A Melange of Margaret

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Why I Love Being Able To Listen to The BBC
By the time I leave work in the evenings it’s usually too late to be able to catch any NPR programming so I spend my trip home most evenings listening to the BBC World Service on KUOW. I enjoy getting the world news, I enjoy getting the perspective of news of the world from a country other than my own. GOD knows, I find the BBC news infinitely preferable than getting my news reports from the local network affiliates who seem much more interested in Brittney Spears than in whether or not Africa and the Middle East are in critical meltdown. Besides, I love British accents.

So anyway, on my way home from work last Wednesday evening. And since 2/3 of my commute is in a completely straight line, I usually hit shutoff and just keep going the way my nose is pointing until a light turns red in front of me or until (as eventually happens) my straight line runs out and I have to actually make a left turn. Which is why, when this particular segment came up on the news, I was able to give it my complete attention and rant joyously until I got home.


For those who aren’t able to follow the link, it’s a news story about how a group of university based scientists in Tokyo are in the testing phase of a special paper airplane.
Which they are going to send with the next Japanese astronaut that goes up to the space station.
So said Japanese astronaut can launch the paper airplanes during a space walk.
Back to Earth. 😯
Yes, they expect that these paper airplanes (perhaps paper isn’t quite the correct term. These are, in fact, paper based airplanes, but their base paper is mixed and coated with a substance that will allow them to withstand temperatures of greater than 300 celsius.) to survive atmospheric re-entry and to be retrieved from their landing sites.
The underlying idea is that the paper airplanes are prototypes for shape and design of a new reusable space vehicle.

And the whole thing is so cool I can hardly stand it.

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So toodling around Olympia a week or so ago, as I frequently do, I found myself in need of lunch. I stopped in at the Olympia Food Coop because they’ve got good sammiches, I can purchase a bottle of organic milk to go with said sammiches, and I like supporting local businesses. I grabbed my milk, I grabbed my banana and then went to the sammich cooler to peruse same.
I took my choice, a turkey and provolone (remarkably good provolone by the way, best I think I’ve ever had) on lovely seedy whole grain bread, and hit the checkout. It wasn’t until I unwrapped and started nomming on said sammich that I noticed the amusing bit.
The label on the wrapper listed the ingredients starting with the turkey, moving on to the provolone, the mustard, and the bread, then noting that the lubricating spread on said bread was Veganaise.
Now why, in the deli of a GROCERY STORE that carries other less expensive types of mayonnaise would one bother to put vegan mayonnaise on a sandwich with MEAT?! Let alone cheese. I was much amused.

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Finally, finally, FINALLY all of the pieces have fallen into place. The permit is ready, the funding is available and the contractor has given us a date. Yesterday I wrote a check for eighteen th…th…THOUSAND plus dollars to the local sewer district and as of Monday we’ll have a dude with a front end loader digging a bigass trench through our front yard. The better part of this is that, after they’re done digging a bigass trench through our front yard, they’re going to have to dig a bigass trench (this is so exciting) through our GARAGE FLOOR ❗ I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself.
I’m also lying through my teeth.
The next 6-8 weeks are going to be an unremitting pain in the ass as we have the sewer contractor hook us up to the sewer line that is now just off of our west property line. He will also be laying us a new water line from the main to the house so that hopefully we’ll be able to flush more than one toilet at a time and still have some expectation that they’ll both refill within less than half an hour apiece. Actually the sewer contractor is only going to take about 2-3 weeks, but when the sewer and water lines are done we’re going to do some new landscaping in the front yard, since it wasn’t too attractive to begin with and having a bigass trench dug through it isn’t going to improve the situation.
THEN when the landscaping is done (or as done as it will get as I’m going continue to be busy in the yard for what is likely to be years on end) we’re going to do some interior stuffs. We figured that since we were going to have to borrow the money to pay for the sewer and the water line, and since the bank seemed overjoyed to lend us money, we might as well go whole hog and get some inside projects done.
Coincidentally around the same time that the bank started falling over themselves to loan us money, Shawn announced that he’s going to be moving to a friend’s house in Seattle where he and Anastasia can each have a room. A better situation for him since he’ll be able to take the bus to work and certainly a better situation for Anastasia who is coming up on nine and needs her own space when she’s with her dad.
So when the sewer and the landscaping are done, we’re going to have a contractor come in and drywall and paint the basement. Andrew will move his office downstairs and I will move my office into his office temporarily. The contractor will then proceed to (snicker, giggle, guffaw, SHRIEK!) rip the bejesus out of our upstairs bathroom putting in a new toilet, sink, and shower. Oh, and new (not pink and white checked)Ugly Bathroom Floor flooring, new (not with dangling cut glass balls)Ugly Bathroom Light Fixture light fixtures, and (will the excitement never end!) PAINT (thus removing these eyesores)Ugly Bathroom WallpaperUgly Bathroom Tile. Now this part I am genuinely excited about.
While my office is in what is now Andrew’s office, I’ll be peeling the hideous wallpaperHideous Wallpaper My Study 1 Hideous Wallpaper My Study 2off of the walls in my study and painting at which point I’ll be moving my office back into my office and deciding whether or not I really want to go so far as to peel the (not so hideous) wallpaper off of the walls in Andrew’s study and painting that room too.
But since we’re also going to have new insulation installed in the attic and a shelf unit installed in the living room, I may decide at that point that the interior remodeling is done and just go crazy for a while.
We’ve often joked that we purchased the house from Mr. and Mrs. Holly Hobby based on the decor of the place when we moved in. Mister and Missus Holly Hobby and their, um, interesting decor Ugly Bathroom Striker Platewill finally be moving OUT of my house.
Or at least most of it. We’re not brave enough, or perhaps annoyed enough yet, to deal with the wallpaper in the dining room. It’s day will come.

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In General
I’ve just come back from my first foray at the 2008 Northwest Flower and Garden Show. This has always been a major addiction for me although I have scaled back over the last several years, only attending for 2 days instead of the whole 5. If you’ve never been I would certainly recommend it. I can smell the flowers in the gardens from half a block away and walking into the show itself you’re hit with an overlying scent (mostly of hyacinth, or at least that’s what I recognize most strongly) that is enough to give you hope in the middle of February, that spring will actually come. It’s glorious. And you can walk around for hours having random conversations with random people who are just as garden mad as yourself and will gleefully discuss everything from fertilizer to garden gnomes.
This year was extra exciting for me since I can look at the show gardens and I can look at the plants and other garden products and think…”AHA! This is something that will fit into my new front yard!”
And too, for me it’s a great opportunity to shut off all the other parts of my brain and just spend time thinking about growing things.

But that’s probably enough for me at this point. The next time I’ll tell you about my pre-approved Wal*Mart credit card!

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