Saturday, September 15, 2007

Testing 1, 2, 3...testing 1, 2, 3


I must say, I've lost my phone (usually out of my ever opened purse), I've left it behind (usually at one of my sister's) and once in an immature outburst of temper I broke one by deliberately throwing it on the floor)! But never, no, never, have I put it in my washer and/or dryer! I wish I'd been there to see the look on K's face!
As for your experience at AT&T, if I have to take up raising homing pigeons to reach out and touch someone, by God I'll do that before I ever enter an AT&T store again. It is the very definition of emotional trauma!!#&*@?!$ I don't think that's an actual website but isn't it precious how it came up in blue? So, I'm still somewhat confused (you doooo recall I'm the slow one) as to what "phone," if it can even be called that, you actually now possess and whether you can be reached at the same number -- or will I be greeted with music and movie download propositions which end with "To reach this party, YOU must use an iPhone too?!!!
So, my beloveds, there are untold numbers of topics I could write about today - Bush, health insurance, housing issues, the homeless, the helpless and Bush. But the digits on my upper extremities are reaching their limit, so instead I'll call you and give you all those numbers that were washed away in the rinse cycle!!!! You two are sooooooo darling.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wells, Cargo, and Person Voted Least Likely to Get an iPhone

The day began innocently enough: I was to run to Wells Fargo, make a deposit, get some cash and hand it over to Ms Karyn so she could do the shopping errands. I shudda known, I shudda known! She was casually listing the stops she would make, none of which I wished to visit (TJ Maxx, Ross, Trader Joe's, and maybe Tuesday Morning). Each of those places exist to make me carsick, I'm sure of it. In a casual gesture of what I was later to call "brilliance," she threw out the hook. "And maybe Barnes & Nobles, if there's time."

I love book stores. She knows it. It was hardly an even match. Suddenly I was interested in the errands, figuring, wrongly, that we would zoom through the worst of the retail establishments in record time, ending on that Barnes and Noble note I so covet. I threw on my cargo shorts, a shirt and some comfortable shoes. Because we were going to be gone a while, I turned on my phone and put it into one of the 34 pockets most cargo pants have.

Four hours later, bedraggled and bereft of anything resembling energy, I stripped off my clothing and took a much needed nap. Karyn, mysteriously energized by her shopping, decided to forego the nap and do a a few loads of laundry. A couple hours later I awoke all refreshed and reached for my cargo shorts. Gone. Hmmm. They only had four hours of tread wear---why not get some more mileage out of them? I'm flexible, though, so I put on some tennis shorts and went in search of my cell phone to make a few calls. Gone. I called out for help."Have you seen those shorts I had on when we went out?"

"What's wrong with the ones you're wearing?" she asked. "Nothing," I explained, "but they don't have my cell phone in the pocket."

You know the look: startled dear in the headlights. She ran to the laundry room, well, we both did, but she actually moved knobs and dials to stop the washer. (Why? Because I don't actually know how; not surprisingly, we never have arguments about the universal TV remote, either, because she's the only one who knows how it works.) She reached in, pulled out the cargo shorts and kept repeating the mantra, "I checked the pockets, I'm sure of it."

In pocket number 27, the thoroughly washed cellphone materialized. It was very clean, and very dead. Now this exact thing happened to her own phone--the free phone we got with the expensive one--several months earlier. She pulled hers out of the dryer, though, and it worked just fine. No such luck with my phone. Maybe we should have put it through the dryer.

I traipsed down to the one store I hate more than all others: AT&T phone center. I see the pretty pictures all over the wall for the new iPhone. I make a snap decision: I'll take one. Fire it up for me. Uh, no, sorry ma'am, no can do. To use the phone, one must plug it into the computer, activate it though iTunes, sync it with all the music we never figured out how to put on the iPod, attach one's bookmarks, integrate one's email addresses, assign special ringtones to special names, etc., etc. It's important to remember here that I am the one who doesn't know how to turn off the clothes washer, doesn't know how to use the TV remote and failed miserably at my earlier attempt to upload a movie onto this blog.

We had no success trying to activate the phone on my PC, but, fortunately, Karyn has an iMac. It was a breeze. ("Gee," she said, "this would be a neat phone for me, since everything I have is Apple.") [Oh, I really don't think so.] Anyway, we're still working out the finer points of this remarkable piece of technology. They "gave" me (price: $15, what a rip!) a flash thing with all my phone numbers, supposedly taken off the SIM card in my clean, dead old phone. We'll soon find out if I still have your phone number.

I mention all this because during the activation process, I was assured that if I had any old voicemail, it would be history, irretrievable, kaput, dead as the old phone. So, if you called me, any time after Thursday, I don't know it. If you don't hear from me, the flash card didn't work, and I don't have your phone number. If a year passes without word from me, check out the AT&T store. I'm there, in a long line, buying a cheap phone with two buttons: dial and answer. No Internet, no photos, no bookmarks, no voicemail, no email, no music, no YouTube problem.

Friday, September 07, 2007


So my sister (aka OPINIONHEAD) always has remarked about my remarkable slowness of movement re: ... well, nearly everything. I was horrified to discover this morning (Friday, 9-7-07) just exactly how RIGHT the DIRECTOR is. Here I thought I was being smart and clever in posting to this blog (more like sending an e-mail through this blog) about THE FIRE IN ACTON, seriously believing I was totally CURRENT in my affairs - hahahaha. Well, so today I get back on this blog (aka Lola's Lounge) and really start reading all postings going back to early this summer and, lo and behold, I realize THE FIRE she was most recently referring to was, for all intents and purposes, in her own back yard!!!!!!!!!!!!

For all who don't know me yet, all seven of you, I truly am a turtle. I really, really believe I was a turtle in my past life, I'm merely a turtle living in human form in this life, and will most likely continue to be a turtle forever. But that I was so far behind that I didn't even know the beautiful desert hillside I once hiked (slooooooooooowly), looking for rocks (yes, rocks) for Ms. Pierce's garden had gone up in smoke -- well, it's so god-awful humiliating that I must lay myself down on the hopefully merciful pages of this fabulous blog and beg for forgiveness for my slooooooooowness.

Bless sweet Ruby for getting the Pugs out so fast - so very like her. But just a reminder, K, you have not been released for duty as volunteer firewoman yet, so take her easy, girl.

And as for D, hope that's anonymous enough, tell her I said hello, or I'll tell her hello myself if she checks into Opinionhead, and gently remind her that while she IS part of Lola's extended family (30 years, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada), I WAS THERE FIRST!!!! Just kidding, D, I would not want you to put the safety of you and your family in the hands of anyone OTHER THAN MY WONDERFUL OPINIONHEAD.

So with all good intentions in mind, and realizing Robin probably has no clue what I'm talking about, I'll slooooooooooooooowly say good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, hugs and kisses, bye, see 'ya soon, I'll call, call, bouyi Ruby, miss you, bye, talk soon (er or later.) Bye.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Location, Location: My Real Estate Agent

A person who has been my friend for over 30 years recently sent me an email from her vacation quarters in Maui. The headline on the email was “Blog This.” She sent a picture of herself enjoying the tropical paradise and ended on a note that sounded alarmingly like “You have a blahhhhhg? Get a life!”

Anyway, I can’t mention her name ‘cause she’s this big deal real estate person in town (estates, celebrity properties and other hovels starting at about $2 Million, although, given the current state of real estate in Southern California, she’ll probably write and ask me to mention her name).

So, long story short, she wants a deal on a couple Mercedes. Regrettably, she realized that after she sent the ‘blog this’ missive, or was it dismissive? First thing she does upon returning to the Mainland is call and ask me for my blog link, which she ‘lost.’ (I wish to point out here that while I did come to this country on the grand ship Queen Mary, it was not yesterday). But I sent her the link, again, anyway. 30 years, yada, yada, yada.

I get another call. “You’re the funniest person in the world,” says she. Uh huh. Then the third call comes in. After blatantly using appeals to my ego and her grown son, his wife and even their new baby, Dylan, as bait (safety for the kids, safety for the grandkid, you’re the only one we trust, my god has it really been 30 years, how’s your Princess? Teddy the Pug is absolutely adorable, blah, blah, blah) she wants to know could she have the “family” deal on a couple a sleds. (Uh, it's called the Employee Program, but she knows the power of family in my world.) “We” wanna keep the payment low, “we” need extra miles on the lease, can “we” get in for less than zero, and oh by the way, what colors do you have for “us.”

I got your basic wee wee yellow and dog poo brown. Will that work?

HAHAHAHA…just kidding. 30 years, blah, blah, blah. I did, however, take a certain perverse satisfaction when Ms. BlogThis called me today and started talking tornados, fire, and wind storms. I’m telling you---you get people talking about the weather and next thing you know they’re driving a Mercedes!

My favorite Realtor, who happens to be one of my best friends, can have anything I'm selling, for below wholesale, and she knows it. 30 years is a long time---heck I remember when the 'kid' with her grandkid was in diapers. Or was that his sister who was in diapers? I loved Ms. BlogThis' parents, bless their souls, I know her brothers and their families, her partner and all her children. I love 'em all, and they are a big part of what makes up what I call my family. It's all good.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

We're not in Peoria, anymore, Toto!

(Antelope Valley) 2 September 2007

According to the National Weather Service, two small tornadoes touched down briefly, yesterday, a few miles from this writer's residence. It was, however, old news to Karyn R. Pierce, Weather Deputy. (Although I am known by the earlier mentioned Fire Marshall Margaret [a rarely used first name], I am also known as Weather Commander Margaret; obviously I was required to deputize Ms. Pierce so that she could assume full responsibility for recording the changes in weather when I am not around). She fulfilled her duties admirably, yesterday, and tried to capture the events on the video herein. (Not herein)

As Ms. Pierce tells it, she was on her way to the screen room in our backyard with a big glass of iced tea and the portable telephone. Planning to cool off and call me at the same time, she reached up to unlock the screen room doors, when a sudden and powerful series of short gusts of wind blew the entire contents of the desert into her glass of iced tea, or so it seemed. The gusts ended as quickly as they had begun, Ms. Pierce fed her tea to the thirsty Lobelia, and turned to go back in the house to get a fresh glass of tea.

As she looked toward the east, she could see that a dark and threatening sky had materialized, a rainbow was lying sideways in the sky and two dark plumes of swirling clouds appeared on the horizon. Pierce grabbed her camera, shooed the dogs indoors, forgot about the tea and recorded about a minute and a half of what turned out to be two small tornadoes, that touched down about 5 miles from our home. Unfortunately, I'm unable to upload the video. When I get that figured out, you'll see a couple flashes of lightening and two down shafts of dark clouds. As Ms. Pierce had no script, and certainly didn't expect to see her efforts uploaded to the world-wide web (as if more than 7 people even read this blog!), she has requested that readers try to ignore her play-by-play during this dramatic event, which shouldn't be hard for you as you won't be seeing her movie.

Shortly after this film that you can't see was shot, Director Pierce noticed that the television had gone off, as had the air conditioner and all other appliances. She put the portable phone down, fired up her cell phone and called this writer to give her the official weather report. This is the director's first video, and she reluctantly allowed me to post it here, despite serious misgivings about its quality. What she ought to have had misgivings about was my inability to get the thing on the blog! Nevertheless, I applaud her effort and encourage Deputy Pierce to "keep up the good work" with her, Canon.

Although I grew up in Illinois...Peoria, actually, tornadoes were a seasonal fact of life on the prairies. But, regrettably, I never actually saw one as they were always landing in nearby places like Galesburg and Farmington and other towns where I had relatives I rarely saw either. Still, I envied them their weather experiences.

Meanwhile, as exciting as the tornadoes were yesterday, on a local basis, I read about an odd one recently. A tornedo-warmed, bat-eating supercell over an area in South Texas caught some free-tailed bats by surprise as they took their evening constitution, March 19, 2006. About a 100 million bats live in the limestone condo caves on the Edwards plateau. Every late afternoon and evening they swarm in the skies for a massive insect buffet.

On this particular evening, they apparently did not realize a severe thunderstorm had formed in Mexico, about 60 nautical miles to the Southwest. As the weather crossed the Rio Grande, it struck rich soil and instability and began to rotate. It then made a right turn and headed precisely toward the lower end of the bat swarm. Radar from Del Rio documented both the storm and the bat swirl. Bats on radar appear as expanding rings or donuts in the sky as the tiny mammals fly straight up and then outward from their caves.

As the NOAA Storm Prediction Center observed, it's hard to imagine many thousands of bats didn't fail to return home that night. For those that were lucky enough to escape the vortex of the storm, they probably went to bed car sick and hungry. But what a tale to tell the grandkids!See this neat radar image and more details of the story from the Storm Prediction Center .

Whether or not you enjoy weather stories, you have to admit, the weather is definitely changing on this planet. While many of us have experienced our own personal global warming, from time to time, the changes taking place on earth are clearly momentous and deserving of our attention and best efforts.

Oh, and we had an earthquake this morning. It was only a 4.7, and it was nearly 50 miles from where we live, but it does nothing to ameliorate my recently acquired case of "bridge anxiety,"--a hopefully temporary condition in which one is scared to death to cross bridges and go over or under freeway passes that rival the Micky D arches for vertigo-inspiring panic. Or is it panic-inspired vertigo?

And finally, tonight, the mountainous terrain in the Angeles National Forest, not far from the small ranch community of Acton, was up in flames again. This area is about 10 miles from us, but the smoke blew into our Valley with a vengeance. I could see 50-foot flames from the freeway. Nearby Soledad Canyon Road, at the bottom of the Soledad Canyon was the detour route a few weeks ago when the Agua Dulce Fire closed the Antelope Valley Freeway.

I have to ask my friend Robin about that videoblog stuff, and see if she notices how terribly calm I remained upon realizing that the video, for which this entire entry was written, then re-rewritten, then really re-written, was, at the end of a very long day, unseen by all who read here. I'd like to thank all seven of you for your patience. (*;#=+%$#&*).