Happy Birthday Jeff & Other Stuff

He’s 45, but he’s still our baby boy. He will always be that and I think he’s OK with it. Now.

Jeff was born this day in 1972, in Rome, Italy. Consequently, his birth certificate is in Italian. Unique. When he started playing Little League we thought it may pose a problem, but no one seemed to mind. Apparently all those official could read Italian, or they didn’t care. He got to play which was all that mattered to us.

Jeff has made our life interesting over the last 45 years. Lots of memories, some good, some bad. Oddly, the good memories are easier to remember so it’s all good. We love our Little Baby Boy who has grown into a good man and a well-loved father. There’s more in store from him in the future, we’re sure.

Today I had really good intentions of digging up the rest of those weeds that inhabit the east side of the house, but that didn’t work out. The weather got in my way by turning up the heat. To about 117 degrees. That’s a lie, of course, but it sure felt like it. It really was 90, or so, thought. As I manipulate this keyboard it’s 85 out there and it’s 7:00 pm. Actually, it’s 7:04 pm.

I didn’t do the weeds because Diane said I wasn’t doing it when it’s 90 out there because she doesn’t want me to die, I guess. As a compromise, I got permission to mow the yard which doesn’t require a lot of physical effort. Just steering the mower which is pretty easy to do when the tires are properly inflated.

To prepare for mowing the yard, I lifted the front end of the mower off the ground to more easily access the mower deck so I could swap out the mulching blades for the hi-vac version. That needed to be done because the lower 40 is too tall to run mulching blades. Instead, I plan to just blow it out all over the place, let it dry, then vacuum it up. Much easier than trying to get the stupid thing to vacuum up heavy grass. Much easier on Jerrie.

Once I get the mulching blades off I thought, “you know, I should clean the old grass off the deck before putting on the other blades.” Yes, I actually thought all of that in one coherent sentence. So, I took the mower to the front of the house, got the power washer, changed the short water hose for the longer one so it would reach across the street, went to the gas station to fill my gas can, filled the power washer, and cleaned the deck. Whew. Then I just left it over there to dry.

While waiting I thought, “gee, I might as well finish power washing the front walk. I’d both ends un touched from the other day because Diane usually likes to do a little PWing herself, but not today. I was directed to finish the job, which I did. That and a little more. Not much more. Just a little.

While working on the sidewalk I only had to stop twice. Once when Doug showed up and I did some work for the American Legion Post 42 at his request, then again when Jennie appeared, looking for addresses. She’s working on Lydia’s graduation announcements. Maybe you’ll get one.

After all that, it was time for lunch but I couldn’t eat until I cleaned up. That meant a shower because I was a mess. Since I had to take a shower, my work day was officially over so I put on the PJ’s Jeff gave me last Saturday, in addition to the apple fritter, and called it a day.

While in the shower Diane constructed a Crab Louie for us. We love those things. She was well into hers by the time I showed up because she said she’d given me to 4:00 pm to finish before she started because she was hungry. I don’t blame her because while I was messing around outside, she cleaned the entire inside of the house. That’s the deals with all the dust and pet hair inside and I deal with anything that’s green and grows.

After lunch I took the trash and recycle cans out front so they can be emptied tomorrow. I took the dogs out with me because I knew they’d stay close. They got all interested in the fermenting grass I’d cleaned from the mower deck, to the point where Ziva was laying down in it. Diane poked her head out the door and asked, “What are they eating?” I didn’t know they were eating it, but they were. Must be tasty stuff, but I certainly wouldn’t do that. It was pretty nasty looking. All squishy, rotting, and just plain nasty. It was like silage. And they were eating it. Maybe they are mutated cows that look like dogs.

It wasn’t easy getting them away from their new-found treats, but I did it. I knew they wouldn’t let me brush their teeth because I’ve tried it before, so I didn’t bother. I just won’t be kissing them any time soon. No sir, not me.

Now I must stop and watch the Golden State Warriors finish the destruction of the San Antonio Spurs. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just the way it is. The Spurs are a really good team, but they can’t stay with the Warriors. They have a 67-15 win loss record this season. Not too bad.

Now I must stop.

Only 362 shopping days left till Christmas

Today was a bit different from the day before yesterday because we actually got dressed and left the house. Day before we spent all day in our jammies and just watched Hallmark Christmas movies all day long.

Yesterday was an indoor day, too, but for a different reason. It was time to move our Christmas tree outside into the rain so it could get a good watering until we’re ready to stick it in the ground. Then we moved furniture around so we could clean up all the popcorn and candy from under Diane’s chair. That was actually quite a surprise because she really likes popcorn and it’s hard to believe she dropped any on the floor. But she did, and the dogs didn’t find it. That’s odd, too, because they all like popcorn more than people do and nothing says on the floor for long.

Moving the furniture involved moving pretty much everything to a different location, including the TV, and turning the carpet 90 degrees so the dogs could lay comfortably in front of the fireplace. That, led to the need to actually light the fireplace, something we haven’t done for a long, long time. Thankfully it came on and worked just great. Ziva’s a happy camper.

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It didn’t take long for Panzie to roust Ziva and take over. Actually, they take turns. They stay right in front of the fire until their eyes dry out, then move to a cooler location until they can blink. It’s a constant cycle. Little Ozzie sneaks in there once in a while, but not often.

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Another interesting thing that happened yesterday was that we lost one of our new butcher knives, the blue one. We looked absolutely everywhere for it but couldn’t find it. It almost kept me awake last night, but not quite. I did spend a considerable amount of time looking for it before going to bed.

Then, this morning, thinking one of us (me) may have tossed the knife in the trash, for some reason, Diane dug around in it for a while to no avail. No knives in the trash. On her way back in the house she asked me if it might be in with the fudge.

Click! went the light and I had a clear view of the knife laying alongside the uncut fudge after I had cut a bunch of pieces for Diane’s Mom, Jean. Once again, Diane solved the mystery. She’s really good at that. Solving mysteries.

After all that hard work yesterday Diane had plans to relax a little and take Mom shopping for a new coat at Penny’s in Longview. I had planned to stay home and work on a couple of projects I have on my list. The main one is to remove the hair from the tub drain in Diane’s bathroom. It has an interesting contraption that plugs the drain for a bath, and it collects the hair. Consequently, when Diane showers, the water kinda starts filling the tub allowing her to soak her feet during the shower. She doesn’t like that.

Then someone mentioned having lunch at Sizzler. Upon being made aware of the lunch decision, I made a command decision that the bathtub hair could wait until tomorrow. Normally my command decisions are subject to review, but fortunately this one passed without comment.

The main reason for the shopping trip was to replace the coat Diane got for Mom that was a bit too tight. Fortunately, it fit Lydia just right so she inherited the coat. What a deal.

Finding the proper coat was much easier with the recipient present so we were at Sizzler in no time. I ate 8 chicken wings, two tacos, a soup bowl of ice cream, and a healthy salad. And a lemonade.

We’ve been home for a while now and Diane’s letting me watch a bowl game – Utah against Indiana. It’s tied 17-17 at the half. I’m not normally a Utah fan, but they are a PAC-12 team so kinda need to wish them well.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the tub hair. Might even show you a picture.

Golf, Our Furnace, and Golf

So, I played another bad 9-hole round of golf today and had a great time with my former classmates, JP and Doug. I also played an enormously bad 18-hole round of golf last Saturday with a fellow named Dennis, and two former classmates, Jim and Doug and had a great time doing that, also. Although I had great fun golfing badly on those two days, I came away with new knowledge that will affect the future of golfing efforts. The main takeaway from those two days of bad golf is that my current body will not tolerate more than 9-holes of golf on any given day. Swinging a club, and looking for my balls for 18-holes, on the same day, is just too demanding for many parts of me. In order of importance, the parts that suffer most are my shoulders, and my egos.

Before you get all technical on me, I’m aware that my ego isn’t technical a part of my anatomy. I’m also aware that most people do not have more than one ego. So, the only part of that really hurts is my shoulder – the right one, to be more specific. My ego just gets a bit bruised from doing badly, but the company I keep makes up for that. By doing 18 holes, like Jimbo does on a regular basis, both my should and ego suffer more. By only golfing for nine holes, the damage is halved and far less painful and I heal in half the time.

Sorry. That went way farther than I intended it to go, but think I made my point that I will probably not be signing up for rounds of 18 in the future. Nine is the limit, I’m afraid.

Yesterday Ryan, from Columbia NW Heating, in Scappoose, paid us a visit to give our furnace a once over before the snow starts flying. I’m sharing this simply because I want all those other husbands out there to know how important it is to listen to their respective wives and to pay really good attention when they add tasks to your personal calendar, like “Jerrie Cleans.”

The first time that showed up on my calendar I admit I was a bit concerned about what I was supposed to clean because as stated, it’s very ambiguous, leaving too much room for interpretation which in turn provides too many chances for doing a terrible thing, like cleaning the wrong thing, in this instance. So, ignoring my male instinct to continue forward without asking directions, I asked for clarification.

“It means that’s the day you are supposed to clean the furnace filters,” I was told.

“Oh,” I replied. “But it only says ‘Jerrie Cleans’ on my calendar.”

“Really?” she said. “You really didn’t click on it to see the entire entry?”

“No,” I replied. “I thought it might be a test to see if I would ask for help, so I did. Did I pass?”

“No,” she said, “you didn’t pass,” then turned to her computer and got busy on the keyboard. Presently I heard a ding and a notice that the calendar had been changed. All those entries for the 25th of each month now read “Jerrie – Filters.”

Problem solved. Since then I’ve been faithfully cleaning the furnace filters on the 25th of every month, whether they need it or not. Actually, they always need come cleaning because of the animals that run in and out of our home all the time. In the summer I use my air compressor to blow out all the dust most of the time, but other times I use my power washer. When I do that, I use the compressor to dry them off. There are a couple of pieces of the filter that look kinda like a honeycomb which takes an incredibly long time to dry so I only use the power washer on them on really hot days so I can leave them in the sun to dry.

The main purpose for sharing all this filter cleaning task is to report that Ryan, the furnace technician, told both Diane and I, right out loud so we could hear him clearly, that our filters were the cleanest of any furnace he’s ever serviced. I asked him to repeat it  to ensure Diane heard him because I thought that was pretty significant but she heard it the first time. The cleanest filters in Ryan’s service territory. Wow! Diane went right to the calendar on the refrigerator and put a gold star on it. It was awesome because I don’t get many gold stars, just mainly silver and red ones. The last time I got a gold one was when I remembered to take the garbage out every Monday evening for an entire month without being told.

Thankfully, since the furnace was essentially overhauled yesterday, I didn’t have to clean them today.  Now I can relax for another month.

To end, I will share a few photos I’ve taken over the past few days …

This is Dennis. When I first saw him it was about this angle and my heart skipped a bit because with just a glance he looked a lot like my older brother, Lyle, God Rest His Soul. Kinda spooky.

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This is for Jewel because she likes weird fungi. This is a rare R2D2 fungus that only grows on the Wildwood golf course.

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The remainder of the Saturday foursome … Me, Jim, and Doug.

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This is what the sky showed us before I left to golf this morning. Looks like aliens are looking for something.

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I’ve been meaning to clean out my golf bag for a while because it was getting kind of heavy. That, and I was looking for a bag of tall tees that I used to have. I didn’t find the tees, but I found all of these balls.

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Here’s Doug who was so excited about all those leaves that he got out a bag so he could take some home since he doesn’t have many of his own. Actually, that’s a towel and he’s preparing to pick up his ball and wipe the mud off of it. He’s got many acres of trees that drop leaves like this so he doesn’t need to import any. It’s really pretty on the course this time of year, but finding a ball amongst all those leaves is a real challenge. We generally find them.

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Just a look at trees on the course. We like this time of year because it’s easier to hit a ball through trees that don’t have leaves.

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I suspect that’s enough trees for now.

Air Filters, Eboards, Haircuts, Soccer, and iPad Pro

Today I cleaned our furnace air cleaner filters, attended an American Legion Executive Board meeting, got a haircut, had a couple of naps, and watched a fun high school soccer game, in that order. Oh, and I got my new iPad Pro, too.

First, the filters. I have to do this every month because Diane puts it on the calendar. She knows that I check my calendar every day and am pretty good about doing things listed on the calendar, especially when they are preceded by my name. Like, “Jerrie – Cleans Filters”. The first time I saw that I wasn’t sure what filters I was supposed to clean so I didn’t do it. That, of course, resulted in punishment for Failure To Comply. I quickly learned what filters were involved and have faithfully complied ever since. Now, how I clean them is up to me. Sometimes I just vacuum them off, sometimes I use my air compressor and blow all the dirt in the neighbor’s yard. Or, out into the yard. Other times, like today, I hosed them all down and left them to dry in the hot afternoon sun. Everything dried except for the two big honeycomb things that go on the bottom of the stack. So, I left them in the yard, on a chair, facing the setting sun with a soft summer breeze blowing directly into the little damp holes. That was 8 hours ago and they’re still out there. In the cold damp, dark, night. Guess I won’t be putting them in until tomorrow morning some time. I’d go out and get them, but I don’t want to. I can only hope that some weirdo filter thief doesn’t show up and take them.

Our American Legion Executive Board meeting has historically been held at 10 which is just a little late for breakfast and a little early for lunch. Today it was at 11, making lunch more likely. I had breakfast. Now, calling this the Executive Board sounds a little elegant for our small group, but that’s technically what it is. I must attend because I’m the Sgt. At Arms, keeper of the peace. Yeah, I thought it was funny, too, when they voted me into that position. I actually volunteered to do it because I knew it didn’t involve a lot of manual labor or memory recall. That, and no one else wanted to do it. That was last year. No one else wanted to do it this year either, so I still have the little thing on my hat proclaiming my position. Maybe I’ll do it again next year if things stay calm. At the EBoard meetings everyone else conducts actual business. I just eat and vote when necessary. I voted 3 times today.

After the meeting I got home in time to participate in a haircut marathon involving Diane’s Mom, Jean, Diane, Jewel, and me. We were all in line for a touch-up from the Traveling Hair Dresser which is pretty handy, let me tell you. We just do a little Rock Paper Scissors to see who goes first, then the hair cutter gets right to work and hair starts flying all over the place. Logic says we’d do this outside, on the porch, but it actually takes place on the dining room carpet. Diane likes doing it there because she has this incredible vacuum cleaner that sucks up hair like crazy. We know because we pick up tons of dog hair every week and look at them in wonder, like “I wonder why the dogs aren’t bald?” They actually lose 3 dogs worth of hair every month. I don’t know how they do that. So, picking up a little bit of gray hair from some old people once every couple of months is no big deal.

I had the next to last haircut because Diane told me to get in the chair. I didn’t lose much because it was cut pretty short the last time I had a haircut. Like a buzz cut. Really short. After that I was really tired so stretched out on the sofa and took a few naps while waiting for the next event of the day. I had more than one nap because continuity was interrupted by the UPS lady who delivered my new iPad Pro, an email from Jimbo wanting to know when we were going to go golfing again, a phone call from John to arrange a golf date, and various other noises throughout the afternoon. The result of all the interruptions is that I’m obliged to go golfing three times next week. That’s unheard of for me because nine holes a week is usually my limit. Now I’m going to do 36. Should be interesting. Wonder if I’ll get better as the week goes on. I also wonder if I’ll be able to walk by the end of the week. We’ll see.

During some of my awake time I set up my new iPad. Diane said I needed a new one because the screen on the old one is cracked a little from an injury it received from a drop that I have no memory of. Interesting. One I make the transition to the new unit I’m going to set it up for Diane’s Mom, Jean so she can use it. She doesn’t know this yet and we already know it’s going to be a hard sell because she thinks things like the iPad are too complicated for her to use. We think once she sees what it can do she’ll have a changed of heart. She’ll be connected to the world and will be able to follow Diane and me during our travels, getting all the fancy photos we include sometimes. And Facebook! That will really yank her eyes open. Diane will set up a new Facebook page for Mom. She conquered the Comcast remote control so we’re confident she can handle an iPad and all the notifications one gets on Facebook. Should be fun.

In the evening, before the sun set, we headed for the St. Helens High School soccer field to watch our Lady Lions play against the Astoria Fishermen. Now, right away I saw a problem with the Astoria team name. I mean, this is a team of young ladies and they still call them Fishermen. Shouldn’t they be Fishergirls, Fisherladies, or a more generic Fisherpeople? That would certainly be the case if the ACLU ever hears about this. That’s an opinion, of course. The ACLU might not give a hoot. What’s happened with all the PC stuff about gender specific tags? Whatever … our girls played a great game, for the most part, and won 2-0. The score should have been more like 15-0 because our girls kicked the ball over the opposing net about 13 times. In the second half Lydia, our goalie, only got to touch the ball whenever one of her team mates kicked it to her. Oh, there were a couple of close calls, but Lyd fended them off with the help of her best defender, Ceiarra. Morgan, the first half goalie did a lot of standing around, too, and made some good stops to keep Astoria scoreless.

At the game we were blessed with the presence of the lovely Georgie and her lovely Mom Jacqui. I just learned that she reads this stuff so had to name her. Georgie graduated and we miss seeing her play. She’s very good. Just saying. Rumor has it that Georgie and family will be moving to England at some undisclosed future date where she will attend college and major in soccer. We believe this is possible for her because of the uncanny life-like British accent her Mom uses. And, more probably, because  her Mom is really British and they have lots of family still in the Old Country. We look forward to their move so we will have a place to stay when we visit England one day.

It’s almost Eleventy PM now and everyone else in the house is already in bed. I’m watching a recording of the Denver Broncos Carolina Panthers game. Looks like the Jags are going to take it home so I can probably just fast forward to the end of the game to see the final score and go to bed myself. After all, the dogs will undoubtedly wake me up in about 5 hours. Yes, they’ve been edging the time back closer to 4 am lately. I can hardly ignore them since Ozzie is on the bed and he fronts for the big dogs by licking whatever isn’t under the covers until I get up. Consequently, I’m careful about what I leave exposed when I close my eyes for the night, which is just what I’m going to do now.

G’nite.

 

Sports, Crab, Cod, & 54248 Kalberer Rd

Soccer in Warranton – Most of the victorious team. That’s our Lydia in front. IMG_0470

The Lady Lions varsity team won all three of their assigned games quite handily. They are always fun to watch. I’m sure glad I figured out some of the rules so it makes sense to me. Off sides was the tough one to get the handle on. Now they will shortly be on to league play when school starts.

Diane and I got up fairly early Saturday morning and took a walk on the beach. In spite of all the volley ball nets strung up, and people smacking their balls back and forth, it was a quiet, uncrowded walk on which we got to me some nice dogs and their people on the beach. I even found a rather normal rock, very similar to many I’ve found digging around in the back yard. I kept it anyway.

Seaside Beach Volleyball, as I mentioned, was the deal of the week and the entire town was hopping. People everywhere. Parking places hard to find. But, the mood was always festive and we didn’t encounter any unhappy people to ruin our day. After Saturday’s game Diane and I went to Dooger’s in Warrenton to get our normal fare on trips to the coast. I had my crab louie and Diane had her fish and chips. It’s always good.

We got home late yesterday afternoon to a fleet of barking dogs. Apparently we pulled in just after Scott & Whitney returned from their weekend away as they were working on backing their trailer into their yard. As we stood talking, Kiah & Brooklyn backed their pink jeep out of the garage and headed on down the street, toward town. Whitney said no, she just sent them down to get the mail. How handy. Kiah is 5 and Brooklyn is 3. This is Kiah preparing to park her jeep back in the garage.IMG_0469

Diane and I are thinking about having them get our mail, too. How handy is that?

This morning I woke up at 0250 and couldn’t go back to sleep so took my little self to the recliner and read for a while. I’ve been reading “Inferno”, by Dan Brown, because I just learned they made it into a movie. I forgot that I already read it, but that’s OK. I’m reading it again. Fun stuff. When Diane got up I pried myself off the recliner and prepared to do some yard work for a little while. Couldn’t do it for long because it got hot fast and I don’t do well when it’s hot. I run out of sweat way too fast. Besides, we had a lunch date with Jack & Wynette after going to view their home. Their empty home. It’s listed for sale and they hope to sell it quickly so they can move along down the road to Surprise, Arizona. So, if you know of anyone seeking a secluded home, pass this along.

After the viewing, and some visiting, we headed to Scappoose for sustenance at Ichabod’s where we ate and visited some more. Tom Anderson, from Wynette’s class stopped to say hello so we had him sit with us. I don’t remember him but, then, he was an upper class man. That means he’s older than me. It’s hard telling who you’ll run into at Ichabod’s. Sit there long enough and you’ll usually see three or four old class mates.

The heat is finally going away for the night so we can open some windows and doors for some fresh air before we head for bed.

Apples, Flowers, & Weeds

It’s August 12th, almost 10:30 am and I’m already sweaty from my morning chores. I was up at 5 am, like normal, fed the dogs, then napped a little on the couch. The nap was terminated when Diane reported that it was 9 am and made me get up and peel about eleventeen apples for apple sauce.

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Immediately after finishing the apples, and getting the pan on the stove I was encouraged to wax the truck. Thankfully it was only 86 degrees in the garage or it would have been the end of me. Still, I’m happy that my assigned tasks were indoors.

Diane did her part, too, by taking her little squirter thing into the yard to kill all the dandelions. And, we have a bunch of those thanks to all our up hill neighbors. This time of year they aren’t too bad because everything pretty much dies, or goes dormant to escape the heat.

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She uses a holistic mixture of Dawn soap, vinegar, and epsom salts which actually almost smells good enough to taste. I like vinegar.

Our friend, Jewel, was up shortly after me this morning and got busy in the yard right away watering all the plants we stuffed in the ground yesterday. In case you forgot, here’s what we did:

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My job was to poke the holes. Where the holes were to be poked was generally decided by a conversation that went something like this;

“Jewel. Where should I put this one?”

“I don’t care.”

Moving it a bit, I’d ask, “How about here.”

“Looks good to me, but move it closer to that rock.”

“This rock?”

“No, that one over there.”

“OK,” I’d say, then proceed to poke the hole with my Pulaski.

“Maybe it would look better by that other rock, the one that’s poking up into the air.”

It went on like that until holes were poked all over the place just waiting for something to be stuffed into them. It worked out nicely in the end. We’re a pretty good team as long as I mind.

You know, of course, the foregoing is mostly a fabrication.

Oh! I also shaved this morning because we’re going to the beach for the weekend. Jewel has agreed to dog sit while we go watch Lydia play in a soccer tournament in Warranton. We wanted to take the trailer but apparently everyone has heard about what a hard time I have parking it so denied us entry. She finally found an overpriced motel in Seaside we can use, but we have to be out of our room during daylight hours so they can rent it to their regular hourly customers who agreed to free up the nights for us. We thought that was pretty nice of them. They also promised to change the sheets which was an unexpected bonus.

Staying in Seaside will give Diane a chance to stick her toes in the Pacific Ocean, something she loves to do. The beach is where she feels her best and I’m happy for that. I love it, too. There’s nothing quite as magnificent as the Oregon Coast.

I spect I should end this and get ready to leave. I’m sure Diane is busy packing her “stuff” already. Maybe she did it last night.

Be safe.

Uncluttering the Garage & Basement

Diane and Jewel abandoned me today with strict instructions that I stay away from power equipment. So, I cleaned the garage, organizing “things” into piles for throw away, give away, and donate, as I have done many times in the past. This process involves lots of trips up and down the basement stairs in order to take tools down there from the garage, and bring something back up for one of the piles. I made a very concerted effort to not go either direction without carrying something with me. Once, or twice, I kind of lost track, I admit, and just carried the same item up and down the stairs until I figured out where it went. It usually doesn’t take me that long, but I’m tired today after all that weed whacking yesterday.

Once I was done with the garage I went to work on my computer collection with the intention of removing them to the garage to stage them for my next trip to the city dump. They have a section where electronic equipment of all sorts are welcome at no charge. My first trip up was for a 19″ CRT monitor that hasn’t been used in about 16 years and has been collecting dust all that time. I actually have two of them but one belongs to an old Compaq system I bought from Radio Shack (a long time ago) when Windows 98 was the newest operating system on the block. Shortly before moving beyond Win98 I set that computer to OOTB condition. That means out of the box. So, it’s like a brand new Windows 98 computer with nothing on it. How cool is that? It isn’t very useful, but it’s still cool and will stand proud next to my 128 system.

The monitor mentioned previously weighs about 185 lbs and proved difficult to handle. But I managed to get it clutched tightly to my chest with the glass side toward me so if I fell, and it broke, nothing else in the house would be damaged. I would absorb explosion and all the resultant glass fragments. Once in hand, I took my first step and tripped over an old brief case that I used way back in 1965. Yes, it’s been sitting around all that time waiting for this moment. I caught it with my left foot which caused me to fall to my left against a pile of laptops I got from somewhere that were stacked on top of the Panasonic radio/record/tape console that we purchased in 1968 while on Okinawa. It saved me from falling all the way to the floor, and from dropping that extra heavy monitor. My left wrist was slightly damaged in the process, but nothing broke. It was an odd event because just as I started to tip to my left time kind of stopped and gave me a moment to consider all the possibilities associated with this event. Like, “man, if I break something Diane will never forgive me because she wanted to take me the next time I went”, and “if my wrist breaks I’ll still be able to drive to the ER”, and “crap, this is really going to hurt.” But, I maintained my balance, regained a vertical position and got the monitor upstairs to the truck for delivery.

Now, a few hours later, my wrist has a bump at the point of impact and is extremely sore when touched. But I can type just fine so doubt if it’s anything to worry about. So, I won’t. As soon as Diane got home, and we had unloaded her truck from the Costco trip, I told her about my near fatal injury so if it manifests into anything of concern, it’s her fault.

The ringing in my ears has escalated to the point that indicates it’s time for me to go squeegee the sweat off my tired old body and begin preparations for getting prone for the night. It’s only 5:30 pm, but I’ve discovered that it’s never too early to begin getting ready for bed.

Aunti Jo is 95, My Friends Larry & Larry, Hillary, and Weed Whacker Back

I went to coffee today, in the old truck, and had a nice visit with my friend Larry and my other friend Larry. I arrived early and was delighted to find Jack, my brother Jack’s brother-in-law. He was sitting with Jerry H. who wanted to know what Jewel and her husband did with the 1957 Corvette they used to have. I knew the answer but gave him Jewel’s phone number instead so he could ask her. Just so you know, she traded it in on a VW bug. I think.

I, Larry, and Larry solved many of the world’s problems between sips of coffee from cups that never ran dry. One of the big topics was Hillary and how she got away with lying to Congress and making supremely bad decisions as USSOS (United States Secretary of State). Our friend, James, said,

“While the FBI had found that Mrs. Clinton and her aides had been “extremely careless” in their handling of classified material, there was no clear evidence that anyone intentionally mishandled information, obstructed justice or appeared to be disloyal to the U.S. in the process.”

Makes me wonder how many people are in prison for doing exactly the same thing. The difference, of course, is those in prison are not privileged members of our society and don’t have the means to fight for their own cause.

The unwillingness of the FBI Director, James Comey, and our esteemed Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to follow through with some sort of punishment for Hillary’s actions is proof that our laws are enforced using double standards that favor certain people.

Enough. Sorry.

Jewel has been very busy weed whacking and raking the remains off all the berms around the house. Today after my physical therapy session I joined the effort by doing some weed whacking of my own. I did so much weed whacking, for so long, that I literally burned up my plug-in whacker and thereby causing an end to my efforts for the day. I know it was burned up because it was smoking. It’s probably still under warranty but I have no idea where the receipt is. Thankfully we have one of the WORX 56V units that provides enough power to weed whack for more than enough time to cause damage.

As a result of our efforts, both Jewel and I have Weed Whacker Back, a terrible affliction that only certain kinds of wine and cheese can resolve. Since I don’t drink wine, I’m stuck with just cheese so my WWB won’t fade nearly as fast as Jewel’s.

While working on our WWBs Diane was busy doing laundry and cleaning the entire house with her trusty Shark Vacuum Cleaner so she wound up with a severe case of HC&LB (House Cleaning & Laundry Back). Still, she whipped up a tasty meal of left over chicken and beans, and added mashed potatoes, salad, and cream corn. It was pretty awesome. I also got a piece of Aunt Jo’s birthday cake that was served at the party honoring her 95th year on earth. Pretty amazing and she’s still going strong.

Now I must make my way to the living room where the TV is on and see if I can convince the owner of the remote to switch to something besides HGTV for a little while.

Cheers.

Home At Last, and Other Stuff

Yes, we’re home. At last.

After a leisurely transit of I-84, an overnight stay at the Wild Horse Casino in Pendleton, and past the site of the Oil Train Fire in Mosier, we reunited the dogs with a great deal of happy barking. It quickly became annoying because we haven’t heard if for over a week. Once they sensed our displeasure from our repetitive request to stop, they stopped. I suspect, however, they stopped simply because they wanted to do. We had no influence on their decision.

Before stopping at Wild Horse Casino we made a stop in La Grande to get gas and visit our Niece-Niece Maryssa who is attending Eastern Oregon University which, happily, is in La Grande. We had a nice visit sitting in our trailer, near the tennis courts on Sixth Street. It would have been nice if we could have enjoyed lunch together but we had the Big Black Dog (Ziva) and it was too hot to leave her alone in either the trailer or the pickup. As a lunch alternative, and a farewell gesture, we gave her all the frozen food remaining from our trip. I believe that caused a little remorse for all those times she ignored us when she was 6-12 years old. That’s an incentive to bring her food every time we see her. We’re making plans now. Something about strawberries I think.

Pendleton to home was uneventful except for an extremely windy 20 miles or so before exiting the Columbia River Gorge in Troutdale. It’s always windy there. I didn’t worry about it because Diane was driving. If the trailer had tipped over, it wouldn’t have been my fault. Wouldn’t have been her fault, either, but, you know, she was driving.

We got home on Monday, as planned. Then yesterday Diane got up early so she could make it to PDX by 0900 to get Ashlee and her fiancé Mike who flew in from Wisconsin. I couldn’t do it because I had to visit my dentist, Dr. Grim and get my teeth cleaned by Cheryl at 0900. Ashlee is half of a set of twins belonging to Lars & Barbara; Lars belongs to Butch & Margo, our long-time friends who live in Wisconsin. Mike and Ashlee’s flight arrived early so we all got home about the same time. The reason for the visit was for Ashlee to find living accommodations while she attends Pacific University to get her PhD in physical therapy. Mike is a Manufacturing Engineer seeking employment in the greater Portland area.

Today I went golfing with the Peal brothers. Diane insisted. It was a good day for all of us because none of us died out there on the course. I informed Diane of the agreement we golfers have in case one of us bites the big one while out there having all that fun. No matter which hole it happens on, we will finish the round. The two remaining golfers will play best ball for the deceased member who will be strapped into one of the carts we use. I initially thought we would have to drag the non-playing member from hole to hole, but Doug suggested just putting them in one of the open seats. Bungee cords are now part of our golfing equipment to ensure we have enough to hold a body on the cart. Then, once the round is complete, we will call 911 to report the loss then go hold a memorial lunch at Burgerville. If one of the married guys check out, the losing wife will be notified so she can attend the lunch. It’s the right thing to do.

We all made it through our standard nine holes so it was a successful day. I couldn’t attend the lunch that normally follows our golf game because I had to be home in time to take Ozzie to his hair dresser at 1300. I also had to get some drain cleaner for the kitchen sink. It’s been running a bit slow and finally jammed shut this morning. I figured we’d need to wash dishes some time this evening so it was necessary to visit ACE. That’s my first trip to ACE in a couple of weeks which is a modern-day record for me.

The cleaner worked and the sink now drains just fine. I’m sure you are all happy to know that. I can smell the chemical at the top of the basement stairs so the Pro drain cleaner I used may have eaten a hole in one of the drain pipes. I looked around down there but couldn’t find any evidence of a leak but I don’t go down there very often so I don’t view it as a problem. Diane’s washing machine, dryer, and ironing board are down there, however, so will let me know if she discovers something amiss. She has to go to the basement because it’s her job. I’d help but she won’t let me. Apparently that chenille sweater I dried in the dryer 8 years ago, and subsequently extracted most of from the vent filter, ensured I wouldn’t have to do laundry for a long time.

Since I’m not making a lot of sense, and because my right foot hurts, I think I’ll just terminate this. My foot hurts because I have a bout of gout in the large toe. We don’t know why. No doubt it’s something I ate but, since I’ve eaten a lot of “stuff” lately it would be are to pick out one thing that may have caused it. So, I will just continue to limp and eat whatever Diane gives me.

It’s 2000 now, and we haven’t seen Ashlee or Mike all day. We were considering that it might be time to start worrying when Ashlee texted Diane to let her know they were on their way back to St. Helens. That’s a good thing.

Now I’m eating popcorn for supper so I really gotta quit.

Vacuum Cleaners Suck

Yes, this short post is about vacuum cleaners but, first, I’m compelled to share that I think vacuum cleaners are misnamed. At least in my head. The reason I think that way is because of my brother, Jack, and me to be staunch practitioners of “Correct Speak”. You know, where there is no need to interpret what’s being said because it’s all in the words, exactly as they are presented. That simply means “Vacuum Cleaners” specifically defines a mechanism that, well, cleans vacuum. I know that doesn’t make any sense which is why practitioners of “Correct Speak” generally take great care to construct sentences that actually mean what they say. Logic dictates that a vacuum is already clean so why do we need to clean it? Therefore, since vacuum cleaners really suck, they should be called “Sucking Machines”.

Now, since that’s out of the way, I can get to the meat of this post and report that Diane is the proud owner of a brand new sucking machine. She’s had many over the course of our marriage but never one that elicited such excitement as this new one. It’s a Shark Rotator Professional. The price point was exactly right because Fred Meyer had it on sale for $260, marked down from, $300, but we got it from a local overstock business for $120. The saleslady gave it glowing reports, supporting Diane’s online search for the best unit.

On the way home we stopped at Diane’s Mom’s (Jean’s) house to share the good news, and to ensure that Mom hadn’t fallen down. She hadn’t so all was good and she was interested to see the new machine.

I brought the unit in, plugged it in, and ran it around the living room a bit to see how it worked and we were all surprised to discover dust and debris flying around in the clear canister that collects that stuff. This is significant because Mom has a fairly new Rainbow that she uses religiously every week – Tuesdays, I believe. Cleaning that often with a Rainbow would make one think there wouldn’t be any debris to suck up, but there was. Diane and I were all amazed. Mom, not so much. Seeing that the new machine was able to pull debris from the living room rug that we thought was cleaning enough to eat off of, Diane went to work and cleaned the entire carpet and was delighted beyond measure to capture all that dirt from Mom’s squeaky clean house.

Once we got it home Diane couldn’t wait to get it plugged in so she could do a run through the house and over all the carpets lying around so Ozzie can navigate without walking on a bare floor. The results were astounding, as expected, putting the old top of the line Kenmore Drag Behind Canister to shame. She said that one will be retired once all the dead spiders in the basement are cleaned up because dead spiders will NOT be allowed in the new machine.

Here what it looks like …
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The orange bag contains all the extra attachments that came with it.

Before leaving I must share that I’m also teaching Panzee to drive the RV. Diane has refused to drive it and I need a backup, so Panzee was the obvious choice.

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Remind me tomorrow to tell you about how the new window install went. I have photos of that, too.