Looking for Trouble

The other day on my way out the door to go golfing, Diane asked me if I’d eaten anything. Of course, I hadn’t, so I grabbed a handful of Costco bacon bits, 3 truffles, and a cracker I found in my chair. Those, and a cup of to-g0 coffee, and I was ready. Sadly, I was late for my tee time because I made the crucial mistake of telling Diane what I had. Apparently my choices do not count of valid food choices. So, I had a bowl of cereal.

Later the same day, checked the in and out temps on the catalytic converter on Lydia’s Envoy. Not having a tool specifically designed to do this kind of work, I chose to use Diane’s instant read meat thermometer. It seemed to be the same on either end so I figure the catalytic converter wasn’t working properly. As a result of this finding, I removed the catalytic converter and inserted an 18″ piece of 3″ ABS pipe in its place.

I know, it’s illegal to remove a catalytic converter, but it’s temporary because it’s going to melt then the exhaust will get really loud. I’m hoping that it will hold up for short trips around town. I would have used heavy-duty PVC but didn’t have any. It’s thicker and takes longer to melt which would allow for longer trips to, say, Warren, or Columbia City.

That’s it for today. I need to get to Kitchen Kaboodle before they close so I can get a new meat thermometer for Diane.

Later

To the Moon and back, Part dos

Yesterday I believe I was in the middle of a narrative about going to the Moon. Well, not really the moon, because I really don’t know where we went and there was never a moon view from the only window to which I had access. Nope, I was sequestered in what I believe was a small portion of a very large facility that’s located on the dark side of the Moon so all visual reference was forever aimed at deep space. That’s a guess, of course. Then again, they could have taken me to another galaxy, far, far away because they were able to fool the laws of physics, as we understand them, and take advantage of folds in space about which much is speculated on Earth. But, if I was on the moon I would weigh less, right? I didn’t feel lighter so I probably really wasn’t on the moon.

Right after discovering my speculation about my location I suffered a period of unconsciousness of unknown duration. It could have been seconds, days, or weeks. Probably weeks because I felt nicely rested when I woke up. Perhaps I just had a nap. One of those dreamless ones. That happens sometimes but is only a problem when I’m driving. I knew I was in a different location because the furnishings had changed from lite modern to country sheik.

This afternoon Ringo came to my room and told me that I was still on Earth at their facility that’s located in a hidden storeroom in the back of the new Bi Mart in Scappoose. Lot’s of folks wondered how Scappoose wound up with a Bi Mart so close to Fred Meyers. Now we know. Aliens built it. Through the small window mounted high on the wall all I could see was sky so I had to take Ringo’s word for it. He went on to explain that the reason we were at Bi Mart was because they have the parts needed to repair the damage George did to the landing craft, but it was on back order and wouldn’t be available for 3 weeks. That’s how long it takes for them to get resupplied from their Moon base. So, I was stuck in Bi-Mart for the next three weeks. To make up for the delay, Ringo gave me a stack of coupons I could use in the store when they finally released me. I thought that was pretty nice of him at the time but later learned that everyone in town received those same coupons in the mail on a regular basis.

I think I left off yesterday where I was just becoming aware of ‘things’ when Brucette stepped out of the shower. Considering the nature of Brucette’s skill and training, I suspect more than one of you were intrigued at the mental vision this may have created. Well, it’s not what you think. You see, these folks don’t really shower. When they get dirty they just shed their skin, like a snake, and keep on keeping on. Using the shower is a handy way to get rid of the evidence because all the discarded skin is water-soluble and easily washed down the drain. Because of this, you’d think water is very dangerous for them and make them melt. Not the case at all. The water merely removes the first layer of skin, of which they have about 128 layers that keep replenishing themselves. So, though Brucette was indeed naked her fake beauty was overshadowed by the bis of still dissolving skin clinging to her torso. If she’d stayed in the shower a bit longer I suspect they would have all gone away but apparently she was in a hurry. It wasn’t one of those ‘sights for sore eyes’, believe me.

The next time I woke up, not knowing that I had fallen asleep, I was laying on an exam table, just like the one they use on the Mother Ship. As I pondered my situation I became aware of a lightness making me think I was no longer on Earth. This was verified with Elton appeared with that big shiny reflector strapped around his head like doctors used before good flashlights were created. You know, it has a hole in the middle of it through which the doc looked while directing the reflected light on what he was looking at.

One of these …

th-1 unknownth-2th-3

Elton didn’t really need it because they actually have state of the art lighting on the Mother Ship. He wears it as a fashion statement and, I think, as an attempt to put me at ease because he’s acting like a doctor. I know better because I’ve been here before. Many times over the past 52 years. I didn’t understand why they kept taking me over and over, doing the same tests, looking at all the same parts, over and over. Turns out that everyone on Earth is assigned a number and they select abductees based on a random draw and my number just keeps coming up.

“Once someone is selected to be abducted, why not leave their number out of the pool for the next drawings?” I asked during one abduction.

“Well,” said Elton, “you see, we are from Uranus and our rues are very strict about how abductees are selected. The numbers aren’t really drawn from a hat like we told you before. We use a computer to make the selection. Since you are just a number on a monitor we can’t very well remove the number. It’s always there. You could, conceivably, be selected numerous times in a row but the chances of that happening are astronomical.”

That’s actually the most words I ever heard come out of Elton’s mouth. Yes, they have mouths. They actually look just like us but learning that they originate from Uranus might make you wonder.  I was stunned because I had no idea that Elton could verbalize a coherent thought. During all previous visits all he did was issue commands to me like, ‘turn your head and cough’, ‘stick out your tongue’, ‘squeeze my fingers as hard as you can’, ‘turn to the right’, ‘stand on one leg and hop’, routine stuff like that. I just figured he was giving me a physical like they do in schools to make sure you can play sports without dying.

“Why do you do the same tests on me? Don’t you have the results from the last time?” I asked.

“We have protocols,” is all he said. Protocols. Right. Time tested protocols. Just like that guy you call for help troubleshooting your new computer because it won’t do something it’s supposed to and he (always a He) starts reading to you the protocol he’s supposed to use to determine the cause of the problem. He must go through every step on his guide even though you’ve already told him that the video card is smoked. No, he’s got to test everything before he can authorize shipment of the replacement part. After two hours he determines that the video card is bad and arranges to ship a new one. That’s a hypothetical example, or course.

So, I once again endured the protocols after which I was given an injection. They’d never done that before so I had to ask, “what’s that for?”

“Oh, there’s a bug going around up here,” said Elton, “and we don’t want to contaminate the humans.” Then he asked if I was allergic to eggs or egg products.

Just for fun I said, “Yes. Yes I am.”

“That’s OK because there’s nothing in the shot related to eggs of any type.”

“Then why did you ask?”

“Protocol,” he said.

“You’ll be transported back to Earth shortly. Do you have to use the bathroom?”

“No,” I replied, “but I’d like to look around a little if it’s OK.”

“Sure,” he said. “Just don’t open any of the doors that have large red ‘X’s’ on them.”

So, I got up and wandered around the room and found three doors, two of which had the red ‘X’s’ on them. The third one had a happy face on it and looked promising. So I approached it and looked all over for some sort of knob that may open it. Behind me I heard Elton say, “Push on the door to open it.” I did that and, hey!, it popped right open just like one of those cupboard doors that have magnetic spring locks.

Behind the door was rod from which hung all of Elton’s clothes. Apparently it was a closet. Behind me I heard laughing as he enjoyed his little joke. That made me a bit angry so I turned and rushed to one of the ‘X’ marked doors with the intention of pushing on it but stopped short when I heard Elton yell out, “Noooooooo!”

Then I woke up fully clothed in my bed. At home. Mom was standing over me, wide-eyed, asking me if I was OK. It was really nice that Mom was there but a little odd, too, because Mom died in 2001.

“Crap.” I thought. “Elton sent me to the wrong reality, again.” He’s done that before. Probably on purpose. I’m sure it wasn’t protocol. Now I had to find out where Ringo lived in this reality so he could help send me back the proper reality. For the moment, though, I just said, “Hi, Mom,” and gave her a big hug. I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

Maybe I was just dreaming.

Diane’s fixing to take her Mom, Jean, shopping. That means I’ll be left unsupervised for a few hours so I’m going to the basement to play with some of my power tools. I do that when she leaves because her parting words when leaving me alone are, “don’t use any tools that plug into the wall!” It’s a warning and I know, but I prefer to take it as a challenge. It doesn’t always work out well for me but today I need to be really careful because I won’t have transportation to get me to the emergency room. I’ve driven myself there a few times and I always get into trouble for it. It’s just my renegade nature, I suspect.

Ciao.

To the Moon and back

A funny thing happened the last time I was in orbit and I thought you might like to hear about it. As far as I know this information does not violate any confidentiality agreements to which I am legally bound and that’s irrelevant because I can’t remember all that stuff anyway. So, I’m sharing. I’m sharing the parts I remember, that is.

First there was the routine abduction, something I’m so familiar with now that I rarely lose conscientious when they stab me in the eye with that incredibly bright light.

They use a variant of the flash bang commonly deployed by special forces personnel on most of the TV shows I watch. I think the police also use them as a way to stun a crowd into submission. The difference is that the version they use only has the flash part because the bang aspect would draw too much attention to the other patrons at Starbucks, where they normally arrange their snatch and grabs. Snatch and grab is not my choice of words, it’s theirs. They told me. I have no idea why they use that term, but they do. So, there I was at Starbucks, the one across the street from Wal-Mart*, when Ringo (ya, that’s what he calls himself) approached me and reached into his pocket for the flash light he always carries.

“Ringo,” I said. “Do you really have to do this? I mean, I’ll just go with you. You don’t have to blind me.”

After a short pause to gather his wits, he responded “but this is procedure. We always do it this way.”

“But I’m a compliant abductee. Haven’t I always gone along with pretty much everything you’ve asked me to do?”

“A … ya … I guess. But I like using my light. It’s fun.” At that point he whipped out the light and pointed it at my right eyeball and was in the process of activating it. Just before he pressed the button I moved my spoon, which I always carry in my right hand, most of the time, anticipating events like this, to cover my right eye with the convex surface point away from me. When he pushed the button the flash ricocheted off my spoon and harmlessly scattered throughout the room.

You might think this would have caused some sort of commotion amongst all those Starbucks customers but virtually all of them were fixated on their electronic device of choice and ignoring everything around them except the caffeinated drink gripped tightly in they dominate hand. Those with laptops sometimes released their drinks so they could use both hands on their keyboards, but that never lasted long.

“Oh, man,” said Ringo, “now I have to do this the old way,” at which point he reached over and grabbed me by the ear, a universally known method of forcing compliance, and marched me right out of that coffee shop and into the waiting sedan at the curb. All the way I was yelling “Ow, ow ow …” but he just qualified his action by adding, “Wait until your Mother finds out what you’ve been doing,” which is just another proven method of forcing compliance. No one wants to upset their Mom.

Once in the car I greeted to George, Ringo’s accomplice, who was always the driver. Also in the car was Brucette, their suductress, who is only put into play should all other forms of abducting fail. Brucette was very good at her job but she’s never had to work her wiles on my because I’ve always gone along nicely. That’s why I couldn’t figure out why Ringo and George had to make taking me such a big deal.

The sedan sped away from the curb before I had a chance to buckle up and I was slammed into the back seat just as I was about to sit. After speeding around a corner, onto Highway 30, I found myself unceremoniously draped across both Ringo and Brucette’s laps. Brucette thought it was an opportunity to practice her art and started brushing the hair out of my eyes and rubbing my back. I tried to extract myself from her embrace but she held me in place (she’s very strong) even when Ringo grabbed my ear again tried to yank me to a sitting position. But Brucette held on tight. Consequently, the pain was exquisite and at the same time comforting. She was that good.

“Brucie,” said Rambo quietly, releasing the tension on my ear, “let him go. You know the rules. Passengers in vehicles are required to wear seat belts on this planet.” She bowed her head a bit, looked up at him demurely, then reluctantly let me go. That was scary. I know how George drives so getting a seatbelt on was imperative.

Just as I heard the seat belt click into place I also heard the squeal of tires, the prelude to an impending crash.

When I woke up I had no idea where I was or how long I had been napping. It must have been a while because I was aware of the reduced gravity which could only mean I was on the Mother Ship. Again. Just once I wish they ‘d let me enjoy the trip up but, nooo, they had to stick to their stupid doctrine. When full awareness finally dawned on my abused body I heard a swish as the bathroom door opened and Brucette stepped out of the shower … … Oops. Gotta stop and help Diane find the waffle iron. Apparently we’re having breakfast.

I’ll get back to this later. Maybe tomorrow.

The Mother Ship

I opened this because I was sure I had something profound to share but all that comes to mind is stifled with a confusing blur of naps, trips to the bathroom, meals, and trips to various places around town. That means I’ll have to share something that may or may not be true because I’m just not sure any more what’s what.

One interesting things is that the alien abductors are getting new ships. I learned this, I think, during my last trip up from my friend Arnold. Yes, they have names like ours but that’s only because they got them from watching TV. In their native language they all sound alike, to me. Arnold came from “Happy Days,” in case you’re wondering.

A few months ago Arnold told me that he was from the Aquarius constellation so you can imagine my surprise when scientists recently reported their findings about Trappist-1, the dwarf star around which 7, yes seven, earth-like stars orbit. Normally that would be a coincidence but I don’t believe in coincidences. I look at it as validation of what Arnold told me, and it would explain why we look so much alike.

I look forward to my next trip up so I can see what kind of equipment they are getting to replace the fancy things they already had. I asked him what they were going to do with the old ships and he said they would probably donate them to various governments around the world like they have in the past. Donations of this sort are the source of much of the new technology we enjoy. If you are a fan of some of the new gadget oriented TV programs you are probably aware of the technology these actors supposedly use. Just know that it isn’t fake stuff. The actors don’t know this because, well, they’re actors, but the folks who make create the shows have input from the mother ships, taking advantage of this large stage where they can showcase some of the things to come.

What fun. Perhaps I’ll be able to expand on this further after my next visit with Arnold unless they forbid it. Normally they don’t care what we share about our trips to the Mother Ship because they are confident that no one will believe them. I’m especially curious to find out how long it takes for Arnold’s co-workers to transit to and from Trappist-1 and to find out what they call it.

So, when I return with more info on this, believe me or not. Your choice.

News in the News

Amid all the shootings, and stories about people blowing each other up, is a scattering of nonsensical news items that make me pause and go, “Hmmm.”

First, I must tell you that I typically don’t watch the news and I rarely read the newspapers that are delivered to our door, so my news view is decidedly limited. Still, I have opinions about what I see when reading “Bing” news on my computer.

Using that handy doorway to the world I’m able to choose from many sources for any of the news items they deem noteworthy. I have my favorites, of course, but tend to look at the most recent entries available. I suspect the trivial items are included to dilute ones perception of news in general to keep their interest. You know, like scattering candy in a pile of crap to make it look more festive.

Take today, for instance. I’ve investigated the world and discovered that a “Popular Tucson TV Reporter Couple” have been charged with child abuse after their baby tested positive for cocaine. This was accomplished through the use of the former Miss Arizona contestant’s shapely left breast, while feeding her infant, after she ingested cocaine the previous evening. How fun. Now she’s newsworthy, but no longer reporting the news. Dumb.

Then there’s news about a Milwaukee woman who has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. She’s the suspect in the murder of her pregnant neighbor and her unborn infant because of loud music. One source indicated that Shanika, the suspect, is Milwaukee’s first fugitive on the ‘Ten Most Wanted List’, like it’s some kind of honor, like when the Bucks win a ball game. Kinda makes you want to move to Milwaukee, doesn’t it?

How about Mark Z, Mr. Facebook? He’s making all his new Kauai neighbors angry because he’s building a six-foot high wall around his 700 acre estate. That’s certainly noteworthy, don’t you think? His spokespeople said the wall is meant to be a sound barrier but I think it’s there to keep the wild pigs out. Or maybe keep them in. One resident of the island reported that she’s 5’8″ tall and when walking along the property all she can see is the rock wall instead of the Hawaiian scenery to which she’s accustom. They want Mark to tear down the wall because it’s an eye sore. I mean, really? It was built to code, using local rocks and, most likely, local artisans. I think it’s a nice looking wall. I also think a more simple solution to tearing it down would be for Mark to build platforms outside the wall, every 100 feet or so, where those who are less than 6′ tall can ascend above the wall and take in all of Mark’s natural beauty. Each ramp would have to have wheelchair access, of course.

 For the sports minded folks, there’s news about LeBron James who declined his player option and is now a free agent. The reason, I surmise, is due to his inherently greedy nature that propels him to seek more and more money for his “talents”. Yes, he’s pretty good but, like all pro sports icons, waaaaaay overpaid for what they do. Declining the option, it is reported, James salary will increase from $24 million to $27.5 million a year, a modest 14.58% increase. Not bad for someone who already has far more money than he needs.

I know, I sound a bit bitter talking about stuff like that, and probably smacks a lot like socialism. That’s not really it for me. It’s just that I find it amazing that professional athletes, and most CEO’s make such obscene amounts of money each year when we severely under educated kids, many of whom don’t know what having a full belly is like. It’s just sad.

There are many more topics, of course, most of them about people getting shot and places being blown to smithereens. You know, fun things to read about. The topper for all of today’s news, for me, was finding out that there might be a Tetris Trilogy in our future.

Stunning news.

WW III & The Apocalypse

This morning Diane took Jennifer, our first daughter, to the Expo Center in Portland to attend the Antiques & Collectibles event. I was given the option of staying home and spending my day unsupervised, free to let my senses sense stuff, and eat whatever I want. Soon after Diane left to get Jennifer, I found myself engrossed in a video about the coming apocalypse, and WWIII.

It was an incredibly long video that started out on a very religious note, quoting the bible and events associated with End Days and I was captivated because it was interesting to see how the authors interpreted the prophecies. I’ve been captivated by long videos of a similar nature, regarding other subjects, but the result I suspected was at the end where I was offered a “program” that would help me and my family survive the end of days for only $39. Not for the quoted street value of $197, or the $500 others might charge, but only $39. Seemed like a pretty good deal.

Then, the guy kept talking, offering to provide a 60 money back guarantee, and support for a full year after purchase, even though he reported that WW III was going to happen before January 2017. Yup. 2017. Perhaps you’ve heard about this offer, too.

Well, that’s when he lost me and I chose to not click the “add to cart” button at the bottom of the screen. I just sat there thinking about all that for a bit and the voice came back letting me know he knew I was still there and began another spiel to try to convince me that I should really take advantage of this special offer.

Now, after the first 45 minutes of listening to this person talk, I was pretty sure it was going to end with a special offer of some sort, so that wasn’t a surprise. What did interest me, however, was the claim that WW III was going to begin with a powerful EMP strike 20 miles above the center of the USA. He reported that President Putin was going to be the delivery boy for this attack that will cripple America by destroying our power grid. No more iPhones, folks.

I closed the message and opened an email from a friend that provided me with quotes from famous people from the past that is more on topic for what’s been going through my brain lately. Without his permission, I’m going to share them here and put WW III and the apocalypse aside for a while. I have until the end of the year to address that subject and need to do some more research before stepping out on that one.

Here are the quotes … they don’t portray anything new. They just have a common theme that, sadly, “we the people” deal with all the time.

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.
~Jay Leno~

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.
~Henry Cate, VII~

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office
~Aesop~

If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven.
~Will Rogers~

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.
~Nikita Khrushchev~

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.
~Clarence Darrow~

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.
~John Quinton~

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.
~Author unknown~

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
~Oscar Ameringer~

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.
~Adlai Stevenson, 1952~

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
~ Tex Guinan~

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle~

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
~Doug Larson~

There ought to be one day — just one — when there is open season on Congressmen.
~Will Rogers~

You may have noticed that one of the quotes above was made by Henry Cate, VII. My older brother, Lyle, once told me that he traced the Cate heritage back to Mary Queen of Scots. Turns out Henry was her father, so guess I’m descended from royalty. Who knew?

Maybe I really should run for King, unless, of course, one of my older brothers wishes to be in charge.

Have a good day.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2016

Yesterday Diane handed me the latest Sports Illustrated issue telling me it appeared to be “pretty good reading.” I didn’t understand what she meant until I saw the cover.

I have to admit it was a page turner because the magazine is thick, and there’s a model on pretty much every page instead of a bunch of photos in the middle. So, I paged through the entire magazine, looking at the pretty girls, then I did it again looking for interesting article, and feel compelled to share these observations:

  1. It appears SI is working toward replacing Playboy with nearly naked ladies.
  2. Lots of the new swimming suits don’t have tops.
  3. The most alluring models are the plus size ladies.
  4. There are no articles regarding sports at all – just pretty girls and advertisements. I checked three times.
  5. Apparently paint counts as a swimsuit. I believe that’s illegal. Nice, but illegal. Unless it’s water based latex paint.

I believe Ronda Rousey was the only model/athlete and she was one of the painted models. I guess one could say she is truly “Sports Illustrated.”

Get it?