Author Archives: Pamela

Time for the Beg-A-Thon but I’m not Beg-A-Thoning

I think I’ve done fundraising for Clarion West every year since my year, except maybe I missed one. Or maybe I planned to miss one and was guilted into it at the last minute.

They have updated their fundraising platform and I dutifully created an account and it was way more complicated than it should have been. I kept looking for the most streamlined way to create my profile (starting all over, the profile I’ve been using is gone) and provide a URL that people could use for donating.

Meanwhile there was new login and a dashboard and I could input everybody’s email so we could spam you all into contributing and goal-setting and farkity-doo-dah. I realized I’d been clicking around for 20 minutes with no progress — for the honor of raising money for someone else.

So I got mad and asked that my account be deleted. (Which involved two people at different organizations.)

So, I am not doing the fundraiser this year.

On the one hand I realize there is a generational divide here and young people are coming in and bringing more modern way of doing things.

On the other hand, I despise the way these technology platforms turn everything into both a giant data mining operation and also an infantile reward system like nothing we do has meaning unless a computer has sent us a virtual pat on the back with lots of exclamation points.

Also the workshop is virtual this year which sounds like the most terrible idea ever. That’s the whole point, that you’re all living together and all you do is hang out and write, talk about writing, or look at things other people wrote. I can see how they wouldn’t want to go another year with no workshop but I wouldn’t want to do it this way.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Leave a comment

Backyard Update

Last weekend we were able to do something we haven’t done in a long time and we had family together. We went to restaurants a couple of times.

It’s funny how appreciative we are of these everyday experiences after the year+ we stayed home.

This is a raccoon clip from last month. I remember we had the windows opened that night and I woke up and heard little chittering and chirping outside.

The camera card has been pretty empty the last ten days or so. One raccoon visit. No sign of bunny.

We have had Stinky and I will put that in a different post.

This is raccoon zipping through without a pause.

Maybe this guy is the reason for less activity? This is his second visit that I captured on camera.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Case of the Traveling iPad

I saw a lady online with a fountain and she had all the same animals I have except also birds and snakes. She lives in the desert and has her camera up during the day, too, but still, I was inspired to put the bucket back.

We have hypothesized that another reason we are seeing so much activity is that the house next door has been empty instead of having people partying half the night. And also has a big, mostly abandoned yard. I wish I could set up a cam back there, too.

Won’t be empty for long. It’s in the process of being flipped. Let’s all hope some nice people end up buying it and actually living in it.

A couple of weeks ago Bob came to work with me and he left his iPad on the bus. We knew immediately where it was and the exact bus so we were able to call it in. I have been consistently underwhelmed by CTran customer service and this incident was no different.

Bob called and didn’t get far.

Meanwhile, we could track it on our phones so every morning we’d see iPad zipping up and down the freeway during the commute. Then going to the bus barn for the night. Good illustration for how empty the buses are if no one turned it in or tried to take it after so many trips.

After several days of phone calls, iPad moved to a building and then it needed 24 hours of processing. I don’t know if they train their employees to be worthless or manage to recruit them this way. I had a problem with my bus pass one year and numerous individuals ignored all my requests for help and later blamed me for the problem. (I love most of my drivers and the guy who competently dealt with bus passes but then retired was good.)

iPad is safe at home again. And Apple Find My Stuff is entertaining and probably unsettling if you think about it too much.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on The Case of the Traveling iPad

Just a Bunny

Someone on nextdoor posted a photo of a bald eagle snatching a little critter from one of the neighborhood roads. The eagles must be nesting nearby because I have seen an eagle floating around more than once in the past months.

The person posting thought the eagle had a cat. It was a tiny blurry photo so I’m not sure how anyone could identify anything.

Someone else claimed to have seen the snatch happend and said it was just a bunny.

Just a bunny! I know an eagle has got to eat and I know bunnies love to multiply. But still, who says that, just a bunny.

I think I have posted before, I like to have a string of Christmas light in my writing room. We keep them on all the time in winter.

Those lights are only about $5 a string and last barely a year.

The string I just bought was screwed up out of the box so I looked up if there was a way to troubleshoot a messed up string of lights and there is: but it would take way more than $5 worth of my time and patience so I tossed it and bought a new string.

But before that string, I found a string that was powered by batteries. I thought that might be a better solution. I set it up and put the long-lasting batteries in and it was dead in less than a week.

That was the end of that experiment.

Posted in doing it wrong | Comments Off on Just a Bunny

Sad Day at the Watering Hole

Here is our friend Pogo the opossum in happier times.

I came home from work last week and found the bucket tipped over. I dashed out for the camera card, anxious to see who the rascal was and I was greeted with this sad sight.

I don’t know what happened. There were no obvious injuries but also I don’t think an opossum would drag itself to the waterhole and keel over next to it. Part of me is afraid that maybe the raccoons did something to it. But also maybe it was poisoned somewhere in the neighborhood and came to our yard for a nice place to die.

Is that plausible? I don’t know. I felt pretty bad. He was much cuter in person. His fur looked soft and his ears were adorable.

I brought the bucket inside for now. The trailcam is still set up and all the usual characters have been through since then including the other opossum, at least 3 different raccoons, skunky, and bunny:

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Sad Day at the Watering Hole

Running Journal Days 2 and 3

Day 2 wasn’t as terrible in the sense that I knew what to expect. I changed my route so that most of it was downhill and then crossed the park and walked home for the uphill. Day 3 went slightly better.

I’m never going to get much out of this only running once a week but my current schedule isn’t ideal for a more regular routine.

Last year colleague and I shifted our schedule to start at at 7 and leave by 3:30. There is supposed to be a bus at 3:30 and 3:50 so I would leave a few minutes early to catch the 3:30. This worked well for awhile and then the bus showed up intermittently and then it stopped showing up at all. So I would arrive at the stop at 3:25 and not get on a bus until after 4.

I can see it from the bus point of view since I was often the only person on the bus. If they had to cancel a run, the 3:30 would be a good choice. But as a passenger, standing around and two buses not showing up and never knowing when was not ideal. So I start at 7:30 and catch the 4:05. Getting home later makes it harder to exercise after work without feeling rushed.


The skunk is surprisingly cute.

I was doing my Alice Kravitz routine — I heard loud voices outside and wondered if there were people at the rental house next door. It’s still empty and we’ve been told that it will go up for sale and we’ve seen worker type people poking around there but we have no details.

I was kneeling on the bed, holding the shades aside to see out and also holding a cup of hot tea for extra difficulty. I didn’t see anyone but also I lost my balance. My hand went back to catch me but instead of landing on the bed it went out into space and I did a graceful tumble off the bed, tea sprayed everywhere and I whacked my knee against the dresser.

Once I was certain that I was okay, I was grateful because that could have been bad. I iced my knee and it was a little red and slightly sore and swollen and a great excuse to rest from running for a few days.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Running Journal Days 2 and 3

Hey There, Stinker

This morning I got up and saw the bucket was turned over so I brought the camera card in to see who the mischief maker was. There is no clip of the bucket toss, instead there was this.

I have never seen any sign or hint of a skunk in our neighborhood.

What next!?! I can’t wait to be surprised. I hope it’s Bigfoot.

Did I ever write about my dilemma with old letters?

Hm, well I just did search and turned up a brief post from almost 20 years ago about this very same box of old letters.

I don’t hang on to a lot of stuff but I have a hat box of old cards and letters. Some from friends, old boyfriends, family.

I was looking at the old boyfriend letters and trying to decide what to do with them. I do not want them. I do not want to throw them away. I thought I might read them and then throw them away and after one paragraph I do not want to read them.

At some point in time they will be trash, why not now?

Maybe the next step to death cleaning is to hire people to throw away things you know you don’t want but don’t want to be responsible for trashing yourself. (See also: ancient stuffed animals.)

I tried an experimental exercise and chose a few letters from a guy I met in Cancun in 1989. The letters are HILARIOUS. Not in a cringey way but in a — this guy was clever and funny. I can’t throw them away. I don’t need to keep them.

I have no answers.

Posted in garden | Tagged | Comments Off on Hey There, Stinker

April Night

I like the way he takes a long drink, starts to stick one foot in, pauses, changes his mind and puts the other food in.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on April Night

Running Journal Day 1

When I lived in Oregon I was a runner and by runner I mean a person who slogged slowly but without stopping for several miles on a regular basis.

I can’t remember if I ever ran when I moved to Washington. Maybe a little? Or maybe I took walks by myself?

I do remember that I was bitten by a dog in Dec 2002 while on a walk by myself and after that I didn’t like to go around the neighborhood by myself. For a long time I was nervous walking with Bob, too, but at least I would have someone who could help me if a strange dog bit me. [Aside: the dog bite thing was majorly traumatizing. I even did hypnosis to try to get over it. At this point, it’s far enough in the past that I’m not afraid of every strange dog I see.]

Long story omitted but recently more than one doctor has strongly encouraged me to get more cardio into my life. One doctor suggested that once fitness is gone, it’s hard to get back so better hop to it now.

I’ve been walking more and thought it would be fun (and to be completely honest, more time efficient) to try running again. Not train for 5 or 10k or anything like that. Just try to get enough fitness to wobble along for 20-30 minutes a few days a week.

Yesterday my industrial strength fitness bra and running capris with sweat-resistant pocket arrived.

Today was my first run.

For the first minute I galloped down the street in the spring sunshine. Running is amazing! Look at the birds and the flowering trees! Why haven’t I been doing this?

This was quickly replaced maybe thirty seconds later by, wow, already my legs feel heavy.

I couldn’t quit that easily. It’s beautiful out! Fitness is fun!

Legs only got heavier. Breath a little short.

But there’s a family with kids and dogs and bikes. Me and my sweat-resistant pocket can’t stop where they can see.

I had a simple goal in mind that seemed attainable so I kept pushing but was astonished by how gruesome it was.

Then I had to poo.

I pushed a little further before I gave up. I was going to cut across to do part of my normal walk because it has a big hill but #2 was calling so I walked home very quickly.

Estimated mileage: 1

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | 1 Comment

Bad Attitude about Email

A few more from my limited tulip photo collection.

I’m on a work related mailing list and they send out a notice to a large group of people, not “bcc” so you know what happened next. People replied to the whole list which created a ton of extra email that I did not need. They said they were open to suggestions so I suggested they use “bcc” so everyone doesn’t get inundated with email they don’t want.

Then someone on the list announced their retirement which set off another flurry of unneeded email.

Is there some official name of the syndrome where the moment you need to rely on your phone — for a ticket, to pick up something you bought, for some critical piece of information that you specifically saved so you could reference it — that your can’t make your phone work right?

It is astonishing how often this happens to me. I stand in line with my ticket app showing and then I get to the front and I can’t pull up the app. I stand in line with an email receipt that I need to pick up something and the minute I get to the front of the line, the email disappears.

I feel like this should be named and recognized so when it happens you can say: oh, I suffer from technological failure disease. And they will have a method for dealing with you kindly and patiently.

More than one of my doctors was on my case about my exercise and cardio so I just clicked a button and bought a heavy duty sports bra and I’m going to try running — well, jogging, again. Very short routes. We’ll see how that goes since right now walking uphill seems to be sufficient cardio.

Posted in doing it wrong | Comments Off on Bad Attitude about Email