Always tweaking something!

Wasting a Weekend

Day 1972

Soylent Green is People!

It’s not that far off! Didja catch <a href=”http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100115/ap_on_sc/eu_med_petri_pork”> <b>this</b></a>?

Now, centimeter long strands of “meat” grown from porcine stem cells isn’t quite Soylent Green. There’s apparently also a little problem with protein content, and none of the goobers that are making this stuff has actually fried any up and tasted it yet. But if pig stem cells can be coerced into growing into a meat product, who’s to say it has to stop with pigs? Who’s to say it will?

Sure, it could become a very resource efficient way of creating protein. But, could we all be certain of the source of each and every one of the stem cells used to grow this stuff? Pig? Ok. Chicken, cow, fish? All fine. But how would you really know? What if it all ends up tasting like chicken? I hesitate to add this, but how would you know if the supplier dipped into stem cells from human umbilical cords? Right now we’re concerned with getting ground up bits of sheep brain into the cattle feed and causing BSE & Mad Cow disease. But what if human DNA got into the stem cell growth farms? I don’t know if I’m ready for that.

On to brighter things. Like the temps around here. Mother nature is trying to fool us into thinking Spring is coming. I think it was 37 this morning as I headed in to work. Last night, as I was trying to concentrate on the new CSI episode, I kept hearing this thumping, banging, crashing kind of noises coming from the front of the house. Well, the way our house is built, the roofline of the garage carries across the entire front of the house, providing both a small porch near the driveway & front door, but also a nice 4’ deep overhang past the front door all the way to the side of the house. (I have a picture somewhere, I’ll dig it up & post it)

ANYHOW. Icicles that had formed on the second story gutter were melting. Eventually, what ever was holding them onto the gutter gave way, and they were falling off the gutter, crashing into the first floor roof overhang and making quite the racket. I eventually went outside (in my stocking feet) and poked my head out far enough to see past the first story gutter up to the second floor. Unfortunately, I was only able to confirm that the worst of the crashing was over as all I could see still hanging from the gutter were icicles no bigger than a baby carrot. I am sure that there were much more substantial stalactites hanging from the gutters earlier, although seeing as how it’s dark when I leave the house and darker when I return, I’m sure I haven’t actually seen them up close & personal.

But at least it’s going to be warm for a few days. Might have to divert the fish pond plumbing finally. Although I do have to wonder why. We got down to 5 degrees a couple of nights and endured a 2 week stretch of never going above freezing and I saw a path of open water near the falls the whole time. My test was to open the slider to the porch, stick my head out and see if I could hear gurgling water. I did, every time. It IS possible that some of the gurgling was a pop can exploding in the fridge, but at least is was moving fluid.

(If it was summer, we’d have heard crickets chirping here . . .)

Monday morning now.

What a lazy weekend. Did the gym Saturday morning, tried to stop by an instant oil change place to get the oil in my trucked changed, but everybody else had the same idea. There was absolutely no place to park. So? Got the stuff to do it myself. Probably saved $10. Got home, putzed around a bit, made up a meal list and did some grocery shopping. Got home again, scraped at the ice on the driveway for a bit, decided it was still too firmly welded to the blacktop. Really, I was killing time waiting for the truck to cool so I could do the oil.

Then the football started, just as Cindy was leaving to chaperone a pair of basketball games at school. An ideal set up for getting absolutely nothing done. But! Half time of the first game I went out and did my oil change. When I got back in the house, everything I was wearing as I was crawling around in the garage floor got tossed in the wash and I headed up stairs to get my flannels on. Then the stage was set for doing absolutely nothing the rest of the day. Not even an entry here. But I did learn how to do an email entry. Maybe. If you’re seeing this, it worked.

By Sunday, it had been warm enough for long enough that I attempted scraping the packed snow & ice off the driveway, again. That effort was mostly successful. Got brave and pulled the car & truck out & gave them a bath. Washed off all the road salt & sand & grime and good lord they were filthy. (Yes, I use a bucket of warm water for the sudsy, scrubby part.)

Also completed the last phases of de-Christmas-izing the house. All the miniature houses up on the cabinets, mantle and hutches (all 20 of them) were all pulled down, packed up and put back into storage for another 10 months. I like how Cindy takes Credit for accomplishing this, when in fact, I bring all the boxes up from the basement, I pull down each and every one of the houses and all the extension cords, I pack 1/3 to ½ of the houses in their original packaging, and I take each and every packed box (all 20 of them, moving 3 – 5 at a time) back downstairs to gather dust. I don’t get why that count as an accomplishment for Cindy.

Oh! Also got to get out a ladder, climb up on the roof and pull down all the icicle lights. That’s always a treat. At least this year the majority of the roof where I had to walk was snow free.

Went out and played with the pond too. Busted off the big hunk of ice that had built up over the face of the falls. The water was still flowing behind the ice, we just couldn’t see or hear it. Hearing it is a key element in determining that the pump is in fact still running. Heard the pump getting all gurgly which is what got me out there to begin with. Had a skimmer basket full of leaves choking off the water flow. Easy fix. Kinda surprised too. Thought I got 99.9% of the leaves out of the pond. Must have had some blow in before the snow sealed it off. Did see 3 fish through a hole in the ice too. Always a good sign.

Hmmm. How lazy WAS that weekend? Seemed to have gotten lots done, but it still felt like a very low energy couple of days. Very odd. Maybe it’s because I got very little done that was on MY list?

In couples therapy news, we’re supposed to be doing this little 10 minute round-up every evening. Just a quick little ‘I felt this way about that, felt that way about the other, and didn’t feel at all about this thing’. I asked that we try to keep it to one positive thing, one ‘constructive criticism’ thing and one thing about the relationship, positive or negative. We’re supposed to alternate being ‘hosts’. So far, in 2 weeks, we’ve done it twice. Pretty stellar performance, eh?

But I have an excellent thing to review tonight. Saturday afternoon, we were coming up with a meal plan for the week. Had quite a few meals decided. Sat – Barley vegetable soup (yum!), Sun – Chinese Spaghetti & meatballs (yum again!), Mon – a Lamb shanks stew in the crock pot, Tues – hmmm, I forget, but this is where things get interesting. Cindy has this habit/trait of being very wishy-washy. She’ll commit to one thing then change her mind and not bother updating affected people. She’ll also take forever to decide upon an action, then second guess herself till the cows come home. Me? Quite the opposite. We talked, we decided, we agreed, it’s etched in stone. It would take the severing of a limb (or at least a pinky) to get me to change.

So. We’re all the way up to Tuesday, knowing that Thursday & Friday will be left overs nights. We’re trying to come up with something for Tuesday. Cindy started with “Well, Monday I could . . .” and I cut her off, curtly reminding her that Monday was decided. That was apparently a mistake. It took a good 10 or 15 minutes to talk her BACK into finishing the meal plan. She insisted that it wasn’t worth even continuing if I was going to cut her off and not even listen to what she was saying.

I don’t know what I said, but it had nothing to do with the frustration I normally feel when she gets into these wishy-washy, second guessing moods. I did a pre-emptive strike, resisting any change to what had been decided. What Cindy was offering (I later learned) was that she take advantage of MLK day (Monday) and use it to get something prepared for Tuesday’s dinner. It’s all in the set-up. Had she started “for Tuesday I could . . .) rather than how she had, it might have turned out different. I was focused on Tuesday. Even saying the word Monday led me to believe that she was going to re-arrange the incomplete menu already. Not that it would have ended the world or anything, but dammit – commit and stick! That won’t end the world either.

Time to try out this post by email dealie . . .

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