Panzee Speaks, kinda …

Just when everyone thought things were going along just fine, Jerrie woke up.

Three days had passed and he had no memory of what had transpired so I’ve decided to help explain. He doesn’t know I’m doing this. If he did he’d have a conniption fit because he doesn’t like anyone using his precious electronical equipment. He puts passwords on everything thinking we, who spend hours and hours all alone in the house, with nothing else to do, can’t possibly figure that kind of stuff. C’mon! What are we going to do when we’re locked up in the house with nothing else to do? Sleep? Pee on the rugs? Chew on furniture? Sure, we’ve done all of that, but after a while it’s just no turn any more so we started fiddling with his computers and we discovered a whole new world.

So what’s been happening with Jerrie and Diane? We have absolutely no idea beyond what we witnessed. As the spokesanimal for the group, I’ll do my best to get things accurate and in chronological order.

There were some familiar people at the house on Friday evening that would account for the flurry of activity on Thursday. That’s when Jerrie went out to his car, the old Subaru, and extracted his fancy cutoff saw from the back-end of it.  It was kind of freaky and reminded me of the time I watched one of my friends have puppies, only puppies don’t have sharp edges and pointy things. He pulled that thing into the garage, and I went and hid when he plugged it in. It doesn’t scare me … I want that understood up front. I just don’t like loud noises. Honest. Thankfully, he closed the door into the house so I didn’t have to listen to the incessant whine of the saw motor. I know that’s what it is because he’s used that thing before, and it drives me nuts.

Before he fired that thing, up, he left the house fora period of time around noonish. I later learned that he went to some storage facility to help liberate a truck load of newspapers which he, and his friends, delivered to the Lions Club newspaper collection container which is located at the St, Helens High School. I know, that’s a lot of detail coming from a dog that has a limited understanding of the language spoken by most of the people with which I’m familiar. A lot of what I figure out is strictly conjecture because lots of the speech I hear is a little like white noise so I think what I really do is read minds. Really! I do.

Shortly after he returned home, disturbing me from a perfectly wonderful nap, the master of the house arrived and made him eat lunch. I’ve almost given up on begging for food any more because he rarely gives me anything … little teeny bits of things I can barely taste they are so small. What a waste of time.

Anyway, they ate, something, didn’t give me any, then he went to the garage and ignited the noisy saw. He quit about 4 pm or so and they left to go watch Lydia play soccer. I’ve tried to tell them that I think it would be really fun to go watch Lydia play a soccer game, but the words just won’t come to me, and they can’t read minds like I do. I stayed home and took a nice long nap.

It appeared that what he was doing was take small pieces of wood that he called baseboards, cut them, then try to put them back together so they looked like they belonged where he put them along the floor. He didn’t nail any of them down so I suspect he’s not done fiddling with them. After doing a little investigative investigation, listening to him talk with his female associate, I learned that they were expecting company at some point on Friday. That turned out to be true, incidentally, but that’s coming up in a minute.

I slept the rest of the day so don’t know what happened the rest of the day until I was allowed to exit the house into the back yard and search for a new spot to relieve myself. It’s kind of humiliating, you know, o have to crap and pee in public. But, one can get used to pretty much anything. Especially if you’re a dog. Like me. After doing my ‘thing’, I comeback in the house, trying to avoid the annoying little black dog who spins in circles like a little maniac in anticipation of the bed time treats we always get. I just sit calmly on the floor, waiting to perform my stupid dog tricks for a little pittance of a treat. But, he seems to enjoy it, so I humor him.

On Friday, they both left the house, a couple of times. The first time they came back the master was a little sad, so he told her he just wasn’t going to spend $100 on a couple of used, stained chairs. He then told her that if she wanted chairs, get new ones. It was really funny because she grabbed her purse and keys and almost ran to the car telling him to hurry up. Apparently they went to Richardson’s, right here in town, who sells furniture made in Indiana (so I’m told), and bought two new chairs to fill the void created when the perfectly good couch they had was carted away, along with the dining room table, a couple of weeks ago. I know is was Richardson’s because later that day they delivered the chairs and I heard one of the delivery guys say that name. When they got here, I barked, like I’m supposed to, then I licked their hands because they seemed to be pretty nice.

The chairs look OK, if you like chairs. The master really likes them, a lot, and said the red color actually does look OK with the carpet in the living room. I won’t be sitting in them so I really didn’t care. I took a nap.

About 3 pm, as close as I can tell, two folks I’ve met before showed up at the door. I looked out the Man Room window and saw that they arrived in a funny looking van that they use to travel all over the United States. The master, and he, were very happy to see them. I believe they were Jerry and Nelda Somethingorother. I’m not big on last names. Sorry.

All of them either sat around the table while the master worked in the kitchen, making something for the pot luck that was happened later that afternoon. It’s my understanding that the pot luck was attended by members of a Classic Winnebago Club that included Les, Sophie, Cliff, Susie, Terry, Carolann, Jim, and Kim. I heard someone say they were all staying at the Elks Club off 6th Street, just a hop and a skip away. With Jerry and Nelda, master, and him, there were 12 people. I don’t know what happened because I was forced to go down to the creepy basement with the annoying little black dog. They think I’m OK with that, but I’m not. I spent the entire time crouched on the top step, just the other side of the door, listening to all the fun they were having. The food smelled really, really good. I didn’t even have water, and my food bowl was just about 5 tantalizing feet from where I was crouched.

Finally everyone left and I was released and allowed to go out front to tell everyone ‘bye’. Then we all went to bed.

Saturday morning I woke him up at 0700, I think, because I was hankering for a touch of canned food which I get as soon as I come back in the house from my morning trip to the yard. Then I took a nap. I barely got to sleep before I heard Jerry and Nelda again. Interesting. I guess they slept in the driveway, which I thought was a little odd until I learned that they actually slept in their van, in the driveway. Big difference.

They sat around drinking coffee, talking, laughing, like I wasn’t even there. Nothing fell on the floor right away, but I feigned interest for longer than necessary before going in to the Man Room to take a nap. Sleeping wasn’t in the cards for me, however, because of all the racket they all made. Then, wouldn’t you know it, all the people from the night before showed up again. All the food had been removed from the refrigerators and reheated as necessary, in anticipation of their arrival, but no one told me. Then I was sent to the basement again. It’s getting to be quite a routine, me going to the basement. The cat, however, gets to go outside and run all over the neighborhood, without supervision! Is that fair?! I think not!

There were gaps in activity the remainder of the day. J&N left, then the master and he left, and they didn’t come back for hours. Really! Hours! Thankfully, they left the patio door open so we could go out and bark at something once in a while, but that’s a long time to be left alone. When they returned they told us all about the fun they had down town on the St. Helens Haunted Tour. Sounded fun. They even went out for dinner after that, extending the night even more than necessary. Then they went to the Elk’s Club to sit and visit in Les and Sophie’s new 1989 Winnebago Superchief. Apparently it’s quite a rig. Really big and nice, we were told. Plenty of room for a dog, or two.

When they got home they went to bed after allowing me into the yard one last time.

Today had a normal beginning, then something changed because only the master left. Since it’s Sunday, I suspected they would both leave for church, but that didn’t happen. She left early and took Jennifer, one of my favorite people, shopping for her birthday. I guess Grandma Jean, another one of my favorite people, went too. That left him home alone with pretty strict instructions to leave the power tools alone. So, he went outside, grabbed a ladder, and used it all the way around the house to reach areas that needs to have paint scraped. I was proud of him because he didn’t go on the roof, and he didn’t get the tall ladder to reach the really high spots. He knows I can dial 911, and bark, but doing that just doesn’t interest me much. I could have gone outside with him, if I wanted to, but I didn’t. Instead, I stayed in the house and took a nap.

In the afternoon, about 1:30, he left to go pick up another couple of my favorite people, Cedric and Jeran, and took them to the movie down town. I smelled popcorn on him when he got home. I love popcorn. Cedric was with him. Not long after they got home, the master arrived. Jennifer showed up a couple of hours later to get Cedric. Lydia, another one of my favorite people, was with Jennifer. She scratched my ear. I love that. Then they left and I took a nap.

Now it’s time for bed and I need to go outside and prepare myself for the series of tricks I make him do before he gives me my treat.

Lady Lions vs. Lady Indians

That’s what’s written on the shirts Diane and I wear to Lydia’s soccer games. The shirts also have her number on them. It’s # 1. That’s what Diane and wore this afternoon to the latest game. We have to keep watching because we’re right on the verge of figuring out what some of the rules are even though we don’t agree with them.

Before going there, however, I’m happy to report that Lydia’s nose had a miraculous recovery last night. Yesterday, her team mates told her she needed to put ice on it so it wouldn’t look so bad and scare the Scappoose girls today. She must have done something, or else she also has the ‘Amazing Healing Gene’ with which I’ve been blessed because it doesn’t look bad today.

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Instead of recapping the entire game, I’m just going to share a few photos I took with my magnificent camera with my magnificent telephoto lens. I can’t share all of them because the magnificent auto focus mechanism failed to function properly, no doubt, to the inability of the operator to set the various speed and aperture aspects which would elicit optimum photographic evidence of what was transpiring before him. Yes, all of that is true. The fuzzy photos were caused totally by operator error. So, you only get to see those that are at least in semi-focus.

First, what does the football team do while on the way to their locker room after their practice terminates?

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This one is for Sharmel. Her daughter is Laurel, #2 for Scappoose. We’ve known Sharmel for many, many, many years, and Laurel for most of her life. We do not mind that Laurel attend Scappoose High School at all because both Diane and I did, too.

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Next is one of Lydia duking it out with a frisky Scappoose Indian. It almost looks like they’re dancing, doesn’t it? Far from it. I believe right after this photo was taken, Lydia dropped the other girl like an autumn leaf then jumped in her stomach with abandon. That, of course, didn’t happen. Lydia has been known to knock other girls down, but she never jumps in their stomachs.

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While the soccer game was in progress, other members of the human race who have meaning for Lydia were frolicking in the top row of the bleachers. That’s Cedric, Lydia’s big brother, running off with the football that he just liberated from Chris who is sitting to Jacob’s right. They are both Cedric’s friends, all are sophomores, but Chris is more meaningful to Lydia than either of the other two.

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Here’re the Lady Lions taking their victory sprint across the field toward the bleachers after winning 2-0. It was a good game and fun to watch. We sat with Jennifer, Lydia’s Mommy, for the entire game.

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Now, about soccer rules … what’s the deal that the ball can roll right down the out-of-bounds line, but not be out-of-bounds. AND, the players can run out-of-bounds to kick the ball off the line with no fear of penalty. What’ that about? I mean, out-of-bounds is out-of-bounds. I guess when you only have one old guy in a yellow shirt, and jaunty black shorts, running down the middle of the field with a whistle that apparently doesn’t work, the girls can pretty much call the shots. All they have to do is just wait for the old guy to take one of his elongated blink, and they’re safe.

I must share a bit of crowd activity about which I heard after the game that involved a zealous Lady Lion Mom, not Jennifer, and the father of a Lady Scappoose Indian … the Mother was very loud in her vocal admonishment of Lions allowing Indians to push them around without pushing back a little themselves. The Mom confided in us, on the way out, that the Father displayed an inordinate level of assininity. A new word for me which I just love. I’ve never heard that one before and had to share it. I know that a new word because my spell checker didn’t recognize it.

That’s it …

Rain, Wind, Home Depot, and Barry Manilow

It was a very rainy, and windy day here in River City. That not totally true because it’s not really River City, it’s still St. Helens. But, the town resides on the western shore of the Columbia River, where it flows north from Portland to Longview, so it’s also known as River City. Just thought I’d share that with you for clarification.

This morning at church Diane, her Mom, Jean, and I provided all the snacks for the coffee hour after the service. My job was to carry the bag of food to the basement then get out of the way until I was called to do something. That moment came as soon as everyone, all 30 of them, had made their way through the line once. Then Diane and Jean abandoned me, leaving me alone with two very hot coffee pots, decaf and regular, trusting me to not burn anyone. I did them proud by not doing that and I even got a little cocky and poured left-handed. Though I’m sure I’ve done it before, I have no memory of it. I even did an old trick I’ve used, not overly popular by most of the recipients, by filling Nancy’s cup to the tippy top, so full that picking it up bordered on dangerous. I didn’t burn her, though. That trick I developed while in the Navy aboard ship. Invariably, when someone fills their cup with coffee, someone is waiting right behind to fills theirs. Having the pot already in your hand, it’s an accepted practice to fill the cup of at least the next person in line. When it was me doing the filling, I poured them a heaping cup full. Really. Heaping full. If you fill a cup all the way to the top, and look at it sideways, it almost looks like the liquid is above the cup rim. The fun part at sea is watching the person ask you to stop well before it’s full, but continue anyway. They never once pulled their cup away, but allowed me to fill it all the way up, calling me some pretty creative names as I calmly put the pot back, and watched as they did their best to get the cup to their lips without spilling anything. Consider, too, that the ship is moving all the time. Sometimes in predictable directions. To their credit, everyone who had the misfortune of having me fill their cups in the Goat Locker (Chief’s Mess) never spilled a drop. That comes from experience. They also learned quickly to just wait until I put the pot down so they could fill their own cups. I guess what I did may be construed as mean, but I treated it like a training session.

Once the church was all cleaned up and locked, we dropped by the house to let the dogs out for a bit, then headed to Longview for an expensive visit to Home Depot. I got some baseboard wood, and shoe moulding, and Diane got paint. I think the way she picked it was to look at the price and go for the most expensive thing they sold. Of course, that’s untrue. We had previously agreed on the Behr brand, and the color, so it was OK.

Wood, in case you didn’t know it, is no longer cheap like it used to be. That’s true for everything, I know, but here in the Great Northwest, where people grow trees for a living, you’d think wood might not be so expensive. But, it is. Kinda makes me want to get a big saw and start making my own lumber, but we don’t have our own trees so I guess that wouldn’t work. I don’t know where this is going, so I’m shifting gears ..,

Diane was sad that her new iPhone didn’t have any music on it. Specifically, Barry Manilow singing “All I have to do is dream”, for her alarm clock. All of that music is still on her old phone, which is now mine, but there’s no way to transfer that information from one phone to another. Music must be added from iTunes, as in the iTunes on the computer from which it was originally added. At least that’s my understanding. If there’s another way, and you know what it is, I’m interested in hearing about it.

The problem, you see, is that we replaced Diane’s computer not long ago because she fussed about how long it took to do ‘stuff’, and it was always doing something she didn’t want it to do. And, a crucial bit of software needed for updating Windows XP self destructed so the computer was missing the daily critical security updates needed to keep the gremlins away. Her new computer is Windows 8 all in one Samsung with a touch screen. She’s getting used to it, but it tends to give her fits once in a while, too.

The old computer is in the basement, so I paid it a long visit so I could snag all those songs and put them on her new computer. Actually, the last two old computers, plus about 12 hard drives of questionable vintage, two laptops, and three monitors, were scattered around just waiting for me to find the time to see how they work now. Having a goal in mind made checking them much easier because not having one allows my mind to wander a bit and I tend to just take them apart. That’s why there are so many old hard drives lying around. They came from old computers that I’ve acquired over the years. I tore a couple of the hard drives apart to get the excellent magnets out of them just for fun. They are pretty powerful. I heard that it really hurts if you sandwich you ear lobe between them and let go. It’s true. It hurts a lot.

Anyway, the old PC booted right up but, guess what. I had apparently removed all the music from the computer. There was no iTunes, there were no tunes, period. That was true for the other old PC I found. So, I got busy checking all the old CDs lying around down there, looking for anything that had “Music” written on it. I found a few, but nothing with Barry Manilow.

In a panic, I felt the walls closing in on me because I couldn’t find Barry. Then I remembered the CDs we own and actually found them in a nifty little rack that’s hidden in a corner with all the kids toys and games that never get used. A quick search led me to a Barry disc which had the correct song on it. I was saved! I rushed it to her computer with the secure knowledge that I wouldn’t have to sleep on the porch, which pleased me because it’s a bit chilly out there. And wet.

The import went really well after I discovered how to open the CD tray on her computer. There’s no handy little button in the vicinity of the drive to push for it to open. Finally, in iTunes, I discovered that it’s simply a matter of pressing Ctrl-E on the keyboard. Good to know. She now has 154 songs on her computer, and sync’d her phone so they are now also available for her to use.

She can’t, however, stick her new phone it the little Bose speaker base I got her for Christmas a couple of years ago because, Apple changed the adapter on the new phones. Nifty, huh? They have adapters, I know, but we don’t have one of those, yet.

This afternoon I also had a wonderful conversation with Gretchen, one of my co-workers while I was employed at PGE. We worked together for many, many, many years. Well, maybe only many, many years. It was good to catch up on what’s going on with her and her family. I know she’s one of the 4-5 people who read this so I must let her know that we talked for 42 minutes and 43 seconds. I know that because Diane’s phone told me so when we ended the call. That’s not a complaint or criticism, just a fact. So, Diane’s phone is now properly broken in.

Here it is, almost 10 pm, and we’re picking up a friend, Mary, at 0600 in the morning to deliver her to PDX. She’s going on a Panama Canal Cruise. That’s the next cruise Diane wants to take because she’s always talking about it. When she does, I point out that I’ve already done that, in 1967, and it wasn’t really a big deal. It’s just really narrow in spots. But, it would, I admit, be interesting to do it again.

I must really quit, and crash. I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes.

Just for fun, here are some of the pets hanging around this place. There are lots of iguanas, too. Big ones, too. When they hear the click of a camera, they come running to get their reward. We don’t know what that is, however, so we just depart quickly. there are a few around that are 3 feet long and they are very homely looking creatures. I was going to say ‘ugly’, but I’m not sure if they have internet access or not, and don’t want to get into trouble.

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