Jerrie isn’t Happy

Normally I’m a happy guy. Just ask my wife. She’ll tell you that I’m happy pretty much all the time, but not today.

Now, I’m not overly unhappy right now, just a tad bit frustrated with CenturyLink. Have you heard of them? I have no idea how far their tentacles stretch, but they are certainly here in the Great NW.

My frustration is caused by their willingness to schedule an install appointment for a reasonable time, then not show up with no explanation. The arrival time for the tech was pushed out about every half hour giving me hope that at some point someone would show up. I spent most of my day watching this happen until the arrival time was pushed beyond their 5 pm limit.

Nice.

The only way to share my frustration with them is by texting someone who can’t share a reason for the delay. I’m sure they don’t know the reason, but they also don’t seem inclined to bring it to the attention of someone who can.

Here’s my last chat session:

Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:50:18 PM): All technical support chats may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes. Thank you for contacting CenturyLink.

You are speaking with Shadab, please give me a moment to review the information you provided.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:50:20 PM): Hi, Thank you for contacting Century link, While I am pulling your account, please provide your Alternate call back number.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:51:00 PM): ***REDACTED – they always ask for this, but never use it***
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:51:03 PM): Thank you for the confirmation. Please help me with your billing address and Email ID.

Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:51:37 PM): ***REDACTED BY Jerrie***
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:51:52 PM): Thank you for the confirmation.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:51:58 PM): Could you please help me what is the issue you are facing?
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:54:52 PM): A CenturyLink tech was scheduled to do work at the house this morning beginning around 9:30. The time was moved out about every 15 minutes until it was finally scheduled for 5:15pm to 7:15 pm. Apparently there is something wrong with the install but that info wasn’t shared and I have no way to contact the tech. I don’t even know if a tech was ever assigned.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:54:53 PM): ARe we connected? ***Shadab was on the verge of disconnecting me***
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:55:37 PM): A i chcked there 2 ticketbin your account the tech will be visiting on21 st June for both the ticket.

Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:55:46 PM): I’m a bit frustrated from spending a large part of my day waiting for someone to show up and no one had the courtesy to call me and let me know what is going on.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:56:49 PM): I rescheduled today’s visit to the 21st because it was evident no one as going to show up today.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:56:57 PM): I apologies for th eissue you are facing with
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:57:22 PM): Please till monday the Tech will visit and help you your issue,
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:57:35 PM): I’m wondering if I’ll be blessed with the same kind of service on Monday the 21st.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:58:13 PM): I would like someone to tell me NOW what the hold up is.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:58:26 PM): the tech will edefinetly visit on momda and help you with issue.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:58:53 PM): Why didn’t he visit me today during his scheduled visit?
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:59:38 PM): It would have been a kind thing to do.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:59:46 PM): I apologies fo th eissue you are faing with
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:59:54 PM): Not your fault.

Shadab S (6/19/2021, 3:00:02 PM): Ther tech will be visiting on both the cfor monday.ases
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 3:01:03 PM): Your link didn’t work. This is a scheduling problem and I’d like to communicate with that department.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 3:01:13 PM): I asorry for the inconvenicne
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 3:01:23 PM): Thank you for Contacting Century link, Have a Nice day.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 3:01:44 PM): Seriously! You just blew me off. Wonderful customer service
.

Anyone else find themselves having fun this way?

Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

Solar Energy Alert

It has come to my attention, from an unknown source, that the use of solar energy has vastly exceeded expectations reported by the Solar Energy Expert Panel (SEEP). This group is composed of seven scientific solar experts from the enormous high desert surrounding Burns, Oregon. It’s rumored that they meet in an abandoned farm house located in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge a little east of Mud Lake in Oregon, which is just a tad south of Burns. The confusion about the location is related to the similarity of the village names (Bern vs. Burns) and the fact that this author has absolutely no idea about that which he writes. Truly, it’s not relevant anyway. So, lets say it’s Burns, Oregon, just for fun.

The end result is that solar energy will be in short supply by the end of 2021, and totally unavailable by 2025.

Warn your neighbors.

Events

Diane and I have both received our COVID shots and survived.

Diane had the cataract removed from her right eye and can see perfect without her glasses with that eye. It’s a strange thing for her because she’s worn specs since she was 5-years-old. She’s also amazed that colors can be so bright. I’ve speculated that once she’s had both eyes done her difficulty with blue and brown socks will be history. Not knowing when that will happen, I’ve encouraged her to dump her sock drawer on the bed and sort her socks. I’m curious, aren’t you?

My dermatologist carved a couple of iffy spots off my body and sent them away for biopsy. They were both benign. Now I have two more spots on my body that will never tan. I’m a very blotchy person in my old age.

Ruth had her birthday on Diane’s and My anniversary. She’s 80, now, which means she was only 27 when Diane and I got married. We didn’t plan our wedding to intentionally be on Ruth’s birthday, but it’s OK. More reason to celebrate.

Our Pastor got a new knee. She’s been wanting one of those for a while. Around the same time, another friend got a new hip. Diane needs a new knee but won’t get one. She’s happy with the new eyeball she got and isn’t interested in a knee.

I started construction of the window frames for our new windows. Takes me lots of time to trick my mind into thinking I can cut the pieces correctly so they will fit properly. Yes I measured twice before cutting. Matter of fact, I measured dozens of times before cutting. It took me 3 days to cut the first board. It’s a very tiring process. So far I’ve got most of the pieces cut for 3 windows. Each window requires eight pieces to make them pretty. In a couple of weeks I plan to see if they fit. Until then, I’ll just pretend everything is just fine. I’ll take a photo one of these days to show you.

I’ve been involved in a long delay, ending just now, trying to get my laptop to recognize my phone so it will allow me to transfer new photos to share. I’d like to share because a lot has happened recently that was documented with my camera by Diane. Since the photos aren’t working now, I’ll just explain them to you.

First off, Diane and I left home last Tuesday, headed for Bend, Oregon. On the way we traversed Highway 22 from Salem to Tumalo State Park near Bend. Much of the landscape we travelled through was severely burned recently. A number of small towns along the route were totally destroyed. Pretty sad. Detroit Lake was one of the most notable for us because we stayed at the park there not long ago. All of the structures along the highway are now gone. Destroyed homes and vehicles, including fire trucks, litter the route. Even with all that destructions, people are rebuilding, reclaiming their land. I only took a few photos of that aspect of our trip.

We made it to Bend unscathed. The road was nice and wide and I didn’t run off the road even once. Diane was pleased. We got eveything set up by 4 pm or so, and called it a day, hooked up the TV and watched it until we both woke up and went to bed.

The next day, Wednesday, we made a valiant effort to go see Tumalo Falls in person. We only had to drive 15-20 miles, or so, to tiny parking lot next to a locked gate. Turns out to see the falls in person one must hike 2.5 miles down a rocky road. We made it out about 1 mile before deciding that looking up photos of the falls on the internet was a better use of our time. We exited the road and followed small deer trails along the Tumalo River back to the tiny parking lot.

I think it was the Tumalo River. It was coming from the direction of the falls. Had to’ve been the Tumalo River. Even though it looked more like a creek.

OK, I actually looked it up and it IS a creek! Go figure. Tumalo Creek! It empties into the Deschutes River which actually runs next to Tumalo State Park. I think I read that somewhere.

On Thursday we thought we’d find some Mexican food for lunch. We were hungry. I searched the internet for nearby Mexican themed food truck, because we like food trucks, and found one at a place on Purcell Drive call River Place. I don’t know why they call it River Place because I never once saw a river. Anyway, we found the food truck we were looking for and it was closed. Being hungry we took a look at the other 3 food trucks. Actually, I looked at the other 3 trucks because Diane stated she didn’t care what I got. She just wanted me to go out there and make a decision. So, I opted for a very busy roast beef sandwich from Hogan’s Hoagies. It had things in there I’ve never seen before, but it was really good. They had tables spread out on a patio but we opted to test fate and eat our sandwich in the car with flimsy paper the only thing keeping whatever was in the sandwich off our clothes.

It was delicious! Highly recommended, and it was only $11. Fed both of us easily.

Since Pilot Butte State Park was right in front of us as we left the food truck parking lot, we decided to visit it. Another state park we can check off the list. Turns out Pilot Butte is a very prominent hill of prominence in the Bend area. You may want to look it up and check it out. Or, you can just click HERE without searching. That works. Just checked it. It’s a stunning view.

From there we ventured to the Humane Society thrift store. While Diane looked at interesting stuff, I checked the shoe supply, looking for something in an 8.5 for Lydia. Saw some interesting footwear but none the right size. Then we went to Goodwill seeking other treasures. I didn’t find any, but Diane did. She always finds nifty stuff.

On the way home Diane went through a DQ drive thru by mistake and we wound up with a chocolate malt for me and a cherry slushi for Diane. I had mine gone within a block of leaving DQ but Diane held on to hears, taking only little sips as she drove, then finally mixing it with a glass of moscato back at the RV. It was a very pretty drink.

Today, Friday, we paid a visit to a Hobby Lobby we spied a day or two ago. Turns out that the road that runs past our park kinda terminates in the Hobby Lobby parking lot. Pretty handy. The store’s name was very misleading to me because it doesn’t really have the kind of hobbies I was thinking of. It was pretty much all girly stuff. But, I went up and down every isle and looked at every bit of it while Diane lagged about 1/4 mile behind looking at everything 2, 3 times. It’s a really big store, so I got a lot walking in for this trip.

I cooked dinner tonight. Simple fare of omelettes, bacon, hash browns and toast. Comfort food.

Now we relax until morning when we unhook from the park facilities and head back to St. Helens.

Another adventure.

April 20th

Once again we enter a special time of year that reminds me I’m the luckiest guy in the world. On this day, in 2021, a very special Lady will have allowed me to bask in the glow of her presence for the past 53 years.

There were moments when we didn’t see eye to eye, but we’ve always seen heart to heart. Without a doubt.

This was taken on Okinawa in 1968, not long after she joined me on the island. From what you see in the photo, you might suspect that our life was not an easy one to start, but we actually didn’t realize then that life could be better. We had each other and we were together.

That’s all that mattered back then.

That’s still what matters today.

Thank you for all those wonderful years, My Love.

Let me bask a while longer.

I Love You!

Getting Older & Losing my Mind

It’s been a while since I’ve been here so please have patience with me as i teach my old arthritic fingers to flitter around on my keyboard like they used to. Yeah, they actually flittered. So fast, sometimes, that they had no clue what they were doing. Those are the posts I should have edited, but didn’t.

Let’s see what I can remember since March 16th …

Hmmmmmmm. Apparently not much … I’ve been sitting here for about 15 minutes wracking my shriveling brain and staring at my calendar for clues but nothing is happening. That leads me to believe that one of two things has happened: 1) My short term memory has finally bit the dust completely, or; 2) Absolutely nothing happened.

Since #2 is unlikely, I’ll go with #1 which opens up a wide range of possibilities since I can just make stuff up, not caring about whether or not what I’m sharing is true. That being said, let’s pretend I know what I’m doing here…

Yesterday was an astoundingly beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. So beautiful that I was compelled to fire up my new-to-me lawnmower and see what kind of damage i could do to the grass that was growing wile pretty much everywhere. Actually, that was the second time I’ve mowed it since acquiring my new-to-me mower.

About that – it’s an X304 John Deere all wheel steering rig that was kind of freaky to drive the first time I used it. I got it from Diane’s Mom’s Sister whose Husband, Bill, recently passed away leaving the mower stranded in his garage. It needed attention which I was happy to give it.

Jeff helped me get it home by renting a trailer from Don’s Rental. I would have hauled it in my old pickup truck but it went to a new home where someone could take better care of it. So, you might say I’m pickupless. That could be a word. I’ve ordered a trailer hitch for the Equinox so I can drag a trailer around if necessary but it won’t be here until next week sometime.

I also ordered hitch a mounted motorcycle carrier to tote my scooter around. I believe I mentioned it previously. One of these days I’ll have a photo to share, but can’t find one right now that can be saved in this post. I don’t know why.

In reference to the title, it’s true. I’m reminded of both those events on a regular basis throughout my day. In my typical fashion, I ignore those little jabs because I’ve earned every one of them.

Today it was 70 degrees outside so I went out and tussled with our blackberry vines for a while. It seems to be a neighborhood thing now, kinda like a competition. Our neighbor is winning but they’re cheating by using a hedge trimmer. It’s an electric one. I’m going to get a Stihl gas-powered one tomorrow. That will surely show them.

Just finished watching Gonzaga squeek by the UCLA Bruins in the 2nd game of the final four. What a game it was. I normally cheer for the Zags but no matter who won it, it would be a west coast team. I’ve followed the lady basketballers, too, and the west coast did well. Actually, the Pac-12 did well because the two teams playing for the championship (Arizona & Stanford) are Pac-12 teams. Pretty snazzy.

Now I must go find a squeegie and scrap the dried sweat off my body so I don’t mess up the sheets. It’s time for bed.

“Camping at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park”

Here we are, tethered to slot #8 at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park campground. Finally!

This is a park Diane has been wanting to visit for a long time but circumstances didn’t work out until recently. She was a little giddy when she made the reservations. It’s really good to see her so happy like that. Makes me happy, too.

Getting here was an unexpected challenge that nearly destroyed our RV and the tow car and it was all because of our decision to take the road less travelled. The reason for that, we discovered, was because it was pretty narrow in spots making it difficult to keep the rig in the lane without going over the center line. Early on, during this route, the right front wheel leaned a little too far right, going over the white line designating the bike lane, you’d think, but it was only about 6″ wide. Consequently, the tire made it all the way off the asphalt, causing a lot of jittering and a bit of fear as I worked to get it back on the road. Which I did. Diane was in the back cooking something, I think, or getting something from the fridge, so wasn’t looking out the windshield to see what was going on. That was a good thing. She would have absolutely freaked out! Really! I can say that with confidence because she was in the navigator’s chair the next time it happened and she was praising Jesus to save us all.

The same kind of thing happened but the bike lane wasn’t even 6″ wide as the asphalt terminated at the outer edge of the white line. So, technically, there was no bike lane at all. It was just a white line, then nothing. This particular event happened as the road curved to the right a little with traffic coming at me from every which direction. The right front made it off the road, then the right back tire went off, then the tow car went entirely into the ditch. I learned that from the guy who was behind us watching the entire show.

I felt the car pull the RV’s back end around about the time I got the front wheels on the asphalt then the RV’s back tires miraculously also grabbed a little asphalt giving me some traction to work with. At that time I was heading across the road with my front wheels turned to the right, then the car must have left the ditch and started the old wobbly back and forth that I’ve experienced before which seems to be a “thing” with the Equinox.

I was able to get the RV back into my lane while slowing down as much as possible. By this time I was probably going about 15 mph, but all that stuff going on behind me made it all pretty exciting.

I got the wobbly to stop, turned a corner onto a major road then pulled over and stopped to see what the damage was. At this time I was still unaware that the tow car had been in the ditch. The guy behind me also pulled over and stopped in front of me and told me he thought the car was going to roll over as it was entirely in the ditch and he wasn’t really sure how I managed to get it all back together.

The entire event probably took 15 seconds, start to stop, and Diane was making sure Jesus was paying attention. I’m pretty sure he was because other than a little mud splattered all over Diane’s white car, there was no apparent damage. So, we buckled up and continued on our way. There were no more experiences like that for the remainder of the trip.

Then we exited Highway 101 in Winchester Bay following the GPS directions, looking for Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. The GPS took us past at least 7 nice RV parks and led us out into the middle of a parking lot where folks who ride quads in the sand gather to unload their equipment. There was no park in site. Just this huge parking lot surrounded by sand. I found a gentleman and asked for directions which his wife gave as she knew what we were looking for. All we had to do was go back the way we came and go past the first 3 campgrounds and turn right on Lighthouse Road. We did that and drove past the Umpqua lighthouse, around a few corners then back out to Highway 101. Nowhere was there any evidence of a campground. So, we went around again and stopped in the parking lot near the lighthouse and I walked back to what appeared to be an occupied 5th wheel nearby.

I knocked on their door and caused a dog to light up the surrounding area with a serious round of barking. Finally, the door was opened and I explained my dilemma. The lady of the house ensured me that we were very close to our destination then gave me some very detailed directions on how to get there.

Without going into more detail, we were able to reach our objective and get connected to power and water before darkness claimed the day. For once in my life I was thankful for daylight saving time. We would have never found this place in the dark.

The problem is, you see, that the GPS made us turn on the wrong road, leading us around to the back of the park. Then, going up Lighthouse Road from where we were wasn’t useful because the sign for the park can only be seen coming from the other direction. Pretty handy, right?

We got settled, had dinner, read our books for a while, went to bed and I slept for almost 9 hours. That’s totally unlike my bladder to allow me to do that. I was amazed. Pleased, but amazed.

Then I went outside to have another look at the car. Although it started pouring rain about the time we settled down, the car was still dirty. But, all the parts seemed to be there and nothing was dented.

After breakfast we decided to take a ride and check out our surroundings. Shortly into the trip it was obvious that things were different as there was an odd odor creeping into the car, and something was dragging on the pavement. A quick look under the hood solve the odor – it was debris from the ditch that had been tossed all over the engine that was being heated by the engine. The item dragging on the pavement was a piece of the right front fender well that had come unsnapped from whatever kept it in place. Not in the mood to give it a lot of attention, I just bent it up away from the road and called it good.

The scraping sound went away and after about 10 miles so did the odor.

Considering all of the possibilities for what could have happened to us we could only look at each other and know, for sure, that we were blessed. Apparently we both have more to do in this world and apparently we’ll need the RV and tow car to do it.

Thank you Jesus!

Ziva the Dog – 2006-2021

Ziva was a terrific dog. We rescued her from a shelter in St. Helens. Almost her entire first year of life was spent in that facility and she was on a short list for transfer to another shelter that would dispose of her.

Prompting my introduction to Ziva was the loss of our little Poodle, Ziggy, at the age of 18. Not long after Ziggy’s departure, Diane had a lapse in good judgement and paid a visit to the shelter just to see the animals. Just looking. Then she came home and insisted that we go back so she could introduce me to this wonderful dog. She said the dog was looking away from the barrier, but tipped her head way back to look at her as she walked by. This got Diane’s attention. I’m sure the dog had been using this ploy for a long time but Diane was the first who fell for it, all the way.

When we got to the shelter Diane led me to the proper cage and I was immediately with her 100%. I went into the cage, sat on the floor, and the dog who became Ziva came to me a laid down in my lap. That did it for me. We did all the paper work and took her home. On the way she became Ziva on that trip. The name was a tip of our hats to the Ziva David character on NCIS, one of our favorite TV shows. One of the main requirements was that her name had to have a Z in it. All of our pets’ names have a Z in them. The first was Ziggy. It continued with Ziva, Panzee, Breezie, and Ozzie. We lost Panzee in 2018 but Breezie and Ozzie are still with us. Breezie is a cat with an unknown age and Ozzie is also 15 now, but he’s a poodle and will be with us a long time.

At her first vet visit we asked Dr. Middle what kind of dog she was because the people at the shelter didn’t know. He said she looked like a cross between a Catahoula Leopard Dog and a Blue Heeler. Whatever her heritage might have been, we loved all of it.

She had one last walk in the snow, something she enjoyed, though it might not look like it here.

…and she left her mark at home and in our hearts.

Peace to you all, and stay safe.

Be Safe

So, since wearing a mask is mandatory for everyone, does that mean someone who plans to rob someone, shouldn’t? It only seems reasonable. All they’d have to do is just pull it down, accomplish the robbery, then pull the mask back up and blend into the crowds.

The world we once knew has changed. “Normal” has an entirely different look than it did just over a year ago. The big change, in addition to lots of people dying from the pandemic, is the need to wear a mask. My opinion is that had everyone heeded that need early on, many of those we lost could have been saved. That’s water under the bridge, never to be seen again, so we move forward with what we’ve got.

About that enormous “S” at the beginning … when I started this a few days ago I didn’t have a plan so decided to fiddle with ‘settings’ and found the setting that does that. Now that I kinda have a plan I thought it might be a distraction, and should turn it off. I’ll be darned, however, that I cannot figure out how I did that. So, we’ll all just have to deal with it.

You might be happy to know that I’ve received both of my COVID shots. Yup. The VA took care of me. Diane was a little bummed that she wasn’t able to get hers right away and worked very hard researching to find out where to register and where to go. She finally obtained a reservation at the Portland Convention Center for last Friday. That’s the day I got my second shot. She was absolutely giddy about getting her first shot, as was I. She will get her second shot on February 26th. That will be another giddy day for both of us.

Second shots, I learned, are noticeably different than the first. I found myself ricocheting off hall walls while getting from one place to another, and tripping over throw rugs because my feet didn’t see the need to rise up a little higher to compensate for the height increase from the wood floor. Consequently, I’ve taken over, when I remember, and force the issue by helping with the lift. It works most of the time. So far I’ve been able to remain vertical but the danger still lurks out there that the next one could be my downfall. Pun intended.

After a couple of days of snow a week or so ago, our weather turned quite balmy causing our lawn to start growing again, thinking winter was over. Not wanting to put my new lawnmower at risk of getting dirty too early in the season, we borrowed the neighbor’s mower. It worked nicely because the grass is always greener in our yard. Her name is Betty. We could have used a couple of goats, too, but they aren’t nice to Betty. So, she works alone.

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For a change of pace, instead of opting for chalupas and tacos from Taco Bell, Diane made a heaping pot of her famous beef stew a couple of days ago. When I said heaping, I wasn’t kidding. It was full to the tippy top. Here’s proof. It’s the best she ever made which was not a surprise since I had a hand in making it. I cut up all the potatoes, carrots, and meat so it would fit in the pan. All she did was make an incredible broth. Makes me want some now.

Everyone really liked it but, thankfully, there was more than enough for seconds and enough for repeats on following days. That’s my supper. I just decided.

I may have mentioned in a previous post that breakfast burritos have become something of a ‘thing’ with me. They seem to be popular with those with whom I dwell, so I make them just for fun, not just for me. They are dreadfully simple to make … just a few small peppers, green onions, frozen O’brien hashbrowns, bacon and/or sausage and eggs.

To start, I get the bacon and instead of cooking whole slices, I slice a bunch of pieces off the end of the slab and toss them in a pan. Well, I ‘put’ them in a pan. Tossing proved to be a challenge and made a mess on which Diane frowned. The pieces come apart when they heat up and start skizzeling which is handy. When they get to the right shade of ‘done’ I add a bunch of O’brien’s and let them thaw out a bit while I cut up the peppers and onions.

I’ve learned to ensure I removed all the tiny little pepper seeds before cooking because they are rock hard and not friendly on my teeth. After slicing up a random number of them, I cut the roots off the green onions, cut them up and add them to the mix. It all goes into the pan with the hashbrowns.

While things are heating up I crack a bunch of eggs and set them aside until all the veggies are the right color and firmness. Then I dump them in the pan, too. I don’t mix them up first because I kinda like the way they look all perched up on top of the vegetables awaiting their demise. After enjoying that little bit of drama, I start mixing and rolling everything together and keep that up until nothing is recognizable and nothing is shiny. Shiny means the eggs aren’t quite done yet.

Then I turn the burner off and break out the tortillas.

Somewhere during this process words gets around that Grandpa is cooking again and people show up. Thankfully, I get first dibs.

It makes me happy to know I have a skill that’s useful.

Maybe I should take pictures of the process. Might make more sense. Instead, I’ll leave you with this one.

Because of the mask mandate, I was able to enjoy the smell of green onions for a trip to Portland and back before Diane discovered what I’d done.

What fun.

My main message here is captured with the big letters at the beginning.

Cheers

Errands, a Vaccination, & Pork Chops

I’ve been in a bit of a daze over the last eleven days since my last post. Some of you may think that’s normal for me, and perhaps you’re correct. I readily admit that my thoughts are easily scattered making it difficult for me to distinguish fact and fiction. Since fiction is my favorite form of reading material I tend to lean heavily in the direction. Continuing with the scattered theme, that’s kinda what this post will be about.

The other day I was summoned to Daniel & Jennifer’s home to pick up some documents that needed to be scanned and some mail Jennifer wished me to mail. Oh, and deliver her water bill to the appropriate box at the water department.

When I arrived to accomplish these things, Jennifer took my photo.

She thought she’d have it to share with her friends to show them what a goofball I am. What she didn’t know was that I wound up at her door in this manner because her Mother expressly forbid me to leave the house looking like this. I admit I was flirting with danger doing this, but it’s tough for me to back away from a challenge like that. Plus, I had strong notions about going to Walmart while I was out. On the trip, however, I re-evaluated that course of action because it was daylight and it’s my understanding that people don’t usually go to Walmart dressed like this during the day. It’s evening garb. I could be wrong about that, but figured not going was erring on the side of caution.

I’ve been talking with Cedric a lot via email lately and that’s fun. He’s stationed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), in case I haven’t mentioned that early. The ship has been deployed for almost a year now. That’s a long time at sea. With the COVID pandemic they don’t get port visits like a normal WESTPAC cruise. That, and with Iran playing games with missiles, the ship is always on alert. Just recently Iran planted one in the ocean abour a 100 miles from the Nimitz, just to say “Hi!”

Cedric is weathering the cruise nicely and is looking forward to getting back Stateside. He will be discharged not long after they return.

Today was a banner day for me. Diane drove me to the VA Hospital so I could get my 1st COVID vaccination shot. I made the appointment online and it was a very simple process. Here’s the shirt I wore…

The nurses all wanted one. Since I got it from Daniel, my son-in-law, I gave them all his email address and phone number so he could help them. Actually, that’s a lie. I didn’t do that, but it might have been fun to see how many of them would have called or emailed him. But I didn’t. Honest.

I spent a total of 25 minutes in the hospital rom the time I checked in to the auditorium until I left the building. That included filling out a form, getting the shot, then sitting in a chair for 15 minutes to see if I could do it without falling on the floor.

The nurse was great. Didn’t get her name so I’ll call her Ruby. That’s a fun name. The first thing I asked her was if the needle was really as huge as the ones the news has been showing us for weeks now. They just looked overly large, and they always showed the nurse pushing it into someone’s are really slow. Ruby and I talked about that a little bit and she assured me the needle was normal size and she would be quick about it. She even let me take a photo of her in action …

I found Diane parked pretty close to the front door and we had a nice ride home. When we got there., I fried up some pork chops for lunch …

They were really good. I marinated them in some Yoshidas teriyaki stuff that I found in the cupboard. It was brand new, never opened, and had an expiration date of October 2018. Looked good to me. Tasted good, too.

Now, many hours after the shot, my arm is really sore. I’m not sure if it’s all because of the shot, or partially because Diane had me help her scrub the little black dog. That, my friends, is a risky job. He’s pretty blind and isn’t really fond of water so his goes on high alert to protect himself and gets quite aggressive. Thankfully, I have some heavy duty leather gloves to wear during this evolution. I hold him while Diane does the scrubbing. It only took about an hour.

Now I’m going to go sit with Diane and watch news for a while.

Stay safe out there and don’t neglect to get your shot when given the opportunity.

Dazed & Confused

I don’t know where to start with this today. So much has been happening that my mind is frizzled just a bit in an effort to make sense of events.

First: The new windows we had installed earlier in the week work great. We removed the Anderson windows that were installed in 1957, which were nice but not very good with insulation, and replaced them with brand new 2020 double pane Anderson windows. Not only is the insulation noticeably better, the windows help with dimming down outside noise. That was unexpected, but it makes sense. So, life is good. Now all I have to do is save up enough money to buy enough lumber to trim all the windows. Diane want it to be oak and my first rough estimate is I need about 325 board feet to get it done. I will measure again just to make sure, of course. Diane insists. This shouldn’t take me much more than a year and a half, give or take a few months either way.

Second: COVID has involved itself with our lives. Our granddaughter tested positive about a week ago. She recently turned 21 so I accused her, kiddingly, that she shouldn’t have been hanging out at all those bars. She wasn’t and I knew that. She knew I knew it, too. Her symptoms are mild but still it’s not anything to trifle with so we will remain concerned for now. Also in the family, our daughter, Jennifer and hubby Daniel, are fostering Daniel’s great nephew who was recently diagnosed with COVID. He’s only 8-months-old. Everyone else in the family tested negative. Diane and I don’t count because we’re old and don’t go anywhere. We’re very good sequesterers. Professional, you might say, and we’re just fine with that.

Third: How about that mini-Revolution we had yesterday. Diane and I watched the events as they unfolded and were astounded that only one person was shot. What a mess. I won’t expound on this because I avoid political issues on this forum. I have opinions, of course, but I’m pretty sure none of you want to ‘hear’ about them.

Fourth: I had an “in person” eye appointment at the VA hospital with a nice young lady named Jahaila. She’s working at the VA as an intern and will graduate in May as a real deal Doctor. I enjoyed my visit and look forward to getting my new glasses in a few weeks. I think the glasses are made in Boise, last I heard, and they have a heavy workload, hence the delay. I think the glasses are delivered to our local post office by two guys on a tandem bicycle who’s sole purpose in life is to deliver glasses for the VA. For safety, they only travel backroads, never on freeways. In towns they are allowed to ride on the sidewalks because the guy in the back is legally blind. Since he isn’t steering, that’s OK. He’s really only there to pedal, really hard, and isn’t in any way responsible for anything they run over, or into, during their delivery trips. They’ve been doing this for many years now so they must really be careful.

This is the view from the 8th floor elevator lobby of the Portland VA Hospital.

Fifth: Diane’s Mom’s light over her sink burned out so I replaced it after we got back from the VA. Putting in a new bulb didn’t fix it so I got out my trusty multi meter and didn’t learn a thing that would lead to a solution. So, I called my friend, Doug, who used to be a professional electrician for some insight. He tells me that his knowledge of codes terminates around 2010 so he limits his involvement with the understanding that anything he shares isn’t useful with regard to current codes. We kibutzed a bit and he managed to lead me in a direction that will probably allow me to resolve the problem on my own. Tomorrow will tell the tail. All I have to do is remember what he told me. It would be easier with notes but he stresses the importance of not taking notes during our visits because something could go wrong which could result in a visit from the police. I understand his concern, so there are no notes. Just my faulty memory. We’ll see how that goes.

Now it’s time for me to stop all activity for the day and go sit with Diane to make sure she doesn’t watch too many shows about renovating houses. They leave her giddy with possibilities about our home. Thankfully, we live a long way from Waco so we can’t feasibly engage Chip and Joann to fix our house. It would be nice, though. Wouldn’t it be funny if they read this and decided to come visit? I’ll be sure to let you know if that happens. Honest, I will.

Now I must stop and report that a lot of what you just read is false. I can’t help myself.

G’nite.