miscellaneous everything

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

my favorite annual list

Lake Superior State University’s 43rd Annual List Of Banished Words: List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness is my favorite list. This year, it even made it to NBC Nightly News.

The list:
Unpack – Misused word for analyze, consider, assess. Concepts or positions are not packed, so they don’t need to be unpacked.

Tons – Refers to an exaggerated quantity, as in tons of sunshine or tons of work. ‘Lots’ would surely suffice.

Dish – As in to dish out the latest rumor on someone. Let’s go back to ‘talks about’ and leave dishes in the cupboard.

Pre-owned – What is so disgraceful about owning a used car now and then?

Onboarding / Offboarding – Creature from the HR Lagoon. We used to have hiring, training and orientation. Now we need to have an “onboarding” process. Firings, quitting, and retirements are streamlined into “offboarding.”

Nothingburger – Says nothing that ‘nothing’ doesn’t already. I’ll take a quarter-pound of something in mine.

Let that sink in – One could say shocking, profound, or important. Let that sink in.

Let me ask you this – Wholly unnecessary statement. Just ask the question already.

Impactful – A frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or ‘influential.’

Covfefe – An impulsive typo, born into a 140-character universe, somehow missed by the autocorrect feature.

Drill Down – Instead of expanding on a statement, we “drill down on it.”

Fake News – Once upon a time stories could be empirically disproved. Now ‘fake news’ is any story you disagree with.

Hot Water Heater – Hot water does not need to be heated. ‘Water heater’ or ‘hot water maker’ will keep us out of hot water.

Gig Economy – Gigs are for musicians and stand-up comedians. Now expanded to imply a sense of freedom and a lifestyle that rejects tradition in a changing economic culture. Runs a risk of sharecropping.

I submitted a word, finally, that drives me crazy when I hear or read it: circle back. Usually some form of business-speak used instead of tabling a topic. I cannot figure out why it’s okay to go in circles, which is generally considered a negative activity.

posted by lee on 01/02/18 at 03:32 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

if i were traveling & had lots of disposable income

There are a lot of architectural styles I love as far as housing goes. What if I could travel and instead of staying at a hotel chain (upscale or not), I could stay in a house designed by one of the architects I love? Like ... what if I could stay here:

Palmer House, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Palmer House, Ann Arbor, MI. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (click to see it big!)

instead of crashing on my sister’s couch when visiting Ann Arbor?

There is a site, PlansMatter, with a listing of more than 30 architecturally significant vacation rental homes. It shows photos, lists the details, pricing, and provides a link to where you can book the property. Worldwide, though most of the houses listed are in North America at the moment.

The site also has a list of hotels with amazing architectural designs. Most currently listed are in Patagonia.

The job I would like is scouting, testing, and photographing new additions for the site. Or a job reviewing them.

posted by lee on 10/24/17 at 07:28 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

more house - looks so much better than it did

We found out in March what hell winter weather, coupled with a half-ass builder, can do to a vacant house. The first set of photos are here, the horror movies are here, and a slideshow with more sad details is here. (All the links open in a new window.)

Scott was up there last weekend to check things over. He said the house looked like an abandoned house in Detroit as far as the landscaping went.

a prairie for a lawn
The house, with a lawn reverting to prairie. (click to see it big!)

Now I love a wild lawn (a Freedom Lawn) and wouldn’t have much of a problem with this, but I’m weird. Doesn’t add to the curb appeal to most people. The HOA and the Town of Oscoda do have a problem with this, so Scott found a ticket in the mailbox threatening pretty pricy fines if things weren’t dealt with by the 18th of August (this was on August 19). The birch tree in the yard (which you can see in the slideshow, linked above) finally gave up the struggle and needs to be removed—it’s never been very healthy there. Scott sent Scooter up to deal with the front yard.

The inside looks so much better, believe it or not, though the woodstove needs restoration.

Family room post remediation
The family room, post-remediation. (click to see it big!)

woodstore needs some love
Definitely needs some restoration—it will be pretty again. It’s a really good stove. (click to see it big!)

Breakfast area near the main break
This looks like the area below where the pipe broke, in the dining area between the kitchen and the family room. I think that’s a dog butt in the upper right corner! (click to see it big!)

lookng down into crawlspace
Looking down into the crawlspace—not sure where this is. Notice the great work the plumber did, notching into the joist. A very small example of the botched plumbing job the asshole(s) did when they cut into the joist holding up the second floor, where the joist was nearly cut through to accommodate the waste pipe for the upstairs full bathroom. (click to see it big!)

more down into the crawlspace
Another view of what lies below. Not sure where this is. (click to see it big!)

And there you have it. It looks so much better now that it’s been cleaned and demolded (is that a word?) Stay tuned ...

posted by lee on 08/26/17 at 05:27 PM

miscellaneous everythingnews • (0) commentspermalink 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

oh, the birds ...

Gambel's Quail by Mick Thompson, Green Valley, AZ
Gambel’s Quail by Mick Thompson, Green Valley, AZ (click to see it big!)

The Audubon website is one of my favorite places to spend time. I love birds, to watch them and to hear them. I even love gulls and pigeons. And I would love to have enough talent, time, and patience to be able to photograph them well.

Since I don’t, I was happy to find “The 2017 Audubon Photography Awards: Top 100” page on Audubon. Visitors can scroll through 100 of the entries into the annual Audubon photography contest, which accepts entries from both professional and amateur photographers. I like that each slide tells the story behind each shot.

And then, when you’re done with that, you can take a look at the 2016 100 top entries.

And then there are the bird cams ...

posted by lee on 07/30/17 at 03:45 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

cold end to may, but roses!

The drought is definitely over. And so far, we had only one unbearable day as far as the heat goes—one day, it got up to near 90°. But, for the most part, May has been a chilly month. Today it will not get up to 65°. And it’s dreary. Overcast and damp.

But, the roses are blooming! Stanley brought some in for me, and the fragrance is just lovely.

First roses, May 30, 2017
First roses of the summer. (click to see it big!)

Roses, May 30,2017
Another shot (click to see it big!)

And yet another shot of the first roses, May 30, 2017
And yet another shot of the first roses, May 30, 2017, because why not? (click to see it big!)

Roses and Peruvian Lilies on the mantle, May 30, 2017
I put the roses on the mantle to protect them from Bad Cat Slink. (click to see it big!)

Pepper still surprises us.Earlier this month she decided to explore the ceiling—something she’s never done before, at least not that we’d ever seen!

Pepper checking out the ceiling, May 4, 2017
Perhaps she was looking for spiders? (click to see it big!)

posted by lee on 05/30/17 at 03:45 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

cat snot & other tribulations

This afternoon, I decided to open the window for a while. It was wicked hot earlier this week, but now it’s just cold.

Slink was here, in the living room:

Slink snoozing. (click to see it big!)

Which is at the front of the house and includes getting by the dog to get to the window at the back of the house.

But he managed to do it, probably by teleportation since it was instantaneous.

He then proceeded to rub against my face as I was opening the window. Then sneezed in my face. A full, snot-laden, allergy-induced cat sneeze.

Which caused me to step back fast—stepping right into the dog’s water bowl.

Normally it’s just an “oh shit” moment. But I’ve been sick for a week (allergies or a cold, who knows?) and am exhausted because last night I 1) binge-watched every episode of Marcella on Netflix and 2) got very little sleep once I did get to bed since every time I settled down, I started coughing. And trying not to cough so I wouldn’t wake Stanley. Which made the coughing worse, of course.

(Marcella was very good. But a lot of holes, kind of built-in to the series—she suffers from fugue states, it seems—maybe to explain things where you don’t really know what happened but seem to be resolved so the story continues. Hmm. Maybe these get resolved in season two?)

Anyway, after stepping into the dog’s water bowl, I just started laughing (while sopping up the water), which made me start coughing again. Which made me think about the benefits of Depends.

It’s just too cold for May.

posted by lee on 05/21/17 at 07:00 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Friday, April 07, 2017

if the videos aren’t enough, here are more photos

Besides the videos, Scott also took a bunch of photographs of the disaster (you can click the arrows to see it full screen):

Meant to ask Scott about the ceiling over the living room—did that survive? And how did the bedroom next to the stairs do?

posted by lee on 04/07/17 at 08:58 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Sunday, April 02, 2017

horror movies

Scott went up to Oscoda to assess the damage. This is what he found: (if you can’t watch these because they won’t load, please let me know and I’ll figure out another way to embed them—this is just a q&d fix).

From what he saw, it looks like this is a much older problem than we originally thought. It appears that the broken pipe kept gushing until the power to the pump was turned off (the house has its own well water supply). Someone, fortunately, turned off the breakers when the problems was originally discovered (by whom, initially, I do not know ... there are some information gaps that need to be filled in) so the water was turned off.

Scott says it’s like the inside is just dripping with moisture. The crawlspace is a swamp. The carpet needs to be ripped out ASAP. Most of the drywall is kaput. The paneling in the family room looks like it’s liquid still. The furnace and probably the hot water heater are gone, and probably the dishwasher, though the fridge is still okay (good thing—brand new, barely used). The stove was there when my parents moved in back in 1993, so that should probably be replaced anyway (or just removed).

As he said, he doesn’t know why the ceilings on the second floor fell—there are no pipes in those ceilings. So it must’ve been mighty wet in there for quite a while. With the weather warming up, cleanup needs to happen fast.

One thing I do know: when the repairs are done, they will be done right. No cut-through joists to accommodate the plumbing—a lazy con-artist did that when the house was built in 1979. Unbelievable.

posted by lee on 04/02/17 at 08:23 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

wind, weather, water, & an empty house, oh calamity!

This weekend wasn’t a good one for tech stuff—DoS attack on one server, weird glitch on another, and we had to move our webserver to a new box because the disk is failing. So I was starting to think about what else to do for a living to get away from high tech. (I always do when aggravated by server crap that always seems to happen at once.)

However, I got a lesson that even “low tech” has problems. We put Dad’s house on the market last September and I saw that the market is picking up so that boded well for actually selling it this spring (Iosco County is not exactly a hot market—not for years now). But Mother Nature kicked us in the teeth. There have been windstorms and power outages where the house is—it’s the norm for a northern Michigan winter. While we don’t know for sure, it looks like the wind knocked the power out to the house (happens an awful lot there) and it didn’t come back on in time to prevent the pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes in the back wall, which apparently burst and destroyed the ceiling above the dining room and family room. My nephew Scott and his girlfriend Kayla just happened to go up that way for a weekend jaunt, checked on the house, and discovered the nightmare.

This was my biggest fear, that weather would cause something like this. A storm or a lightening strike or even a tornado. What frustrates me most about it is I’m not there to help with dealing with it.

Here is what these rooms looked like:

The kitchen, when we put it on the market. (click to see it big!)

family room
The family room when we put it on the market. (click to see it big!)

That was then. These are now:

damage kitchen view
Looking from the kitchen towards the dining area/family room.

dining room ceiling
The ceiling in the dining area (click to see it big!)

Dining room area.
text (click to see it big!)

The ceiling above the dining area
The ceiling above the dining area. What gets me is how pristine and untouched the curtains look. (click to see it big!)

The ceiling that is no more
Where the ceiling used to be, above the dining area and family room. (click to see it big!)

Where the ceiling is now
Where the ceiling is now. (click to see it big!)

I know there was a bad windstorm a couple of weeks ago, but this looks like it’s been more than two weeks. But, I don’t know—I have no idea how quickly damage like this can happen.

The area that is damaged in mainly in the one-story section behind the garage, and below the upstairs bathroom in the two-story part of the house (hence all the pipes).

My nephew saw a silver lining: “Well, once we fix it we can say ‘improvements made’ in the listing.”

posted by lee on 03/26/17 at 01:13 AM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 

Monday, November 28, 2016

another one, from flickerembed

Created with flickr embed.

posted by lee on 11/28/16 at 03:50 PM

miscellaneous everything • (0) commentspermalink 
Page 1 of 60 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »