From the attic

Lisa, second grade, thoughts on moving from Delaware to NC:

bq. “By Lisa Linn. It was fun up in Delawar But We had to moov to N.C.. I’m probly gonna spend haf my life in a motel. It’s not to fun in one but I’m gonna hafta Do It.”

A halloween story, no date.

bq. “the pumpkin who saved Holloween. Wons ther was a pumqrin and on holloween Nikte the pepel that owned it forgot to carv it but it was a magic one and it carv it’s self.”

The “little sweet potato” poem. For some reason, this poem became infamous in the family. Dated 1976.

“There was a little sweet potato

He was a little guy

He had a lot of friends

But he was very shy

His friends were playful

But he was not

So one day he was boiled in a pot”

Well, I’ll be. I’m on LJ.

For those of you who have me on their LJ friends list, but have never seen an entry from me, I imagine my appearance on your friends list is a bit of a surprise. Today I discovered that there’s a plug-in for my blog software that will automatically cross-post my blog entries to Livejournal. And what do you know? It actually works. Here I am. Prepared to be bored out of your skull as I post endless tracts on the water in my basement.

something like hoisin

i made salad rolls tonight, which i have done many times before. usually i use hoisin sauce from a jar, but although it tastes good, i’ve always thought it probably had a ton of corn syrup in it, and didn’t feel very good about using it. so tonight, i decided to make something similar with better quality ingredients. although i’m sure there are recipes for homemade hoisin on the ‘net, i didn’t bother to look them up, since i was more interested in concocting something to my liking than being true to the flavor of hoisin.

so here’s what i used:

* natural peanut butter and honey, melted together in the microwave for 30 sec.

* brown rice vinegar

* toasted sesame oil

* a pinch of sea salt (probably could omit, due to the tamarai)

* a very small amount of tamari sauce

current obsession: drought

those of you who have known me for some time know that i usually have an obsession of some kind cooking. it might be something i can’t fucking stop talking about, or it might be something that i mostly obsess over in private, or i might write loooooong boring blog entries about, oh, say, water in my basement.

but there’s always something– and there’s often something new.

new obsession: rain, and drought. officially, this area is in a drought. hard to believe what with the water in the basement, but it’s true. i’ve started checking the precipitation measurements on “weather underground”: after rainy days, to see if we’ve caught up.

tonight i made for myself a little chart:


apr 24	 8.12	13.74	 5.62

apr 25   8.56	13.83	 5.27

apr 26   8.72	13.92	 5.20

we have caught up a little bit.

Mangum St. closed May 6th

This just came across the Old North Durham listserv and I thought it might be of interest to other Durham residents…

Saturday May the 6th, for the Home Tour, Mangum Street will be closed from 9:30am until 6:00 that evening.

Also note that no cross traffic will flow at Lynch, Seeman, and Trinity streets. Mangum will be completely closed to all but pedestrian traffic and the trolley. The trolley will be traveling on Mangum and Trinity for the most part. Police officers will be directing traffic at each end of the Mangum street closing at Markham and Geer. One will also be stationed at Mangum and Trinity to let the trolley through and prevent other vehicles, but allow emergency vehicles to get through. Please be mindful of emergency vehicles for the day and help out if they should be needed.

We hope to have some classic cars parked on Mangum for the day and ask that all other cars be moved to side streets for the event. Please park off Mangum even if you do not plan to use your vehicle during the day.

Also note that many people will be parking in the two church parking lots and also be parking on neighborhood streets as well. Please welcome them and offer help if it is needed. Tickets for the event will be sold at Mangum and Trinity, and Trinity and Elizabeth. Baked items and lunch will be available at street vendors on Mangum. Food can also be bought at the Strawberry Festival in Old North Durham Park.

Detour signs will be marked for the street closing. Please pass the word on that the street will be closed so people in Durham can make choices to use an alternate route that day to avoid the slow travel around our event.

notes during big rain

the basement is wet. not a-river-runs-through-it wet, but there’s more than just a little dampness, and from all the usual places.

i decided to see what happens during a Live Rain Situation.

i’ve always been able to hear and see water splashing over the sides of the gutters that are right over the outdoor stairwell that goes down into the basement. this has always been a trouble area.

so, the gutters were recently cleaned, and the drain at the bottom of the stairwell is pretty clear, but there’s still plenty of water coming in that way. and i checked with a flashlight, and those gutters are still overflowing, which they should _not_ be if they are clean. so WTF?

could be a downspout clog, especially on one of them. when i was working on that downspout a few weeks ago, i could tell i wasn’t the first person to mess with it. somewhere along the line, someone ran that downspout into an underground drain, not the kind that originally came with the house, but the black flexible kind you get at lowes, and bury, and hope for the best.

i think the best may no longer be happening. mainly, i’m concerned that the gutter wasn’t properly cleaned (or it filled with crap again), or there’s a clog in the part of the downspout that is above ground. this gutter is particularly high up and over a stairwell, which is why i hire someone else to clean it in the first place. that should make it fairly interesting to troubleshoot. oh, and i think the power line for the house comes in right under it. good times.

morning good

what i want to do: keep sitting on the sofa, all leisurely, while the cat scoots in and out of the screened porch.

what i must (and will do): put the computer away. take a shower. hurry on to work in time for the 10:15 meeting.


last night i did yard work until moseman’s various caretakers came over to learn how to pill him.

in the yard, i started scalping the parts that are completely not grass, and occupied by a weed that i consider to be very obnoxious and unpleasant. d. pointed out that weeds are a social convention, and i agree, i really do– but some weeds really bother me. the kind that are covered in that sticky sap? i hate those. and there’s one other one that was really starting to take over in the back. i hate that one too. but now it’s mostly gone.

the cool thing about scalping with the weed whacker is that it’s a self-mulching process. most of the ground is now covered in a finely chopped layer of dead vegetation.

i also started cleaning the crap off the screened porch to make way for the lovely new furniture, some of which is already there, and some of which i have yet to actually obtain, but i will soon. Things are Under Way.

i applied roundup to the raised bed a couple of weeks ago and things are mostly dead back there. a session or two with the weed whacker and it’ll be nice and clean. still not sure exactly how i’ll proceed with it, and i may have to devote next weekend to the _front_ of the house, in preparation for the Tour, but chances are decent that i’ll still do something useful with it.

oh, all right. i’ll get up now.

BPAL gone bad!

it’s true, the stuff does go bad, and i’ve had my first experience with it.

according to my blog, my imp of Ultraviolet arrived on “June 25, 2005.”: it was used and who knows how old when I got it. Now it’s close to a year later and this morning I took it out for the first time in months.

I don’t recall it smelling this way before. Methinks that I should buy a fresh imp from the lab, I _do_ like mint + violet every so often.

It doesn’t smell baaaaaad, like OMGgetitoffmegetitoffme! More like, hey, not so great.