Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It Won't Be Easy, It'll Be A Finch!

These little fellows...ok, fellow and his gal, showed up in our tree...over our heads this afternoon.
Apart from that...well, I talked to our agency...not alot going on. "The good news is there is no bad news."
And the beat goes on....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Movie

We went to a movie today. We went and saw UP! It's a pretty good little movie. Not exactly what I expected, but good! After that we had some ice cream at a Cold Stone.

We hung around today. Cora did alot of work and I didn't do much. I should feel more guilty, but I think I may have a relaxed sense of guilt. Surprisingly I am completely OK about that.

So, a fourth celebrity has passed in a week. I will not say who, since my last post about him incured some rather foul language, but suffice it to say he was a big fan of Oxi-Clean. You'd think I had had a hand in the slaying of the Masiah! Jeez, some people are so cranky! He was just a person who yelled loudly out of my TV. I am sorry he is gone, but I'm not sorry about the post...it wasn't that bad of a post. I have seen worse posts and articles about this same guy! Oh, well!

Well, my goal for this week is to make a painting...Seems the summer keeps dragging me away from my plans. You know, it has been 90 days since we had BB referred to us? Well, we will continue to hope for a speedy union! I can't wiat to meet him in person...of course, he'll probbly ask for the car keys as soon as we get home...ok, maybe it won't take THAT long, but sometimes 90 days is forever...and 26 months is longer than that.

I'll tell you movie about the movie UP-what? SQUIRREL!!


Friday turned out to be a cluster at work. A cluster of cuss words. A cluster of idiots. You name it. It seemed that nothing was going right from the very beginning. No one knew what was going where and only half the schools custodians showed up to help...seems the others simply ignored the boss' instructions. When asked, one of them said, "I didn't see that e-mail." You idiot! That is what the boss said at the meeting...you know, that thing you ate 12 donuts at! Still, we made enough progress that the carpet layers and the painter should be fine.

Friday night we had steak for dinner with baby red potatoes and grilled zucchini and yellow squash. it was excellent! I used the grill and plenty of smoke...if you like zukes and Yellow squash, try grilling them with a little olive oil, Johnny's seasoning salt and some hickory smoke...WOW!

Yesterday morning we began the day by working on the back bedroom. It has been our craft room over the years. We both have attempted and abandoned a few crafts. The main one is scrap booking. While we do a decent job of it, neither of us has enough time to make use of all the doo-hickeys we have. I think we are going to have to find someone who wants scrapbooking stuff! or sell it on Craigs List! Cora worked very hard to sort things out and while there was not a LOT of hevy lifting, we both had sore backs by the end of it.

The whole point is to make that room capable of supporting her sewing activities. I will retain my paint and a few other things...like my 1/2400 scale model ships and the ability to return to it in a minimum of time. Fortunately things like that run small, so it doesn't take up the amount of space that a 1/48 scale model set up would. I used to have 1/48 scale models. I switched to 1/2400 when I got older. Of course, a model of the USS Missouri sits at 4.5 inches long in 1/2400, while it is more than 17 feet long in 1/48 scale. I think that is a significant difference no matter who you are.

We made a run to town for a few boxes. We spent an inordinate amount of money on cardboard boxes. One of which split when it was loaded. It wasn't even heavy! I was most displeased. I doubt there is anything to be done about it, but it nevertheless makes me upset that a 3$ box did not live up to its end of the bargain!

I bought some Bratwursts at Costco the other day. I put them on the grill after I had grilled the Zukes and Squash and the red potatoes, and the asparagus...I think we had a VERY good dinner! I liked it.

The weather cooperated pretty well, too. There was not the attrocious amount of wind we had a few nights ago. I don't know how warm it got yesterday since most of our day was spent putting things in boxes and rearranging the room.

Today...well, I know Cora wants to get some sewing done, but I think we might go hit a movie later, too. I think we deserve some time to relax!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Day The King Died

I worked hard yesterday. I was told early this week that my four tens would need to be satiated somewhere other than Friday this week(I wanted to take Friday off). We are moving the district office...that is they are having the carpets and walls redone and we, in the maintenance dept., need to keep things moving. We are picking up furniture and moving wall hangings ahead of the people doing the easy part. It wold not be so bad, but they have, literally, tons of fireproof file cabinets.

Fireproof file cabinets are probably the worst thing man has ever invented...unless what you need from an arson fire is stored in a fireproof file cabinet, then, I suppose, you would think they are pretty nifty. On the other hand, though, if you have had the pleasure of moving the damned things twice in the past three years (and the likelihood it they will need to be moved one more time), it seems unlikely you will find them very nifty at all. Suffice it to say fireproof file cabinets are HEAVY!

A large proportion of the team was there. A few schools' custodians were notably absent. I am sure they had good reasons. You know: sniffles, case of Iduwannas, or laziness. Still, we got a lot done.

I am just glad Friday is upon us! I have plenty to do. I need to clean out the craft room so Cora can Sew in there. Our problem seems to be somewhere in the realm of organization and places to organize our things into. This stupid house did not come equipped with enough closets. Nor a garage...damn it.

Well, it seems Farrah Faucet passed away yesterday. Earlier this week, Ed Mcmahan (If I flubbed the spelling it's not because I lack the knowledge of figuring out how to spell it, it speaks of lack of interest, sorry Ed). Yesterday afternoon, as though to take the heat off Farra, they announced Michael Jackson was dead. Yep, he sure is. Oh, ell. I am not entirely bothered by the "loss." Sure he made some good songs and some good videos, but shouldn't one take into account ALL the things the person did in their lifetime? I think the guy was some sort of sicko loon. Still, many seem to sincerely mourn his loss.

Our bird feeders seem to be becoming pretty popular with the birds in the neighborhood. I was sitting in the yard the otherday and a housefinch and his mate came up and started eating out of the little finch sock we put up Saturday. They were within ten feet of me...pretty cool. He was a bright yellow with black trim. I hope we take a little time to enjoy such things this weekend.

For the rest of you, have a good week!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Phone Calls

We have had our share of callers in the past. Once in a rare while they are bill collectors, more often they are people wanting us to buy their services. Lately, one of the tv companies, I can't recall if it is DISH or Charter, has been calling. You answer and there is nothing but silence. You say "Hello!" a few times, and there is nothing on the other end. You hang up. 1/2 hour later it happens again.

I hung on the line for at least 15 seconds before the mechanical digitalized voice said, "______ Television has an important message for Jim..." I hung up. If they want to talk to me, surely they, whoever they may be, will put a human on the phone. I have no intention of buying any extra service from the telvision provider that calls but does not think it is important enough to have a real live caller talk to me. In fact, I will be MORE difficult for them to contact! If I see that number again, I will hang up. That's it.

I remember the time the San Francisco Chronicle called asking if I would like a subscription. I ask the lady if she knew where she was calling. She gave me the startled answer, "uh, no." I said, "do you know what time it is in Minnesota?" (I think I told this story once, if I did, SORRY!) She said, "No." I asked, "How would you like it if I called you at home during dinner?" I believe I said a few other things, but the whole gist of it is the call center people don't know crap. I jst want to voice my frustration at mechanized voices and call centers!

On another note, I would like to hold a moment of silence for our dear friends (make-believe friends) Jon and Kate Gosselin. They began proceedings to disolve their marriage today. I liked the series because it was a window into somone's real life. They seemed to be a real couple, without holding back. They got into arguments and that reminded me of Cora and I. I liked that. Sadly, it seems it has become too real. Divorce can't be an easy decision. I am sad for the kids and I am sad for Jon and Kate. I feel it may have ben that the whole thing that brought their lives closer to us may have been to blame. I hope they know our hearts go out to them in these trying times. So, yeah, I bared my ugly, pasty, TLC self. (Why do you suppose it's called Merlotandtheinternet? Stupid TLC.) I am not ashamed...ok, maybe a little...but that does not make the hardships experienced by these nice people any less difficult.

Sorry to interrupt this moment of revery, but I received a great book today. A book on my favorite airplane!! The F-105 Thundercheif!! I am excited because thre seems to be a dearth of books on the F-105. Some go for as much as $100.00! So, yeah, I am happy about that.

I think I will take Wednesday off, since the boss asked me to work on Thursday and Friday. I gues that's it for now...carry on.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


all of the vaccinations we had suggested the side-effects could be flu-like symptoms. Well, I thought I'd gotten off easy with a sore arm yesterday. Not so. This morning started with me not wanting to rise from bed. The rest of the day has been, for lack of some witty thing to say, flu-like symptoms.

Fever? Yeah, had it.
Fatigue? Yep, got that.
Aching? Check.
Digestive system failures? Oh, hell yes.

So, I have done VERY little today. I hope others have had a better Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Long Week!

So, it has been awhile since I posted anything. I am alright. I have suffered a few travails, though.

Monday, I showed up for work. We had our yearly maintenance meeting. One of e guys who works there is named Matt. Our boss, at the beginning of the meeting, asked Matt to get the door. That in itself was not funny, but what he really said was, "Could you get the door, Matt?" I could not let that go, especially since Matt has been the butt of several of my jokes (he is a good sport about it), I simply repeated part of the Boss' sentence, adding a couple chuckle: "Heh, Heh, Door Mat!" To which the entire room, minus the boss, who seemed not to have heard it, broke into laughter. Ah, the joy of bringing chaos to an otherwise solemn occasion.

The light fixtures in the auditorium needed to be replaced. Most of the lights are somewhere in the stratosphere, but you can reach them with an appropriate amount of scaffolding.

My father is a carpenter who did any number of odd jobs. One of those jobs was roofing. On occasion there was call for scaffolding. I used to play on the stuff below while he worked above...probably an OSHA nightmare. I never got hurt, but swung like a monkey, climbed and descended in the most fun ways! I have never been afraid of heights. I worked for my dad for a few years. We did our share of roofs. I remember, somewhat less than fondly, having my pants legs nailed to the roof on more than one occasion...I got even. I suppose it was a safety measure...

It seems the guy who was to do the light fixture replacement does not enjoy the wobbles of scaffolding. So, we started low, he showed me how to do the job and I completed the project, minus the last four lights. Early on we could move the scaffolding around the chairs on our own. Mind you the rows are set on levels which differ by 14 inches each. So there are terraces. The lower legs were on wheels, 27 inches below the upper legs. Two could move it, but it was arduous. Still, we got the upper level done. That upper level only required one story of scaffolding.

The next one required two six foot stories and one four foot level. That was heavier and we needed help to move it. So, the boss gave us permission to hijack some coworkers for that purpose. Those levels were a little rickety...they swayed. No one enjoyed being up there, except me. These "men" could be heard to inhale loudly(like girls) while I made my way up and down and around the scaffolding.

The only problems I had with the situation was the extreme heat...I literally had my shirt soaked with sweat by the second light. The other problem was that the guys we managed to get to help us never stopped talking. I suppose it would be ok if they were talking about subjects of some import, or current events, but these were inane subjects...like South Park quotes...the same ones. Over and over and over. Argh!! We managed to finish the last part of the first and all of the second level in a day. By the time I was done, I was drained. I got home and hardly moved from the comfort of my chair.

The last day. I finished the third level, with the same raucous chorus going on beneath me. The move to another level required we take apart the scaffolding. I went to the top to disassemble it as no one else seemed ready to volunteer. We got it moved with a minimum of pain.

Within four feet of the ceiling I was hunched over changing out lights on three levels of six foot scaffolding. That's only 18 feet...on one side. On the other side the terrain dropped swiftly away and it looked MUCH steeper and higher than it was. It didn't take long, but again, my shirt was drenched with sweat because of the stagnant air at that altitude. Down on the floor there was a nice breeze coming through the open doors. The peanut gallery was seriously comfortable, and completely annoying. The electrician had by now seen that I was doing a decent job and left to acquire the rest of the fixtures, he may have also left because the peanut gallery was annoying him too, but I did not get confirmation. I know I pissed off one of the coworkers because I told him on numerous occasions with rising inflection to shut the hell up. He finally quieted down and my job, while not pleasant, became more tolerable.

The last four lights were out of my reach by about 12 inches. Fortunately, one of our "volunteers" was a six footer. He could reach the lights. He also had the benefit of full safety measures. once he got up there in the air with the scaffolding he, amazingly, stopped his smart ass comments. I wish we had managed to get the final guy up there, but he was "rattled" by the mere suggestion.

I worked four ten hour days, with Friday off. I made an appointment with a local pharmacy to get our vaccinations for our trip to Africa...which may or may not take place this century. Our agency was out of the office for a yearly camp out with families who have already gotten their children...no hard feelings here, seriously. When we get our kids, you KNOW we will be there...but right now it would be nice to hear some news on ANY progress. so, we continue hoping that something is being done to bring our little one home to us sooner than later.

Sorry, back to the subject of vaccinations. I believe it is a requirement by the CDC that you get the appropriate vaccinations before you go somewhere, or else they may not allow you to come home. So, we got ours yesterday. Yellow fever, typhoid, and polio. The YF is a live vaccine. the easy Typhoid was, too. However, you can't have the easy Typhoid with the YF, because it weakens the effectiveness of them both. So we had to have the injection for the Typhoid. So, three injections. The YF was just below skin level...I believe his exact words were subcutaneous. No problem...bit of a pinch, but it went away. The Typhoid was next...I saw the needle on Cora's and was somewhat amazed to see a needle that seemed to be about four feet long and a full six inches in diameter...ok, maybe it was more like an inch and a quarter long and 1/16 of an inch in diameter...looked bigger than it needed to be. You could hardly see the needle on the YF. Then the polio, which came in a tiny syringe with an odd needle. One moment I saw the needle slip into Cora's shoulder, the next he withdrew it and the needle disappeared! I thought, did he leave the needle in her shoulder? No, she wasn't complaining and I am sure he'd have noticed that. I kept quiet.

It was my turn. YF, no problem. Typhoid, didn't look. Didn't hurt, either. Cora had been telling tales of how Typhoid shots hurt like hell. Something akin to getting kicked in the shoulder by a horse. I hate it when she distorts the truth. Then the polio. I wondered if he would leave the needle in m arm. Cora said something as I heard a small snap. The needle was retractable...he didn't leave it in her arm! Cool.

We went to dinner at a really good Mexican place. It was there that my arm began to get a tiny bit sore. By the time we got home, it hurt to raise my arm. Cora said she was experiencing the same symptoms. We self medicated, but I must not have drank enough, because my arm still hurt.

This morning, mine is better, but still sore. Something akin to being hit by a train in the shoulder. Ah, the things we will do to become parents!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Odds and Ends and Weekends

So, this weekend has gone fast. As usual. I have a couple pictures left over from Thursday. This is a cabin, or the remains of a cabin, we found on our little adventure. It is about 100 meters from a corner that led up that last big hill. Lok at the thick walls! Must have been cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The roof may not have helped much, as it seemed to be mostly tin...nevertheless, it was a neat little building. I admired the view...see the sand dunes across the river in the photo above? The Gorge at George is just a bit north.
Here is a portrait of me, pleased to be out of the bush. I can't imagine what it would be like in Australia...I'd probably end up goanna food.
Today, I mowed the lawn and did some small odd-jobs around the house. It's looking better on the outside than on then inside...guess we'd better concentrate on that next.
To end the day I made Cora this gem:
Appletini with frozen watermelon chunks and lemon peels. She liked it...I think it was prettier than it tasted.
I work maintenance tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dogs Days of Summer

Usually, summer here means nifty cloudless days and heat! Today, I stayed home and watched the clouds just to the north of us build to a crescendo. I could see the clouds, cumulus, building and boiling. Then I thought about a clever feature on our camera that allows time lapse photography. I tried it hand held, but that was not perfect. I went to the shed and dug out a tripod...I have a few...never know where they all are at once, but usually I can locate one. -Sorry, I digress. I used the tripod to settle the camera so I could take some time lapse video of the clouds. Here is what I got...it was well past the best of the cloud building activity...but there is always tomorrow!
So, for dinner I marinated some chicken breasts. I had my charcoal ready to go. I began to get the grill going. I had hoped to beat the rain. I did not. So, I was determined to stand by the grill until it was lit. I got out the umbrella, just in case. Sure enough, the inconsistent drops turned more consistent. AND INSISTANT! Soon, While I sat under the tree and an umbrella, Toby came up to me. He had been running around the yard looking up and around as the thunder rolled. The thunder, by the way, was consistent! Costant. -but, I digress again. As the the rain grew more insistant, Toby came up to me and looked at me. He looked at me in such a way as to suggest, without vocalization, that he was lookng for a spot out of the rain, and could he please come up? I suggested to him, vocally, since I can't manage Dog Sign Language(DSL), that he go inside. He looked at me as if to say, "If you are staying out here, SO AM I, DAD!" "Fine," I said, "Come on up!!" He did. Have a look at Cora's blog, she has a video of me and Toby, sitting in the chair under and umbrella in the rain next to the grill.
The rain kept coming down. So, I eventually gave up. Cora turned on the oven...or should I say switched it on... and I cooked the breasts in the oven. They turned out great. Of course, having given up on the charcoal, I walked out expecting to see it soaked, but far from it, it was glowing a beautiful red! Figures. I poured some water on them and went back inside.
This is what I saw when I got there.
Did I mention DOG DAYS?
He must be the cutest Jack Russell ever.
I dropped off my application and resume at a local school today. They had an opening for a social studies position! RARE opportunity!!
I just asked Cora if Opportunity had two "P's" in it. She said, "You down with O. P. P..." And I joined in, "Yeah, I'm down with O.P.P...." and we just confirmed to ourselves that we grew up in the early 1990s! If you graduated around 1990, you will surely know what we are referring to. Cora just googled it, it means Other People's Property! Ha! I never knew that!
Well, I need to relax with the last of my wine! Good night!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Innocuos Adventures Gone Awry!

We all know that I had a close call a few months ago (Read February, apparently I am bad with time, too) when my curiouosity got the better of me. Just before a dinner with a couple I knew in high school I decided to drive up on the hill and see if indeed they were shooting guns at the Firing Center(Duhhh, that's what they do there). I nearly got stuck. I did alot of slipping and sliding around before luck and perseverance got me out of my...problem.

Today was a day off for me. I had the bright idea that I would be able to find a local airplane wreck from WWII. Two wrecks, really. I took my Dad.

One of my sister-in-laws sent me a map of the area in question with a route highlighted for me. I took that route. We got to a point where a bicyclist could have gone, but not my truck. We tried a couple more routes, with identical results.

Finally we drove up to a local Windfarm that lies in the same area. We hoped to drive through their roads to the crash site. No luck. They are adding seven new generators and doing some blasting...which we saw...and so tourists were not being allowed back there.
that's my truck on the right.
So, we found a road toward one of the crash sites that was...shall we say INHOSPITABLE?
SHIT! Someone died here? This grave was four feet from the road! Maybe it was a memorial, but it did not give the driver (or the pasenger) the warm fuzzies.
Prickly situation? Yes, this was just off the most imposing hill I climbed with that truck...using, among other things, my chains!
Above you see the imposing hill I had to climb with my truck...it doesn't look like much, but a two wheel drive does not like 35 degree roads with LOOSE rocks! The roads we travelled today were better meant for Elk!
We saw this herd. Our passage eventually scared up 13 or 14 head of elk, plus a calf.
Here is my dad begging for passage through the windfarm after our extensive trek. Neither he, nor I, was feeling up to a ten mile drive back out the way we had come. Plus, there is no guarantee we would have made it out. Especially since I discovered my rear tires were shredded from an ascent we felt was a necessity. The steel belt was showing!
This is the view from our ingress...
Here is my truck on Windfarm land...

Here is my dad...with his GPS, may it rest in peace...he lost it...we don'tknow where.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wapatour 2

I had more pictures but I did not slow down like last time and some came out blurry. Nevertheless, look at the amount of spray paint in these pictures. Krylon is making a killing!

Then, I was driving through town and I saw this lovely get up...it's blurry, but can you imagine letting your kid out of the house looking like that?

That's all for now, I have chores to do and then I get to go wreck chasing tomorrow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rain that Flew in Sideways

So, Forrest Gump is my hero. "One day it started raining, and it didn't stop for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stinging...big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain that even seemed to come straight up from underneath." I love his thoughts on rain. Tonight's weather spectacular reminded me of that. It was also made up of the stinging kind.

I taught sixth graders today. It was a good day. The kids in the sixth grade class this year are a good bunch. I did not have any problems and basically had an easy day.

Tonight we went into town and then decided to have pizza instead of making something since it was late. I saw six kids in the short walk between the car and the pizza place. All of them said hi to Mr. H, except for one who knows my first name. All in all, it was cute, if a little embarrassing.

I don't know how successful I will be getting jobs on the last two days of school, but I will give it a shot.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Early Morning Yard Sales

OK, not necessarily EARLY. More like mid-morning. We DID go yard saling and we found several good deals.

OK, that's not entirely true. I was along for the ride. So, Cora found lots of good deals. Notice, she is happy, I am working (Amittedly, I was concentrating on taking the picture, but lets not have that cloud your judgment! She's a husband abuser, really!)

We got a backyard play-cube for a steal! Did you know those things are almost indestructible? And hard to take apart as well!

She got tons of clothes for pennies on the dollar...I was enlisted to carry stuff.

It was actually not so bad. I enjoyed helping her out. I also made a find of my own cool thing. An antique lamp! Can you believe it was only $5.00?

What amazed me was that Cora said, "Yes." Obviously, my extreme good taste has worn off on her finally. It used to be I would find something cool and she would put her foot down and say, "NO! You are not having that ugly (insert cool thing here [If you don't know what a cool thing is, here are a few: Elephant Head, Elvis on Black Velvet, Jesus on Black Velvet, Jesus AND Elvis on Blak Velvet, a Pair of Antlers, a Jeep Front End, a Rusty Unidentifiable Metal Thing, etc.]) in our living room! We may someday want guests!" As you can see she is usually quite narrow minded. Maybe I can convince her to let me get an airplane propeller and hang it on the wall! Keep your fingers crossed!

After we were finished yard saling we went on to bigger and less enjoyable things...like work. But that, as they say, is another story.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Ok, first off, I had a good day at school, apart from the headache and nausea I got during the morning. I took a few minutes to vomit at about 11AM and felt much better. I don't know if it was a big or what. Yuck.

The rest of th day was great. The last half-hour she let me decide what to do. I took a poll. The kids could play some games or watch me draw on the overhead. They voted for me to draw...weird. I did not mind, since before that there had been numerous kids crowded around me trying to get a peek at what I was drawing. They were a good bunch of kids and I enjoyed being there. It is always amazing to me how well behaved a group of kids become when they are watching me draw.

So, I got home about 310pm and laid down for a little while to get rid of my headache. Finally I began to feel better. I ended up mowing the lawn and Cora made dinner. Just as I was finishing the lawn I began to get the feeling that I was getting drops of water on me. The sky was beginning to look a little dark. When I put the mower away I heard thunder. As I walked in the house it began to rain...hard.

Here are some pictures! It also hailed! Wow, what weather we had!!
Look at the size of those splashes! It came down in BUCKETS!

Toby had no issues running out into the rain, but he showed definite reluctance to enter a hail storm! Here he is looking on as the hail smashes around him. The hail was the size of marbles. Some of them exploded on impact!

Cora wanted something a little fruity. I managed to make a decent daiquiri from some strawberries we had...I even made it look pretty.

Now, the weekend beckons with loads of work! Cora's parents are going to need some help moving some stuff and we have plenty of stuff to do here at home, too! I can't wait to get out of town for a little while...even if it is just to go for a drive!

Third Grade Blues

What are the stressers in the lives of third graders? Very similar to our own, ok, maybe not so much. I taught third grade yesterday and will again today. I was amused when one was VERY distraught over his mother's neglect. She forgot to bring his overdue library book from home, and she had the gall to not show up until about 230! Seriously, this little guy would ask, very politely, to call his mom to see if she was coming. All. Day. Long. I got a kick out of it.

Oh, and when they figured out I can draw...well, the uproar was amazing! Actually, they were very well manored. "Shhhhh, let him draw!" "If we don't be quiet, he'll stop drawing!" "He goes so fast! You go so fast Mr. H!" "It looks like he's scribbling, but e's drawing a picture!" All said in hushed voices full of awe...now, who am I not to pander to an audience? I enjoyed drawing for them and they enjoyed watching. And the nice part is you don't have to dra particularly good for a third grader to be in awe of you.

It was a most enjoyable class and look forward to teaching them again today. For those of yo who may end up letting me sub for you...I don't give in to the temptation to draw for the kids every day...just once in awhile.

We had grilled chicken, salad, and asparagus last night...all but the salad done on the grill. It got done just as a mighty storm blew up. Well, maybe not so mighty, still, I do love a summer storm...the rain drops were gigantic and the thunder was nice. I like watching the dark clouds rumble down the valley.

Well, lots to do this weekend. I guess I should start it by going to work.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gump Reasoning and Things I've Never Done.

There are many things I have not done in my life. A few I regret, but others I am quite satisfied with. I have never changed a diaper. I have never flown an airplane...not yet, anyway. I have never installed an underground pool. I have never been arrested. and I have never cleaned an oven...at least until today. I kinda wish I had keep up my record. I think I tried once in college, but it was half-hearted and was not such a bad experience.

I must have angered the substitution gods. this is my second day without a job. I ran into town and got some distilled water so I could do a water change for the fish tanks. I also dropped off a coffee for Cora, then took the long way home...hmmm, isn't there a song with those words as lyrics? You know, take the long way home...no?
So, here is one of the fish tanks still stirred up from my actions.

Anyway, I did laundry and dishes yesterday, so there wasn't much of that left to do today. I told Cora I would clean the oven. She has in the past declared the oven a necessity to clean. I usually ignore her. She ends up doing it and is generally not happy when she does, so I try to keep the subject of the oven away from her. Today, I discovered why she wrinkles her nose at it. In the past I have basically figured anything that gets up to 400 degrees Farenheit is clean enough for me, besides I never put food directly on it. The other day she mentioned that she might be cleaning the oven soon. So, I got this wild hair (or is it hare?) up my butt today, I'll clean it for her! What's worse is I told her ahead of time, so she will expect it! Next time, I'll just buy her flowers.

I got the oven cleaner out. I read the back for instructions. It called for rubber gloves, a rag, and some way to keep the time.
So, I gathered all those items together and one extra that I figured would be a luxury whilst I performed this easy task. Rubber gloves? Check. Rag? Check! Timer? Check! Oven cleaner? Check! Beer? Check! (the luxury item is a beer if you weren't paying attention).

Oh, and you'll need an oven to clean...yep, no problem! Check!

I took the spray and looked at the active ingredients. I mean, why should I wear gloves? Sodium Hydroxide...isn't that like the opposite of an acid? Should be fine. Makes sense, acids are bad. If it isn't an acid...well, that's good, right? Sounds like Forrest Gump figuring something out, but I'll be fine. Nop one ever claimed i sound like a genius in my head. I'll wear the gloves anyway, though. Who says I am not safe!? So, I pulled on the gloves...hmmm, apparently you should not keep rubber gloves for extended periods of time in places where the temperature can go from the 100s to the teens during the year.
Yep, this is how both gloves ended up...cracked. well, who needs gloves!?! I ain't no sissy. I sprayed the interior of the oven after removing the racks. Huh, it isn't fun to breathe, but it isn't THAT bad.
I took the racks out to the slab and sprayed them there. I took a rag and rubbed them off. WOW! Shiny! Oops, missed a spot. So I sprayed them again. A slight breeze came up. The spray drifted back toward me and settled on the inside of my forearm. Hmmm... "That doesn't--well now, that's downright unpleasant." I don't know if it was the fact that my arm had a slight sheen of sweat upon it and the spray reacted to it, or if maybe I have a strangely large number of nerve endings in that particular part of my arm, but it began to sting. I went inside and rinsed off my arm. So much for Gump Reasoning...

Well, while I am here in the house, I might as well check the oven. Hmmm...is that mustard gas? Hmmm, my eyes are stinging...is that supposed to happen? OK, is that the oven wall melting off? Nope. I could have sworn that the oven was cleaner than this. Maybe I should not have volunteered for this.
It's a good thing I have this!!
Maybe it is a good thing I kept Cora from doing this...here is the rag...and I think I may need to do it again just to be sure it is up to Cora's standards.
I also told her I would clean up the old washer and dryer in the hopes of selling them on Craig's list. Yeah, this is gonna be fun.
Why didn't I just tell her: "I am going to skulk around the house today, maybe I will sunbathe and drink beer..."
I am gonna need more beer by the end of the day!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


There is a local town that has, shall we say, reluctant homeowners. I drive through it on occasion. I need to, to get to the places I have to go.

Today was such a day. I took the camera on the off chance there might be something to photograph. There were, however, no interesting photographic oportunities. I did however take some pictures of these houses. These are on the Reservation.

These sticks are likely used for ceremonial things, a tee pee perhaps...but, isn't that an interesting "stick rest?" AND is that a car door leaning against that shed???

Note this house is behind a fence. Did the gang members jump the fence or are the residents trying a new form of house decoration?

Maybe it isn't so new...or maybe their neighbors thought it was a good idea.

What do you say to your gang-banger son? What was the conversation that went on there?

"Dear, put down the knife! Stop threatening your sister! Here! Here is a can of spray paint, go play behind the house!"

Or perhaps:

"Honey! I bought blue paint to write our gang sign, do you think that's OK? What? Our house is blue? Damn!"

Or maybe:

"What!! BLUE paint? I told you WHITE! That way it matches the trim!"

So, I hope you ponder that. I may go house picturing again in the future if the response is positive.

Today, I did not get a job. I passed up a half-day...I was damned if I'd miss another full day like I did last time...HAH! NO JOBS! Oh, well. I did a few loads of clothes and a load of dishes and some other chores. Then I took Cora's car in to the dealer to have them change the oil and look at the shock absorber. The local tire store said one of them was leakng fluid. The dealership kindly said they were ordering new shocks for it. While I was waiting I decided to test drive a new FJ Cruiser. I made a new best friend. It is amazing how friendly people can be if you show interest in a $26,000 vehicle that they want to sell. Of course, I mentioned that I need to convince my wife. "Oh, yeah! I can help you! Just bring her in and she can drive it. Give me a call before you come and I'll park it up on the rocks and open the doors so it looks cool. Then she'll say, 'what are we driving?' You'll say, 'That one!' Oh, I've done that before. I am here for you."

I enjoyed the short drive. I liked the amount of room in there and the design of the cab is interesting and those triple windshield wipers are cool. Still, it's got pretty bad visibility. He was all, "If you are a Toyota fan, you'll like it, but if you're not, you'll just tear it apart and look for bad things." I was all, "Yeah!" (inside my head I was carrying on a different monologue, which mainly consisted of me NOT BUYING the vehicle. I liked it, but I needed to kill some time and what else do you do on a car lot?) Still, he left me with a smile.

We bought a tiny little frying pan so I could fry eggs or smaller additions to meals. I decided to use it this morning. I made a REALLY FINE omelet. I started by frying a couple pieces of bacon, which I then took the turner to, to make it smaller. While I was using my plastic turner, the nonstick coating scratched. I became annoyed...but not enough to stop cooking my beloved egg. It was delicious! But, I took the pan back.

Still no job for tomorrow...maybe I will have to turn to selling my body to make up for the day or so of lost time. Any takers? Uhhh, NOT you, sir. I have standards. ...HOW MUCH? Well, that's quite a sum of money...

Grad Pics! Circa 1992, Memories of a Great Friend.

My best friend's sister posted these on Facebook. I pirated them and am sharing them here. My best friend (left hand side) and me (right hand side) and a fellow grad (Guy Becker). Jim passed away in 1997. On June 2, to be precise, in the early morning hours. His sister-in-law called at 3:38am to tell me news. I was dumbfounded. We were two of a kind. They used to call us "Jim Squared." We were always together. On Facebook, I found I am still to be associated with Jim as a Star Trek expert...I don't mind. Makes me miss him that much more.

He had a great sense of humor. It never stopped. Here we are with the illustrious "Daddy G," our World Problems teacher and Senior Advisor. His son, a grade ahead, last time I heard, was doing the news at a Spokane television station.

Lower left, you see me, at my most handsome (my opinion), and my best friend is in the lower right is Jim. The girls at the top were close friends and a sister. What are we sitting at? 17 years since 1992? WOW!!

We had another five years with Jim after Graduation...almost exactly. We were housemates when we attended CWU. He was pursuing a teaching certificate in mathematics. He would have been an excellent teacher. He explained things to me that made better sense than what others did. Hell, I still remember his description of how soap works.

After we moved out, we still got together. More often we called. Whenever I watch the movie "Clerks" I think of him. He often shared his stories of stupid customers coming into the gas station he worked at. His take on life was often hilarous and sometimes just a shade weird.

I used to call him up on Sunday mornings when I worked early. I did it just to wake him up. He didn't seem to mind. He was the best friend a man could have asked for, but I was a boy and I never deserved such a great friend. I miss him. I am lucky.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June First

I know that last year was nowhere near as warm as this. As I recall, it was downright chilly...and I was REALLY missing California. This year, though, I am quite happy with the temperatures. I like going out in the yard wearing a minimum of clothing at all hours of the day...what can I say, I feel better the fewer clothes I have on...as long as it's warm. When the temperature is 10 degrees Fahrenheit, you are damned sure going to find me with gloves and a coat on, but when it's warm enough, I like to take advantage of my exothermic properties.

Today, I subbed for a fifth grade teacher. His class was remarkably well behaved. His plans called for me to simply be present and breathing. It was a nice change from the norm. The younger the kids the more the work it seems.

Apparently I was the lucky one, since I ran into a fellow sub late in the day and she was looking a bit frazzled. She said she had gotten there and found NO PLANS. I think I had been requested for that one this morning and was somewhat thankful I had taken this job a month ago. I offered her some coloring sheets, but she said she had some Bill Nye videos to show. "Well, then, you've got it covered!" I then hurried back to my sheltered classroom and closed the door.

One of the kids came up to the desk to ask for help on a SUDOKU puzzle he does for an accelerated class he has. I helped him a few times and then realized that perhaps he was just not taking enough time on it. I told him to go back to his seat and work it out for himself. He sniffled. I told him, "Don't cry." He said he had allergies. I said, "No, you're crying. I made you cry." I then told him and the kids near the desk that I make it a point to make at least one kid cry each day. They looked at me unbelieving, then it dawned on them that I was pulling their legs. The kid said, "No, I have allergies." I reiterated, "No, you're definitely crying. HAH! You made my day!" He laughed and went back to his desk, his classmates having a chuckle with him.

I came home early because they spend the last hour in PE, and I finished everything that was necessary. I took some clothes off the line and relaxed waiting for Cora to come home. Now it is a relaxing evening. Of course, the Air Conditioner is STILL on...love it!