Monday, December 29, 2008

Catching Up

Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanuka, etc! Hope the holidays, whichever you may observe, are great. Even us atheists enjoy the time; parties are always fun. These days I certainly prefer giving gifts to receiving them.

Haven't been blogging much lately because the internet service here is so lousy. Even in the clubhouse it is slow. Heaven only knows what it is going to be like in the future. We are going to try a service that uses accesses the house using a microwave technology. It should work IF they can see a tower from our location.
If that doesn't work, we'll have to go satellite.

Had an amazing experience on Christmas day. We went over to Las Vegas to spend the day with our daughter; had a great time. About 16:00 we headed home; it was raining pretty steadily. Las Vegas is at about 2500 feet above sea level; Pahrump is about the same. However, there is a 5400 foot mountain pass between the two. When the snow level is 4000 feet; you can see the problem. This is compounded by the fact that this is a desert area where they get very little precipitation in any form so they have no snow removal equipment. We were getting into the area where the road was getting slushy when a police car with it's emergency lights on did a U-turn onto the road in front of us. He then proceeded to lead a group of 10 or 15 cars up the pass and down the other side single file at about 35 mph. We even met another cop doing the same thing going in the opposite direction. When we got down the other side, he made another U-turn and lead some other cars up the mountain and down into Vegas. What an idea! It keeps the road open; keeps the speeds down and if someone does go off the road, it won't be long before they get help. I'm just blown away by that kind of thinking. It is FAR too rare. Someone deserves an award.

Now it is the 27th. Haven't been able to use the net here so am simply adding to this text file. It got pretty cold last night - we saw 24 degrees (-3 C) and that is what it was when I walked the dog at 08:00. It is sunny so it should warm up to 50 or so (10 C). Our daughter didn't want the bone from the ham so we have that; I'll be making bean and ham soup later this morning. That will warm up the trailer!

So far it looks like we will be able to close on the house on Monday the 29th but I won't be happy until everything is signed and sealed. This is what we get for wanting to do close this year but the bank owning the property is giving us a bonus for closing in 2008 so we are willing to work for it.

We are getting things going. The electric is being moved into our names on the 29th. We have a guy coming to install a weird microwave internet service on the 31st. Our insurance will come into force on the 29th; including flood insurance! Our furniture and books that have been stored in Florida are scheduled to be loaded on a truck on the 5th to be delivered a week or two later. We have very little furniture, just a few sentimental pieces and a bed that we just bought. Besides that there is our art work; a box or two of clothes; a couple more of tools; and about 30 boxes of books. Because the shipment is so small, we'll have to be on a truck carrying things from several families. So the truck might go from Florida to New York before coming here then going on to California. There is no real way of telling at this point. We'll just wait for the driver to call.

You may recall that I had several difficulties with the water hose freezing. I was in the local museum yesterday and was talking with the curator. In the course of the conversation he mentioned that his well head has frozen for the first time. Oh s*&t, here I was hoping to be done with that particular problem. Not sure what we'll do; but maybe a shed to cover the well and pump might be a good early purchase.

Good morning! Looks like I might get to post this on the 28th. Well, I'll try! Another freezing morning. Cold and clear in the desert. May head over the hill to Vegas to look at furniture today. I was thinking yesterday that we are looking at spending at least $25K to furnish this house. Looks like it was lucky that we got a good price on the house itself.

Now let's see if I can load this - nope! I can read the blog but can't get to the sign in screen. Hmmm, maybe later. At any rate, have a good one!

Now it's Monday the 29th and we have a closing scheduled for 14:00 this afternoon!!! Yes, I'm amazed. Lots of stuff to do this morning but I wanted to post at last. Went out yesterday and bought a new clothes washer and dryer. Wanted to buy the refrigerator but they didn't have any in stock so couldn't sell it. Oh well, we'll try somewhere else. Gotta go. Hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Questions 'n answers

Here's one of those getting-to-know-you things. I don't send shit like this around to friends but I'll at least post my answers here.

1. What is your occupation right now ? Retired

2. What color are your socks right now? black

3. What are you listening to right now? tv - some show my Judie likes

4. What was the last thing that you ate? ice cream

5. Can you drive a stick shift? I prefer it.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? wife, before her our realtor

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Hell, yes!

8. How old are you today? 60 years and a couple of months

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? F1 racing - my only sport too!

10. What is your favorite drink? scotch if you mean alcohol, water otherwise

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? no

12. Favorite food? Stew or soup

13. What is the last movie you watched? Room with a View

14. Favorite day of the year? Today

15. How do you vent anger? Workout or at least walk

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Guns

17. What is your favorite season? shoulder seasons - spring and fall

18. Cherries or Blueberries? Blueberries

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? no

20. Who is the most likely to respond? not sending it on

21. Who is least likely to respond? duh

22. Living arrangements? 26 foot trailer - house 10 times larger soon

23. When was the last time you cried? no idea

24. What is on the floor of your closet? spare towels are stored there

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? see #20

26. What did you do last night? Surfed and drank scotch

27. What are you most afraid of? heights and underground

28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Spicy cheeseburger

29. Favorite dog breed? Mutt

30. Favorite day of the week? Don’t have one

31. How many states have you lived in? IA, TX, WA, NJ, FL, NV - the Netherlands

33. What is your favorite flower? No favorite

Nice day - good food

We are having a bit of a break in the weather today; it's nice! The rest of the week is supposed to be rainy or at least breezy and cloudy. Not that it is like the midwest or northeast where it is really nasty. The winter here just isn't going to be really awful. Heard on the tv this morning that the record is for nine inches of snow in Vegas. That's just a dusting to someplace like Buffalo, NY.

Enough of the weather, I'm off doing laundry this a.m. One of the things about living in a trailer is that you don't have room for lots of clothes so..... I get this opportunity quite often. The upside is that the internet is usually slightly better here. Not today, of course! That means that I can't upload a photo of the snowy mountains. It's interesting looking at the snow/rock formations. There must be some pretty amazing cliffs and valleys up there; I'm hoping to check them out next spring: too cold now; too hot in the summer.

Had fun cooking last night. Made charcroute garni - or at least my version of it! Yum! We didn't have any carraway seeds so that was missing. Also we usually end up with way too much sauerkraut so I don't put as much in as most recipes want. However we did have smoked pork chops which are an improvement over the unsmoked variety that I usually use. I was looking on the web for recipes and found one of Emeril Legasse's. I love his show but he is always SO over the top that I could never actually follow one of his recipes. In this case he had three different sausages that probably aren't even available in the US. Honestly, have you ever seen blood sausage here? But I knew right off the bat that I wouldn't be cooking his way when he started out with a gallon of water! Still, it's fun to watch and the guy does just keep being amazing.

Keep up the good work & stay out of trouble.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Yep, it's snowing in Las Vegas. It's pretty unusual but it does happen and here it is! Of course the news stations are playing it for everything it's worth. I must admit that they have closed the main road west to California so that's something.

I managed to give my cold to my wife so now we are two sickies in this small space. Talk about life in the fast lane. LOL At least I'm on the mend while she is still going downhill. There is a theory that there is a correlation between illness and disruption in your life - disruption defined as moving or the death of a family member or something equally important. Certainly we are having a lot going on with this move and all. At least we should be healthy for our closing - whenever that is!

This home buying from Freddie Mac (one of the federal home mortgage guarantee companies) is a pain in the ass. They are a huge bureaucracy that basically doesn't care. They have things written into their contracts that they simply ignore - things like closing will be seven days after the contract is signed! And they just act like it isn't there. I suppose one could sue them but who's got the money for that? We questioned our real estate salesperson and he just laughed. Said something like 'what can you do'. How's that for helpful.

Have a good one; even if it is snowing where you are too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


It is chilly today but at least the sun is out and it isn't windy. Yesterday we had 40mph winds (65 kph). There is a casino near here that has a huge US flag that was blowing straight out. This morning is is just hanging there. Much better!

Having said that, this trailer isn't very well set up for cold. Our water comes in via an ordinary hose. We weren't sleeping well because of the wind so got up several times in the night to run the water to keep it from freezing. The water was just fine when I left with the dog for her morning walk and was almost frozen when I returned. Bah, humbug!

I'm sure everyone has heard about the US auto industry asking for financial help. It's a tough decision: thousands of peoples jobs are at risk and thousands more if those autoworkers lose their jobs but what can we really do? Is the government going to come to me and tell me I must buy a new truck simply because I can afford it? Britain, France and Germany have all supported their auto industries at one time or another; maybe it is our turn. Those countries are considerably closer to a Socialist form of government than the US; is it our turn to move to the left as well? It would be funny if in the final days of the Republican presidency just before the new 'liberal Democrat' takes office, Socialism manages to get a start here in the land of idiots and nitwits.

Speaking of our wonderful country, I could hardly believe some of the trash I was hearing on tv the other day. This is a small town (not even incorporated as a town) but we have a tv station. (All the other stations are from Vegas.) On our local station there were these two people showing a photo supposedly released by NASA taken by a Venus probe. In the photo there was lots of dirt and something shaped like a log - long, straight & rounded. These two idiots were claiming that it WAS a log; that it proved that there were forests on Venus and the the planet is habitable. My God, how long did they stand out in the sun to get that weird?

Have a good one.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pahrump Days

Sun is up but it's kind of windy this a.m. I was glad of the hood on my jacket. Took a few photos of the full moon but I doubt if they are worth sharing.

Yesterday was a cloudy day in the desert. Temp was in the 50's (12C). When I walked the dog a bit of sunshine managed to shine on the base of the western mountains but not on the tops. Interesting. In a few minutes, it was gone.

I'm going to have to buy some warm clothes. Nights are near freezing and will be getting cooler still for the next few months. When we left Florida we gave away almost all of our clothes; there isn't much storage in our trailer and we thought we would be in warm places. I have one long sleeve shirt! I guess it will be a sort of economic stimulus for the local merchants. (Walmart since it's the only game in town!)

Speaking of things economic; I hear some liberals are worried that Mr. Obama's choices for his cabinet are too centralist. I wonder what they thought they were going to get? If Obama is going to accomplish anything he is going to need the support of lots of lawmakers who are a lot more conservative then he. By selecting
people who are not terribly liberal he may have a chance to get some liberal ideas across. For example, I suspect that if we had a national health service the automakers would be doing just fine. Just my guess but it would be interesting to see some of the numbers.

It does bother me that there are so many people from the Clinton era. (Including most of all, Hillary.) I've read lately about corruption in Bill's White House (including Hillary and her brothers amongst others) and I'd sure like Mr. Obama to get through his term or terms with an untarnished record.

Sorry if my post is all gloom and doom. I've picked up a slight cold and I think it makes me grouchy. Maybe I need to go look at the mountain for a while. Hope you and yours are all doing just fine.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Am I dull or what!

My blogging is getting even duller than when I don't blog! All we are doing is working on this house thing. Yesterday we spent half the day looking at furniture and appliances. It's interesting to my wife who has definite opinions on what features she wants; for me it is torture. Take a clothes washer: I do probably 75% of the laundry in our house. I always use the same settings, the same detergent, etc. I dump everything in the tub and turn it on. However, she is the one who wants the 6 speed washer with eighteen settings and automatic dispensing of every thing you can put into your laundry. She's even joined Consumer Reports to see how they rate the various machines. Guess that's the difference between Mars and Venus.

Just for fun, here's a picture of the house that I keep going on about. It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath on one acre. Pretty typical of the upper scale home in this area. Nothing too fancy but nice enough. (Sorry about the dog butt in the foreground but she was enjoying sniffing her new yard.) Have a good one!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

House in process.......

Not doing a lot these days except getting crap going with the house purchase. Getting a mortgage, mailing stuff all over hell, signing all the stuff, getting things notarized, inspected and sniffed all over! (That last sound like dogs meeting but what the hell.) Of course we've never purchased a house that was foreclosed on before so the process is somewhat different. I won't go into details because it's just too dull and awful. The only thing I will say is that our mortgage is going really easily (so far!) because we have FANTASTIC credit ratings.

However, I'm SO GLAD that the country is moving down a new road from the last eight years. Please don't think that Mr. Obama is going to fix things in five minutes. It could be a long cold winter but at least I think we are making changes in this country that will bring us more into line with the rest of the world. There will be things happening that I don't personally agree with but I think we've got to change a few things.

The first thing Mr. Obama has done that I really don't like is the appointment of Mrs. Clinton to State. She is one nasty woman; her and her husband's connections with India; Israel; the whole Black Rock thing; there is a LOT of dirt there. I'm hoping it takes both of them out of the political world forever without killing the optimistic attitude that Mr. Obama is bringing to our country. That attitude is key to returning to prosperity; maybe we can have prosperity AND honesty. (How's that for optimism?)

Have a good one!