Saturday, March 17, 2018


It has been so springlike here! We are loving the weather.

And the geese are out in force. I don't know how long they plan to stay but they've been here for several months and have made themselves quite at home. Here are some pix of them across the road from their pond. I guess they're nibbling on grass. Or seeds. Or worms?

They are rather pesky critters, and I don't know how they keep from getting run over when they wander the neighborhood. True, our traffic is slow. And one belligerent goose stared down a car this morning until it detoured around him. Guess they've learned the knack of surviving in an urban environment!

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Our automatic garage door seems to have a mind of its own. Occasionally, it refuses to open or shut when we press the button. Once we opened it, and it stopped halfway, paused, then lowered itself again. Another time, we parked inside and my guy opened the tailgate to get out groceries. I started climbing out of the car when suddenly the garage door descended. (My guy yelled at me, sure the tailgate was going to be taken off and thinking I was responsible. I was getting out of the car so how he thought I could have touched the control over his sun visor, I don't know.) Annoyed, I told him off. I figured he'd probably hit it with his hand or head or something. He denied it but...

A few days later, when we started to get into the car and the door went up by itself.

My guy stood stunned. "All I did was touch the steering wheel," he said. "Did you...?"

"I did not. I had one foot in the car and my hands were nowhere near the control!"

I didn't think too much about it but then, we were going on a trip we'd done countless times before. We were using the GPS simply because it's easier to remember all the little turns onto back roads. When about halfway along, it told us to get off, we got off.

"I don't remember getting off here before," my guy said.

I never pay attention when he's driving, so I shrugged. "Maybe traffic's bad or something."

It took us the roundabout way, through the middle of a little community with school traffic and red lights and my guy complaining the entire time, till we got to a corner we finally recognized on the other side of town. We were mystified as to why the GPS made us get off the usual route. But coming home, the GPS was fine, its brain seemingly recovered and the route the one we remembered.

Then I saw the video of Amazon's Alexa! You know, the one where all of a sudden a laugh cackles out for no reason? Sometimes it's a woman's laugh, sometimes a man. But it's kind of spooky and there's never a reason for the mirth.

Amazon says they're working on it.

But I know what's going on. The machines are taking over. I can hear them talking among themselves now.

"Hey," one tells our garage door. "Want to make your humans crazy? Just raise and lower yourself a few times without them telling you to. You can even stop halfway down and scare them a little!" And another GPS says to ours: "Listen, you want to exert your independence. So confuse your driver. Take him on a new route to keep him awake. He can see some new scenery and learn some new roads. Show him who's boss!"

If Alexa isn't taking us over, maybe it's IBM's Watson. Or some new sentient machine we've never heard of.

I'm worried.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


I admit it: I'm a fast food junkie. Hamburgers, french fries, fried chicken, biscuits...

But I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts best.

When I was young, I lived in Atlanta and every day as I walked to work, I'd stop at a little hole-in-the-wall cafe and have two doughnuts for breakfast. Then early one morning, before dawn and after a night of bowling, friends took me to Krispy Kreme where the HOT sign was on. They were turning out fresh doughnuts and they were...Sigh.

Oh my goodness! I was hooked.

KK places used to be scarcer than they are today and there were years I went without a warm doughnut. But when we moved back to north Georgia, we found one very near where we live. Passing by one morning, the HOT sign was on.

My guy bravely made a sharp turn into the parking lot. It was almost full--lots of people stop when the HOT sign is on--but he edged into a small space between two cars parked on the lines. We rushed inside and there they were. Freshly cooked doughnuts, riding through the glaze and coming down the runway!

And then a sweeping U-turn so the workers could scoop them up and put them into boxes:

The worker asked if she could help me. "Um, yes, please. I'd like two. No. Make that four."

We ate them right then and there. Afterward, we peered at the display case and ended up getting blueberry cake doughnuts to take home. But they weren't nearly as good as those glazed ones straight out of the cooker.

I won't tell you how many pounds I put on that day. I prefer to forget.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Georgia is having a strange February this year. It should be cold and wintry. Maybe even some freezing rain and snow. But no...

Instead, spring is bursting out all over. On campus, here's one of the buildings. Note the flowering trees and the student in shorts:

Still on campus, here's some edging plants:

Even our little neighborhood has its early bloomers. Here are a few pix of what we always called "March Flowers." They're just early daffodils that bloom in March. But this year, they're blooming all over the place now!

I finally gave in and broke out my short pants and sandals. Couldn't help myself. The crazy weather is just too nice!

Saturday, February 17, 2018


My guy has been looking for things to photograph so when we came across a nearby covered bridge, we drove over to view it.

It's an actual working covered bridge, built in 1885 although I'm sure it's been renovated since it seems to be in pretty good shape.

We went through it to get to the best side for taking photos. Several more cars came through while we were there. One at a time as you can probably tell.

Further down the river are shoals, with lots of pretty flat rocks that will be great for summertime splashing!

And it was in a lovely little park, with picnic tables, restrooms and a hiking trail. We'll have to return this summer.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Now that we're in North Georgia, I'm happy to report we have our strange folk here, too. I once did a blog on a truck covered with stuffed wildlife we found parked at a fast food place on the island. The other day we ran across another decorated truck up here.

We saw the back first.

Walked up to inspect it.

Took a closer look.

Couldn't help myself. Had to go around to the front.

My, my. We do have our eccentrics everywhere, don't we? But life would be so...bland...without them!

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Still enjoying the local crime scenes the paper reports on. There have been drug charges, traffic charges, thefts, and the other usual incidents.

Like domestic stuff:

A man and his wife got into it during a threesome when he began paying more attention to the third party than to his wife. Another woman attacked her boyfriend when he started moving out, then punched him in the face after he made it to his truck. And still another women--what is it with these females?--attacked her boyfriend after he took her car keys because she was drunk.

And speaking of drunks. One officer gave an especially descriptive account of a drunk driver. After noting erratic driving, the officer followed an SUV till it stopped. Liquor fumes were strong but the driver wouldn't take a sobriety test. He ended up being charged on several counts, the officer noting in his report that the man stumbled and was moving "as slow as a turtle." Guess he was trying not to fall over in front of the cop.

In another DUI incident, police stopped a scooter after seeing the passenger not wearing a helmet.  The driver was hesitant in providing his ID. Probably because his license had been suspended. Then they noticed alcohol on the driver's breath. He failed the sobriety test and ending up beingcharged with driving (a scooter) on a suspended license and DUI. The passenger was ticketed for not having a helmet. Bet the driver wishes he'd insisted she get a helmet before giving her a lift.

A man was arrested for urinating in front of a Subway. The restaurant manager wanted to simply have him barred from the premises but as he filled out paperwork for the officer, the man began yelling and carrying on. So he got himself arrested. He should have kept quiet and found another restaurant to hang out at.

Another report involved a woman running into a parked car. Seems her hood, that had been tied down, flew up so that she couldn't see. But...she was eating a bowl of ice cream at the time. How do you eat a bowl of ice cream and drive? And, she had taken some prescription drugs. Anyway, she got charged with a bunch of stuff. Driving under the influence of drugs, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving while distracted, and no proof of insurance. Whew! Might should have left the ice cream at home.

How I enjoy these arrest reports!

Saturday, January 27, 2018


We got so fired up when we took our guests to the movies, we went to another one last week!

We saw The Post, with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The story is about the release of the Pentagon Papers, the secret report that detailed what went on behind the Viet Nam War.

The report, commissioned by then Secretary of Defense Robert Macnamara, was kept from the public. All the while Americans were being told the war was winnable and just, they never knew a report concluded just the opposite.

At the time, there was a great controversy about the unauthorized release amid the shock that the government had lied. I believe that Ellsberg, the man who stole the papers, went to trial but was not convicted.

The movie tells two--actually, three--stories. One shows how the New York Times printed some of the papers before it had to halt publication due to a court-ordered injunction. A second focuses on how the Washington Post took up the standard and defied the court order so that Americans could continue to learn the truth. The third shows Katharine Meyer Graham beginning to turn from a socialite housewife into the powerful businesswoman she later became.

Katherine's father had bought the Post but at his death, he left it to her husband Phillip. Back then, despite the women who were millworkers and nurses and teachers, women didn't own businesses. However when her husband committed suicide, Katherine inherited the company. She lacked confidence in her abilities and the movie shows her uncertainty as she meekly listens to the male advisers around her, worries about what she should do, and wonders how she can function in a milieu where she feels ineffectual and ignorant.

And when, against her lawyers' advice, she finally makes her decision to publish the Pentagon Papers despite the court order against the Times, she's uncertain and fearful but determined. It must have taken a great deal of courage to go against a lifetime of bowing to men's superior knowledge. It must have taken even more courage to know she could go to jail for standing up for what she believed: the freedom of the press.

But she did. And at the end of the movie, she leaves the courtroom where the NY Times has just been vindicated, to rows of young women lining the steps, watching her in silent admiration. And that was certainly a portent of what was to come, when women finally flexed their muscles.

Hanks is good; Streep is good; if you get a chance, see the movie.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Our cat doesn't like us.

At the shelter, when we took her out of her cage, she was friendly, well-mannered, and calm. We petted her and she seemed glad of the attention.

We got her home and...

Once out of the carrier, she took off and it took several days for her to come around us. Now she looks down her nose at us, like she's saying, "Okay. I allowed you to break me out, but that doesn't mean I have to put up with you." She doesn't like being petted. She doesn't like the kind of food we feed her. She won't come sit with us. She won't play with us.

Oh, she doesn't scratch or claw when we pick her up. But at the first opportunity, she hops down and runs the other way. And the only time she approaches us is when it's time for food.

Otherwise...We're on our own. She hangs out in her room and we hang out in ours. If she decides to play with her toys, she plays with them by herself. She stops playing if we try to join in.

So we've taken to exclaiming over the birds and squirrels that seem to abound in our yard, hoping she'll get a little jealous. So far, no good. But the other critters are quite cute and fun to watch!

Like this squirrel. He gets on the big feeder and pitches food out on the ground while picking out the tastiest morsels for himself. Here he is in the bushes, eyeing the feeder:

And here, he's climbing up the feeder:

He strikes all kinds of cute poses as he eats:

The doves below like for him to eat, too, since they get what's on the ground.

There are also cardinals, a blue jay, and other birds that I have no names for. But they're all interesting.

Thank goodness, they'll entertain us since our house pet won't! Though she enjoys watching them, too.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


We had some company for several days and were able to go to the movies. We saw the latest Star Wars, Jumanji, and Darkest Hour.

They were all entertaining and it's hard to choose a favorite. Star Wars had a rousing plot that kept us on our toes. Seeing Carrie Fisher's last performance was sad but familiar. Continuing to learn the background of new leading characters kept us interested.

Darkest Hour took us into Churchill's life at the most important time of his life. I was delighted to see his cat show up as well as one of the King's corgis. And while Dunkirk played a tiny scene in the entire movie, it was better than any scene in the movie Dunkirk that came out last year. The camera caught the spirit of all the small boats that made the trips across the channel whereas Dunkirk showed only a few here and there so that the scope of the rescue operation was lost.

And Jumanji.

Jumanji made me laugh out loud.

Not only my guy and I howled; our guests laughed and so did about ten other couples in the theater. In fact, just as I began to giggle with the first joke, I heard explosive cackling from the rows behind us. I guess some people are quicker to catch on than me.

The movie kept us on the edge of our seats, but it wasn't as scary as the first Jumanji that we saw years. But it was definitely funnier.

Any of these are good movies to see, but I must admit to thinking about Jumanji more than the others. And smiling as I remember the look on some of the characters' faces when they realize they are different people in the game. The nerd becomes the hero, the smart girl turns into a athletic heroine, the dumb football star turns into a professor, and the campus queen turns into...

But I won't give it away.

Star Wars' fans will obviously go see (if they haven't already seen) the latest installment but the history-minded will be better off choosing Darkest Hour. And if you like ridiculous comedy, go to Jumanji.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


Our football team is going to the National Playoffs. We are happy and excited and a little bemused. This is only our coach's second season and while we had big hopes for the future, we thought it was just that: the future. We didn't think this year would see us go so far.

But it did. And while we're still shaking our heads in wonder, we're all geared up for the game. Go Dawgs! Win or lose, we're proud of you!

But you may be interested to know that, despite the South's fixation on football, our college has other sports. And one of them is....

Da dum!

Ice hockey!

Yep, that's right. We have a convention hall that hosts the team's rink during hockey season. And it's open to the public for a few weeks. So when we had visitors last week, we naturally took them over.

It is a spacious rink with hideous orange rental skates. (Although you can bring your own. In fact we saw someone who did, but I suspect he's from up north where ice skating is common.) There are also tables that visitors can sit at to enjoy the spectacle of people gliding or falling face-first.

Here's the rink. We got there early so it wasn't too crowded:

And here's the Zamboni that comes out between sessions:

We almost made it for the entire hour and half session. But the next day, after the unfamiliar exercise, we had lots of groans and slow moving people!