What’s New With Amoeba & Quilly?

Well, Amoeba spent a week in Louisiana, came home for a few days and then flew off to Hawaii. He came home from Hawaii for a few hours — literally just long enough to get the clothes in his suitcase washed and repacked — and drove to Seattle where he is now.

I have been busy, too, but not jet setting. I have been right here at home gardening and cleaning the garage. I had to clean the garage because we bought a second car. Well, it is sort of a car …. It is street legal and we have it licensed and insured, but calling it a car is kind of ambitious. It is a little electric Ford TH!NK Neighbor.


I call it a buggy and I love it. It only goes 25 mph, but that is plenty fast enough in town — and one can still get a speeding ticket in it on many of our local streets. (No, neither of us have done so nor do we plan to). I told Amoeba I would happily trade him cars. He can have the Malibu and I will have the buggy. He said no — then he got in the Malibu and went to Seattle!

Of course, going to Seattle in the buggy could be an ordeal since one would have to make at least 3 eight hour stops to recharge the battery along the way. And I am happy zip, zip, zipping around in the buggy.

Innovative Designs

There is a building downtown that has known several incarnations in just the short time I have been visiting and living on this island (2007-2011).  For Amoeba, who has been here off and on since the late 1970s, the building has had four lives.  I have no memory of it as the Electric Company, but I do recall when it was Pazzo Vivo and Bella Luna and except for the name change, they were pretty much the same.    That’s no longer true!

I’ve written about this place before.  Now it is the Rumor Mill.  Now let me tell you a few things you don’t know ….

The first and most striking thing one notices about the Rumor Mill is that it is an indoor restaurant that becomes an outdoor restaurant with just the push of a button.  A good portion of the front wall is a gorgeous, glass, commercial garage door.  During daylight hours the restaurant is light and bright whether the doors are open or closed.

I love it when the doors are open!  One can enjoy the ambiance of sidewalk dining without the sidewalk or the street fumes. The garage door is a totally unexpected and charming innovation. It is also quite lovely.  One can get some pretty classy commercial garage doors these days.

If it ever stops raining I will photograph the Rumor Mill.  The One More Time Band will be playing there this Friday Night.  Since Amoeba is in the band, I am sure to be there, too.

Slip Sliding Away

I was in the coffee shop Tuesday when it started to snow.  We looked out the window and ohhed and ahhed, then went back to sipping our beverages and chatting.  I love the coffee shop because it is designed like a living room and everyone chats with everyone.  After awhile one of the regulars disturbed our joy and laughter by pointing out that the snow was falling rather thick and fast.

As one we turned to the window and ohhed and ahhed again, but this time in gasps instead of sighs. Cups were emptied, newspapers were folded and the place cleared out.  I said to Mona, “You know, I haven’t driven in snow in 14 years.  I don’t remember it being a horrid, big deal, but with the locals acting like this, I think I’d better go on home myself.”

The coffee shop sits on an incline.  No sooner had I stood up and donned my coat, then an SUV slid down the hill sideways.   That convinced Mona that she needed to close the coffee shop and go home herself.  That’s when I suggested we both visit the supermarket in case we were going to be snowed in for awhile.  Mona agreed and we tidied the store quick fast.  Just as we were locking the doors the sanding truck went by, which made me feel much better.

I was parked in front of the store, which means I had to start driving mid-incline.  I did so very cautiously — and was pleasantly surprised to find I had no trouble whatsoever.   I had to make a left-hand turn at the top of the hill and thanks to the sand I did so easily.   Mona pulled out of the store parking lot and followed me.

The corner at the top of the hill was a three way stop.  After we cleared it, a big Silverado was between Mona and I so I couldn’t see her anymore.  The corner at Guard and Blair was slick.  For a few seconds I thought I was staying there, but I applied the gas slowly and managed to catch enough traction to roll off the slick spot.  The corner at Blair and Park was just as bad.  I knew Mona was still behind me because I saw her rear-end fishtail in the intersection.

Spring Street and Blair gets so much traffic it was bare pavement.  I used that bit of reprieve to take a deep breath.   I’m glad I didn’t relax though.  The Silverado made a right turn and Mona was once again behind me.  In fact, just for the briefest moment at the corner of Market Place and Blair I thought Mona was going to end up in my trunk.   That’s when I learned that my reflexes are still good and despite not using my winter driving skills in years, they still function.

The entire intersection at Market Place and Blair was ice.  I was going less than 10 miles an hour and the back end of my car started to fishtail.  I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw Mona having the same trouble.  I needed to get my car under control and get out of her way, but my tires had no traction. I also needed to make a right hand turn but didn’t see how that was going to happen, either.

I decided it was time to stop driving on the ice trail and make my own path. I don’t drive an SUV, but it was only a few inches of snow.  I let my car slide into the parking lane (there were no parked cars on the street) then I simply drove away through the fresh snow.  Mona followed me.

We got our groceries and then went our separate ways, Mona to her home and me to mine.  We both made it without incident.  Even so, Mona is thinking of trading her island beater car in on an Outlander.  She says she’s ready for some muscle in her car.  And I’m looking at finding an SUV that Amoeba will approve environmentally.   Not that I am holding out much hope for getting a new car.  Amoeba’s solution for beating the horrid driving conditions was to walk to and from work this week.

Truckin’ On Down the Road

Amoeba and I enjoyed out cross country drive.   There seemed to be a lot of big rigs on the road.  Every time a rig would pass us, or we would pass a rig, Amoeba would say, “What recession?”  Apparently trucking companies still have plenty of goods to haul.  Almost every rig that went by advertised Trucking Jobs on it’s tail gate. Need a job? learn to drive an 18 wheeler!

Auto Insurance For Blonds

Blondie is upset.  First she was pulled over for failing to yield the right away at a stop sign.  She plans to fight the ticket in court because the sign doesn’t say yield, it says stop.

Then the cop asked to see her insurance card.  She handed him her Blue Shield card.  The cop said, “Not your health insurance ma’am.  Your auto insurance.”

Blondie looked at him blankly.  “My health insurance is automatic,” she said.  “At least it is for me.  My employer pays it.”

The cop said, “Ma’am, open your glove box and give me your car insurance.”

“Oh!”  The blond said brightly. “Why didn’t you just say so?”  She opened her glove box and handed the officer her car manual.

The cop’s patience was almost gone.  “Ma’am, this is not your auto insurance.”

“I know that, silly,” the blond said.  “That’s the operator’s manual for my car.  If you look at it it says right there I don’t need auto insurance coverage.”

The cop was so startled he actually looked at the manual.  “It says what?!”

The blond pointed at the words standard transmission.  “I don’t need auto insurance,” she said.  “I drive a stick-shift!”

That’s when the cop wrote the second ticket, which Blondie also plans to fight in court.  I tried to explain things to her but I wasn’t getting through.  I gave up right after I told her she should start by getting an auto insurance quote and she responded, “Now I know you’re just teasing!’  Insurance can’t talk!”

Because they want us to laugh a little every weekend, Shakira of, You Are Never Alone, and Gattina of Writer’s Cramps, host the Weekend Funnies meme. They care if we tell our own tales or post some of those endless jokes that fill our email boxes. They just want us to share a bit of laughter while visiting each other on the net. Check out Gattina’s blog for the other players and come laugh with us.