Friday, December 29, 2006
Finally she is doing somethng positive for herself!
I felt a little better yesterday, so I took V. down to the Mall so he could spend his Christmas money.
I bought a couple of CDs. Eric Clapton/JJ Cale. It's OK but nothing to get too excited about I'll know better after about the 10th time I hear it.
The other is a Charley Musselwhite (Delta Hardware Co). I am listening to it now, and it sounds REAL good so far. If you like blues harmonica.
Which I do.
Musselwhite is coming to town in Feb, and I have tickets.
After eating a soft beef taco, V. and I went to see Eragon. Pretty good movie. V. was disappointed because they left out a lot of the book, which he absolutely loved. But if you went into it without any expectations, it was well put together and entertaining. A couple of hours went by real quick.
Some of the special effects and animation were pretty damn skookum.
On the other hand, the virus is whacking the snot out of me.
I was supposed to go over to my Mom's today and hook up her new phones, but I didn't feel up to it, and when I called she told me to just stay away until I got better.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I was going to do stuff and go places. Really I was.
But the fact that my nose was leaking, my eyes were watering, I couldn't breathe without hacking up a half a lung convinced me it was better for civilization in general if I stayed home today. Who knows, if I had gone to the Mall, I might have infected hundreds of people, who would havve infected hundreds of others until the whole of ccivvilization as we know it would have been brought to it's knees. I just couldn't risk having that on my conscience.
I got up with Mrs A. this morning and sent her off to her serfdom at BECU, but I slithered back in bed and slept until 10:00.
My Mom had asked for telephone equipment for Christmas, so that's what she got. I was supposed to go down and install it all today. I called her up and even before I could tell her I was sick, she up and says "You don't sound so good, are you sick or something, cause if you are don't bring it down here to me!"
So I confessed and begged off until Friday. I took Molly for a walk and got the mail, and that was the only two times I was out of the house all day. I feel a lot better tonight.
I better be, cause I got things to do. Big plans.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Jambalaya is my all purpose currative. Good for dang near anything. Just spicy enough to get you to break out in a light sweat. Cajun Penicillin.
There was a time that I subscribed to the Cowboy Crud Remedy: Put your hat on the foot of the bed. Drink until you see two hats. Blackberry Brandy seemed to work best, but now that stuff is way too sweet for my diabetic body.
Monday, December 25, 2006
It came in a very small package.
It is called a virus.
She seems to be doing better now that her native mosses have been rehidrated. Unfortunately, she has to go to work tomorrow.
I have all of next week off. I don't like having all of the time off lumped up now, because it means after the Hollidays, I don't have an official day off until Memorial Day.
Nice quiet day at home. We talked a lot and cleared things up. I made clear to her my commitment to her, and things are a lot better.
Never heard from R. She is off doing her thing, whatever that might be. She told me she has no friends and nowhere to go. Maybe that ought to send her a message.
The bottom line is that what she needs, I can't give her.
I need to take care of myself, and Mrs A and V.
Next Christmas will be better.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
She has a miserable cold or sinus infecction. She sounds terrible, but I'm still glad to see her.
So she wasn't at the family Christmas Eve party. Neither was one of my nephews and his wife. They were sick, as was his younger brother.
And of course R. was not around. Her last words to me were "I'm going to go get a gun and blow my brains out." I told her to go check herself into a clinic, that the kind of help she needed, I couldn't provide.
This will probably not be my favorite Christmas ever.
On a more positive note, I tasted Turducken for the first time. In case you dont know, it is a deboned chicken inside a deboned duck, inside a deboned turkey. It was good, but to me personally, not worth the time and expense.
Have one for me if you're having one,.
Yesterday was another challenging day in a string of challenging days. Today will be better. It had better be, or I want my money back.
Mrs. A flies back from Utah this afternoon. She managed to catch herself a dandy of a headcold or sinus infection. The cold dry air went straight to her sinuses.
It's going to be a busy morning. Yesterday afternoon, I made a batch of egg rolls, but I need to cook some of them up for our family Christmas Eve celebration. It took me about three and a half hours to roll 123 egg rolls, but then I didn't have anything better to do.
I am typing this on my new laptop. It's a HP with a 17" widescreen, full size keyboard and 10 key, and wireless internet card. Now I can blog from just about anywhere.
My family celebration starts at 1:00, and I have to clean the house, do some laundry, take Molly for a walk, and cook eggrolls, so I can pick up my mom at 12:30.
To quote Tigger, that Icon of instability,
Thursday, December 21, 2006
It was so wierd this morning. I mean, our mornings are so ritualized. She gets up at 5:15, goes down and watches Joyce Meyers, lets Molly out to pee, and comes up to take a shower. I get up at 6:00, and she will just be getting out of the shower. When I get out of the bathroom, it's downstairs to take my medication, collect my badge and cell phones. Kisses and out the door.
Except that this morning it was all different.
I stood there by the front door with a vague feeling of discomfort because a large piece of the morning ritual was missing.
Molly, the Shi-Tzu, is neurotic. She is "sensitive". If she sees the suitcases come out, she gets all wound up. When I took Mrs A. out to the airport last night, when I got home, the dog had been sick, pooed and peed inside and looked like she was expecting to be beaten. We don't beat the dog, ever.
So I sat down in the recliner, and she jumped up next to me and lay down and didn't budge for at least an hour. After an hour of reassurance, she went and got her toy and brought it too me, and we played for about 45 minutes, at which point she pointed out that her dish was empty. She followed me around all night, no doubt making sure I wasn't going to disappear on her.
Whe Mrs A. and R. had their fight, Molly spent most of the next week hiding behind the speakers in the Music Room. She kept barfing and developed diahrea, and we ended taking her to the vet. I think it was just nerves.
Today is the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. up here in the Northern tier, that translates to about eight hours of daylight.
It is also my last day of work this year.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
This will be the first time in her life she has travelled by herself, and she is a little intimidated. No, make that terrified. We have done a quite a bit of travelling since we got hitched, so it isn't as intimidating as it used to be, but she is still VERY uncomfortable. I honestly believe that five years ago she would have been unable to do it.
I will just advise her to just take another Zoloft and float through the whole thing. Or if I can get through Security, we will check in and go find a cocktail lounge and I will buy her a couple of stiff ones to settle her down.
But I think one way or the other she will need to be tranquilized.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Plus the temperatures have dipped into the low 30's and high 20's, and it is expected to stay cold for the next couple of days.
It is very hit and miss as far as power goes. You'll be driving down the street and there will be power on one side of the street, none on the other.
There are no generators to be bought anywhere. We were out and about on Saturday, and just out of curiosity I asked everywhere I went. They had pretty much sold out first thing Friday morning.
The check I was expecting came in Saturday, a couple of days late to do me any good. I had Mrs A. deposit it this morning. Vinnie and I may go down to Fry's tomight. For Christmas he wants to get RAM for the computer. I am going to get a new computer with part of the money, so my old computer will become his. He plays a lot of WARCRAFT on it, and has a problem with lag. We will go talk to the computer geeks and see if upgrading the RAM will improve performance. I think that once it is his, if he gets rid of the thirty shortcuts on the desktop, it will improve the performance. I am trying to decide if I want a desktop or a laptop Each has it's advantages.
I understand that my two brothers are still without power. I guess that's what happens when you move out far enough where there are trees all around. They have generators, so they will get by. At least as long as they have gas...
Saturday, December 16, 2006
People were crazy out there. Gas lines were a block long, traffic was bumper to bumper, and tempers were short.
A lot of people seem to operate by the Chicken Little Philosophy. Every little bump in the road is the end of Civilization as we know it.
We had purchased three wind-up flashlights for our trip to Mexico last Summer, and they served us well to get the camping gear out and the candles and all that. I have an 1890s oil lamp that I keep ready to go for just such times. It works just fine.
So I broke out the Coleman two burner propand stove to cook with, the hurricane lamp to see by, and a battery powered rado that does AM, FM, CB, and TV. We sat and listened to the TV news on the radio, talked, and Mrs A. wrapped Christmas presents by candle light.
The only problem was that we had no heat, but early to bed and a good down comforter took care of that.
Two bodies in close proximity sharing heat both stay warmer, as well as providing all sorts of entertaining possibilities.
I have been intending to buy a generator. I sold some shares in Boeing and have been waiting fot the check to come in. Of course the check came in today.
I will probably go ahead and buy a generator, thereby guaranteeing that the power will not go out again for the next ten years.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Right now there are over a million people in the Puget Sound area without power. My house is one of them. I don't know where the fault is, but it is probably a tree across the lines somewhere close.
Mrs A. asked me if I was going to work. I replied "It is dark and cold here. At work it will be warm and lighted and I can get a hot cup of coffee."
We are opperating on about a half crew today. The work hasn't slowed down, just the available bodies to do something about it.
Gotta run. Work beckons.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
A Misdewiener! !
You know darn well you're going to send this on to somebody
The dolphins had ingested some plastic and were in gastro-intestinal distress. Conventional means of removing the plastic had failed. So they enlisted the worlds talles man to come in and reach down their throats and retrieve the plastic (At least I assume that was the shorter route).
Good thing it wasn't a whale.
So, how far would yo goo to aid an animal in distress?
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Well, it was all you can eat.....
Our counseling appointment went very well yesterday afternoon. We both got something we needed, and Mrs A. got some insight into her own behavior that really struck home. The Therapist provided us with some suggestions which were very helpful. He always provides a perspective from a little outside the situation, so his insights are always useful. As always we left feeling more focused and positive. He helped us through a couple of things that had been causing friction between the two of us.
So afterwards we went to Todai's for all you can eat. And we did. Mrs A. isn't a big fan of sushi, so she stuck with the Tempura and coconut shrimp and teryiaki chicken and that kind of stuff. And went back for seconds. And the dessert section.
My first plate was the hot foods, like Mrs a, except I also got a couple of spicy dishes, and yakasobe. The second plate was the sushi. And yes I did get several that featured raw seafood. I really like the octopus and the spicy tuna roll. The third dish full was dessert. Fruit danish type stuff, chololate/coffee cheesecake, cheesecake with blackberry topping and a couple of others that I can't remember.
A 22 oz. Asahi Super Dry with dinner helped the food slide down.
We both groaned with pleasure while they rolled us out to the car.
My blood sugar was still through the roof this morning. I don't think I will need to eat for a couple of days.
Oh well, its what you do every day that determines you health, not what you do on one day.
But it may be the one day that determines the quality of your life.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Both Mrs. A and I have Christmas thank you feasts today at work. Hers is a lot more elaborate than mine, but there willl be no shortage of food. We will both graze lightly at the pastures at work, but only because we will do out serious eating later today.
We have a session with our Counselor this afternoon, and as always we will be going to Redmond Town Square afterwards for dinner.
Ever since I got together with Mrs A. I have been trying to get her to go to Todai's. It is an upscale all-you-can-eat sushi restaraunt. At first Mrs A. didn't want to go at all, because she thought that sushi meant raw fish. The raw fish stuff is sashimi, which is a kind of sushi, but not all sushi is raw. I bought her a couple of types of cooked sushi, and much to her surprise, she liked them.
Occasionally, she will pick up a sushi platter at the store, so her attitude has changed some.
I still wasn't able to get her to go to Todai's. Mainly because the restaraunt doesn't open for dinner until 6:00 and out appointments were always at 2:00.
Our appointment tonight is for 5:00, so we will be hitting Redmond Town Square at the right time.
At the Christmas party we went to last Saturday night, one of her friends was raving about Todai's, so that settled down her anxieties about the menu. I can't wait. Sushi and an ice cold Asahi Super Dry. YYUUMMMM!
So do you go for sashimi, or think it should be used as bait?
Monday, December 11, 2006
Hunched forward, with our shoulders firmly planted in the harness, head down, we plod forward.
Our task is never triumphantly complete. Each day brings another task, remarkably like yesterday's task.
Maybe there will be an extra potion of grain in our feedsack tonight. Maybe a well earned night's rest. Maybe not.
Our engines do not race the clock for time and distance.
Through sheer determination we plod. Through intertia we plod.
But behind the dull eye of the draft hourse, there is a beach..........
Saturday, December 09, 2006
OK, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration.
I am working both days this weekend, and that is a rarity. I considered it a personal success story when I could live off of my 40 hour a week salary. There are people here that work every available hour so they can buy all of the toys. Newer truck, bike, quads, boat. Upgrade the spouse.
What I don't understand is, if you are working all those hours, when do you get to play with the toys? And if you can't play with them, what good are they?
So I avoid ovetime whenever I can. But people get busy this time of year, and so I got thrown in the frying pan for this weekend. This is only the second time this tear, so I can handle it.
We have a Christmas party to go to tonight, but we will have to leave early, cause I have to get up at zero dark thirty tomorrow and rattle my chains out in the factory.
Not only do I have to be here, but they EXPECT ME TO WORK.
I can feel reality crumbling around me even as I type this............
Thursday, December 07, 2006
It's good to have everything all defined and set out.
I sat V. down last night and made a deal with him. He can play Warcraft, but I have his solemn promise that he will not be going over his time or getting up in the night and sneaking into the computer room to play. The agreement is that if he does it again, the game will be removed from the computer, and he will NEVER be able to play it again.
This isn't about playing a stupid RPG, it is about trust, and I explained to him that the implications go way beyond the computer. He will be eligible to get a drivers license (shudder) about a year from now, and if I can't trust him, he sure as hell can't take my car.
I have also broached the subject of Christmas Day with Mrs. A. I want to see all the kids and grandkids at Christmas, but she is still recovering from all the crap. She isn't nearly as resilient as I am. We have tabled the discussion until we go see the counselor on the 12th.
Things at work are pretty hectic as the first 737-700ER runs through the factory. They are even talking about bringing in extra support on the weekend.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I got an opportunity yesterday to buy a drill press for $50.00. A genuine industrial size 200 lb. five foot tall drill press. I have always wanted one, but they have always been a couple of hundred bucks, so when this one came up, I grabbed it. Vintage 1940s. but in perfect condition.
Today I had a meeting first thing in the morning, then the first 737-700ER loaded in Final Assembly today, and I am the designated point of contact for Electrical Problems. First of a customer/first of a model always means some emergent manufacturing problems, so I will be busy from now through at leaast the 20th, when it is supposed to roll out the door.
Gotta run, I need to put together a report on how the first day went.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Here's what is wrong with this country. A little crASS commercialism gone awry. A special occasion brew, crafted in England for the Holidays, will not be allowed by the State of Maine to be distributed because they find it's label either objectionable, or they feel that it would appeal to minors.
I know that living way up North the way they do, it must be difficult to find things to do this time of year, but rejecting this beer for its name or label smacks of Puratinism, you know, the comcept that somebody, somewhere might be having some fun and it's not a good thing.
When I brought up the plight of the importer up to my fellow workers, they wanted to know if I had ever had any Santa's Butt. I had to admit that I was not that close with Santa.
By the way, special occasion beers are generally stored in large oak barrels called "Butt"s, so the name is a sort of twisted pun.
That's probably why it appealed to me.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
If you like big band jazz, it was a real treat. Yeah, the music was of a different age, but it was the best there is at what it is. We had a great time. The food was good, and the music was world class.
Just what the doctor ordered.
I got out and did the repairs to my Z this morning, so it will be back on the road tomorrow. I love driving that car, and I have missed it.
Friday night Carol and I sat down and wrote out all the rules of the house. If the kids want to come here, they have to abide by the rules. It was a good exercise for us to sit down and write things out. We have discussed this a lot, but a thought is never complete until it is written down. It is also unfair to expect someone to respect a set of rules they have never seen.
So, we got it done.
Today R. came by to get some of her stuff, and I made her sit down and read the rules. Needless to say, she was not pleased. She told me she didn't love us any more and never would, she was going to change her name and move out of state.
Sounds like something a 12 year old would say.
Tough love isn't just tough on them, it is tough on us too.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I have made reservations for Mrs A, and I for dinner and the show.
With all of the crap we have been through recently we need and deserve to have a night out.
I'll let you know how it was.
But maybe not ALL the details.
The Count has gone on to blow some cool jazz with the celestial quior, but the band lives on.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
You are The Hermit
Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.
The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration,hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.
The Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. You do not desire to socialize; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. You prefer to take the time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent but these feelings eventually lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.
The Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Once Again I have stolen from Denny. If he didn't have such good stuff, I wouldn't steal it.
At the moment, it fits.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The roads this morning are a sheet of ice. I have lived around snow most of my life, and I think today was the worst I have ever seen.
I snowed some yesterday, and then most of it melted off, Then it started up again, but the water under the smow froze up. Then some of the snow on top melted, but a cold air mass from Canada invaded from the North, and it did what they call a flash freeze. Created this nice ice sandwich with snow filling.
Maybe it is all a plot by the Canadians to take over Microsoft.
I only live four miles from work, but I live on top of the hill and work is at the bottom. Going down the hill isn't too bad unless the light changes and you have to pretend you tried to stop. I say pretend, because it is not something you have any choice in. You can try, but it ain't happening, so it makes more sense to run the light than try to stop.
Your brake pedal is not your friend. I like having a stick shift so you can use the engine as the brake without stopping the tires from rotating.
I was only out of control briefly, a couple of times, when I was testing conditions to see how things were.
They were bad.
I told Mrs. A that I didn't want her driving today. If she was dead set on going to work, call a cab. And I gave her an extra $20 to pay the cab with. Only thing ism there are no available cabs, since about a million other people had the same idea.
Stay warm, stay dry, stay safe.
Monday, November 27, 2006
It started snowing yesterday morning, snowed on and off all day, and for us quit last night about 9:00. Right here, the streets are bare and wet, but if you go a few miles North or South it is not so good.
I woke up and turned on the news to see pictures of upside down vehilcles, fender benders, and cars in ditches. Lots of school closures to the North.
V. was bitterly disappointed that Renton School District was having school today.
Mrs A. has to take her car in today, because it failed emissions testing. I knew it was going to fail, but that's OK.
So here's a little paranoia theory for all of you conspiracy theory types.
Car manufacturers have added all kids of sensors all over the car. One of them that fails all the time is the Oxygen sonsor. It reads how much oxygen there is in the exhaust, If the levels are too high, it suggests that you are not getting complete combustion.
This sensor goes bad all the time. So it tells you that it is getting bad readings. Why? Because the sensor is bad. So when you go get emissions tested the machine says you are getting an error message. Not that there is anything wrong with the way the car runs, but you are getting an error message.
So you have to get the car to the repair shop so they can replace the sensor. That will cost you a couple of hundred bucks.
Does it really change anything?
No. Well, it does change your bank ballance, but nothing else.
If you spend the money to replace the sensor, and the car still fails, you get a waiver because
you already spent X amount of dollars.
The don't charge you for the second test, so you take the first test, knowing you will fail, go get the car worked on, get it tested the second time. If it passes, cool. If it doesn't, show them your receipt, and you get a get out of jail free card, and get passed anyway.
What a crock.
Friday, November 24, 2006
We raised all kinds of things on the farm.
It was primarily a dairy farm, but we raised chickens for the eggs and also for meat, pigs for the meat, cats to keep the rodent population down, dogs and horses for amusement.
One year we decided to try raising turkeys, just for the heck of it.
At that time I believed domesticated laying hens were the stupidest creatures on the face of the Earth. I was wrong. Turkeys have to be the holder of that dubious honor. A creature could not be stupider and still live.
We ordered a dozen turkeys from the supplier when we made our spring order for chickens, and they arrived at about the same time. When they ship the chicks, they throw in an extra, because they figure that one will die from shipping and handling. In this case all 13 arrived sound and healthy.
The instructions told us we had to teach the turkeys how to drink from whatever water dispenser we were using, because otherwise they would drown. You were to hold their head in the water until they swallowed and then take it out. Repeat once, and they got the idea.
One of the persistent folk tales is that turkeys will look up at the sky with their mouths open during a thunderstorm and die. I cannot attest to the truth of this, as we never lost any turkeys that way, but it strikes me as likely, seeing how dumb they are.
My little sisters decided that they would make a pet out of the extra turkey. Of course they named him "Lucky" and he had the run of the yard. Come slaughter time in the fall, Lucky got passed over. He grew to be huge. And mean.
The side yard was his territory, and he defended it fiercely. One of his major sources of amusement was to terrorize the dog. The dog at the time (Tschindi) was a half border collie, half coyote, and was the best mouser we ever had on the place. The turkey ambushed him almost daily.
Seeing as the turkey outweighed the dog by about 20 pounds, it was a pretty one sided battle. The turkey also ambushed anyone who wasn't paying attention. After getting ambushed a couple of times myself, every once in a while I would amble casually out into the side yard, and when Lucky was about ready to pounce, I would turn around and give him a good swift kick, and then run away before he could recover.
Down at the end of the driveway we had a power drop which ran the welder and a 120 volt outlet for an old beat up refrigerator. We kept fresh eggs in the refrigerator, which were for sale for 50 cents a dozen. My mother raised the laying hens, fed us all the eggs we needed and kept the "egg money" for little extras for her and the girls.
There was a box next to the refrigerator to deposit the money, so anyone could come by at any time to get eggs even if we weren't there. We trusted people to leave the money, and to the best of my knowledge no one ever stiffed us. If we were home, they would usually come by the house and have a glass of milk or a beer and visit a spell.
We were off at church on Sunday when someone came by to get a dozen eggs, and when we got home we noticed that the turkey was moving mighty slow. We went off on a berry picking expedition up Pack River, and picked several gallons of huckleberries.
When we got home we were greeted with a gruesome site. There were feathers guts and blood all over the side yard, and in the middle of them, chewing on a bone was the dog. He had figured out that Lucky was hurt and couldn't defend himself. He not only killed the turkey, he mutilated him. There was no piece left bigger than a pack of cigarettes.
He had paid that turkey back for every peck and every wing slap he had ever gotten, and looked mighty please with himself.
I get a certain satisfaction every year at Thanksgiving when we stuff the bird in the oven.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I just went down and checked on the bird. It is getting close to done. Wrapped in Bacon, stuffed, and smelling SSOOOOO good. I give it at least another half an hour before it's done. My tummy is rumbling already.
It is another rainy Northwest day, but I am inside and dry and warm.
It is a good sort of laid back day. Just Mrs A. and V. and I. I watched Pinks until I got tired of it, and then Mrs A. turned to the dog show, while I am reading a classic John D. McDonald Travis McGee novel. No great aspirations or plans, except for eating turkey and dressing and deviled eggs and matbe some cranberry sauce.
I have tomorrow off, like a lot of people. But I absolutely refuse to participate in the madness of the day after sales. There is nothing I need so bad that I would go battle the crowds for it. I would rather go to the dentist than go out tomorrow shopping.
I plan to just hunker down and take it easy and let the world go on without me.
Hope everyone out there in the blogosphere is having a great day.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
So I now decree Alville municipal code 1452397 which bans all whining for the rest of the year. I will think only positive thoughts, see the humor in all situations, and write only positive posts.
I will trust in the Lord and be thankful for the many good things in my life instead of the few negative things.
I have a loveing wife, who I need to pay more attention to. I have an intelligent and challenging grandson living with me who is a good kid, and I need to spend more time with him.
I am in reasonably good health, and have a superior mind. I am financially secure enough that I do not lay awake at night wondering how I am going to get the money to pay the bills.
I have a challenging and rewarding job. I am proud of what I do.
I have a whole bunch of family that would come running to my aid if I really needed help.
I have friends and faith, and a rock solid belief system that gets me through the toughest times.
I own my home, and while it is not payed off, another ten years and it will be.
So I hereby banish darkness and glum thoughts.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Supposedly her mom was suposed to rent a truck and get the last of her stuff to my house. No surprise, it didn't happen.
I am so sick and tired of trying so hard to make things happen when no one else even makes an effort.
The list goes on and on and on, but there is no payback.
I give up.
I talked back and forth with R. and she was supposed to meet me at her appartment when I got off work so I could help her move the last of her stuff that she is putting in our basement. You think that someone who is unemployed and doing nothing could at least get her butt over there in time. After all I am doing HER a favor by helping her.
But you would be wrong.
When I got home the little light on the phone was blinking. It was the school. V. has been using inappropriate language in the classroom again. He got detention. When the teacher called home to tell me, he beat me home, and erased the first two messages. I got the third. I read him the riot act. His reasoning was that since he wasn't screwing up as bad as everyone else, he should get off free. No such luck. I kicked him off the computer until I feel like letting him back on. The little shit.
R. didn't get to her appartment until 6:30. Mrs A, was furious, but I told her to back off. What the hell difference does it make to her what time I go to help R. I told her she was being unreasonable, which of course was like throwing gasoline on a fire.
I went and got a load of her stuff, and brought it home. While I was there I told her she was not welcome at Thanksgiving. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I drove home with tears in my eyes. I spent the remainder of the evening leaking around the eyes. Tough love is hard stuff on everyone involved.
At least I am pretty sure that today will be better than yesterday.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I had a frustrating weekend, and am having a frustrating day. My boss has given me an assignment that is almost guaranteed for failure.
R. was supposed to move furniture this weekend, so I set aside Saturday for the task, with the instruction to call me Friday night. She didn't. She also didn't call Saturday morning. I finally called her at 11:00, and she returned my call at 1:00. I wantes to be DONE by then, not thinking about getting started. Sjhe said she was going to call a friend who had a truck, and get back to me, but she didn't call back until 5:00. By then it was too damn late.
The boss wants me to do an in-depth analysis of the Electrical Engineering releases for the first 737-700 ER. The damn thing loads in 10 days, and there are about 1600 drawings to check. He also gave me the names of five people wh are supposed to help me.
I sent them a meeting notice, and not a single one of them has replied.
The meeting starts in 15 minutes, and as far as I know I am flying solo, the plane is on fire, and I have no parachute.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Yesterday when I got home, I needed to get out and check out why the clutch was not working properly in the Z (Despite the fact that it was raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock at the time). When I opened the double doors to the basement from the inside, I heard a scraping noise. I looked down and it was little pieces of trim going to one of the two little windows.
Someone had attempted to break into the house!
When the house was burglarized four years ago, that is how they gained entry. The doors have a vertical latch, a sliding catch and a 2 X 12 cross bar that I installed, so you can't just bust the window, reach in, and unlatch the door. The fact that the bar was in place says they couldn't get through.
But upon thinking about it, I decided I didn't like having glass in the window.
I had some 1/4" plexiglass laying around that was left over from some other project, so I cut it to size. Tight enough that it had to be helped into place with a hammer and a board. Then replaced the inside trim to hold it in place. And added a couple of extra nails.
Sure, you can still get in that way if you are determined enough, but you can ALWAYS get into a house if you don't care how much noise you make.
So I feel a little more secure.
But the little sentry in my head is on alert.
And I have given him live ammo.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This usually translates inot having a couple of projects. The downside is that I am working on and driving the cars at the same time. This reared its ugly head this morning.
Suddenly the Z didn't want to go in gear. I had to force the stick a little before it would go into gear. The clutch pedal also did not want to disengage. This means one of two things. Either I am leaking hydraulic fluid from the clutch, or the adjustment rod is out of adjustment.
I had an offsite meeting this morning, and when it was over, I could NOT get the car to shift into Low. I finally turned off the engine, and it slipped in to gear. I took it back home and switched cars to the Blazer.
The Blazer has no heat, so it is not my favorite, and it gets like 14 miles to the gallon. To fix the problem with the heat will be expensive if I don't do the work myself.
I should do something about the Blazer. Either fix it or trade it in on a new car. The practical side of me says to get a new Chevy HHR, which I like the looks of and is a good ballance of style and use. 3o+ miles to the gallon and a lot of interior space and it looks nice.
The not so practical side of me saw the new Saturn Sky on the road the other day and wants one real bad. Good gas mileage and a kick in the ass to drive.
Oh, whatever to do.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The bad thing is that she rolls over and asks "Honey are you awake? HONEY ARE YOU AWAKE??"
"I am now"
"Why do you think they did that?"
I am, of course supposed to immediately know what she is talking about. The scary part is that I usually do.
That is the bad part. Because she is having a hard time sleeping, I get awakened in the middle of the night, or early morning.
The good part is that she is now awake, and has to find something to do. So she does me. This is behavior I want to encourage.
So if I could cure her insomnia, would I want to?
Monday, November 13, 2006
I am SOOOOO proud of myself. I haven't had a weekend where I could do nothing in so long that I had forgotten what it was like. I played computer games, read a book, watched football on TV (GO SEAHAWKS!!!).
The truth of the matter is that Mrs A. has a cold, so she didn't want to do anything all weekend, and it didn't take a whole lot to convince me to do the same. It was contintuing to be overcast and rain and cold, so we just retreated into our shells and closed the doors.
We were supposed to go places and do things, but never left the house. I think we were just gathering our strength before the race to the end of the year. After all THANKSGIVING IS NEXT WEEK!!!
No need to panic.
Just center yourself, slow your breathing, and try to concentrate on the good things. Go to your happy place.
Everything is going to be OK.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Not something we have to worry about up here in Latteland lately. Hell, we even made the National News.
It has been raining for days and days. I was in the drivethrough at the local Starbucks when I looked out the window at the lake, er, I mean parking lot, and there was an honest-to-god salmon migrating towards the Fred Meyer.
It does this every year, especially in the Snoqualmie Valley. This brings the migration of Gor-tex clad reporters out of their concrete hovels to stand alongside the dependable flood spots to show the fish going across the road, the cows standing in the field, people wading down what used to be streets, and rowing around their neighborhood in fishing craft. They always act surprised.
I took Mrs A. around for her annual poking and prodding today. She hates driving on the freeway. So do I, but because I am the Male, I am expected to do it anyway. One of the obligations that comes with the equipment.
Who kills the ferocious spiders? The one with the penis. Who tunes up the car? The one with the testicles. Whe unplugs the stopped up toilet? The one with the package.
Oh well, the rewards are worth the hassle.
Got to crawl back under the blankets.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I was bummed because it was R.s birthday. I don't know where she is living or what she is doing. It was the first time I haven't had something planned, but given that the last time she was around, she threatened Mrs A.s life, I have told her not to come around until she has her head on straight.
She called last night and said she was thinking of coming by, and I had to tell her that it probably wasn't a good idea right now. I told her I would meet her for dinner and drinks, abd she said she would call me back. Of course she didn't.
I did my biggest Christmas shopping yesterday. Mrs. A. said she wanted to go visit her son in Utah Dec. 20th - 24th. So I got on the computer and reserved her flight for her last night. God, I love the Internet.
Back last summer we ponied up some money so her son and family could make the down payment on their first home. With all the money we have given to the girls the last couple of years, her son has gotten the short end of the stick because he takes care of himself and his family.
I can't get the time off, so Mrs A. will be going alone. On one hand I will miss her terribly. But it is only for a couple of days. Just long enough to be really happy when she gets back.
On the other hand it will be nice to batch it for a couple of days, sit around in my underwear, drink milk right out of the carton and leave the toilet seat up ALL the time. Don't tell me I don't know how to have fun.
So I felt like a bad father, a pisspoor husband and an ungratetful beast.
But I did make the reservation round trip, and made sure she was leaving her dog behind.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
1) One book that changed your life. Walden Pond By Thoreau, The Plague by Albert Camus, The Foundation Trilogy by Asimov. I could go on.
2) One book that you’d read more than once. I have read Walden about a half dozen times, the same for Tolkien’s Lord Of the Rings.
3) One book you’d want on a deserted island. The Bible. You could read it a thousand times and still find something new in it every time. The Collected Works of Shakespear as backup.
4) One book that made you laugh. English Creek by Ivan Doig A coming-of-age story in Montana. Parts of it are hilarious. I really like Ivan Doig's books.
5) One book that made you cry. Trinity by Leon Uris. Story of The Troubles in Ireland.
6) One book you wish you’d written. STAR by myself. I’m a severalthousand words into it but sort of high centered at the moment
7) One book you wish had never been written. Mein Kampf
8) One book you’re currently reading. The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Love all of their books. I think I have read everything they have published.
9) One book you’ve been meaning to read. Nothing on the horizon at the moment.
Monday, November 06, 2006
This weekend was my mom's 80th birthday. All of the kids were together for the first time in many many years. We tried to figure out when was the last time we all had been together. We never could come to a consensus, but it was probably some time in the late 70's or early 80's.
There are seven of us kids, three boys and four girls. We are all intelligent, opinionated, outspoken people. Hell, I am one of the quieter ones. I know some people out there find that difficult to believe.
I was counting up, and figured that there were 21 people there at Mom's Birthday party. And that is just immediate family. It was a loud and boisterous group.
Mrs A. had an anxiety attack. She suddenly could not get enough air, and had to get outside. It took her several minutes to get it together. She had been dreading seeing my son and her former friend and their new baby. There is some bad blood there, and having them show up pushed her over the edge. I have had a panic attach before, and it is no fun at all. She is OK and after she calmed down we went back inside and she was able to keep it together.
She felt pretty embarrased afterwords. Oh well, keep it in perspective. I don't love her any less.
So we kept a pretty low profile on Sunday. Went grocery shopping, and I cooked pork tenderloin baked in Cranberry Chutney. It was delicious. Watched some tube, took a nap, went to bed early. I am fighting a cold or something, so I feel pretty drained. Wish I could just curl up under my desk and take a nice long nap.
Friday, November 03, 2006
As I said yesterday, we had a appointment with the headshrinker yesterday. It went very well. We got a lot of positive validation and some good advice.
Afterwards we like to go to Redmond Town Center to wander around and get something to eat. We went to the Golden Chopsticks to eat. Good food, very relaxing, good service and a couple of Asahi Super Dry beers had me in a good mood. A little shopping. Got what I needed. Mrs A. wanted to do some recreational shopping but I whined my way out of it. To me shopping is about as recreational as the dentists chair. Mrs A. loves to shop, and just doesn't get how it could be so stressful for me. Someday I am going to drop dead while being dragged around shopping. My headstome will read "I told you I didn't like shopping."
But I manged to get out of any extended shopping. Maybe I would have been better off to have stayed a little longer.
I like to drive back roads. A passenger once remarked that , given a choice I would take four back roads rather than one major road. I don't deny this. For the most part I enjoy driving.
Not last night. There are three main ways to get back to our house from Redmond. I, of course, took the long way around Lake Samamish and down Sunset Hiway. Traffic came to a screeching halt as soon as it was too late to turn around. There had been an accident. So once traffic got screwed up, it never got better.
It was pouring rain like a cow peeing on a flat rock, it was pitch black and all I could do was follow the tail lights in front of me. If the guy in front had driven off the road, I probably would have gone right after him.
I took over two hours to do what normally takes about forty-five minutes. By the time I got home, I was exhausted.
Aside from that It is my Mom's 80th birthday on Saturday. It will be the first time all of us kids will be together in about ten years. I have a couple of sisters that live in Minnesota and we don't see each other very ofter, so it will be nice to have everyone together.
I have been tasked to bring egg rolls for the party. I guess that now that it is getting into the Holiday season, we need to sit down and make another batch, because we are going to be requested to bring them to every potluck and celebration from now to New Years.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I can tell her ten thousand times that she is doing the absolute right thing, and I might as well be talking to the dog.
However if a complete stranger came up to her in the street, and told her the exact same thing, she would be quoting them for weeks.
Oh well, if it helps her keep her head together, it's all good.
I worked in the Psychiatric Service in the Army, so there isn't anything new or intimidating for me. I have already been headshrunk by the best.
My boss in the Army was M. Scott Peck, the author of "The Road Less Travelled". In his book, he writes about The Techs. I was one of the Techs. Working with Scott was a very interresting time in my life, and an experience that has stayed with me my entire life. It gave me a perspective on life and behavior that prepared me well for later life.
I like to tell people that being the liaison officer for the locked psychiatric facility was good preparation for management at Boeing.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
13 Random Things You Like:
1) Reading a good book
2) Good conversation with intelligent people.
4) A good steak, like flank, done JUST SO on the BBQ
5) Salsa. I like my home-made the best
6) Love making on a lazy Saturday afternoon
7) A good long hike in the mountains, or at the beach
8) Good live Jazz with dinner
9) The feeling you get when a fish takes your dry fly right in front of your face.
10) Pushing my 1977 Datsun 280 Z right to the edge of losing control, but never losing it.
11) Lying in bed with Mrs. A. listening to the rain on the roof, nice and snug and dry.
12) Beer. As Benjamin Franklin put it “Beer is proof that God loves us.” Amen, Ben.
13) The laughter of a child. It always makes me feel that things are right with the world
12 random movies you like:
1) Lord of the Rings
2) As good as it Gets
3) Romancing the Stone
4) Indiana Jones: The last Crusade
5) Second Hand Lions
6) The Stand
7) Little Big Man
8) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
9) Batman Returns
10) Citizen Kane
12) The African Queen
11 Random things you dislike intensely:
1) Going to the Dentist
2) People who drive like idiots.
3) Anyone who tries to make themselves appear better by degrading those around them
5) Having to work on the Plumbing
6) Stepping in dog poop.
7) People who abuse animals
8) Freezing cold when I can’t get warm,
10) Earwigs. Thanks to an episode of Twilight Zone where they dropped one in a guy’s ear.
11) Centipedes. I got bit in the ass by a 12” long centipede when I was on Okinawa and nded up in the hospital.
10 random things about me
1) I am an artist. I have actually sold paintings for money
2) I have had several poems published
3) I like to work on cars, especially sports cars.
4) I love kids. I get along with them very well. Maybe because we have a similar mentality.
5) I married the same woman twice. I also divorced her twice.
6) I like working with my hands.
7) I am a good cook. I love cooking, but I don’t always have the time for it.
8) Mrs. A. and I are roadies for a Christian Rock band.
9) I went to Mexico last summer on a mission to an orphanage.
10) we sponsor a child at the orphanage.
9 random people you last spoke with:
1) The other Al at work. He just had oral surgery last Friday and just came back to work today. We have the same Periodontist.
2) M. the lead guy, comparing salsas. I brought in salsa and chips to work today.
3) Mrs. A. I can’t go out the door in the morning without a goodbye kiss and telling her I love her
4) V. He didn’t get a 90% on his math test because he didn’t read the instructions properly, so he only got 84%.
5) Marty. Hadn’t seen him in a quite a while. Had to give him a ration of crap.
6) CD, one of the most intelligent people I know. A little witty repartee always lightens the load
7) The Lunch Lady. She has a British accent. I always liked the sound of a British accent.
8) L. the shop investigator on second shift. We always BS a little as we pass each other.
9) S. one of the engineers. Comparing notes on last night’s episode of Myth Busters.
8 random favorite foods
1) Steak. I was raised of beef, and I can’t imagine living without it
2) Salsa and Chips, but only some brands. I am REAL fussy.
3) Shrimp. Can’t get enough of them. Shrimp Gumbo I made myself from scratch .
4) Cheesecake. I am diabetic, and I control it very well, but don’t get me near cheesecake
5) Thai food. Three stars, just enough to get you to break out in a light sweat
6) Ice cream. I know, I know, it’s bad, but once in a while?
7) Home made jams. Raspberry, black berry, strawberry
8) Veggies and dip.
7 random favorite comedians
1) The Marx Brothers
2) Laurel and Hardy (This is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into”)
2) Robin Williams. He can be a little off the wall, but what a trip!
3) Bill Cosby
4) George Carlin
5) Johnathan Winters
6) Jeff Foxworthy
7) Reba McIntire
6 random pets you have had
1) Spot the English Water Spaniel (Chow hound)
2) Molly our Shi Tzu
3) Chico the Rottweiler
4) Napoleon the Emperor Scorpion
5) Slither the Trans-Pecos Rat snake
6) Tons of tropical fish
5 random shows you never miss
1)Myth Busters. Never mess a semi-legitimate reason for blowing stuff up
2) Antiques Road Show
3) Monk. Best detective ever.
4) CSI Whatever. Some times they get into some REALLY weird stuff
5) Nature shows on The Discovery Channel
4 random shows you do not watch
1) So-called reality shows. Let me take there jerks out in the woods and I’d have them all calling for their mamas in a matter of hours
2) Dubious talent shows.
3) Anything with Donald Trump. The man is a complete ass.
4) Poker Tournaments. So what if someone I never met and could care less about bluffs someone else I will never meet?
3 random people you would like to meet in person
1) Benjamin Franklin. I’d like to sit down over a couple of brews and talk philosophy.
2) Leonardo Da Vinci. Of course I would need an interpreter,
2 random famous people you admire
2) Bill Gates for his foundations and charity work
1 random person whose brain you would like to pick over dinner
1) Again, Ben Franklin. His width and depth of thought is amazing. And after all, he is the man that said “Beer is proof that God loves us.”
Monday, October 30, 2006
But sometimes reality bitch slaps you in the face, and you just can't ignore it.
The first frost of the year is that way. Although you know that summer is over, you grasp at the last vestiges of sunshine and warmth, cozied up in your denial like a baby with its blankie.
And the next thing you know, you are out there in your winter coat with your gloves on, scraping ice off of the windshield. Gone are the illusions of summerhood. The question on your mind at the moment is "Is that water or black ice on the road?"
This is no daydream B.S. question like you are normally contemplating at this time of morning. We are talking the possibility of injury, mayhem, destruction and maybe a scratch on your car.
Will the overpass be iced over? SHould you take the long way around and avoid the possible mess?
And all this before the morning coffee kicks in.
Oh well, adrenalin has a way of waking you up.
As the old poem has it:
The frost is on the pumpkin
and the fodders in the shock
and your cars in the ditch
or something like that...........
Friday, October 27, 2006
All of his teachers said basically the same thing. V. is the smartest kid in class, but does barely enough to get by. He should be getting straight As. Blah, blah, blah. No news here.
Except for a new ripple in the stratosphere.
V. has always talked too much in class. Except now he is using words that are not acceptable in an institution of higher learning. Holy Shit! I wonder where that came from.
We have noticed a predeliction to scatology in his vocabulary recently, and have warned him about it. I guess it's time to break out the cuss jar.
Every time someone uses a cuss word, they have to donate a quarter to the cuss jar.
I am already planning the trip to China on the proceeds.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I was a big fan of Simon and Gatfunkel. "Bridge over Troubled Water" is still and incredible performance. Their words and music fit so well together. I mean, literate lyrics, and soulful sounds, right there together.
R. called last night. I had left her a message to get ahold of me.
I knew that after last weekends grudge death match with Mrs. A. that his would not be an easy conversation, but I don't want to lose touch with her completely.
She started off with a surly "You wanted me to call?"
I explaned that we needed to talk, because things were pretty messed up. We kinda did a little "She said, I said", but when I brought up the fact that she had threatened to kill Mrs. A. she completely denied it!
I told her "I was standing right there when you said 'I will kill you, bitch'. I am not imagining it"
So she told me I was lying, and then left me listening to the sounds of silence.
I wsh she would go get some help.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
It made me think of this story.
When I was stationed on Okinawa, the members of the Psychatric Service hung out a certain bar, Mama Susies. That wasn't the real name of the bar, but I can't remember the real name.
Mama Susie was a retired madam, and she knew everyone in town. If you wanted some companionship, all you had to do was mention it to Mama Susie, and she would send out word. The Girls had to pass her muster before she would hook you up. She was in her 60s, and she was a real hoot.
We found out that she had a niece that needed gall bladder surgery, but they couldn't afford the blood required for the operation. At that time, blood was going for $600.00 a pint, and they needed six pints.
I checked in with the brass, and the Army would not allow us to go to the Okinawan Hospital to give the blood. We would have to give the blood at the aid station, and then transport it down to Naha.
So I got together five other guys and we went into the aid station and gave blood. We brought along a cooler and ice, and loaded the blood in the cooler.
We went out and waved down a cab. He wanted to know what we had in the cooler. We looked at each other, and without saying a word, flipped open the cooler.
The poor taxi driver's eyes got huge, he got very agitated, and started yelling in Japanese at us. I didn't understand a single word he said except for "#10 GI, #10 GI" as he sped away.
We finally called in an on-base taxi, who took us to the Oknawan Hospital. He kept looking in his rear view mirror very nervously for the whole trip. But we did manage to get the blood taken care of and delivered.
The operation was a complete success.
I could do no wrong at Mama Susies. When I ordered a drink I would get a water glass full of whatever brand I wanted with just a little mixer. I never needed more than one. And she wouldn't take my money.
The only problem was she kept trying to marry me off to her "Nieces".
And there was one........
but that's a different story.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
and the gypsy woman said?
and you were gone?
Pick a line.
I woke up with a screaming migrane headache, so I chose to take a day of sickleave. If it wasn't for all the other crap going on right now I might have toughed it out, but all my resources and reserves have been used up.
It's a good day to just turn over and pull the covers over my head.
Except that when I got up. I discovered that the computer was hosed. It took me about an hour to get it up and running.
Mostly I just need some peace and quiet, and to be left alone for a while.
Except, of course for you.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Who the heck sang that anyway?
Clown's to the left of me.
Jokers to the right
Here I am
Stuck in the middle with you.
Things seem to have drfted back from the edge of the ice and are meerly teetering along on the thin part 0f the ice. I feel like if I make the slightest misjudgement, it will all collapse and I will fall through into the dark and the cold.
I can't walk away amd I can't go forwards or back.
So here I am
Stuck in the middle.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I talked to John on Friday night to say that I wasn't going to come up to Kenmore just to drive back down south, but would meet them at Mission Creek. That way I got to sleep in.
Mrs. A. was not going to go, because her dog, Molly is sick. We took her into the Vet on Thursday night, and she is still having problems. Nobody knows what is wrong with her, but she keeps throwing up and has the squirts.
So I slept in, and was just getting ready to leave when R. showed up. She immediately went over to the couch and crashed.
Mrs. A. asked her where was the DVD she "Borrowed" a week earlier, and she said it was still in somebody's car. Mrs. A. got on her case, and one thing led to another and it got out of hand. There were a lot of things said, very loudly, and then it got ugly. Punches were thrown, hair was pulled and lots of shoving and swinging.
I was stuck in the middle of it all, trying to keep them separated. Eventually R. was asssisted in leaving.
I changed all the locks in the house.
When I got up this morning Mrs. A. was packing. She said she was leaving.
She handed me a note that basically said that she had cost me my family, and I would be better off without her.
A whole bunch of tears and talk later, she said she would stay if I asked her to, which I did. And she did.
I am glad I was here Saturday, because who knows where things would have ended up. At one point, I restrained R. from going for the knife rack. It might have ended up with one in the hospital and the other in jail. Or worse.
I'm always stuck in the middle. If R. is not going to clean up her life, it is better if she doesn't come around. I guess I don't have to worry about that for a while.
I fell like I've been run over by a train.
Or maybe two of them.
Friday, October 20, 2006
No. no, no not like that.
I'm going with Morning Light for a concert to the Women's Correctional Facility at Mission Creek, ouside Belfaire, Wa.
It will be a busy and confusing day, partly because Mrs A will not be accompanying me. Her dog, Molly is ill, and she can't bring her, and she can't leave her home. So Mrs A. will stay home with Molly while I go to prison. Hope she doesn't forget about me.
We have been doing this for a couple of years, but this will be my first time solo. It will be a little uncomfortable without her, but I will do it anyway, because we have made a commitment, and I take that very seriously.
Not a lot of people choose to minister to the incarcerated. It is very uncomfortable when those big doors go CLANG behind you, and there is a whole set of other gates before you.
But this is probably the most appropriate audience in the whole world. About 80% of the people in low security facility facilities are there for drug and alcohol related offences. The Message of the band is that it is possible to have a whole lot of fun without drugs and alcohol.
And of course that you need to find a higher calling in your life.
Although it is backgound, they always sign off with their song "King of Kings" because that is what the message is.
When you lay down tonight, think about your life and ask "What am I doing and where am I going."
Talk to God and maybe you will find the answer within your self.
My weekend will, if nothing else, help to provide a channel that someone might use to get to a different place.
What did you do with your weekend?
Thursday, October 19, 2006
My smart mouth has gotten me in considerable trouble over the years.
Here is an example:
In the early months of 1967, my friend Dave and I decided to move to San Francisco and become hippies.
On the way down, we stopped at his Aunt and Uncles place in Oroville, Cal. They put us up for the weekend.
We had just gotten out of High School (and were on our way to a different kind of high scool). He had a female cousin who was a senior, and it was Girls League night at the bowling lanes, so we went to say hi to his cousin and all the girls. There were all sorts of possibilities.
The next day, Dave's Aunt was in a traffic accident and wrenched her back, and could not drive. It was her day in the car pool to drive the girls home from school.
Would we mind giving the girls a ride home from school? Oh it would be a terreible burden to give a ride home to a car full of nubile young ladies , but we were just the guys for it.
We were driving Dave's taxi-cab yellow custom Plymouth. (Think Christine in hysteria)
We drove over to the school, and waited in the parking lot.
The Police pulled in behind us. The officer motioned that Dave should roll down his window. Dave complied.
"Did you know it is against the law in the State of California to loiter on School Property."
He had noticed that we were sporting Washington plates. That and the car itself made us mighty suspicious. Not to mention our long hair and paisley pants.
Well, me and my big smartass mouth replied "According to Webster's Dictionary, Loiter is defined as to consume time idly and without purpose. We, however, are here with a very specific purpose." Oh why do I do it? Some times I am my own worst enemy.
The officer turned several interresting shades of red, tending towards purple.
He informed us that we had better get out and not look back.
So I had to ask "You see that street over there? if we go park on the other side of the street, is that School Property, or public domain?"
He turned an interresting shade of puce and ordered us to leave NOW!!!
So we went and parked across the street and were immediately arrested. Handcuffs. Back of the patrol car. Fingerprinted. The big holding cell door went CLANG!. One call, wait four hours to get bailed out.
All charges were dropped and we pleaded probable cause so we couldn't sue for false arrest.
One of the girls we were to give a ride home was the Prosecuting Attorney's daughter, and he was NOT happy about her having to find an alternative ride home.
That is the extent of my arrest record.
And I could have probably avoided that except for my big smartass mouth.
Did I learn from this experience?
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Only last night Mrs a. just told her "Not our problem. You and N. had better figure out how to tale care of it, cause A. and I have resigned as the national bank and help agency. If N. is not capable of taking care of you and the kid, you are facing some hard choices. Leave N. Stay with N. and put the kid up for adoption. Put the kid in foster care. You need to figure it out."
I was proud of her.
Afterwards she asked "Am I a bad mom?"
I told her she was such a bad mom that I heard they were asking for her resignation fom the Mommies Union. They were taking her picture out of the mommies manual and burning all the back copies.
Until she realized I was pulling her leg, I thought she was going to belt me.
Who's a smart ass?
You talkin' to ME?
I in all seriousness, told her that if she continued to enable their bad behavion, THAT would make her a bad mom.
But all in all, things seen to be stabilizing.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
This is kinda bittersweet.
We found out third hand. Both Mrs A and the DIL work at the Credit Union. In fact DIL introduced me to Mrs A. So when the baby was born, all of DILs friends knew, and one of them forwarded the e-mail to Mrs A. who forwarded it to me.
This is all because Mrs A and DIL are feuding. Mrs A would make up in an instant, but DIL is a hater and grudge holder. My son has turned into a pussy-whipped spineless wimp. He never calls V any more and has not done anything with him since July.
What are they thinking?
I hope it is the most colic prone crying little snot ever was.
I am going to sneak down there and feed him Coca-Cola until his little head spins in circles.
I will buy him ridiculously loud and obnoxious toys.
Welcome to the world Elliot Alexander Warren, ever after to be known as E.
Best of luck to you.
Monday, October 16, 2006
The Church has parking lots on three sides. The second view is part of the South lot, There were more bikes out further, but I liked this view of the bikes lined up in the first row. The first shot is of the East lot. I didn't include the West lot because I didn't have a shot I liked.
The two other shots are of bikes that Russ designed. They are both really nice and really original. Both won trophys in custom bike shows.
The Memorial service was very tastefully done, although I did not know Russ could walk on water and change water to wine.
I on the other hand, can change wine back into water.
The ride and Memorial Service were covered on the local news. It was SRO. The chapel seats 1500, but there were people standing in the aisles and along the walls, and in the foyer and outside. There was enough black leather to upholster a herd of Black Angus and enough chains and zippers to start a small hardware store.
There was a ton of food and drink for the reception, and NO ALCOHOL.
I saw badges and colors from a half a dozen different motorcycle clubs. Everyone got along just fine. If you are a people watcher, this was the place to be.
It was a little disconcerting to glance over at the 250 lb, black leather clad, bearded and tatooed colors wearing bad-ass looking biker to watch him wipe a tear from the corner of his eye.
I was glad to be there for my sis. She was pretty shaken up by the whole thing. She doesn't like being center stage.
smoke em' if you have em'
Friday, October 13, 2006
He gave my brother Bill a great deal on a 100th Anniversary Road King, and that gains him points in my book.
Russ was the Golden Child. He had it all. All the toys, the cars, the big house on the lake, and connections all over the West Coast (and beyond). More money than he knew what to do with.
I was green with envy for the things he had, but here I am living and he is not. All of the things he had couldn't give him one extra moment when his number came up. I feel so sorry for his daughter and his mom and dad, and the rest of his family.
I didn't particularly like Russ. He was so arrogant and self assured. To be fair to him, my perceptions were skewed because he had all the things I wanted. He was a very tallented custom bike builder, and won all kinds of awards for his bikes. He could schmooze with the best of them, and managed to keep things on an even keel under some pretty chaotic circumstances.
He got along with everyone.
I remember R. talking about The Banditos coming down when she worked there and basically taking over the store. But Russ kept it all under control. He did equally well when Evil Kenival was there demanding attention.
So I will go out and get a small bottle of Crown Royal tonight and sit down and toast Russ.
Russ, wherever you are I hope they have a special fast machine for you, be it helicopter, car, boat or bike. Your flame burned too bright and went out too quickly.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
It always helps to write it down, get it out. Think of it as popping a big mental Zit. It hurts like hell until it is done, but a lot of relief afterwards.
So yesterday was one zit-popping pus draining post.
But I'm much better now.
So the memorial for Russ is Saturday. I was talking to my sis last night and they are expecting about 5,000 motorcyclists from all over the Northwest.
The chapel only seats 1,500.
It is going to be a complete circus. Little sis wants me there for support, and I want to be there for her and her hubby. One of my other sisters called her up yesterday and asked if she wanted her and mom to come, but she told them they didn't need to go, because Al would be there.
Guess I'm stuck now.
If nothing else, it should be entertaining.
I'll take pictures.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Like the wounds are too fresh and it is uncomfortable poking at them.
Let's start off by saying last weekend was not the best weekend I've ever had.
R. called Saturday morning and asked me to come and get her. There was some cursing involved. She was pissed at her room mate and wanted to move back home. As long as she is straight and making a sincere attempt too clean up her life, it is OK with me.
Mrs. A went off to the gym to work out. I had agreed to do the brakes on her Pathfinder, so I went down to the Auto Parts store and got new front pads. I waited for her to come home
Four hours later she rolls into the driveway, so I can finally get started on the brakes. She pops out of the car and says "Let's go to Chang's for lunch." Well R. had just had a long conversation with her room mate and wanted to go back to her place, so I said "OK, but let me run R. home first."
Mrs A came unglued. After ranting and raving for a couple of minutes, she went and found R and lit in to her "Would you please make up your mind what the HELL you are doing.....blah, blah,blah"
R got pisseed off and stormed off saying "I'll walk, you old witch" and refused my offer of a ride. I haven't seen or heard from her since. She was having a real hard time getting herself straight, and Mrs A just dropped a turd in her punchbowl.
I have been worried about Mrs As mental state lately. Now that we have our house back and everything, I figured she would relax and lighten up. If anything, she has gotten worse. She goes aroung crying for no apparent reason. I mean, nothing bad is going on, but she has worked hersulf into such a state that tears start.
She said maybe it would be better if she just moved out. Now, nothing had happened between the two of us, just between her and R. This came from WWAAAYYY out in left field.
After spending considerable time and effort with her, she calmed down, and finally she asked "Do you think we are going to make it? You know, stay married?"
This is not the first time she has asked this, but it was the first time I couldn't be sure of the answer.
Then on Sunday, my brother-in-law's brother was killed in a hellicopter accident.
I just don't want to think about any of this shit any more.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Heisenberg was a physicist. He came up with the idea that you could never be 100% certain what the position of an electron was in the subatomic world, because just by observing it, you had altered it. In other words, you could tell where it USED to be, but could never predict where it currently was, or where it would be.
This is called Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle.
This is a very important scientific theory, because it signals the end of the Clockwork Universe theory, and is considered by many to be the father of Chaos Theory.
For centuries, scientific theory was that through observation we could ultamitely predict atomic behavior if we just knew enough facts about the laws that govern it. In a gross sense this theory works, but when observing complex systems in nature, you cannot predict thier bahavior over time. Weather models can predict the future for only a very short time, then the variance from the models very quickly expands to the point of uselessness.
One explanation of this is called the Butterfly Effect. If a butterfly in the steppes of Russia flaps his wings, it causes a rainstorm in Paris.
The simple explanation goes something like this: A herd of caribou is feeding. A caribou sees a spot of color and goes over to investigate. It turns out to be a butterfly, who upon seeing the caribou, becomes disturbed, and flys off. This in turn startles the caribou, who gallops off, in turn startling the leader of the herd, who thinks something must be terribly wrong.
The herd leader running off causes the whole herd to gallop off, raising a large cloud of dust. This dust travels in the air, and provides the condensation nucleus for rain which in turn causes a rainstorm in Paris.
Is this predictable? no way.
Up with Chaos!
Friday, October 06, 2006
For instance I can have a couple of beers, but if I have more than a couple, I will be up all night with an upset stomach. Same with Pizza. Any more than two slices guarantees a restless night.
So last night I had three slices of pizza and four beers. I woke up at 2:30 with my digestive track making the most entertaining noises. Repeated doses of Pepto didn't really do anything for me.
I tossed and turned and didn't really get back to a solid sleep, but drifted in and out of awareness.
The trouble was, I kept having nightmares.
In the first one, I was riding in a bus around Alki, across the bay from Seattle, when it was hit with a carpet bombing attack. Skyscrapers were falling, fires were burning, and a fighter turned and headed for the bus. I could see the water spouts as the machine gun rounds walked across the water towards the bus. I was trying to figure out how to get out when the rounds started hitting the bus.
I woke up in a sweat, looking for a way out.
When I drifted out to lala land again, I had managed to make it home, but someone had nailed all of the doors shut, covered over the windows, and set the house on fire with Carol and I inside. I had to pry a sheet of plywood off of the big window in the living room, and jump through the glass to escape.
When I got outside a guy was over in front of the house with a knife, cutting the hose in two so that I couldn't put out the fire. I was too late to stop him.
So I picked him up by the throat with my left hand and stated pounding him in the solar plexus as hard as I could. I pummelled him into unconsciousness, then woke up.
Although I was still real tired, I was also relieved when the alarm went off.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
We started telling critter stories, and I remembered this one:
We had a family of squirrels that lived in to top of and old lightning struck Pine in the back of the yard. I have no great feeling for squirrels one way or the other, but females seem to find them "Cute".
So my daughter and my ex decided to hand feed them on the deck right off of the living room. After a couple of months, they had gotten to the point where the squirrels would take food from their hands. They would wait outside the sliding glass door, and all you had to do was crack the door open, and stick your hand out, and they would come up and take food right from your hand.
I wasn't real enthused about it. I could see a home invasion in the near future.
R. had gone to the store with her mom and gotten a big chocolate bar. She had taken the outer wrapper off, realized she was going to want a glass of milk to go with it, laid it down on the floor still in it's silver wrapping, and gone off to the kitchen.
A squirrel had been watching from out on the deck. The sliding glass door was open.
Mr. Squirrel darted in and started dragging her candy bar away.
"Hey R. you better get out here and rescue your candy bar. Your friend the squirrel just stole it!"
She comes running out of the kitchen as he makes his break for the door, R. in hot pursuit.
The candy bar was heavy enough that he couldn't jump up on the handrail of the deck and into the tree beside it.
But he was determined to keep it. So they ran around and around the deck for several circuits.
Finally he got tired dropped the candy bar and fled. R. brought the candy bar in and I looked it over. Other than a few tooth marks in one corner it was still fine, so I trimmed off the chewed on part and let her eat the rest of it.
I sure wish I had had a cam corder at the time.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Yeah, the Seven Dwarves going off to their mine.
Did you ever stop to think that if you walked up to someone in certain parts of the country and started the conversation with those words, you'd likely end up with a mouthfull of bloody chicklets?
This was a good weekend. We went up to Bremerton with the band for a show at the Roxy theater. The band was in fine form. Too bad there wasn't a larger crowd.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn. It was Mrs A. and me and V. and R. We ate dinner at a Pizza place around the corner from the Hotel. Best Pizza I have eaten is a long time.
The Plaza outside the Hotel has a real cool fountain. It has a program that lasts about 20 minutes with all sorts of spurts and splashed chasing each other around the fountain. Watching the kids around the fountain was a real trip.
When we came back home, I took the long way, down the Eastern shore of Hood Canal. It was a beautiful drive, with the fall leaves just beginning to turn, the sun shining off the water and filtered though the trees. They air had that early fall kinda blue haze to it. I took some random turns and wandered in and out of the National Forest. We stopped and gawked and talked.
It was how short road trips are supposed to be.
Friday, September 29, 2006
We are going to Bremerton this weekend with the band for a show. We are spending the night in a Hotel, so it will be a nice change. Since the performance is in a theater, we don't have to set up lights and sound system, just the drums and a couple of speakers and maybe a spare amp, and the keyboard. That will leave up plenty of time to just relax, go to dinner, and listen to the show.
Yesterday was an absolutely perfect fall day.
I woke up feeling so good, I decided I felt too good to go to work. I have been in need of a day all by myself for quite some time now. I haven't been able to take one for the last six months, and since the kids moved out, I have been waiting for the "right" day.
I slept in, I read a book some, I went and got my hair cut, I went out and looked at cars, wrote in my blog, curled up and took a nap (without any threat of being disturbed!)
It was gloriously, totally quiet.
I could feel the tension leaving like the water in the bathtub when you pull the plug.
In the evening R and a friend came by. Ms. B came over with brownies baked in the shape of a heart, and all was well with the world.
Life is great when the clouds clear and the sun breaks through and you find yourself standing in a beam of light.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
It was Ms B, the lady next door, and she was a little shaky and shrill. She is a very nice single mom with two girls, the oldest in her last year of middle school. Her former husband lost his job and couldn't find another, so he ran off to Florida and divorced her.
I occasionally do guy stuff for her. NO NOT THAT KIND OF STUFF. Sheesh, get your mind out of your pants.
"There's a rat in the toilet, what should I do?!!"
I talked to her while trying to find my BB gun, but it was nowhere to be seen.
After a little thought I asked her if she had a bowl shaped pasta strainer. No, but she had a flat one. I told her I would get my bowl shaped strainer and be over in a minute.
After being guided to the throne room, I flipped the lid, and sure enough, there was a full grown live rat.
I scooped him up with the pasta strainer and put the flat strainer over the top. Rat under control. Of course he was not happy with the situation and was trying to escpae, but I kept the lid firmly in place.
"I don't have a cage or anything, what do we do with him?" inquired the lady. She is the sort that couldn't stand to have me crush his little vermin ridden skull right there on the batroom tile.
"Tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to take him for a little walk, and I'll be back with your pasta strainer in a little bit."
I had a cardboard box that was covered in plastic. about 12" square and only had a small opening. I sprayed Mr. Rat down with Thrust to calm him, and dropped him in the box. I then sprayed some more into the opening and then covered it.
Thirty seconds later Mr Rat was anesthetized.
I went over to return the strainer and told Ms B that he had taken a long and permanent nap.
That would have been a real shock. Lift the lid, prepared to expose your most sensitive parts, glance down and there, swimming in the bowl is a big hairy wet rat. It would make you reluctant to expose yourself, make yourself vulnerable.
Of couse, being male I would never have the problem. I never put the seat down except when I have to.
Got any dragons you need slain? Princesses you need rescued from a fate worse than death?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Whenever Fall rolls around in the great cyclic spiral, I go back in my mind to previous Autumns. A lot of good things happened in late Summer, early Fall.
Here's a memory from one October a long time ago.
We had gone out to the U. District to score some weed. I used to hang out there a lot, so I knew a lot of people. Bruce, J.B, Dave and I. We were wandering up the Ave tring to find the best deal on a lid. When we did, the dude wanted $12.00 for a lid of some "Special Shit". We went over to the Drug Store to get change (Ironic, huh?)
We all came back out and headed down the street. Bruce noticed some guys following us. We decided to split up. When an opportunity presented itself, J.B. quietly split to go make the deal, and the rest of us headed back towards the car. Sure enough, we had the same two guys following us, so we cut over to the alley, and then back over to the street,
We had no idea who there guys were, but they were big and ugly and looked vaguely crimnal.
When we stopped at the light, one of them rushed up and grabbed Bruce by the shoulder. Bruce turned around and belted the guy in the mouth.
A whole lot of yelling and pushing ensued, during which we found out that they were undercover cops. I ended up being the mediator between us and the cops, a position I ususally got stuck with. I explained to them that they had never identified themselves as Police, so we were well withing our rights to defend ourselves. Although there was a curfew on, we were all over 18 and therefore exempt.
They said they were going to arrest us on suspision of posession. I volunteered that we were all clean, and they could search us right there. Eventually cooler heads prevailed, and they let us go.
Little did I know that Bruce was standing there with his stash in his shoe.
We hooked back up with J.B.. It was a little after noon, so we headed out for a drive in the country. Of course we had to check out the quality of our purchase.
We were on a two lane counrty road out in the middle of nowhere. J.B. was driving. All the sudden he swerved to the left, then to the right.
"WTF J.B., what are you doing?"
"Don't you see them?"
"The Wooley Bear caterpillars!"
He was veering the car back and forth on the road to run over Wooley Bear Caterpillars. You know, the big puffy orange and black ones. They were all over the place. Now that we knew what he was looking for, we started spotting them for him.
I have always wondered if they were really there.
Monday, September 25, 2006
This is not the first time I have withstood attack by forces of unsuspected and misunderstood nature.
When I was not as rational and mature as I am now I was once attacked by a force of nature that was unsuspected.
I love watching cheap horror movies. I don't know what impulse it is that drives me to always look under the rock to see what lurks there, but said impulse is a part of my nature.
Back when I was having one of my "Unassisted by a female presence" periods in my life, I was staying up late watching horror movies. What movie I was watching escapes me, but it was a classic. Perhaps "Atom Man Vs the Mole People", or maybe "Godzilla Vs MechniKong".
The house was silent except for the settling noises a house makes at night to get revenge on the owners. I caught a motion out of the corner of my eye.
As I turned my head to look. It was a very large dust bunny comeing out from under a chair. It start moving towards me. Neither one of those things was by itself alarming. I mean, dust bunnys bred under every piece of furniture, and occasionally a breeze would inspire wanderlust in one and it would set off in search of a new lair.
What was disturbing is that THERE WAS NO BREEZE!
As I watched I saw the mutant dust bunny deliberately move towards me! Yes, It was moving by it's free will. In other words IT WAS ALIVE!!!!!
As my heart beat faster and my palms started sweating, in an act of foolish bravado I got off of the couch and got down on the floor to look more closely, knowing full well that I was exposing my jugular to whatever freak of nature lurked there by the telephone table. Oh shit, it was trying to cut me off from the phone!
Heedless of my danger, I got close enough to inspect it
It was mouse gray, and about three inches in diameter. It lunged forward towards my exposed flesh, and I jumped back.
Retreating to the kitchen, I got a chopstick, and came back and with trepidation and trembling hands, poked at it.
It jumped in a frenzy of activity, trying to make it under the telephone table.
Thinking quickly and using my lightning fast reflexes, I got an empty mayonaise jar and and dropped it over my ferocious invader, and put the lid on.
Holding up the jar I looked at its underside, trying to figure out what manner af predator had invaded my sanctuary.
It had webbed feet and toe pads.
A light came on, and I started to laugh.
My son had been raiseing tree frogs in his room. One of them had disappeared a couple of days ago.
In an effort to bluff his way out of the house, he had built himself a gillie suit out of volunteer dust bunnies, who readily attached themselves to his slimy sides so they could make a break for it.
It was their unfortunate luck to run into me, standiing guard over home and family.
The frog was cleaned and returned to Froggie Bottom Detention Facility, where his sentence was extended to life.
The recalcitrant dust bunnies did not fare so well. I destroyed them and their sanctuary.
Ever since, I have been concerned that they were out for revenge.