Thursday, November 10, 2011

Visited By The Wrath Of Cadillac

See this thing?

It hates me. Hates me with the fire of a thousand suns. Hell, in this picture it's even scowling at me.

A wonderful gift from my sister, who was getting something newer, we got the Cad just before we moved. When it was my sister's it was a lovely, perfectly running machine that purred along in typical Cad style for many years. She pampered it and took great care of it so it lasted.

Since coming to live with us it has endured a *slight* fall down the social ladder and several less-than-elegant projects. Moving, for one thing--and that meant the Cad got to haul all manner of things, right down to junk from the garage. In the trunk, the back seat, you name it. It also got to transport bags of feed and some of our animals. It has flown up and down highway 395 so much in the last 2 months that we've worn a groove in the roadway between here and our old place. Climbing mountains is especially hard on the old girl, and she does NOT like doing it at all.

She endured it as long as she could, then she decided to fight back. First on the list was multiple organ failure--but in odd ways. The heater doesn't work. In winter, tra la la. The speedometer suddenly started to either rapidly flip back and forth between 20 and 70 while you drive or just stick at 45. The hood won't stay up on it's own and the trunk light burnt out. The trip odometer ignores requests to reset.

Then she upped the ante.

The driver's side electric window will only go up and down at a snail's pace--and an old, slow snail at that. Two of the window buttons on the driver's side have come off completely and got stuck in the glove box until we can have them repaired so they STAY. Both back window buttons have failed and the things can only be rolled down from the driver's seat. The lock on the driver's side door whimsically only unlocks with the key when IT wants to, which is 'seldom'. The front passenger side window failed completely in the 'down' position--one day before a snowstorm--and J. had to dissect the door to get to the switch and get it to roll up again. Since then it fell down about 3 inches and the open window is now stuffed with newspaper until the weather clears and J. can take the door apart again to fix it, again.  To add insult to injury, the other day we had to drive it somewhere and some teens in another car were laughing and taking pictures of this ridiculous temporary fix.  I really couldn't blame them, we grimaced and posed in chagrin.

Every time we figure a work-around for the latest auto tantrum, she pops off with a new one. The other day the kid complained that the passenger side back door was refusing to open. I tested it and she's right. The passenger side sun visor suddenly landed in my lap the other day. I stuck it back on but I could see it was only temporary. The map lights on the ceiling like to suddenly come on--whether the car is on or not-- and remain on until you thump them enough times to beat them into submission.

Mechanically though, it runs great. It's just kinda slowly dissolving. I just hope it lasts long enough to get us settled in our new home, when we'll have the time to take it in and get all these little weird things fixed.

More Origami and Odds & Ends...

Some new stuff...doily doves in various colors & sizes...

And some cute little tied bows!

Both the doves and bows will be great for Christmas.

Also, during our house hunting we came across this oddly-shaped front entry. It bothered me that it reminded me of something until I figured out what--

It looks just like the doorways for the long-vanished Krell race from the movie 'Forbidden Planet'! Hmm, I wonder if the Krell ever got to Carson City...?

Also, we got a chuckle out of these taxi cabs which are all over the Dayton/Moundhouse area...where the legal Nevada brothels are. These cabs run back and forth from the Reno airport to the brothels, that's all these particular ones do. Although riding in a bright screaming yellow brothel bus with huge ads on it isn't exactly inconspicious.  The huge windows that put the guys on display like a fish in a bowl are the icing on the cake.

Anyway, we got a juvenile giggle out of the license plate on this particular one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In Which Our Flatlander Poultry First Experience Snow

OK, we've been waiting for the first snowfall. Even though the chickens are in the barn and so cannot experience white stuff actually falling out of the sky on them, we still thought their reaction to it would be fun. So the kid and I scooped some up and took it into their indoor run.

At first it got the hairy eyeball, like anything new and different does.

But then they had fun with it, climbing through it, standing in it and pecking it, shaking their heads after in confusion.

It wasn't the complete bewilderment I expected from them, more of a 'What's this...? Meh.' reaction. But just wait till they are out in their first snowfall!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yerington, Future Ghost Town

Today we went out to look around Yerington as a possible place to live. I remembered it from years ago as a cute, small community tucked back out of the way.

It still is today, but since the HUGE, old, open-pit abandoned copper mine got designated a SuperFund cleanup site years ago, Yerington has been slowly dying since then. It's a shame too, since it was a lovely valley with agriculture all around--mostly cattle and alfalfa fields. It struck us as so odd the day we were there, and the home prices so low, that we checked it out online.

Wow. Literally every superbad, toxic thing you can think of is polluting Yerington. Right down to about 6 different kinds of radioactive horrors. It's in the ground, water and air. They even have to have bottled water shipped in for some of the residents.

Move there with a 12 year old child? Thank you, NO.

But our trip there wasn't entirely wasted, we got to see the town in it's not-so-arrested decay and the few people still there, and at least it gave us information on where NOT to look for a home.

The city water tanks...

The old drive-in...

One of the doors of the concession stand was kicked open, we didn't go in but I stuck the camera in and snapped a couple of pics. My guess on the age of the popcorn maker and freezer unit would be about mid-1960's.

Further into town was this awesome old abandoned brick building with two old gas pumps still standing--we were astounded some jerk hadn't made off with them yet.

People had even carved their names into the old, soft brick on the front of the buil--

HEY! Now that's just plain uncalled for.

We were puttering around, checking out this cool old building and telling the kid how the old gas pumps worked (marveling at 49 cents a gallon), when a man in the little park across the street called out to us, "Don't forget to check out the lady in the window!"

Huh? We looked up. And damned if there wasn't a lady in the window!

She is a happy accident, formed by the way the window broke. Very cool!

The corner sidewalk, still with it's street name inlaid.

We wave our thanks to the man and continue down the street.

Nothing on this old place is square anymore.

The last thing we see is one of those houses where the people have created weird and wonderful yard art. I can't decide if I like SpiderTurkey or RailroadDeadGhostCow best.

All in all, a fun day, even though it left us sad for Yerington.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How To Make A Zombie!

While I was making up the kid for Halloween I took some pictures of the various steps. The costume goes on first. Then the two-part rubber prosthesis is stuck to her face--in this case a fake pencil positioned to look like it was rammed through her face. Also I added a homemade prosthesis made out of latex and paper towel shreds, which looks nicely like her throat was ripped out. What can I say, middle school can be tough.

Next comes the first layer of makeup--shadows around the eyes, bruising around the wounds.

The trick to makeup is thinking about what real wounds look like--they are never just one color, they are shades of red, purple and yellow. And blending. Lord, do ya ever have to blend and blend and blend.

More detail, with white pancake applied all over and some veining on her forehead. By now she's getting into character and hamming it up a bit.

Final makeup touches, finished with white powder to set the makeup and some fresh blood--after all, zombies gotta eat.

My lil' zombie!

We drove into town to take her trick or treating, and decided that we would skip being zombies ourselves...we could just see getting in a traffic accident and scaring the crap out of the emergency responders. We did go to a casino coffee shop for dinner afterwards though, where the kid drew all kinds of attention. As we were getting ready to eat an older couple stopped by our table on their way out, the husband dropping a five dollar bill in front of our daughter and saying cheerfully, 'That's for scaring my wife so badly she almost threw up!' His wife stood behind him, nodding energetically and laughing. We all laughed and thanked them.

Yay, zombies! Next year we have to find ourselves a good zombie crawl and attend. Or heck, if we can't find one, we'll start one...