3-30-10 Tuesday (Old Clothes)

Vacuuming and mopping.  Oh what fun!   I don’t think I’ve mentioned it but Jodi is coming Thursday!  She’ll be here Thursday afternoon and depart Saturday morning. 

Jim got a call the other day from one of the dry cleaners saying we have unclaimed clothes waiting from January.  I remembered that I brought clothes in for a redo and I know I picked them up.  Maybe something got separated.  I went in.  The clerk, a ditz possibly because of a language barrier, greets me.  I tell her I got a call to pick up some old dry cleaning.  I tell her “Jim Kelly”.  She looks on a paper list of “Aged pieces over 60 days” and looks under J.  She points to a name that’s not even similar.  I see it’s by last name so I say “no, the last name is Kelly – with a K.”  She starts back up at the A’s and scans the list again.  She finds the name.  I see the last column for total due is $0 which would be the redo.  She asks, yes, asks “Do you want to pick them up?”  I would have liked to have said, “no, I’m just visiting” but instead I gave her a “ye-ah” in a Valley Girl sorta way.  She goes to the back.  I wait.  She comes back to the front and grabs the list, returning to the back.  I wait.  She says “someone must have picked these up”.  Really?  Yeah, like 2 months ago ya bimbo.  Thanks for not verifying you actually have stuff here by comparing them to the list prior to calling us.

My This Day In Our History is very boring, much like this entry.  How fitting.

DIH - Head A year ago, it was apparently so boring that I have nothing to draw from.  Click here if you really want to see a 3 paragraph entry about napping, lunch and dinner.

3-29-10 Monday (The Incredible UN-Edible Egg)

image I had a doctor’s appointment this morning with a general practitioner to check my cholesterol.  I had to fast which wasn’t that hard except for not having coffee.  My appointment was for 8:45 or was it for 9:15?  You see, on my first call to make the appointment it was for 8:45.  imageOn an appointment reminder phone call she said 9:15.  I said, “I thought it was at 8:45?” to which she replied “it is but we like new patients to come in earlier to do paperwork.”  OK.  The morning of the appointment I got to thinking about the time difference.  30 minutes of paperwork?  I called.   I asked.  She said in case I can’t find the place and in addition to paperwork.  Screw you.  You take 20 minutes extra of my time.  You then set yourself up for failure by having patients think you are late in taking them in for their appointment.  So what did I do?  I politely went in late.  At 9.  I finished my paperwork in less than 10 minutes and then I was called to see the doctor at 9:15.  Imagine that.  *On Tuesday when I researched my doctor, I found the patient forms available online.  Maybe they should have suggested that I print them and bring them in as my dentist did.*

The nurse was able to take blood from my finger.  That was really nice.  She was able to get results in 7 minutes!  She said it typically takes several hours but they were slow so she was going to do it right away.  The doctor came in, very nice, non-rushed.  We went over test results and then I had to have my finger pricked again for liver functions test.  Oh well. 


He said they weren’t too bad but he didn’t like the overall results so he’s switched me to different meds.  He explained it all, but I’ve had to Google it.  I like my doctor, I’ve Googled his name, Curtis Preik, and have found that he graduated in 2008.


After the doctor’s office, I spent hours cooking.  I fried bacon and then sausage.  I made two large batches of meatballs (good Atkins snacks), about a dozen handmade burger patties, separated the baked chicken into freezer bags (vacu-sealed), and made deviled eggs. 

My Deviled Egg Story 

- by Garret  

imageOK, so eggs are great for Atkins.  .6 carbs each as a matter of fact.   On Friday, I decide to hard boil some eggs.  If I’ve ever boiled eggs in the past, it’s been a long, long time ago so I Google it.  Sure, I have the Cooking For Dummies book, but that’s downstairs, and just so far away.  Google comes up with tons of articles.  There’s 300 trillion ways to boil an egg.  Start with hot water, start with cold water, slightly crack the egg, add salt, etc.  So I pick a method.  I boiled about 8 eggs.  I figured two to eat with salt, and six for the Deviled Eggs.  I leave them in water and place them in the fridge (one article said leaving them in water helps the peeling process).  I don’t have enough time today.

image Saturday comes.  I “try” to peel them.  So much egg is attached to the shell.  I finish with a lot of wasted egg and very pitiful looking.  Back to Google I go.  I Google “peeling an egg”.  Bang this, roll that, stand on your head, whatever.  I try peeling several more.  Some of the eggs go right down to the yolk.  Ugh.  Jim says maybe they needed to cook more.  Too soft?  I throw them down the disposal.  I’m disgusted.


Are you laughing at me yet?

Later that day, we buy more eggs.  I call my mom.  “How do you boil an egg.”  Silence.  She was probably unsure of how to verbally display disbelief.   She was shopping with a friend.  She repeats the question.  Her and her friend, Elaine, differ a little on the way to do it.  Mom says she boils the water and then adds the eggs, boiling for 15-20 minutes.  Sounds dangerous to drop eggs in to boiling water.  I’m thinking cracked eggs, or burns of the flesh.  I set out to boil more but I opt for putting them in warm water, set to boil and then turn down a little, a 20 minute process.  Jim suggests only doing 2 eggs just in case.  I take the advice.  When cool, I peel the egg.  Eureka!  They peel cleanly! 

Today I boil the eggs.  I peel them.  Eureka again!  I follow the Deviled Egg recipe.  The filling mixture seems thick so I try my best using a spatula to fling it into the egg.  Messy.  pitiful.  I did like 3-4 eggs and then remembered I have one of those injector/pastry type thingies that I’ve had for 9,000 years but don’t know if I’ve ever used it.  I get it.  Oddly, I knew where it was.  I fill the chamber, select a tip and try it out.  Horrible.  The good news?  They’re for me AND they taste great so I don’t care.

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Below: A close-up if you dare: 2010-03-29 26

Anyone need to hire a caterer?  Don’t pick me.

DIH Animated Jim and I have this whole made up accent (use your most obnoxious uppity accent) we use when we speak of Spago.  We always joke about subtle ways to inject references to how we’ve been to Spago.  This turned out to be such a cherished memory for us.  Do click here and check out this very humorous review of Spago.  Did I mention it’s about Spago and the time we went to Spago where we ordered from the Spago menu and got food which was cooked in the Spago Kitchen?

3-28-10 Sunday (Viva Black Y Decker)

As typical, Jim came up with some sightseeing/activities to keep us busy today.  He had remembered a flea market in Fort Mill, SC that we saw when we moved here.  He “knew” where it was so we’d just look out for it.  I entered different words into the GPS but it found nothing.  It was too new.  We drove trying to spot it off the interstate.  Yeah, we missed it.  We turned around to head home and then spotted Trader Marc’s.  It was an average sized indoor fleamarket with room to grow.  We shopped and bought some of this and some of that.

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DIH - Jim's Toilet Laundry!  A Walmart!  Dona & Darrell!  Santa Monica Pier!  Mexican food!  Check it out here!

2010-03-28 14 2010-03-28 12 While we were sightseeing driving around lost, we saw a Black & Decker outlet store.  We “made note of it” and stopped at it on the way home.  It was inside a Latin mall called Plaza Fiesta.  This place was hopin’.  Strolling Mariachi band.  Stage with music, a food court, fountains, cobble stone walkways, etc.  It seemed to unit Latino’s regardless of being Mexican, Puerto Rican, etc.  The “street” names used to locate vendors were named Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, etc.  We bought a bunch of stuff from the Black and Decker store.  Jim got a churro and I had some deep fried pork thing with a side salad.  Mine was tasty, Jim’s said he’s had better churro.


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Above/Below: It appeared as though someone stole their statue so Jim and I lend a hand.  If everyone would just take a turn, they won’t need to replace it.

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Below: Why yes, behind Jim there is a rollercoaster.  That would be Carowinds2010-03-28 15

Below: The food court.2010-03-28 08 

Below: Some huge playground for kids.  Wish I could go play on it!2010-03-28 10

Friends Laurie & Pearl called tonight asking “are you OK?” to which I replied, “why?”  They knew immediately that I hadn’t been whisked away to Oz (wicked ALix would have been pleased) via the tornado that struck Charlotte (we later found out 8 had hit).  If it hadn’t been for them calling us we would have been surprised by the hail storm later in the evening.  Here’s a video.

3-27-10 Saturday (Eat Mor Chikin)

Last night, I was going to make Jim a pizza for dinner.  Before I get too deep into the story I must tell you that I bought this pizza crust a month ago.  Jim and I both checked the date of it last week to see if it was any good. 

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Wow, this must be chock full of preservatives.  Mmmmmm, mmmmmm, sounds good.

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And then I opened it.

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Frankly, the mold scares me.  It’s not quite the green mold variety you’d expect to find especially on a “bread” product.  I’m hoping to gain super powers or something.  I haven’t settled on the whole for good or evil thing yet so don’t push me.

2010-03-26 05

Jim craved a breakfast buffet.  Off to Ryan’s we went.  I think their selection is smaller than Golden Corral but it was only $5.  I had an omelet, bacon, and sausage.  I was disappointed that unlike Golden Corral, they didn’t have any salad out.  BUT, once again, I pat myself on the back for sticking to the diet.

The funniest thing.  The other day, fellow blogger Jason posted a humorous entry about having a PTA meeting at a Hometown Buffet and the coordinator was kind enough to include a link to the restaurant’s “how to buffet” instructions.  So as I was creating this entry about Ryan’s, as typical I search for a website to include in the blog.  When I visited Ryan’s I saw a “how to buffet” link, clicked on it and it turned out to be almost identical to Hometown’s.  Funny.  Compare the 2 if you’d like.  Hometown’s vs. Ryan’s.

DIH - Dasher AlienLast year:

  • I spoke about Alix’s motivating diet words which obviously didn’t motivate me enough. 
  • Picnicked in Beverly Hills.
  • Toured Hollywood Blvd.
  • Hollywood Museum in the old Max Factor building.
  • I made a cool video!

With Jim happy (breakfast), we shopped at BJ’s for a few things.  They had a Chick-Fil-A booth there. 

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Later we checked out a place we had been seeing advertised on TV.  Bargain Max.  A deep discount store.  For our Fort Myers friends, it’s like the Price Cutter in North Fort Myers only much, much, much dumpier.  Expired foods, dumpy location, icky stuff.

Here’s the outside of the building with no signage to indicate it’s “Bargain Max”. 

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Boarded up front windows which may be where the office is located because from the inside it’s just a big warehouse.  A skanky place for sure.

For dinner, I made Jim garlic bread, whole wheat rotini pasta and turkey meatballs.  I realized much later that I had eaten 2-3 pieces of pasta by accident.  It was habit to eat a piece and see if it was cooked enough.  I could kick myself.  Hopefully 2-3 pieces didn’t screw me up.  For my dinner, I had pork chops and peas. 

After dinner, while the kitchen was still open, I baked off 4 pans of chicken for lunch salads.  Some time tomorrow I’ll separate the chicken into portions, Vacu-seal them and freeze.  Hopefully with what I baked will be several weeks worth of chicken. 

1Above: All diced up.

Below: I used a bunch of bananas to illustrate how large the bowl is.2

Ut oh, my super power might be baking large amounts of chicken.  Damn it!

3-26-10 Friday (She Loves Me, She Really Loves Me)

I started my day to seeing Dasher’s pee in the living room.  Great.  I sprayed it down with anti-pee-pee-juice and later got out the carpet cleaner machine and eventually cleaned a bunch of spots that had been on my things to do list.

Typically, I spend quite a while each morning job hunting.  I applied for a City of Charlotte job, and for one at BB&T Bank.  Most of the time, I find 1-2 jobs a day that I apply for. 

There’s a little more calm in my head now that I got carpet cleaning and ironing off my list.  Those 2 plus spray painting handles are things that are time consuming.  I even managed to clean all 3 bathrooms but I still have to vacuum and mop.  Ugh.  Seriously, I was getting flustered with my at home duties.  I felt like I couldn’t get anything accomplished.  Maybe I should have relaxed and thought “what’s the rush?”

The lawn people were supposed to come at noon.  They did call to say they were running late.  As I type this, it’s 1:15 pm.  I’ve spent over an hour wasting time.  I can’t get into the shower.  I can’t vacuum.  I can’t make phones calls.

It’s 1:55 and now I’m pretty annoyed.

Fast forward ahead, I call the guy again and he says he’s having a belt replaced.  Why was it appropriate to call me once and notify me about being late but not again?  Must be some sort of one call per customer rule. 

Fast forward again, this time making fast forward sound effects, and it was 3:00 before he arrived.  I got to Walmart for groceries and then got stuck in shitty 5 o’clock rush hour traffic to go home.

DIH - Open Arms Last year, here’s a synopsis of what we did:

  • Visited the tar pits. 
  • A picnic lunch surrounded by tar pits was a little nauseating.
  • Lame wax museum. 
  • Lotsa traffic.
  • I explain how a motorhome is hooked up at RV parks.

Last thought for today’s entry.  Awards.  There’s tons of awards that are passed from blogger to blogger.  Most of them are viral.  You get an award, then pass it on to other bloggers that you feel deserve it.  Typically I just don’t accept them.  Alix presented me with one on her blog yesterday.  Excerpt of her “dedication” to me:


My comment reply was:

“As for the award, I shall print it on tissue paper and then wipe my big fat ass with it.
Smooches ya hussy.”

I spoke to her on the phone today and apparently it would mean a lot if I’d make an exception and at least accept it.  Done!  I do love the humming birds.  Very pretty.


Casa Hice has bunches of awards.  Here’s a screen shot of them.  Click to enlarge:


So there you have it.  The one, the only, the award.  Thanks Alix.  Oh, and quit sending me awards!

3-25-10 Thursday (Unused Excuses)

Ow.  Owww.  Ow.  I had the right side of my mouth worked on today.  Part 1 of 2 in the series of Root Planing.  First the needle in several different spots.  Lovely.  It caused a tear to flow from my eye.  I “did good” per the doctor.  Thanks buddy.  Thanks for the pain.  I was glad the hygienist was there to wipe my tear for me - literally.  Once I was numbed it was fine from there.  The procedure lasted over an hour.  I went home and ironed 56,458 shirts or so it seemed.  The numbness was wearing off; I was looking forward to eating my salad.  No such luck.  It was almost 2 pm already and now the throbbing had started.  I bit down as a “test”.  Owww.  I waited longer.  I was pretty damn hungry by 4 pm.  I was feeling very low on energy.  I nearly cancelled the gym for tonight.  I chewed on the left side, and did it rather slowly.  Fortunately, lunch helped me regain some energy and so believe it or not, with a good cancelling excuse within reach, I still went to the gym as usual.  Yay me.

DIH - Hollywood Another Caulkenstein relative emerges.  TGI Friday’s lunch for cheap!  We went on a topless tour.  We toured Hollywood Hills and Hollywood Blvd.  Click here to see last year’s entry all about it!

3-24-10 Wednesday (Things That Don’t Belong For $0 Please)

Ugh.  I went to the dermatologist today.  I had more issues than I would have liked.  It was mostly about having things frozen, eliminated with acid, snipping off and in the last case via application of a cream.  That my friends is all the information I will give to you and that I’m sure you’d like to know for that matter.  I paid nothing.  I like insurance.

DIH We made it to Long Beach, CA!  Off to Venice Beach / Muscle Beach we went.  What an experience!  Click here and see for yourself.

On Monday I posted a drive through the neighborhood video.  Alix comments “Whooopsie... who just went flying through a stop sign??”  This is for Alix:

3-23-10 Tuesday (Napping Poets)

Ah, a day of nothingness.  Almost.  I called Rick (of Rick and Jonathan) whom is also unemployed.  Rick had some errands to do, so we, the unemployed duo, ran Rick’s errands together.  He was in search of “onlays”.  Ya know, those wooden decorative thingys. 



Yes, that’s it.  Like those.  We went to Michael’s first.  Nope.  Home Depot next.  Nope.  Lowe’s.  Bingo.  Rick was reworking a couple of oval mirrors.  He’s an interior designer.  Maybe he’ll suggest I paint my living room walls?

Rick & Jonathan also have an antiques booth at the Sleepy Poet Antique Mall.  It’s open 7 days a week and they don’t have to physically be there.  The mall oversees the sales.  The mall itself is HUGE.  I’m not really into antiques but did enjoy looking at some of the vintage stuff.


That’s Rick.  He’s reorganizing an empty space where a recently sold item once sat. 

To finish off the day, we had lunch at a Greek diner, the Skyland Restaurant.   I had a Greek salad.  It had all of the things I can eat.  I skipped their sugary salad dressing and had plain ole oil and vinegar.  I enjoyed it.  I’m so proud of myself.  I’m not sure what it is about Atkins compared to other diets that enables me to have will power?  If I were on a low cal diet, I would have totally caved.  Jim can attest that 99% of the time we’ve went out, I’ve never ordered a salad.

DIH - Book After 8 months of using the onboard washer/dryer, I discover it’s been dispensing soap and fabric softener at the same time.  I bitch about California recycling.  read all about it here.

Well, back to menial around the house tasks then off to the gym.

3-22-10 Monday (Thinker)

Yesterday we drained the hot tub (it smells like mothballs).  We’ll never use mothballs again.  What an evil product.  Today I filled the hot tub and I’m hoping that helps to dissipate the odor. 

Since I started Atkins today, I cooked off some sausage and bacon for future breakfasts.  I’ll mix it up by having my breakfast sandwich less the english muffin.

Another sacrifice for the Atkins diet – artificial sweeteners.  I can have 3 packets of Splenda a day.  They say “The sweeteners have no carbs but their anti-clumping agents contain about 1 gram per serving.”  I usually have 4 (2 per cup of coffee) but will now only have 2 packets total.  I’ve also cut out Crystal Light.  I’ll be fine.  Really.

I went to the RV to install the cabinet handles I paint and remove the ones that need to be painted.  It’s cold and rainy today but the weather is supposed to improve tomorrow.

I made an appointment with a general practitioner for a general exam.

DIH - RV2 A year ago, Jim, along with the awning, nearly blew away.  Another fun evening with Tedd & Steve.

For dinner I made Jim lasagna and garlic bread.  I had a pork chops from the grill and fresh broccoli.  Yum. 

Oh, and real exciting (for him), he won an eBay bid for a heated toilet seat.  Funny guy, isn’t he?  Here’s the box.  I love it.

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Below is a video of my drive through the neighborhood.

I’m gonna go think.

3-21-10 Sunday (Big Portions)

We had another blind couples date today.  We met up with Kevin and Richard at The Original Pancake House for brunch.  This place was busy.  I could see why.  What an incredible menu.  You must visit their website and see for yourself.  This is a chain I didn’t even know existed.  

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Look at my omelet!  Geez-us!  It was a philly cheese steak omelet and it was very good.  I hadn’t started my Atkins diet at this point but this surely would be a good item to order and stay within dietary guidelines.  

With bellies full, we strolled around the Southpark Mall.  Richard shopped and shopped.  He was picking out “summer clothes” at Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Aeropostle.  I carried a bag so I could look cool.  It didn’t work. 

We stopped for refreshments at Starbucks.

2010-03-21 22 Above: Who cares what every one else got, I had the Caramel Frappuccino.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

 2010-03-21 24Above: Kevin having some tea or such.

 2010-03-21 26 Above: Richard having similar as I except it’s not frozen.

Jim and I enjoyed their company and we’ll get together again soon.  Meeting the couples yesterday and today has been fun!  

DIH - Signs My phone started fully functioning again.  For once we had excellent water pressure.  We had a water leak; Jim repaired it.  We took a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.  Later, dinner with Tedd & Steve.  Click here to see last year’s adventures.

3-20-10 Saturday (Top of the World)

Today’s high is supposed to be 80.  We’ll need to enjoy that since tomorrow is rain.  Ugh.  I’m sure the warm temps combined with rain will make more blooms and growth.  I just love the air here.  It smells crisp and clean.  Light and airy.  Yay.

I’m beginning to love it here.  I’m already at a like status.  I actually like the weather.  Maybe I just like that it’s all “different” than Florida?  Hmmmm, I’m not sure yet.  Jim was bummed yesterday.  He was having a homesick feeling.  It’s a rough feeling, ya know?  Quick, someone come for a visit!  Take it from Jodi – the guest bed is comfy!  AND you know what, I might just have perfected Towel Origami.  

DIH- Sand We relocated to Palm Springs.  We held up traffic in the middle of an intersection due to an overly wide turn.  We had some other MISadventures on this day.  Click here to read all about it.

Back to reality.  We drove to Statesville to pickup the MoHo.  Using a BOGO coupon, we ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  Yes, we did that last weekend at Charanda.  This weekend we went to Cozumel Mexican Restaurant.  I think it was the worst Mexican food we’ve ever had. 



We picked up the MoHo without incident and returned it to the storage facility.  We put it in a different spot that was surrounded on either side by big box trucks.

Rant WarningI have a rant about 2 footed drivers.  I don’t like ‘em.  These people don’t realize that the slightest pressure on the brake pedal causes the brake lights to come on.  When they stay on, it’s as bad as not having brake lights since we can’t tell when you’re really braking or not.  Quit it!  I’ve said to Jim on many occasion that I’d politely flag one of these morons down and tell them there’s something wrong with their brake lights.  Very innocently of course.   We and he were about level to one another at a traffic light so I put imagedown my window and pointed to the driver like there was a problem.  The guy stared at me with his mouth open.  I made a rolling the window down gesture.  He put his window down.  I said, “There’s something wrong with your brake lights – they’re staying on.”  He replied, “That’s because I put them on.”  He totally sounded like he was a special needs person.  I think he specially needed to not drive.  He looked and sounded like an uncartooned version of Chris from Family Guy.  His dumb reply angered me which made me mimic him in a child like manner and then call him a moron.  I did.  I was bad.  It felt so good.

I don’t think I ever blogged about the guy I yelled at from throwing his cigarette wrapper on the ground while being 15 feet away from a trash can.  Some day I will.  I’m just thinking that sometimes, I get my fill of litterers, of people who think the world is their ashtray, of 2 foot drivers, etc.  What bugs you enough that you want stand up to someone but never do?

image Tonight for dinner we had a blind date couples meeting.  Huh?  Well, a couple of weeks ago I posted an ad seeking other couples to go to dinner with.  See a movie.  See a play.  Go camping.  Tonight was dinner with Jonathan and Rick.  We met at Bravo!, an Italian restaurant.  For those of you who are anti-chain restaurants, this was a chain.  We’d never heard of it or eaten at one.  We met at the restaurant located at the Northlake Mall.  The food was good, we talked, we laughed and then we walked the mall a little bit until it closed (at 9).  We said our farewells and off we went.  It was a great night and hopefully we’ll get together again soon! 

The flowering trees and bushes are quite frankly amazing.  It’s beginning to be spectacular here.  Even in our neighborhood, almost every home has a flowering white tree in it’s yard. 

Here’s a slideshow of miscellaneous photos from today.  Most are of Dasher.  I was trying out some cool photography angles.