There but for the grace of…

Every once in a while, you hear about a car accident where someone has managed to get onto a highway going the wrong way.

Generally, the driver is drunk and the consequences are pretty bad.

I’ve always wondered, honestly, how in the hell that could happen? I mean, even drunk, how could you take the wrong ramp for the highway? Isn’t it very, very obvious?

So, I’ve been a bit harsh on this topic. That is, until today.

Today, distracted, but perfectly sober, in broad daylight, I managed to swing onto the wrong side of an onramp/offramp for an expressway.

I’m still not exactly sure how I managed to do this. It is a weird intersection, but that is no excuse.

I’ve driven this intersection plenty of times. I’ve always navigated it fine, but today, I swung the left turn, picked the wrong side of the road, and found myself facing traffic coming head on.

Thankfully, I was able to take quick evasive action and no one was hurt, no accident happened, and I escaped shaken but fine.

But my mind is totally blown by this little event.

So maybe it’s not so hard to get going the wrong way on a major highway.

I’m not excusing the devastation caused by the people who were driving drunk and managed to cause a lot of injury by making this mistake.

But maybe I understand it a little better now.

Style tips you can use!

Today, I learned something about how to conduct my life from a most unlikely source.

Real, powerful lessons I look forward to applying as soon as possible.

So this afternoon, I had the honor privilege task of taking The Feline to the vet. She’s having ongoing ear troubles, so back we went to see the same guy who cut the tumor off her little nose last year.

Needless to say, not really her most favorite person.

But our vet is the owner of nine (yes, nine) of his own cats. He’s got a real firm but friendly touch with my cat who prefers it if you’d never actually *touch* her.

As I wrassled that pet down so the good doctor could examine her, I watched how the feline worked.

First, she simply tried to walk away. Vigorously.

When that didn’t work, she began this low-in-the-throat growl. Very menacing. In fact, I’ve never heard her use this growl on anyone BUT the vet. He’s a very kind man, really, and no one else can cause my normally bulletproof pet to make that sound.

So with the long growls and face-finger* looks, we were put on notice.

Next step was to use her paw to push the vet’s hand away. Firmly. No claws, no biting, just firmly shoving with her paw flat against the palm of his hand with all she had.

Finally, when the doctor persisted in looking in her ears, and after trying walking away, growling, and pushing, The Feline went to code red.

Meaning: The cat freaked the f-word out.

The vet, not a petite man by any account, threw hands up in the air, backed right off, and looked a little skeered, actually.

Twelve point one pounds of fury.

Oh yes.

She never had to get violent. No blood was drawn. I think she might have peed the tiniest bit, but not enough to make a mess.

But let me tell you, that animal was no longer messed with. Nope. We both let her be.

In fact, the meaner she got, the kinder the vet became. He started out calling her “big girl” in reference to her heft. (As a “big girl” myself, I was sort of offended on behalf of my pet!)

By the end of the visit, he was calling her “little one” and practically cooing to her in Peruvian.

See, this is good. The smallest, most vulnerable one in the room got her way.

I can learn from this!

First, if you don’t like it, walk away.

If that doesn’t work, get vocal. Make your displeasure known in a firm but not offensive way.

It that doesn’t work, be firmer. Don’t be afraid to physically push the trouble away. No need to be violent, just be direct.

And if you really, truly have to, freak out! Including a little pee, but only if really necessary.

Once the trouble is over, give everyone a face-finger, walk away with tail held high, and loudly demand food the moment you set paws in safe territory.

I can’t wait to try this at my next mammo visit!

Look at her now…all sweetness and light….hmph!

*i.e. a dirty look. As in, giving the finger, but using your face.

If you gotta explain the joke…

Then it isn’t funny. Right? Or the saying goes something like that.

For the past couple years here in the Bay Area, we’ve been without a country music station. At all. None. Zero.

So yeah, I’m a fan of country. I’m also a fan of blues, rock, eighties, popular, swing, jazz, mariachi and mambo. It’s all good by me.

I really do like the old country stuff. I’ll admit that. Stuff I grew up on. I tend mostly to listen to the Roadhouse on my Sirius radio. They play only old music, and I love it.

But I also like new stuff. I’ve just haven’t been listened so long, I lost touch a little bit.

Recently I discovered that country music has returned to Bay Area radio, so now, every time I’m in the car, that’s all I listen to.

I’m getting caught up on what’s hot right now.

And I’m perplexed.

Every other freaking song is proclaiming, “I’m from the country! Oh yes I am, let me tell you about dirt roads and June bugs and mama’s apple pie! No, really, I swear to GOD I’m so totally country, you don’t even know!”

It’s making me weary.

All this chest beating, “no, I’m totally serious guys! I’m country” is bull crap.

Example? Current number one country song? “Small Town USA” Oh and “Big Green Tractor” is on that list too. Both proclaiming that they come from the dirt roads and pretty green tractors.

Oh and recently I heard that song “Boondocks,” though I think that one has been out awhile.

But anyhow, to all of this, I say:

Blah, blah, blah all you yahoolios!

Did Willie ever have to let you know he was country? Did Merle feel he had to prove to you he could drive a tractor? Does *anyone* doubt that Dolly came from something real poor and made it big?


Give it a rest, you kids. If you have to say you are from the country, you probably aren’t. Folks tend to just know these things.

I blame Sarah Palin, by the way. All her chest thumping “I’m just a country girl!” while, you know, being governor and wearing $3,000 custom made suits.

If it were just a song here and there, I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but there is a glut of these “where I come from” songs. It is sort of repetitive and honestly, rather boring.

Plus, it’s all faker than a cowboy riding a broomstick pony with plastic spurs on his spotless boots.

Kind of like those “cowboy up” bumper stickers. Read my thoughts on THAT phenomenon in this post.

Image courtesy of

Going analog

You know, these tough economic times call for a bit of tightening on the ol’ belt.

Have to go back to the old ways. The simpler ways. The cheaper ways.

So with that, from here on, all my missives will come across in analog form.

That’s right. Sure, it will be a little tougher to shove those bits through that cable and out onto the interwebs.

But in tighter times, we all have to work a little harder. Make more of an effort to get there. Put a little elbow grease into it.

And I’m up to the challenge.

Maybe a little more arm and finger strain. Sure. But back in the day, they never heard of no stinking carpel tunnel syndrome! Nope, you just played through! And you liked it!

Ok, no, actually, this little beauty is the reason I traversed the Bay Bridge a couple days ago. I found this on Craig’s List and got a pretty sweet deal on a barely used Underwood typewriter. The guy selling it was cleaning out the attic, preparing to move. This belonged to his wife’s family, that’s about all he knew.

From my research, I have found that it dates to the 1940’s and is in really great condition. The coolest feature is that the bottom of the case has these fold out legs. Basically, the whole case turns into a little desk, a work surface for “in the field” work.

It’s such an amazing work of engineering.

Why did I buy this boat anchor, you might ask? Well, I had an idea. And if it all works out, you’ll see it all come together in a few weeks. Hopefully anyway.

For now, I’m enjoying the smell and sound of this fully manual machine. It has a great *ding* bell sounds and *zip* back goes the carriage. Yep, it’s fully functional! Some of the keys stick, so I’m looking for a shop that can tune it up.

The rat-a-tat sounds reminds me of, sure, that typing class I told you about last week. But it also calls to mind the sound of my mom working the keys. She had an old Royal (pretty sure it was a Royal) and back in the day, my mom was a professional secretary (administrative assistant) and that woman could type like crazy. 100 wpm, no mistakes.

Anyhow, stay tuned. You may see more of this little beauty!