Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Brrrrr Baby it's cold outside

 I am confident that I will not finish this typing before I lose electricity.  I do have a large battery thing attached which will keep me up and running for a while after all power is lost.

The storm is upon us.  For those readers who may live in Bangladesh, Texas has been under assault since this past Saturday.  If truth be know, it was assaulted all of last week too.  I was to pick up my 2019 Flex in Hutto on Tuesday of last week.  I called them (Covert Ford of Hutto and other towns) on Monday.  They didn't have the car yet.  Yes, they sold me a car which I have never seen or touched and they didn't have it yet.  Their story:  The previous owners traded it in.  Their new car was  having some work done to it.  The work had not been finished.  The previous owners (PO) STILL had the car at home waiting.

Of course, we are dealing with used car salesmen here.  Their first story was that the car was in transport and the transporter had sold his transporter - now Covert Ford was looking for a way to move the car to Hutto.  I figured out later that the car was to be transported from the west side of Austin to the east side (Hutto).  I could have hired a teen-age monkey to accomplished that feat.  As you may realize, their story was flawed.

The new story was so much better.  sigh.   I wanted this particular car because #1 it was a 2019 Ford Flex Limited -- Ford didn't make a 2020.  #2  The 2019 is almost identical to my 2014 except for certain updates Ford has made over the past 5 years - plus this is a Limited and mine was an SEL model.  #3 as I looked online for a 2019, I couldn't find any that had less than 30,000 miles and were all coming from the Rental market. Their Flex had less than 10,000 miles.  #4 I pull my Flex behind the motorhome.  I had to have a FWD Flex.  This was a FWD.

ASIDE:  As I searched, I would ask the dealerships if their used Flex was a Front Wheel Drive or an All Wheel drive.  Then, I asked if a AWD could be flat towed on all four wheels down.   I could not get ONE, NOT ONE, salesman who had an AWD to answer the question.  It is written in the owner's manual as plain as can be.  The salesman would not walk out to their car and look - much less send me a copy of the page to verify.   A salesman with Platinum Ford on the far east side of Dallas, sent me a print out of some magazine article.  He had the nerve to razz me about it.  Jerk.   I now have the book; it says in plain language, The AWD cannot be towed on all four tires.  It must be placed on a trailer.   Jerk.  

A CURSE:  may one of his children or grandchildren have to deal with a car salesman and get .... messed with.  Karma.


Ice storm was Wednesday.  Pretty severe.  Thursday - not much better.   Friday:  we drove south in our Ford loaner (Escape)  and traded for our white Flex.   At under 10K miles, I still paid too much.  But, this should last us at least another 5 years.  When you are 80 yrs old, another 5 years is pretty good.  Sometime in the future, my children will proclaim that I am too senile to drive any more.   See: the show Driving Miss Daisy.   I love the clarinet solo...and, they are driving a Hudson - my bucket list favorite car to own and carress.


We arrived home Friday night about 6 or so.  Still light outside to some degree.  The new car went into the garage and has rested.   We did drive to town Sat. morn and bought milk and bread - it was the first time the wife got to drive the car -  visited CiCi's pizza - filled the car with fuel.   Our HEB was completely void of any milk products.  We heard a rumor the HEB truck was iced under somewhere near San Antonio.   There were 8 loaves of bread left.  ME, Lucky Dog.  Bought a loaf.  Left HEB, drove over to Brookshires and bought milk.  Done.  Ready for the winter storm.


No no nonono, not ready.  Who can be ready for the "rolling blackouts?"  We had about 8 inches of soft fluffy snow.  It was pretty.  I had bought a big (40 lb) bag of sunflower seeds for the birds.  Didja know that birds never say "thank you."   Maybe they do, and I just can't understand.   I have been throwing out bird seed in the back and the front yards.  I piled some on my small front porch.   At one time yesterday, I had over 50 small birds on my front porch.  I tried to count them.  Learn from me -- don't try to count birds in a flock.  Won't work.  When I finish here, I will distribute more seeds before dark.

We have this beautiful black bird, bigger than a sparrow, smaller than crows, about the size of a bright red cardinal - they have a small stripe of white on their shoulders.  The birds are all beautiful.  The cardinals are grand.  One smaller bird has a pale yellow breast.  I like birds.   When I walk out on the porch, some of the smaller birds don't leave.  They look at me and continue to seek food.  I've had my hand within an inch of them - food in my grip.  Nice.


So the snow came.  The snow stayed.   Yesterday afternoon, at 2 p.m., the electricity went off.  Clunk! It was off for till 4 - almost to the second.  Rolling Blackout in the day light.  Last night we started watching a recorded TV show at 6:30 -- Father Brown.  At almost exactly 7, Clunk!  

I thought, "This is okay.  It will be back on soon.  I need to share America's Pain and Suffering.  I am so noble." 

I was wrong.  I read by flashlight till 11 and went to bed shivering.  Short Aside:  my mom used to tell me that her eyes were bad because she would read under her covers late at night when she was a girl instead of going to sleep.  I doubt she had a flashlight in 1920.  So she read by candlelight?  Under the cover?   Maybe she had a flashlight.  Maybe.  On the other hand, kids do stupid things.

Sometime in the middle of the night (2 a.m.) all the lights came back on.  Saved.  The heater relit.  About an hour later - you guessed it - CLUNK!  Our electricity was off from 3 a.m. till 2 p.m. Tuesday.  It is now 3:30.   I'm waiting.  When will it blow?   I feel a CLUNK coming on.  Can you feel it?


Couple of side stories:

#1 My daughter Laura has just tested positive for Covid.  She doesn't feel too bad.  Maybe she will be lucky.  She teaches music in a small elementary school - Blooming Grove, TX.  Everyday, mask in hand, she greets every Blooming Grove student for her music class.  I say it was only just time.  and now she - her husband Tom - and the 3 dogs - quarantined .  As they say:  their are young teens, older teens, and Quaran-teens.  All can be a pain.

#2  Sitting here, I have been drinking a large mug of hot tea.  Jealous?

#3  My puppy Sadie (she is 5 years old) loves to bolt out the back door, cross the back porch, sail through the air down the hill - and rout the birds who are merely trying to eat their sunflower seeds.  Sadie doesn't care.  Chase birds.  Chase Squirrels.  It's all in a day's work.

 #4  My #2 grand daughter (grandot) Shelby, has a birthday on Friday.  We sit here with her birthday card in hand.  Stamped and addressed - ready to go.  It is a mile to the mailbox.  May not drudge up there.  Yes, when I was in elementary school living in Kansas and Nebraska, I walked to school in the snow.  I remember walking on top of snow drifts higher than my elephant eye.  Still, I don't plan to mail Shelby's card anytime soon.

#5  Tea is at the bottom of the mug.  Time to stop.   Stay warm and safe.


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