Chang’s Mongolian Grill

Chang’s – what a great place to eat. I suspect the fastidious people of the world view it as a gathering place where diseases lurk, waiting to strike the unwary visitors. To me, it’s a gourmet delight. To Jerry #1 it’s a place to get half a meal and stuff the remainder in his pocket. I’ll explain that in a moment.

No, I’ll explain it now. Whenever Jerry #1 eats it’s a given that he will only eat half of whatever he’s served. And, he never drinks water. Ever! Most of us attribute his demure stature to this fact – he’s not well fed, and he’s severely dehydradrated causing his skin to pull his face back, making him look like Mr. Miagi … oh wait! He really does look like Mr. Miagi, but that’s mainly because he’s Japanese. I keep forgetting that. Dang! He also claims to be 5′ 1/2″ tall, too. Most of us disagree on that point. He’s at least 5′ 1″.

The “Three Jerry’s” group also includes a Tom, a Nelda, a Linda, a Coleen, a Vie, and a Diane. At yesterday’s gathering Linda and Diane were missing, both for gastrointestinal issues. So, they stayed home, investigating the toilet paper supply, hoping it wouldn’t run out.

It was a drastic mistake that led Jerry #1 down the path of enemas and other solutions for constipation that involved graphic detail of the results. I did learn something, however. A person can go for nine days without going. I don’t know if that’s a world record, or not, but it is for Jerry #1’s mother-in-law. I simply cannot imagine the agony she must have been in. That began the epic discussion about enemas.

I have to admit that I’ve had one of those, self-administered, in preparation for a sigmoidoscopy, and again for a colonoscopy. I actually kind of enjoyed the sigmoidoscopy because I got to watch a live feed on TV as the doctor and nurse stood behind me, gently feed a camera up my ass. It wasn’t really all that exciting, I guess, because it just looked like the inside of a new, stretched out dryer exhaust tube, without the lint. There was no lint because I had that self inflicted enema earlier.

Tom shared nurse stories about enemas that included a garden hose and a bucket of water. He did it, he said, to scare a patient which isn’t normally ethical for a nurse, but the patient was his father-in-law I think. The in-law was given a med to put him to sleep quickly and was told Tom would be back with his “tools” when the meds did their job. It took him an hour to go to sleep because he didn’t want Tom to return.

What I learned from all this talk about enemas is that it’s apparently OK to administer them to your in-laws. I think wives and neighbors are allowed to do that, too, if necessary.

Jerry #2, Nelda, and Vie were sitting at the other end of the table so we weren’t allowed to share in their whispered conversations, so my rendition of this gathering is limited. Once in a while, however, someone would get everyone’s attention and share something of importance, but I can’t remember them because I didn’t have my crayon and paper to take notes. Perhaps some of those who participated will feel inclined to fill in the gaps … I do know there were some jokes shared that I’ve never heard before … Tom?

The big announcement came from Jerry #1. He got everyone’s attentioin by standing up and saying, “I have an announcement.” That when we knew he had an announcement. “I’m a new father,” he stated, grinning from ear to ear. This got everyone’s attention because we all know that Jerry was widowed from the lovely Lynn two years ago and none of us was aware that he had a romantic interest in anyone else. Considering, too, that he’s no longer allowed to fornicate, because of his advanced age, it was unlikely that he was the father of a child. Yet, he announced that he was a new father.

After a short pause to allow this news to sink in, he further clarified that it was Lynn’s race horse, Rose, that recently had a colt. This made my mind swerve into an entirely new direction that mainly consisted of questions around the possibilities of a human fathering a baby horse. I had to shake my head to make that go away, then the reality hit me. Jerry’s mare had a colt fathered by a stud. Knowing that Jerry #1 really isn’t a stud, I figured it out.

The colt’s name is going to be “はやく Lynn はやく“, where はやく = hayaku, or hurry up. So, when she’s running down the stretch the announcer will be saying, “and here comes Hayaku Lynn Hayaku on the outside. Hayaku Lynn Hayaku by a nose,” etc. In two or three years we’ll all see what that sounds like at Portland Meadows.

As we left, Tom and I shared an intimate moment in the restroom, discussing things we couldn’t discuss in public. Mainly it was about why it was a good idea Jerry #1 didn’t want to use the facilities because the urinal was too high and there was no stool. That allowed him to leave right away with the other half of his meal wrapped in two rice paper enchalada wrappers which he stuffed into his shirt pocket.

Vie also left without a goodbye hug, but Jerry #3 and Nelda waited. Coleen had to wait, too, because she was Tom’s chauffeur. Nelda and #3 were headed over to the Helvatia area to look at a Segway someone had for sale. #3 said that they may as well have an even four Segways that don’t work instead of only three. Nelda had the address programmed into her enormous phone and the map showed her the blue line they needed to follow. I took her to the next level by randomly touching a spot on the phone that produced a soothing voice telling them to get started, and would talk them through the turns for the trip. Nelda was so excited!

Me? I went home to be with my lovely bride and to take Cedric to his golf practice. Then I sat on the couch for the remainder of the day. It was a good one.

Now I need to buy Diane a new computer because hers, in Diane’s terms, is “Tits up.”

Valentine’s Day

I know. This is little late, but I’m afraid this just has to be addressed. I’ve learned some terrible things about Valentine’s Day and why we celebrate that day. Apparently it all began with one of the most ancient Roman pagan festivals called Luprecalia, devoted to fertility, that involved two goats and a dog. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

This information was made available to me as I did some research for the program I had to present at out Lions International club meeting last Monday. It was our annual Valentine Day supper, with wives. Instead of trying to find someone interesting to come in and do a nice presentation, on something of value, I decided that I was going to let everyone know how Valentine’s Day came to be a celebrated day.

This is what Diane and I looked like last Monday ..


I have on my dress up T-shirt. Diane looked much nicer than I did.

Now, back to the two goats and the dog. Actually, there is conflicting information avaliable indicating that it may have only been one goat. Regardless, the animals were sacrificed on February 14th because of their sexual prowess. There is really no explanation as to that aspect, so I guess you’re just going to have to make something up in your head that’s suitable for your current frame of mind. Personally, I find it interesting. Why, specifically, goats and dogs? Why not hamsters and rabbits? Or ducks and chickens? Or just a nice, tasty cow?

No, it was goats and dogs. Once sacrificed, the goat was the source of fleshy, leathery, strips of flesh which were used by naked young men, who ran through the streets, of whatever town they happened to be in, slapping women and crops in an attempt to make them more fertile. The story goes on to explain how the young women, maidens, intentionally got in the way of the naked young men with the hope one of them would bless them with a slap from the meaty whip they wielded. Apparently the intent of the festival was successful because the Romans survived meaning both the crops and maidens were at least fertile enough to ensure continuation of the human race and the crops necessary to feed them.

There are other versions, many of which are less sexually oriented, and one of which I was forced to share with the older crowd at our Valentine Dinner. It was probably for the best as it kept me out of trouble for the evening.

Since Monday I finished chopping down an ugly tree that has graced the view from our kitchen, like forever. It was a constant source of joy for about a zillion birds so it was with mixed emotions that I severed it’s ties with Mother Earth. It had to go because it’s diseased in a way that makes it ugly and a source of infection for other rooted life. So, I made it so. Jeff and his friend started it by taking down the largest high vertical elements. I have four more to go before it’s completely down, then it’s all about cleaning up and seeing about ripping out the stump, making it’s destruction utterly complete.

Today I replaced one of the tires on the trailer I pull behind my awesome mower because it was flat and I needed the trailer to start moving tree debris to the burn pile. I managed to move three loads before I didn’t something very painful to my back causing me to believe it was a good time to quit. And, the Walters family showed up for a visit. It was a good time to stop and enjoy our taller grand children.

Perhaps I stopped in time so that my back will magically heal during the night allowing me to finish moving the remaining 1.5 trailer loads of limbs parts to the burn pile. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Downton Abbey, Dancing With The Stars, & American Idol

First, Diane’s much better … the dreaded shingles (totally misnamed as previously noted) is fading, and the pain is decreasing in intensity. Either that, or Diane is just getting used to it.

Now, about a new obsession …

We’re trapped on our couch and cannot get up except to use the facilities and have a spot of tea once in a while. The reason? We discovered ‘Downton Abbey’. It’s on Xfinity on demand. Every episode since season one.There’re 21 episodes available and we’ve plowed our way through 14 of them since Wednesday. I know, that’s a lot of TV in a short time, but we’re trapped. It’s really nice that Matthew and Mary have finally figured out what  everyone already knew, that they should marry to save the abbey, and all of Mary’s Mother’s money. But the sad part is weighing heavy on us, wondering how poor Mr. Bates is going to find release from prison after throttling his wretched first wife. She deserved what she got. Now, however, the love of Anna’s life is locked up for life.

Then there’s Sybol, who ran off with the chauffeur. To Ireland, of all places.

This show appears to be a more than adequate replacement for the now defunct ‘All My Children’. Kinda makes me want to be ‘in service’ for the Earl of Whats-it’s-chester.

Today was a date ‘night’ for Diane and me. We went to a Portland Symphony production called ‘Ballroom With a Twist’. It was at the Schnitz. Diane wanted to go because it featured Anna Trebunskaya and Tristan MacManus, pro dancers from the ever popular ‘Dancing With the Stars’ show. We were more than surprised when it turned out that Anna & Tristan were the hosts and the show consisted of two ‘American Idol’ singers, as well as dancers from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, and the entire group of youngsters from ‘Dancing With The Stars’. What fun it was. Two hours of non-stop music and dancing. Quite remarkable and memorable. It was a very nice date. Also, it was a matinee, not at night, so we got home before dark.

Now it’s time to eat supper and watch a few more episodes of ‘Downton Abbey’ before we go to bed. Won’t be long before we’re all caught up and we can go back to our normal 3-4 hours of TV a day instead of 7-8 hours. Wears me out.

Shingles Update

Shingles. What a terrible thing for anyone to have. They do, however, dwindle in severity over time and I can tell you that Diane is getting better. She been getting cocky a little earlier each day for the past week or so, and today she let me know that she’s almost back. She hit me with a broom for absolutely no reason at all. You can tell that she’s still not up to par, however, because her aim was off a bit and she hit me right on the bone of my left forearm instead of my rear end. It hurt a great deal but she didn’t care. Apparently she thought I deserved it and I don’t think she’s well enough to participate in a sustained argument.

So, after holding my arm until the pain went away, I continued making the bed and sweeping the floor … oh, now I remember … I swiffered the entire bedroom then she started wiping around in corners with a straw floor broom. I went over that area again with the swiffer. That’s when she hit me. And yelled. It’s apparent that a straw broom trumps a swiffer.

I’m glad she’s getting better.

Snow in Connecticut

Yesterday I talked with a resident of Windsor Locks, Connecticut and learned she has over 30″ of snow in her back yard. No one was going anywhere, she was alone, and she still had power. I didn’t ask if she had enough food to last through the storm, but suspect she does. I’ve seen the insides of her various freezers and don’t think she’ll run out for a while. Of course, the last time I looked in them was last summer so she may have depleted those supplies some. Plus, she has kids running in and out of the house most every day so they may have been depleted a lot.

We hope our East Coast Family (ECF) weathers the storm with no ill effects or incidents.

I asked Diane if she wished she were in Connecticut, in all that snow, instead of here in all this sunshine, and she said “Yes”. I found that interesting until the truth came out that it would be fun to see all that snow coming down but she wouldn’t want to necessarily live in it. That was a relief because I thought for a moment that I was going to have to hire a lawyer and get a divorce. That, of course, wasn’t part of our conversation on this matter but she’s familiar with the threat. It seems to either keep her in line, or she’s just ignoring me. I choose to believe my threats contain enough weight that she knows what’s good for her.

I would never divorce her, though, and she knows this is true. It boils down to simple math. I don’t have enough money to make it worth the effort. So, we just stick to the status quo. Also, since she’s been so sick with the shingles I’ve proven to be a very valuable asset.

And I make really good omelettes, any time she wants.

That makes me a keeper.

I think …

Sock Monkey Dog

Last year Panzie misplaced her squirrel with the squeeky tail. We’ve looked everywhere for it, but cannot find it. She has shunned all attempts to replace it with one of Ozzie’s toys, of which he has many, but none of them squeek. So, she’s been playing less and eating more, gaining unsightly dog weight. Both she and Ozzie are on half rations, as I reported in a previous entry, and Oz is actually getting a noticeable waist line again. Panzie, however, hasn’t made it that far.

Today things changed. Panzie’s life has been improved. She’s a happy dog again with the addition of a new (to her) squeeky sock monkey. She was overcome with joy when I gave it to her, as you can see.

DSC_4006 DSC_4001 DSC_3999 DSC_3997 DSC_3995 DSC_3992

What’s significant about this toy is that it used to belong to Thomas, Cedric, Lydia, and Jeran’s dog. Due to his declining health he was released from this mortal plane last year. He and Panzie got along great when Panzie stayed at his house when Diane and I found it necessary to go on vaction. During those visits Panzie would not play with the sock monkey, because it wasn’t hers. Now that it is, we suspect she will lose weight and get back to fighting form.

On a side note, Panzie spent last Sunday night outside. She apparently stepped outside when I opened the front door to see what all the commotion was across the street. George was having a Super Bowl Party. That was about 9:30 pm. He terminated the noise before 10 which was very neighborly of him. When I got up Monday morning I searched the house for Panzie so I could let her out with Oz, but she was no where to be found. I finally found her sitting on the front porch where I believe she spent the night. She’s a big dog and is between 12-15 years old, so spending the night in freezing cold took it’s toll on her. She was all stiff and sore.

Today, after getting her sock monkey, she went back to normal.