Thursday, September 28, 2006

Three 10's...

and I feel I'm becoming very dull!

Volunteering for overtime beyond our normal 9 hour days...nothing like "hard labor" but I got home this morning a bit after 3:30, and I had left for work at 4. Feeling a bit braindead at the moment, lol!

My wife wasn't selected for jury duty, so Monday when she came home we went and tagged the truck. Looking through the papers I realized the sales tax was as much as Dad paid for his new Ford in '53!

Tuesday I cleaned it up and got part of it waxed, I ran out of time and had to get ready for work. Yesterday I cleared gutters and mowed ahead of the rain that moved through last night.

Today I need to pull the battery and some other parts from my Chrysler before it goes to the crusher. Dottie's off tomorrow because she works this weekend; beyond that I have no idea what's going on, other than one of these days I'm going to get 8 hours sleep again!

This world we live in seems bent on it's own destruction in some form or another; no matter where you look you can find signs of it. There are times I feel guilty that I'm not screaming from a soapbox somewhere trying to point out the lunacy of it all, yet we all have to survive one day to the next as well. Signing petitions, writing letters, writing Congressmen, voting, contributing...sometimes it just doesn't seem like enough!


Monday, September 25, 2006

I made it!

A one day weekend and I actually accomplished some things! (That doesn't happen often, or it doesn't feel like it most times!)

I worked last night 'til 2AM (6 day work week, though I burnt a vacation day on Tuesday for time with Dottie, since she worked last weekend), got to bed around 3:30, then got up at 9 this morning and we went to the movies to see "Flyboys". I am an aviation buff, and we lucked out and got in for $4 each (great movie, would loved to have seen it again, immediately). [There were some discrepancies and Hollywood liberties here and there, but not enough to ruin the movie for me, and probably un-noticeable to most.] We stopped at Costco on the way home, I fixed lunch, then went out and washed her Malibu and then cleaned all the road oil and bugs off it from the summer and got 2 coats of wax on it (getting ready for winter). By then it was dark. We had cooked a roast as she did things in the house while I was outside, so I ran through the shower and we ate while I started laundry, then we watched a couple of hours of TV and she went to bed at almost 1, I finished the dishes and put the last load of laundry in the dryer, and now it's a tick after 2...

Tomorrow if I get done at the courthouse early enough I will come home and wash my truck and try to get some wax on it, if I don't get home early enough for that I should mow and then do the other on Tuesday.

It's really a treat to drive something that does all the things it's supposed to, the windows go up and down, the doors open and close, it makes heat in the mornings when I leave work before I get 3 blocks instead of when I'm almost home, etc.. I still can't quite believe it's real!

Off to bed for me...hope you all had wonderful weekends and Monday is kind to you!


Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday the first...

meaning of course, that Friday comes twice in my work week this week. Or I have a one day weekend...

As well, Saturday is Caleb's birthday party, so I'll be going to it for a few hours before I go to work. Last spring I took the day off for Dillon's party, but I didn't have a truck payment then, the holidays weren't coming so soon...I just can't say "no" to time and a half!

Frankie charged the back door as I was coming in from the garage yesterday afternoon at 3. He had slipped out twice on Dottie, but once he let her pick him up, the 2nd time he ran right back in. That was several months ago. This time, he ran back and forth several times like a little black rocket, refusing to come when I called, then ran around the front of the house and disappeared. For 24 hours. I called, rang a little bell on a toy he likes, both then and when I came home at 2:30AM last night. No luck.

We thought perhaps he would follow Angel back in when he got hungry or cold enough. Today it rained about an inch and a half. When Dottie came home she went out and called for him, but no luck. She let Angel out and the dog immediately went to our fence and was sniffing towards our neighbors doorless yard shed. Dottie put Angel back in the house and went over there, and could get him to meow at her, his pathetic meow he would use if we shut the bedroom door and he wanted in, but he wouldn't come to her. Finally she twisted her ankle on something and between that and the rain came home for a while.

She went back, and got him to meow again, but he wasn't in the shed anymore, he was between it and our fence. This time she stepped on something that crunched and watched him do his rocket impression under the fence and across our yard.

She gave up (it was 8:30 by this time) and came in and took her shower and ate. I called at 9, my lunch, and told her to just get ready for bed, that if he was wet enough, cold enough or hungry enough he would come back in.

At 11:30 when I called at my 2nd break, she had sat in the back room with the door open for a while, but no cat. She said she would put Angel out one last time and then go to bed. When she put her out, she saw Frankie and Angel "nose to nose talking" on the patio. When the dog came back in, the cat finally followed. She called and left me a voice mail about it, then when I got caught up I called her back and she said the cat was very wet and very cold, but seemed happy to be back inside.

I hope he stays that way!

He's now curled up in her chair sleeping...

Busy weekend, won't be around much; I hope you all have wonderful weekends!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trying again...

at the end of a long day! Vacation day, Dottie's Tuesday off again. Home at 2:30, to bed at 3 something, up at 8:30, truck to the dealer at 10 to have the bedliner sprayed and the receiver hitch installed. Ran some errands in the morning and afternoon, returned the rental and got the truck back at 4:30, ran some more errands then came home for dinner and some TV. My eyes are burning and about to cross...

Hopefully I'll get to the gym when I get up today for the first time in over 2 weeks!

41 for a low tonight...kind of early for that, but kind of glad to see it coming I think!

So back to where I was...

Got a letter in the mail yesterday from Nikon; my camera is repaired, "no charge, good will" written in the estimate column, and they shipped it out so hopefully I'll have it back by the weekend and be able to put up some better photos soon! The night before I found out it was "dead" I seriously thought about coming home and getting it, the tripod and the "fancy" raincover I bought for it and trying to get some lightning pics of the thunderstorm that was inbound; I'm very glad I didn't, or I'd have thought I got it wet somehow and ruined it!

So unlike the last airshow two years ago, all I had Saturday afternoon was my little Samsung cellphone...

A while back I had said I would put another photo up of Angel...I never got one when her hair was really short (and uneven) after her summer "shearing", but here she is partially grown back out...

Happy Humpday!


Monday, September 18, 2006

I had planned on posting pics of the new truck, something from Saturday's airshow, and one of my youngest grandson who turns 3 today.

Sadly, Blogger only let me upload one before it decided to take a smoke break...

So since I was putting them in reverse order to write between them, the only one that's here is of Caleb on Saturday afternoon after the Blue Angels flew and closed the Kansas City Aviation Expo. His Dad had walked the older two down to the porta-potties, and Caleb was enjoying one of his favorite pastimes:

Happy Birthday little buddy!


Saturday, September 16, 2006

From the frying pan...

of not being sure I'll get to work or home again, to the fire of paying more than I had planned!

But then I am kind of contributing to my own retirement this way, so i'm not going to "feel guilty" about it.

This morning I got up, opened the kitchen curtain and peeked outside every now and then just to make sure it was really sitting in my driveway! A black 2007 Silverado, 1/2 ton, V-6, regular (or single) cab, 8 foot bed, automatic, air, AM-FM. Nothing extra except a cruise control. Next week it goes back for a sprayed in bed liner and a receiver hitch. For the first time in 6 or 7 years I'll be able to get Dad's bass boat out next spring (if I can come up with money for some batteries for it, a license, etc.).

I went over my walk away price, but mostly because I couldn't get a 0% loan through GM, like I could have a Dodge or Ford. I also sprung for the extended warranty, just in case...

It was quite a treat drving to work and not having to worry about it falling apart underneath me; at some points I got a bit misty over it; in some ways I feel like I'm betraying the old Chrysler (Dad used to try to convince me I couldn't keep them like pets).

Anyway, the deal is done, and I'm ecstatic, although I'm still not sure it's real...


Thursday, September 14, 2006

"A Wing and a Prayer"...

It's been an interesting few days...

My old Chrysler had been making some funny noises, but I had just chalked them up to age. Now that I know what's really going on, every extra squeak and squark causes my heart to leap into my throat, my stomach to clench, my heart to skip a few beats and my mind to wait for "her" to drop down on the right rear and spin to the left (what will happen when that axle comes loose). I keep trying to make sure I'm not next to anyone as much as I can, and have only dared to drive it directly to and from work, not even a few blocks extra to the grocery store or post office, saving the miles she has left for what counts most.

I came over a little rise as I crossed an intersection on the way home the night before last, and "she" made an awful "squark" where she had never made a sound before. For a minute I thought "this is it!". Then she settled back down and kept rolling. That's a 35 mile an hour street, I was doing 30 that night; last night I did 20 as I came over that same spot...

I called the salesman we bought our Malibu from (Allan Hammer at Superior Chevrolet if a local happens to read this, a very good, kind and helpful guy) yesterday and am meeting him at 11 AM tomorrow to try and work out numbers on a new Silverado. Just a "plain Jane", a "work truck"; full-size, 8' bed, V-6, automatic because Dottie doesn't want a stick with her joint replacements, no power locks or windows, vinyl floor, no cruise. The only one they list on their computer inventory that's like that is black, and though I really don't want black, I'll live with it if the numbers are right. I've drawn my "walk-away" line, and though I'm trying to be a loyal GM employee (and support my own retirement, etc..) I will walk away if I have to. Dodge is offering better deals right now; 0% instead of 4.9%, etc.. There has been some talk of making the parking lots at work GM only, but I'll walk a block or two if I have to I guess...

I tried hunting down some used ones, but at the amount I'm looking at, I'd be buying something 6 or 7 years old for almost the same investment; I'm trying to get out of working on things, not bring someone else's headache home!

Hopefully Saturday I'll have something good to post!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My last shot...

at fixing my Chrysler "on a shoestring" just evaporated. Dad had built a utility trailer the fall he started getting sick, and he used a Toronado axle and Chrysler New Yorker springs. I had hoped to rob the boxes on it; they're the right length, depth and hole spacing, but they are the Toronado ones and a half inch too narrow and it's a way I can't improvise and make it up.

Just left the cable company website trying to figure a way to cut channels and knock my bill down enough to try to make up part of a payment; we had already shifted some insurance policies around freeing up money to pay other things down before we went on vacation, and had planned to "knock off" 4 or 5 smaller bills in the course of the next 12 to 18 months, then go buy a pick-up after we paid them off.

As always, "Murphy" intervenes again!

Thank you all for the words of encouragement and sympathy!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday blues...

Never plan anything for a weekend, lol!

Mine was to try and rebuild the rear brakes on my Chrysler. (They haven't exactly been working right for a couple of months, but when I do them I need someone to pump the pedal for me to bleed them. I have been waiting for a weekend when we were both off with no other plans, and thought this was the one.)

After I jacked it up and soaked the bleedscrews in penetrating oil, Dottie said we should really shop for Caleb's upcoming birthday. I figured I'd be back in two hours, no problem. The shopping goblins had other thoughts however!

We have 3 grandkids, all moving into the "Gameboy" age. Their dad also has one, so we were trying to find one in a different color to make things easier to keep track of. 3 colors are readily available. After 5 hours of shopping and finally giving up for the day, I came home to check the net and found out that the only others are pre-packaged special editions not available everywhere. By then it was dark, of course.

The "Omnicef" they gave me for an antibiotic works like some kind of "cleaning agent" on me, I've been eating those little pills from Wal-Mart with regularity, and maintaining control of things enough to function, but occasional rounds of frequent trips to the bathroom have been interspersed through the last 4 days; Dottie had been craving "Gorditas" for a while, so that was dinner Saturday night. About 4AM Sunday I was regretting those...and off and on for the rest of the day!

Sunday I tracked down one of those special edition Gameboys, cobalt blue, problem solved. That afternoon I crawled under the back of my 26 year old Newport and realized that the "box" that attaches the leaf spring to the axle on the driver's side was completely rusted through and bending open; the passenger side is thinking about it.

Deciding that adding any further load to it (i.e. braking forces) is only going to add to it's demise, I let the car down and gave up on that for the weekend, figuring I'd call a spring shop today and be able to get a pair of the boxes for $50 or so.

No such luck; a dealer item, no longer stocked or in use anywhere on earth (after many phone calls and a lot of surfing). The best advice says to buy other spring pads, cut off the old ones (torch work) weld on new ones, and rebuild them into something else. Several hundred dollars if I do it myself, more if I pay someone, for something I'm only trying to limp along for 18 months or so before I scrap it! Ain't gonna happen!

These have probably been this way for a while (explaining the funny wiggle I get out of it every now and then), but the idea of driving it now that I know brings a bit of dread. I don't even dare make the extra trips to go the gym in it, figuring if it has "X" number of trips left before the axle lets loose, I should apply them all to going back and forth to work...

I don't know where this is going to end up, but I have to go figure something out!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Evil bugs!

My wife finally brought one home that got me instead of her...a little sinus bug that started last week settled into my crowns and root canals and teeth late Sunday and, being stubborn (and having to co-pay more under my new insurance) I kept trying to fight it off. I went to work on Tuesday, and was actually beating on my leg at certain points to make something hurt more than my teeth did. That night I came home started taking some leftover hydrocodones; it took 4 to take the edge off enough I could sleep a few minutes at a time.

I went yesterday and got antibiotics, took the night off and laid on the couch and tried to ignore things, and am finally better today. Hopefully I still think that at 2AM when my shift is done!

Dottie worked Labor Day and so has to take a day off to make up for it (?) and picked tomorrow, giving her a 3-day weekend starting tomorrow. While I'm looking forward to it and getting some things done around her, I may not be around much while my keeper is keeping on...

May the weekend be kind to you all!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I'm Jet Black! Which Cowboy Bebop character are you?

Which Cowboy Bebop character are you?

Fell in love with this series a few years ago; I ran across this the other night and couldn't resist...



Sunday, September 03, 2006

"The Life of Riley"

Some of us have it...

(Does anyone else remember William Bendix's show of that name?)

Then there are the rest of us who work for a living!

Between the work hours and the gym hours it's been a busy week; thank goodness I got a 3 day weekend, although Dottie gets to work all 3 of them. I have enough things on my plate to keep me occupied, however, with pleny to spare!

Since I didn't mow for 3 weeks through the worst of the drought, then when I was going to two weekends ago, other things intervened, we just had to go and get about 4 inches of rain last weekend, so when I started my lawn work this afternoon, it was as tall as the mower. I got the front done, having to double cut it to make it look even, and trimmed most of it; the back I'll finish today. I also have to put the passenger-side wiper arm in my Chrysler back together, as it disconnected itself last week at the height of one of the storms. Of course, it's not somewhere easy to get to...

If I get those done tomorrow, then Monday I may try and go walking or ride my bike for a while, and maybe slip off to the the "art house" for a movie before Dottie gets off work.

I also have to box my Nikon up to return to them, as after two and half years, I pulled it out of the bag last weekend at my sister's birthday and the display was black. I changed batteries and CF cards, then gave up and finished fixing dinner.

I had lent it to Noel for "first day back to school pictures" so I thought somehow something must have happened to it when it was out of my hands; checking the extended warranty I found it had expired last February.

Finally, early in the week I went to Nikon's website, hoping to find out they made something that would still use the lenses I bought to go with it; instead I found a notice saying they had found out there was an electronic component that would cause this, or color aberrations (had a few of those a while back, but assumed it was a low battery causing them, as it was almost time to change it when they occurred). They also stated that they would happily repair any affected cameras for free!

Hooray for Nikon!

One of the highlights of my week was hearing "Click and Clack", the "Car Talk" brothers on NPR say that Honda was having to recall several million Hondas and Acuras, but not for a mechanical defect! It seems one of the 1-800 numbers they printed in the owner's manuals for help charges $2.99 a minute because it's "Erotic Encounters" phone number, they were off by one digit...

Better them than us! :o)

Which brings us to my first Photo Sunday in a while. Above is "Frankie" sleeping in my wife's chair, originally my Dad's 1950 Bishop platform rocker. It was the first piece of furniture Mom and Dad bought; he recovered it twice, and it's in need of it again, along with some spring work this time...guess I'm going to have to figure out how to do that before long, 'cuz the one bid I had is more than my house payment!

Frankie has grown a bit since we got him, and is full enough of himself to warrant the moniker "Frankestein" at times, but we love him dearly!

Some of you will remember Angel from a previous post; her hair is about half grown back now after her spring clipping, and another thing I need to do this weekend is brush and bathe her again, then put "the medicine" on her neck, as the chiggers are eating she and I both alive, but Dottie won't let me spray outside because Frankie eats all the bugs that get into the house...anyway, I have a few of Angel I'll put up soon...

All of these, by the way are from my camera/phone; the following are the Saturday night repast while I was fixing it.

A pound of mushrooms...

Something new for us, "Pierogies" (Costco frozen, in Newman's "Pesto")...

And a couple of "Sam's Club" sirloins..

Tonight I'm going to try cubing up a cheap patio steak and making a stir fry with recipe, just a shot in the dark...beef and veggies...

Hope you are all having great weekends and for those who get Monday off, that you have a wonderful "Labor Day"!