Quantum Stuff, Cedric, ACE, and Little League

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogs are fun, you know

You can blog your head right off

And ignore comments

Suggesting you stop

Blogging about some dumb stuff

No one cares about

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What an ordeal.

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

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

PT, RV, TV, & Lydia

Today I actually got to pretend like I’m retired. At least for a little while. The only interruption to the day was my last PT appointment with EB at the VA. I don’t have to go back. Oh, the shoulder still hurts, but it was determined by mutual agreement that what needs to be done, I can do at home. As a parting gift, EB gave me a brand spanking new, in he box, ice pack. All I have to do, which I already did, is toss it into the freezer for a while. A great gift, and so simple to care for.

On the way home we decided to celebrate the lunch hour  by ingesting ground up parts of a dead cow. We seem to do that a lot. I know, it doesn’t really sound good when presented in that manner, but I’m not going to shade the truth. It is what it is. I still do not get the reference to pigs for the sandwiches created from the remains of that poor old cow. I think her name was Clarissa. Parts of her are probably still out there in someone’s freezer.

OK – sorry I went down that road, but it’s done and I can’t take it back.

After lunch, we returned home and let Panzee run free in the front yard for a while. Ozzie had to be forcibly relocated from his beloved kennel to the front yard for a little exercise, but he couldn’t wait to get back inside. Since he discovered what his last bowel movement cost, he’s decided, I guess, to just not ever have another one. His increased reclusive nature could also be the result of his distemper shot. We’re not sure. We just know he’s very not a happy camper right now.

One of my tasks today was to measure how many square feet of floor is visible in the old ’73 Winnebago. Turns out there’s around 42 square feet. Small, huh? The reason for obtaining those measurements is because so we’ll know how much replacement material we’ll need when we rip out the terribly stained carpet.

As luck would have it, we have some real deal bamboo flooring in our basement. It was purchased many years ago on a whim after seeing an advertisement on Craig’s List. I think there was a plan when we got it, but it was lost somewhere along the way. Maybe it was destined for the old Winnebago all along. The flooring consists of 24 boards, 3.75 inches wide, and 62.6 inches long which works out to a bit less than the area we need to cover. So, I’m either going to have to cheat on the math, or put spaces between the boards. Using spaces, they will eventually fill up with dirt and dust so that may be a viable solution. Diane will disagree, I’m sure. She does that a lot.

For fun, I set up the portable DirecTV HD antenna out by the garage and hooked up the DVR system in the ’79 Winnebago. I tried this yesterday, too, failing dismally. I knew where to point it, but getting it level proved to be extremely difficult. Today when I tried it, I discovered there’s a bubble level on the antenna, so it was a breeze. With bricks I was able to counteract the influence of the wind which was causing the dish to wiggle a bit, disallowing any possibility of obtaining a good signal strength. It went from ‘0’ to ’96’ plus, for all 32 whatevertheheck it is the DVR measures.

Once I got the good signal, I had a great picture … on channel 100.  Nothing else was available to me because the DVR hasn’t been turned on since last year some time. Now it’s going to be on every day. I’m just going to go out there every once in a while and turn it on, just because I can.

Now, about the portable antenna. It’s the same size as the ones mounted on homes. In fact, it used to be mounted on someone’s home but it was liberated and presented to me. It’s been languishing beside the garage for a few years but hasn’t lost any of its ability to capture digital images. It’s not even rusty like the one on the house.

My success in obtaining a stellar picture in the old motor home was obliterated by the fact that the DirecTV package I ordered does not include HGTV. Oh, the horrors that await me when we hit the road. I’m sure that aspect of the satellite programming will be reconsidered. Thankfully, that can be done on a whim. DirecTV is more than happy to up the ante, so to speak, by adding even more channels to the many you already don’t watch.

Speaking of that, I think satellite, and cable, providers should have an ala carte menu for programming suits each viewer. They can, we already know, be very selective about which channels you can get (the minimum is 55 for us, it seems, most of which we’ll never view) so why not just give us all the locals, TNT, Pac12, ESPN, MGMHD, SyFy, and, of course, HGTV. So charge me $5 apiece for each channel. I don’t care. Don’t give me the ‘package’ of 55 channels of which I will only, ever, watch those mentioned above.

I guess it’s not really a big deal, since I can set a favorites list, but that takes time to go through all those channels. Maybe Diane will do it. Another option, I guess, is to write down the channels we like and just punch in the numbers. Yea. That’s a reasonable solution. It just bugs me to see that hugs list of channels and not be able to see all of them. It’s a ‘thing’.

Now, the most interesting news is about Lydia. Summer is ending, there’s 2 weeks until she begins her freshman year in high school, and she was blessed with a solid case of Fifth Disease that will not dissipate until well after school pictures are taken. With Lydia’s permission, I’m sharing a photo that was taken yesterday when her face was all purple, and splotchy, and a little swollen. Every 14-year-old’s dream look, don’t you think?

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Today, however, there’s very little, if any, swelling, and there’s no rash but it’s still covered with purple splotches. But, as you can see by the below picture, you would never know it.

Thanks to Avon, and the fact that her lovely Grandmother has lots of their products, they were able to rid her of that ‘look’ to ensure school pictures will probably not have to be repeated. It’s totally amazing.

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I think she is a very brave, confident young lady to have allowed me to share the photos. She just rolls with the punches. That’s my Girl.

The $66 Bowel Movement

 

OK, here’s the story. Probably not a popular topic, but it’s about constipation. It’s not about normal constipation, either. It’s about a constipated dog. A little dog who, on his last visit to the vet weighed in at 6 lbs. Ozzie weighed over 7 lbs when we got there. He had quit eating, and wouldn’t leave his kennel, so he had to go to the dog doctor.

After a nice long talk with Dr. Brooks, we all agreed that Ozzie, our victim, probably needed an enema because there was no evidence that he’d had any activity of that nature in the past four days, or so. Since there was no way in hell I was giving him one, we took him to her. When he’s testy, like today, he bites.

Upon hearing the latter, the good Dr. backed up a little and said, “but he so cute and looks so friendly.”

“It’s a trick,” I said, reaching down to touch his side and said, “he gets a little testy when you touch him here.”

As if to prove the point, Oz reached around with his lightning fast teeth and chomped a hole in my right hand pointing finger. It bled considerably so the dog Dr. got me cleaning solution with which I scoured my finger, and an assistant got me a band-aid to staunch the flow of blood. It’s been six hours and it still hurts. Why do dog bites hurt for so long? Especially little dog bites?

After proving his point, I showed the Dr. how Oz could be picked up without injury to either him or her, and she carried him away to the back room where all the fun stuff happens. She returned in about five minutes to report all was good. Putting a muzzle on him was the only motivation he needed to evaluate his bowels. How nice. No enema. He was right there when we were talking about it so it’s obvious he heard everything. I would have covered his ears, but he doesn’t like it and shows me his teeth when I do that. Dr. Brooks added that by him doing that, he saved us a few bucks.

I’m sure Oz was more than humiliated by having a BM while being watched by a group of attractive women. It doesn’t get much worse than that, unless you have a severe case of epididymitis and your female doctor calls in another female doc to have a look. What fun.

So, it cost $66 for Oz’s office visit, a distemper shot update, and a dose of worm meds, and it was worth every penny, even if it had only been for the BM.

We should have weighed him before exiting the office because I’m sure he pooped a pound, at least.

Before and after all this I worked on the ’73 Blue Bago. You may recall that when I left it, the mechanical fuel pump was giving me fits because I couldn’t get the bolts in. This morning, it dropped right into place, and the bolts went in simple as can be. It was wonderful. I actually got that done before taking Oz to the doc, and getting bit. It worked perfectly. The engine ran and everything.

After returning with Oz, who promptly ran to his kennel, I put his morning bowl of pouch food near the opening and he gobbled it right up. I suspect that after not eating much for a few days, he was a bit hungry. It was good to see him eat something besides me.

Then I returned my attention to the ’73 BB. The final quest for success involved connecting both fuel tanks to the switch to ensure the engine ran off both tanks. It seems to work just fine, but I honestly don’t know if the switch works. I does, indeed, make a satisfying clicky kind of noise, when I move the switch, but I do not know if it’s actually switching tanks. Both fuel gauges read empty, but I know I poured a few gallons into one of them. It will become evident one of these days when we take it for a ride and run out of gas somewhere on Highway 30.

After playing with gas, I turned my attention to the water pump that failed. On Sunday, after church, I glued it all back together with super-duper silicone sealant. After drying for well over 24 hours I installed it and cranked it up.

It still leaks.

I ordered a new one on eBay and it should be here by the end of the week. Until the new pump arrives, it will remain waterless.

Now I’m tired.

401k’s, My Water Pump, and God

I’ve delayed adding this entry because the number, 401, invokes some really sad memories of my previous employment. You see, the power company I worked for was purchased by ENRON and convinced a large number of employees that their stock was impervious to decline. Indeed, it rose rapidly, and stayed high for a long time. Being one of the gullible group, I cast my fortunes with them right up until they made it impossible to withdraw before the stock dropped to $0. Nice. So, my 401k disappeared, after 15 years of participation, in the virtual blink of an eye.

There’s my sad story for today.

Now on to fun stuff …

I worked on the RV today because last night I discovered the water pump leaked. It leaked a lot. This morning I removed it and ripped it apart to see what makes it tick. It was evident someone before me had a problem with it because, in addition to screws, it was held together with silicon gasket material. It was this that became compromised allowing water to squirt all over under the sink. Sadly, I won’t be able to replace parts in it because they don’t make this kind any more. I’ll have to buy a new one. I may let it dry out and see about making it water tight, once again, but don’t have any high hopes of that happening. It would be far easier to just replace it but, then, it’s been a while since I’ve had my fingers stuck together with silicone sealant. Might be kinda nice, for a change.

There’s good news – the ’79 RV still runs, and the transmission works! I know because I drove it to Warren and parked it at the church as agreed. It drives just great even though it hasn’t been driven for about a year. I start it once in a while, just for fun, so I know the engine is good. Might be a good idea to change the oil, though. You think?

Now it’s time to lounge for the evening. I have nothing significant to say except I’ve been working on my version of religious history. I think I’m on chapter seven. I’m doing it with the firm belief that God has a sense of humor. He must because I have not been hit by lightning, yet. There is, however, always tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll be labeled a blasphemer, at the minimum, and that’s OK because I know it’s not true.

I’m just having fun at God’s expense. Since he knows me so well, I don’t think he minds.