I Gots Nothin’

I hate to disappoint the readership, but today didn’t have much to it worth writing about, other than getting my neck looked at after the little accident, and some water droplets finally falling out of the sky. Both of those are good things, of course.

A giant bra in the sky from yesterday.
My thoughts on endless delays. But isn’t the avocado shirt from Target cute?

I spent most of the day sitting at my desk, back at work, dutifully doing the needful, and waiting for the results of a meeting. Finally, I asked that guy that sits next to me when the meeting was, and he admitted he was too chickensh** to tell me it had gotten postponed. I got a wry laugh out of that, I guess. Then I took a walk, like the consummate professional I am, followed by more needful doing.

I did get yet another new work laptop, because the previous new laptop would not display my third monitor, over-heated a lot, and kept refusing to come back after it went to “sleep.” I know I’m hard on displays, since each of my offices has a slightly different configuration, so that part didn’t surprise me. So far, the new one is churning along just fine, and I did get a cool screen background.

There are like 80 of these different color splotch backgrounds that rotate. Nice. New laptop at right. Tangle of wires at center.

Yep, that’s it. Highlight of my day, some blobs and some raindrops.

September 11 is never easy, anyway. As always, I will send out peaceful thoughts to whoever will accept them. Peace to you, readers. Remember those you love, and let them know.

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Things Fly from the Sky and Attack My Car

Greetings from my sick room. I’ve been sleeping off the medication I got when my coworker Maggie guided me to the ER, because I got all disoriented and weird at my 10 am meeting.

Huh?

It just wasn’t a good morning. I was very happy to get to work without incident, because I was still exhausted from the weekend. I was almost to my exit when eek! A large piece of something…perhaps fiberboard, came out of the sky over the truck in front of me. No time to react, I just watched it smash down on the hood of my car. It then flew off, and I hope didn’t hit any other car!

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In Which I Try Poop Coffee*

*We were only calling it poop coffee or butt coffee as we laughed our way through our beverages…

The thing is, I always tell people I’m willing to try any food, at least once. So, when my colleague Chriztine decided she was interested in trying the coffee pictured at right, I (and two other coworkers) just had to say, “Yes.”

What does that mean, “zero contact with the animals?” Well, this is that coffee that’s passed through the digestive tract of the civet cat, which you may have heard of (many people think it goes through monkeys, but no). The sustainable part is important, because the poor little animals were being mistreated to get them to poop out enough beans to meet demand. We didn’t want anything to do with that!

So, according to the story on the bag, this is the nice version of the kipi luwak coffee.
Gimme some coffee. And don’t call me a weasel!

As a naturalist, I feel compelled to let you know that the civet is actually not a cat, and is more closely related to our friends, the mongoose family. I found this out in an article from Singapore, which informed me that “the special taste of these coffee is due to the fermentation process when the civets digest the beans.” MMMMM. Also I learned that this kind of coffee is called “weasel coffee” in Vietnam.

So, did I drink it?

First we spent a long time grinding the beans, during which time coworker Jen frequently reminded us that the roasting process will have killed off any germs or wee beasties living on the coffee. Whew.

You can tell they’re looking forward to this.

And then we poured hot water in and watched it drip. Was it chocolatey like Dipu thought? Were the beans old, like Jen thought? Were we all laughing too loud, like I thought?

Ready to give it a try. Note beautiful staging of coffee-making equipment.

Next, we all had to pose with our cups ready. And then we drank it. Guess what? It tasted very much like a cup of coffee. We didn’t detect any excessive smoothness or other fermentation results.

Yep. That’s coffee, all right.

But, since it was the most expensive cup of coffee any of us had ever imbibed, you can bet we all finished it. (Thanks, Chriztine.) We tried to get more people to drink it, but most flat-out refused, even when I politely stuck the cup under their noses and demanded, “Wanna smell my poop coffee?” So hilarious.

Rob painfully tastes the coffee. The new guy behind him got a good chuckle out of us. He was getting “pod coffee,” as we call the product from that machine (some like it; some don’t).

Rob here tried a tiny bit and said he did NOT like it. That will save him the investment of buying more if he did like it!

The best part of the day was making all the jokes and laughing away some of the work stress. I will say that I’m glad the only coffee I brought home was some medium-roast blends to drink in the mornings at the Bobcat Lair. No more poop coffee.

By the way, we have civets in Texas (ring-tail cats). Wonder what happens when they eat mequite beans?

Labor Day Labors of Love

I’ve been trying to not do quite so much this weekend, but other than putting off one important task (which I will work on all next week), I’ve been planning things, improving websites, and volunteering. I’m sort of proud of what I’ve managed to do! I love volunteering.

The Hermit Haus

One thing is that I improved the social media presence of our meeting venue, The Hermit Haus. I’d had a website since we bought the building, but not done much with it. I now have a Facebook page for it, where I can easily share upcoming events and news. Thanks to Mandi inviting everyone she knows, we have a good number of fans already!

Mandi and I also spent more time working on this business today, and we have pricing all set, with a sale for events during our renovation.

Who knows when it will actually look like this!

We also had lots of ideas for things to do. One thing is I want to start a coffeehouse/house concert series like the old Live Oak Coffeehouse I used to participate in. You know, so I can name it “CoffeeHaus Concerts @ The Hermit Haus” or something with “haus” in it.

I have some good music connections in town, so I hope to partner with one of them to do the bookings and such. The idea would be to have a “listening room” atmosphere where people actually pay attention to the music. By charging admission, the performers could get some pay and we could also give a cut to a local charity. Sound good?

That Brochure

I have also put in a surprising (to me) number of hours on the brochure I’m creating to our Master Naturalist chapter and another group. I’m real proud at how easily the draft came together. But, it’s taking a while for all the many, many comments and analyses by the committee to get cleared up. Thus, I’m making lots of changes.

To be honest, I’d rather work with eagle-eyed thoughtful reviewers than with people who don’t point things out until the item is published! Right?

One of the lovely images in the brochure, by Ann Collins.

I’ve been also chatting with potential people to work at Hearts, Homes and Hands, which I can’t help but do. And I am reading up on managing nonprofits so I can talk rationally about it with my fellow MTOL directors.

Spirituality

Those of you wondering what I was going to do about finding a spiritual community can rest easier. I think my friend, Martha, and I have come up with something we can do with a few local friends, which will nicely meet our needs but still be disorganized enough to NOT be organized religion. I’ll leave it at that, but I’m happy I figured something out!

I hope those of you in the US got at least a little break on Labor Day. I know many people don’t, including my own kid. And in other places, I sure hope you had a reasonable Monday!

Perhaps Too Much Technology

Why, hello there, friends and readers! I haven’t been quite the blogging fool I usually am for the past few days, and for what I find to be an ironical reason. I got a new laptop.

I admit to putting the IT team off for about two years, because every time I get a new work laptop, things go crazy. I just didn’t have time for crazy, even though now most of my apps and storage are off living on some cloud and not ON the laptop. I didn’t even know if it HAD a hard drive.

My previous little system had served me well, though at some point in 2017 it stopped being able to hold power if it undocked. So, oh darn, I couldn’t present at meetings. </sarcasm> I just had docks everywhere I worked, and it was fine. The poor thing has a brand-new battery in it, but whatever the problem is, it’s not the battery. Okay, so I needed a new computer.

All of this mess actually works.

Finally, last week, the thing started randomly shutting down while I was minding my ow business, typing, mousing, or saving a vitally important Camtasia file. So, I let Josh, the nice young IT dude, swap me out.

I made myself laugh, because I brought three laptops home with me to the ranch last weekend (old laptop, new laptop, and my trusty Surface), so I’d be sure to be able to work anywhere. Ha ha! Silly me.

I have, instead, spent the last three days trying to dredge up passwords for things that live in the cloud, trying to log on to the RIGHT Office 365 account for the right office, finding where my fancy Adobe Creative Cloud licensed things were, and so forth.

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Brain Overload

Today we were in San Marcos, which is south of Austin. Why? Lee and Kathleen are starting a new business, which I’ll go into another time, so we went to a continuing education on how home health care providers can screw up when they are being inspected.

We were in a building so dull I forgot to take a picture. But the class was interesting once I translated some acronyms. Goes to show you all kinds of businesses are fun to study. This one has a LOT of regulations, but that’s good, because it keeps people safe.

Highlight of the state office building’s bathroom. Lots of stinky women must work here.

It seems to be a woman-dominated business. Lee was the only man. We were the only white folks, too. We learned a lot from the more experienced people, and had some fun conversations in breaks (lots about our fingernails). Kathleen has experience, too, so we will have lots of mentors.

Our brains are very, very full.

The funny part

When we were done, Lee and I went outside and saw Kathleen standing by my car. Only, it wasn’t my car. It’s not often that two cars of this model are parked near each other my British Racing Green car looked black in the gloom of the day. Easy mistake!

My key just wouldn’t work in this car.

Also fun

The previous night, we stayed at a nice hotel and ate at the elegant Olive Garden of San Marcos. The food was good, and Kathleen and I enjoyed judging the light fixtures, which I wrote about on the Hermit Haus blog.

They insisted I show my nails, which hid the wine.

We also made a point to get wine to match my new devotion to pink. Perhaps the hotel happy hour wine we had earlier made this seem like such a good idea.

Taking a Break

I’m taking a little blogging break, because I’m doing so many other things right now. Here are some things.

The Austin job is full to the brim with tasks. And random new ones keep popping up. Job security, I guess, but, gee, if someone wants you to do something that you thought was their area, a direct request would help. I’m whining.

Here, this rose should make me feel better.

Luckily I visited my kind therapist/shaman person who listens to me and helps me plan how to deal with my challenges. One of these days I’ll share my big one, but it’s not time yet. Just remember that no matter how cheerful people may act, they may be hiding heartbreak.

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