Sunday, July 29, 2007


Blame it on Rennratt. She posted this MEME on her Blog and dared, nay challenged everyone to respond.

I am feeling open to a challenge ( or as it might be put, I dont have SH8T for my blog ,, so this will have to do.)

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Supposedly the first Warren to set foot on this continent was Joseph Warren, who came with Lord Baltimore's son to found the colony of Maryland, so I go by Al to avoid the paparazzi.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? April the 8th, 2004. My stepdaughter had just delivered a stillborn baby, who was perfectly formed in every way, just dead. I held him in my arms and wept.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? As in Cursive? Don't do it, except for my signature
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Pastrami or good corned beef..
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Two or three. Or Five. I have two and Mrs A has two, and I have adopted my grandson.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Only when I'm conscious.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Funny story. When I was four, my older brother came down with tonsilitis. The doctor said I would eventually need mine out, so he did us both. Kinda a two for one precedure.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I had enough beer.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Don't eat the stuff.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically, strong enough to do what has to be done. Emotionally extremely resiliant.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Tillamook Wild Mountain Huckleberry.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Eyes. That or any outstanding physical characteristics.
15. RED OR PINK? The redder the better.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My sisters that live out of state.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? No shoes, no pants. Tan cargo shorts and barefoot.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Pizza and beer.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? String of Pearls by Glen Miller
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Bacon frying, steaks on the Grill. The smell of the air after a summer rain.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? The repair shop that was doing the work on the Blazer. It is back now, and I am $2500.00 poorer.
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Rennratt is a hoot. With an avenging sword.
27. HAIR COLOR? The speeding ticket I got the other day says gray. I don't believe it.
28. EYE COLOR? Hazel. Brown on the outside of the Iris, Green on the inside.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Steak and Lobster. Or Prime Rib.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Brother. It was OK.
33. FAVORITE FLOWER? Tibettan Magnolia
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. Winter is nice if you can go to it, but leave it when you want to
35. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on who is doing it. Unless it is Mrs A., you'll have to settle for hugs. The world needs more hugs.
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Cherry Cheesecake
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? To what? If someone antagonizes me, I'm apt to jump right square in their face.
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Anyone trying to manipulate me. When my BS meter goes off, I know something is wrong.
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Lisey's Story by Steven King. I have read just about everything he has written. Some of it is great like "The Stand", some of it is genuinely disturbing "Pet Cemetary".
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Mouse pad? How 1980's!
42. FAVORITE SOUND? The sound of bacon frying on a cold winter morning.
43. FAVORITE CANDY BAR? I'm diabetic, so I'll pass.
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Okinawa. Spent a couple of years there with the Army.
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I am a passable artist, an reasonably good poet and writer, and I can follow a train of thought to it's logical conclustion. That and "That other thing that I do"
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? West Seattle General Hospital.
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Always curious to learn things about people.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Butt Switch

One of the guys I work with was up and wandering around looking dazed. Someone asked him what he was doing.

He told them he was afraid of setting off the butt switch.


The butt switch. There is a switch in your butt that activates when you have completed a big meal. Once it turns on, you immediately fall asleep. You have to gain a certain percentage of your body mass for it to activate. When you reach that critical point the minute you sit down it activates the butt switch causes the blood being routed to your brain to be diverted to your stomach to help with digestion, thereby leaving not enough blood going to the brain to maintain consciousness.

Butt switch.

I like it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Say how mmuch?

Since I know what is coming, I went on the Internet today to research Asian style furniture.

Holy crap!

I love Asian style furniture. There are basically two ways to go. The Japanese clean line minimalist way, or the Chinese elaborate hand carved elaborate style. Doesn't matter which way you go, they are both too damn expensive. A really nice dresser in either style will set you back over a grand.

We really don't have that kind of money. I mean, I would love to go first class all the way, but if you add up what it woulld cost for the furniture, we are talking around $6,000.00. no way that amount of money will ever be running around free in this house.

I had to cash in some stock futures to get through the Blazer repairs. It was supposed to go for a trip to the Orient, but instead it goes for a transmission and clutch. Shit!

Now it goes for car stuff. My Blazer only has 63,000 miles on it. If you think I will ever buy a simillar product, you are sadly mistaken..

As soon as I get the Blazer back, it goes up for sale. I want a mid-sized pickup that I can tow behind the RV and use to take stuff to the dump, and get reasonably good gas mileage. I will permanently mount a tow bar to the front so it can be used to run around when we get where we are going.

This so totally not where I had envisioned myself to be at this time in my life.

Oh well.

Monday, July 23, 2007

HOW MUCH?!?!?!?!?!

Sunday we went shopping for new drapes for the Master Bedroom.

After spending a couple of hours looking at different setups, we (And I mean She) settled on what we (she) wanted.

To me, anything that covers the windows is fine. Keeps the light and curious neighbors out. End of the story. Mind you, I stop short of taping cardboard on the windown or hanging sheets. To me $39.95 venetian blinds get the job done perfectly fine.

I understood that fancy folks had drapes that have a couple of layers. Sheers for the "Filtered" look, and heavier stiff to block light. I know because I have seen it in movies and such.

Our new drapes will have FOUR layers. There's the sheers, then ther's the actual curtains after that there, the beads, and lastly the sconces (Or is that Valences?)

When they added all the stuff up, the bill came to over $900.00. Mrs A is beside herself happy. Since she is paying for them, I really can't object. I probably won't get them up til next weekend.

Yesterday, Mrs A. was redecorating. She has bought a bunch of nik-nak Asian stuff which mysteriously appeared out of unknown hiding places. The room is starting to look pretty good.

I know what is coming.

New furniture.

I don't think Mrs A has any of that stashed anywhere.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I have completed laying the new flooring in the Master Bedroom. It looks SSOOOO much better than that old ugly worn out shag carpet. I would have been taking pictures, except that Mrs A is buying new drapes and a couple end tables.
I moved the bed back in, but I can't move Mrs A's TV back in by myself.
She wants to redecorate the room with an Asian theme, so we are going shopping tomorrow (shudders violently)
Maybe I'll get some pictures posted tomorrow.

Friday, July 20, 2007


This has been a week full of meetings, most of which I can't talk about, but it has been real frustrating. I have been filling in for the guy immediately above me on the food chain, so lots of meetings I am not prepared for.

Once, I was trying to state my organizations stance on an issue, and this one guy kept interrupting. I turned to him and said "R. if you are talking, you are not listening. Could you PLEASE SHUT UP long enough for someone else to get a word in edgewise!!!"

He got this astonished look on his face, like no one had ever had the balls to tell him to shut up. He was actually silent for the next five minutes while I explained our stance.

By this morning I was ready to set my hair on fire and run screaming into the night.

The repair shop found me a good used transmission for the Blazer, and it only costs the soul of my firstborn.

That and a thousand bucks.

This weekend I have to finish off the master bedroom. It's going to be raining (hey, this is the warm rainy season, here in Latteland) Things are just a little too tight in the spare bedroom, and no one knows where anything is. They are scattered all over the upstairs.

All Y'All have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Birthdays: Bah Humbug

Other than getting born, nothing good has ever happened to me on my birthday. If it wasn't for the fact that the only way to get around having a birthday is being dead, I would ban birthdays all together.

I put the Blazer in the shop to get the clutch replaced, at a cost of around $1000.00. When the car quit going, it was without warning. One minute it was cruising down the freeway, the next it was in the park-and-ride and wouldn't move. Usually a clutch will give you warning. It will start slipping, then get worse, and finally stop.

Not this one.

I thought it was strange, but it was "Oh well, it's broke. Fix it, quit whining, and get on with it."

The came "THE PHONE CALL" you know the one. The shop calls and says "Mr (Mrs, Ms) X I'm afraid I have bad news".

The transmission is Kaput, finis, done for. The guts are scrambled. The input shaft and the output shaft are not talking to each other.

A new transmission is out of the question. A rebuilt one is about $2,500.00. I told them to go shop the junkyards, but so far they can't find a used transmission.

It is real close to me just pulling the plug on the car. It is worth a little more than the cost of the repairs, but not much.

When R. called me to wish me a Happy Birthday she said she had one of her old phones, and all she needed was to get a new sim card, since the other one was stolen. it is $20.00, so I said I would get her one.

When I told Mrs A. she went ballistic, because I hadn't discussed it with her. It's just $20.00, and I don't know why she is being such XXXXXX about it. So no birthday dinner, no nookie, no nothing.

I hate birthdays.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I have had a lot of people say that I am certifiable. And indeed I am.

Every year we have to take an assessment (don't call it a test, that's not PC!) You have to pass, or your ability to work in the computing systems is shut off. If you fail the first time, you can take it a second time. If you fail the second time you get a nasty letter in your permanent record. Third time you get three days off without pay, and have to take a three day "Refresher" course (Known as Bonehead Planning, Or Planning for dummies) fail it again and you are out the door.

I very acutely disagree with the whole assessment thing, and I have told Management exactly how I feel. Not that they listen.

I have never failed, but it is a little stressful taking a test that could effect your ability to do your job. Sometimes the contrary me thinks about intentionally failing the test just to see how far they would go. Can you say lawsuit?

Of course I passed both of the assessments.

Today is my birthday, and here I am at work. I don't plan on doing a whole lot today. Mrs A and I will be going out to dinner tonight, and maybe I'll be getting "something special" for my birthday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Break is over, Back on your Heads

Which is the punchline of a middlin' bad joke.

I am back at work, although they had to drag me in kicking and screaming "No it's not my time yet. Just let me have a couple more days!!"

The walls are painted and about half of the flooring is down, so somehow I need to kick myself in the ass tonight and get to work on it after I get home.

R. called on Friday. I had gotten a text message from my Cell Phone Service Provider, and they were telling me that I had ordered a new cell phone for $200.00. It had actually been ordered by R. without asking me or anything. So I called up and tried to cancel the order. They told me the order was already being processed, and they probably wouldn't be able to catch it. I told them to try.

I tried to get ahold of R. to bitch her out, But there was a message saying that she had lost her cell phone. To protect myself I put a hold on her service.

On Friday when Mrs A and I got home from getting all the stuff to redo the master bedroom, the UPS truck pulled up and I refused delivery on the phone. R's call was after that, so I let her know there was no F$%^ing way I was going to pay $200 for a new call phone for her when she didn't even call me on Father's day.

They are supposed to come and get the Blazer to put a new clutch in it today. The estimate is just short of $1000.00. And remember, that is only an estimate.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Break Time

It is almost noon, so I am taking a break. We have been painting all morning. Everything always ends up more work than you anticipated. We are just about done with the painting.

I took apart our King Size bed and moved it to the spare bedroom. It leaves about 6" of space on one side and none on the other, so we are really Sandwiched in. On the positive side, it is a very quiet room.

As soon as Mrs A. gets done with the last touch-up of the paint (did I mention she is 0bsessive/coompulsive?), I will get started puting in the new flooring. It is a Senna Cherry Pergo, so it will match the colors of the paint real well.

Of course I get to do the floowing all by myself. I will probably ban Mrs A from the room when I am doing it, sice nothing pisses me off more that getting advice from someone who doesn't know how to to whatever it is I am doing.

I am apt to say things like If youo know so damn much about it, why aren't you doing it yourself?"

Did I mention that my mouth occasionally gets me in trouble?

I also decided to bite the bullet and have someone else replace the clutch in the Blazer. I can do it myself and save a bunch, but I just can't do the really heavy stuff by myself any more.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Slavery weekend

Today is Friday for me. I am taking Friday and Monday off, but it's not a vacation.

Over the years I have remodelled every room in the house, excepting the bedroom. It still has this sea-foam green 3" shag carpet. It screams 1970's at the top of it's lungs. Somewhere along the way the little shag rake has been lost.

I don't really care, after all it's just there for sleeping and other activities where the color of the walls aren't going to make a whole lot of difference.

Mrs A has decided it needs an update.

All in all, I would rather be tearing the transmission out of the Blazer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Under Attack

I am beginning to think that fate has me pinned down and is kicking me in the ribs.

Things were so wonderfully quiet for six months, now its smack, bam, whack and finally, boot,

Yesterday I got an e-mail from Rs boyfriend. She took off three weeks ago to go back to her street life drug culture. I had hopes that they would develop a serious enough relationship to keep her from falling back into the Meth culture. Seems I was optimistic. He is heartbroken that he could not do anything to help her. I feel sorry for the guy, because I have been in that position for the last five years.

I have at least gotten to the point where I know I can't do anything, so I don't beat myself up anymore.

It still hurts like hell.

I hope she gets caught and sent to jail. It is the best thing that could happen to her. It would give her the opportunity to get straight, and take a good long look at herself.

It sounds pretty shitty when I say it, but to me the other big possibility is for her to come home in a pine box.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Third Shoe Drops

As I said in my last post, bad things usually happen in threes. The $1200 brake job on the Airstream was one. The clutch going out in the Blazer was two.

I didn't have to wait too long for the third shoe to drop.

When I got home today there was a piece of mail waiting for The Parents or Guardians of Vincent Warren from the Library. When I opened it up I about lost control of my bladder.

It was a bill for $891 from the library for unreturned items (42 in all). Lots of CDs and a bunch of books. V. says he did not take any of the items out from the Library. He kinda hinted that he had loaned his library card to someone else. I told him "Shit V. that is about the same as lending them a credit card".

He said he would take care of it. I told him it was his responsibility. As of right now, I was going to buy him an X-Box 360 for his birthday, but he would not be getting anything until it was taken care of.

He said "I guess I trust people too much." No shit Sherlock.

Some of life's harder lessons you can only learn first hand.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Upson Downs

It's been a rather hectic weekend, and it's still Sunday Morning.

I stopped by the hardware store and picked up a few plumbing pieces for the Airstream on Friday night, and a spare set of keys. Having only one set worried me, because we intend to go out in the middle of nowhere, and it would be relatively easy for me to lock it up with the keys inside.

When I got home, Mrs A was on the phone. It was my grand daughter A., and her car broke down. She wanted to know if I would co-sign on a car rental because her piecce-of-shit Ford has broken down, and she needed to go to work on Sunday. I told her that co-signing for anyone for any reason was not in the immediate future, but that the Blazer was sitting in the driveway doing nothing and she could have the loan of the vehicle until her car got out of the shop.

She came over Saturday morning and got the car.

I went out and made the repairs to the plumbing on the RV. Then I got up on top to see if I could figure out what was wrong with the air connditioner. Yellow jackets kept buzzing me so I had Mrs A fetch me a flyswatter. As soon as I got the cover off, I looked inside.

They had started building themselves a nest in the air conditioner. I got the nest loose and tossed it over the edge. Needless to say, they were not pleased, but I would not be intimidated by a bunch of godless insect hoodlems. I did battlle with them.. Mrs A retreated inside with an ascerbic "It'll be a miracle if you don't get stung!"

Weilding my flyswatter with lightning reflexes and extraordinary three dimensional perception, I swatted them in midair, I crushed them when they landed and escaped unscathed. And not once do I remember squeeling like a girl.

After the Great Airstream blitz I retired from the battlefield, after reinstalling the air conditioning cover. I had overcome the enemy, outnumbered and armed with only a flyswatter. I was exhausted.

We met friends and went to Jazz Alley for an evening's entertainment. Acoustic Alchemy was performing, and after a dinner that was outstanding, the show was fabulous. The energy and excitement they put into their show is incredible.

When we got home, someone had broken the drver's side window out of my spare 280Z. While it is of no great consequencce, still it is very irritating.

Sunday morning at 6:00 the phone rings. It is my grand daughter, and the Blazer has broken down, she is in a panic. So I get up and guzzle a couple of Cokes and hit the road.

With no warning whatsoever, the clutch went out. Usually it gives you warning by starting slipping before it goes out, but this time nada. She is driving down the freeway, downshifts and all of the sudden, it won't engage.

I got in it and it still shifts and everything, but the clutch doesn't engage, so it's either the clutch or pressure plate. I had to get it towed. $140 later it is parked in the driveway and I have another repair bill to contemplate. Clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing and a whole bunch of labor. I anticipate several hundred dollars.

Sometimes it feels like God lets no good deed go unpunished.

Here it is almost noon, and I am on my second beer. I am going to pull in my head, batten the hatches and hunker down.

If bad things happen in threes, the first was having a $1200.00 brake replacemment. The second is the clutch going out in the Blazer.

I'm waiting for the trifecta to come in.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Day before Saturday

I am looking forward to tommorow evening.

Mrs A. and I and a couple of friends are going to Jazz Alley to see Acoustic Alchemy and have dinner and drinks.

It will be good to get out, and their show is VERY good.

Other than that I will be tinkering with the Airstream. I need to stop by the hardware store and pick up a few bits so I can get the shower working properly.

After that, I will tackle the air conditioner.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Day After

Armegeddon wasn't as bad as predicted.

Every year the cops put on a big show exploding things to "Show the potential damage" from various explosive devices. It is just a thinly disguised excuse to make things go "BOOM!!"

My favorite was a tennis ball bomb they stuffed in a watermellon and lit it off. It was spectacular.

So don't mind me if my attention wanders. I only had about 4 hours of sleep last night. The fireworks didn't slow down enough for me to go to sleep until after Midnight.

Then at 4:00 the phone rang. Mrs. A. got the phone, and it was for me. It was a woman I had met a couple of times a couple of years ago (Prior to Mrs A). She was intoxicated. She wanted to know what I was doing.

I told her "Trying to sleep". Not one to take a hint, she went on to start some tale of woe in which she needed a ride someplace or the other. I just told her I couldn't help her.

I think she wanted some mayonaise for her meatlof.


I explained that she was someone I had met several years before and didn't know very well, and I had no idea what inspired her to call me at zero dark thirty.

Mrs A. wanted to know how old she was, soI told her "A well used late forty-something". She said "She sounded much older on the phone, like in her eighties. If you are going to cheat on me you could at least do it with someone better than that!"

I reassured her that I had never cheated on her, was not now cheating on her and was not likely to ever cheat on her in the future.

She asked "Even with a tall willowy blond with big hooters?"

"No dear, blonds don't float my boat." I knew this was not the correct answer, but I couldn't resist.

"Not even with a tall willowy Asian redhead with big hooters?"

"No dear, I don't think there is any such thing." Again, not the correct answer. I knew what she was fishing for, but I was going to make her work for it.

She smacked me on the arm.

Mt twisted sense of humor gets me in too much trouble.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July.

We all need to take a moment today to explode things....

errrr I mean reflect on the rockets red glare, and explosions.....

I mean our privelege to set off fireworks.......

no,no,no, I mean to enjoy the rights and priveleges fought for and won by our ancestors. And explosions and fireworks and rockets.

V. Is off with his Dad for the rest of the week, and although I will enjoy the peace and quiet, I will miss him at the same time.

I have always visited the Reservation to buy illegal fireworks for the Fourth. Every year. But this year I won't be going. I have no big desire to set off fireworks, since there will be no kids around to get off on them.

I really AM succumbing to geezerdom. first an RV, now no fireworks on the Fourth. Next thing you know I'll be settin' on the porch yellin' at the younguns to keep the hell off my lawn.

So go blow something up.

Preferably not you fingers or anything.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mad monkey animal sex

Got your attention, didn't I.

The title does relate to an actual story, kinda.

Back a while there was a story about the first dude in this state to get charged with animal cruelty for diddling the dog. It made it all over the news and internet and everything.

This was a brand new law in the state of Latteland. A while back a guy was killed because of an accident with a male horse while they were having sex, so our lawmakers found a safe cause to espouse. After all, who would object to a law that made it illegal to have sex with animals? Terrorism? World hunger? Presidential abuse of power? Bribery of elected officials? Too dangerous.

Mind you, I am not in favor of having sex with animals, other than the human kind.

I read the other day that the guy got off, er, was found innocent. There was no evidence, and the dog wouldn't testify.

His wife was the one that claimed to have caught him, and swore she had a picture on her cell phone, but when the time came, she was unable to produce any evidence. Seeing that the couple were in the middle of a bitter divorce, the court felt she may have had some other motivation than protecting Fifi from the bad, bad man.

They threw the case out of court.

I feel sorry for the poor guy. Whether he did or didn't diddle the dog, he will have been found guilty by a lot of people, regardless of his acquital.

"Do you remember John Doe?"

"Wasn't he the guy they caught diddling the dog?"

Something he will have following him the rest of his life.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday Morning

The fact that I'm writing this, and you're reading it means we both survived the weekend.

Saturday, I spent a good part of the day out tinkering with the Airstream. Nothing big. Replaced the O rings in the sink faucet. Got the toilet and shower working, although the coupler for the shower leaks like a sieve and needs to be replaced.

Rehung a cabinet door that wouldn't close right and kept swining open when we were traveling. likewise a cabinet drawer that kept coming open. Took up the carpet runner so I could access the mounting hole for the table, and installed the table. Since the carpet runner has been there forever, I believe this is the first time the table has ever been installed.

L. came by so her mom could take her out to get pampered for her birthday. It was the first time they have had some time to themselves since Mrs A. and I met. It was good for both of them.

Sunday was V's fifteenth birthday, so he had a bunch of fellow game geeks over for a marathon day of playing Halo. Pizza and ice cream, and I gave up the rights to the big screen for the day.

I missed the baseball game, but I guess it was OK, although I understand the M's broke a tie in the 9th inning. They have been amazing lately. Then the coach announced he is retiring.


They are doing well, on a seven game winning streak, catching up to the Leage Leader, and right in the middle of the seasom, he walks? Just about every coach around would give their left nut to be in his position.

WHO were those guys in the dark glasses and pin striped suits anyway?