Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sept quickie

There is a cartoon in the paper called Pluggers.  If you read it, you will understand.  I think Pluggers are my age.  They just keep plugging away.
One recent had a plugger cutting articles out of the paper.  This was his You tube.  I do that.  I cut little articles out and, more often, I cut out cartoons.   I have stacks of old cartoons.  They are in different stacks.  None are organized.  My children will enjoy trashing them all I am sure.
I just wonder if anyone else does this.  That would be a question.  Nobody will answer.  That's okay.  This has been your monthly quickie.

Friday, September 26, 2014

car & TU

Sure, like this is breaking news.
The FLEX is in the shop getting a new hood.  The buzzard destroyed the old hood (see previous post).  The grand total is over $1000 with me paying a hundred deductible.  I was so solid on the brakes that the bird slid under the car instead of over the top off the windshield.  It could have been worse - or worster if you are in the 3rd grade.
We pick it up today.  Two days to fix it.  Unbelievable.  I like when a person does the job he says he will do and in a timely fashion.  I've discovered that many workers in the Corsicana area are flakes.  Maybe that is the way it is everywhere.  I don't know.
I remembered an old stone from the days that I worked in the Univ. of TX stadium with school groups.  We installed chairbacks / seatbacks / permanent-almost  cushions with backs on the stadium for people with the money to pay.  The money is good for a school group.  You have to go to every home UT football game - and some are an inconvenience  (8 p.m. games - rain games - Thanksgiving games - even 11 a.m games are tough to make after a Friday night out-of-town high school football game).  
We were installing chairs one Saturday.  I believe it was the Hutto HS band helping us.  They make 50 cents for chair install  and  50 cents per chair at the end of the season for the uninstall  -  or $1 a chair for the year.  We installed over 10,000 chairs.  Good money for a school group.  We were up on the 11th floor when this boy - young, probably an 8th grade or Freshman - came up to me with an ice scoop.  He said he had found this ice scoop.  What to do?
Of course, of course, leaving it where found was not in his brain.  I didn't know where to take it.  So, I told him to take it home and give it to his Aunt Mary for Christmas.  He had this look on his face.  We moved on. Several hours later as the students left and "Johnny" and I were left alone to lock up, I saw this ice scoop on the bottom floor of the stadium resting on a ledge.  The same.  Aunt Mary must have died.
To coin a phrase, I scooped up the scoop and took it home.  Today, 6 or 7 years later, the scoop lives happily in the freezer of my refrig scooping ice daily into my humongous tea glass.  It is a good scoop.  It has found a home.  We are friends.  We have bonded.
Wife is in yard planting and scratching.  We have a big box of left-over day lilies to give away.  Years ago, pre-2000, my Uncle Junior mailed us a few day lilies from his back yard.  He was president of the Oklahoma Day Lily Society.  He grew day lilies in his backyard and sold them over the internet.  Beautiful garden he had.  So we prized these day lilies.  When we sold the Pflugerville house, we moved the day lilies to daughter Christine's house.  In 2008, some of them came here.
They prospered.  Christine and BJ divided them over the weekend.  Now we have too many.  What to do?

Monday, September 15, 2014

buzzard bait


Y'know, when I was in H.S. English class writing papers, one of the big things the teacher fussed about using the two words:  And, so....  She counted off extra points if we used  "And, so" anytime.  Thus, I learned to type "thus."  And "Therefore."  
And, so, I tell this tale.
Last Friday, the wife and I decided to go the RV Supershow in Dallas.  Friday had special rates for Seniors.  (Notice that I capitalize Seniors).  We took our own sweet time leaving - maybe getting out of here about 9 or 9:30.
To get to our house one has to drive down a two lane highway which eventually connects with another U.S. hwy.  It takes maybe 10 minutes to get to town.  I try to drive the speed limit plus a dab.
We took off.  I was driving about 60.  All of a sudden off the road from the left, movement.   It was a big bird - a red headed vulture . . . perhaps the term Buzzard would fit.  From the left, the bird flew across the highway.  Normally, these big birds gain some height.  He certainly was trying.
I hit my brakes as hard as I could.  It did not good.  The bird bounced off the front of my FLEX.  It rolled under the car and I could see it lying on the road behind.  Yes, it was a hit and run.  I felt really bad that I had not anticipated the bird faster.  Wham!  One dead bird.  One big dead bird.
It damaged my car.  The hood has a dent larger than I would have thought possible by a bird.  The dent was the size of a large plate right on top of my hood.    Today I visited my insurance agent followed by a trip by a body shop.  The guy prodded the hood.  He said it was aluminum and would have to be completely replaced.
I will be getting a new hood on my car plus a major strip of trim across the front.  In a half thrown out thought, the car received the nickname:  Buzzard Bait.  I think I will change it back to Ruby or Flex when the repairs are done.   With that I will leave ya.  I am anxious to see how this all works out.   No, wait, there is more.
We drove to Dallas and made a side trip to Mesquite to visit Garden Ridge.  After a quick lunch, we headed down I-30 through Dallas to make the turn up I-35.  If you have not driven this stretch, it gets pretty fast and busy with lots and lots of idiots weaving in and out of traffic.   I stayed in the right lane hoping and praying the I-35 exit would get closer.
Right in the middle of this with about 2 or so miles to go, my FLEX made a dinging noise.  A message flashed across the screen:  Tires low pressure.  Yes, with no way to get off the road and traffic roaring forth, Low Pressure on the Tires.  This is a new invention on my cars.  A device that measures air pressure as I drive.  That is such a great bit.  BUT NOT ON I-30 at 60 mph with no room on either side and a big white truck entering the highway.
All turned out okay.  We made it to the show.  I carry an air compressor in the car.  All the tires looked low - these low profile tires are deceiving.  I put the air comp. on one tire and let it run.  The air went down instead of up.  I stopped that game.  When we left, my right rear tire ran on 25 lbs, the left rear on 27 lbs.   We drove to Ennis' Walmart, bought a new machine and fixed the tires.  No gas station from here to Dallas has an air compressor.  
Moral of stone:  buy an air compressor and keep it in your car.  You never know when the dash will light up and say.  "Low Pressure."

Friday, September 5, 2014

if it ain't one thing, it's another (STONES)

It seems to me that problems - major or minor - seem to travel together.  Likewise, when you are having a good day, everything seems to work out - even hitting all the traffic lights green.  It leads me to wonder if we don't cause many of our own problems by our attitudes and, you might say, we go looking for trouble.   I think that I don't.  But, then, why?
Stone #1:  To mow my lawn, I AM RETIRED, I try to stretch it out to 3 days...sometimes 4.  First there is the hand push mower.  What a beauty it is.  Electric start, John Deere, runs like a top. Hand mow on the first day.  Second day, the riding mower:  me precious John Deere riding tractor mower.  The 3rd day rolls around, weed-eat time.  This machine is nicknamed "The Terminator." It rambles through weeds and the like with ease.  My yard is not so enormous as some folks have, but it is .85 acres of which the house takes up a portion.  I find that weed eating the front and fenced-in back yard pretty much does me in.  The next day (#4 if you are keeping count) takes care of the outlying areas and the lake front and the potential snake habitats.  I loathe that area. So, 4 days it is.
    On Tuesday, day 1, I hand mowed.  Takes about an hour to get what I want done.  On the back wall, my final couple of passes till stop time, the mower grabs a water sprinkler and pulls it out of the ground embedding the sprinkler firmly in the blade housing.  I could not pull it out and hold the mower at the proper angle.  My wife was out on her morning walk.  I sat and waited for her return. This was not bad since I moved into the air cond.  Upon return I had her stand on the handle as I climbed underneath and used a channel lock to disengage the shattered sprinkler.   Sigh.
#2  Naturally when you have a sprinkler destroyed, it must be replaced.  I know nothing about sprinkler systems. . . still learning.  I need a book "Dummies Guide to Sprinkler Systems." I could call the installer to come fix it.  Yeah, like that will work.  I have called him 3 times about other problems and no See-Eeee...or is it See-Um?  Either, I have it figured out.  I am on my own for fixing these.  Sure, I have a year guarantee on the sprinklers, but if he won't show up, what's the 2nd choice?  Do it yourself.
      The wife and I were planning a trip to town anyway, so buying another sprinkler head was added to the list.  Back to the yard.
#3  Destroyed part removed.  Restarted the mower.  It seems to have had another problem.   The device to raise/lower the wheels has been moved.  Later, I figure out, that this happened prior to my close encounter with the first sprinkler.  I start to finish my mowing  [ (I just love what I wrote) "I start to finish..." How cute is that?  Sometimes I think I should just hide myself, I am so cute. ]  
      The mower moved forward a few feet and sank into a hole.  Wham!  I hit the next sprinkler. This would never have happened if the wheels had not moved.  Lemme explain.  I do love my mower.  The wheels are adjustable up and down.  But, they move on their own all da time.  I am going to wire the wheel handle closed.  Too many problems. This sprinkler was not destroyed, just damaged a bit.  Moving On.  
#4  We headed to town.  Our town trip uses U.S. Hwy 287.  They have decided to work on 287.  Sealing it and putting down gravel.   I came over a hill and there was a truck looming ahead. Traffic was stopped.  Highway dept. decided that 287 was now a one lane road with the other side having the right of way.   We sat on the hwy for a good 10 minutes waiting for our side to move.  The car line was so long it was out of sight in front and back.  Not a good morning to travel 287.
This is becoming too long - so I'll summarize. 
1.  got part.
2.  came home and dug up sprinklerS.
3.  discovered I needed a 2 inch nipple pipe to connect sprinklers.
4.  Put it off till next day.
5.  Next day arrived.  Decided to take Marauder since it had not been driven in 2 weeks.  
6.  Took cover off car.   Climbed in.
7.   The inside rear view mirror is hanging down.  The glue has released the mirror.
8.  Drove to town.   Work on 287 has moved; but, still found me.  Sat for 10 minutes.
9.  Did necessaries in town.  I decided to take a different route home which would miss the roadwork.   Did That.   While I was in town, they moved the roadwork - sat for 10 minutes waiting.
I am not going on with this.
Fixed sprinkler - got home - have glued mirror back on - still have not finished mowing.
Tomorrow ???
p.s. when I first started writing this, I was uptight.  Things are better now; that was 3 days ago.