Thursday, April 29, 2010

Breaking with the past

I've decided to stop writing on this blog and begin writing on others. Too many bad memories here. I'm letting go of those now. (Good-bye, B.)

I'd thought about deleting the blog but instead have decided to let it live on as kind of a humble historical record of the trials and tribulations of this country over the past several years (and my own personal trials and tribulations, however insignificant in comparison).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday night

Took a nap and going to gym at 9:00. I couldn't do much there on Friday night, since they were remodeling, and couldn't go on Sunday, since I was at work till almost 7:00 (gym closes at 7:00 on weekends). Glad I got nap first. I'll catch Rachel Maddow's headlines on my way out the door.

[Later] Back from gym and store. Got ham and eggs, inter alia. Just pan-broiled some pork chops for work and packed up some more of that vegetable beef soup. The other day I'd bought two packages of boneless loin pork chops (butterflied) on sale for $4.99/lb. Very lean. Thought I'd try them. Delicious. Fried in some olive oil, with Accent, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder.

Today I got back in touch with Office Depot about the desktop computer. They have it back in the store, after shipping it away. Apparently there was nothing wrong with the hardware, so they're only going to charge me for shipping the thing away -- not the full flat fee ($349). They said they were going to try to fix some of the software code to get it to boot -- they said a driver appeared to be fouled up. If they can't fix that, they'll hook the hard drive to my netbook so I can retrieve stuff from it. I guess at that point it would be time to get a new desktop.

Also talked to Home Depot today. The kitchen expediter said she talked with someone at the General Contractor. The person at the GC said the final inspection was passed last August, so she has been trying to contact the City of North Miami. I have to say, however, that no final building inspection is indicated on my permit. If the GC can't prove that the inspection was done, they will have to obtain a new permit and make new arrangements for an inspection.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday evening

Headed down to Home Depot at around 6:00 to see if kitchen designer was there and let her know I wasn't at work today (to receive call from kitchen expediter), and also to buy a new vase for the bamboo on the terrace.

The kitchen designer wasn't there today, and the expediter works earlier in the day (7:30 to 4:00 or something), so she wasn't there either. But I did get a vase, or a pot, or whatever you want to call it ($24.99). Not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a heavy vase that would hold water, and not green (too much green out there as it is). But I settled for this. It's pretty heavy but has a hole in the bottom, so I stuck the old glass vase inside it and padded it with newspaper. I also pushed it closer to the sliding glass door, to be less exposed to the wind. (I can envision the leaves catching the wind and the whole thing crashing to the floor. Hopefully it's heavy enough and that won't happen.) (Maybe I should pack sand around the glass vase instead of newspaper, but I don't have sand.)

I also cut off the yellow/dead leaves. The bamboo has been inside for years and, in adjusting to being outside, is losing a few leaves. Inside it was getting very leggy and taking over the room. Hopefully it'll become sturdier and less gangly outside.

Ate the tacos for dinner. I like them cold. The hard shells become soft and chewy.

Going to watch two hours of RuPaul's "DragRace" tonight on VH1. Haven't seen any of it. It's a Logo show and I no longer have Logo. Glad VH1 is carrying it.

Yes, I know the vase is a little off-kilter. I'm not able to rotate it ("arbitrarily") as you can in Photoshop -- only 90 or 180 degrees. Still, tonight I donated $12 to the providers of this free program (Paint.NET).

Tuesday afternoon

Took my day off today since I worked Sunday. Called the insurance agency about driving up there to get my homeowner's policy per quote from Lily and they said Lily would be leaving at 2:30, so I cleaned up and was there by 1:45. That process took 1/2 hour, paid with check, and then got lunch. Hadn't eaten anything. First stopped at Arby's for a medium roast beef with potato cakes, then at Taco Bell for a Mexican pizza and tacos for later. I'm stuffed.

Stopped in at condo manager's office to let her copy the insurance. She said she'd received info from the City that I didn't have a final plumbing inspection either. Went upstairs and got my building permit for her to copy, which shows the inspector signing off on the final inspection. She also made me a copy, which I'll fax to the City tomorrow. I'll leave the original permit here at home, sitting out on the kitchen counter in case an inspector comes when I'm not here. (Didn't hear from Home Depot today re: the other inspection issue, but they would have called me at work about that.)

Thought I'd sit over at Starbucks and have a cup of coffee and read, but there were no shaded tables and all the umbrellas were in use, so I got a cup and brought it back home (half regular and half decaf).

Feels like summer already, and it's supposed to get into the upper 80s this weekend.

[Later] Went back to Starbucks to get my refill and I found a shaded table. Sat and read a while.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday night

Had a normal day. Was tired when I got up, however. Yesterday was pretty draining. And I was already drained.

Called the City and then Home Depot from work regarding the threatening letter I received from the City over the weekend regarding the permit problem with the kitchen remodel, for which I'd contracted with Home Depot two years ago. The City said the general contractor never arranged for a final inspection of the cabinets and thus the City doesn't know whether they were installed properly. (As I recall, Home Depot had fired this contractor before my place was completed.) I then talked to my kitchen designer at Home Depot and read her the letter from the City. She had me fax it to the kitchen expediter. The kitchen expediter called later and said she'll be talking to the general contractor tomorrow morning about the situation and will then fill me in. Was nice talking to them again. They were always helpful, and the designer was my primary contact person throughout the whole process.

Home Depot was in charge of all the contracting, and the contractors apply for the permits, do the work, and then arrange for the inspections. I'm glad Home Depot has sprung into action on this. This isn't the first time that the proverbial ball has been dropped. That's an understatement, by the way. I went for months without a kitchen.

I know the municipalities are hurting for money and have been changing rules for this kind of work, extracting more money out of it. But it's up to the contractors--and Home Depot--to keep abreast of the changes.

Today I received the optical CD/DVD drive for the Acer netbook and backed up the system. Had to get some new disks for that, since my DVD+RW disks didn't work. Got those at Target and then headed up to Publix for some cat plates, etc. Got some great pork chops, which I fried for lunch (but had to eat one). Lean and tasty.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday night

I hope this is some mistake, but I just went to the mailbox to get the mail and had a notice from the City of North Miami dated April 22, saying that progress inspections hadn't been made on the kitchen remodel and that the permit had expired and would have to be renewed within 30 days or I'd pay a $5o0 fine and possibly the work would have to be ripped out.

I have the permit with all the inspections signed and dated, including the final inspections. I'll call the City first thing tomorrow to find out what's going on. Home Depot was handling all the permits and inspections. Jesus Christ! Emotional distress!

I ended up working 7 hours today, so no gym. I was home after 7:00, the time it closes on the weekends. I'd stopped off for chili dogs on the way in to work and had eaten four of them. When I got home, I had a big bowl of the vegetable beef soup (was delicious), a piece of fried chicken, some watermelon and fat-reduced Triscuits.

Then I puttered around and watched "Desperate Housewives." Pretty good.

Sorry I've lost my funny friend from Canada.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday night

(Looks like day!)

Soup came out pretty good, considering I didn't do a lot of chopping. Of course it's always better with freshly chopped turnip and parsnip, e.g. It'll be better tomorrow, after it sits in the fridge. In any case, it's very healthful.

Lucky does love the new comforter/bedspread. After his dinner, he went right back on it. It's very nice. All cotton with poly fill. It's a good one. Don't know whether it'll fit in the washer here, however. That's OK. There's a laundromat half a block down the street.

The yellow tabibuias are in full bloom. They were coming into bloom last weekend. The tree above hadn't yet come into full bloom at that time, but today it was gorgeous. I went out to take a shot of it, and someone else (parked at right) was doing the same thing. I waited for him to finish before I took the shot. By then he was photographing the decorative street entrance, which looks really nice now that the date palms (?) have begun to thrive (I think one withered and had to be replaced). Anyway, you can see the guy down there in front of the structure.

Early Saturday evening

Back from Starbucks.

[Later] Got back from Starbucks at 5-something. It's now 9:11. Started making vegetable beef soup after Starbucks visit, along with chili, which I had for dinner. The stew beef is about tender now. Next to add vegetables and finish. Beef was tenderizing in crushed tomatoes, beef broth, green parts of leek, broccoli slaw, a little dill, salt, and water. I'm going to add fresh leek (white part), frozen soup vegetables and fresh dill.

Meanwhile, ran up to Target to check out king-size comforters/bedspreads. I've never had one for the king-size bed. (Had been using a queen-size that B.'s mother had bought, which was actually OK -- not too heavy, but not as nice as the Tommy Hilfiger I'd been using before, which was too heavy and not to anybody's liking (very hot, I'll say).) (A French style I can't remember right now...) (I wasn't wild about it either, but it had been on sale and was nice-looking.)

I'd received $50 gift cards for staff appreciation day this week, so I just bought a $100 Fieldcrest over-sized king comforter. Dark blue, reversible, with two pillow shams. Different subtle woven pattern on either side. Already covered in cat hair (I knew that would happen). Lucky loves it already.

Saturday afternoon

I have to work tomorrow, so I think I'll just kick back today. I'd planned on going to the laundromat to wash all the throw rugs and cushions. Instead, I'll head over to Starbucks and chill for a while. When I get back, I'll make a big pot of vegetable beef soup. Beef stew meat on sale at Publix last night, as was lean ground beef, so I'll make some chili. Got all the fixings to make those dishes.

Stayed up late last night watching wedding shows, a clutter show, and one of those "I shouldn't be alive" shows. Enjoyed some red wine (Yellow Tail shiraz, on sale). Now that my acid reflux disease is under control (with Prilosec) and my esophagus healed, I can enjoy wine again. (There's a Total Wine store down the street -- I should check out their deals.)

Can't stay up late tonight, however.

Gave myself my first pedicure of the season. Off to Starbucks soon, in sandals.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Another busy, busy day. Napped on the bus home and also here, then went to the gym. They were in the middle of installing a new front desk and flooring and most of the machines weren't accessible. In fact, they were roped off with yellow tape. So I wasn't able to do a lot. I did weigh in at 176 lbs.