Delays, Golf, Apple Products, and BBCs

Howdy – it’s been a few days since I’ve been allowed near my computer and I’ve missed talking with all of you. Well, honestly, I didn’t miss talking with you, really, because we rarely actually talk. I would miss it, however, if we talked more. Does texting count as “talking”? If not, maybe it should. I guess that means emails count, also. That being the case, I guess I talk to people all the time, every day, as we all do.

Yesterday, however, was a special treat because I was actually allowed to speak in person to an East Coast Cutie (ECC) who most people call Cheryl. I don’t know what the other people call her … maybe Mom, or Aunt Cheryl, Honey, Dear, Sweetie, Love, or something like that. What prompted that conversation began as a text to my shirt pocket, where my phone was currently residing. It was from Susan, another ECC, wanting to know what my address was. Since I couldn’t answer right away, I forgot about it until a while later when Cheryl called and left a voice message asking the same question … “Uncle Jerrie, what’s your address?” As soon as Sunday Service terminated, I extracted myself to the parking lot where I promptly returned the call, full of curiosity as to why this information was needed. All manner of things flittered through my tiny brain, like they’re sending a hit squad to take me out for some sort of East Coast Infraction I made during my last visit, or they were sending lots and lots of money for just no reason at all, or, perhaps, there’s a pending visit by someone and we’ll have to clean out a bedroom. The possibilities are endless. And, I’m still curious because the short conversation I had with Cheryl didn’t reveal anything significant, other than the fact that we’re still related, and I can rule out the hit squad, I think. I learned, too, that Ruth is learning to get along with Lyle gone. A tough but necessary task.

All in all, it makes me go “Hmmmmmmmmmmm.”

It is now 0800 and Diane just mosied in from the east wing indicating that it’s time for me to stop, get dressed, and head for the golf course to meet Doug. She makes me do this every week, now. So, there will be a short pause as I make myself ready for another nice morning ride and visit with Doug. Perhaps I’ll find the balls I lost the last time out. Perhaps, not. Perhaps I’ll find someone else’s balls. Doug always finds balls and he gives me all the Nike brand balls he finds because I’m not nearly as picky as he is when it comes to free balls.


That break represents about an eleventy-two hour pause during which I golfed really, really good for two holes, then went back to normal for the remainder of the game. Still, it was good.

I also stopped by to see cousin Don and get some sage advice about replacing the exhaust manifold on my truck. I went home and rested a while before tackling it, then wound up mowing the yard when Diane took her Mom to the store. I believe I’ve explained previously that I normally don’t mow when Diane is home because she’s terribly allergic to the smell of cut grass. Still, I screwed it up because all the windows were open in the house while I was mowing and the house filled up with that unmistakable smell of spring and summer activity.

After Diane returned from the store, she immediately set about getting ready to go play Bunco with her group. She picked Heather up on the way to replace Jennifer who couldn’t play because she had to work. Before Diane left I got to help cut up a pan of brownies that she was taking to the Bunco Girls.

Then it was time to tackle the exhaust manifold. I had previously squirted some Liquid Wrench on all the manifold bolts and all of them came loose very easily. I was just short of amazed since they’ve been in there for so many years. Considering how easy that part was I decided to just get to it and removed the left (drivers) side manifold. Then I got the new Chinese replacement I purchased on eBay and bolted it right up. Unfortunately, the set I got doesn’t have the correct configuration for the LH side. The bolts fit, but the part that connects to the exhaust pipe points straight down, and the old one kinda aims out and back. I left it on anyway and figure I can jerrie-rig it with some flex pipe, or a lot of muffler tape. Maybe both. Now all I have to do is torque the bolts with the handy torque wrench Don loaned me. That will be tomorrow because I packed up my tools and quit once I discovered the discrepancy in the configuration.

I sat around for a while, resting, then took a shower so I would be nice and clean when Diane returned from Bunco, then ate the rest of my supper. I had 3 brownies and a banana. And a glass of water. When Diane returned, she had some leftover blueberry cobbler she’d made and asked if I wanted some. I said, “yes”, of course, then she asked what I had for supper. Being a fairly honest person, I told her, then she said I couldn’t have any cobbler. So, I might just eat another banana instead.

Apple Products … I have to say I’m ‘sold’ on them. I got all my ‘Apple toys’ at Best Buy in Hillsboro, except for my iPhone. I got that from AT&T a long time ago. I’ll be able to upgrade it next month, but I’m going to wait until the iPhone 5 comes out so I can get an iPhone 4s really cheap. That will be in September. Until then, my old one will work just fine and I’ll be content with the remainder of my “stuff” until then. I have plenty of them. And, I have a new iPad 3 because I dropped my old one in the hot tub. Turns out iPads don’t float. I wasn’t worried, however, because I knew it was insured through Best Buy. So, we took a trip yesterday after church to take Diane’s Mom to lunch, at McGrath’s Fish House in Beaverton, after which I went to the nearby Best Buy to get the soaked iPad replaced. This time I got a white one. I also bought insurance on this one, as well as two years of technical support, should I need it.

Now I’m going to eat my banana and go to bed because I have to be up early in the morning to deliver the Subaru to the mechanic for a repair estimate for everything that’s wrong with it. Shouldn’t cost more than an arm and a leg. That won’t be a problem because I’ve got one of each that anyone who wants them are more than welcome to.

Weddings, Funerals, Beggars & RV Renovations

These two events are becoming the norm for my life, it seems. No doubt I’m repeating myself, but that’s OK, because I just don’t care. Weddings, funerals, funerals, weddings … why are they so entwined with each other?

Today’s event is happening in reverse order, as the title depicts. The first two were funeral then wedding. Another area of concern for me is that the first funeral, for Lyle, was a couple of days before the wedding. The next funeral was for our neighbor, Verne, and the wedding was later in the same day. Today we attend the wedding, then a few hours later it’s the funeral for fellow Lion, Bob.

Considering the accumulating evidence, I’m guessing the next event will be a combined wedding and funeral. That should really be something. I wonder if the services will be conducted by the same clergy, one after the other, or if it will be a simultaneous service where clergy divides their time between these two significant events. That wouldn’t work well for me, so I’m hoping it will just be contiguous, one after the other. Funeral first. That way the church will already be full and ready to go, and everyone can leave on a happy note.

Dumb, huh? I don’t know why my head goes there. Perhaps it’s because of the cleansing release I received at Lyle’s wake. That was an eye opener. Truly it was. Because of that, I few “passing on” a wee bit differently now. It’s not so scary, or mystical. It’s just a fact of life that will eventually touch all of us. It’s good that we can always make our peace with loved ones prior participating in funerals and, at the same time, sad that not everyone takes advantage of that time to do so. We typically have years and years of time to do this, but we get so wound up in our own lives that anything outside the perimeter of our blinders loses meaning. We get too focused on trivial things, like ourselves.

Without our relationships, we are all nothing. Really, nothing. At this point I see a perfect opportunity to segue into a diatribe about how none of us exist in reality without the perception and loving, or unloving, touch of others. Think about it … what would it be like if no one ever looked at you, touched you, or talked to you? Given that scenario, you effectively do not exist. It’s like when you walk down the street and see someone asking for money … if you don’t make eye contact, they aren’t there, are they? You can comfortably walk right on by. But, if you look them in the eye, you give up your loose change.

I won’t go there … I admit that I usually give them money, but first I stop and talk with them, making me tell them why they need it. If they proclaim to be a veteran, I ask where they served and when. I’ve actually gained a number of new friends doing this, but many of them look the other way when they see me coming because they do not want to explain, again, how they’re trying to get enough money to get home to Tennessee, the same thing they told me 3 months ago. They feel guilty and usually move to another street, but I hunted them down by changing my route to work. Finally, they give up and move to Tennessee, or Oregon City, where they won’t have to see me any more. Then, to them, I don’t exist.

Diane just told me that I only have an hour to get ready for the wedding, and I have to shave. So, I better get right on that because it usually takes about 20-30 minutes to stop the bleeding after scraping all the hair off my face. That’s why I don’t do it very often.

On a side note, yesterday, or perhaps the day before, I removed some parts from the RV in preparation for the installation of replacement parts. One of the parts is just the cutest little stainless steel sink you ever saw! They guys on one of those HGTV home makeover shows would just goes nuts if they saw it. They won’t, though, because they only shop at SEARS, or another one of those high-end places … not at RV parts stores.

Anyway, I successfully ripped things apart without destroying anything surrounding the areas I intended to destroy, and actually have the replacement parts ready for the install. All I gotta do is cut a hole in the new counter top for the new sink, re-plumb the bathroom, install formica in a few places, figure out why the little drain plugs leak under the bathroom sink, replace all the running lights (so they match), get an oil change, and we’re ready to roll. At the rate I’m going, considering all the obstacles in my way, I’m confident I can have all of that done just prior to the first snow storm of winter. I have to have it done before then because I’m using Diane’s side of the garage for this project and she will get fussy if her car has to remain outside during a snow storm. It’s a rule.

Gotta go.

Apple Products, Doug, and DD-808

I went golfing this morning with my good friend Doug. If you follow this blog, you met him in at least one past entry. Also, if you follow this blog, I’ll be forever amazed because I typically do not share anything of consequence. I deem that following this blog is a total waste of your valuable time. Still, some insist on doing this, so I feel compelled to make it worth their while, at least in some small way. Since I never know what’s going to errupt from my fluttering fingers, it’s difficult to aim them at a topic that the millions of people, who read this, find interesting. Ok, make that 12 people, not millions. I exagerate a little. It’s my fingers just going wild and wishing it were true.

So, for you 12 people, thanks for at least looking. I appreciate it.

Golfing was fun, as it always is. Doug and I enjoy spending a few hours, about once a week, hitting a ball, then wandering off to find it. Once in a while we actually do really well, but Doug always does better. I didn’t understand why until recently. Thinking it was a simple matter of him being better than me, I never questioned his score when I wrote it down. He always has me keep score, and drive the cart. So, when he asks me what I got on a hole, he simply subtracts a couple of strokes when he tells me his. I never get his score first. But now the cat is out of the bag … today I counted every swing he took … and he still beat me. The only reason I can think of why that happened is because by keeping track of his swings, I lost track of mine and had to rely on him for my score. So, I’m just going to quit counting and enjoy the company of a friend as we wander around the golf course on a sunny day. Life is good.

Now, for some BIG news … Diane let me buy a new laptop. It’s a 13.3 MacBookPro. This is interesting for me because I’ve “made do” with retired laptops for years with little or no problems to speak of. By retired, I mean those discarded by my previous employer for a nominal monitary stipend. Cheap, actually, so it’s been good. Friends and family have benefitted as well, and I’ve been kept busy saving them from certain doom by removing viruses, and malware. For one who may be interested in IT job security, MicroSoft is the way to go. I did that for 20+ years and really loved working with Windows products. Once I retired from that, however, I decided to get a Mac to see what all the fuss was about. Now, I like it a lot. And, I still use Microsoft products on it. So, I’m just living in a dream world.

Now I have my 27″ iMac, an iPhone, an iPad, and a MacBook Pro. Considering the nature of Apple’s naming system, it seems to me that iPro would be more appropriate for their laptops. For me, that will be it’s name from now on. I enjoy my Apples and now have one for pretty much any occasion, and they all “talk” to each other. How can it get any better?

DD-808 … “what’s that about?” you may ask. “It’s the designation of a United States Navy Destroyer with hull number 808,” I’d say. More specifically, it’s the USS Dennis J. Buckley, my first ship. It was commissioned in 1944 and retired in 1973. I was on board 1964-1966, toward the end of it’s tenure. I won’t bore you with old sea stories about that ship, right now, but will share with you that Diane and I are coordinating a ship reunion for DD-808 this coming October. It’s going to be in San Diego, California, it’s old homeport. Other crew members have coordinated in the past, and a precedent was set for it to happen every other year. I think that’s bi-annual. At the last reunion, in Buffalo, NY, in 2010, I, for some odd reason, raised my hand when the question was posed as to who might want to do the 2012 reunion. At this point, I can only believe that I was temporarily insane when I raised that arm. Then, again, maybe it’s not so bad because it’s turning out to be the biggest reunion ever for that small ship. All the credit goes to three people who have been calling ex-crewmembers over the years, compiling a pretty comprehensive list of contacts. It will be interesting to see how everything goes in October, and you can be sure I’ll let you know.

Just one snippet of a sea story for DD-808 … when I went aboard the ship in 1964 it was in Bremerton, Washington, not far from my home in Scappoose, Oregon. Just a couple of hours away. But, it was just finishing a yard period and soon sailed for San Diego. On that first trip, off the coast of Oregon, I was on the main deck when all the sudden the ship was surrounded by about a zillion porpoises. They were absolutely everywhere. It appeared that they stretched from horizon to horizon, but I know that couldn’t be possible, unless all the porpoises in the world were having a convention, right there, right then. No other way. It was amazing to see as they jumped along side the ship, escorting us on a southerly course for an hour or so, then they were gone. I’ve never seen anything like that since.

Now I’m getting slammy-eyed, a sure indication that I need to get prone quickly before I trip over something, fall down, break a bone, have to go to the hospital, and get a cast on a significant body part on which I rely. That wouldn’t be good. No sir, it would not be good.

So, I bid you all adieu with a hearty buona notte.

Random Thoughts From An Active … on look! there’s a chicken! … Mind

Greetings fellow space travelers. As I write, we are hurtling through the void at the un-godly speed of 155 miles per second. I know that’s true because I read it somewhere. Honest. I did.

Today, during this journey, Diane and I did some weeding in the back yard. We worked until the earth rotated enough to expose us to the unbearable heat of our nearby sun. It must have been in the hundreds of degrees by the way my body was shedding it’s water content all over the place. Most of it seemed to be going into my eyes which caused me great discomfort because of the high salt content of my excretions. The hat on my head was soaked, as were my clothes, before it was determined I was nearing my expiration date at an unexpectedly fast pace. Because of that I was encouraged to stop expending energy and seek comfort, and food, inside our living facility.

Upon entering, I was forced to disrobe, to rid my body of the soaked clothing, and then take a cleansing, antiseptic, drenching in our interior bathroom. Stated in that manner may cause one to think we also have an exterior bathroom, which we do if you count the RV. But, it’s actually within the confines of the RV wall structure, so it, too, is an interior bathroom, excluding it from the exterior category. I find this topic confusing so will move on to something more  … logical …

“What,” you may ask, “is logical to such a severely demented and damaged mind?”

“Why,” I may reply, “I find many things to be logical that others, with their twisted, warped, sense of normalness, find to be excruciatingly complex and morose.”

For example … here I am, doing what I do, which I think is just totally logical, while many of you, I’m sure, wonder what can possibly be logical to someone with such a severely demented and damaged mind. See? We all perceive things at slightly different angles which influences the way data is infused into our brains. I find that logical while you’re sitting there wondering what I’m talking about.

Actually, I sit here, many times, and wonder what it is I’m talking about. As you know, I typically give free reign to my fingers and just let the words flow out. I do not edit anything. What you see on all of these entries is a first run. I don’t edit for the same reason that I have a really difficult time deleting photos I’ve taken that have absolutely no meaningful value. Some because there is no reference about where the picture was taken, it’s blurred, or it’s one of one of many duplicates I’ve created over the years. Deleting words I’ve written, or photos I’ve taken, seems wrong to me. That’s just the way it is.

I keep small pieces of wood, that I’ve removed from larger boards, for the same reason. The small piece was sacrificed for the larger one so there’s just something inherently wrong with summarily thowing it into the burn pile. I’m getting better about that. Now I at least get rid of the sawdust, which was becoming a safety issue in my shop. It was ok until Diane stopped giving me her Avon boxes for storage. After that, there was sawdust everywhere.

That’s not true, of course. I can have all the Avon boxes I want. Every Saturday two of them arrive at our house with “things” inside that I never see. I never see it because I never look. It holds no interest for me. It’s makeup mostly. Now, if it was a pair of Avon Crocs, it might be a little different. I used to get those when the old ones wore out, but haven’t had any for 2-3 years. Now I must go barefoot, causing my feet to get dirty. The rocks hurt, too.

My eyes burn, it’s almost 11, and I have to go golfing tomorrow morning at the mind altering time of 0830. So, I must depart and get my sleep on.


Big Block Chevys and Don

I have another savior now. Cousin Don. He doesn’t replace the “other” one. Don is an addition because he knows everything there is to know gasoline burning engines. I’ve known this for a long time, but it was brought home to me again, today, when I called to talk about my over-developed truck.

It’s a 1968 C-20 that’s the home for a 1973 Corvette 454 engine that’s been bored over to 462 and develops around 500 hp. That’s a BBC, and a lot of ooomph for an old truck. One of these days I’m going to get the body fixed up and make it pretty enough for Diane to ride in. Right now she shudders at the thought. So, I use it to haul trash to the dump once in a while. Seems like a waste of a classic vehicle, doesn’t it? I agree. Until last week I didn’t have sufficient motivation to get beyond considering that truck anything beyond a “future project”. It ran, and that was good. I left it ugly so no one would mess with it. So far, no one has.

Now, about last week … before we went camping at Big Eddy, I decided to investigate why it was sounding like a John Deere tractor. BBCs aren’t supposed to sound like that. Part of the problem, I knew, was the broken exhaust headers, and the forever loose connection between them and the exhaust pipes. It’s really loud and smelly. So, I went about the task of replacing the plugs, wires, rotor, distributor cap, and points.

Before I began, I made sure that I understood the firing order (18436572), and where on the distributer cap #1 was. All of that was really fine information that I extracted from the internet. I checked it twice. Too bad I didn’t check the old distributor to see which little connector had #1 because my engine was one plug off of normal. That’s what prompted the call to Don. Trying to start the engine in that situation resulted in some window rattling backfires that caused Diane to come running, more than once, to make sure I was OK.

Don said, right off the bat, the plug wires are in the wrong position. Now, I KNEW they were in the correct positions because the internet told me so. Therein lies the rub … “position” to Don doesn’t have the same meaning as it does for me. For me it was “sequence”. I didn’t get it until he showed up to resolve this communication issue.

As a test, he made me remove the #1 plug so he could check the gap setting. Since I had just installed them without checking, I was a little worried he would punish me, but he deemed them to be good. During this evolution I learned that spark plugs should be torqued to 10 lbs, which isn’t much more than finger tight.

Next we set about the task of finding the rotor position when the #1 piston was in the TDC position. That’s Top Dead Center for you rookies. I actually already knew that one, but didn’t let on. We did this by aligning the timing marks on the fly wheel and the little gizmo that marks degrees to the left and right that’s connect to the engine block. So, when the engine turns, each time the marks align, #1 should fire.

We checked the position of the distributor rotor and discovered that it was pointing to a position somewhere between the 7 and 2 positions in the firing order. To compensate, we moved all the plug wires one connection counterclockwise, then loosened the distributor and moved it the rest of the way to line it up with #1. Don used a hammer for the critical portion of the alignment then had me start it up. It fired and ran! I would have never figured that out in a million years. The only way that could have happened is by removing the distributor from the engine, and putting it back in a couple of teeth off. Hmmmmm. But it ran!

Now all I have to do it get a timing light and adjust the distributor as Don instructed me and it will run perfect. Now I have motivation.

Acting on that motivation, I visited a mechanic to find out if he had access to BBC exhaust manifolds. He did, but the left and right were in two different locations. So, I checked eBay and found a complete set, brand new, free shipping, for less than the other two which would have required me to drive to two remote locations to retrieve. eBay delivers to the house. How convenient. They will be here by the end of the week.

Before they arrive, I’ll have that thing running like a top. A really noisy top. I think I’ll also replace the current tires with something a little less stressful to the exhaust system. About 15 years ago I put the biggest tires I could find on the rims I had. They’re so big that I cannot turn the steering wheel all the way, either direction, without the tires rubbing on the exhaust. They are the cause of my exhaust issues, something I’ve known for a long time. Now it’s time for normal tires, some body work, and a paint job.

Here’s what it looked like the last time it snowed …

I used this picture because it’s starting to get hot outside and thought maybe it would cool a few of you off. Maybe not.

The body is in pretty good shape – only one little dent neat the drivers headlight. Insignificant. A pittance in the scheme of things. Bondo will fix that post haste. Now I need to go to work to figure out what all I need to make it worthy of Diane’s presence in the passenger seat. It’s going to take some serious work, but I actually think I’m up to making it all happen. This will be a big surprise to Diane because I haven’t told her. I know she’ll read this, so the secret is out of the bag, but I know she’ll be pleased. We may have to defer some trips to pay for all the repairs, and paint, but that’s the way the old cookie crumbles. What’s a lost trip compared to having possession of a primo 1968 C-20? I suspect I’ll be finding out.

Wish me luck on that.


Big Eddy

Hi – I haven’t got much time, because they’re after me, again. Who knows how quickly they can home in on the “thing” they stuffed into my cranium.

We just returned from a four night stay at Big Eddy County Park, near Vernonia, Oregon. That’s bout 29 miles from where we live. But, it might as well be in another country because they don’t have cell phone, or TV covereage in the parking spot we were assigned. We considered moving the RV to a more agreeable spot, but the camp ground hosts, a couple of English Nazis, dictated our every move and disallowed the move. We were trapped. We also had to get our own wood, and they insisted that we take all of our trash to the large dumpsters by the showers, and not use the garbage cans scattered throuhgout the camp ground, so they wouldn’t have to leave the comfort of their 5th Wheel Fleetwood Castle. It was awful.

The entire campground was reserved, every space paid for either by attendees, or the Grace Baptist Church in Warren, OR. Did I say it was a Church Campout? Maybe not. Well, it was. The reason for securing the entire park was to ensure the numerous children in attendance could run freely without their parents fearing for their safety. Because of the children, those unknowns, who entered the campground area for any reason, were immediately identified and confronted to learn the reason for their presence. All the adult men, and I, noticed the strangers, and helped track them down. The camp hosts didn’t seem to give care who entered, invited or not, as long as they could remain in their castle, coming out only once a day to drive through the park, checking on who had violated their directive that only the large dumpsters were used. If any trash was found in the small scattered cans, it was dissected on the spot to determine who put it there. If no owner could be determined, responsibility fell on the closest camper to the offending garbage can. Fortunately, the on we used was closer to three other campers, and we ensured that we removed our names from anything we threw away. So, we got away clean, but it was a close call a couple of times.

OK – obviously that’s not all true, but part of it is. I’m just not sure which part.

While on this adventure, we had a campfire going the entire time. We sat around it every night telling lies to each other until the urge to sleep captured everyone’s attention, and folks drifted off.

The kids all had a ball, riding their bikes all over the place, playing in the Nehalem River, or just visiting and doing crafty things all day long. It was great. We took both Panzee and Ozzie on this trip and learned that Panzee is a really good camper. Leashes are required in the park, but neither of them need one because they stuck close to the camp. Ozzie actually spent a lot of his time in the RV, protecting it from anyone who might want to enter in an unauthorized manner. He was very good at that. And, it was his favorite place, unless it was a lap by the camp fire. He really liked that, but “feet on the ground” wasn’t his cup of tea.

Panzee was perfectly content to just sit by us and soak it all in. She’s a really good dog, and very intimidating to random visitors.

One of the big events was the construction of a very, very long water slide that terminated in a fairly large portable pool. Had the waterslide been constructed to utilize any portion of a downhill slope, folks may have actually made it all the way to the end. As it was, they kept making it shorter, and shorter, so participants could get a good run at it and still maintain a little speed when they collided with the side of the pool.


Lydia’s first attempt found her going feet first, unlike all the other participants. Still, they all had fun, got wet, and had a generous supply of soap applied to their bodies whether ornot they wanted it.

Since no one was making it all the way into the pool, Jeran decided it would probably be the safest place so propped himself on a tube to watch the festivities …

Others just sat and watched …

Just for edification, that’s Diane holding Ozzie, Panzee, Erin, Shawn, and Jennifer. It’s evident that enough was going on around them that not everyone had to look the same direction to enjoy the view.

Back at camp Jennifer broke out the giant marshmellows … the kind you can toast multiple times before it falls off the stick. For supper, Shawn’s Mom fried up a pound of turkey bacon for him and someone suggested that a bacon wrapped marshmellow might be really good. So, Shawn gave it a shot and determined that it was, indeed, quite tasty.

Others simply ate their marshmellows in the normal manner …

So ends my tale. This morning it all came to a end as we packed up for the arduous trip home. Arduous. It was less than 30 miles, but the road was bumpy, things were flying around in the motor home to the point where Ozzie took refuge in his kennel. Normally he sleeps on the motor cowling. He may have sat in the passenger seat, but Lydia was sitting there, accompanying me on the trip home.

Bottom line, we had a good time, and it was good to be home. Now I’m done.






Wife Bashing, in general …

Today was bust as far as getting anything done around the house. And, it’s late enough in the day that anything we need to do is just going to have to wait until tomorrow morning.

On a positive note, it rained last night so mowing the lawn yesterday gives me genius-like decision-making qualities, something I rarely have. Diane will agree.

About the Title … I’ve mentioned this before, but need to do it again so I can refresh my memory, about how my early blogs were deemed to veer toward “wife bashing” because of the way I shared information about my life. I pleaded my case, explaining that what I said was far, far, away from wife bashing, and much closer to self criticism because of my need for supervision on most of the things I attempt to accomplish during my daily routine. OK, I don’t have a routine. I’m so spontaneous that some days I’m sure I’m just going to ignite and flitter away on a breeze. Normally I call my actions ‘reactive’ because that’s what I do. Nothing is planned. I just kind of richochet through my days changing directions as obstacles get in my way. Many times (most times) this requires guidance, redirecting me toward the initial goal. Sadly, by the time guidance is provided, that goal is long forgotten. Hence the need for supervision. Well, it’s not really supervision … it’s more like just having someone around to call for help should I need it and can’t do it myself. Lydia’s babysat me in the past, so age isn’t a factor. Anyone who can dial can do the job.

Now, is that wife bashing? I think not. It’s an admission on my part of faults I perceive in how my mind and body operates. Sometimes they aren’t in sync and ‘things’ just happen. I’ve been fortunate over the years and have never broken a bone, like Jack has. Or cut the tips of my fingers off with my riding lawn mower, like Jim has … we still point this one out as a major, major programming issue when we all gather. No, I just cut, scrape, bend, jam, bang, and bruise various parts of my body during the course of pretty much any task I attempt. Diane could tell folks that she got me at the ‘Ding and Dent’ sale at K-Mart and not be far off. Perhaps she’s already done that – I don’t know, nor would I presume to assume she has. But, if I were her, I’d do that.

That last bit makes me wonder if what I’ve said about Diane in the past is ‘transference’ behavior on my part. If so, all my past sins of this nature are simply the result of a mild form of mental illness for which I should bear no responsibility. Or, maybe it’s not so mild. Maybe it’s really, really invasive, wiggling it’s way deep into my brain, making my ears ring, my eyes scum over, and my nose drip. I limp, too, among other things. Perhaps all of these symptoms are related to this new illness I’ve diagnosed.

It needs a name. While I’m thinking about that, I’ll share my medical term for why people get constipated – their craparatus is broken, or jammed. Obvious, huh? So, what’s the right name for Jerrie’s Mental Illness? Hmmmm. I’ll have to think longer on this one, but the longer I ponder, the less inclined I am to submit to the dreadful reality that I’m mentally ill. What a quandry. I guess that means if I just quit pondering it, I’m cured, and will have to be responsible for all of my actions. That’s the adult way to go, I suppose, but lots less fun.

Time to stop. Jeff just alerted us that all the girls are awake, so we’re off to see what Jerrie Anne Diane looks like in this, the beginning of her 2nd year of existance. No doubt she’s just a little bit cuter, as she is each day. Just like her older sisters who, if they would just hold still for a second, I would photograph and show you. But, they won’t.

Subarus, Chevys, and Grass

Greetings to all humans within the range of my electronical sphere. I bow to you. I applaud you. I adore you. I wish that I could reach out through this mechanical/electrical device and physically touch you all, to enjoy the sublime healing essence of your humanity for just a tiny little bit.

Here on my planet I’m on a quest to see how long I can go without touching anyone. It’s kind of like fasting. Essentially, touching is forbidden unless it’s necessary to save a life, or pass out hugs and/or handshakes for greeting and parting, or to punch someones lights out for doing something really dumb, or to get your lights punched out for doing something really dumb.

Hmmm. In review, it appears that touching isn’t forbidden after all. I guess I can file that away as an accomplished task. How handy.

Now, how about some news on something really important? OK? OK.

Yesterday, after studying real hard, I replaced all the rear brake parts I could remove from our new 1996 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. I just started taking out nuts and bolts until everything got loose enough that I could remove the offending parts. Once that was done, I put everything into a box and installed all the new stuff I had purchased. I did this for both rear wheels and, fortunately, wound up with just the old parts. I managed to find places to install all the bolts and nuts I’d removed. Since they seemed to fit, I could only surmise they were in the correct location. And, nothing fell off when I was done, so I now consider myself a Subaru Brake Expert (Sbe) and will, henceforth, include those laudable initials after my name whenever I sign something. It will be added to the other symbols of success I currently use, like: AA, MCI, AT&T, ABC, Arco, etc … It’s as good as a Phd. Well, maybe not quite as good, but it looks important.

I also mowed the entire yard, yesterday. I can only do that when Diane is absent, or locked safely in the house, because the odor of cut grass causes her breathing tubes to swell up, making it difficult for her to breath. So, I waited until she departed to participate in one of her benevolent endeavors then got to work. It takes me three hours to do the entire area using a 54″ mower deck, and only about 1/4 of it is flat. So, I spend most of my time trying to not fall off. I was hoping to get done early enough to get the old truck running, but the mowing didn’t get done until 1930 last night. I was tired, covered with grass, and needed a shower, so I quit.

Today I’ll get the old truck running. I’ll get the old Mantis running, too. I have the parts, and what I lack in knowledge about how to do those things I’ll make up for with luck, and an occasional phone call to someone who really DOES know how to do those things.

My truck. It’s a 1968 Chevy C20. The engine is a BBC 454 bored over to 462, and creates about 500 hp, when it runs. I use it to haul “stuff” to the dump, and one day will do some serious work on it to make it “pretty”. Right now it’s about fifty shades of grey. Diane hates it and wishes I’d sell it. She said she won’t ride in it until it has a clean interior, is lower to the ground, and has been painted. She won’t let me take it to car shows or cruise ins. Only to the dump. One of these days I’ll surprise her and make it worthy of a cruise in.

It’s raining right now. Not hard, just a drizzle. Since I’m going to be working under the truck hood, that won’d matter. What I have to do is rearrange all the spark plug wires in a manner that facilitates proper ignition of each spark plug at the proper time in the engines rotational journey. I have two choices, depending on how the distributor was installed many, many years ago. I’ve tried both, so far, and neither worked. So now I’m replacing the points, which provide the necessary spark for the plug at the proper moment. At this time, that isn’t happening. It’s really a simple process but, like everything else I do, making it difficult is more enjoyable. I feel gratified in the end when everything works because I learned something along the way. I’m sure I’ll quickly forget it, but it was all there for a brief period of time.

Wish me luck.

Did You Miss Me?

For those of you who noticed my absence, and who may be interested in why, it’s because  I went “black”, or incognito for the last few days. I’ve been waiting to see if anyone noticed, and one finally did. She was concerned enough about my frail condition that she called Diane to see what was the matter. So, I’m not, as I was beginning to believe, invisible. Thinking that was true had me right on the verge of spending more time at Victoria’s Secrets, which really aren’t secrets because they advertise all over the place, and have these HUGE pictures of NNW (nearly naked women) in their store windows which they use to entice unsuspecting teenage girls into spending money on “things” to make them more appealing. “Things” that accentuate the naughty bits at which we are not allowed to gaze. Very confusing.

In an effort to alleviate the confusion, I conducted an experiment that allowed me to don a lacy pushup bra and a pair of lacy bikini panties which I wore for an entire day. I didn’t care for the bra too much, but it did cause a lot of looks from some undesireable people, at which I glared until they looked away. The panties, however, were a sporadic source of sensual satisfaction, sending shivvers of giddy goodness throughout my right leg simply by knowing that I had them on, and no one knew. Then they started riding up, causing a need to find quiet areas where I could correct the fit of the creeping cotton. After having to do this the third time within a block it became annoying, the shivver was gone. It made me understand the benefits of the thong which is just a nice pair of panties that have been force to maximum creep from which there is no recoverey … so you gotta live with it. That, and with thongs there’s the benefit of NVPL.

After it’s all said and done, It still amazes me that girls who spend all that time and money to project an other worldly sexiness find it “improper” for me to give them more than a cursory glance. C’mon! At my age it takes a little time to comprehend exactly what I’m looking at, so give me a break. If my gaze lingers too long, I’m sorry. If you don’t like it, and you’re in my vicinity on a regular basis, wear something less appealing, like one of those long dresses they wore on the farm in Nebraska in the 1800’s. You can do that, but it won’t matter because I’m going to look anyway and the reason is simple … sure, clothes expose and promote various body parts, but the source of beauty I see is a womans face … the quizzical arch of an eyebrow, dazzeling eyes, the slight upturn of a smile that reveals a devastating dimple … simple things.

Tell me why it’s considered “wrong” when I look too long at one of these bedecked beauties for “too long”, a period of time that no one can accurately specify, I’m deemed to be a dirty old man. A lecher. A pervert. It’s the wrong message for my spongy brain. I think the ACLU should specify how long I can spend looking at one individual before being required to move my gaze to another person, or thing. It distresses me that this hasn’t been done. So, I make my own rules. I only look at pretty girls as long as I want, or until my pulse increases to 78 bpm. Diane gave me a little thing that attaches to my left arm that transmits to my iPhone. There’s an app for it that sounds a klaxon-type alarm to warn me it’s time to shift my gaze to something, or someone a lot more benign. Now, Diane doesn’t mind that I look. She just doesn’t want me dropping dead on the street. Considering the way some girls dress now days, that’s always a possibility. It’s down right scary at times.

Now, back to reality.

Last Thursday, Jack and Wynette stopped by so we could play with Wy’s new iPad. A side benefit of the visit was the new things I learned. I’d share them with you but I was cautioned, from many fronts, that none of it is appropriate for this venue. So, you will all just have to remain in the dark, or think about what Jack’s capable of and let your mind roam a little. Considering that, I have no idea why I was compelled to include this little bit of news other than to let you all know that we saw Jack and Wynette.

Then we went “camping” in the RV. Here’s where we parked, in the Northern regions of the Long Beach Peninsula …

We spent three nights there visiting with Doug, JP, Carolyn, Todd, and Sue, and we had the occasion to visit with Jack and Wynette two more times for meals because they were also in the vicinity, but in a fancy schmancy hotel on the beach. We had to drive to the beach.

The Long Beach Peninsula has approximately 20 miles of hard packed sand on which common vehicles can drive from one end to the other. We drove out there on Saturday to watch the sunset with Doug and JP.

We also drove to the golf course a couple of times where I hit some of the most incredible drives of my simple life. I also made some very interesting putts. In between, it wasn’t so good, ensuring that my 36 handicap is not in danger of dropping. Diane joined us with her brand new pink Wilson clubs, in their very pink bag. I was envious because they were so shiny and clean … and she played well. We quickly learned, however, that it’s best for spouses to ride in separate golf carts while golfing because one of them is bound to get mad at the other. So, she rode with JP, and I rode with Doug. It worked well and we had fun.

Yesterday we returned home and I have two days to get the following tasks completed before we head out again. This time we’re going to Big Eddy County Park, out near Vernonia, on Highway 47.

My ToDoList:

  1. Refinance the house
  2. Get a bid to re-roof the house
  3. Replace the brake calipers on the Subaru
  4. Mow the lawns
  5. Replace the points on the Old Chevy Truck so I can haul things to the dump and go get Jack’s and Wy’s pool table
  6. Move the piano and organ from the garage to the basement
  7. Move the pool table from Jack’s and Wy’s to our basement
  8. Make sure the hot tub chemicals are good to last through the weekend
  9. Get my high school class 50th Reunion book published. Wow! 50 years!

Not a long list, but all are necessary to ensure my right to continue living at this address.

Now I’m going to drink coffee. Hope everyone has a safe day.