May 2004 Birch Pt. Beach Blog

April 04 | June 04

Sat. May 1: Up at 6, powerwalk, print all kinds of crap, read/write email messages, make tickets & signs, office max to copy programs, sort out wads of cash, burn CD's, load stuff into car (hope I have it all!). Now I've gotta go dig up some kind of outfit that'll make me look more like an administrator than a bag lady, that I can wear my velcro sandals with and that will allow me to move at the speed of light as usual. Hope I have a wireless internet connection this afternoon...

Sun. May 2: Moved one show out last night, moving another show in tonight. That is all.

Mon. May 3: "I'm old enough to drink now, so we can have drinks in the green room." --YAG quote of the day, brought to you by The Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild. ("YAG, Always More Than a Great Performance!")

Tue. May 4: WEIRDNESS! I just posted this web page to the internet from my house withOUT being plugged into Comcast! i.e., I am on via WIRELESS. I do not own an airport (yet ;-) Who, what and where is "Linksys?"

"Linksys" went away again and now I'm back to my Comcast cable. Later on, Elena and I tried to email Paula from the Starbucks on Washtenaw and although I could see the network, I couldn't seem to access it. Found out later via a hotspots link from Paula that I have to PAY to use Starbucks' tmobile network. Bah Humbug!

Sam, what is it that you call those people that drive around looking for hot spots?

Wed. May 5: We are at the point in our play production that brings out the howler monkey inside most of us and last night I dashed home from the theatre to print out some performance cast worksheets (y'all prob'ly don't even wanna know ;-) only to find out that Reddy Kilowatt had taken possession of my house. So my stock tip of the day is buy Detroit Edison!

Thu. May 6: In addition to the usual stress of tech week (and this is the second tech week in a row, mind you), yesterday someone emailed to inform me that one of the links on my Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild site was taking them to some porn site! What next?

Fri. May 7: Play that funky music, white boy.

Sat. May 8: Well, I found Hisse, Bouncy Bow, Chrissy the Police Mouse, Purple Mouse, Blue Mouse, Cocky, Crashfly, Scree Scree, Pink Mouse, Musical Baby, Squealy and Scrambly, Black Beauty, Fuzzball and about a million others but I cannot find Lamby!

Sun. May 9: hey, you guys all know the tune:

You're in the Army now
You're not behind the plow
You'll never get rich
You son of a bitch
You're in the army now

Jim, regarding the picture of Grandma, Don & Jack at the beach I couldn't identify: "that 'what beach?' pic is the shallows beach in pre-cabin days. they used to take a steam launch up past what is now Sherman Park and sit on the beach.  There was a store or something just out of the picture that probably sold ice cream and stuff."

Mon. May 10: Announcing, the GB Fin web site, webmomster Ms. Karen. Blog wars, anyone? :-)

Tue. May 11: Sitting amongst a bunch of cosmic debris on a bookcase by my front door are a Beadwork magazine (actually 2 'cause I'm double-subscribed somehow) and a Threads magazine. They've been sitting there for at least a week now, unopened! I have glanced at the latest New Yorker -- I'm only behind by about a year on New Yorker -- only because it has an article with photos on Idiots in Iraq. BLEAG is all I have to say about this whole blog entry.

Wed. May 12: It's time. So, click here to see an inventory of what I cleaned off the dining table and bookcase & shelf by the front door today.

Thu. May 13: For chrissake can you do something besides watch my feet when I'm driving the jeep? (you know who you are). And I KNOW how to roll the window up and down without the knob falling off. And, hey, "old man", I do NOT drive too fast, so you can just quit telling me what to do. Well, okay, you can remind me about Dead Man's Curve, even though you really don't need to. You've been telling me about that curve for 25 years now and I know you're not gonna stop! But don't act like an old woman.

Just for the record, I have been driving automobiles of various descriptions and transmission types for 34 years. I have had ONE* accident. It was eons ago. It was not my fault. It was on *glare* ice and the other guy drove left of center. Tornadoes and falling trees do NOT count! And I have not burned out a manual transmission, not ever! And I have NEVER driven a car so fast that the engine blew up. So gimme a break for god's sake, play with your multimeters or whatever electronical gadgets or esoteric reading material you have with you and just let me drive! SHEESH!

*We aren't counting the time Sam & Joel & I fishtailed off I75 into deep snow or the time I backed Grandma's old Ford into the fence down by the pond -- yeah, it was me that made those scrapes >:->>

Fri. May 14: Yes, you can have friends over but these are The Rules:

Sat. May 15: How many people on earth keep a jar of worm food around? Well, of course, we're at Houghton Lake, where else? Click here for pictures of our latest cabin-as-boat adventures.

Sun. May 16: Mom vs. Mouse, episode umpty-nine-million and 37, "Home Alone III" -- click here for the inside story.

I'm not too sure who, if anyone, won this match and I can't even figure out how to assign points. But I think I do deserve at least a few points because *I* actually did an internet live chat with my friend Sam a few weeks ago. Therefore, I was ahead of the teenyboppers on internet chatting for a few nanoseconds anyway!

Mon. May 17: The Farnell's new house near Fenton.

Tue. May 18: This is a blog for My Favorite Engineers (you know who you are) and Lizzy who shares the jeep with the other Carbeck Kids (notice that's plural):

So, the GG and I were driving the jeep & trailer home from HL on Sunday and we turned on to M55 heading toward the I75 SUV Speedway and there were some weird rattling or vibrating noises. I had heard them earlier but had been trying to ignore them. He mentioned the noises and I said, a little snarkily, "I hope we make it home." We headed on down the I75 SUV Raceway, stopped at the new Farnell house along the way and continued on down to Ann Arbor without incident. We got off M14 at the Maple Road exit and as we were turning on to N. Maple, he shifted and there was this awful kind of metallic crunching noise. He said something like, "that sounds like the transmission." Remembering my blog of last Thursday, I thought, "shoot, maybe I've finally ruined a transmission." But then I thought, "that doesn't really sound like a transmission problem, it sounds like joints (again)." I didn't say anything. Us musicians *rarely* get credit for having ears when it comes to car problems! Anyway, he checked around with all of his "jeep buddies" and they all said, "sounds like the joints." So, last night we dropped it off at A2 Muffler for them to check it over. At this moment (6:30 PM), the GG and Mouse are driving it out to someplace in Dexter, the diagnosis being that the rear differential needs to be rebuilt. Not that I know what a differential is exactly (well, except for in calculus) but the next time I hear that noise, I'll chirp, "rear differential needs to be rebuilt" and I'll probably be right. The GG is nervous enough about the jeep making it to Dexter that he actually made sure he had an up to date Triple A card with him.

Every time I earn a little extra money, one of the damn cars has some expensive problem ;-) Hope they fix it this week! Stay tuned, I'll update about this, I know y'all are just dying to know the outcome :-)

Wed. May 19: Summer? Jan and Pete report that the snow has now melted at Birch Pt. Beach (arbutus) and Liz skipped school and went to L. Michigan the other day and sunburned her nose for the umpteen millionth time. (Sorry Engineers, my debit card is still anxiously awaiting any news on the jeep ;-) (Whoops! An update! A rear u-joint went and caused some problem w/ the differential so we're having that rebuilt. $850. Hopefully Friday. Ciao!)

Thu. May 20: This one's for all you Boatnerds (more or less the same motley collection of characters as the Engineers): Click here for the Wilfred Sykes, obviously Pete has had his boat out which means the ice is out of the upper Saint Mary's. And while you're at it, click here to get to (I'd put a "permanent" link on my website but it's getting pretty dern cluttered, i.e., time for a redesign... Karen, why don't you put a link on cliffsvic? Very appropriate place for one, I'd say ;-)

Fri. May 21: Dear Ms. Finlayson: Congratulations on your admission to Washtenaw Community College.

I'm not sure exactly what I've stepped into this time but the other day I forced myself to complete the on-line application and hit the submit button. What fer, some might ask? "Internet Professional" of course. A kind of hokey title maybe but after 5 years of webmomstering, it's high time I undo all my bad habits and learn how to do it RIGHT! Haphazard hacking only goes so far and I need some structure.

I don't think WCC has much of a study abroad program but then it doesn't cost 30-odd thousand dollars either ;-)

(Jeep update: now we're up to 1200 bucks and Monday. Jeep for sale cheap? ;-)

Sat. May 22: "Severe storms and tornado sirens have sent Ann Arbor residents scurrying to their basements the past two days" -- A2 Snooze, not the exact words. Well, not this A2 resident! This A2 resident scurried right straight out to the driveway and moved her creaky old minivan to a strategic position underneath a certain tree, in the hopes that the rest of said tree would come crashing down and total the damn thing once and for all! (green sky picture)

Sun. May 23: I was dragging a recalcitrant hose around the yard today watering things and probably killing plants right and left with my big black thumb. Then I noticed some flapping down by my feet and I realized the hose was interfering with a tiny little bird trying to fly along at grass-top level (no, it was NOT a certain species of lepidoptera!). We figured out that it was a baby, not a wounded bird, so we turned a lawn chair upside down over it and left it alone in the hope that its mother would be able to feed it or get it airborne or whatever it is that mother birds do before one of the neighborhood cats ate it. But this brought on a little wave of nostalgia for the summer we had Willow. Click here for the full story.

Mon. May 24: I think I will trade my Haynes in for a karottenflöten and play in a vegetable orchestra! Or maybe I should just switch to a radirimbafrigglegiggle. Don't fail to listen to the excerpts (click on "listen" and go from there). Mouse has banned me from the FLUTE list-serve because of this (or did she say froot-loop list-serve?)

Tue. May 25: Back atcha, Black Thumb Banana! Poison ivy! On my face, no less! That's what I get for my plant-killing activities.

I can think of one time in the last 40 years when I've been sick enough to have to actually lie down for more than about 6 hours (another blog). I'm not allergic to anything. Insects annoy me but, except for black flies, their stings or bites don't do me much harm. I am nuclear powered! But all I have to do is look at poison ivy and I've got it! Actually, I don't even have to look at it. Usually, I can't figure out for the life of me how the heck I came in contact with it! For example:

  1. Hiking at Lake Erie Metropark (or maybe it was that park down by the cooling towers) in 25-30 degree weather. We saw poison ivy but I was wearing long pants, socks, sandals, ski jacket, gloves, etc., etc. and walking in the middle of an 8-foot wide cement walkway. 24 hours later, poison ivy.
  2. Elizabeth skips school, goes kayaking, then comes home unexpectedly in the middle of the day, "Mom, I think I stepped in poison ivy!" Mom says, "wash your feet immediately!" Elizabeth does not get poison ivy but somehow I do, apparently from processing tainted laundry.
  3. This time? I dunno. We've been in this rat-hole for 20 years now and to my knowledge, neither our yard nor the Haisley woods have poison ivy. Can't think of where else I've been...

Anyway, all you ever wanted to know about poison ivy.

Wed. May 26: Mouse (approximate words): "Mom, why do you keep repeating my schedule back to me and asking me about it?"

And she guessed right. I had ulterior motives. I usually can't remember her schedule for the life of me, so she figured I probably wanted to blog the "slacker" schedule of classes she wants to take in the fast approaching fall of her senior year in high school. Partly because it kind of amazes me...

...and because the last 2 (Shakespeare and Russian) may be impossible for her to take unless she can finagle them into her schedule for no credit (Mouse, I'm taking a little poetic license with the technical details here for simplicity's sake, so don't hit me). This is because teacher contractual issues limit the number of classes students in this city can take. I'm very supportive of teachers but can't we provide a good working environment for them without keeping kids down in the process? Heck, if a kid, especially a senior, wants to load up on classes, why are we stopping her?

Thu. May 27: Today was a fire drill (click here)! Oh wait! Every day this week has been like this!

Oh yeah, I forgot that when I came home from my afternoon walk, there was a mad scientist fooling around with old dead jeep parts on the dining room table, and he still hasn't cleaned them up :-/

Fri. May 28: Note on powerbook this morning: "Mocha." Well, I would guess so after staying up until 5:30 AM and having to be at school at 8 AM.

Sat. May 29: First, some news from Pete Miller about Don Finlayson, eldest of the Fin G2 generation:

"Don is in the hospital in Traverse City. He was taken there by ambulance on Tuesday. He had a blood clot in his right leg and they operated on him that night. His leg still has some problems that have to be dealt with and they are doing some test on the valves of his heart. Jan is at the hospital and Betty went down today to see him and to be with Jan. We're hoping that he can come home next week."

Second, some news from Mouse: "hehehe the only reason you get an actual response out of me is because the yarn store hired me. i start tuesday at 3." So, Mouse has a job at the Flying Sheep yarn store in A2 where she has been a long-time customer. A quick search doesn't turn up a web site but I think they are appropriately more focused on selling high-quality yarn and teaching/coaching people how to use it than on web site design ;-) Mouse is a master and largely self-taught knitter. As she was working on a resume, she asked me when and how she had learned to knit. I think it was around the age of 5 but couldn't really remember. I think Grandma got her started but she went from there all on her own. This job may not pay for her college education but at least it oughtta cover her yarn expenditures ;-) Anyway, GOOD JORB, MOUSE!

Last, since I may seem inconsistent about posting health news about family/friends, I have written up my "policies" about blog posts (click here). In this case (Don), I was asked to post by Pete, his son-in-law, who I know has accurate information and I am glad to post it (but not glad about the news). We hope for a good outcome and fast, uncomplicated recovery for Don. Don's kids will keep us up-to-date.

Sun. May 30: All I have to say today is that Grandpa Garth is getting his revenge on us for our threats to tear down his cabin. He's sending great big huge waves over the seawall to make great big huge lakes all over the yard. I have pictures of this but this dad-ratted dial-up internet connection will not let me ftp photos out to the web without unceremoniously dumping me off and then getting hung up disconnecting so I have to "a-re-a-starrrt." So, y'all will have to look at those stupid karottenflöten for another day until I can get back to my broadband connection.

Mon. May 31: Another exciting Memorial Day weekend at Houghton Lake: