Monday, December 23, 2013

Interesting days....

Tuesday was the day when the carpets were to be cleaned.  It actually come to be but not in the normal way.  First we have to get up early and pull/carry all the furniture off the rug and onto the tile.  We can kind of squirm around to get from here to there.  The guy who does the cleaning showed up about 09:45.  He has kids to get off to school before starting.  That works for us though because of all the funiture moving!  So he starts work.  He is just going to town:  done with the master bedroom, living room and has started the dining room when things get quiet.  He explains that the machine he is using runs on gasoline and it has just run out.  Not only that, he left his debit card at home so he has to go home, get the card then go buy gas.  Sounds like he's having a good day already.  This is about 11:30.

We had a little lunch then decided I'd go into town.  I'm wandering around in the grocery store when my phone rings.  It's my wife.  She wondered what happened to carpet guy so called him.  She got his wife who said he had been home, got the debit card but now was on the side of the road having been pulled over by the state highway patrol.  Hmmm.  The wife actually used the words 'he is being harrassed' by the officer.  I go on with shopping and come home; still no carpet guy.  It was 15:15 by the time he got back to our place and finished the job.  That's almost 4 hours!  I don't know what he was doing but I really can't see the highway patrol officer keeping this guy on the side of the road for more than 15-20 minutes.  Anyway, I hope had fun.  He only had about 20 minutes more work to do the two small bedrooms. 

Wednesday we went into Las Vegas so my wife could go to a movie with our daughter.  They insist on going to this theatre that serves alcohol so I get to do the chauffeur bit.  Good thing I did, my wife slept most of the way home.  While they were at the movie, I got to hit the liquor store and Sam's Club.  Exciting times, huh. 

Then we had to make our annual trip to buy stuff for Toys for Tots.  We usually go for the little kid stuff since we feel the presents are more important for them.  Then Saturday was the Christmas food drive.  We have lots of homeless around here so did two carts:  one for vets and one for familes.  The one for the vets is all single serving stuff with pop-tops if we can get it so a guy doesn't even need a can opener.  Some of them live in tents out on the BLM land and who knows what kind of cooking facilities they might have. 

We have a couple tomato plants that we've been raising in buckets.  It is getting pretty chilly in the night so I carry them out in the morning & bring them in at night.  Believe it or not but the darn things are finally coming up with ripe tomatoes.  Who would have expected tomatoes at Christmas?  We were thinking like maybe a month ago!

It is getting chilly; ice on the birdbath almost every day.  Here I was breaking the ice this morning & having a little fun with it.  I've poked several holes in the ice then when I tap the center I get a fountain.  Doesn't take much for me sometimes!  LOL

So the house is clean; the charities taken care of and the Christmas tree set up.  Sounds like we are in good shape.  Please have a happy and safe holiday.  Take care.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jeez, time really does fly!

I just noticed that I haven't updated the blog since Tuesday.  The embarrassing thing is that I can't think of anything even remotely interesting that I've accomplished in that time.  Jeez, really? 

Back a few years ago Microsoft came out with this pc-thing that took over the world.  Yeah, I know about the Fruit company but in offices it was pretty much Windows.  Anyway, they had a notepad that I think they are still supporting and I discovered that if you opened the notepad and put .LOG in the first line, it would time-date stamp it every time you opened it.  Hmmm.  From that day to this I've used that piece of software.  These days it is more of a diary but it used to be that I'd be on the phone with someone making notes of what we were saying.  I'd have a note that I promised a software fix by Tuesday; or they promised a new spec; or whatever.  And after I got off the phone and talked with three people about three different problems, I still had my notes right there.  I absolutely love it.  It must have saved a tree's worth of paper from me taking notes in notebooks.  Also my typing is a hellova lot easier to read than my penmanship!

So, what have I been up to?  We took the photo of the cat that I posted last time and went to Walmart and in an hour got our custom Christmas cards printed up.  Our Walmart appears to have cut people's hours.  The checkout lines were crazy so after paying for our cards at the photo counter we just left.  Didn't do much on Wednesday.  I was convinced we could buy screen-storm door for one of our doors; two hours on the internet convinced me that it may not be possible.  The problem is that the door isn't a standard size; it's about an inch off and I can't find any that are adjustable.  Grrrr.  Apparently that was about all I accomplished on Wednesday.  Well, I did sell a stock that we've had for a couple years and it's up a bit but hasn't paid a dividend so it's outta here. We also got those Christmas cards out.  They mostly go to folks who aren't too computer savvy but there are a couple going to friends I've had for 40 years but don't really correspond with all that much.

Thursday we went into town and bought a bunch of stuff for Toys For Tots.  We usually go for the small kids stuff; by the time a kid is in the teens they ought to have a grip on reality.  I don't know if I'm done with that; there are an awful lot of poor kids out there and the hype about Christmas drives them all crazy - rich or poor. 

Friday the big thing was working on my pension.  I turned 65 this year and have been having difficulty communing with the Retiree Benefits departments of a couple corporations I worked for many moons ago.  Each company has a different set of rules and they stick by them.  It won't be enough to live on but it can't hurt.  I guess that's pretty much out of style now; pensions I mean.  I don't agree with that.  My wife worked for one company for 28 years; how is it that an employee like that shouldn't be kept on the books.  It doesn't have to be a free ride but to be kicked to the curb sounds wrong.  She has her pension but I don't know that current employees are going to be as fortunate.

Yesterday was Number One Daughter visit day:  she and her mom watched movies and I hid in my den.  I don't care for most movies these days:  too many dead bodies and gratuitous violence for me.  But the food was good and we had a good talk after dinner so it wasn't all bad.  Today we are munching on left-overs and contemplating a walk.  We call it Life in the Fast Lane.

Have a good one.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Going to the Birds

Yeah, I know it isn't much but I am pretty much out of news.  We took the cardboard that our new closet was shipped in off to the recycler.  It filled the bed of the pickup.  I used two of the boxes to hold all the little stuff and flattened the rest.  It was pretty impressive.  Our recyclers location is in the same place as the landfill so that was kind of interesting.  Even in a small town like this the landfill is a huge operation.  Did I think to take photos?  Duh, no. Sorry about that.

It was chilly this a.m. 18F or -8C.  We had a flock of doves in the backyard this morning.  It was kind of a nice change from the pigeons we usually get! 

In the front yard our borrowing owl was all puffed up trying to stay warm.  Don't know why but he seems to have adopted our culvert as a home.  It seems kind of big for such a little guy but he's been here a while.

We did manage to get the annual insult-the-pet picture.  Doesn't he look happy?
Well, I guess that's it for today.  Have a good one.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Not much to say!

I'm kind of out of news.  The closet has been such a big deal for the last week or so that I haven't done much else.  We planned this to be a quiet day because all the weather forecasters in Vegas said there was a big system coming down from the north that would bring us at least rain but most likely snow.  Well, that didn't work out!  It's about 55F (more than 12C) which certainly isn't anything to complain about.  Not here in December for heaven's sake.  It's been mostly sunny as well.  The wind is blowing but you can't have everything.

We have this huge pile of broken down boxes in our living room.  There are some boxes full of 'protective packaging' but lots of empty boxes.  Here is what the protective stuff looks like: 
On the left is a piece of maybe inch and a half (4 cm) cardboard that is cut into the right size to protect stuff in the boxes.  It's just ordinary but thick cardboard.  On the right is some cardboard that has been sliced up so it still has some strength but is really flexible.  I have serious cubic feet of this stuff!  It ranges from about a foot long (.3m) to 6 feet (almost 2m).  Then there is a pile of flattened cardboard boxes.  I'm pretty sure I've got a pickup truck load.  I'm thinking I'll load it into the truck then wait until next week and take it to the recycler.  Life in the fast lane.

I saw two stray dogs in the neighborhood; one would come to me, the other wasn't really willing.  It's the first time I've touched a dog since our dog died last January.  It was even a black dog much like ours.  It was tough; I wanted to grab them and take them around the neighborhood asking if anyone was missing a dog but don't really have the facilities for that - not to mention the one with a collar didn't want to come talk.  Called Animal Control; I guess that's about all one can do. 

My wife is wrapped around her own axle about Christmas.  It's looking like we'll have both Number One Daughter and Number One Son (and Number One Daughter-In-Law) for the holiday.  That would be great but it brings up questions.  Presents:  should we or should we not?  We are talking 40 year old 'children'; they can buy anything they want.  I'm hoping the don't still believe in Santa!  Food:  everyone has an opinion and everyone but me is a picky eater.  Can't have this; can't have that:  I probably draw the line at bugs but who knows?  Length of stay:  we have one very jealous Number One Daughter.  Can't have anyone else staying longer than she does.  Let me tell you, I'm in search of a place to hide next Christmas; somewhere they won't want to follow us to!  I'm reading Kevin & Ruth's blog and they are making Africa sound really great.  Who knows.

Gotta go.  Time for some feet up time in the recliner before dinner.  Have a good one!

Done! And boy does it feel good!

Ok, no more whining about the closet.  It's done; most of our clothes loaded into it and, gee, we have a lot more room.  Well, that's what organization does for you.  Here are a couple shot of his and her's sides.

You will notice that there are quite a few empty shelves; if you could see into them, there are empty drawers too.  Let's hope we don't go buy more 'stuff' to put into them!  I already have half a dozen shirts I should be giving away.  Anyway, you won't have to listen to any more whining about the closet except possibly for the trip to the recycling place.  All those boxes need to be broken down and carted off; I'm thinking a full pickup load of recycling.  You know I might whine about that.

In other news, Las Vegas is expecting some snow; mostly rain but in the higher elevations it might be snow.  They don't talk much about us but we are higher than Vegas so if it comes this way I might have a snow photo or two. 

Yesterday the birdbath was completely frozen.  It started to thaw around the edges and the pidgeons started fighting over the little slurps of water.  It was kind of funny but I couldn't let it go on.  I broke some of the ice away and filled it with water.  Calm was restored.  AND I was smart enough to go out and empty the water at sunset so they have a full bath this a.m.

I also must announce the suspicion of a bird casuality.  Let the picture tell the story.
The circle of life and all that.  I can't think that one of these birds flew away.  Maybe our friend the hawk visited but I didn't see it.  Anyway, there you go.

Gotta go.  Have a good one!

Thursday, December 05, 2013


OK, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  The remainder of the turkey is still with us however!  Well, it will be a couple more days and we'll have 'disposed' of it one way or another.  Then there is the asparagus.  My wife and daughter think that eating two spears is getting their veggie.  It takes a very long time to eat a pound of asparagus at that rate!  

The closet is still kicking our asses.  First it was paint the damn place.  You know that it would take about 1.2 gallons; not a gallon; not even two but now we have plenty of leftover Pineapple Fondue or whatever if we want more light yellow walls.  Then it is put up this track that everything else hangs from.  Needless to say the walls are nowhere near straight.  I used a whole package of shims!  One spot actually required two.
Like they always say, measure twice & cut once.  Well, there is a missing piece there; check the level twice too!  But we managed.  The blue tape is marking where we are wanting vertical pieces since they are supposed to be pretty close to studs.  I can see it.  This metal track is going to hold up something over 900 lb of shelving PLUS anything we want to put on it.  I guess having it secure will be a good thing.

This is as far as we are now.
Shelves and hanging bars are in but the drawers and clothes hamper are still in the working stage.  It should be ok but we are taking today off.  My wife is going to the dentist and I've got a bunch of errands that have stacked up. Hell, I'm getting used to picking my clothes out of the pile on the floor.  My shirts get to hang in the laundry room over the cat box where, well, there might be odors from time to time but I'm not that pristine either.

Life in the fast lane, huh?  Hang in there.  Life is better than the alternative.