So … today Diane took Ozzie for his poodle-do. He gets those about once a month because he’s a poodle. Not a real one, mind you, but one of the pretend toy ones. But he’s our pretend poodle. Here he is …

Photo on 1-30-13 at 9.45 PM

It’s odd that he had his poodle-do today because neither Diane, nor her Mom, Jean, were scheduled for haircuts. They almost always get them on Ozzie’s poodle-do day.

Anyway, when Don finally delivered me back home the front door was locked and Diane was gone so I had to find an alternative way into the house.

Wait! You didn’t know I was gone, did you. Well, I was. I was gone for a lot of hours. So, lets go back in time, a little …

On the day I was born it was a bright sunny day. It was raining outside and the snow was about a foot deep. Somewhere in the distance a dog barked … OK, OK! Too far back …

This morning I got up with the intention of getting nothing done before 11:30 am because I knew Don was going to pick me up to go look at his new computer and help him learn how to do ‘things’ on it. This was arranged yesterday. His lovely wife, Judy, bought him the new computer – a 15″ MacBook Pro. Nice. I figure he wanted to just show off because his is bigger than my piddly little 13″-er. But, that wasn’t actually the case. He really had valid questions.

First, however, we went to a beer joint for lunch. I had a bacon cheeseburger with fries. It was really good. I don’t know who paid for it.

From the beer joint we went to Don’s house to check his computer. The issue was he couldn’t print to his wireless printer unless he connected a USB cable. That kind of defeats the wireless aspect. The solution, of course, was to retrain his new computer to do without the USB leash and reach out to the printer with it’s little wireless fingers. Now it works nicely. Don’t know what good it’s going to do him because he and Judy are flying out to Hawaii tomorrow. Lucky duck. They will be gone for a month. Super-duper lucky duck.

When Don and I left our house Diane was in the hot tub downstairs and I didn’t want to have to run out of the garage trying to beat the door as its motor lowered it. So, I went out the front door thinking I’d just lock it on the way out, but the keyring I grabbed didn’t have a key so I just left it unlocked thinking I’d just go back in that direction.

When Don dropped me off at home I waved my goodbyes then went to the front door and found it locked. Mysterious. Then I looked in the garage and found Diane’s vehicle missing. Mysterious-er. I didn’t know she was going anywhere so I was concerned that someone had appeared at the door and hijacked her.

Putting that grim thought aside, I snuck my way around to the kitchen door and found it unlocked. Perplexing. The hijack theory was beginning to sound more plausible. Diane never leaves that door unlocked. Well, almost never. Maybe once in a while.

Once inside, I discovered Ozzie’s kennel upended and empty and I knew Panzie didn’t do it. Neither did the cat. My hijack theory segued into a dog napping. I got a snack thinking I would sit down and ponder all other possibilities for these mysteries. Before I could finish the snack the garage door went up and Panzie started barking, like normal, because Diane was returning.

I restrained Panzie from going into the garage until Diane got parked, then turned her loose to run in the front yard. Opening the driver’s door, like I normally do, Diane told me please get Oz, who was cowering on the passenger seat in his new bandana and hairdo which explained everything.

Then I was given the bad news. Diane said Kay-Kay, Ozzie’s stylist, told her that Ozzie’s fat and needs to lose weight. Diane and I had mentioned that to each other over the past few months, but didn’t do anything about it. Now that we have outside influence we must do something about it.

Therefore, beginning tomorrow morning, much to Ozzie’s dismay, he’s going on half rations. Instead of a full pouch of food each morning, and unlimited crunchies, he’s only getting half a pouch, and unlimited crunchies. If that doesn’t work, the unlimited crunchies will be revisited at a later date.

The only thing that bothers me about all of this is that I had no idea that dog stylists had the authority to dictate how her clients owners should, or should not feed them. But, apparently they do, so we will comply.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

By the way, that’s Ozzie on the left.

Chicken Pox

Today on the news we learned that Barbara Walters recently fell, bumped her head, and got chicken pox. All of this concerns me because I bump my head a lot and, to my knowledge, I’ve never had chicken pox. Luckily I don’t fall often, so that takes one of the elements out of play.

I wonder, however, how bumping ones’ head could bring on a case of chicken pox. Perhaps it’s the combination of falling and bumping ones’ head, not bumping ones’ head all by itself, like walking into a cupboard door, or a really low door jam. Something like that. Just sayin. I always thought it was caused by a virus so I wasn’t prepared to learn that falling and/or bumping your head could bring it on. There’s nothing about that in any of the books I’ve read, or the research I’ve done on the internet. Maybe Barbara Walters is a special case. Maybe what happened to her was only a coincidence. No one on TV is talking about it – just a brief mention on the evening news, then …. NOTHING! They just left me hanging out there. I want to see pictures of all of Barbara’s poxes. C’mon.

Because of all these new fears I have about catching chicken pox I’ve decided to spend the rest of my life either in bed, or on the couch. If things go OK for the next week or so I might make it into the Man Room to sit at my computer.

No, I’ll just sit here on the couch with my laptop. That will work until the battery dies. When that happens I’ll have to ask Diane to get me the charger for it. And to plug it in. If she’s feeling OK, she might do that. Then again, she might find a reason to get mad at me and tell me “no”. That’s probably what she’ll do. Then I’ll get mad and say something stupid. She’ll yell at me for absolutely no reason, and I’ll wind up having to call a lawyer.

Then she’ll really get mad and I’ll have to sleep on the floor. Of the old Winnebago.

After not sleeping all night I’ll get up and walk to Bugerville for breakfast, unless I forgot my wallet in the house. That’s where the car keys are, too, which is why I must walk. It’s a long way away and I’ll be very tired when I get there. All the way there I’ll be terrified of falling down and bumping my head and getting chicken pox. That would be really, really bad because if I caught chicken pox on the way to Burgerville they probably wouldn’t let me in.

Then I’d be hungry all day, wandering around town with the pox breaking out all over, people staring, little kids pointing at me until, finally, the bars open and I stumble into the Past Time tavern. It will be noon. Time for a beer.

Since I don’t drink beer the first one will make me dizzy and I’ll fall off the bar stool, bump my head and get a double-dose of the pox. When the bartender comes around to drag me out of the place he sees I have two cases of chicken pox, screams and runs, urging the other patron to follow him. She does, after finishing her drink. On the way out she kicks me because I’ve ruined her day she had planned that included drinking herself silly and picking up some strange guy, who she thought was going to be me when I stumbled into the place. She kicked me because of all that. How was I to know?

Suddenly, my phone rings. I’d forgotten that it was in my hip pocket. That’s where I carry it, like a teen age girl. It’s comfy. I look at it and see it’s Diane calling. It scares me because I know she’s going to be mad since I didn’t have permission to leave the property. I answer it anyway. She asks me where I am, stating that she’s searched everywhere for me and is scared that I’ve bumped my head and caught chicken pox.

Sadly, I must report that such is the case … then I realize I’m still sitting on the couch and she’s sitting right next to me where she belongs. I pull up my sleeves and hem of my shirt to confirm that I really don’t have chicken pox because none of that really happened. When she asks what I’m doing I tell her I thought a spider was crawling on me. Thankfully, she buys it and we continue with out evening of TV.

On another note, Jack and Wynette stopped by this afternoon. It was really great to see them. The last time we did that was when we went to Arizona. They drove up last week so Jack could talk with his doctor. Apparently his doctor doesn’t have long distance because the appointment was via a local call, not in person.

Now I must stop.

Portland Car Show

Yesterday I went to the car show at the Portland Convention Center. I took Tom and his stepson Kyle. To do that required that I had to drive about a hundred miles out of my way to pick them up. Tom’s wheelchair went in the back. He’s still gets a bit tired when walking any significant distance, so the chair was required. Tom, as you may recall, is our friend who had a stroke not long ago, and he’s also the friend who wrapped his bloody leg with a kotex but didn’t unwrap it first. Nifty. I have pictures.

Our friend, Mike, was kind enough to slide tickets our direction so entrance was free. Mike and I worked together at PGE for years and have maintained contact even though he’s moving to Mission Viejo, from Oregon City. He’s been working at the car show for years, and years so he knows people. We really appreciated the tickets as well as getting a chance to talk with him for a little while. He’s a busy guy.

We parked right next to the entrance door which is amazing, and we were right on schedule to connect with Japanese Jerry, as he calls himself for clarification, by the $126,000 Corvette in the Chevy section. That was scheduled for 1100. On the way across the floor we went through the Cadillac display and I sat in the new XTS, Diane’s new car in a few years. Nice.

After Jerry found us we wandered around a bit, then went up to the custom car section to see Jerry’s car, again. He’s a member of the Pharaohs car club. They have some pretty classy vehicles. Here are Jerry, me, and Tom standing in front of Jerry’s Camaro… 2013-01-25_12.49.36

Jerry, who lives in Vancouver, WA professes to be an Oregon Duck fan so it’s very perplexing why he had his car painted Oregon Beaver colors. He won’t talk about it so we may never really know. But, it’s a really nice car. Here’s another view of it …


I think I mentioned that Kyle’s a big guy … here’s proof …


While walking around the vehicles, we came across Jerome Kersey, one of our old favorite Trailblazers. Another big guy. Very nice, too. I think I came up to about his shoulder. No picture. Just name dropping.

I’ll end this with one snap of me in Diane’s new car …


I also have a ‘small world’ bit to share … as we were loading things into the Buick, I turned to go around to the driver’s door, and about ran smack into Spud & Leona. I was in highschool with Spud. We played drums together in the school band. Now he owns two ACE Hardware stores and I sit around doing stuff like this. It was good to see them, as always. Just fun to run across them in the midst of all those people.


Meetings! It seems like my working life has been nothing but a series of meetings.

Meetings in the morning, meetings in the evening, meetings all afternoon. Because of them, it’s always amazed me that any work gets done at all. Especially in a timely manner.

The meeting tomorrow, however, only happens once a year. That’s about the best kind of meeting ever, don’t you think? I suppose some, perhaps many, of you think it’s OK to have non-stop meetings because they allow foster teamwork and, when held during lunch, result in a free sandwich. I actually didn’t mind those at all. I love my sandwiches.

Tomorrow’s meeting is for our church during which we present the condition of our finances, plead for more money, and beg congregates to volunteer to help out on council. That’s a tough nut to crack with these folks, however. No one volunteers any more. So, as the volunteer council president, I’ve decided to exert my tremendous powers and will start appointing people to positions that need to be filled. If they decline, they’ll have to do so in front of everyone else, not during a one-on-one conversation. This will be public. I’m going to push the envelope a little. I’m not worried about reprisals because I’m a volunteer. It’s kind of one of those situations where people will start to complain then suddenly quit because they realize the alternative is for them to volunteer instead. That’s a bit like a story my Dad used to tell … he was a cowboy, sheep herder, carpenter, electrician plumber, and mechanic.

He told us about the chuck wagon cook for cattle drives. I suppose the chuck wagon for a sheep drive would be a little smaller, and the wheels would turn faster, but the concept is the same … the cook is always the last guy who complained about the food. Cooking for a while was OK, but it gets tiring after a while and the cook misses going out on his horse, chasing cattle, or sheep, so he starts messing with the food to encourage someone to make a complaint.

As the story goes the cook had had enough and decided to make his move. After gooking a great meal, he stepped way out of bounds by putting cow patties in his nicely backed crust, covering it with another fine example of his mastery of pastery.

Everyone raved about how good the main course was, then it came time for pie. One cowboy took his dessert back to his place by the fire, took a big bite and involuntarily blurted out, “This tastes just like cow crap!” Then he saw the cook smiling at him and added, “but it’s good.” There was never any mention of whether or not the dessert was finished, but I think the point was made. The cook retained his position.

That’s what it’s like to be on council. Folks complain about how things are handled, but they don’t want to see how they can help. At least it seems that way in our little country church. And, that’s OK. I’ll just keep doing it, probably until I die.

The council meets once a month throughout the year. Sometimes we have things to actually vote on. Sometimes we even have a quorum so the votes can be made official. That doesn’t always happen, however. Since I’m president, I’ve made it OK for council members to vote via email. The only ones who complain about that are those who staunchly refuse to move into the electronic age by shunning computers. I find that interesting, but don’t worry about it because I can easily obtain a quorum online. The non-electronically inclined council members find out what’s going on through gossip, or at the next council meeting, 2nd Tuesday of every month. Everyone is welcome, but normally attendees are only council members. Sometimes all of them show up. Those are festive meetings.

Diane is feeling much, much better. Probably good enough to go to church tomorrow and provide support for the meeting that I must facilitate. I think she’s really going to ensure I follow all the rules and don’t say anything that will embarass her. I’ve been known to do that.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

Chicken Moments

I opened this to add something unique and interesting, perhaps profound, but whatever that thought was has been relegated to one of the less accessible wrinkles in my brain at the moment. It will return unexpectedly in a few days, causing me to jump, and make a distinct left turn in the conversation I’m having, allowing the person to whom I’m talking to rightfully determine that I’m just a little off center.

My lovely wife, Diane, is used to this and calls them ‘chicken moments.’ You know, like the saying on one of the T-shirts I don’t have (yet):

“My mom thinks I have ADHD, but I don’t know what she’s talking about because I’m perfectly nor … Oh look, there’s a chicken!”

… or a cow, squirrel, something shiny …

I’m not alone here, am I?

I bet some of you do the same thing.

C’mon, admit it …

Shingles, Revisited

Shingles still infest our domain. They are ravaging the home, threatening to diminish our resolve. This morning, however, a light broke upon the horizon when the sufferer of this life sucking virus was granted a visitation with her new doctor. Someone cancelled, allowing her access. The person cancelling did not know what a service they were providing.

Since this will be the patient’s first visit to this doctor, her new primary care doctor, it will be interesting to see what manner of attitude she has upon her return. Will she be smiling because it was good? Frowning because it was bad? Grimacing and smiling because she’s still in pain but the visit was good? Frowning and grimacing because she’s still in pain and it was a bad visit? Do you not see my quandry as I sit waiting, home alone?

I wanted to drive her to this appointment but she refused stating, “I want to go alone!” Not the exclamation point on the end of that statement. It was an emphatic statement no only because I had suggested more than once that I drive her, but because she really did want to go alone. This confuses me because it is a blatant example of double standard behavior. I’m NEVER allowed to drive myself to the doctor when she’s in the vicinity.

It’s been an hour and she just returned with a grimace and a smile, so things are good. She likes her new doctor and had a thorough exam. AND, she has another appointment for next week. The original first appointment was on March 19th for a new patient intake. Nice. Life is good.

Now I must terminate and go about the business of cooking, cleaning, and laundry. My small effort to alleviate the burden so she can recover without having to worry about those things. I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far. Regarding food, neither of us has lost weight during this 2-week medical interlude in our lives, so I must be doing OK there. The laundry is piling up a little, but we both have lots of underwear and generally spend the majority of our time in jammies. I’ve pretty much been banned from doing laundry since I caused one of her sweaters to disappear into the dryer lint trap. I don’t think it was supposed to be dried that way. Cleaning is another issue … I always run the vacuum cleaner because when she does it she trashes her back and shoulders. Since mine are already trashed I figure it’s OK if I do it. I like to help and it gives me the chance to use the new Kenmore cannister vac she bought me to replace the $10 Rainbow I bought her years ago. That one finally started making so much noise that it was time to let it go.

Dirt, Animals, & Health

Yesterday, or maybe the day before, one of the news stories was about a family with 9 kids who live on a farm. The significance of the story is that these kids don’t get sick. Apparently a study was done to determine how our association with animals affect our ability to avoid various ailments. The results revealed that children who have kittens are 31% less likely to catch certain “things” (I can’t remember if it was a generalization, or specific illnesses), and those who grow up with puppies are better off at 60%+ avoidance.

That’s pretty significant and I’m sure a lot of money was spent to get those results.

Back to the farm kids … they all grew up with a wide variety of animals and during the course of attending to their chores they had to interact with all of them … cows, chickens, pigs, dogs, cats, horses … and they never got sick. Isn’t that amazing?

From this you may conclude that to remain healthy we must be near, and interact with, as many variety of animals as possible. That’s possible for people with the right vocation, but not realistic for the general public. So, we get our kids puppies, kittens, fish, lizards, snakes, rats, and hamsters. A far more simple solution. Pets are fun, and we learn a lot from them.

After seeing this ‘riveting’ news story I looked at Diane, and she looked at me, and we both wondered why a story like this was on the national news. Interesting. All it did for us, mainly me, was reaffirm a long held belief that it’s OK to eat something you’ve dropped on the floor. I’ve done that my entire life and have been blessed with a fairly disease free existence. It’s not the animals, you see, it’s the germs they carry. Kids with pets share their food with Fido and Mittens. They aren’t afraid to eat off the floor.

Our current society is becoming sterile to the point where kids just aren’t allowed to experience a little dirt which, I believe, helps bolster the immune system. Pets help by being friends to their children. Additionally, they carry around a lot of things that help develop their kids immune systems.

When our son, Jeff, was little he was dirty all the time. We always had pets, but he just liked playing in the yard. One of his favorite sayings when he was urged to wash before supper was, “God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt.”

Kinda makes you go hmmmmmmmm, doesn’t it?

Projects & Shingles

“Jerrie!” you might exclaim, “where in the heck have you been?” Then again, you might not even know I’ve been missing from this mortal plane and are now wondering why I postulated that you may be concerned about my absence.

Well, let me tell ya, even if you aren’t overly concerned …

Over the past seven days I’ve actually been very busy doing “stuff” around the house. Of most interest, to those of you who follow the saga of my life, though you may not realize that’s what you’re doing, the bathroom renovation my ring a bell. That’s the most recent project I’ve been working on and it’s been going on for about three months. I know that’s true because Diane points it out once in a while. The overall plan is to progress through the house one room at a time and do what’s necessary to ‘fix’ what may be wrong and replace what may be missing.

With regard to the bathroom, my bathroom, that’s where my attention has been focused the past seven days. Actually, my attention has been focused there for the past three months but, like normal, ‘things’ kept interfering with my concentration and ability to sustain continuity in the completion of one, single project. Such is the way of my life, as well you know. Or, maybe you don’t. Perhaps you are one of the random 2 or 3 people a month who stumble onto this site thinking you will learn something. At this point I must admit that my intent here isn’t to impart knowledge. Instead, this is where I unload my brain in an attempt to see what’s in there. Using this venue allows me to see, for myself, the results. As my fingers flitter across the keyboard of my trusty little laptop, I never know what’s going to appear on the screen. Most of the time it’s a huge surprise because I didn’t know that what I just read was floating around in there. So, I guess you could say this is one of the ways I entertain myself. That, and take naps after breakfast.

Back to the bathroom …

Over the past seven days I painted it twice. The first time I used grey but after a couple of days I decided it was the wrong color so I painted it blue. It’s the same shade of blue as the blue painter’s tape. Festive, and it covers nicely. But, I didn’t paint all the walls blue, only three of them. Now I must do the white. Today is the day, I believe.

I would have had it all done over the weekend if Diane hadn’t decided to contract Shingles. I’m sad that she did that, not only because I didn’t get the bathroom finished, but mainly because she’s in so much pain that I can hardly stand it. Shingles are brutal, and that’s a dumb name for something this bad. It’s truly the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus which gave the recipient chicken pox in their youth. Some scientist, probably on steroids, decided to call the adult version shingles for some odd reason, and wouldn’t budge when his co-workers tried to talk him out of it. He became violent to the point where the other scientists backed down and let him have his way. Secretly, however, they call it ‘herpes zoster’ when they think he isn’t listening.

Anyway, Diane’s got them bad. She had a bad cold for the past two weeks, coughing and coughing to the point where she though she had dislocated a rib. Turns out this pain, which we had for about a week, was shingles trying to reach the surface. The first spots appeared Friday but she blamed them on the cat, thinking an errant flea escaped. Saturday she wandered around town with her Mom, Jean, going to the store for grocery’s, while I painted the bathroom blue. By Sunday morning it was more of a rash and starting to get painful, but we went to church anyway.

On the way home from church we stopped at KFC to cook lunch and brought it to our house where the three of us ate it all up. After eating, the conversation turned toward the odd rash on Diane’s stomach and she had her Mom look at it. Being older and wiser, Mom immediately said, “Shingles,” and told Diane she needed to go to urgent care. Now!

They bundled up and headed for the door, leaving me home alone to manage the dogs. It was deemed an unnecessary risk for me to tag along since I wasn’t sick and going to urgent care opened up a lot of possibilities for catching a variety of ailments. So, I stayed.

Being Sunday, I didn’t work while I waited. I just waited and waited, and waited some more. Presently, however, Diane returned with a bag of pills and news that Shingles was the correct diagnosis. She actually returned much sooner than I expected. A normal trip to urgent care is 4 hours. She was back in about 1.5 hours with the news that when she arrived around 2pm, there was absolutely no one in the waiting room. That’s totally unheard of. She didn’t have to wait at all. The doctor, Dr. Anderson, told her it was good she came in because had she waited until Monday she would have been in dire straits because of the pain. Going Sunday allowed her to get started on pain killers right away to help minimize the discomfort. Since the varicella-zoster virus rears it’s ugly head when one’s immune system is compromised, it probably struck as Diane struggled with the cold.

So, here I sit. Watching her writhe in pain every 30 minutes or so, even with the pain killers. Me, who as a child suffered only through the 3-day measles. I’ve not had chicken pox, mumps, or any of the other common childhood diseases. I’m blessed. But, not I’m on high alert because it’s reported that I can easily contract shingles through a simple, careless act, like touching Diane. So I don’t. I keep my distance. I do, however, wait on her hand and foot, and actually pray to God to let me bear the pain. So far that hasn’t happened because He knows she can handle it much better than I ever could. I’m a whiner. It would never work.

We have another week of her being contagious, but she has at least another two weeks of dealing with the pain.

Now I’m going to go paint the bathroom again.

Banana Stickers

Today I had to make a trip to the VA Hospital in Portland to see a dermatologist. There are always “iffy” things growing on my face which disturb Diane so I thought it would be a good idea to go. It was an early trip, too, and Diane is, hopefully, in the final stages of a head and chest cold. She’s coughed so much, and so hard, that she thinks she ripped a rib out of place.

Anyway, we had to get up at 0630. That’s not something we’ve done in a long time. And, I had to put clothes on because she wouldn’t let me go in my jammies. I don’t know what the problem is with that because I see folks running all over town in jammies. They’re comfortable. But, real clothes were deemed necessary. I complied. Like I always do.

I had my morning banana on which I found a cute little sticker that read “Stick me to your forehead and smile”. So I did. Diane didn’t smile back. It was too early. When I got in the car she told me to take it off.

The trip to Portland wasn’t bad for the time of day because we missed most of the early rush. She didn’t plan to go into the hospital because she didn’t want to take any chances of getting something worse than a chest cold. I totally understand that. So, she just dropped me out front and we agreed that I would text her (on my iPad since I forgot my phone) when I was done.

I was directed to the dermatology area, got checked in, and sat down to read my book while waiting to be called. It didn’t take long before I was sitting in a private room waiting for the doctor.

When she came in she pointed to my forehead and asked what that was. Reaching up I discovered the sticker I’d placed there at home. Smack in the middle of my forehead. I’d wandered through the hospital, checked in with a guy named Joe, got placed in my room, and no one said a thing about it. I gues they just thought I was one more crazy guy roaming the halls of the VA facility. There are a few of those. Maybe next time I’ll stick on the one that reads “I’m full of vitamins”.

Maybe the most disturbing thing about that was it didn’t really bother me at all. I just rmeoved the sticker then the doc got her ‘freeze’ gun out and zapped about 15 spots all across my forehead, including the really big, harmless, mole that bothered Diane. It was starting to look like a little brain so I can understand her concern.

Now I have red spots that look lots worse than the banana sticker. Maybe I’ll get some Hello Kitty bandaids and cover them all up. Wouldn’t that be festive.

Now I need to get ready for our church council meeting. I’m in charge. Scary, huh?


Oh the innocence of youth, when everything is bright, new, and attitudes are seemingly untainted …


… and how quickly it can change when they express themselves in interesting ways when they think we’re not looking …


This is for Jennifer & Steffani