Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You'll get the Chair!

An Apropriate title for a couple of reasons. I had a dental appointment yesterday, which was a warm-up for Friday when I have oral surgery scheduled. This is number three of four. Man, I am not looking forward to this. But both the dentist and the periodontist tell me that if I don't have it done, I may as well just have all my teeth pulled and get it over with. Thanks, but I'll keep what I have.
the other reason is that I was on my way to the Periodontist and saw a familiar looking vehicle in the other lane. Sure enough, it was my ex. I haven't seen her in a couple of years, and it would be fine with me if I never saw her again. At any rate, given what she did to R. the other day, I really wanted to run her off the road and into the river. Well, I managed to resist the urge. I even managed to resist the urge to honk the horn and flip her off as I went by.
I better get points in Heaven.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Blue Monday

So there was this really annoying noise this morning at 4:53. After I realized it was not going to go away if I just ignored it, I became conscious enough to hit the snooze button on the alarm. That worked so well that I did it a second time, but after that it was no longer possible to ignore the obvious, so I turned on the light and groaned my way vertical.
On Friday befoer we went out of town, we sold Mrs. A's treadmill. When she decided she needed it, I told her no about a half a dozen times. I told her "We will have for about six months and quit using it and then it will just be in the way." I finally got worn down and told her to go ahead and but it if she could pay for it, so she did. Very nice Nordic Trac 1900 with all the bells and whistles for over $1,000.00. One year old and barely used,we got $500.00 I bit the inside of my cheek and avoided saying "I told you so", as the consequences would far outweigh the momentary pleasure.
Mrs A. has been after me to get new furniture for the living room, but I have been putting it off, because I fully understand the consequences. I mean, if you could just but the furniture and put it in, that would be different. It just doesn't happen that way. Introducing a new element into a closed system always results in chaos. In the living room I have a nice leather couch which is very comfortable, but it will be bumped by the new set out to the music room where it bumps the love seat someplace. This move also meant the opportunity to bring my Teak entertainment center up from the basement to replace the cabinet where we have been stirring the taped and dvd's, which goes back in the basement to be used as a book case.
The new furniture will also bump the Big chair out of the living room and probably upstairs to the spare bedroom.
The new furniture is being delivered, so that's no problem, but guess who gets to do all the other furniture moving.
So Saturday, I took all the books out of the Entertainment center, dismantled it, put it back together. It took me all day. Shady I took the video cabinet downstairs and started putting stuff in it.
Half way through all this Mrs A. turns to me and says "Do you think the entertainment center is going to fit in with the new furniture. I made choking motions with my hands and moved towards her. I said "You know I think they would call it justifiable homicide, and if I get an all male jury I can probably get off scott free

Sunday, February 26, 2006


So vacation was a hoot, as usual. Mrs A. and I always have a great time when people GO THE HELL AWAY AND LEAVE US ALONE. More on that later.

The weather wasn't great, I mean it is February in the Northwest, which translated as rain. But you know what? WE DIDN'T REALLY CARE! As the old joke goes, I ordered a dozen oysters, but only ten of them worked (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). We did manage to wedge in a nice walk on the beach and a day at the shops and galleries in Canon Beach. Came away with a really cool glass globe. Of course there were the mandatory stops at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Tillamook County Smokehouse (Makers of the worlds best beef jerky.) And of course our stay was not nearly long enough.

So when we get back, L and kids are getting evicted from their apartment (again). We bailed them out the last two times, so this time they are going to have to figure it out for themselves. If we don't force them to make a change in their lifestyles, like using the money to pay the rent instead of buying drugs, they aren't ever going to change. I know, I sound tough, but guess who always caves in and saves their ass from the Indians.

So I was married to a crazy woman for 28 years. I know all men think all women are a little off center, and women think the same about men, but I mean real crazy. Paranoid schyzophrenia crazy. Psychotic at times. She wasn't full fledged crazy at first, but she was very creative, which I love. Turns out that the creative impulses came fron the same place the voices did. When it got to the point where she was actively trying to do me and the kids harm, I told her if she didn't get help, I was going to divorce her. She went to a shrink one time and came back and said "They're all crazy there." And refused to ever go back. Right after that I went to get a hug and she went totally nuts, started hitting and screaming and grabbed my arm and bit a chunk out of it. She did things like jump up and start stomping on the floor. When I asked her what she was doing, she said "The people in the basement are poking knives up through the floor."
So after we got divorced she went to live with her dad. He eventually had to have her declared incompetent and had the court appoint a guardian. She gets some kind of Social Security money and has a small apartment in the same complex as out daughter R.
When we got back from vacation I got a call from R. to see how the trip went. Among other little tidbits she had gotten from her mother, her mom told her that I am not her father.
I have always known that there was a possibility that this was true. When I was in my 20's I got a vasectomy. The ex and I got divorced and remarried, and shortly after we remarried she showed up pregnant. To say the least I was stunned. I mean, it does happen. Things do grow back together, So I figured there was at least some chance that it was mine. I thought about it long and hard. Thought about going to be tested to see if there were any little wrigglers, but I decided that I would wait and see what the baby looked like. If it was asian or black or something, I would deal with it. R. was the result, and it was love at first sight. She looked enough like me that no questions ever arose. I made the reasoned, consious decision that it really made no difference whose genes she carried, she was mine. She and I have had a special bond her whole life. She was the reason I stayed with crazy woman so long. I was afraid if I got divorced, R. would get stuck being raised by a crazy woman, and I would not make that choice. When we did finally get divorced, R. was 16 and chose to stay with me.
So now I have my daughter asking questions because her mom has told her something. I mean I have always known her mom was crazy and a slut, but this came as a real belly blow.
I guess I'll probably be having a couple of future conversations with R. about her possible parentage.
My son hates his mom. He has told me he honestly believes she is a truely evil person. I have always told him she is just sick and can't help it. After this I am beginning to lean a little more towards his point of view.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


I've been toying around with this book for the last couple of years. Whenever I am not doing anything else, I dig it out and add to it. I am about 10,000 words into it so far, but I am not too sure where to go now. My first impulse is to create it's own BLOG and just put it out there as it gets done, but it needs some rewriting to get it into some kind of publishable format. I mean, right now it is one long chapter. I will probably take some time this next week to write on it, but do I go back and revise what is already there to format it into chapters, or pick up the trail and just see where it takes me. Right now it doesn't really have a destination, I'm just taking the journey as it comes.

We just got V.s progress report for the new semester, so it looks like I won't have to be fighting him over the use of the computer, as he is getting two F's. The little shits IQ is probably about 140, but he can't seem to get it applied to anything but Gaming.

I am sure looking forward to a week on the Coast without any kids, just Mrs. A. and I.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Comments made in the year 1955:

"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20."

"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $2000 will only buy a used one."

"If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous."

"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging four cents just to mail a letter?"

"If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."

"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."

"Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls."

"I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying 'damn' in 'Gone With The Wind,' it seems every new movie has either "hell" or "damn" in it.

"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas."

"Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the president."

"I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."

"It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet."

"It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

"Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more; those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat."

"I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."

"Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to congress."

"The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

"There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel."

"No one can afford to be sick any more; $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."

"If they think I'll pay $1.50 for a hair cut, forget it."


We are taking a week to go to our time share condo on the Oregon Coast. We really need the time away. V. is going to stay with his dad, and Molly is going to stay with L. Mrs A. would really like to take Molly along, but the condo doesn't allow pets, children excepted. I would rather that they allowed pets and banned kids, but that's a different story.

No internet connections and the phones go through a central switchboard, so unless I go looking for a connection in town, no blogging for a week! Hopefully the weather won't be freezing ass cold so we can go for nice long romantic walks on the beach. The hike on the Tillamook Spit is 4.2 miles from the parking lot to the tip of the spit, so say 8.5 mile by the time you wander around a little. A good mid-winter excursion, as long as it isn't TOO cold.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fun and frolic in the Dentists chair.

I was out yesterday with another Dental situation. As I whined last week, I had two root canals done on the same day. Well, root canal #2 went south on me. It seems that 60% of all people have only two nerves in #2 molar, 40% have a third nerve, and 20% have a fourth. You can probably guess which in I am. So they went in last Thursday and took out two nerves, but the side of my face swole up Tuesday and kept me up most of the night. I went in yesterday, and they spent a couple of hours looking around and located the other two, pulled out the nerves, but they couldn't fill the tooth because the canals are draining. Consequently I am sittin here with this enormous hole in my tooth which is open so that it can drain. They have me on a couple of antibiotics and Percocet.
On a different note, I gave away all my brewing equipment . I had made my own micro-brew for about ten years, It was every bit as good as the commercially available stuff. Even better, since I could tailor it specifically to my tastes. I was having trouble keeping my blood sugar under control, so the doc revised my medication, and added Metformin. The bad thing about Metformin is that I can't drink beer with it. A couple of beers, and two hours later it is killer heartburn. Nothing seems to help much, so the only alternative is (a gasp from the crowd), give up drinking beer altogether. I had a lot of fun making my own beer, but if I wasn't going to be using the equipment, someone else should. So I gave it all away.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentines Day

So today is Valentines day. Happy VD to all of you. This is a special day around the A. house, because it is the anniversary of our engagement as well as Valentines day, sort of.
Mrs A and I were getting really serious about each other. In fact we were moving some of her furniture up to my place. When we had carried her vanity into the house, I glanced around, and something didn't look right.
The VCR was missing. Then things began to pop out at me: the X box and all the games, my laptop. A cigarette ground in to the linoleum. So they hit me for over $10,000. I ran upstairs to check and my heart hit my heels.
I had spent many hours shopping for the perfect engagement ring (and I hate shopping). I think I had looked at every nice ring in the south end of Seattle. I finally found a virtually perfect 3/4 carat diamond with Ruby side stones. The cost was over #5,000, and it was gone.
Mrs A. had no idea I had purchased the ring. The first she knew about it was when she was sitting on the couch next to me as I gave the police my report on what was taken. You could have floored her when I reported the theft. It took a second to set in, but all the sudden her eyes got real big as she turned to me and asked "For me?".
Since I had not had time to call my insurance company, the ring was not specifically covered on my home owners. When the police left I set in motion a series of events that ranged from semi-legal to downright criminal, the result of which was that I recovered the ring. When I got it back
I asked Mrs A. if she wanted to see it, so she said yes. I showed her the ring, and went and put it away.
A couple of hours later I noticed that it was mighty quiet and I hadn't seen Mrs A. in a while, so I went looking for her. The house is 2850 Sq Ft, on three floors, so you can actually be there at the same time and not see each other for a quite a while.
I found her upstairs in the bed room, with the ring on her finger, tears running down her face. She said "I'm sorry dear, I can't help worrying about the ring." So I told her "Yeah, I figure that the safest place in the world for that ring right now is on your finger, so you just keep it there for now." I did not propose, but she knew it was coming.
For Valentine's Day we went to the Lake Quinault Lodge on the Olympic Peninsula for the weekend, where I asked her to remove the ring. I didn't immediately propose, but just put the ring in my pocket, and we went to dinner (this was on Friday night). I kept her guessing all weekend, finally did the formal one knee down "Will you marry me?" on Sunday morning after breakfast.
Your Candy Heart Says "Cutie Pie"

You always seem to have a hot date, even though you never try to meet anyone.
A total charmer, you have a natural appeal that keeps you in high demand.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: multiple dates with multiple people

Your flirting style: 100% natural

What turns you off: serious relationship talks

Why you're hot: you're totally addicting

Monday, February 13, 2006


We are going down the Oregon Coast next week, to our Time Share Condo at Rockaway Beach for some much needed R & R. Just Mrs A. and I. We are dumping off V. since he is out of school for the week for late-winter-early-spring,-if-I-have-to-be-cooped-up-with-these kids-for-one- more-day-I-will-go-postal Teacher's Break. I don't much care what the weather does, we just need a little time to ourselves.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Double Dippin'

So, I thought I was going in for a quick dental repair yesterday. Part of a dental bridge had come loose, and I was to come in so they could pop it loose, clean it up, and glue it back on. Wrong.
When they took it off, they found a rotten tooth underneath. The dentist handed me a mirror and let me watch as he used a dental tool to scrape what was left of the tooth away. It was about the consistency of half dried clay. So he had to do a root canal, insert a post, do a build-up, and put everything back together.
I woke up yesterday with the side of my face swollen yesterday. It kept real good time with my heartbeat, so I figured something was going on over there. Well, Root Canal number Two. Yeah, two in one day. Does Al know how to have fun or what? Ends up I was in the dental chair for six hours yesterday.
Al least I ended up with two prescriptions for Percocet. If I take one, I can still function, although it does take some concentration to get anything done. If I take two like the prescription says, you might just as well prop me in the corner and leave me alone, 'cuz there ain't nothin' gettin' done.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Playing hookey

The sun is shining for the THIRD day in a row. Probably some kind of a record for Seattle in February. I have a dental appointment at 10:30, so I decided to just bag the whole work thing today. You know, I have an eye problem....can't see going to work today. I have a ballance problem....I can't stand going to work today. It's payday today, the sun is shining and I'm not going to work. Life is good. No telling what kind of trouble I will get in!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Useless information

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for amonth after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because theircalendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month ... which we know today as the honeymoon.

And NO!!! I was not there at the time!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sunshine at last!

The sun came out yesterday. What a beautiful day! I actually got to go out and play with the "Z". 280 Zs are noted for their electrical challenges. I have been chasing one electrical problem after another ever since I got the car. Currently, I just replaced the alternator (third in two years), and I think the battery has gone bad fro being drained flat and recharged so many times. Also their is a problem with the lights that I haven;t quite figured out yet. For no explicable reason, they will turn off while I am driving down the road. All I have to do is turn them off and back on, but no telling how long they will stay on. I think that tonight after work I will go out and tear the whole switch mechanism apart and tweak it all. It has to be something simple and mechanical. I suspect the ground is not maintaining contact with the ground bar on the steering column, but won't know for sure until I tear it apart. If it wasn't so beautiful and so much fun to drive I would dump it and get something a little more reliable.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Different Tack

So I am off in a different direction now, since I didn't like where the recent posts had taken me. Don't know where I go from here, but definitely enough death for a while. Funny how something you see or hear will take you off on a journey you never intended. It's like what Bilbo says about roads being dangerous things, because once you set out on them, no telling where you might wind up.
So the Seahawks lost to The Steelers and the officials yesterday. If you take into account the touchdown that the officials took away from the Seahawks for offensive pass interference (NO WAY!!!) and discount the gift of a touchdown that never happened to Pittsburgh, the game was a dead heat, but it's hard to beat the other team and the officials both. Hey. At least we got invited to the big dance!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Looking Death in the EYE III

When I was writing up yesterdays post, my heart rate went WAY up, I started sweating, and my hands started shaking. I mean, I was THERE and the memories were getting way too real. I had a nightmare last night, so I think after one more post I will change the subject.
When I was 12 or 13 a friend and I discovered some berry bushes and a cherry tree tucked back in a little patch of woods in South Seattle. The only building on the property was an old tumbled down shed, which was covered in Boyseneberry bushes. We would stop by for a snack every once in a while when things were ripe.
The cherry tree was a big bing cherry and it must have been 40 feet tall. It had not been taken care of in years, but it produced a good crop.
My buddy and I were sitting up in the cherry tree snack ing away, when we heard a voice from below "what do you boys think you are doing?"
Now, I have to admit I am not the most timid of creatures, and more often than not, my mouth gets me into trouble. There was a 50ish smallish man at to foot of the tree looking up at us.
"What's it look like, we're building a boat or something?"
"You boys should get down from there and go away"
"Is this your cherry tree? Do you own this property?"
"No, I just keep an eye on it for the owners."
"Well we aren't hurting anything, just eating a few cherries."
The little man reaches under his arm and pulls out what appears to be a .45 Army Colt, cocks it and points it at my head.
This was the first time I had met a genuine maniac. I really believe he was capable of pulling the trigger. The hole in the end of that pistol looked like a huge eye, and when the pupil dilated it would cough up death. I didn't need to be encouraged any further, I got the hell out of there.
We found out where the nasty little man lived. He had a cherry tree in his yard that had a "Y" in it about 6' up and it was partly rotten down the center.
I read later in the paper that some juvenile delinquents had poured gasoline in that hollow and set it on fire.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Looking Death in the eye II

I was a staff member on the locked Psychiatric Ward in the Hospital at Camp Kue, so going to work started with unlocking the big steel door. After being run over by patients attempting to escape a couple of times, I learned to check close before opening the door. The guy that had held my job before me had been killed by a patient. My first duty when I took the job was to interview the patient. I asked him why he had done it, and he told me "I was convinced that he was going to kill me, so I acted out of self defense." It made perfect internal sense to him. He wasn't a bad guy once we had him properly medicated.
Paranoid/schizophrenic are the ones that are hard to deal with. Most psychotics are in such pain that they are non-functional. Add a little thorazine on top of that, and they are incapable of forming a complex thought, much less a plan.
T. was and Air Force enlisted man, who had a history of behavior problems. His Commanding Officer had had it with his disruptive behavior, so he gave him the most boring, isolated assignment he could think of. They gave him a loaded M16 and set him out guarding the perimeter of Kadena Air Force Base. After one too many joints, he decided that there were people out in the bushed, so he shot up the surrounding jungle. Luckily no one was hurt, but it earned him a trip to a padded room.
T was hard to control. Medications didn't seem to have a great effect on him, and he wanted what the wanted, and to hell with anyone who got in his way.
when I came in one morning he was in full rant. He wanted to go downstairs to the day room and play pool. "No T., you are not ready to go out there yet." So he picks up a trash can and throws it across the ward, and says "Now can I go play pool?" "No T., as long as you display this kind of behavior, you will not be allowed out".
So T. Picks up a chair and throws it into a window. Of course the windows were all security glass, with the chicken wire built in, so he busts up the window, but no big harm done "NOW CAN I GO PLAY POOL?". "No T. In fact you need to go spend some time in the padded room".
So when we went to put him in restraints, he ran to the back of the ward where his bed was and pulls out a 12" diving knife and says "You ain't putting me in there, I'll kill you all first".
We had a special number to call if things got out of hand, and a bunch of combat Vetran NCO's were supposed to come up and handle the situation. So they come upstairs and I let them into the ward and explain the situation. They look around the corner and here is this wild eyed guy standing in the middle of the floor waving a knife around. The staff is frantically getting everyone else out of the room and into a safe place. The "goon Squad" as we called them refused to go into the room.
One of the other Psych techs and I discussed what we were going to do. Since no one else seemed willing to do anything, we decided we had to. We came up with our plan and just did it.
We made an agreement, B. Would go for control of the patient, and I would make sure the knife was controlled.
We grabbed a mattress off of one of the beds. He held one end and I held the other. We rushed T. And just kept on pushing him backwards until we backed him into the wall, and pinned him there. While I grabbed the hand holding the knife, B. Grabbed T. Around the neck and choked the shit out of him. He choked him until he passed out, and I relieved him of the knife. When he would start to come to, B. Would tighten up his choke hold until he quit struggling. This only lasted a couple of minutes for the whole thing, but time has a way of stretching itself out when every second needs to be accounted for. It took a couple minutes for the Doctor to load up a hypo and get it into T. You are probably wondering where a psychotic patient got ahold of a knife. One of his "Friends" had smuggled it in for him when visiting. The "Friend" soon joined "T" in our care.
There were times when I held that job where I was afraid for my life, for very good reasons. It is one reason I can keep things in perspective now. Things may get incredible frantic, but I never feel that I am in danger of losing my life.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Looking Death in the Eye I

I was in the Military. I was a Social Work/Psychology Specialist for the Army on Okinawa. It was a job I enjoyed and was very good at and decided I didn't't want to do as a career.

I worked for the Psychiatric Service in the Camp Kue hospital, and was among other things the Liaison Officer for the locked Psychiatric Ward at the hospital.

One of the things we did was do interviews to determine sanity for people going into courtmartial proceedings. This is where I had the misfortune of meeting Earl.

Earl was a Marine who had murdered his commanding Officer. He had served three rotations in Vietnam, and volunteered for a fourth. It seems he had discovered a talent for killing people, and wanted to get back where it was somewhat condoned. His C.O. had refused his new rotation, so Earl had gone into his office with a loaded M16 and tried to persuade the C.O. to allow him to return to ‘Nam. When the C.O. declined, he unloaded a clip into him.

We rotated duty on the front desk as Receptionist, and it was my day to man the desk

The brought him to the Psychiatric Clinic in chains and with four armed guards. Earl was a 6’ 2” black body builder, in active duty Marine shape. Probably weighed about 180. His arms were bigger around than my legs were. He also had a look in his eye that did not make for comfortable eye contact.

The head Psychologist, R. had the duty to give him the interview to establish his sanity. He was a real humanitarian, and insisted that they take the shackles and chains off of Earl for the interview, over the protests of the guards.

They went into the conference room off of the reception area. I was a little nervous about having a murderer alone with R. so I kept a half an ear open for anything. After a while I heard some thumping noises coming from the conference room and what might be a muffled cry for help.

I ran over and threw doordoot open, and Earl had R. bent over backwards over his desk and was choking the crap oft od him. R. was mostly unconscious, and pretty red in the face. I ran up behind Earl and grabbed him in a full nelson, and for the next couple of minutes it was a pretty wild ride around the office, with Earl trying to dislodge me. All I did was tighten my hold until I was afraid I would break his neck. Eventually he slowed down and told me "It's OK, I"m all right now", but damned if I was going to give up the only advantage I was ever likely to get.

After Earl quit flailing around, one of the guards peeked his head around the corner and asked "Is everything OK in here?" If I had a club I would have hit him.

Anyway, I had to testify at Earls Attempted Murder court martial. The entire rime I was on the witness stand, Earl sat there with this big shit eating grin on his face staring at me with these dead eyes that said "If I ever get out of jail, you are one dead mother".

I guess the point of all this is that, when faced with a situation that could have gone very badly, I acted even though I was scared to death, and handled the situation. Just knowing how you would act in that kind of a situation instills a confidence in you that you can't get any other way.

The Court commended me for saving an Officers life, but also chewed me out for not using the word "Sir" often enough during my testimony. Talk about having a twisted set of priorities.