Into the fire

out-of-the-frying

So AGMA’s planning on ignoring the elephant (literally…) in the room.

There are those of you out there, far more eloquent than I, who will be addressing the news of late surrounding the orange squatter in our White House here in ‘Murica.  I’m pretty sure I’m out of words to describe just how loathsome Individual #1 and the GOP that is enabling him are.

But can I say that Nancy Pelosi is a total BAD ASS??  Please….

Last night, she created one of the most iconic moments of tyrannical resistance in US history by ripping up the traitor’s SOTU “speech” that was full of lies and hate.  The Boston Tea Party patriots would approve.

I wanna be like Nancy when I grow up.

Amid the backdrop of impeachment and Presidential primaries and the destruction of America as we know it by the GOP, AGMA has decided to jump out of the frying pan.

Hubs and I have decided to sell our townhouse this spring.

This may not sound like such a big deal to most of you, but for those who live in Casa AGMA, it’s YUGE.

Your first question might be…  Why?

And it’s a good one.  We LOVE where we live.  We love the neighborhood and our proximity to great restaurants, shopping and all that the city has to offer.  And we love our townhouse.

The reality is that Hubs mobility issue gets a bit worse (he has a genetic disorder that is causing him to lose the use of his legs) with every passing year.   And our townhouse has 4 floors.

Because of that, AGMA has always had to do the heavy lifting (so to speak) when it comes to hauling stuff from one place to another.

But now I’m having spine issues that make it difficult for me to fulfill my previous position as pack mule.  I’m more like a pack squirrel now.

Damn it.  I hate it when that happens.

We always knew that we’d have to go to a single level living situation eventually, but my back issues have accelerated that timeline.

Plus, we think that the this might be THE time to sell to get top dollar for our place.  “They” are all saying that the real estate market is due for a “correction.”  We’d like to bail before it corrects.

“But where will you go AGMA?”

I’m glad you asked and the answer is….  We have no idea.

Seriously.

Anybody got a spare room for two charming seniors with two adorable cats?  One is an introvert and keeps to himself.  The other is an AGMA.  The humans, not the cats.  The cats are sweet and loving as long as you ignore the occasional hairball and the fur clumps.

Anybody?

(crickets)

Barring any fabulous offers from one of you, we were thinking of renting a place in Chicago this summer to be closer to the grands for a few months.  Not really sure how Son#1 and my DIL would like that though.  They’d get used to us I’m sure…

After that, who knows?

We talked about getting an RV and driving around the country for a year, but the more I read about it, the less I liked the idea.  It all seems like a lot of work.  And from what I’ve heard, KOA’s are hotbeds of MAGA folks.  Now THAT would be interesting.

But I think we’ll take a pass.

We’ll probably rent for a while here in Atlanta.  But then again maybe not.  Son#2 may be moving soon for a job yet to be found.  He’s finishing up his MBA and is currently “in the hunt.”

If he moves, will we follow him?  Depends on where he goes.  Or we could move back to our adopted hometown of many years, Cincinnati, where we still have some wonderful friends.  Or not.  Or we could move full time to the Chicago area.  Brrrrrrrr (even with climate change.)

Also, Hubs and I want to see how the election in November turns out.  If the Big Orange Cheeto cheats his way back into the WH with his BFF Putin’s help, we just might be political refugees.

AGMA had my annual “check to see if you have any moles look weird” check-up this morning.  I passed inspection (whew!) and they asked if I wanted to make my appointment for next year.  I said, “No.  I might not be living in Atlanta next year.”

There’s actually something weirdly intoxicating to me about not knowing where I will be in a year.  Is this something that I should be worried about?

In the meantime, before the end of March, I need to clean out 10 closets, figure out what to do with all my Ebay sh*t I haven’t sold yet (boxes and boxes worth), go through about 20 boxes that haven’t been opened in 8 years since our last move, make untold trips to Goodwill, and arrange to get rid of furniture that is taking up too much room.

We also have to replace a broken ice machine, fix a broken gas fireplace and whirlpool tub, make repairs to our dormers, fix a hole in our garage ceiling, paint our main living level, have the bar on our kitchen island removed and replace all the counter tops, paint our kitchen cabinets and have a new tile backsplash installed.

Before the end of March.

But here’s the thing.  Hubs and I leave next Tuesday for 2 weeks in France.  Awesome, but bad timing.  Then I’m home for two weeks,  Then AGMA leaves on March 11 for a 2 week tour of Turkey with a friend. Again awesome.

But REALLY bad timing.

Oh…and I am also working my part-time gig 2 days a week when I’m home, trying to keep up with my running and attempting to keep my little Ebay business going.

And blogging.

TOTALLY into the fire.

 

 

 

Fun is in the eye (or mouth) of the beholder

crown

AGMA went to the dentist this morning.

You can tell because I have this obvious droop on the right side of my upper lip.  I look like I’m sneering at people.

More than usual.

I’m at the age when the dental work I had back in my teens and twenties is starting to disintegrate.  Not really too bad since that was 45 years ago!  In a weird way, AGMA is glad that I’ve lived long enough to be able to have problems with old dental work.

Does that make sense?

And my teeth are exponentially better than my brother (12 years older) or my sister (6 years older) who’ve had innumerable root canals and other seriously ouchy sounding work done on their teeth and gums.

So, overall, AGMA’s making lemonade out of “you need to have crowns put on 2 teeth” lemons.

Right now, I’m back in my very favorite coffee shop, sitting in my very favorite seat (and it’s really crowded so…SCORE!), starving.  Obviously, not literally.  My arse (big enough to have its own zip code) will tell you loud and clear that I am really quite the opposite.  Well fed.

VERY well fed.

Because my lips are still numb, the coffee I’m drinking is dribbling now and then ever so slightly out of my mouth.  I really can’t feel if my lips are closed or not.

It’s kinda cute.

Dr. S said I had to wait an hour before I ate anything.  Which really screws with my writing routine.

I always order a large mocha (no whip) and a scone.  It’s with this delicious sustenance that AGMA is able to be witty and humorous.  Sometimes.

15 more minutes and I can snag my scone.

Have I mentioned that I love my dentist?  When I first went to Dr. S over 7 years ago, I was coming off of a long stretch of not going to the dentist.  This, along with using a toothpaste without fluoride, and not flossing on a regular basis, was not good for AGMA. Really not good.

I am here to say that one can do stupid things even into their late 50’s.  But then you already know that based on the stupid nonsense coming from the GOP these days…

Dr. S is a great guy and very non-judgmental.  Or preachy.  He’s very gentle and does a great job of explaining without alarming.  If you know what I mean.  And he doesn’t recommend having work done unless it is really absolutely necessary.   And the work he does is very well done.

Anyway, without giving graphic details, I had periodontal disease and had to be “scraped”.

YUCK!

But hallelujah!  AGMA saw the light (translation – I don’t EVER want to go through that again if I can help it.) and now walks the dental straight and narrow.  I got an electric toothbrush, switched back to toothpaste with fluoride, and have invested heavily in floss and different mouth rinses.  I’ve also become a crusader for good dental hygiene.

My top piece of advice for millennials…floss every day.  Multiple times if possible.

So today was the 2nd visit of getting the crown on the first tooth.

As is the case with any outstanding dentist, his solo practice is always hopping.  But his staff does a great job of scheduling and there’s rarely a wait to get whatever work that you are there for, done.  Today he was busier than usual and I had to wait for him a bit for step 1 (the shot of Novocaine.) Did I mention that I barely feel it when he gives me a shot?

When he stepped into my “area” (because you don’t get your own room like you did in the old days – you get a cubby.), I mentioned to him that he seemed crazy busy today.  He said it was indeed a busy morning, but because he loves what he does, it’s all good.

“I’m like a kid jumping from playground to playground, and I love it!”, he said with a look of sheer delight.

Seriously.

AGMA really never thought of my teeth/mouth as a dentist’s playground, but why the frack not?

Now THAT’S the kind of dentist everybody should have!

Jealous?

So I have my scone now, the mouth droop is almost gone (and I’m not dribbling anymore!) and I got a 2nd mocha.

Life is good.

Now if only the Senate would call witnesses, read all the testimony, have a fair trial, and convict the mad squatter in the WH, life would be awesome.

Thank you John Bolton and whoever leaked that book transcript for making this a, if only very faint, possibility!

It’s going to get really interesting.

Popcorn anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arizona

20200118_075002-1

AGMA’s on the road. Again.

Thank goodness.

We got back from our New Zealand trip on 12/7. I was getting antsy.

This trip is a total trip down memory lane.

Right now, at this very moment, I’m in Tucson, Arizona where the weather is spectacular and the Margarita’s are cheap.

But my first stop last Wednesday was – Sun City, Arizona.

I was there to visit my foster family. Well, they weren’t legally my foster family. I just lived with them when I was a toddler for a couple of years. They were friends of my parents.

It was a complicated situation.

Sun City is somewhat amusing to AGMA. It was a joke back in the 70’s with the Baby Boomers. Only the old folks went there. People who are just waiting to die. How sad…

Guess who’s living in Sun City now?

You would be correct if your answer is…

Wait for it…

Baby Boomers!

Irony is so cruel.

Second stop – Sedona, Arizona.

Sedona is absolutely gorgeous. Especially on a January day when the sun is shining on the glorious red rocks.

Good friends have recently moved into a house they have had custom built. The house has been under construction for 34 months. Yes, you read that right.

34. Months.

And it’s still not done.

The reasons are complicated.

And it will be spectacular when it’s finished.

The view is already spectacular. The picture above is what I awoke to every morning.

Crazy beautiful.

Third stop – Tucson, Arizona.

Tucson and I go way back. I transferred to the University of Arizona in 1973 as a junior.

Waaaaaaay baaaackkkk.

I met Hubs the first week I was there in 1973. That was nearly 47 freaking years ago.

Holy crap!

Does anybody else think that this whole passage of time thing is a bunch of bullsh*t?

Thank you…

Tonight, I took my mother-in-law out to dinner. And her daughter, my sister-in-law. I haven’t seen them in 3 years.

It’s complicated.

And Hubs is safely ensconced at home in Atlanta because he didn’t want to deal with the multiple issues between he and his mom. But I get it.

Complicated.

AGMA will have to say dinner went as well as I think it could have gone.

Afterwards, I went to an iconic Tucson restaurant/bar for a drink to help steady my nerves. Casa Molina. The bartender was very sympathetic and made me the most amazing skinny Margarita I’ve ever had.

So I am writing this under the influence.

Don’t judge me.

Casa Molina is a Tucson institution. It’s the same restaurant/bar that Hubs went to in the mid-70’s with his fraternity advisor/mentor, Danny.

AGMA could go on about Casa Molina and Danny and his Mexican heritage and his incredible influence with young men at the University of Arizona at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in the 1970’s, but I won’t.

It’s just a place that has meant a lot to Hubs and AGMA from ages past.

I’m here for another couple of days. I have a couple of friends from “the good old college days” who still live here that I am going to connect with. I even have a friend from my former life in Ohio (my kids 4th grade teacher!) who retired in Tucson. He and I are meeting for pancakes tomorrow.

Interesting connections.

But AGMA won’t be seeing a dear friend the I’ve always visited on returning because he passed away too young in 2018.

This a complicated visit for AGMA with complicated emotions.

And I’m thankful for strong Margaritas.

Cheers!

Steampunk, penguins and earthquakes

This is why AGMA will never be a travel blogger.

It’s taking me longer to get the posts done on our trip to Fiji/NZ than the entire trip lasted.

AGMA’s a bit like a hyperactive puppy.  All kinds of things (squirrels, squeak toys, etc.)  distract me and cause me to run amok for a spell.

(The etc. being devastating Austrian wildfires, the assassination of a high ranking Iranian official in a neighboring country, and the potential start of WWIII.  And Christmas and New Years – but they seem a pretty minor compared to everything else aside from the squirrels and squeak toys.)

I WILL finish the saga of the Great AGMA Adventure to the lands of Fiji water and Kiwis!

9.  Oamaru.  Oamaru is generally not on the radar when most folks think about visiting New Zealand.  But AGMA thinks it should be.  First of all, it’s the Steampunk capital of the world.  Yeah, I said Steampunk.  S-T-E-A-M-P-U-N-K.  Very surreal. Second, it’s one of the few towns in New Zealand that still has its original Victorian architecture and it’s gorgeous.  Third…PENGUINS!!  Cute, adorable little blue penguins (also known as fairy penguins.).

But oh Lordy…that Steampunk thing…

 

 

10. Christchurch.  AGMA and hubs were in Christchurch for the first time in 2014.  We were shocked to see that the city had barely begun to recover from the devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.  Unsafe, unstable buildings still stood in the CBD.  All over the CBD.  I remember a parking garage that had cars in it that had been sitting, parked in the same spot they were in when the last quake hit 3 years before, because the structure was too damaged to safely be able to remove them.  But you could tell that the people of Christchurch were determined to see their city come back better than before the quakes.

And AGMA’s happy to report it has!

Other than a few sites we recognized on our first trip, it was like visiting a totally different city.  New office buildings, lots of gravel lots where old buildings used to be, cute laneways with kickin’ good restaurants and bars, new shops, and some buildings severely damaged in 2011 that were still sitting abandon.

We stayed spent the night outside of Christchurch at an AirB&B in the caldera of an extinct volcano turned inland bay.

We flew out of Christchurch on 12/5 with a 4 hour layover in Fiji then on to Los Angeles.  We landed 3 hours before we took off…  That International Date Line screws with AGMA’s head.  Spent a couple of nights in LA visiting a friend then headed back home.

As Dorothy chanted, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.”  She was right.

Thanks for hanging with AGMA while I chased those squirrels.

And between 3 international trips, the upcoming presidential election (if we haven’t been nuked before then as a result of tRump’s psychotic madness), the grandkids, and the possibility of selling our house, I think 2020’s gonna be a wild ride…

Hang on!

P.S.  Happy birthday to me!  Today Mrs. Mowry’s little girl completes yet another trip around the sun.  Now I’m one number shy of the mark of the beast (just need to add another 6) so nobody better give me any sh*t this year!  🙂

 

 

Down the rabbit hole

auld

The last NZ post will be simmering until later this week.

But I HAVE to post something today (New Year’s Eve) because it’s the 6th anniversary of (drum roll please…) my very first blog post.

Tada!!

Quite honestly, I didn’t think I had one years worth of words in me let alone six!

Also, AGMA just went over 5000 followers this month.  That’s kinda of a big milestone too (for me.)  Although, I’m not really sure where most of them are since there are only about 40 or 50 AWESOME folks who actually read and comment on AGMA posts.

And because you are reading this, YOU, my friends, ARE freakin’ AWESOME!

Because it’s New Years Eve (in the US that is), there will be many (probably very poorly sung) renditions of Auld Lang Syne in the closing hours of 2019.  People who’ve had too many adult beverages will be hanging all over partners, dates, family and/or friends, crying, with snotty noses, and really screwing up the words to this traditional Scottish ballad.

So what exactly does “auld lang syne” mean?  Inquiring minds…

According to the source of all wisdom and knowledge, Wikipedia, “the poem’s Scots title may be translated into standard English as ‘old long since’ or, more idiomatically, ‘long long ago’,’days gone by’, or ‘old times’. Consequently, ‘For auld lang syne’, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as ‘for the sake of old times’.”

A couple of nights ago, AGMA fell down the “days gone by” “for the sake of old times” rabbit hole.

I decided to clean out my plastic bin full of old Christmas cards.

Yes, I had a bin full of old Christmas cards.  Doesn’t everybody?

Being certain I had just cleaned the bin out a few years ago, I dove in, pulling out any Christmas letters and photographs or photo cards.  I’m saving those.

It would take time to explain…

What became very clear to me was that AGMA had NOT cleaned out the bin a few years ago.  Unless you consider finding cards from back to 2006 “a few years ago”.

I’m fairly certain that some of the years in between got thrown out in a previous purge.  There wasn’t 13 years worth of cards in the bin.  Maybe only 9 or 10.

Yeah – there were a sh*tload of cards.

But when I started sorting through the cards, I felt the stings of my crusty AGMA heart being pulled.

There were cards/letters/pictures from:

  • people I had totally forgotten about (that made AGMA sad.)
  • people no longer with us like Al, hubs very first manager way back in the 70’s, my Uncle Harry,  and my old high school bestie, Ann (that made me really sad)
  • people who were once happily married, but are no longer (married and/or happy)
  • people who don’t speak to me now because we have opposing political views like my cousin Bob, my brother, and many of my former suburban “mom” friends from Ohio (only makes me semi-sad)
  • people who were incredibly important to me (and I to them) for a season, but that season has long passed, and we no longer exchange holiday greetings
  • people who were the picture of health, but have since been ravaged by illness and, in some cases, dementia
  • people who sent pictures of their children’s graduation from high school who are now sending pictures of their grandchildren
  • people who were one Christmas card people for various reasons

Total rabbit hole.  I was up in the attic for several hours.

I even found a copy of the letter we sent out in Christmas cards in 1990!  I read over it and thought, “Damn…that was a fast 29 years!”

“Time flies, and then you die” is a quote I heard years ago and have never really gotten out of my head.

Short and not so sweet, it gets to the heart of the matter…  We only go around once; there are no redos.

So, AGMA wants all you freakin’ awesome folks to make everyday of 2020 count – especially if you are NOT aging gracefully like me!

Jump off a building (attached to some sort of a safety device of course); do a zip line; travel someplace that makes you uncomfortable (but maybe not to an active volcano); eat strange food (like a whitebait fritter for Thanksgiving); love on your loved ones so they KNOW, without a doubt that you love them; get your second tattoo (or your first); listen to music that is not genre you normally listen to; get rid of stuff that has been in boxes for years; make friends with somebody who looks different than you; do goat yoga once; make time to meditate (on whatever you want) each day; make phone calls or write letters/emails/tweets to your elected officials to tell them what they are doing right OR wrong; give money (if you can afford it) to organizations who support causes you believe in (NOT a tRump charity please!!); get a new hairstyle/cut/color(s); go to a museum in the town you live in that you’ve never been to before…

Well – you get the idea!

AGMA’s just happy I’ve stuck with this little blog for six years! It’s brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined.  And ya’ll have given me, thought your comments and posts, the gift of YOU, which is most precious indeed!

Thank you from the bottom of my sometimes crusty, but always loving (shhhh – don’t tell anybody, it could ruin my reputation) heart!

Here’s to days gone by and all the days yet ahead in 2020!

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extreme sports, dark skies and lupins

For those who celebrate Christmas, we’re in that purgatory between Christmas and New Year where nobody quite know what day it is, where they are or what they’re supposed to be doing.

It’s a perfect time for a blog post!

I promised the rest of New Zealand, but after the franticness (is that a word?) of the past 3 weeks, it seems like our trip was a long time ago.

Funny how time has a way of doing that.

When you read the words “extreme sports”, I know that AGMA is the first person that comes to mind.  Just like tRump is the first person that comes to mind when you read the words “honesty and integrity” right?

AGMA has a very strong sense of self preservation.  Because of that, I’ve never really done anything even remotely dangerous.  Unless you consider not putting my seatbelt on in an Uber as living on the edge.

And sometimes it is.

But on this trip both hubs and I caught the New Zealand extreme sports bug and indulged in activities outside of my itty bitty, teeny weeny comfort zone.

(FYI, each picture has a caption.  If you want to read it, just hover over the picture.)

After visiting Middle Earth, we finished our visit on North Island in…

5. Auckland.  A beautiful city sitting inside the innards of multiple extinct volcanos.  Or so they say…  And quite a diverse city with wonderful energy, great restaurants and a beautiful harbor.  They have this tall structure in the CBD (just 1 1/2 blocks from our AirB&B) called the Auckland Sky Tower.  It’s kinda like the Seattle Space Needle.  And hubs decided to jump off of it.  Jump.  OMG.  192 meters (630 feet) straight down.  Of course he was in a harness and it was all super safe, but he still had to step off a ledge into a free fall (for the first 1/2 of it).  OMG. AGMA stayed at the bottom and watched.  Call me a chicken, but at least I had clean underwear at the end of the day!

6.  Blenheim.  We flew from Auckland to Nelson (on the South Island) and immediately hopped into our rental car (sadly, because Nelson looked very cool!)  Destination,  Blenheim, at the heart of the famous Marlborough wine district.  There’s a lot of sauvignon blanc there and somebody had to drink it!  On the way (which was incredibly scenic over unexpected mountains), we stopped in Havelock, the self proclaimed green lipped mussel capital of the world.  Who knew?  These mussels are MASSIVE and put US and European mussels to shame.  Kinda like tRumps imaginary brain.

7.  The Wild West Coast of South Island.  Going across South Island on the way to Greymouth on the beautiful west coast, we drove along the gorgeous Buller River.  In keeping with the extreme sports theme hubs inaugurated in Auckland, we opted to walk across the Buller River swing bridge and come back across via a zip line.  Okay, so maybe those just a demi-extreme experiences, but for AGMA it was cray cray!  A seal colony in Westport, the fascinating Pancake Rocks, and gorgeous coastal scenery are just some of the reasons we would LOVE to go back to the west coast to do more exploring!

8.  Lake Tekapo.  AGMA was pretty excited about our drive to Lake Tekapo.  It was going to take us over the Southern Alps through Authur’s Pass National Park.  This is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world.  “Supposed to be” being the operative phrase.  Unless it rains.  And is foggy.  Like it was the day we did the drive.  Damn.  It was still lovely even in the fog and rain, but I feel like I need to go back someday to see it in the sunshine.  But the incredible beauty of Lake Tekapo helped heal our broken expectant tourist hearts.  And the lupins.  So many lupins.  And the night sky.  Tekapo is part of the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve which is the worlds largest dark sky reserve.  Clear skies and few people along with strict regulations on exterior lighting results in some of the most amazing dark skies in the world with (to quote Carl Sagan) “billions and billions of stars”  The opportunity to do the Summit Experience at the Mt. John Observatory, I think, was the main reason we returned to New Zealand.

Okay – so I’ve been at the coffee shop for 3 hours now and AGMA’s pretty sure they are going to kick me out. There are a few more highlights, soooo…it looks like there will be one more post on New Zealand.

Sorry.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to figure out what day it is, where I am and what I’m supposed to be doing.

A typical day for AGMA.

Sparkle on!

AGMA’s out of control…

So much to do; so little time.  Getting back from our trip on 12/7 has given me a massive holiday headache.  Ouch!

The 2nd New Zealand travel post needs to simmer until after the holidays.

Until then, ya’ll can be mildly amused by my holiday post from 2014.  Was true then; is true now.

Glitter.  Everywhere.

Merry, merry!!

The AGMA Christmas Card Conspiracy Theory

Sparkle2

I think I’ve figured it out…  I know how the Chinese are going to take over the world.  Or at least the parts of the world that send glittery greeting cards

I wonder if anybody will believe me?

Last year, I bought some 75% off holiday cards after Christmas to send this year.  Yeah – I’m cheap.  I liked them because they have pretty sparkles.  They were made in China.

I bought some extra Christmas cards a few weeks ago because I needed more.  They also have pretty sparkles on them.  They were made in China.

Most of the Christmas cards I’ve received this year so far have pretty sparkles on them.  I checked the backs of each card.  They were made in China.

My sister has a late December birthday.  I bought a birthday card for her that has pretty sparkle balloons over the birthday cake on the front.  You guessed it –  made in China.

Hmmm – now I’m not the sharpest needle in the haystack, but I think I’m seeing a common thread…

Think about it.  As soon as you take those cards out of the box, those damn sparkles go everywhere.  I opened a sparkly card last week on the kitchen counter near the phone.  Later in the day, I found sparkles on our cooktop which is across the room.  Huh?

Accident?  I don’t think so…

We have cats.  The sparkles get on the floor.  Our cats daintily prance through the errant sparkles on the floor getting them on their paws.  They’re now carriers.

The sparkles get on the kitchen counters.  All over the kitchen counters.  The cats aren’t allowed on the counters.  Yeah – right. Telling a cat “No!” works so well…

So their paws end up covered in sparkles.  At this point, because cats will not be denied access anywhere, you start finding sparkles all over the house.   Literally, everywhere.  Really, in places that would shock and surprise you.

And I realized – it’s all an ingenious, insidious plot.  They’re using our pets against us to spread the sparkles.  It’s like something you’d find on The Sci-Fi channel.

“What’s there to fear from a few ill placed sparkles?” you ask.  Other than you don’t feel like sparkles in your morning coffee.  Or your scrambled eggs.  Or stuck to your boob.

It’s “just” sparkles now my friends, but what about next year?  Or the year after?

Scientists are already working on making graphene practical for use in computers and everyday electronics.  In case you don’t know, graphene is a carbon sheet only one atom thick.  It’s the new miracle substance that is supposed to revolutionize the electronics industry because it conducts electricity 100 faster than the silcone.  Stronger than steel but flexible, it’s a nano-sized superconductor.  Seriously, this stuff if pretty darned amazing.

But one atom thick?  Gosh, that’s teeny, tiny, itty-bitty.  Small enough to fit on something really tiny.  Really tiny like – oh, I don’t know – a sparkle maybe?

And so it begins…

Again, I’m not the fastest pony in the stable, but sometimes I can connect the dots.

Today it’s a sparkle.  Tomorrow it’s a digital communications tool the size of a piece of glitter stuck to your ass beaming all of your junk over to the Chinese version YouTube.

Merry Christmas Beijing.

 

Volcanoes, Hobbits and glowworms

AGMA’s back!

And I’m still fighting jet lag. Even after a 2 night stopover in LA on Thursday and Friday before we flew home on Saturday.

So sorry I didn’t get anything posted other than the stinky haiku. The days were full and this AGMA needs a full 8 at night.

And I really can’t do a proper post on my phone.

Fat fingers….

I missed you all!

Here’s the Readers Digest of our escapades:

  • 1 night in LA (fun and hot!)
  • 2 nights in Fiji (yes – Fiji!)
  • 7 nights on the North Island of New Zealand
  • 7 nights on the South Island of New Zealand
  • 2 nights in LA (cool and rainy – WTF??)

All good?

We were in New Zealand for a week in 2014 and went to Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

This trip, our stops were Hamilton, Taupo, Rotorua, Auckland (all on North Island) and Blenheim, Greymouth, Lake Tekapo, Oamaru and Cass Bay (all on South Island)

We had AMAZING weather pretty much the whole trip. And it was far warmer than we had anticipated or that Weather.com had predicted for New Zealand. AGMA had a “feeling” so I took out some long sleeved shirts and threw in some t-shirts, an extra pair of capris, and sandals in my suitcase like an hour we left!

Maybe I could get my own 800 number as a weather psychic?

I’ve said before, I’m not very good at the travel blog thing. AGMA would end up droning on about boring stuff that you really couldn’t care less about. ZZZzzz…

So let’s just do highlights with pictures (some pictures have captions that will pop up if you hover over them.) And of course some words. You know me…

1. Fiji. It’s a country made up of 330 islands, 100 of which are inhabited. We were there for 2 nights. Guess how many islands we visited? Yup – one…Viti Levu (location of the international airport.) AGMA’s not too much of a tropical island/beach gal so what impressed me most about Fiji was the people. Gracious, friendly and charming. And the orchids at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant (land that used to belong to Raymond Burr of all people!!)

2. The Ruakuri Cave and Waitomo Glowworm Cave (North Island). Most people don’t do Ruakuri because the glowworms are the big draw at Waitomo. But since hubs uses a mobility scooter and Waitomo isn’t accessible, but Ruakuri is, I did both caves. It’s very cool that Raukuri is only one of two fully accessible caves in the world. And honestly, Ruakuri was more interesting than Waitomo! And it had glowworms (but not nearly as many as Waitomo.) And you could take pictures in it.

3. The awesome and plentiful geothermal features of the Taupo/Rotorua area (North Island.) Yes – AGMA’s a geology nerd! This is one of the most geologically active areas of the world – the Pacific plate is moving under the Indo-Australian plate right underneath this area!! It’s called the Taupo Volcanic Zone and is a super volcano like Yellowstone in the US. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in NZ and it is part of an enormous caldera formed from a volcanic eruption some 26,500 years ago. The last eruption way back in 180 AD was the LARGEST volcanic eruption EVER! EVER! The effects of this massive eruption were seen and documented in Rome and China. Just this morning, there was a volcanic eruption on White Island (the red dot at the top right of the first picture) in the Bay of Plenty (in this Taupo Volcanic Zone) which unfortunately took 5 lives with 8 people missing.

4. Hobbiton in Middle Earth (North Island) And yes, I’m a LOTR geek as well!

Okay…there’s a bit more – we aren’t even on South Island yet! But I’m still jet lagged (I think I said that already, but hey, I’m jet lagged!) and AGMA needs to get started on Christmas stuff. We’ve been home almost 48 hours now I have done nothing that is holiday oriented.

One more travel post so hang with me.

Maybe only one…

Incredible journeys

socks

Hubs and AGMA are hitting the road again. Finally.

We haven’t been on a long trip since May. I’ve been getting antsy.

Ya’ll know how I am…

We leave in almost exactly 48 hours. I have yet to do any serious packing. And I have an all day job tomorrow. Not the best job of planning on my part.

I did start pulling a few things together earlier in the week. Essentials like socks and underwear. The “base layer” some might call it.

There was much sighing as AGMA went through my sock drawer and came across several single socks. These are socks whose mates are long gone, sucked into that purgatory where naughty single socks are banished as punishment, never to return to the land of light.

Why do I keep single socks without a mate?

Who knows… Maybe to keep the memory alive of what a beautiful pair it and its significant other made. Maybe I’m holding out hope that the missing sock will enter the Narnia closet and come out back home in AGMA’s sock drawer. Maybe I’m just sentimental.

Whatever the reason, I can’t risk getting rid of the left behind sock lest its partner in crime magically reappears and I’m stuck with a single sock again.

Oh – what cruel irony that would be…

Then there’s my earrings. Oh, my earrings! The same alien force that transports my socks away from their mirror twin, also seeks to break up the unified bliss of my earrings.

And when it’s a pair of earrings that I REALLY like, I hold tightly on to the one that remains in hopes of a joyous reunion someday. In some cases, I’ve been waiting for a very long time for that reunion. 20 years ago, AGMA got an extra pierce in one of my ears to hold my single remaining diamond stud of the set that was gifted to me by Hubs a few years before.

I won’t give up on it finding its soul mate.

Perhaps I think it’s like that old Disney movie, The Incredible Journey, where a stylish black and white running sock, a thick brown wool sock and a shiny silver dangle earring are trying as hard as they can to get home despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles during the 365 mile trip from Cincinnati to Atlanta.

Or every Toy Story movie ever made where Woody and the gang face unmentionable dangers trying to get back to their adorable owner of the moment.

They are all out there somewhere trying to get back to AGMA.

In my heart, I just know they are.

In the meantime, I need to get my arse in gear packing for our 3 week trip through 4 different climate zones. In a carry on.

Which is why this post shorter than the normal AGMA-dribble.

I have my work cut out for me today.

Hopefully AGMA’s next post will be from the other side of the world in a different hemisphere where the water goes counterclockwise in a sink, the national rugby team does a ceremonial war dance before each game, and the skies are so dark at night you can see to the far end of the Galaxy.

I think it will be an incredible journey!

P.S. Don’t even get me started on plastic storage container lids…