Sunday, June 29, 2014

home, home, home at last

this be a quickie.
cause me is hot & tired.
As a preview of coming attractions here on this page, we have just returned from two weeks on the road in our motorhome with our 4 dogs.  I believe that if you are going to travel with a pack of critters, a motorhome (travel trailer) is the only way to go.  If I get inspired, I will write more of the adventure on the next blog.  Right now, we are home and pleased to be here.
When our two little boys got home, they had what my wife calls a "runaway."  They just ran back and forth and in circles all over the place - inside and out - chortling - making throat noises as they ran. They were so happy to be back home.  30 minutes later, all 4 pooches were coiled up on a bed fast asleep. They were so happy.
I think I am pleased too - didn't go running around in circles though.
But the yard - two whole weeks of growth after a substantial rain or two - just waiting to be mowed. What critters lie hidden beneath the grass awaiting my wrong step?  This morning I mowed the part of the yard that requires my hand push mower.  Sure it is a power mower, John Deere driven, rear wheel drive, electric start, loads of power -- nevertheless, mowing outside takes it toll.  Later I'll climb on the ole John Deere tractor and smooth out the rest of the yard.
The week before we left, my weed eater just quit.  It has the nickname:  "The Terminator."   What a machine!!   But it quit.  It would run maybe 10 seconds then putter out.  I figure the carburetor was dirty and clogged after six years of tireless whacking.  It had lost its air filter too.  Into the shop it went.  They warned me of a two week wait.  Perfect!   Call on answering machine yesterday;  it is ready.
The week before we left, our ice maker just quit.   It has the nickname:  "The Coolerator."  What a machine!!  But it quit.  No ice tumbling into the container;  none.    I tried to go in and remove the ice maker from the freezer, but it is just too dangerous for me.  If it just needs to defrost, fine.  But, if I break it in the removal process - I get to buy a new one.  After six years of tireless cubing, it stopped.  Clunk.  No more ice.   I am thinking of trying a hair dryer just to see if it would release all of that pent up energy.
The week before we left, the sound on this computer just quit.  It has no nickname.  Now, c'mon, the sound quit.  The computer tells me I have not installed a sound driver.  Well that is just wrong. Question:  do you argue with a computer?  Waste of time, me thinks.  I'll find a guy in town who can figure this out for me.  I don't listen to much on the computer anyway.  My wife likes the sound things on facebook and I do get some emails which have nice things.
That's all for now.  I have almost stopped sweating from the mowing.   I soaked 2 (wide) head / sweat bands.  Came in;  drank a big glass of water;   ate a tomato with salt;  now here.  I think I will see if the cool water still runs in the shower.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Man gets 60 years

My father use to read articles to us from the newspaper - or parts of articles.  Nobody wanted to listen.  I suppose I got my love of newspaper reading from him.  Just don't know.  I read the paper every morning, pretty much every word I can.  Sometimes I run across an article that needs repeating.  If you will forgive me for reading to you aloud, see below.
First of all (not the above mentioned article) I see that Parkland Hospital in Dallas is raising their pay for the lowest pay scale from $8.25 per hour to a bit over $10.  I think this is nice.  My next sentence may seem political ... In my opinion, this is who should raise the rates not our government.  If a company wants to keep certain workers happy, they should pay enough to keep them.  Seattle raised their minimum rate to $10+.  I think this is wrong.  The Seattle government should stay out of free enterprise, perhaps finding a way to encourage better pay - perhaps.  As it stands, I hope all the fast food joints raise their prices to pay for the higher debt.
That was not what egged me into writing this blog today.  An article by Julieta Chiquillo - a newspaper reporter unknown to me; she is not paying me to post her name.  I wish she were.  I like money as much as the next guy.
In the town of Allen, where they built that $20 quad-drillion high school stadium that has now cracked and will have to be redone soon -- "A judge sentenced an Allen man to 60 years in prison Wednesday...."  This Guy hired a hit man to kill his wife - to kill the wife of the Guy, not to kill the wife of the hit man. The reporter did not make that clear in the article, so I assume I am right.  The Guy (not the hit man) will be 110 years old when he gets out of prison.  Nothing mentioned how old the wife would be or whether she plans to be waiting for him.  
To further slow this narrative, I might point out that "on Wednesday"  the judge gave the man 60 years.  The guy doesn't just have to go jail on Wednesdays.   Didja follow that?
Now I quote from the article:  "Steven Gordon, 50, had problems with Malaysian wife." Right there is a sign that someone is not too bright.  Why do you go out and get a Malaysian wife?  I'm thinking it is for one reason, (possibly 2) and one reason only (possibly two).  The 2nd possible reason is the man looks like the south side of a Shar Pei going north.  The first reason should be obvious to any person, excluding "companionship and she can cook" as possibilities.   So the guy had problems with his Malaysian wife.  Shocker.  It could be that 60 years in the slammer might be a good trade-off.
More quotes:    "He found a man on Craigslist to devise a plan to have his wife deported."  ON CRAIGSLIST????  I roll my eyes.    "The plan then changed to having her murdered.  Gordon  (the guy) paid more than $25,000 to the hit man."   How does a GUY this stupid accumulate $25,000?  It boggles the mind.
"Frustrated by delays, Gordon pressed the hit man, who then threatened Gordon's life.  Gordon sought help from the police.  His wife not  (SIC) not harmed.  Last month, a jury convicted Gordon of solicitation of capital murder."
Summary -- so you go to CRAIGSLIST to hire someone for $25,000.  The guy doesn't perform.  You nag.  He says bug off or I'll clean your plow.   You complain to the police.  I would like to see the tape of that interview.   "Yes, sarge, I hired this guy to kill my wife, and now he is threatening ME.  I need some protection." 
Y'know, for all you single guys out there,  there is a Malaysian beauty up in Allen just waiting to meet you.  I don't know her name - but it should be public record.  
And, as a last thought, what happened to the fraudulent Hit Man from Craigslist?  - - - What heading is his skill listed under?  Surely the police have looked into this.

Craigslist -- "Hit Men for Hire" Heading --  or -- "Wives sent back to Malaysia" Heading
Possibly --  Advertisement:  Got $25,000 to throw away?  Give me a call.  Special rates for Malaysians and really stupid husbands.
I think I will close now and go see if lunch is ready.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Set-up, Crisis, The Answer, & How

Some stones are difficult to explain.  They take a great deal of explanation before you get to the punch line - so to speak.   First of all, this is a stone about my wife who actually giggled about it.  It turned out to be a fun time in the kitchen.  Read the prep,  then end up in THE CRISIS.   THE CRISIS.  THE CRISIS.
"fun time in the kitchen" --- good title for a blog
Explanation or two:
1.   My ears ring all the time.  It is loud.  I think it interferes with my hearing and comprehension a lot.  But, I understand, there is little to be done.  I have been around loud noises (and music) too much during my lifetime;  my inner ear has been damaged.
2.   My wife does not have any ringing in her ears - that is because I am so soft spoken, and we have always had such a quiet way of life.
3.   Our motorhome is fixed up pretty nice - y'know, TV, bathroom, chairs, refrig.  A few years back we lived in the m.h. for over a year while the house was being built - that is not easy with 3 dogs.   At Christmas we went out and bought a fake tree - about a foot high - with all the decorations attached.  We set it up on the dash and pretended it was a big tree.  It did take a lot of imagination.  We have a place over the driver's compartment where we store it in anticipation of next year's Christmas season.
4.   Because we may make a trip in our motorhome someday - and we had time today to do it - we drove to town to clean up the inside of the m.h.  Actually, she cleaned.   I dropped off my wife and ran errands in town.  She mopped and swept  ( or is it swepped? ) while I went to the post office, the bank, and to the courthouse to pay the yearly car registration on the Marauder.  I always go inside to do that because it saves a dollar.  As I walked into the courthouse I was greeted by a enormous deputy sheriff who said something scary like, "Good morning, sir."  It intimidated me.  I was careful not to make any threatening moves.
       The ladies in the payment room are always nice and extra friendly.  it makes paying the $64.35 a bit easier - perhaps.  I sold my little Explorer about  a month and half ago - I learned that the new owner had not registered it properly yet.   That means if it is used in an armed robbery, the cops will show  up on my doorstep with guns drawn.  The lady gave me a form to let the govt. know that it was not my car anymore.  Is that a relief?
5.    If you read my previous bluggy-bloggy-blog, you will know that I had Sirius put into the motorhome - the antenna went up in the compartment over the driver.  That means I had to empty out the compartment - which I did - piling stuff on the couch.   One of my wife's tasks was to put the Christmas tree and other stuff back into the compartment.  She did that with fervor.
6.   After our morning's excitement, we had a coupon for Cici's pizza:  buy one get one free.  Sounds good to me.  Off we were for Cici's.  I can tell you, this was a mistake.  It turns out that today is the last day of school for Corsicana and the several of the surrounding schools.   Many had early noon release.  It could be that the entire town came to CiCi's today.   That was one noisy joint.  The pizza was typical.  Kids were everywhere.  It was good to finish eating and escape. Noise is Noise and will cover all sorts of conversations.
7.    On the way home, we went by the car wash and rode through the spray.  Fun.  We opened the little skylight door and watched the soap as it sprayed the top of the car.   More fun.  We don't have fun like this often.
8.    THE CRISIS:  Home at last.   Back in the house for a couple moments my wife said something about a high pitch sound she was hearing.  I heard nothing.  She said it was like glass clinking against other glass.   Seconds passed.  She continued to move about the house looking for the cause of the tinkling sound.  Still I heard nothing, which is not new.  The air cond. turned off but she still heard the noise.   I said something about ringing in the ears, and, maybe her ears were starting that.
       She figured out that as long as she stood still, there was no noise.  That didn't make sense.  She swung her head back and forth.  No tinkling.   I tried to get her to bend over really fast.  No sound.  She experimented with more walking.  The tinkling returned to her ears.  I suggested putting fingers in the ears to see if the noise was still there.  She kept talking about the tinkling in her ears.  I made the point that maybe saying her ears were "tinkling" was not good.  Who wants ears that tinkle?
      She laid down for a nap.   I pointed out that aspirin sometimes causes ear ringing to get worse.  I closed the door and she slept.   
      DING DONG.   The front door bell rang and the dogs went crazy.  No nap now for sure.  She got up - I went into the other room  (it had been a box via UPS).
9.     THE ANSWER:   Several minutes passed and my wife walked into the kitchen laughing.  She was truly full of glee.  It took a moment but she handed me a tiny bell with a pipe cleaner attached. She found it in the cuff of her pants.   When she walked, the bell tinkled.  Her ears didn't tinkle at all; her ankle was the tinkle.
10.    HOW?   Remember the little Christmas tree she put in the upper compartment?   A bell fell off the tree and landed in the cuff.  She was so busy working - Cici's was so loud - she couldn't hear the bell until we walked into the house.
     Now, you folks may not think that was funny.  But, you were not here.  Trust me, it was funny. My wife spent a few minutes good naturely making fun of herself - as well she might.   But it was a good ending to a busy morning.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Flex and the hitch drama

Since I am sending this to my whole family - it is in blue and I will make a couple of comments before the Stone starts. I realize that many of you could care less, but that doesn't matter to me. Here is the Stone.
We bought a Ford Flex last month. Our plan is to pull it behind our motorhome and to use it as our everyday car. We sold our 2001 Explorer Sport. To pull it, we have to have a tow bar and brakes installed on the Flex. Where does one go but to Camping World.
here is the Stone about the trailer hitch.
By the numbers of course.
1. Bought the Flex
2. Drove the 50+ miles to Camping World in south Ft. Worth to select the proper tow bar and braking system.
3. Ordered same while we were there and set up the install date. A very nice young lady with tattoos handled the transaction.
4. One week later + plus a day, we drove the Flex back to Camping World followed by our Marauder. The Plan: Leave the Flex so it would be there for the 8 a.m. service on the next day. Drive Marauder home. Then, on the next day - late, drive the motorhome up there for the rest of the install - possibly driving behind in the Marauder.
5. Brenda's uncle Kent died in Lubbock.
6. New Plan: drive Flex up and leave it for the early morning installation followed by the Marauder. Next day drive motorhome up - followed by the Marauder - leave it there. Drive Marauder to Lubbock for the funeral returning that next day to pick up motorhome and Flex.
7. See #4 above. We arrived to leave Flex and key.
8. The young man, Shawn, I believe was his name, greeted us at the bar and
discovered that the tattooed lady had not ordered all the parts. She was "new." We re-selected what we wanted, and all was ordered "before 2 p.m."
9. Drove both cars home.
10. Left next morning for Lubbock in the Flex - first road trip - attended funeral, came home same day as funeral arriving about 12:30 - that would be the 12:30 in the nighttime.
11. One week later - less one day - drove Flex to Camping World followed by Marauder.
12. Dropped off Flex and key; drove home in Marauder. This time it would be one and a half days of working to fix the Flex.
13. On the very next day, I drove to Best Buy in Waxahachie and had a Sirius radio installed on motorhome. I was told that it was "Sirius Ready" which means nothing. it took over 6 hours to finish the job.
14. The installer had told me that If I just show up, he was never busy during the week. I showed up at 10 a.m. when the store opened. Installer didn't come in until 11. At least I was first on his list. About 2 hours later it was installed. I kissed him on both cheeks and left.
15. As I drove away, I stopped for gas at a nearby Walmart. It required me to turn and drive north. Sirius would not work facing north because he had installed the antenna when it was facing south.
16. Back to Best Buy and the repositioning of the antenna drama. Now you know why I spent 6 hours in Best Buy.
17. While I was waiting at Best buy, I received the call from Camping World. The selected braking system would not work on the Flex. We needed an alternate plan. I picked my 2nd choice. Nope, if we picked it, parts would have to be ordered and another week would pass us by. I went to the 3rd choice: Brake Buddy with proportionate braking. They seemed happy with that choice.
18. The next day we drove the motorhome - no Marauder - to Camping World. They said we would need to be there about 11 a.m. to match up the two vehicles for towing. We arrived at 10:30.
19. Now we are told it would take about another hour and a half to complete the installation on the Flex and the motorhome.
20. Give or Take: about 4 p.m. (that would be 5 hours later) we connected the two vehicles and pulled out after paying the bill.
21. Ate lunch.
22. Now home and reading the instructions. It says that the trailer hitch on the motorhome and the hitch connectors on the Flex should not be over 3 inches difference in height.
23. I drove into our storage space and measured. 4 inches it is. I need what is called a "hi-low" hitch adaptor. It makes up the difference. But, the nearest adaptor is 50+ miles away at Camping World. You might think they would have thought about this. They didn't.
24. I have ordered one online - when will it arrive?
My wife's brother lives in New Hampshire. He plans to move to Florida next winter instead of wintering it again in New Hampshire. Florida has motorhome parks for snow birds. But, rightfully so, he would like to look at an RV park before he signs on the dotted line. Sometime later in the summer we may drive to Florida to share in his experience and, also,  look a "hysterical" places of historical interest. Nobody but me wants to go to Disneyworld.   August will be a good time to go - or maybe September when the kids are all back in school.   Hopefully, we won't still be waiting for the new hitch to arrive. The Pressure - Oh, the pressure.   Meanwhile we plan a few short trips around this part of the country.
The stone endeth but the malady lingers on.....