Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I always loved Halloween as a kid.

Getting dressed up, although it was usually as a hobo or a ghost, running from house to house extorting candy from terrified grownups. Running loose on the streets.

Later it was driving around in some beater car, having egg wars and trying to pick up women.

Then it was adult parties with booze and other stimulants.

Then came taking my own kids out trick-or-treating.

Now, the youngest, my adopted grandson is 15. He is right on the cusp of being too old to put on a costume and go trick-or-treating. When I was growing up, I had little sisters, so I could always go along to keep an eye on them, thereby extending my trick-or-treating years. He did ask me this morning is we had any eggs.

My favorite Halloween story is when my son was seven. I don't remember where I got it, but I had gotten a face make-up kit somewhere. It was very high quality stick-on preosthetics with filler and color and everything. The packaging said "Hollywood Quality".

I didn't believe it for a moment.

But as I applied the cheekpieces and nose pieces, and faired them in with filler and colored them it, the results were amazing. It was hard to believe that my son lurked under that face. They eyes and mouth were familiar, but the rest was unrecognizable.

And kind of unsettling.

We set off. We had hit a couple of houses, and a man and his small child approached from the other direction. Other than the face makup, all N.'s costume consisted of a black robe.

The child, who was about four, took one look at N. and shrieked at the top of his lungs. He was shrieking "I want to go home! I want to go home.!!"

Of course V. found this very entertaining. A lot of people thought he looked.......disturbing. Because it wasn't a mask, and you couldn't tell where the prestheses left off and kid began.
Grownups would look at him and do a double take, and call inside "Come out here you HAVE to see this!"

And they always gave him a little extra candy.

There was enough face putty and double back tape to last two years, so we did the same thing the next year. And although I searched high and low I never could find the same or a similar product again.

If I could, I would get one and use it for myself.

And scare the little candy extorting would be monsters right out of their underoos.


Monday, October 29, 2007

The rest of the story

I can't tell just half of this, so I am in for the whole thing.

We decided to get married on April 9th. No big ceremony or celebration. We had both been married before, so it was just set the date and go see the judge.

On Sunday the 4th of April, we were visiting with L and her hubby. L was pregnant at the time, but she told us that she thought something was wrong. The baby had not moved that day. She was going to go in the next day and get checked out.

The news was not good. They could detect no signs of life. This was on Monday.

On Tuesday they ran tests, and came to the conclusion that the baby was dead.

They took the baby on Wednesday. I was there, as was her mother. She delivered a perfectly normal baby, except for the fact that it was dead. No abnormalities, no birth defects, nothing to indicate why it wasn't alive.

I held it in my arms and cried.

Mrs A and I went out into the hallway, and I held her in my arms as she cried "Why?" She railed against God and asked him why he would take this barely begun life.

This was on April the 8th. We were to be married the next day.

After things settled down, we talked. If a thing is the right thing to do, it is the right thing to do, regadless of the impediments.

We spent the night in the hospital room with L. Got up the next morning, went home and showered and went to meet the judge.

We got married despite all the other stuff. I think we did the right thing, and I would do it again. We faced a challenge to what we believed, and we persevered.

We had talked about adversity and said "You have a coice in life. You can take the easy route, or you can take a different route. We realize that things may get crazy, but if you ride the roller-coaster you will be OK as long as you hang on tight in the corners."

We are still hanging on, and there are lots of corners.

After five years, we are still together, and it is a testament to our love.


When I was over visiting Sue's this morning, she was doing this meme all about her relationship with her "Hubs".

I was wondering if I had ever posted about how Mrs A and I got engaged. I thought I had, but couldn't find it , so I thought"What the heck, it's a good story." So if I have and you already know the story, forgive me and go about your way.

Mrs A and I had been dating about six months, and things were getting pretty serious. Early on in the relationship we had talked about what we each wanted out of the relationship. We both wanted a stable lifelong commitment.

We had been down at her place cleaning up, and had loaded her dresser in the back of my Blazer. We were unloading it, and when we got in the house, I glanced around.

Holy shit! I had been burglarized. The game system and all the games. My laptop. Anything that was small, light and hockable.

The week before, I had spent my entire week of free time shopping for an engagement ring. I had looked at every ring in the south end of Latteland, and found one that was perfect. It cost a little over $5,000.

It was gone.

Unless you have a special rider on your insurance, no single item of jewelry will be repaid for more than $1500. I was just screwed.

I called the cops, and they came. We were sitting there on the leather couch, listing the things that had been taken. At last I listed "An engagement ring, just purchased, worth $5,000.

Mrs A. had no idea I had gone and purchased the ring. Her eyes got real big and she said "You didn't?"

"Oh yes I did."

A couple of hours later my daughter R. called. She said she had come home, seen what had happened, so she grabbed the ring and left. What followed had several different versions, and I have never been sure exactly what went on. I suspect it was some of R's "Friends" that ripped me off.

Because of the evidence, we knew that whoever burgarized up was around long enough to play CD's on the CD player, drink all the liquor in the house, and smoke several cigarettes. I figure R had a party while we were gone, and things got out of hand.

At any rate I got the ring back. The police grilled her, and were sure she knew something, but she would never admit complicity.

Mrs A. was there when R got home, and delivered the ring.

I asked her if she wanted to see it. She said yes, so I showed it to her, then went and put it upstairs.

After the police left, she disappeared. My house is big enough that you can disappear. So I wandered around looking for her.

She was in the Master bedroom, and she was sitting there with the ring on her finger, crying her eyes out.

I told her that this was certainly not the way I wanted her to find out about the ring.

I told her "I think the safest place in the world for that ring right now is on your hand. I don't think anyone is going to be able to get it away from you without knocking you out first. Just keep it on for now."

We had already made plans to go to the Lake Quinault Lodge for Valentines Day. I had planned to ask her then, and I did. On one knee and everything. Room 110 in the main lodge.

And the rest is history.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Spider story

The Peanut Queen's post today was about spiders, which resuled in me thinking about this story:

I have always done a little side work on cars. Buy one, fix it up, sell it buy one a little better, etc.

I was working in a printed circuit board assembly area. The area had about 30 women, and three men. It was my first time working with women otside the back seat of the car. It was different.

One of the cute younger ones was Jacki. She was a bit of a scatterbrain, very unfocused, but fun to work with.

She had this 1955 Pontiac 4dr with low original miles. It was in pretty good shape, but she hated it because it wasn't cool.

She came in to work one day, late, pale as a sheet and shaking. I asked her what was up and she told this tale of being run off of the road by a drunk, ending up in the median, and having to be towed out. Everyone was very sympathetic, asking her if she was OK and was her car OK. She said everything was ok, she was just shaken up.

Something about the way she opened her eyes extra wide while telling this tale told me that she was not being truthful.

I cornered her later in the day in a quiet corner, and asked her what had happened.

She admitted the story was a fabrication. What had really happened was she was driving down the freeway and noticed a blur in front of her eyes. When she focused her eyes on it, it turned out to be a spider.

Of course she covered her face with both hands, and the car ended up in the median. I promised not to tell. The statute of limitations ran out some time ago.

I soon after the spider incident I bought the car from her for $75.

One fall day I was in the car driving to work. I was wearing a leather hi-country coat with a sheepskin lining. It was the first time I had worn the coat in six months. It felt like something was inside the arm of the coat.

The "something" turned out to be a spider the size of a quarter, who crawled out of the sleeve and across the back of my left hand. Although it startled me, all I did was let go of the wheel with my right hand and reach out and with as much force as I could generate, flicked him with my middle finger. He hit the winshield with a satifying splat.

Unfortunately he fell down the defroster vent, so I couldn't tell if he was dead or not. I drove the rest of tha way to work with one eye on the road and one eye watching for movement.

I never found the spider, and for a couple of weeks drove around prepared for the worst. I mean he could be out recruiting a bunch of his little spider buddies with his tale of woe. They might even be plotting revenge.

I fixed a couple of things and sold the car.

It had nothing to do with the spider situation.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nothing going on

The only thing going on is that I let L. use my truck today because she had an appointment.

I didn't work on her car last night because it started raining right about the time I got home, and you don't want to get water on the repair until it has time to cure. It is mixed clouds & sun today, so maybe I'll hit it right today.

I haven't slept particularly well the last couple of nights. The arthritis in my neck is acting up. I don't know why. I haven't done anything particularly stupid lately. Except fot loading and unloading a ton of stove pellets, but that was a week ago.

I forget that I can't do all of the things I used to. Or I can, but I have to be willing to pay the price.

L. and her boyfriend are looking at apartments, so I hope they will be moving out soon. I love her, and I think he is a great guy, but they need to be movin' on.

Before Mrs A gets pissed off and throws them out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More car stuff

I guess I will have to get out and try to fix L's car. The last ditch radiator repair try. I will get a fiberglass repair kit and try to reinstall and fortify the radiator spud with fiberglass and resin tonight.

I don't place a lot of faith in this repair method working for any length of time. But it is the last ditch effort before getting a new radiator. Or getting a used one from the wrecking yard. The one from the wrecking yard would carry no warrantee of any kind, so I am leery of going in that direction.

Other than that, there's not a lot going on.

A guy could get used to no crisis.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Movin' Man

I got an e-mail from R. yesterday, and she is moving in to a duplex. She said she would get her stuff after the first. I have offered her the use of my truck, but I think she will probably turn it down.

She is still pissed at me, and it's OK. I will not wither and die.

But it is cutting off your nose to spite your face when you turn down the use of a truck so you can wait a couple weeks and rent one. SHe is so damned stubborn.

Wonder where she got that?

Had too be her mom, and you will NEVER convince me otherwise.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I am a motorhead of sorts. That is to say, I have spent more hours under a car than watching TV. My retirement dream is to buy a classic sports car that I can disassemble, restore every nut, bold and washer, and put back together.

Right now I wouls settle on a garage and shop so I don't have to work in the rain and cold.

Yesterday we spent a couple of hours doing a brake job for Ls 95 little Chev. Not a difficult job, since I have done this many times and have the necessary tools. I supervised and the boyfriend did the work. I knew several shortcuts and stuff. In the end we got it done.

The radiator was leaking some, so the boyfriend attampted to fix it with some JB WELD. There was a crack on the seam by the upper spud, so he puttied it up and let it sit for several hours. When he went to reattach the top hose, the spud broke off.

She had a court appointment in Court today over some unpaid traffic tickets. She is petitioning the court to be allowed too work off the tickets by Public Service instead of paying fines, since she has no money.

So I handed her the keys to the truck I just bought.

I Only cringed a little.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No big Whoopee

There are places where the big windstorm has cut off power, downed trees and phone lines. But here at La Casa De Al it has been a big disappointment.

I love me a good storm. Once during a typhoon, I tied myself to a basketball pole so I could be out in the wind. Y'know the scene with Lt. Dan if Forest Gump when he ties himself to the mast of the Shrimpin' Boat and yells "Is that all you got?"

Thats me.

One of my ideal jobs would be Storm Chaser.

So far this is nothing.

But I am ready...............

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Exhausted + constipated = exhaustipated Def: Too tired to give a shit.

After a busy day at work, with a major storm headed our way, I went and got a ton of pellets for the pellet stove. My little S10 is kinda small for that amount of weight.

When I went to get the pellets, I told the clerk I wanted to pick up a half a ton, take them home, and come back for the rest. They told me they would only sell them as a ton, or by the bag. If you bought the ton, you needed to take them all at once. The bag price is higer, so I did the math.

The truck is rated at 6000 lbs. Weight of the vihicle, say 3500 lbs, plus 2000 lbs of pellets plus almost 200 lbs for me is 5700 lbs. Heck I could throw in a fat man and still be under weight.

So we loaded the pellets. The back bumper was about six inches from the ground, and the hood poined a little in the air.As I drove home the truck tended to wander a little, there being not enough weight on the front end.

I took back roads all the way home, and didn't have any problems.

Luckily L's boyfriend was there, so he helped me unload and stack the pellets. Or rather, I helped him, since he did more work than I did.

But now I am sitting here with a fire going in the pellet stove, watching "The Goonies" with Mrs A, knowing I am prepared for the windstorm that is supposed to hit tomorrow.

If the power goes out I have a generator that will run the pellet stove and a light and the TV. The Motor Home is gassed up and ready to go, and has a gas stove and generator. It will be cool enough outside to keep the beer cold.

What more could a guy ask for?


I had really not envisioned myself as being the parent of a teenager at this point in my life. I had things all planned out. I knew when my kids would be getting out of school, when the house would be paid off, when Social security would kick in. All planned.

Throw in a divorce, and adopt my grandson, and The Plan is no longer valid. According to the original plan, I would be retiring next January. With the new and improved plan, I can't retire for another ten years.

I really don't mind working. I like my job, and I work for a good boss, and work with people I like. The work is challenging and I have to use my brains, remain calm under pressure, be creative, and technically skilled.

But I would like to have the option of coming in tomrrow and tell them it's my last day.

Yesterday V. didn't go to school. He got up, but went back too bed after I left for work. He had been complaining of a major headache the night before, so that in itself is not surprising.

But when I got home yesterday, he wasn't at home. He had gone to the Mall.

The rule has always been "If you are too sick to go to school, you are too sick to go out and play." He knows this. He called from the Mall at 8:00 to say he was on his way home. Didn't walk in the door until almost 10:00.

"Who did you ask if you could stay home from school?"

"No one."

Who did you ask if you could go to the Mall?"

"No one."

This conversation went on for some time. Finally he announced he was going to watch a movie and then go to bed.

"Oh no you're not. You are going to go out in the kitchen and wash dishes, no movie, and then to bed."

"Can't I wait until later to do the dishes?"

"Look you selfish little snot, it may come as a surprise to you, but other people besides you live in this house. Those other people are trying to sleep. It is not your right to disrupt everyone elses life because you are so self involved that you don't even consider them!"

The dishes got done, along with some grumbling.

Some times I wish they hadn't changed the laws so you can't physically discipline your kids, 'cause I sure would liked to haul off and belt him one in the chops.

Anyone want a slightly used, untrained teenager?

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Lot More Nothing

There are no pictures of ML3 in performance, because I gave up my spare camera batteries for the cause.

The AA batteries in April's mic were dead and they didn't have any spares.

Other people took lots of shots of the performance, so they should show up eventually.

On Friday I bought myself a truck.

No big deal. It is a Chev S-10 Pickup with 120,000 miles. The color is turquoise, and I have yet to find anything wrong with it. It is a little temperamental when you first try to start it. Don't touch the gas, or it will flood. Something I discovered after work today. But start it did.


After work I went to transfer the title, but didn't have enough money to relicense it. The tabs aren't due until Dec. 31st, so I have time. But first I had to get it emissions tested for them to transfer the title.

This pisses me off. Even if the vehicle is currently licensed and everything, if you live in certain zip codes, you have to get it tested. Well, what if it wasn't running? I had this logical argument with the clerk, but logic was not a system that applies.

So I ran over to the emissions place had it tested, and ran back. It passed and I walked in at the license place with 30 secconds to spare. I hit every light and crossing sign, but I got it done.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Echo Glen

This is how it all starts out. A big empy room and a lot of equipment

Hanging lights

The lights are all in place and the sound system is being checked out

One of the vertical supports developed a little problem, like breaking in two with all the lights on it. The whole truss setup threatened to come down.

Raw muscle to the rescue. They held the trusses up until we could figure a way to support it. We borrowed one of the monitor stands to support the trusses.

This is what it all looked like when we were through.

The band was in outstanding form. It had been a year since they performed, and the drummer and lead guitar player were new. The new drummer is an animal on the drums (in a good way).
New show, new band members and equipment challenges, it was a great show, and a good time.
Next gig Nov. 3rd.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mo Betta

It appears I am going to live. Not only that, it is a good thing.

My head still hurts, but it's not soo bad.

This weekend we are crewing for ML3, a Christian Rock band. We have been doing this for several years. They mainly play at places of incarceration (Yeah, that means jail). It's a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun, too. They have around 13,000 pounds of gear. Full light show and sound system.

It ususally takes about six hours to set up the equipment, but they have a new and improved super duper one size fits all some assembly required stage setup, so I figure that should add a couple of hours.

They are not a hard core come down and be saved organization. They are more you can have a whole lot of fun without drugs and alcohol kinda bunch. But the songs are all inspirational and have a religious theme.

Go here : and go over to their MySpace page and hear what they sound like.

If I can remember the camera, I'll post some pictures.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Back in the saddle

I made it to work today, but more because I was on Automatic Pilot than any intent on my part.

John asked how I was feeling, so I replied "If my head explodes I hope I don't get any brains on you."

He said "I hate when that happens."

Linda pipes in "Yeah, it's so hard to get out of your clothes."

Feel the love.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


My sinuses are acting up again, so I stayed home again. Ths is agravated by the fact that I have awakened at 3:00 the last two mornings and couldn't get back to sleep.

Mrs A is pushing for me to go to the doctor, but I don't know that it would do any good.

I am sitting here today in an empty house, and that may be the best medicine all by itself. After calling in to work, I went back to bed and finally fell back to sleep, and didn't get up until 11:00. and I'm the kind of persson that never sleeps in beyond 8:00 even if I can.

Things have settled down around here, but nothing is solved.

I think I'll eat something and go back to bed.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Too Much Drama

L. is coming off of a tough relationship, which she jumped into after a failed marriage. Her current boyfriend was waiting in the wings for her to get free, and slipped in the minute there was an opening.

Mind you, I really like this guy. I believe he genuinely loves her and her kids. He does well with the kids, and he is easy to be around and work with.

Last night L. told him to back off. He has been actively pursuing her to move in with him. She moved in with us to make up her mind about what she wants to do. And what she wants to do is finish her schooling as a Pharmacy Assistant, have her own place and take care of herself.

He did not take the news well. We could hear him sobbin from downstairs in the living room. He finally came downstairs and told us goodbye. It was real difficult, because I really like the guy, and seeing this six four 220lb man standing there blubbering like a 10 year old who just had his bike stolen was not easy.

I really felt for the guy, because I have been in his shoes more than once, but as L.'s stepdad I have to support what is right for HER.

I believe it is best for her to go back to school and finish her training, and I know it is not an easy decision for her.

Both Mrs A and I spent quite a bit of time single before we met, and I think it is good to have some time on your own, to be comfortable living by yourself. After you have learned to stand alone, you make a much better partner.

If he truely loves her, he will wait until she is ready to commit.

But it was a little more drama than I was wanting, and it was hard to not get involved.

Monday, October 08, 2007

No Cigar

I am flinging darts this morning. I can't hit a thing.

My rapier-like wit has turned to a dull stick.

The finely tuned engine that is my mind is only hitting on about three cylinders, and may be in the process of throwing a rod.

My input shaft and output shaft are not speaking to each other.

Plenty of horsepower under the hood, it's just not getting to the street.

I have arthritis in my neck, and when it flares up, I start getting spasms in my right arm and hand. It feels like it is on fire. But I have an excellent anti-convulsive muscle relaxer that makes it go away.

Unfortunately it causes my clutch to slip, so I can't get any traction.

It may look like I am sitting here doing very little, but the truth is, I am stitting here doing nothing.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Trans Siberian Orchestra is coming to town!

And I just bought eight tickets on a Pre-sale!

Cant Wait!!!!

If you don't know who they are go here:

Go to the video clips and play Christmas in Serejevo.

On the Other Hand

I posted a couple of pictures from our trip to Oregon the other day.

The sunset picture was good enough that I submitted it to KING 5 News Weather PIX, and it was published. Pretty cool.
A couple of people around me at work downloaded it and set it as their wallpaper.
I feel honored.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I called up R. yesterday, something I have been puting off. I got the cell phone bill and she had gone over her minutes.

By $100.00.

I have been paying her cell phone bill because I wanted to leave a communication channel open.

SHe didn't answer the phone, so I left her a message, and a warning. Basically, I said "Why would I pay a hundred bucks a month for your cell phone so you can call up and leave me obscene voice mails?"

She called back and cussed me up one side and down the other. It seems I ma responsible for every bad thing she has ever done, have never treated her fairly, am the major cause of world hunger and a walking disease vector. Then hung up.

Even I have my stopping point. I have finally had it. If your right hand is infected and no longer is any good to you and only spreads poison in your body, you aputate it.

When Mrs A and I were going to counseling, the counselor said something that stuck in my brain: "You need to examine your relationships. How much am I investing in them, and what am I getting back?"

Not hard to total the accounts here.

So I called up the cell phone company and had her phone shut off.

I will no longer accept the abuse she heaps on me. I have been poised at the edge awaiting any sign she is changing, and all I get is another face full of spit. She says she is exiting , and I am now ready to let her go.

But it still hurts.

On the other hand I got home and told L. about what had happened, and that I wanted to sit in the corner with my laptop and kill stuff. SHe and her boyfriend disappeared. They came back with an Oberto hard dry Salami, and sai "This is for you, but you have to share."

They also bought a jigsaw puzzle, which they know I love to do. We all sat down and worked on the puzzle together. It was great. I went fromsimmering rage and pain to comfortable and knowing that some of the work I have done has born fruit.

When I was at a low point, and everything looked black, the Lord showed me the other side of the coin. My own little miniature version of "It's a Wonderful Life".

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

This'n That

There was this old Black & Decker add that went; "On the weekends it was me against the house, and the house being bigger, it usually won."

Know that feeling well.

I went home last night and it had stopped raining, so I ran upstairs to look, and yes it was dry enough to seal the seam by the flashing. I went downstairs and got some plumbers putty and went up and sealed the seam

10:00 last night I hear "Drip, drip, drip." Get up to look, and sure enough it is dripping on the inside of the window. Too late to do anything, so I put a drip pan in place, and went back to bed.

When I got up this mornning, there wasn't very much water, so I have it 90% comtained. I'll have to get out and figure out where it is getting in. This still doesn't SOLVE the problem, just treats the symptom.

Lest y'all thinnk that my vacation was all sunlight and flowers, I thought I'd set the record straight.

On Monday R. called and confirmed the rumor that she is expecting. We talked for a while, and everything was pretty much OK. She went on to say that she wanted to make peace with Mrs A. I told her that if she really wanted to make peace, she needed to do what I have been asking her to do for the last six months: Write a sincere letter of apollogy to Mrs A for threatening to kill her, to start things off. This if course did not go over well.

I told her that the reason was to force her to look at her own behavior and deal with it, instead of just blowing it off and saying "Oh, I was just mad." like that would justify anything she had done.

I will not budge on this issue. She needs to be held accountable for her behavior, and as long as I allow her to continue with it, things will never change. I love her, but some times I don't like her.

I got up the next morning and there was a voice mail on my cell phone.

"You and your crazy B***ch wife stay the hell out of my business. I am moving in to my own place on Nov. 1st, and you will never see your grandkid. F### you and goodbye."

I am storing her stuff in my basement, and I pay her cell phone bill. I am SSOOOOO tempted to call her up and tell her I am shutting off her cell phone and she has 24 hours to come get her stuff or I will put it out on the street with a big "FREE" sign on it.

But luckily one of us is an adult.