Grout and Mascots

The grout has been applied yesterday and I really thought we would get around to sealing it today, but turns out it needs to cure for 48 hours before sealing. So, that won’t happen until Tuesday or Wednesday. We can get the necessary baseboard molding and top rail for the wainscoting done then, too.

Tomorrow is out because Lydia is playing soccer in Milwaukie, her first high school soccer game. We’re all going, on the road at the mind-numbing hour of 8 am. On the way home the team is stopping for lunch at Fultano’s in Scappoose where they have the back room reserved so the girls can watch the Portland Thorns soccer team play their game. Daniel is a little bit concerned because the Oregon Ducks season opener is tomorrow afternoon, also. He’s hoping one of Fultano’s many TVs is tuned in to the Duck game. I plan to be watching it here, in the comfort of my own home. Unless, of course, Diane has something else she thinks I should do.

Speaking of the Ducks …  I think it’s pretty nifty that U of Oregon is the only college team to have a Disney character as their mascot. Walt Disney personally approved Oregon’s use of Donald Duck as their mascot in 1947 based on a handshake agreement between Disney and Oregon athletic director, Leo Harris. This is true. I looked it up.

Now, about all those offensive Native American names and logos used by Oregon high schools. I suspect they are also used by many other schools, high school or otherwise, but the Oregon controversy is more personal for me. The state has ordered all public Oregon schools to end the use of Native American names and mascots by 2017 or lose state funding. OK, I get it. Apparently Native Americans have been in an uproar for a long time because of the demeaning names, like Indians, Warriors, Braves, used by schools for their team names. So, it’s going to end. I believe this movement is nationwide, but I’m not sure. What I’m curious about is what the pro teams are going to do. Like the Washington Redskins, for instance. Or, the Atlanta Braves. Kinda makes me go “hmmmmm.” This is a bit personal to me because I went to Scappoose High School, home of the Scappoose Indians. I can honestly state that the entire time I attended high school, all seven years, I never once really associated our team name, or mascot, to Native Americans. It was a name. Perhaps, to satisfy the department of educations dictates, it should be the Scappoose East Indians. It was, after all, Columbus who tagged Native Americans with the Indian name because he thought he was, gee, in India.

I think all of the controversy could be resolved if we just eliminated animals and kinds of people as sources for team names. Instead schools can use only inanimate items, like Rocks, Bricks, Stones, Sticks, Pebbles, Branches, a disease, or any type of flower. The Scappoose Sunflowers has a nice sunny ring to it, doesn’t it? Or, perhaps, the Scappoose Salmonellas?

It gets worse, the more I think about it … like the Pittsburgh Pansies … had to say it. Or, the Denver Daisies, Georgia Gladioli, Ohio Oleander, California Calla Lillies … Sorry, but bet there are better ones running around in your heads right now. Care to share?

Time to quit and head for bed since I won’t be able to take my morning nap tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a safe Labor Day weekend.

Thin Set, Fast Food, Soccer, Cheese, and Quantum Physics

The tiling in The Bathroom is done – Tomorrow we grout! Friday we seal, and Saturday the kids can start using the shower. It’s been a long 3-4 months for them and they’re all getting a little ripe. Personally, I’ll be the happiest camper when it’s all done because this project is consuming me. It makes me sweat profusely … that’s not valid for this task because everything makes me sweat profusely. It’s a gift.

The Bathroom was the only place I did anything constructive today. It was just me and Daniel, slapping tiles on the walls until it just felt “right”. Once the grout is applied most of the screw ups will disappear. They’re supposed to, anyway. We’ll see how that works out tomorrow when we apply that grout.

Before starting our work this morning, I had to go straighten up the Lion’s Club newspaper collection container. It’s huge, and people use it for disposing of all kinds of things. I asked Lydia if she wanted to go with me, since she likes to do all kinds of different things. Her only response was to ask if she went, “would I get her something to eat?” How could I refuse an offer like that?

Inside the container was the normal amount of ‘stuff’, including cardboard, a nicely taped up container of used cat litter, and a remarkable array of cereal containers. None of these items qualify as newspapers so they are pulled out of the mix, and then we stack papers. We build barriers about every two deposit slots, of which there are about 10, or 8, and keep stacking on the barrier, and throwing loose papers behind it, until it’s about nipple high. It was about halfway between belly button and nipple, on me, but Lydia thought it would be fun to get on the pile behind the barrier. I told her she had no idea where those papers had come from, or what had touched them, but that didn’t seem to faze her normally very persnickity health standards. She was going to do it anyway, so I said, “sure.” She made a move to leap over the barrier but stopped shortly after raising her leg about 2 feet off the floor, deciding it wasn’t such a good idea after all. This was caused, of course, by her newly acquired interest in soccer about which she is deadly serious. She’s signed up to play her freshman year at St. Helens High School and has been training pretty much every day all summer long. Her coaches have her running about 4+ miles a day, and weight training, in addition to actually playing soccer once in a while. She’s loving it, but her body is just getting used to the abuse, and it’s a little bit sore in spots. That’s why she’s hungry all the time, too. It’s amazing what she can consume. This morning I got her dead chicken tenders from Burgerville. For all of you non-Northwest folks, Burgerville is a local version of Burger King, but better. Really. It is. But, you know? It’s all just a matter of taste. A hamburger is a hamburger, no matter which way you cut it, but only Burgerville has a Tillamook Cheese Burger. They are the best. Tillamook Cheese is another kinda local product. Wisconsin doesn’t have anything on Oregon with regard to cheese lovers.

OK – that was uncalled for. I apologize to everyone who lives in Wisconsin, is from Wisconsin, or who might happen to be planning a trip to Wisconsin.

For our mandatory lunch, Daniel and I went to the drive thru at Muchas Gracias and each had a breakfast burrito. They are entire meals in a wrapper you can eat. How handy is that? That’s another food chain local to the area, in case you’re wondering. I would have gone thru any of the driver thrus, but Daniel chose Muchas. The drive thru was mandatory because we both smelled like well used mules after slaving away in the hot bathroom all morning.

Considering all of this activity around soccer, I guess I’m going to have to learn the rules for that game after all. I actually thought it would never happen. It’s just odd to me to be so involved in a sport that can end in a 0-0 tie and it’s deemed to be a good day. But, she’s really involved and we will be watching.

I just saw on the news that an 11-year-old boy has been admitted to Texas Christian University, home of the Horned Frogsto study quantum physics. I’m stunned! I thought quantum mechanics was about the essence of, well, of everything. Maybe that’s why this youngster is also taking a course in religion. Hmmm. Wonder if he’s on to something. I might just have to form more theories and maybe he can solve them. Maybe he can solve the theories I already have. I wonder if he will talk with me. I wonder if I can remember all my theories. Dang! I might just have to let this kid run on his own.

Diane spent all most of the day getting her hair cut, and making potato salad for Community Meals at First Lutheran Church in St. Helens. I’ve talked about that before – it’s something they do every Tuesday and Thursday, just for fun, to feed anyone who wants a hot meal. It’s a great program. Diane always helps. I help when she asks me to. I quit volunteering when I joined the Navy, but I do what I’m told.

I think I’ve used up my quota of links for today so I’m going to bed and dream about grouting. That, and it’s time to get Diane away from her computer because she’s laughing out loud at funny animal things she’s finding on her computer.

No, I’ll just leave her alone. I love hearing her laugh.

Jedi James, Tile, and a D22

Jedi James is a tiny little kitten that now lives with Daniel, Jennifer, Cedric, Lydia, and Jeran down on Matzen Street. He’s either six or seven weeks old and full of energy, like a little kid. He probably weighs less than a can of soda and he’s just fun to watch. I still don’t get the name, so call him JJ because it’s one less syllable.

Here he is investigating the 4″ tiles I layed out so I wouldn’t screw it up when I put them on the wall.


Yes, I did some work on The Bathroom. The tiling is now about 2/3’s complete. It was a hot, sweaty day. For all my hard work, Diane bought me tacos and a burrito for lunch from Taco Bell.

Now the bad news – even Diane doesn’t know about this so I’m cherishing my remaining few moments of a relatively pain-free day. That may change once I publish this. But, ya know? I’ve gotta own up to my defaults. Most of them, anyway. This one just created more work for me, but it’s upsetting.

As you may have surmised, from previous posts, we have two Winnegabos. Both are old. We use the ’79 brave and have the ’73 Indian D22 on a restoration path that just got more complicated this afternoon. Here’s what happened.

In an effort to clean up our parking lot, across the street from the house, where all the blackberries live, I decided to move the ’73 and park it next to the ’79, which is in the driveway. It effectively blocks all access to the side of the garage Diane doesn’t use so it’s OK that that side is full of ‘stuff’. I’ve been wondering for a while, now, if the D22 would fit between the trees and the ’79. The trees are a barrier between us and our neighbors.

So, feeling frisky, I moved the Subaru, which is normally parked in that spot, and fired up the D22. The brakes worked pretty good when I started maneuvering into position, but faded more quickly than I had anticipated. I also misjudged how long 22′ really is.

Now, I know you’re thinking that I ran smack into the ’79, with its newly connected DirecTV DVR, but that isn’t the case at all. Instead, I backed into the corner of the garage. Damage to the house is minimal, regrettable, and easily repairable. The D22? It now has a ladder to the roof that is caved in, and there is a new tear in the aluminum rear that looks distinctly like the end of the gutter on that edge of the roof. It’s really nice. I may highlite it with some festive paint.

Since it’s been raining off and on for the past three days, I got the big tarp out and covered it up so it wouldn’t leak. Diane will think I covered it up to hide the damage, which may be partially true, but I don’t think she even realizes I moved it from across the street. She hasn’t said a word about it, which I find unusual. It’s like I do things, and no one notices. Except when I do things like back into the house.

On the positive side of this – yes, there is a positive side – the damage caused to the D22 is forcing me to address the already water damaged roof at the rear of the rig. I’ve just been putting it off, doing other things. Now, I’ll have to do it.

Fortunately, I know a guy … he lives in Keizer and he once replace the entire roof of his old Winnebago. So, there is a precedent and I know the expert. That’s handy. The way it is right now, all I’ll have to do is remove about 1700 screws and peal the metal from the back toward the front and see what kind of project I’m looking at. The roof seems pretty solid on the inside, but spongy on the outside in that area, so It’s going to be interesting.

Now I’m going to quit and go to bed before Diane reads this. She’s watching ‘Dancing With The Stars’, so, hopefully I’ll be asleep before she gets there and maybe she won’t remember all of this in the morning.

I’ll let you know.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take a picture of my mishap and share it.

Bunco Bacon and Tomato Cups (BBTC)

The following is submitted to honor a special request by Linda in response to yesterday’s post … it’s one of many recipes available to Bunco groups everywhere for one-handed food items that leave one hand free to roll the dice.


8 slices of bacon – the thicker the better
4 large eggs
1 jar of blackberry jam (seedless)
2 pieces of white bread
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (16 ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough


  1. Preheat your favorite oven to 375 F, then lightly grease the mini muffin pan you just conveniently found in your basement. You can dust it first, if you wish, but it’s not necessary because the heat will kill anything living on it.
  2. Over medium heat, cook the bacon until it’s evenly brown and extremely brittle. Drain the pieces on paper towels, if you wish, or just let them soak in one corner of the pan while you fry the four eggs in the bacon grease.
  3. Start your toast. We use non-nutritional white bread because it’s better for us. It’s true. A doctor said so.
  4. When the toast pops up, the eggs are done. Trust me on this. Just butter the toast, but the two pieces on a warmed plate, and dump two eggs on each piece. Pierce the yolks so the toast will soak them up. I use a fork, but I’m sure a pointy finger will work OK. Put the bacon on top of the eggs, fold them in half, and have a great breakfast (or lunch, or dinner). You might want to lean over you plate to catch the yolk running off your chin.
  5. Put the jam away because you don’t need it.
  6. Now, while you’re digesting all that protein, you’re ready to do some work.
  7. Get the bag of fresh bacon bits that you recently found on third shelf down in your refrigerator, all the way to back where you rarely look. Using the “By Guess By Golly” method, remove two handfuls of bits and place them into a medium size mixing bowl. Or, you can skip this part until well into the baking process and just dump them on top.
  8. Add the chopped tomato, & onion. Since tomatoes and onions are sold in a stunning variety of sizes, you can adjust the number needed based on how you ‘feel’ when you’re chopping them. I call this the Zen approach. I prune bushes this way, too. You can use Zen for anything.
  9. Add the Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, and basil to the bowl. Again, the amount of Swiss cheese is subjective. The original recipe calls for 3 ozs, which is a pitiful amount of cheese no matter what kind it is, or for what purpose it’s being used. So, we used a 5 oz bag of shredded cheese. You can either guess at 3 ozs, or double the recipe using the entire bag, and call it good. That’s what we did.
  10. Stir the mixture thoroughly until you can’t tell there’s any Swiss cheese in it. Then set the bowl aside in a place where you won’t forget it.
  11. Peel the little paper tab off the can of biscuit dough and beat it on the edge of your counter until it explodes. Carefully remove one biscuit and separate it into halves horizontally. Place each half into the prepared mini muffin pan, pushing it down in the middle to form a cute little cup. Continue doing this until the pan is full if cute little cups. This, generally, results in some dough being left over so you have the option to either eat what’s left, or place it into a sandwich bag for storage. Place the bag in the refrigerator in a place where it’s sure to be pushed to the back of the shelf onto which you placed it. You could just leave the unused portion in the can, and place it on the shelf, but putting it in a sandwich back makes it easier to throw away when you find it next year.
  12. Using a small spoon, fill each biscuit half with the mixture from the bowl you set aside in step 10.
  13. Place the mini muffin pan in the preheated oven and bake until the edges are golden brown. Using this method you must stare at the muffins for the entire time to ensure they don’t get beyond golden brown, or you are doomed. If you prefer using a timer, set it to either 10 or 12 minutes — 10 minutes so you can check them, or 12 minutes if you’re feeling lucky.

When the dinger dings, if you used a time, remove the muffin pan from the oven and put it somewhere to cool that the cat isn’t likely to visit for the next 30 minutes. Or, just put the cat outside first.

Once they are cooled, you can remove them from the pan and stack them on a plate in a manner that will ensure they stick to each other. Or, you can leave them in the pan and use it as a serving tray (the better choice).

At this point you wait until your spouse is diverted by something (anything) then you rush the muffins to your car. He isn’t allowed to have any unless the Bunco Group, for which you made these, with his help, feel benevolent and leave one or two. So, he gets one, and likes it, even though it’s cold and has been sitting around for the past three hours. I think basil is added to the mixture so you can tell if bugs have actually deposited anything on the muffins.

He’ll still like it.

In case you’re really interested in this, here’s the real recipe.


Shoes & Deviled Eggs

Today I vacuumed the house while Diane peeled eggs. Other than the fact that ‘it was time’, there was a distinct need for us to suck up all the dog hair that Panzee is spreading around the place. She is much happier when it snows, but she will have to wait a while for that. Rumor has it, from the Old Guy Network in town, that we’re in for a bad winter. We’re not sure what that means because we’ve heard that rumor before and nothing happened. I’m beginning to suspect the reliability of the OGN.

I’ve mentioned before that I choose to vacuum for my lovely bride because it absolutely ruins her back. That doesn’t mean she never vacuums, because she does, but she never asks me to do it. I guess that makes me a good guy, in a way, but that isn’t my motivation. It’s just the right thing to do. Ya know?

One of the tasks I perform when vacuuming is to round-up all shoes that have escaped their rightful places. I may have mentioned that Diane has quite a few pair of shoes so it’s not unusual for hers to wind up in various places around the house. That’s OK. It’s good exercise for me to walk around the house collecting shoes before I fire up the vacuum. I took a couple of pictures to show you the results of my shoe search.

If the shoe roundup was a competition, I suppose you could say Diane wins due to shear numbers as you can see from the pictures …

Here’re mine …


Here’re Diane’s …


But, should the winner be selected based on the most, or the least shoes scattered around the house?

So … do I win because I only had two pair of shoes lying around?

While you ponder that, I’ll move along …

While I was vacuuming, Diane peeled a litter of eggs that she boiled to make deviled eggs for her Bunco Group. That’s tonight at another Diane’s house in Warren. My Diane also found a recipe for some cute little pastry  things using her cute little pastry pan. It’s really a muffin pan for little muffins. She used a package of those Grand biscuits in a can, that you whack on the edge of a counter to make it explode. She had to peel each biscuit in half, placing each piece into one of the little muffin indents. Then she filled it with a concoction of swiss cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, and some other stuff. I was tasked to mix it all up and spoon it into the exposed muffins. She already had the oven heated up by the time I was done so all I had to do was slide it in for 10 minutes.

After 5 minutes she asked me if I’d put the bacon in, which I hadn’t, because she couldn’t smell it cooking. So, we pulled the muffin pan out, and she closely observed me sprinkling bacon bits all over the fake little muffins. Then she put it back in the oven for the remaining 5 minutes. When she got home, around 10 pm, there were only a few left. She saved them for me, and they were really good. They actually looked like cupcakes once they were cooked, but I didn’t get to see the finished product before she deserted me to go play with her friends.

She also took the deviled eggs I made for her. Remember? She was peeling eggs while I cleaned the house? Well, I made the deviled eggs, too. Again, I volunteered to do it, as I volunteered to help with the fake muffins. It’s easier if I volunteer to help because she won’t ask, and I won’t get into trouble for not helping. It’s a win-win.

There was no work on The Bathroom today, but I have a photo of the back wall tile being installed by Daniel …


I agree, it’s a bad photo, but I was in a hurry and took it with my iPhone … the one with the cracked screen that was reported in a previous entry.

As you can see, Daniel is finishing up the fifth row. This is where I left him last Friday so we could go have lunch with our friends. He completed two more rows before running out of the pre-mix thin set. It was a good stopping point because row eight is where the pattern begins. I think that’s true. Jennifer knows.

After completing my kitchenly chores, I just fiddled around and replaced the cable connections, and old cable, in the RV, to eliminate a lot of short cables strung together. Then I moved the satellite antenna just to see if I could get it lined up again. It wasn’t as easy this time, so I got a lot of practice adjusting it. Right now it’s on a stand Jack gave me that has a compass attached so I can make a professional guess about which way to aim it. Since the antenna is already aimed with the correct rotation and elevation, all I have to do is align the azimuth. Not as easy as it sounds, especially when the antenna is 50-60 feet away from the receiver and you have to make go back and forth to see if it works.

It finally did, and the new cable worked just great. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the antenna level, and aligned without using sticks and bricks.

As I previously mentioned, Diane arrived home around 10 pm and it’s now 11-venty pm and time for me to quit. I vowed to get to bet early tonight, as I do most nights, so I won’t need my morning nap. I don’t know why that never works out. It just doesn’t.

RV Toilet, & Tom Selleck

It’s late, I’m tired, and shouldn’t be doing this. My mind is furry and not reliable at this time of day. But, I have an obligation to report my activities, no matter how insignificant they may be from my perspective. Perhaps someone else will benefit, in some small way. I seriously don’t know how, but it could happen.

I slept good last night. Diane did too. The night before, she left her window open and woke up congested so last night she closed her window. I was allowed to leave mine open, for the fresh air, which really doesn’t matter to me because I have to wear my crummy CPAP machine. That means that I, like many others, breath filtered, not fresh, air. Every once in a while I have an urge to wash the mask and hose, but somehow that never happens. Other things get in my way. Oh, I thump the dust out of the foam filter once in a while, but that’s about it. If Diane knew, she’d have a fit. So, I suspect I’ll be washing those parts tomorrow sometime.

Today I delivered Cedric’s phone to him. He left it on his alternate night stand at our house after spending the night. He said he knew right where it was, all the time. I took the phone back on my trip to retrieve my cut-off saw from Daniel & Jennifer’s garage. It’s been used quite extensively during The Bathroom overhaul. Today I had a need at our house.

The need was for cutting trim to go around the ceiling in the RV bathroom. The new ’79 RV. Not the old ’73. This is a piece of work that’s been hanging around, needing to be done, for a long time now. Since we got the rig, actually, but I don’t remember when that was. Diane could tell you. She remembers stuff like that. It’s not a square bathroom, which is why it’s taken me so long to do it. It’s actually a square, with one corner cut off, so it takes 5 pieces of trim to make it all the way around. I had to make four 22.5 degree cuts, and 3 cove cuts, to make fake 45 degree joints. Sounds odd, I know. You have 5 pieces of wood, each has an end, but only 7 ends out of 10 were cut. I don’t know how it works, either, but it did. I hope it did, anyway. Tomorrow I’ll glue them all up and see what it looks like. They seemed to look fine laying on the floor.

Then it was time for a late lunch. Diane went to get her Mom, Jean, to join us. We had more chicken, potato salad, and baked beans. Sorry, no picture. If you’ve seen one chicken, you’ve seen them all. It was still good. I predict that a future meal will be chicken salad sandwiches. That will be good, too. One chicken sure goes a long ways for us.

It rained today. Not real hard, but enough to get the road damp without leaving puddles. It was refreshing. The first rain we’ve seen in a couple of years, it seems. Sounds odd for Oregon, doesn’t it? It is, actually. I’m sure it’s rained within the last couple of years, but I can’t remember when. Maybe last fall, sometime. Or February. Seems like it rains in February once in a while. March and April, too.

After lunch we settled into our chairs and began watching Tom Selleck in “Jesse Stone” movies on the Hallmark channel. We watched 3 in a row and they are 2-hour shows. Since they were on live TV, not recorded, it was grueling because we had to sit through all the commercials. Brutal. We’re not used to that. But, they were interesting, low stress detective movies with Tom as the scotch-drinking police chief in Paradise Cove, Massachusetts. A few people got shot, but nothing blew up and there were no car chases which is usually a deal-killer for us. Those things normally need to happen in movies we watch or we quickly lose interest.

Oh, yes … this morning, before delving into our day, we sat on the porch and watched the birds flit all over the place. Most entertaining are the hummingbirds. They are just plain fun to watch. Sometimes they buzz right up to Diane and look her in the eye from a couple of feet away. They’re getting brave, we sense, because Breezie has apparently either retired as the neighborhood assassin, or she’s just lost her touch. She doesn’t bring them to us any more. Mice, or moles, either. We miss the mouse and mole gifts, but not the cut little birds.

It was 2200 before Diane got her Mom home. I had to wait for her to leave so I could put my saw in the garage. It’s on this holder thing, with wheels, so I can maneuver it around a little. It was still under the RV awning, which I opened when it began to rain. The RV door was open all afternoon, and evening, too. I made sure there were no raccoons hanging out before shutting it up.

That’s it for today. Hope you had a good one …

Quantum Stuff, Cedric, ACE, and Little League

I was going to rant today, but forgot what I was going to rant about.

Oh, ya … it’s about our illustrious Senators and Congressmen who vote on some pretty important bills without reading what they are all about. One was Obamacare, and most recently it’s about amnesty. The bills have different names, but it’s still all about politics vs. the people. My opinion, of course. Many of our elected officials are absolutely wonderful. It’s just too bad they are out numbered by all those other folks.

Diane fed me chicken again for dinner. It was awesome.


I have two things to address today – one is about quantum theory. I know, we’ve talked about this at length in the past, but we still haven’t come to an agreement on what we should believe or not believe. Maybe we really do live in the matrix and everything we perceive as reality is simply created in our minds. We do not, as I’m sure you already know, use all of our brain so I postulate that the part of our brain we don’t appear to use is the part that creates our reality about all the nifty things we do in life.

This topic popped up yesterday for me when I was looking for a new book to read. I just finished my last Harlequin Romance novel and decided to broaden my range a little. So, on iBooks, I just searched for “quantum”. Do you have any idea how many books there are with ‘quantum’ in the title? It’s amazing! Some of them are reasonably priced at $2.99, or less, but some authors are charging up to $200.00 for their blessed books that are, I suspect, full of their theories. I’m pretty sure those high-priced books are text books written by the author, and required for his class. Old versions are unacceptable for new students because he revises it every year with a new theory, or two, or simply to correct the spelling of a few words. If new students don’t get the new book, they don’t pass the course. Nifty business.

Well, I have theories, too. I have theories about lots of stuff.  Just ask Diane. I’ve shared some of them with some of you, too. Sadly, I don’t remember them until I’m involved in conversation, say, about napkins. It’s my theory that with a bit of adjustment to our digestive tract, and use of proper material, if we had napkins made of that material, and swallowed it after every meal, we would not need toilet paper because the napkin would be the last thing out, cleaning things up as it exits. Just a theory. Might not even need to modify the digestive tract at all. Maybe a good linen will work. I’m still waiting for ‘that’ first person to give this a shot and let me know how it works out. Or, ‘if’ it works out by itself or requires surgery.

Regarding quantum ‘anything’ … I’m thinking about quantum Haiku based on the popular 5-7-5 syllabic symbolical construction devised by someone in Japan in another dimension. How it got here, we still don’t know. But, it’s here, and here’s what it looks like.

I’m not, you’re not, we are one : some say that we don’t exist : well, son of a gun

It doesn’t have to make any sense as long as the syllables run 5-7-5. I suppose it would be more interesting if it made sense, told a little story, but that would add another degree of difficulty that I’m not always willing to accept. For you, however, I’ll do it. Here it goes …

Blogs are fun, you know

You can blog your head right off

And ignore comments

Suggesting you stop

Blogging about some dumb stuff

No one cares about

That’s just off the top … funny how things work out when you write haiku. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

As you know, Cedric stayed with us last night. He’s really difficult to have around because he’s almost as big as me and I can’t boss him around any more like I used to. He’s on to all my lies, too, and just feeds them back to me. I only had one suggestion for him – to take a course in school that might help him increase the speed of his speech. Right now he’s on the borderline between fast and really fast. With a little practice he’ll be able to talk so fast I won’t understand a thing he says. As it is, I only miss about every fifth word so I’m able to grasp his meaning. Kinda. He left around eleventy this morning with Daniel. They went to Oaks Park for the afternoon. Every once ina while INTEL rents the entire park and just turns employees loose in there. What fun. They also have been known to rent out an entire theater, in Forest Grove, for the employees to watch movie premiers. I got to go to one of those, once.

I installed the new water pump in the RV today but it caused me, and Jack, a great deal of consternation trying to decide how in the heck we were going to get it connected. Somewhere, in the land of water pumps, a decision was apparently made to change the size of all fittings to ensure those installed in older RVs WILL NOT fit new pumps. That was the problem. One alternative, I suppose, is to just replace “all” the pipes in the RV but that’s a lot of work.

The input side was simple. It could be fixed with the purchase of a hose increaser niblet allowing me to fit the smaller hose, that’s already in the RV, to the larger niblet required on the pump. The output side, to the faucets, and toilet, was an entirely different matter. I had a six-inch piece of tubing, flared to seal inside the attached female 1/2″ fittings on either end. One side goes to the RV plumbing, the other to the pump. Though it was a 1/2″ female fitting, and the pump output was 1/2″, they just did not fit together. That when Jack gave me a lesson on the different types of threads used – there are pipe threads,  plastic threads, PVC threads, and other kinds of threads. It didn’t matter that they are the same size, they just don’t always fit together.

I stood staring, literally, at bags and bins of PEX, Shark, and some undisclosed type fittings, for one and a half hours trying to figure out what combination might work. Thankfully, Jack was working at ACE today and came to my rescue, more than once. He would stop every once in a while to help a real customer saying to me, “I’ll be right back, Sir.” Yes, he actually called me “Sir”. It was kinda nice. He was respectful, too, an unexpected treat.

He always returned, and finally helped me solve the dilemma with two brass fittings that fit together, and into the female side of my supply line, providing a niblet on the end to which I could attach a hose. The pump had replaceable fittings allowing me to use niblets for in and out supply lines so we were good to go.

One and a half hours! Diane was about to start calling around to find me because I had been gone for so long. She said I set a record for “Length of stay at ACE,” which made me kind of proud. It’s not often that I set records. I got popcorn, too. The up side of all that is that I stayed the course, not buying something I ‘thought’ might work, buying it, going home, finding out it didn’t work, then going back to ACE to do it again. There have been some days that I’ve made up to seven trips to ACE to accomplish a simple task. Today I did it in one. A really long one.

What an ordeal.

While I was working on the pump, with the correct parts, I had the RV TV fired up on and watched the LLWS for a while. It was California vs. Connecticut in the regionals. California won something like 12-1. It was quite a game. Now California will play Japan for the title tomorrow. LLWS means Little League World Series, in case you’re interested. These kids are 12 years old, but it’s hard to tell they way they play. They’re pretty good, and fun to watch.

Maybe tomorrow will be more interesting. Right this moment it’s just a mystery to me because I have no idea what we’re going to do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Water Pump, Tile, Friends, Dead Chicken & Shrimp

Last night it was determined that the ‘3 Jerry’s Group’ would meet for lunch at the giant all you can eat buffet at 2 pm today. The group name originated a long time ago because there were 3 of us named Jerry, in one form or another, who belonged to the TVCC (Tualatin Valley Cruiser Club). As you may suspect, we all have PT Cruisers. When the club was established there were very few members so it was interesting that three of us were called Jerry. We had numbers, too, according to age. I’m #2 because I’m not the oldest, and I’m not the youngest. I’m just the middle man.

Anyway, as things progressed with the car club we formed alliances, leaning toward those with whom we related the most and it kinda stuck. Diane and I have not done anything with the TVCC for a long time, but the friendships we made because of that car are set in stone, creating an entire new family and support system for all of us. It’s just great.

Not all were able to make it today, notably Vie and Coleen. That’s understandable since it was a last-minute decision to meet up. I’ve told you Tom’s story, and it was mainly for him that we just had to do it because it was like we were given a second chance to do this. When he went on life support on Diane’s Mom’s birthday. That was the 8th. He had called me a number of times, always asking how Diane was, because of her shingles, and always ending with a suggestion that we needed to gather up the group and eat something. For one reason or another, that never happened, then Tom almost bit the dust. It was a wake up call, for sure. So, clearer heads prevailed and made the arrangements. I think we’re good for the next month or so.

With that plan in place, I had a 1 pm deadline to be home, and clean, for the trip to Beaverton for lunch at 2 pm. That gave me about 3 hours to work with Daniel on The Bathroom. First order of business was to tack on a few extra pieces of cement board. Then we taped and sealed the joints, and got busy putting tile on the back wall. It was a sticky mess, but we kept it as clean as we could, all things considered.

We managed to set the center line dead on. I was actually pretty amazed we hit it as close as we did. It  was a happy amazing as it was a team effort with me slapping on thinset and Daniel slapping on the tiles. Tiles was Daniel’s job so if any of the grout lines are noticeably off, it’s his fault. That’s the way I work.

When we got up to the fifth row, or so, it was time for me to leave and get cleaned up for the trip to Beaverton. We were almost done with the gallon of pre-mixed thinset so I left Daniel to use it up and call it a day. We only had a couple of rows to go before beginning a pattern with colored tiles, so it was good timing. I walked away with a clear mind that Daniel wouldn’t have any trouble finishing up.

Getting ahead of myself a little, we stopped by to see the progress on our way home from lunch and learned from Jennifer that we hadn’t kept track of the thinset that fell off the trowel, and the wall, missing the sheet laying in the bottom of the tub and landing on the new tub. I wiped up almost every bit of what I spilled so it must have been Daniel that caused the mess. Honest. Anyway, Jennifer said it took her 3 hours to clean it up. When we got there, it looked really nice so I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Usually, with tile, I wind up doing it and cleaning it all up afterwards. It was kind of refreshing to not have to do that. So, Thank You Jennifer. And, thanks, Daniel for sticking with me and learning another skill set.

After deserting Daniel, I headed right home, as directed, to take a shower and get ready. I even shaved, removing only a little bit of skin that I no longer needed. It hardly hurt at all. I was ready ahead of time, but we still didn’t leave until after 1 pm … and … we stopped to pick up Diane’s Mom, Jean, because she went with us. That meant I had to sit in the back seat, again. That’s actually OK, because it’s comfy back there and I only have to say “Uh huh” once in a while to make the women think I’m listening. Sometimes I’ll say “no” just for fun, and add some totally unrelated detail, but they never catch on. Until now, that is.

The trip was uneventful and I apparently successfully answered all questions aimed at the back seat as the car did not stop in order to administer punishment. Not that I recall, anyway.

When we arrived, about 10 minutes late, I was gratified to learn that we were not the last to arrive. Jerry1 was still looking for Old Town Buffet. Tom was giving him instructions, but it wasn’t working out well.

Already there were Tom, Linda, Rick, Jodi, Jerry3, and Nelda. Rick just happened to be on vacation this week so he and Jodi were able to join us, which was special. Jerry1 showed up shortly thereafter and we all limped, in our own special ways, into the facility. Jerry3 was fresh from his acupuncture treatment for sciatica pain, Tom was on two canes from his near death experience, Nelda had her trusty crutch. Nelda has always had a crutch and it’s odd that I mentioned that because I actually never notice it when I see her. It’s just … there … and invisible.

It was a good time to arrive because most of the lunch crowd had gone, but lunch prices were still in play, and drinks were included. A bonus.

Those at the front, the ones with the canes, chose the table closest to the food tables which worked well for me. Usually when we go there, Diane leads me to the back of the room, putting me in a position for failure, walking all that way with a plate full of food. I’ve been pretty successful the last few visits, but it’s just a matter of time. Today we were close enough to toss food on the table. I didn’t do that, of course, but it crossed my mind.

Sadly, there were no shrimp, something I was looking forward to, this being Friday and all. All they had was lots of fried chicken, and a lot of other stuff that I like, so I ate a complete chicken dinner, for lunch. It included two legs, potatoes, gravy, corn, and a buttered bun. It was so good I did it twice. Then I had a soup bowl full of frozen vanilla yogurt smothered in hot chocolate fudge. I always use soup bowls because they’re bigger than those tiny little bowls they put by the ice cream dispenser.

The sunday was so good, I did it again, too.

Then we talked, moving around the table, swapping ends, making sure we had a chance to talk with everyone there. I always catch grief for my behavior which I don’t understand because I really try to be good. Honest. My mouth just, sometimes, gets away from me and spins out of control, spewing things I wouldn’t normally say in a zillion years if I had time to think about it. But I don’t, so have to live with the results. I guess.

After moving to Tom’s end of the table, we had a heart to heart talk. It was totally awesome that we had this reprieve which allowed us to commune. As I said before, all these folks are family to us and I know our ‘real’ family members would think the same thing. Actually, Jack and Wynette have met them and I think they would agree. Especially about Jerry #1.

This Jerry used to be a Jockey and spends a considerable amount of time at the Portland Meadows race track where he ‘runs book’ on a current jockey. I think that means he gets them rides and shares in their winnings, but it may mean something entirely different. Jerry #1 knows Jack and Wynette from the track because J&W visit regularly to watch one of their friend’s horses run. Today, Jack, Jerry said Jim had a couple of winners the past week, and Jerry’s jockey is riding them.

While talking with Tom, I look up and see familiar faces coming into the facility. One familiar face from 8th grade and High School, with his wife and daughter. They live in St. Helens, as do we, so it was a surprise to see them amongst all these mostly strange people. Then they sat at the table directly behind me. He, Lonnie, didn’t recognize me until I went over and sat down next to him and started taking. His wife, Sandy, and daughter Shannon, I’ve met before at some point in the past, but I don’t remember when. I just see them around town once in a while. It was good to see them. Since they sat so close, talking with them wasn’t an option. It was meant to be.

While talking with Lonnie, I noticed he had steak on his plate, and Sandy had shrimp. That caused me to rethink my need to quit eating since shrimp is really what I was counting on. So, I got a plate, filled it with shrimp and returned it to the table. Then I got another plate, emptied the shrimp bin, and put it at the other end of the table, mission accomplished. Jerry1, Jerry3, and I ate one plate, Tom ate the other. No one else felt the need to delve into these culinary delights which suited me just fine.

Thankfully, everyone stood up at once, as if summoned by some unknown signal that indicated the end of our visit. It was a little weird, but I went along which is good because I was seriously considering another soup bowl of frozen yogurt.

Before entering our assigned vehicles we all practiced our hugs on each other in front of the windows to the buffet place. Assigned vehicles were varied and interesting. Jerry3 & Nelda were in their PT, as were Rick & Jodi. Tom & Linda were in their little Scion toaster car, Diane and I were in our Buick, and Jerry1 was in his Camaro. That was just to show you that our friendship isn’t about PT’s any more, but we still own them.

Then we all came home, returned Grams to her house to recover from all the gaiety, and I haven’t done much since.

Cedric asked to spend the night, which is always just fine with us, because he didn’t want to spend another night with giggling girls in the house. Lydia is always having house guests, it seems. They are all cute, so don’t know why he minds. He is, after all, a High School sophomore. I suppose it might get old after a period of time.

Once again, it’s time to quit. I have, as Terri might say, used up all my nouns. Actually, she says “I’ve lost my nouns,” when trying to remember some thing, some one, or some place. We all loved our lunch and conversation. I was told so many things I needed to remember, but I didn’t have anything on which to take notes. So, those things will rattle around in my head for a while and eventually pop up at some unexpected moment, making it necessary for me to expel it in the midst of something totally unrelated, causing it to lose significance because of it’s seeming lack of association with reality regarding the current conversation, whether I’m part of it or not.

Oh. Almost forgot. The Winnebago water pump showed up in yesterday’s mail. Now we can flush the toilet. Thank goodness for that.


Fires, Trees, Pope Francis, and Food

The skies all over Oregon are filled with the smoke of numerous forest fires burning around the state. It’s sad to see all those trees burn but, you know what? There is more standing forest now than there was when Lewis & Clark visited the area. The cause, lightening, is still a common cause, but the reason we have more now is because we have brave people, with excellent equipment, willing to go out and fight the fires. Back in L&C’s days, they just burned until they went out on their own.

Speaking of all those trees – Why aren’t more of them logged and milled in the USA? Maybe they really are, and we just don’t know it. What I see in our neck of the woods, on both sides of the Columbia River, are HUGE water front collecting facilities for logs that are loaded on cargo ships which are destined for the other side of the Pacific. Some rumors I’ve heard (conspiracy?) is the many of these logs are transported to huge ships, outside our 12 mile limit, that make cheap plywood and return it to the US for sale. I don’t think that’s true, but it’s an interesting concept. They really do, however, get carted out of the country by the boat load. Literally.

When writing this stuff, I have begun to research what my fingers report, and continually find myself going down ‘conspiracy theory’ paths. Some are quite involved, and interesting. Fun reading.

For the record, if anyone who reads this works for the government, I don’t believe any of that conspiracy theory stuff. Not me. No sir. I think the government is full of honorable people who have my personal well-being very high on their list of priorities … right below their pay raises, private medical plans, raiding social security, screwing up the medical world, figuring new ways to get taxes from us for which there is no need except to line their pockets. All of these yahoos should take a page from Pope Francis’ book on how to conduct yourself when in a position of power. He’s really something and kinda makes me think it’s OK to be Catholic.

Actually, it is OK to be Catholic … or anything you wish to be along religious lines.

Although we are far away from the current forest fires in Oregon, our sunsets are much more dramatic because of the smoke. We can smell the fires burning, too.


OK – I cheated because I don’t have a current picture of a smoke affected sunset. This one is a sunrise. I like it because you can see the crescent moon over Mt. Hood. And, it’s not even a summer sunrise – it’s from November 2010. Still, it’s pretty, even though it’s a little ‘ho hum’ by Oregon standards … yawn … (take that, Jewel).

Just as I sat down to do this, about 3 hours ago, the smoke alarm went off so I knew supper was ready and had to stop. We had tri tip steak. Very good. I like it because I don’t have to gnaw meat off the bone. We also had beets and smashed potatoes. I regret not taking a picture for you, but here are some previous meals you may have missed …

DSC_3944 DSC_2504 IMG_0159 DSC_6924 DSC_6843 DSC_5529


Diane just told me it’s midnight and time to stop. Last time I looked it was only 10 pm. Guess I’m not a real clock-watcher anymore, like I used to be …


911, Eye Doctor, Fultano’s, and a Laptop

Yesterday a neighbor was at our door when we got home, looking for some help to help pick Bob Up. He falls down once in a while and they usually call 911 for help getting him vertical. I told them I’d be more than happy to give it a shot, and it worked. We popped him right back on his feet. He was sternly lectured by his wife for trying to carry his sandwich out to the porch. I guess the bees got most of what was left by the time I got there.

This afternoon Diane went to the eye doctor for one of her checkups. Her tear ducts are on the fritz, which isn’t a good thing. While she was gone, I worked with Doug on the American Legion laptop that was doing all kinds of weird things. I knew immediately what the problem was, of course, being the semi-nerd I am, and got busy on the ‘fix’. Then we went to lunch at Fultano’s in Scappoose.

On the way, I texted Jack to see if he was working so he could go if he wasn’t working. He wasn’t, so I stopped to get him on the way. So, it was the Peal brothers vs. the Cate brothers, plus two others the Peals brought for reinforcement. Jack had never been to Fultano’s before, so it was a treat for him. It was all you can eat salad bar and pizza for $7.15, including a drink. Very good stuff.

Upon returning home, I finished cleaning up the laptop and sent Doug an email that it was ready. However, Doug doesn’t check his email very often any more, but I know he reads this, so, Doug, the laptop is done.

The only other thing I did today was start the ’73 RV, just to see if it would. It fired right up. Better than the ’79 ever starts. Interesting.

Later in the evening I got in trouble, but I don’t want to talk about it. Instead, I’m going to bed.