There Is A GOD and Prayer Works

Guess what!? Lyle doesn’t have colon cancer. The doctors think the masses were simply a couple of Oregon slugs that have been clinging to his innards since their visit in June 2008. They are very persistant critters and not something people normally eat, unless it’s by mistake. I sincerely believe that Lyle didn’t eat any of them on purpose. But, you never know. He’s an adventurous soul.

So, now his kidneys are working, and he doesn’t have colon cancer. What remains to be seen is the results of the endoscopy, and the biopsy that was taken this afternoon. I don’t think this one is an Oregon slug because it’s too high up in the GI tract. It’s a known fact that it sometimes takes slugs 6 years to transit the normal 32 feet of intestines. They’re really slow. You’re guess is as good as mine as to what it is, but we all hope and pray the biopsy is negative.

Today I didn’t get real clothes on until about 1:00pm. The first time I got up was 6:00am, like normal, to let the dogs out. Then I went back to bed instead of floppin on the couch. I slept another 3 hours, the last 30 minutes of which were very exciting. I was in that zone where you think you’re almost awake, but not quite, and there were about a zillion pictures flashing around in my head like fireworks. It was amazing. All of them related to things I need to get done, and I remember stopping to study each one for a fraction of a second before it zoomed off and was replaced by the next one. Really, really cool.

Then I woke up and it all went away. So, all I remember is the event, not specifics. It was really pretty.

About 12:30pm Diane heated up some lunch and commanded me to eat. This is what she made for me …

It was really good, but it was enough for three of us. That’s a pork chop in the middle of everything, and it’s buried in brown rice.

After lunch, I was directed to the dogwood tree in our front yard because Diane wanted to see what a couple of sprigs looked like in a vase. This is what they look like …

I cut a few extras so she would be sure to have a vast array of choices for her vase. She was pleased, but she will be more please when I put all the branches back that she didn’t want. I don’t know how that’s going to work because I used a chain saw. I think I’ll just toss them on the burn pile instead. It’s empty so could use something to cover up all the ashes.

At one point in the day, we spied a ship heading down the Columbia River. The water is so high that they are really visible from the porch. It’s the white boxy thing you can see amongst the trees in the middle of the picture.

Diane can see ships on the river all the time and didn’t tell me that I could, also, until we’d lived here for about 3 years. I thought that was totally unfair, but what’s a guy to do?

I found the cat lounging around this afternoon, too. She apparently thinks she’s smaller than she really is. We have noticed that she’s gained weight since the adoption because she’s eating regularly. She eats her own food outside, and Ozzie’s on the inside, when the mood strikes. Ozzie gets a little flumoxed with her about that, but she’s bigger than he is and she has some nasty finger nails.

I must now depart, per orders, to take Lydia to softball practice. Hope everyone is doing OK.

Baylee’s Three! Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Baylee’s 3rd birthday but she didn’t mind celebrating a little early. It’s all about the cake.

And, this is the best way ever to make a birthday cake. It’s a cupcake cake. There’s no cutting, all the pieces are the same size, and everyone gets the same amount of frosting. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s a Safeway cake where Jennie works as a cashier and the dairy queen.

I had a whole bunch of other stuff right here but somehow it got erased when I started adding pictures. So, I’ll just go along with it and give you some more of them. Here’s Gilligan with Jeran, and Jerrie with Lydia…

Grandma Diane and Jerrie.

Baylee taking her first ride on her new bike.

And here’s Cedric wearing Baylee’s new bike helmet, that she picked out. He’s wearing it because all the necessary extra padding she needs was left at their home. So, she wore Gilligans helmet for her first ride.

Now I’m getting sleeping because the meds are kicking in. So I better stop before I say something that might embarrass Diane. That wouldn’t be good. But, I have this question floating around in my head that just won’t go away and I know it will haunt me tonight if I don’t unload it … do curly headed people have straight pubic hair? There, I’ve done it, and the heck with consequences. I’ll let you know what the punishment for that is as soon as I find out.

But, before I quit, here’s a picture of us guys …

Oh … did I mention that Logan showed up to help celebrate his little sister’s birthday? Don’t think I did.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Hi there!

I’ve been thinking about OCD, an affliction that almost everyone in the world has, except me. I don’t have that. I have a different kind of acronymn. Diane thinks I have AADHD-EIOU. I think that’s Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I tossed in the rest of the vowels because an acronymn can never have too many vowels. Of course, I disagree because I don’t think I have a disorder or deficit of any kind. Everyone else is screwed up, not me. And I can prove it. I just don’t want to.

So, maybe you want to check some of the following to see if any apply to you …

Do you ensure all the labels face out when you stack things on shelves?

Do you fuss over how the stack of towels looks after someone unceremoniously yanks a towel from the middle of the stack and doesn’t straighten it up?

Do you feel a need to arrange your shoes in a nice, neat line, wherever they may be on the floor?

Do you find it necessary to knock on a door a certain amount of times before it “feels right”?

Do you count stairs when you go up or down them?

Do you have “visions” of someone tripping on an item you just passed on the floor and cannot move along until you go back and move it?

If you feel “close” to any of the above, don’t worry about it. All of those are normal OCD behaviors and don’t affect your life at all. Believe me, I know, becaue I do all of those things and I’m perfectly normal. Just ask Diane. I embrace my OCD-ness.

On the other hand, if you break out in a rash whenever you feel the need to lie, or be serious, you have a severe problem that can only be relieved with a thick coating of SPF-85 cocoa butter – that’s Ziva’s favorite. She likes all forms of hand and body cream, but loves cocoa butter because it tastes the best.

OK, there’s a left turn. Sorry.

Oh, no, here’s another one … !

Lyle had an operation yesterday during which a shunt, or stint, was placed in his kidneys and they started working. How cool is that? So, that danger is over, and now we await the results of his endoscopy and colonoscopy which will happen Monday. I talked with him today and told him to ensure that, if they do the colonoscopy first, that they turn the tube around before they do the endoscopy because there’s no doubt it will taste like crap if they don’t. I know this is true, too. It’s logical.

Today we went to Longview to a paint store that mixes any color you want and puts it in spray cans for you. They can mix any car color you want for any car back to the 1920’s. We just went back to 1979 for the RV. Pretty cool. After we got the paint we went to Sizzler for a late lunch. Diane ate cod and I had all you can eat dead shrimp. I think I ate 40 of them along with six chicken wings and a very large bowl of ice cream and apple crisp. And french fries, and two large glasses of Pepsi. Unfortunately, there’s no antidote for caffeine except time so I hope it wears off before I have to go to bed. I don’t know when that will be because Diane hasn’t told me yet.

I think that’s about it for today. Hope all is well with all of you.

Our Animals In General …

Wow! You folks made my day and put me in a position where I’ll have to watch what I say from now on. At least eleventy-two, or three, people deemed it OK to waste a little time and read some of this stuff. It amazes me, every day, that people would actually do that. I’m sure you all have better things to do than to “listen” to an old man’s drivel. There were 54 of you. That’s second best to the entry where I told a bunch of lies about Twilight & Hunger Games. That one caught 102 people off guard. From that I learned the value of “titles”.

Yesterday we banished Ziva from our home. She made it clear she wanted to move out. So, we packed her a bag, tied it to her leash, and sent her on her way. She wasn’t sad, at all, because she only had to walk to the driveway and climb into Jeff’s vehicle for the trip to their house. Ziva has been sad since we got home because she missed her three little girls. That’s where she went to live. We have visitation rights, however, so it’s not a total separation.

Now, Panzee is sad. She hasn’t got anyone to argue with about the food supply. She wasn’t even interested in her food when I carried it into the living room for her. She just laid down beside it and flashed around her sad blue eyes. Poor puppy. Going outside isn’t interesting to her, either. That’s going to be a serious problem once she finishes the next bowl of water. Or, maybe she’s discovered a place to pee that we’ve yet to find. I’ll be sure to let you know.

Yesterday I was watching the bird feeder outside the kitchen window when a streak of black and white shot from the sidewalk at about a 70 degree angle and landed on the picket right under the feeder. It was, of course, Breezie working on her hunting skills. She missed, but I know she doesn’t miss all the time. She shared one of her “catches” by dropping it in the hall where we couldn’t miss it. Nice. At the bottom of the stairway to the yard, outside the kitchen door, it was evident someone had used the rug as a sacrificial altar to birds of the world. There were feathers pretty much everywhere, but no bird. We can’t categorically blame Breezie for the mess because there were no witnesses, but I have my suspicions. We’re not inclined to convict on circumstantial evidence so, for now, she’s still roaming free. But, I’m buildinging a cat jail. I’ll be curious to see what it looks like once I’m done.

Ozzie isn’t quite as vocal as he was before we tossed Ziva out. They both kind of fed off each other in the noise department. He Yaps instead of Barking like a real dog. I think he used to pretend he was barking, like Ziva, by miming her once he got her going. He’s very predictable when he initiates noise because he leaps from the back of the Man Room Couch, where he keeps watch on the front yard and street, at the slightest movement of grass, or figment of his imagination. We never see anything, but it works to get Ziva and Panzee to the front door to see what’s up. There are several people who live up our one-way street who take great care when walking by our house. Perhaps, now, we’ll be able to visit with them instead of restrain the dogs. We’ve been here for 5 years and hardly know any of them.

Here’s a new picture of Jerrie Anne, just for fun …

Why Did I Turn Down That Road?

I believe all things have meaning. There have been many TV shows, and movies, over the years that speculate on this. Most recently, “Touch” has brought this home to me in great detail. We’re all interconnected in some manner that defies description, that cause us to turn down roads, or streets, that we do not normally travel. The end result of such detours always, in my experience, leads us into a situation where we have an opportunity to help someone. Or not. It’s a simple choice we make every waking day of our lives.

Generally, such events are not overtly evident, they happen in small ways. I could be as simple as stopping at a crosswalk on a busy street to allow someone to cross the street. They may have been waiting for a long time and, perhaps, late getting to an important meeting. By taking the detour, and stopping, you’ve added your signature to the overall scheme of things. You mattered. You had a choice. For that person, you made the right one.

I’m not spouting something new, but simply adding my little spin on how I perceive these life changing events. Diane and I have them all the time, perhaps because we tend to travel the path less travelled. Backroads, and side streets are our preferred method of getting from A to B, no matter where we go. Consequently, we’ve had an opportunity to slow down and see many things that make us undetrstand why we either turned where we did, or why we happened to be in the wrong lane, and had to either get off the road, or take a chance to get back into line.

During our long trip in 2010 several things happened to serve as evidence that things fall into place in a seemingly magical manner. Two come to mind.

One was a stop at a fast food facility to get a couple of breakfast sandwiches before heading down the road. When we received our order it was wrong. It was corrected, but they allowed us to keep the extra meal. As we pulled away from the drivethru, Diane turned down an alley instead of onto the road so we could stop and organize ourselves. Near where we stopped there was a gentleman of lesser means searching trashcans for something to eat. He came away with a paper plate with “something” on it and started walking by the car. Diane and I looked at each other, silently communicating the knowledge that this is why we went this way. She rolled down her window and offered this man the extra meal. He accepted it, then returned his plate to the garbage can. It was solid reinforcement that we’re hear for a reason. Had we not had the extra meal, we would have given him one of ours and gone back for another. Having it, however, simplified the process.

A second detour, caused by construction, forced us off the highway into a small town in Montana. We’d been travelling a while and had a destination planned, but we weren’t ready to stop so it was briefly upsetting when we had to exit. The disappointment was brief because along the exit road was a cemetery that had a section specifically for Veterans that had identical headstones, like Arlington. It was very striking and, after exchanging a knowing look, we stopped to take a walk. It was beautifully maintained, and having a separate section for Veterans made it all the more special to us. That’s no doubt because of our close affiliation with the military for so many years of our lives. We’ve never seen another cemetery like it, before or since. We believe we were taken to that location so we could see that cemetery and witness the honor this community bestowed upon their home town heros.

I have absolutely no doubt that each and every one of you have had similar experiences. Maybe you don’t think anything about why these things happen, and that’s OK. Maybe you do think about it and chalk it off to coincidence. That’s OK, too. Personally, I don’t think it’s coincidence, at all. I think that no matter which road you take, no matter where you are going, you will always encounter an opportunity to give someone a helping hand, to do something good, to make a difference. This makes me think think of an old saying that “it’s not the road you’re on, it’s the journey.”

I’m not special because I think about things like that – we’re all wired a little differently. Some no doubt think I have a few wires crossed. So do I, sometimes. But, I believe I can see just a little bit of the interconnectivity we all have.

If you look, so can you.

Why Naps Are Necessary

Naps. Do you take them? If so, where do you take them? Generally, I don’t take them anywhere. I just leave them where I find them. Instead of “taking” them, I “have” them. Seriously, how can you “take” a nap when you can just ‘have” them? They’re free. But, it might be important to some folks to think they are getting away with something when they “take” one. When asked, some folks may say they “took” a nap, whereas I “had” one. Those who “took” a nap undoubtedly did so in a premeditative manner. I don’t know if that’s a real word, premeditative, but it fits well in that sentence. Like, “I’m going to take a nap now.” When told that, should anyone try to stop them? It seems so … illegal when posed in that manner.

I’m getting off topic, aren’t I? Sorry.

Naps are necessary to help ensure one’s brain is properly maintained. It’s like preventative maintenance. It’s also like an emergency valve that trips you off line for a short period of time in order to preserve mental functions. This is especially noticeable when you’re watching a really boring movie and you’re on the verge of going nuts … your head flops sideways and you miss the end, which is probably OK. It’s the cheese that you were eating when you nodded off that’s the problem because you’ve drooled it onto your best blouse due to the lack of a napkin.

Napkins were specifically named to identify a tool used to ensure drool does not stain your clothes. It’s mainly for women because they only drool while napping whereas men drool any time they want, but mainly at the beach.

“Kin” is the generic term, and it’s evolved over time to encompass any manner of keeping food off your clothes. There used to be “lipkins”, “fingerkins”, “facekins”, “chinkins”, “lapkins”, as well as “napkins” until someone made the association that all of those were associated with body parts, or locations. So, a vote was called to allow everyone who used all those things to redefine them, and simply call them “napkins”, something that isn’t associated with a body part at all. It’s associated with a bodily function, as is drooliing. The results of that vote were recently brought to light with the discovery of a little known book called “The History of Napkins” which was written in 1232 BC by a fellow named Fritz Gasloppenhimer. Fritz was a hip guy, making all the rounds of the local night clubs, a favorite of the ladies, until they went to dinner. It was then his friends desserted him, and the ladies left him alone because he ate like a pig. It wasn’t so much “how” he ate as to how much food wound up on his hands and frilly frocks. Noticing this abandonment, he began carrying a gunny sack with him to absord the spillage. Not only did his cleaning bill go down to nearly nothing, his friends migrated back and the ladies begged for him to make them a gunny sack, too. He becme a hit and started marketing his invention to the entire world. Originally called the gasloppenhimerniblitzcatchinfrockenclean-akeepin but no one could say that with a straight face, so he went with his 2nd choice of sackawipinhanznmouth, which was quickly shortened to mouthsack. From there the history is lost as to how it evolved into the well known kin. The changes from kin are documented above. I know all of this to be the absolute truth because my fingers told me so. In a dream, and again just now.

Having digested all of that, and cleaned up my face with a mouthsack it’s easy to see how even the smallest insignificant things in our lives are entertwined in some way. I bet you all have stories you can tell about how some small “thing” or “event” placed you in a situation where you had the opportunity to influence someones life for the better. OK, that’s a little far out, and way off topic, but this is true, for sure. And, the topic for another entry.

Ciao

My Onan Generator

Today I totally dismantled the Onan 4000 Gen Set in our RV. I had all the parts laid out so I could put them back together in the correct sequence when the cat showed up and started batting pieces all over the place. Thankfully, it started raining before it got out of control and the cat ran for cover. Being a dedicated Oregonian, I stuck it out and rearranged all the pieces.

The initial problem with the generator was the fuel pump. It didn’t suck very well so I bought a new one. Fortunately, the mounting holes are in the same location so I didn’t have to relocate anything. To test the system, I just hooked it up and got the new one pumping fuel from the tank like it’s supposed to. Unfortunately, that didn’t solve the problem because it still wouldn’t start. I knew I had spark, and fuel was flowing, so the carburetor wasn’t allowing the fuel in. Something was stuck. So, the dismantling began.

To do that I had to remove Diane’s mattress which, unfortunately, got all wet because I laid it out in the driveway. It was in the way. I put a piece of plywood on top of it, but it still got a little ground water on the bottom. Too bad the plastic covering got ripped when I tossed it out there. The plywood was on top of the bracing for the bed so with it out of the way I was able to see the top of the generator containment module. It’s been accessed before because someone cut the top out of it and used about 185 sheet metal screws, and a bunch of caulk, to put it all back together. Removing this allowed access to the faulty carburetor and other pertinent parts that cannot be accessed from the side opening of the generator containment module. I vowed that, when I reassembled it, I would install access doors to take care of that problem.

The carb didn’t cooperate so I threw it away and put on a new 4-barrel Holly, but it still wouldn’t start so I removed the head, took out the pistons, ground the valves, installed new piston rings, added a couple of extrta cylinders so I could fully ustilize the potential of the larger carburetor. It was simple matter of adding an old Kawasaki 750 cc engine I found in the attic over the garage the other day. I don’t know how it got there, but it came in handy.

After I got it all back together I did the “smoke test” and it passed with flying colors. With the addition of the Kawasaki parts the red line bumped up to 11,000 rpm which meant I could comfortably run the unit at 5500 rpm without fear of it falling apart. At that rpm the generator produced approximately 1.7 mega watts of power which is enough to light up a small city. Learning that made me head in a totally different direction.

With all that electricity being generated I thought, “Why not just  yank out the engine and install an electric motor on each wheel?” That turned out to be difficult, but not impossible. I found most of the parts at ACE and the remainder at Wal*Mart. So, now we have a hybrid RV. The very first one ever.

I did a test run to Astoria and back and made it in just over 1.5 hours and it got exactly 72 mpg! And, with no need for an engine or transmission, I added a small hot tub that’s accessible through the old engine cover in the cab. That’s really handy for Diane because when she gets tired of sitting and giving me directions, she can turn her chair and soak her feet. Nice. She doesn’t know about that, yet. It’s a surprise.

With all those kilowatts this rig can do a full 4-wheel burnout and get to 60 mph in just under 9 seconds, and turns a 1/4 mile at 115 mph in 14 seconds. The high end torgue of the electric motors really crank during thos last 5 seconds. They literally scream like little girls. They also smoked a little but I wasn’t worried because they were new and it was just the paint baking off due to the intense heat.

Now I need to shim up the toilet so it doesn’t wobble, install the new horn, and we’re good to go.

I wish I had pictures to share, but I don’t because none of that’s true.

All I managed to do today was get a new fuel pump installed and make it pump gas from the tank. For me, that’s success. Tomorrow, maybe, I’ll tackle the carburetor problem. The hammer didn’t work.