, and the accusation that I am self -serving. I understand and admit that I breached the thank you note.   But self-serving?  Hardly.  In fact, I am rather offended by this.

I care about this distant cousin, and I own my mistake.  But this huge project that I have been working on has come out of my time and money. I have never asked for anything in the way of money to help propel me into archives on the West Coast, and I have never asked for money for anything related to the family in anyway.  I have always shared whatever I have found with whoever asked for it.   I am not in this for glory, I am in it for the benefit that everyone receives.  And I have never gone around and thumbed my nose at anyone, or giving anyone a "Nanny nanny bo-bo" and stuck out my tongue.

I am hoping that we can get beyond this.  I forgive her for being purposely mean, my hope is that she forgives me.

So I hid under a rock this weekend.  To the young woman who is really named Samantha, I wish you well, but until you grow up, and after you get some life experience under your belt, I hope we never cross paths.  Once you get a few years of practical adulting under your belt, I'll buy you coffee at McDonald's, because that is not at all an elitist place. 

And as for my cousin, I hope that you can forgive me because I do miss you, and I know that you truly carry the weight of your world on your shoulders.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Well, that was an ugly little surprise

Norma has been possessed by the spirit of my mother.
But not my mother's sense of good taste.  Pity. Mother
would never dress up like Fred Flintstone in drag. 

Dear Reader: If you are a Mac user of a certain type who loves to pile on the misery by reminding PC users that Mac's and you are superior, and get through my daily twaddle and think that leaving a smarmy note like "You wouldn't have had this problem is you were using a Mac," you don't want to go there.  My MacBook really is my other computer and I can regale you with hardware and software issues on that machine, including a crapped out hard drive after three years of use and the night before my brothers funeral. So keep your piehole closed on this one.

Well, now that we got THAT out of the way, we,  I mean I, Cookie, got a nasty surprise when we turned on the workhorse computer today!

No, not ransomware, thank the gods and thank the actual one true G*d whose name is so perfect that one dare not write it out.

EVIDENTLY, a year and a half ago, when Cookie updated the le Machine to Win10, a toggle got flipped to include "FILE HISTORY" onto my "Z" drive, which is where I back up stuff to anyway, I thought "How great is this?"   I set must have set it and thought, gee, this is nifty - automatically backing up my files and only my files.  Meaning my documents, my pictures, my music, etc. and so on.

And the great thing about file history is that it catches pretty much everything.  Create a graphic and save it, and then you edit it and save it again, only to open it later and decide that the last edit really did muff it up?  File History to the rescue, because it has a copy of the image is held at multiple time points.  Nifty, see?

So I have been working on this horrifically HUGE project for the archive in California and I had to do some image file conversions.  Since my main drive - at 2TB is over half full,  And Cookie hates a half full main drive, anyway, I decided to move the non-converted original project files over the Z file. 

But when I brought up "My Computer" and saw I got a bit sick to my stomach.  The "Z drive" was a few mega bites away from being totally full. 

Quelle horreur!

How in the hell did that happen?

I called my friend Missy, and Missy said "You know, that happened to me right before Christmas.  It was like being handed that looked like Chief Wiggam....So I pulled the secondary, took it to MicroCenter, bought a bigger drive and had them migrate it for me.  Poke around and let me know what you find out."

So I poked around, and did some digging around and discovered something.

When I installed Windows10, it must have asked me about this setting to make a "File History" auto backup - which creates a file called "File History" (duh) and I never set it to a time limit on how long to keep the files before the program would overwrite them. 

So for the past 18 months, it's been creating file after file after copy after copy and suddenly we have 800MG of files, which are getting updated every hour.

That is critical mass on a grand fuck-up scale.

So today I reset the options to a reasonable 90-day limit because, by that point, I forget that there ever was another version like the current one.

So that raised another point.  What to do with the 800mg of stuff it created? 

See Cookie is not the type of data swashbuckler who cavalierly just deletes stuff like that just because you can.  I want to make sure that everything continues to run for a few days and boots up without a problem.  Once I am certain that everything is running fine, THEN I'll delete the stuff.

So what that meant was moving this data elephant to another drive - the server, which was started at 8am today and is still chugging away at 3:25pm and looks to wrap up in about an hour.

SO, use my pain and suffering to make sure you go and check your settings on this program. Make sure you didn't do something stupid like Cookie did. 

Better I should suffer, than you.