Silly Me

I failed to report a recent malfunction of my brain cavity … after I got the old ’68 truck working we loaded it up with all manner of things we no longer need and no one else wants. It was going to the dump. At the dump they have bins into which we can freely toss metal, cans, glass, and cardboard prior to weighing and dumping the real junk.

While tossing out the metal I came across two sets of lawn mower blades from my mower. The mulching blades were well battered but the vacuum blades looked pretty straight. After making the observation about the vacuum blades I tossed them in the bin.

Later that day, when I decided to install the vacuum blades, I discovered that I’d tossed the good ones. Really dumb, huh? Now I have to save up $60 to replace them. Until then I must mulch the yard, rain or shine.

Diane said.

Sad News

Well, it’s finally happened. After spending the best years of my life attempting to fulfill the desires and wishes of someone who was a stranger to me in 1960, she’s accepted my most recent offer to get a lawyer and split the sheets. This is something I’ve alluded to, in fun, of the years and I never thought she would actually take me up on it. But, she did.

Now I have to either find a lawyer, or just leave. She’s agreed to let me have the motor home and the old pickup, and the PT Cruiser so I’ll have a place to stay, transportation that works, and a truck to work on. I’ll be looking for a new place to park the Winnie, so if any of you can find it in your heart to provide a temporary parking place, I’d appreciate it. Perhaps someone will trade time in their yard for one of the power tools I won’t be able to bring with me. It’s kind of pointless to even try doing that since I won’t be starting any more projects. So, they are up for grabs as either barter, or cash. Whichever works.

Since electricity will only be available by my benefactors, or when I get the generator running, this could be the last post you receive from me for a while. I’ll return as soon as I can.

Until then, I trust that each of you will continue to enjoy your lives and that I may have added a little joy to your days with my mental wanderings. Stay safe and be happy. Now, it’s time to go.

Oh, by the way, Happy April Fools Day.


A Shameless Plug For Chevrolet

At this time in space, 1225 pm, we are nearing Sacramento, home to one of the lovely California Kathies, one our way to join fellow divers on I-5 North. It’s a beautiful day, currently 73 out there. When we got up this morning it was 20 degrees in Fallon but it quickly warmed all the way to 45 before we embarked on this next to last leg of this current voyage. When Kathie reads this she might be a little miffed that we didn’t stop to talk, but we have a mission to accomplish that can’t be influenced by stops visit for any length of time. It’s not that we don’t love her lots, it’s just that she recently returned from Hawaii and I’m sure she’d be talking non-stop about that trip. She used to live there, too. Now, don’t get me wrong. We LOVE Hawaii. We just need to make it to Medford before the sun goes down. Not knowing what the traffic might be like going North so just don’t want to take a chance. So, Kathie, please forgive us for zooming on by. Truth of the matter is, I’m not driving, as you may have suspected, and have absolutely no control over the driver. It’s my job to point out the pretty things along our route that I think she may want to briefly look at, keep my mouth shut, and hand her whatever she wants. So, that’s exactly what I do because I do not want her to have to stop the car to punish me.

Today I thought I’d try something a little different and utilize one of the nifty features of Diane’s new car. It’s got wi-fi and works as a hot spot, like Starbucks, for up to seven devices. I’m using six of them right now – two phones, two iPads, and the laptop. I’m doing that just so a bunch of people traveling along with us can’t hijack our signal and use it for nefarious “things”. It’s kinda neat because it’s connected to AT&T, which is our cell provider, so I can simply add it to our data plan once the free three months have expired. Interesting to have a car on the cell phone data plan. Should make the monthly bill interesting, too.

In the past 25 minutes Diane skillfully maneuvered us through the incredibly complex array of freeway ons and offs where I-80 and I-5 meet. Most of the time interactions like that are frightening beyond belief, but not this time because I just wasn’t paying any attention. My Navigating responsibilities have been reduced to the task of ensuring our destination has been entered into the car’s brain before we head to a specific destination. You might find it interesting to know I can do this more than one way. The easiest way is to open the RemoteLink app on my iPhone, enter our destination and upload it to the car. Then, when we start car up in the morning, the destination downloads and gets us on the way. If I don’t do that, then I must enter in manually in the car. I can do this by pushing the appropriate buttons. I can also talk to the navigation system and tell it where we want to go. That method is tedious because she, Bessie, tends to mess stuff up and we wind up arguing. It has never ended well, yet, so I try to get the destination downloaded.

Other neat things on the car that I’ve fiddled with is the Driver’s Information Console (DIC – I didn’t make that up) which can be set to provide a lot of distracting information to the driver. One of them is the speed alert. I set it for 80 yesterday but we didn’t make it ten miles before I was severely directed to turn it off. That’s because every time the designated speed is obtained the car beeps a few times and my driver got tired of hearing it. I should have set it to 100 instead. She would have still heard it, but not as often.

The DIC, I really didn’t make that up, will also, if the driver is interested, display an accurate rendition of a speed limit sign for the current location. Diane never looks at that, though. She checks the tire pressure frequently, and the overall mpg which, for the first 1317 miles, is 27. Not bad. On this current stretch of the trip we’re averaging  31.2 mpg. That’s while running along at an average speed of 65+ (mostly 80).

Boring stuff for most of you, I’m sure, but I’ve got nothing else to do. I did pause to check all the devices and see that all their batteries are charged so I should unplug them for a while. Maybe I’ll read some of my book. See you later.

Oh, before I go I have to share something I heard on the news last night … Don’t know what station it was, but the reporter told us that a certain lake had “… six drownings this year, 3 of them fatal.” Had to stop and think about that. I guess the three fortunate ones were dragged back from the dead by a handy people who knew CPR.


Considering my advanced age, and my desire to improve my health, I’ve been paying more attention to all the advertisements I’ve previously ignored. Oh, I hear bits and pieces but mostly they flit through my brain mostly as white noise. You know, you hear it but not to the point where you actually paid attention. Lately, however, the white noise is fading and identifiable words are filtering through to the part of my brain that understands them. I’m not sure where that part is but suspect it’s somewhere a little above, and between my ears somewhere. Just makes sense. But, then, the eyeballs are connected to the back of the brain instead of the part right behind the eyes themselves. Perhaps that’s because the hearing part was already using that space so the eyeballs had to be rerouted to the back. Kinda like a detour.

Anyway, the words I’m starting to string together into coherent memories from the commercials are a bit disconcerting for me. Perhaps you have the same feeling. Take this one, for example … it’s for a seemingly benign salve for foot fungus that’s supposed to clean up your toenails. the commercial itself is fairly short, but the speed-speaking person listing the list of possible side effects is quite entertaining. It goes something like this …

The list of possible side effects includes, but is not limited to, the possibility of liver and kidney failure unless the salve is applied between 4-5 am on a Sunday morning, severe brain damage if ingested by licking the finger applying the salve within 30 seconds of application, a Viagra induced erection lasting less than 15 minutes, whether or not it was used, heart failure if do, blurred vision, impaired hearing, and possible death if you don’t get a haircut right away.

Pretty much every commercial, about anything, ends with a similar list of ill effects but in a different order. Makes me want to run out and buy stuff like that right away.

And you?

The Garage Door, My iPhone 6, My Glasses, & The Garbage

Yesterday afternoon I only had two things to remember; put the garbage can, and the recycle can at the street. Technically, I suppose that’s only one thing to remember. Also, technically, neither of them are cans, but it doesn’t sound right if you call them ‘plastics’, ya know? So, they’re cans.

I knew right away I’d missed the garbage man when I frantically rolled the can to the street when I woke at 0710 because the neighbors garbage can lid was upside down, the garbage man’s way of saying, “I was here.” Still, I left it at the street with the plan of hauling it back to the house later in the day, between rain storms. I did get the recycle out on time, so that was good. Still, I got into a minor bit of trouble when I told Diane about my failure.

Technically it was the dogs fault because neither of them woke me at 0530 like normal. Had they done so, I’m sure I could have beat the garbage man to the street. I’ll have to talk with them about that and reinforce it with a piece of cheese.

There are a couple of other reasons I may have failed to remember those important chores that are worthy of mention. First, my iPhone 6 arrived yesterday and it was mandatory that I configure it and test all the functions I’ve been studying for the past 1.5 months. Second, my new glasses arrived from the VA facility that makes them, somewhere in Idaho. Boise, I think. There’s a little difference in the prescription so there was an adjustment period getting used to them. I hardly ran in to anything so it was a successful transition. The main problem is that they have transition lenses that require me to wobble my head around to focus on things because the magic little focus spots are a little off from my old ones.I got gold frames, which Diane doesn’t like on me, so I envision a trip to Costco in the near future to rectify that fashion failure on my part. I only chose them because I liked the nose cushion. It’s comfy.

My new iPhone arrived while I was working on the other garage door. We have two of them. Diane’s has an automatic opener and mine is manual. Everyone should be very proud of me for taking the phone to my desk where I left it, all wrapped up, then went back to work on the door. My task was to attach a new seal to the bottom of the door. It’s kind of a problem because I got the kind that has an extruded aluminum bracket into which one must slide the seal after the bracket is mounted to the bottom of the door. Sounds easy, right. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s far from that. I did Diane’s garage door on Saturday and it about crippled my right hand all over again. The problem is that the rubber part arrives flat and must be formed into a “U” as it’s slid into the bracket channels and this covers the screws quite nicely. Looks good. But, the door must be completely open so the bottom of the door is located at the curve where the door goes horizontal so the bottom is not blocked by the frame in which the door rollers roll. Got it? Even then I had to undo the bottom roller on one side in order to clear the roller frame thing. With a little WD-40 and lots of effort I managed to push, yes, push, the rubber seal across the entire 10 foot span of the door. It was brutal and my right hand wasn’t working very well when I finished, but I got it done, by golly!

So, yesterday I figured I’d make things easier by propping the door open, about chest high, then remove the bottom rollers from BOTH sides thereby allowing me to swing the bottom panel of the door into the garage where I could easily insert the rubber seal. I tied off the bottom rollers to heavy things I found on the garage floor to keep the door spring from coiling up and beating holes in the ceiling after being ripped from my grasp. On one side I used a trailer hitch and the other side had a propane tank attached.

Everything was going nicely until I took the last screw out of the second roller bracket. At that exact moment I realized the error of my thinking as the door pushed the wood clamp I’d used to hold the door up aside as if it wasn’t there and slammed with a resounding crash to the floor. I’m sure it shook houses on both sides of us. On the way down it hit my sprained left wrist which hurt a bit, but I wasn’t concerned about that right then. I was waiting for the pain to race up my left from my left foot that I thought might be trapped under the door, but it never happened. Looking down I was relieved to see that my foot was actually OK.

Right then Diane appeared in the door to the house and calmly asked if I was OK. Having already assessed myself for possible crippling injuries, I assured her that I actually was OK. Then, just to get it out of the way, I told her what had happened, she nodded knowingly, and retreated back into the house after suggesting that I call Jeff for help.

I eventually did call Jeff, after re-learning that a 10 foot wide wood garage door that isn’t hooked to its spring weighs about a ton and a half, far beyond my limited lifting abilities. Once Jeff got here we managed, after a bit of testing, to get the door open and propped up so we could insert the rubber seal and put it all back together. However, noticing a small dent in one of the channels, into which the rubber gasket would slide, closer inspection revealed that nothing was going to slide through it. Ever. The door landed on some “things” that slammed those grooves shut tight in a number of places to the point where I knew the only way to make it neat was to get a new rubber gasket bracket. If I’d been thinking properly I would have reattached the bottom rollers, that are attached to the big spring, but I wasn’t so we didn’t. Instead, we lowered the door to the floor, gently, where it will reside until the new brackets arrive from wherever they’re made.

Last night Diane went to play bunco with her friends so I was left along with strict instructions to not do anything that involved lifting heavy things, or plugging anything into a wall socket. That pretty much limited me to my new iPhone 6 which I opened and got it all set up for use. I worked on the puzzle we have living on a table, too. The pieces are very light so there was no danger of violating the lifting restriction.

Now it’s Tuesday and I’m home alone again because Diane is working today. She didn’t leave me any instructions so I’m a little bit concerned about how I should conduct myself until her return. I’ll figure something out. It’d not raining very hard so maybe I’ll just go out and mow the yard.

Hope you all are doing well.

Random News From St. Helens

Sometime during the night, a couple of weeks ago, someone invaded our street and filled a number of large pot holes near the N. Vernonia Road intersection with fresh asphalt. No one at our end of the street knows who did it and some residents are fearful this intruder may work his, or her, way up the street removing indents that have become a customary part of our drive home. Removing the need to dodge holes will take away the highlite of their day.

Weather in the Northwest part of St. Helens has turned soggy. The first few days it was a welcome relief from the incessant sunshine. The downside of this sudden shift from hot to chilly and wet resulted in the dreaded humidity similar to that found in Virginia this time of year. It’s brutal and soaks ones clothes with prodigious amounts of bodily fluids making them extremely difficult to remove in a hurry. This is a problem for older humans and generally ends in frustration and warm wet pants.

The rock wall, constructed by this abodes previous owner, that separates our property from the neighbors, is in a pile this morning. That’s because I knocked it down yesterday, deeming it a hazard to the your people now living next door. Now it must be replaced with something a little sturdier as the neighbors also have a new puppy named Trigger that is destined to grow into a very large dog. At this time, however, he cowers from 6 lb Ozzie who herded Trigger into a small basket full of sidewalk chalk on our back porch. No doubt he’ll remember this insult and seek resolution in the future.

Yesterday afternoon the new neighbor, Whitney, came to the house with her laptop seeking assistance to transfer her sacred files from the laptop to an external drive. The transfer was made and training was imparted to allow the owner the option of performing this feat in the comfort of her own home. During the process she was introduced to Diane’s favorite wine, muscato, which tastes a lot like really good cool aid.

JUST IN — from one of our nearby relatives, Jennifer, who reported that St. Helens High School is being evacuated and all the students are being sent to the school stadium where they were instructed to sit in alphabetical order with their first period class. Though nerve-wracking, it appears to us that a drill is being conducted in the same way we used to do it on ships at sea when one person is pulled aside, and sequestered, while teachers and administration staff attempt to determine who it is. Generally this drill is conducted at sea when someone falls over board and it is important to know who it is. Hopefully no one at the school has been injured. We just learned that the students are being bussed to a nearby village and whatever the threat is, it is apparently a real issue. Still sounds like authorities are looking for someone.

UPDATE – according to KOIN Channel 6 news, authorities suspect there are explosives in the school. Not good.

For Sale …

On the lighter side, I am in custody of some raffle tickets being sold by American Legion Post 42. The winner get an AR-15 sports rifle. Second and Third place winners will receive a monetary prize. The drawing will be on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial in McCormick Park, St. Helens. Tickets cost $10 each with a maximum of 500 being sold. if you want one, let me know.

I also have a 1968 Chevrolet C-20, fleetside, long bed, 2-wheel drive pickup for sale. It is powered by a 1973 Corvette 454 BBC bored over to 462 that has an RV cam installed and is capable of towing a fairly large house. Asking $2500 OBO. If you’re interested, let me know.

There is also a Class A 1979 Winnebago Brave for sale at this location. It’s road ready and needs only a bit of attention to replace a cabinet above the cab area up front. It’s a steal at $1500 OBO. If you’re interested, let me know.

Now I must quit and ponder what’s going on at the school with our grandchildren …

Sunrises and Reporters

The sunrise this morning was just like the photo at the top of my blog entries, but without the clouds. It was absolutely pristine. I didn’t take a new picture because I just didn’t feel like looking for my camera. Besides, I have that view stored away in my long-term memory. Locked in that steel trap of a mind. Where it will remain until the end of time, or until my brain turns to dust.

I’ve been thinking about a blog called “Dumb Things Reporters Ask People,” and actually Googled it to see if it’s already been done. Then I reconsidered, thinking it wouldn’t be a good idea to glorify the stupidity many of them demonstrate. I’ve mentioned this before. I think the networks have just one question reporters are required to ask that is dictated by the situation. They try to make it sound like a therapy session by starting each question with “When the _________ happened/ began/started, how did it make you feel?” You can fill the blank with “shooting”, “snow”, “earthquake”, “avalanche”, “accident”, etc. From there, the interview typically goes south quickly.

I can ask stupid questions.

Maybe I should be a reporter.

All in favor, say “aye.”

All against, say “nay.”

Motion failed.

Thank you. I didn’t want to be a reporter anyway.