Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Imagine A World...

As the Twilight Zone plays on TV, I am thinking over the past year. To date I have subbed in MANY classrooms. I have become a popular sub among the teachers and the students. I have difficulty walking in town without being recognized and hailed.

I have seen many historic artifacts and none compare, to me, to the USS Arizona's anchor which I saw in Phoenix in March. Back in March, I also got to visit the biggest air museum on the West Coast. PIMA AIR MUSEUM rocked!

It was also great meeting the friends we had established in AZ via the internet. Kim, John, nd the rest of the Bisons were great! Our trip to Arizona was a great change of scenery. We loved every moment, even those spent with Drifter.

I began blogging in the early days of March. I have since made 349 blogs...this should be number 350. I have enjoyed meeting SO many new people, and even now, connecting with old friends. Hello, Erin and Dana! I have become a blog drivin' man.

I have braved tractors and mowers, which have done their best to break me. At times, they were close. I even survived a mower that lost a wheel! I survived some dumb people. I also enjoyed my job. This has been, all in all, a pretty good year. I like to think it is just a warm up the the big 2009.

I have seen many airplanes during my life, but several during my visit to McChord AFB in July were cool, never-the-less.

We have been working on an adoption since April, 2007. We had a chance in June, but that was ripped callously away. Then we opened an account with Burundi...still, we wonder when a baby will come. Seriously, 2008 was not good for babies.

This fall has seen me sub more than ever. I ended the year with subbing for the maintenance department, organizing blueprints. Overall, I think 2008, while good, could have been much better and filled with children.

I hope 2009 has better prospects for us! I can't wait to have little ones!

So, I hope that you, dear friend, have a happy and safe New Years Eve! I hope you all have a good view!

Happy 2009!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best Blog Award, EVER!

OK, maybe I should have suggested that (Best Blog Award)...but, instead, I have been awarded THIS AWESOME award by Diana! You want to see the REAL THING? Look to the right!

She was giving out a girlie award a few days ago and I suggested it was maybe a little too estrogeny (my exact word was "GIRLIE" I believe.). I even suggested how she might make it a better award (I am always trying to help people improve themselves). I suggested she might make an award more manly...maybe for the "Best Aviation Related Blog," or "Most Historical Content," or "Too Much Testosterone Award." I was being facetious, so I did not expect to find an award for ME on her site this morning, though! And I CERTAINLY did not expect find an award for ALL THREE! I must come across pretty Historical, Aviated, and Testosterony on my site! Diana is awesome, by the way. She has done both Cora's Signature and Grandma's Blog, you should go see her if you want a blog overhaul...I highly recommend her services! I, eventually, intend to ask her about a manly overhaul of my own blog in the next few months...once I have paid for Christmas. So, if you would like to comment on a particularly Aviationy, Historical, and testosterony blog, you might just want to slip on down to the comment bar and leave me some compliments.

So, just to prove my Aviationess I give you this:

and this site.

Oh, you want historical? Did you know that Admiral Halsey, of the famous 5th Fleet of WWII, did not have the best of grades? He made up for that by being so darned charming and good looking...hmmm, reminds me of me! Oh, and check out me being historical in THIS picture! Don't you just love my expression? Looks like I swallowed too much testosterone...

which leads me to:

Testosterony? look at me! Who could be more testosterony!?!?
I make that ARMED GUARD look TINY!

Thank YOU Diana!! I know you meant this in jest, but, truthfully, it is the first blog ward I have ever been given...sniffle sniffle...I will treasure it always! and I will never forget it!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dead Eye!

Cora and my Sister-In-Law got me some good Wii games for Christmas. I have played Call of Duty a few times and am now on my way across Germany fighting alongside my comrades! I also got Link's Crossbow Trainer. It came with the gun attachment. I apparently have good hand-eye coordination(...Another reason I'd have made a hell of a pilot!) and have finished that game handily...until my coworker and electrician friend explained to me just how much I could be doing with that game...I picked it up when I got home and WOW!! I took his suggestions and now have had phenomenal scores! Cora has yet to come close.
The weather was wacky today. When I stepped out at 7am, there was freezing rain blanketing everything. When I stepped out of the shop it was snowing BIG FLUFFY FLAKES at about 10am. At lunch, it was sunny and remained so (and in the 40s) until 4pm. Weird. We ended up with almost two inches of snow in about 2 hours.
I had planned to come home and take the boxes of Christmas stuff out to the shed, but my back was aching from organizing blueprints today...Apparently bent over at the waste is not a good posture. I am almost done with the darned things! I think the boss will be pleased.
My electrician friend also said he would try to bring me some Alder wood to smoke! We got someswiss for that...but to make sure the cheese was good, I used it on some Cordon Bleu tonight. Oh, it was SOOOOOO good!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Tree Is Gone, It's On The Streets!

Yesterday, I was a bit under the weather. I had a headache and never fully went away until after I went to bed. Today, I felt fully alive...err, well, better. A good deal better, actualy, since I felt up to going to town for groceries. We got some goodies and some necessities. When we came home we put put the groceries away and then took down the tree. We had planned on rearranging the living room but, after lovingly putting the ornaments away, and dragging the hostile tree outside, neither of us felt up to it. Sometime this week, our living room will be more Wii Friendly. It isn't bad now, but it is considerably shorter in length than it used to be.

I am more than normally happy to see the tree gone. That thing was as prickly as an epileptic porcupine...and nearly as dangerous. Everytime you passed by the damned thing it tried to reach through your jeans and stab you. Most times it was successful. You did not even have to rub against it. All you had to do was stand nearby and somehow it would nab you! It looked nice from a distance, but you could not trust it!

One of the things we got was more cheese. We bought some more Tillamook sharp cheddar and some swiss cheese for smoking! I am in love with smoking cheese! I was surfing the net last night; curious about smoking. I found out some more about it and now I want to smoke a chicken or a turkey. Sounds yummy and I like a challenge!

We had a minor disaster the other day. It was the day after Christmas. We were sitting here thinking about getting ready to go when I noticed the fish tank was bubbling. I asked Cora to pour some water in it, but she quickly informed me there was more to it. When I got over there I noticed an electrical smell...the pump had clogged and was sending water over the side... Sometime in the near past one of us had removed the power strip from the wall and had forgotten to put it was right in the drip path. We averted disaster! I cleaned it out yesterday and everything is back to normal. The corals are happy and so are we!

Grandma has had more widespread publicity than originaly imagined! She has hd her article run in the Seattle news paper, and on the KOMO news site. This morning, she said she got interviewed by CNN Radio! How awesome is that!?? Way to go Grandma!

Well, back to work tomorrow...yay.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christms Act Three And The Recovery

Well, Christmas:Act Three was GREAT! I got the Wii gun, so now I can take Pacific Islands and European cities with ease! I got one of those picture hanging levels, too. I got a flask and numerous other things! I made out like a bandit!

Cora went to town with her sister and her mom for some shoes (I was supposed to get her shoes...but, jeez, that's not fun, so she had to get them herself).

I gave out my smoked cheddar as a gift. My dad called tonight to ask about smoking times...apparently, my smoked cheddar did not last very long! It seemed to be popular with everyone.

Cora's Grandmother is becoming famous! KOMO news on the West Side covered her story! I figure it's only a matter of time before she is on Good Morning America! You can view her coverage by KOMO here. Congrats Grandma!

Now we have to recover from the holiday mess!

I've got some pics!

Yesterday dawned bright and sunny, however, the night before was foggy and cold...the trees were covered with rime.

I took my beer/cider...Everyone who tried it seemed to think it was alright. Ryan is modeling it, here:

Here you see what appears to be part of the family suddenly asleep while unwrapping packages...I think they all blinked at the same time...good timing?

Not everyone was thrilled by the gifts...

Here are the three sisters...not shown is the gooey chic-flick they were watching.

And we sit around the remains of dinner...note what had once been a plate piled high with ham...we devoured it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Three Acts

Christmas has been excellent! So far, it's been 2 days with one left. The first was at my parents. The second was yesterday with the two of us, and I am looking forward to the final act today. Cora gave me some super gifts yesterday! She got me Hot Fuzz and Call of Duty for the Wii. I was busy fighting my way across an island in the Pacific last night and this morning. I am enjoying the battles.

She also got me a wonderful book about Bull Halsey. Thus far she is the only one who shopped from my wish list on Amazon! Still, that's not to say I have gotten bad gifts. I have enjoyed Christmas!!

I hope everyone else has, too. And to those of you in Canada, England, and I don't know if Australia does it, a Happy Boxing Day to you too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gifts, Please, and Keep 'Em Coming!

So Christmas with the FAMILY! Here are some photos which I will let do the talking for me.

Here is a niece and nephew with their grandpa...or Papa

This is Emma with Grandma.

My newest nephew! David! Isn't he the cutest? Tell me you wouldn't just hug this kid as hard as you could?

Emma models the outfit Cora picked out for her. I think she is destined for Vogue...
Eli, looking like having a picture taken is maybe not on his top ten list of things to do on Christmas Eve...
Emma discovering one of her presents.
Eli and his Thomas the Train!
Grandparents and Grandkids...
Dad helping his kids...
Mom and Daughter discussing the attributes of this gift.
Me, to prove I was there.
Cora was, too.
David again, he is the cutest!

It was great! I got some great gifts, but most of all I spent time with family! I enjoyed it! I hope you get some good time with your family, too! That's what the holiday is for asfar s I am concerned! Family!

C'mon Gimme The Presents!

We are going to spend Christmas Eve with my family. To get the Christmas Spirit going I suggested we let me open a gift this morning. Cora suggested I take a flying leap...I don't think she has gotten into the Christmas Spirit yet...I thought it was all about giving! And she won't give me ANY my presents!

I offered to give her a Christmas card if she would let me open one...still no dice. I got her coffee this morning...I am SO generous and she is SO stingy! She even knows she is getting "Socks" for I have very little clue as to what I am getting.

I will post again tonight or tomorrow with the pictures I take doubt my little neice will pander for the camera, and I will probably get several good candids of my nephews! Love those kids! Oh, and I might take a few pictures of my family in compromising positions...keep your fingers crossed!

Until then, I hope you all have a safe and warm day!

Oh, and I want to wish my very favorite Sisters-in-Law a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! They are getting old, but they're still my little sisters!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blueprint to Happiness

So, I have been working maintenance the last two days. Not really hard work, I have just been organizing the blueprints...the district has A LOT of blueprints. Every building, and some that have gone. And you would not believe HOW DAMNED MANY BLUEPRINTS THERE ARE!! Apparently it is tradition to remodel the schools every 20 to 30 years, that is when they don't build new ones. This district has been around for about 80 years...each time there is a remodel they have 7-10 blueprint sets, if not more. Plus numerous drawings and drafts. Lets just say there are tons of prints and drawings for me to organize.

I've found some really neat ones. I found the orignial prints to the old HS from 1934. I found a few from 1935, 1948, and 1954. My favorite was found at the end of the day...they were from 1927! The grade school from around here. It was really neat seeing the detail work the architects expected of the craftsmen. I have been re-rubber-banding the newer ones and trying to label them all with school, type of print, and date. The old ones get wrapped in some paper to protect them as best as I can...I never thought much of blueprints, but there was A LOT of work tht went into them! I am amazed. It has been educational, too. Since now, just looking at the plans I am becoming familiar with the ways the schools changed through the years...what additions came first and what the schools looked like. I thought I was almost done this morning, until I walked around the corner and found BOXES more. Oh, well. It isn't bad work. I actually enjoy going through old papers and stuff...So, it is not really work, but a certain kind of happiness for me!

I took my lunch at 7:45am this morning. I called around to some stores to see if the "Socks" I wanted to get Cora were in. They said there were three socks! I told them I would be right there. Needless to say I got Cora's special socks today! As I was walking out two others had bought the other two...uh, socks. I am so hppy I ws able to find the socks she has wanted...She will be so happy!

Tomorrow, we spend Christmas Eve with my family. I hope for some cool gifts!!! Wish me luck!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Better Dilate Than Early

I like to drive. I loved getting my license. I would sit in my 1965 Plymouth Valiant for hours before I got my license. I did not enjoy working on it, but I liked sitting in it. When I finally got my license, I would leave for "drives." I would not go far, since for the first several months that I drove it there were holes in the gas tank at about the half-tank level. So, my range was, shall we say, limited. Still, I loved the freedom.

I lived in the Yakima Valley most of my life and so rarely had the opportunity to drive in large cities. When I did finally get the chance, I liked it. I love Seattle and I-5. When we moved to California, I loved I-80 in lanes! And speeds were often 15 or 20 miles an hour over the limit...just to keep up with traffic. I would not call myself an aggressive driver, more of an assertive driver. Cora might sometimes simply shorten that description to the first three letters; actually, I think she has.

She also might say I have road rage issues. I disagree. I sometimes have problems with other drivers. It is hardly my fault that they don't drive fast enough or, conversely, they don't drive slow enough. They take corners wrong. They drive straight in just the wong way. They often don't accelerate fast enough, and some of them even have the nerve to tailgate me! So, yes, sometimes, rarely, really, I might possibly utter the odd four letter word under my breath, but I would never yell or make disparaging remarks about the other drivers' heritage.

I have driven in snow since I began driving. I have had my share of twirls, pirouettes, and other less ballerina-like maneuvers in the snow, but I feel I am fairly good at it. Especially when I am in my truck, even though I don't have snow tires or sand in the back. It will do amazing things with the flick of the wheel. I managed a 360 degee turn today in a circle of about 30 feet. Snap the wheel hard over and jam on the accelerator...perfect. Fun, too. Same maneuver can make parking a beautiful thing, too.

My truck, as I mentioned, hasn't got snow tires, nor is it a 4x4. I usually drive accordingly. I have a good idea of how long it will take to slow down or stop, since I test it every once in a while. I have made it through many winters with just a 2 wheel drive. I have seen many 4x4s in the ditch while I drove by smiling.

Today, I saw an idiot driving one of those 4x4s. It didn't dawn on me why he was an idiot for awhile. I just knew he was an idiot. Finally I had it. He kept tapping his brakes. But why? He was following another car way too close and every 7 or 8 seconds would tap his brakes. I followed him from a constant distance...and still, never tapped my brakes...just take your foot off the accelerator, stupid jerk! I would have flipped him the bird but (a) it was dark...and (b) I would have probably gotten frost bite if I'd rolled the window down. So, I want to take advantage of my doubtless wide readership to share my season's greetings to that meat head: Person in that white F-250 that I followed tonight, you are an ASS. HO HO HO. La La La Laaaaa.

OK, now that I got that out of my system I feel better. Maybe even a bit more cheery!

I had an eye appointment today. My optometrist told me, quite as though he were discussing the weather, that the perscription in the eye that I got poked in is extremely strong. I looked at him expectantly. He did not disappoint. He said my perscription is in the top 3%...or, as he explained, only 3% of the population has perscriptions stronger than mine. Hmmm, that is interesting...if a little bothersome.

Then he changed the subject and said he wanted to dilate my eye, which is not to say that my eye will live longer than me, but rather that he would put some drops in my eye to make my pupil open WAY too much for normal vision. Yippee, now can I have a tooth removed, too? Well, the verdict was positive. I am just going to get another set of contacts for the same perscription.

Come to think of it, the dilated eyes might be why I was so angered at the idiot in the F-250 flashing me every 7 seconds with his too bright tail lights. I arrived home with a headache. Ahhh, this is the life.

Hockey Monkey Monday?

We are still enjoying Canadian tempertures out there. So it only seems fitting to introduce you to a song I heard a few years ago, which is slightly stupid, but completely fun! I can't think of a better time to share it.

There, that wasn't so bad, was it? All the scientists are running around...gonna be in your head all day, isn't it? You are welcome.

I am still battling the cold I picked up from those lovely children last week. For some strange reason I can sleep better in my chair (and heavily drugged). I hate colds! I feel fine during the day, but sleep is difficult to come by in decent amounts or quality. It's a good thing I am resilient.

So, Wednesday we plan on spending with My parents and my sister's family. (I hope I get some cool things!) I probably should have put up Christms list here...because, I want a Red Ryder BB gun, and a Jeep, and a pair of Lazer Shooting Battling Remote Control Helicopters, and loads of books...huh? Oh, sorry, I get carried away...and NO, I will not shoot my eye out.

Incidentally, as a kid, I had a lovely Daisy Red Ryder BB gun...which withstood the years and wear and tear of probably 1,000,000 BBs very probably still resides in my parent's attic...though it doesn't shoot like it used to. Oh, back to what I was gonna say: I ALMOST shot my eye out once...well, not quite, but it was a very good thing that I wore glasses as a kid. The two liter pop bottles, when they first came out, were of fairly solid construction. Thickish walls. Well, if you were a ten year old kid, and were bored (which I often was), you might enjoy shooting bottles(which I often did). Sometimes you might fill bottles with water and shoot holes in them. (I can't explain why it was fun, it just was, ok, so all you girls out there just hold in your questions and smart alleck comments) Well, when you mixed the rigid sides of the plastic bottles with the semi-flacid nature of a bottle being partially filled, coupled with the correct angles, range, muzzle velocities, and ballistics, you got a Rogue BB that would come STRAIGHT back at the shooter. Like I said, it was a good thing I wore glasses. Fortunately much of the velocity had been traded in the act of changing direction and my glasses and my forehead were never seriously damaged, but still, it had the capability of scaring the crap out of a kid whose dad had told him that if he ever shot his BB gun at things too close and ended up getting hurt, his BB gun would be unceremoniously taken from him for what promised to be eternity.

I loved that BB gun...I will have to write an entire post about it...

Well, it's Monday, I have to go get dressed and work Maintenance today. I suspect that rather than putting me to work organizing the Transportation Building's attic, I may end up having to help with Snow Removal...I will keep you posted, since I know you are all just on pins and needles to know.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Grandma's Blog!

So, today was a big day for My wife's grandmother (I also claim her as mine, but Cora had her first, so I really have to take seconds, I suppose.). The local newspaper ran a story on her. Apparently not all 80 year old women have their own blogs...if they don't, I think they ought to. Here is a link to the story... You all better think she is the most awesome, or I am coming to see you with a baseball bat and a sledge hammer...just kiddin'! But, you should check out her site, if you haven't already.

Cora and I stayed in. I did go out and shovel the walk and get the paper. Cora made candy and goodies, while I looked on...eager to lick the fodge bowl. YUM! She can make some mean fudge! I was mostly in charge of making sure we were watching a movie at all times.

In 1994, a movie came out, which is not so surprising, because many movies come out each year, which makes that kind of dumb statement, unless I am introducing a movie that I think deserves particular attention, which I am. It was about the time that Hugh Grant began to become popular and quite awhile before his experience with a call girl and TV cameras.

It is a tale of woe and happiness. It is a tale of four weddings and a funeral, hence the name: Four Weddings and a Funeral. Ever since we first saw it, we both loved it. Some of the best scenes show how the main character Charlie seems to have bad luck with women. It is a great window into Birtish humor.

The winter weather continued to hound us. We have picked up an additionl inch or so since this morning. I shoveled the walk a few times, still, I will neeed to do it again in the morning. I also made soup for dinner...chicken and potato soup. Yum! It was excellent. I also chopped up some BBQ pork and some cheese and we had a light lunch. Cora's goodies were...well, they may not make it to the holidays!

Cora wrapped gifts and I helped where I could, mostly I helped her out. We watched movies all day long. Which leads me back to Four Weddings and a Funeral. After my best friend passed away, the eulogy that is delivered during the funeral part seemed to take special meaning to me.

It is called the Funeral Blues, buy W.H. Auden.:

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin,let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H. Auden

I hope I haven't brought too many of you down, I just like the poem. I also had an excellent day! I spent it with my wonderful wife and we took it easy while watching the quail break bread on our walk. I had a good day! I hope yours was the same!

Nature's New Fashion Statement

This is the front yard this morning, about 730am

Apparently, white is the new earth tone. Everyone is using it to cover those unsightly...everything.
OK, not really, but I thought that sounded less cliche than "winter wonderland," or "white Christmas," which it definitely is and will be, but I feel I need to be more creative and a little less predictable.

We went shopping yesterday for a few necessities and just as we were calling it quits, mother nature decided to drop some snow on our heads. We obligingly stayed home after that. I smoked my cheese...does that sound middle school of me? Like cutting the cheese, except more "sophisticated" somehow? "Well, it was fine in here, until Jim Smoked the Cheese, then everyone started gagging and choking." Hmmm, yeah, I think that could be a new phrase for fart...somehow it gives a slight hint to the aroma one might expect from a fart thus described. "A burnt cheese smell hung in the air, as though someone had smoked the cheese moments earlier." yeah, very descriptive... OK, how did I get on the subject of gas exchange?
This is the front yard lst night bout 730pm
I began by talking about the snow, which appears to be about five or six inches deep out there now, but, since I just got up and am bare...foot, I don't plan on testing it anytime soon.
The other day I got home and saw the quail leave the front of the house. We have quail(California Quail, Callipepla californica) , by the way, that hang around the houses with bird seed. We don't usually have seed, since we don't have a decent tree to put a bird feeder in, but quail are ground birds and so I went in the house and found some seed from when we were in California and spread it on the, you would have thought I had given them a new lease on life..which is possible given the temperatures lately. They scratch around just like chickens. I had no idea. They are neat little birds. I have some video, too.
We bought LED lights for the tree this year, since they are supposed to last some 10,000 hours and be more efficient. I opened a box the other day and only half of the damned string lit up. Then last night one of the strings on our tree suddenly and without any visible cause blinked a few times and went out. I am more than a little miffed. They cost a little more than the regular lights and, one would assume, with the billing they have received from the press, they would be better...not so.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Comes Early...and Late.

Check this out!

So, this wonderful little gem arrived and I m SOOO excited! I have never been to a decommissioning! The USS Kitty Hawk will be decommission on January 31, 2009. I expect to be there with my wife and parents in tow.

COLD out. We are getting some snow now and I m smoking some more cheese, I hope it turns out as well as my last batch. Supposed to be winter storm nice

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Am An Awesome Dodgeball Player!

I mean it. I totally kicked ass. I was catching the balls, and I was taking the opposing team out like pathetic little bowling pins. You should have seen some of them just tip over! Ahh, it was spectacular! I could totally go to a national competition.

I taught PE today. At one of the elementaries. I taught Kindergarten through Third grade today. Mostly they took care of themselves when I told them what to do.

About 1:00 pm, I was asked to take care of two classes at once, since the PE teacher had gotten it easy during the week when the classes went to practice their Christmas Carols for the Assembly with the Music Teacher. There were really too many kids to do what we had been doing, so I decided dodgeball was called for. I have a very bad habit of joining them when there is dodgeball in the offing.

So, one of the classes was full of second graders, the other was third graders. We had class vs. class, but the girls really wanted to kick the boys' butt. So, when I suggested that, they all screamed, "YEAH!!!!!" I said ok, and let them go at it. All this time I was aching to get in on the action. There was some cheating on both sides...but the girls were not catching very many balls, so fewer of them were returning to the game. I decided I should help. I picked up a few balls and entered the game, yelling to tell everyone. This brought cheers from both sides.

My volleys slammed into boys!! A couple were knocked over in slow motion, complete with the sound effects. I knocked one of the opposing team's bowling pins over (knock 'em all over and the game is done). I decided to bring some more girls into the action and reached out to catch a ball...and it bounced off my fingers. DAMN.

It didn't take long for me to figure out another way into the game. I finally got warmed up and was catching balls and knocking out players. Then the girls' last pin got knocked over. So, we decided another game was in order. At the beginning of that one, one of my balls knocked down two kids! HA!! I ROCK!! As long as the opposing team is made up of second and third graders. I could totlly win nationals single handedly!! In the Third grade level.

All in all, it was a good day...except the beginning did make it look like it would be. Just as I was leaving town I turned onto the hi-way, there were no cars coming either direction, and it was at that moment that I witnessed the front of my truck turn right into my lane...and keep going. I calmly let off the gas and turned the wheel appropriately and tapped the brakes. The truck stopped and I gently edged back onto the road. There were no other problems. still, I began to wish I had packed another pair of pants.
This is not really my truck, this is only a picture. If this had really been my truck, it would have been accompanied with sobs and cries of anguish.
I just found this and thought I should place it here for safe keeping!


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Gods Must Be Angry...again.

At first, I thought I might faint, it was THAT gruesome...First, though, you have to hear it from the beginning.

I used to drink A LOT of Pepsi. I still CAN and DO empty two cans at lunch, but I don't drink it at night as much as I used to. Depending on the evening, it can be orange juice, grape juice, beer, wine, hard alcohol, water, tea, 7up, some mixture of the preceding, or whatever else happens to be on hand. I now wonder if maybe I should be drinking more given the scene I faced this morning. But, you really need to know how the day began.
Again, teachers have decided to work thus leaving me none. We decided that I should not wear out my welcome in the maintenance department too early, as I will be needing it for the days that the teachers aren't teaching during break. So, yeah, I kind of had another day off, but I have been spending my time cleaning around the house; you know, the stuff that doesn't get done during a normal day. This is the second day I have done this. I used Cora's car on Monday, and so have not used my truck since Friday afternoon.

Cora went on to work, and since there were no left overs from last night's dinner and I was not working today, I told her I would bring her lunch. I cleaned part of the morning, then it was about time for me to go into town and get lunch. I got my coat on and went to start my truck to get it warmed up. Crossing my fingers that it would have no problem starting, since I have not driven it since this COLD weather started. (It was only 10.2 degrees fahrenheit [-12 degrees C] this morning)

When I opened the door, there was something on my seat that looked like soiled ice...I stared at it for a few moments before recognition dawned in my eyes. Dread surged within me. I began to look for the source.

If you have been reading Cora's blog for while, you may already know what the source is. If you don't, then, after you read this head on over to this post of hers and you can see why I am familiar with the carnage I am about to describe. For those of you with weak stomachs, you may wish to go to your happy place...maybe you have a quartet there...but, I digress.

I turned my gaze first to the console where so many of my drinks languish unfinished, but nothing resembled the annihilation I was looking for. I looked to the dashboard, afraid of what I might find...nothing. I knew where it probably was, but I dared not look, still, I needed to know. I turned my attention to the back seat, more appropriately the space behind my seats. I don't really use the fold-down seats that are back there, mostly I use if for groceries and things...but, again, I digress.
The source of the hideous entrails was there. It lay on its side, still frozen in its last grotesque moments of pain. Its innards were all over the back of the seat and had even fallen in frozen pools into the jack compartment where it had been hiding. The bottom side of the cover of the jack compartment was coverd with its insides, and the force of the evisceration had dislodged the cover from its place. I reached in and gently removed its malformed corpse, now basically an empty shell. I stared at what had, at one time, been its insides.

I looked at its half-empty shell, it had once been whole, and was now so hollow.
I tossed it on the ground and began to clean its guts out of my truck before they could melt. I glanced at the roof of the truck, remembering Cora's experience last winter, but the blast had been contained. I thrust the guts onto the pavement. When I was done, I left for town and got Cora and me some lunch. Then went to see her at work. I came back and took pictures for you (you can thank Cora for that, she reminded me that it would be great blog material, which is also why you have suffered through this post with the barest hint of what it was about). So, now, dear blog-reader, I submit to you the pictures of the carnage...after the fact.
Empty Shell...
Guts, innards, entrails, Diet Pepsi.
A final look at the body.

You can bet I have no wish to anger the Pepsi Gods again, so I m busy drinking a cold one while I write. Pray you do not suffer the same fate! Drink Pepsi!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Playing Hookey...Hockey?

With the temperture not even out of the single digits, it did not take much convincing for me to stay home. I did take Cora to work and then went on to the tire store to have the snow tires put on. It did not take long. I had the camera, so on the drive home I snapped a few shots of our winter scenery. That is Mount Adams in the back ground of the picture at the top and this one below.

Below you see the mighty Yakima River...see that stuff floating in it? That's goes with my whole hockey/hookey theme.

Not quite ready for skating...

Below you see an apple orchard with our snow covered hills in the background...I have heard that others from flatter parts of the country call these mountains...nah, they're just hills.

And here are the sprinklers of a settling pond going full tilt at 0.0 F...see the trash can size blocks of ice surrounding them?

I came back home and did some laundry, dishes, and some minor cleanup. All in the of staying warm. I hope the rest of you have no problems doing the same.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Maintenance...

It's 630am and I still don't have a job, a sub job that is. The temperture outside is closer to 0F than it is to 1F, and I don't necessarily want to work Maintenance today since even though I think frostbite might be character building, I feel I have quite enough character, thank you very much. Of course, they will probably sit round the conference table for awhile discussing politics and world problems, still, that does not warm my heart, since sometime today I would end up working in a very cold place...mostly, I want to sit here beside the Christmas Tree and the Heat Vent if I can't teach today.

Doesn't some teacher at least have some frozen pipes? It is still possible I will get a call, it has happened before. It just isn't very likely. Dammit.

I don't think we have had temeratures like this, this early, for, what? 15 years? More than that possibly...yeah, I think in the late eighties it got this cold, but I am fairly certain Nature had the decency to wait until January to freeze so completely. Stupid Washington, days like this make me miss California.

Monday, December 15, 2008


It actually got up to a balmy 21F degrees today...then it went right back down to 18F.

I taught Music at the El today. I am, as ever, popular with the kids. They did not get recesses today because of the cold. I tried to convince the principal that frostbite builds character.

Other than that, we are enduring the cold weather. We are in much better straights than my sister, though, her pipes apparently froze. I have not heard anything since this morning and hope she got it fixed. I am fairly sure she did, since my father went down to help.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Spud Soup

At yesterday's wonderful birthday party, My Father-in-law-in-law (?) gave us some extra potatoes. (Tht IS what you call your sister's in-laws, right?) Fresh from harvest and OH SO PRETTY! I gladly accepted them and put the forty or fifty pounds in our trunk. This morning I scrubbed one up and, OH, what a beautiful spud! It was something like 18 degrees out and there was no promise of the temperature rising, we had some left over ham and some bacon in the fridge...I thought instantly of potato soup. I asked Cora what she thought of it, and she agreed.
the orange things are carrot chunks...
I don't claim that my soup is wonderful, but I will say ANY time you add ham AND bacon to anything (except maybe ice cream), it is bound to be good. Add to that the tempertures outside and you pretty much have a perfect way to spend the day inside.

WE DID venture out and managed to get a little Christmas shopping done, but it was VERY COLD, and we retired only a few hours after we had left the shelter of our home. It was a good thing, too, since it was about then that the snow recommenced falling.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday! Eli!

We attended a birthday party today! One of my favorite nephews has a birthday tomorrow, and we celebrated it today! My sister and bro-in-law have just instructed him to go ahead and blow out the candles...

When he got to his presents...excitement and appreciation has never been witnessed such as this! He opened the first and cried THANK YOU! and he had no idea what it was! But he was excited. When he got to a gift he really liked, he simply took the tool box of wooden bolts and tools and went off to his room with not one word. We awaited his return...and waited...finally someone went to check...he was playing with the new toy...gotta love that kid! He came back and finished. When he got to our gift of HotWheels emergency vehicles, he cried FIRE ENS! And then finished with a WOO-OOO-OOO-OOOOOOO...pparently a very good rendition of a siren.

His siblings looked on in appreciation, and were cheeseballs for the camera, case in point:

The other one enjoyed the packaging...and he is also very photogenic!

A fun time was had by all!
We then went to the 3cities and did some Christmas shopping. At which time the promised Snow showed up...we came home and have had a relaxing evening watching Horton Hears a Who!