Archive for February, 2018

Feb 21 2018

More Message Boards

Published by under Country Life

Well, hello there!

Not much to report from stately Suzy Manor these days. Fortunately, there is always something to report from the local message boards. Indecent slugs? Body parts? Random goats? We got ‘em all, and more! Syntax and punctuation are original.

Looking for used organ. NO body parts please. Looking for a used musical organ. Please call Kate @ xxx-xxxx or email. Thanks!

If Howard can figure this one out, he’ll be a rich man. At least around here:

Does anyone know of a bear proof compost bin? Or a method of making compost that doesn’t attract bears? Thanks. – Howard

Think I’ll pass on this one:

For sale…two cattle prods….c battery’s. Needed….one hundred for pair ..his. Hers…call Bob…xxx-xxxx…Mendocino area

You may not have warned about Bob and his hobbies, but you have been warned about livestock loitering with (or without) intent:

A herd of goats are on the ridge right now 7:45 a.m. There are six of them, above the fire station right now.



Ever wondered about the love lives of slugs? Me neither. For those non-locals reading this, “nanners” refer to banana slugs. Google them at your peril – they are really gross.

[Original Post]:

I’m giving away a fresh collection of smallish slugs. Mostly grey garden slugs, with a fair number of juvenile ‘nanners, and some full-size ‘nanners tossed in. They number 386 in all.

These are /young/ slugs, but they are /not/ innocent. Quite, er…”precocious” actually, as they say. Many found lasciviously viscid, intertwined with one another along my beet patch, which I’ve now dubbed Sluvers Lane. The promiscuous punks were even wrapped in Eros’ embrace around my leeks. I was going to EAT those leeks, for crying out loud! Have they no decency? No, no they do not.

These indecent slugs could be yours, as feeder slugs or breeder slugs, your preference. You could try them out as a one-time deal, or we could have a regular schedule for pick up/drop off. I obviously possess a slug hatchery, and am constantly getting new ones. Earlier this week alone, I cleared over a thousand slugs in two evenings.

This is a SERIOUS OFFER. I’m hoping to connect with a duck wrangler, or someone who would have an ongoing need for piles and piles of slugs. This particular pile weighs short of two pounds, with some stray tatters of disheveled chervil and fornicated-upon fennel. The bucket is not included in this FREE offer, so either bring a bucket to trade out for the transfer, or give me a buck so I can buy a new “buck-a-bucket” at Corners.

I am willing to meet you in Fort Bragg, tomorrow (Sunday), before 1 PM.
That’s when I absolutely need to let them out of the bucket, at the latest… you know… /SOMEWHERE/. So… it’s a bit urgent.

[Response to Original Post]:

This smells a lot like slugspam – fair warning to the community! A lot like bait-and-slime schemes proliferating on-line and on-vine. Think of how much you can lose getting taken by a slug-charmer! Don’t do it, people!!

Never a dull moment in our little corner of the world!

A YEAR AGO: Stormy weather. And cats and dogs.

FIVE YEARS AGO: A Valentine’s Day spay for Jonathan’s mini cat, Scout.

TEN YEARS AGO: Megan laid her dog Bear to rest in the red light of a lunar eclipse.

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Feb 15 2018

Past Tense

Published by under Country Life

Well, February is back, in temperature if not in rain. It’s been chilly and frosty in the mornings this week. It is definitely lighter both earlier and later in the day lately, which must mean the madness of the time change can’t be far away. This morning, the sky was the ethereal enameled blue found in Renaissance paintings, set with a silvery crescent moon.

Megan and I went to a little exhibit at the Kelley House last weekend. The Kelleys were one of the earliest settlers in the Village. Mr. Kelley built a lovely house on Main Street:

to lure his bride all the way from Nova Scotia to remote Mendocino. It worked! The house is now a museum, and has interesting exhibits about local history. It still has a lovely view:

This exhibit was about medical and dental treatments on the coast, and included a very early x-ray:

which Megan could not figure out how to read – is that part of someone’s boot beside the heel? – and a sign for a long ago dentist which was unearthed a few decades ago:

That was about as close as I wanted to get to any dentist after two appointments and three shots* in three days last week. I’m sure that was more pleasant than anything that went on in the delightfully named Dr. Gunn’s office, though.

There were beautifully written poison registers:

and little black bags and brass microscopes. Even now, the area is remote, and some specialists and treatments are not available locally, meaning either a long drive if you’re lucky or being helicoptered to Santa Rosa or San Francisco if you’re not. I imagine you would have had to be pretty tough to live here a century ago or longer. I’m thankful for anesthetic, even when it takes three tries, and antibiotics, among other things.

*It took an hour and a half and three shots to get me numb enough to replace a minor filling at the second of two appointments last week. Good times.

A YEAR AGO: Unlike this year, it was pouring. Like this year, I was watching (and loving) Victoria.

FIVE YEARS AGO: At the fine woodworking show. I missed it this year, but hope to see the year end show in May.

TEN YEARS AGO: Ah, Oaktown. I do not miss you, Sam I Am!

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Feb 11 2018


Published by under Car,Country Life,Family,Work

It was the smallest of small town days.

The tone was set right from the start, when I arrived at work to find Megan’s car already there. Knowing she had just finished the third of her 12 hour night shifts for the week, I wondered what she was doing there.

She was planning to finish working on a chart for a patient who had a visit that day, thinking it would only take a little while, but of course, Technology had other plans. By the time she left, she had been awake so long that I asked her to text me when she got home. You will be as glad as I was to hear that she did.

Meanwhile, back at work, I received an email with a patient issue. Emails sent to our website come to me, and I try to get the questions resolved as soon as I can. This one turned out to be from the same person whose dog I hit with my car (and who looked like his old and handsome self when we had lunch recently). I got her issue taken care of quickly and she was very happy. Truly, I do this for every patient when it’s possible, but it is a little nicer when it’s someone you know. Also in keeping with our small town theme of the day.

Unrelated to my attempted murder of a local celebrity dog, Wednesday has been having some issues of her own. When I last had the tires rotated, the tire guy mentioned that I needed to have the brake pads replaced. So I ordered those, and in consulting the little orange notebook that details the adventures of Wednesday, I noticed that she was also overdue for an oil change, so I bought oil and filters. Needless to say, the car parts guy asked me which kind of filter, and as usual, I had no idea, so he sold me both and said I could bring back the runner up.

I gave all this stuff to my brother, and reminded him about the eternal engine light. He and Rob changed the oil no problem, but noticed when applying the new brake pads that the rotors needed to be smoothed out (or something). He jetted into town to get this done so he could continue to work on my car, and when I picked them up later that day, I noticed that the name immediately ahead of mine in the handwritten book of jobs to be done was that of one of my coworkers.

With the manicured rotors safely in the car, I headed for the library, where I found Rob pulling up across the street from me just as I arrived. I asked him if he was interested in some previously enjoyed rotors, and fortunately for me, he was, moving them from my heap to his. Now all we have to do is wait for the parts Jonathan ordered to arrive to complete the brake repair extravaganza. In the meantime, we are a little car-challenged, but we’ll work it out.

A YEAR AGO: Stormy weather.

FIVE YEARS AGO: An update on Jarrett’s puppy, Archimedes, aka The World’s Cutest Puppy. They are still each other’s best friends.

TEN YEARS AGO: Taking a break from Oakland’s homicides for the peace of Mendocino County. Moving here was one of the best decisions I ever made!

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Feb 08 2018

The Screw Up

Published by under Calamity Suzy

It is yet another beautiful day in a series of beautiful days. Hmm…I wonder what I can screw up today?

Monday was Mondayer than usual. My dentist’s office called to see if I could come in on Monday instead of Thursday. Working at the clinic has made me understand the importance of filling a schedule, and I figured why not get it over with anyway, so off I went.

Arriving at the dentist’s office, I pulled up right behind Rob’s car, another small town moment. I was slightly dismayed to discover that my beloved hygienist no longer works there, and the one that now does unearthed a cavity (well, to be fair, a filling that needed to be replaced) in a rather painful manner. I was glad that she found it, but ow. Although I had a full set of x-rays done the last time I was there, the dentist did another one* on the afflicted tooth to be sure it wasn’t worse than it appeared to be. It wasn’t, but I was somewhat disheartened to learn that the repair job was slated for Wednesday. Two dental appointments in one week is definitely a suboptimal experience**.

Back at work, I managed to book my boss’s plane tickets for the wrong day, an error one of us who was not Me noticed right away. I called the airline and rectified the matter. Oddly enough, the new airfare was actually cheaper than the wrong one, and there was no change fee. In fact, I thought the new and improved plane fare *was* the change fee.

I stayed at work late to correct my error, once again having no one to blame but myself. On my way home, I noticed that it is now light until 6:00 pm.

Dinner plans were chicken soup I had made and baking bread from dough I had made on the weekend from this simple recipe. I decided to make one loaf instead of two, and although the outside was brown, crusty, and perfect, the inside was doughy and uncooked, or at least insufficiently cooked for my admittedly not particularly high standards. No matter what I did, the inside stubbornly refused to turn from its caterpillar dough state to a butterfly bread state, so it is now artisan compost.

The recipe involves putting a baking dish with hot water in it on the bottom of the oven. I managed to remove it without burning Self, but unwisely put it in the sink, where there was an intolerable amount of water. The dish broke irrevocably, to my dismay. As I looked at the latest disaster I had created, a final shard popped off the already broken side of the dish like an exclamation mark.

The demise of an admittedly ordinary looking Pyrex baking dish upset me out of all proportion, partly because I used it all the time and partly because it was the last one that had belonged to my parents and was part of my childhood. Admittedly, it was also more than half a century old, which is ancient in dish years, especially a dish that has been used by Calamity Suzy for so long, but I mourn it for both practical and sentimental reasons.

Well, tomorrow’s another day. And a whole new opportunity to screw things up!

*As J. Frank Parnell said in the classic Repo Man, “Everybody could stand a hundred x-rays a year! They oughta have ‘em, too.” Just doing my part.

**I am also scheduled for jury duty on Valentine’s Day. So far, February is not looking that fun.

A YEAR AGO: Just another Saturday. Teenage intruders, bookstore cats…the usual.

FIVE YEARS AGO: A cold and frosty winter, so unlike this one, wrought some havoc with the plumbing.

TEN YEARS AGO: The bête noire of utilities was the water company. Now it’s propane. Guess there’s always one.

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Feb 04 2018


You guys! It was 70 degrees yesterday! Above you see the magnificent magnolia in blossom outside the library on Friday afternoon, when it was a mere 65 degrees. Last night, I slept with the balcony door open. It is February, isn’t it?

I stopped at the post office on my way to work one day this week (I was also the wino fairy, dropping off the unopened giant jug of cheapo red wine someone brought to Christmas dinner outside the Gro, undoubtedly to someone’s delight) and discovered that they had just installed a bank of new parcel lockers next to the old one. But apparently not for me, since I found two yellow slips inside my post office box.

The delivery problem is especially annoying since Amazon refused to ship to my PO box in the first place, forcing me to use the street address where I do not receive mail. Last weekend, my landlord Mark turned up with a letter marked “extremely urgent” and a postmark of over a year ago. This is why I have a PO box. Often things that are directed to the street address end up at the PO anyway, like these packages.

I expected one of the packages to contain a DVD among more mundane things, which although mundane, are not readily available in our little corner of the world. When I finally got my hard-won packages, I was displeased to note that it did not include the DVD, though everything else was present and accounted for.

Looking up my account on Amazon, I discovered that I had, in fact, failed to order the DVD along with everything else. So its absence was entirely my fault, and you know how I hate it when I have no one to blame but myself.

I rectified my ordering error – and had the new package delivered to my PO box – and grumpily went to open the second package. Imagine my surprise to find it was a beautiful book sent from a dear friend (and wonderful writer) in Alaska, containing several of the articles he had written. My grumpy mood vanished as quickly as it came, and I have hours of happy reading ahead of me.

A YEAR AGO: A delightful day with the most delightful girls.

FIVE YEARS AGO: An avian intruder.

TEN YEARS AGO: The surreal water bill.

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