Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So, I have been waking up at about 430am and I usually get up at 500am.  That extra little half hour is kicking my buttocks!  I went to bed early last night but still woke up early.  Rather than wait for the alarm i get up, since the alarm will just pull me from a great dream.

The heat has been nice.  I guess I may be part reptile. Still, even reptiles seek the shade.  I have done the same.  Especially at work.  We have been making progress at work.  Still have to poke Twinky with a stick to make him move.  Apparently that is why I am losing one of my better workers for two days to help someone else...because I have to be kept with Twinky poking him to make him work.

I bought a D90 book yesterday!  Hurrah!  I know I am going to love that camera...I'll most likely sleep next to it and it will go everywhere with me and I will name it George and I will hug him and squeeze him.  Oh, what a camera!!

Well, i have to get moving.  Another grueling day working in the hot sun.  Gotta love it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Love Summer

I know SO many people who love winter.  Fine.  Go ahead.  I like the sun.  I like the heat.  I like having the option of going into the backyard naked without shrinkage.  I DON'T go into the backyard naked, but there IS that option.  I like to keep options open.  That's the way I am.  I like flowers and I like the birds that show up in bright plumage looking for a mate.  I like the vegetables in the garden and I like long summer nights and sitting in a lawn chair reading a book listening to the sounds of summer.

Yes, there are the neighbors' dogs that seem to get my dogs blamed for barking.  Sure there are a few parents that let their kids roam free after dark.  Sure there are people who mow their lawns 17 times a what?  I love summer.

I got a slight sunburn the other day...I was working in the backyard under the tree and painting that sign...I did not wear a shirt...I must have strayed from the shade a might too often and ended up with a semi-pleasant burning across my shoulders and upper back.  Ahhh, summer.

I am looking forward to my crop of tomatoes, which seem to be taking their sweet time getting here...

I continue to work with a bunch of poorly trained baboons.  But, what are you going to do?  At least they manage to grunt an English word once in awhile.

I don't mind.  It's summer time and the living...well, it's nice.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

So...FIRE Happens on Friday, After All.

You all know of my heroic deeds Friday in saving the school and at least two lives from fire...however, I am not all seeing and all knowing, so I was unable to save other places from fire.

The place we lived for two years went up in flames.  Well, that's not entirely true.  The fruit packing warehouse that was nearby (as in on the same property) apparently went up in flames Friday night.

That is sad.  I wandered through that place off season.  It was a fascinating place, but made from old dry timber with plenty of cardboard and other flammable things, now that I think on it.  Yet, I can't imagine why or how it went up in flames.  That is a sad sad thing.

When I was the weigh master, the fresh side would bring bins of cherries over and weigh them.  These would eventually become maraschino cherries.  I wish I could remember what happened in the process, I know the weight must have changed, but I will be darned if I can remember how Pedro explained it to me.

you can go here and here to see what the news crews saw...probably from our old front door.

Wanna Trade?

So, I reposted the Buick on Craig's List this afternoon.  I got a call about 45 minutes later.  The voice on the other end of the line was difficult to understand.  Finally, I realized he wanted to know if I would trade.  I repeated it out loud.  Cora began saying, "NO! NO! NO!" with her eyes and mouth, because she pictured of us getting another vehicle in the trade.  I repeated the trade part so he would understand.  Cora began doing sign language (I think that's what it was) trying to tell me NO! I asked him, "For what?" I ignored her antics, as she prepared to do a hand stand to get my attention and make me say no to something that must truly be worthwhile if this man want to trade it for the Buick.  

He said, "A 'men's' bracelet, with diamonds."


blink, blink, blink


uncomfortable pause...


I finally picked up my jaw and managed to repeat this so Cora could hear.  Then I said, "No."

I thought for sure he would be trading a vehicle, even a snowmobile or a motorcycle or a gun...but a men's bracelet?  First, I didn't know they MADE men bracelets, and second I didn't know "MEN" WEAR bracelets!  (Am I calling your manliness into question if you wear a bracelet?  MAYBE!)  I can't even imagine what made him think..."You know, I really want a thirty-three year old car with some flaws, and I have this manly bracelet just gathering dust that I'm not using...maybe the guy will trade! Yeah, that's it!"  What the hell!?!?!

He had the audacity to sound disappointed, then he hung up.

OK, then.  Back to the rest of the day.

We got up at a decent time and then finally got moving.  We went to town and did some shopping and then came home.  Cora began sewing and I worked in the yard.  I fertilized the various plants in our yard and did a few know, took the garbage out, etc.  I also put two coats of paint on the sign.  Then I delivered the paintings I had made a couple months ago.  I think the family that got them, loved them.  I am proud to say, I have another happy customer!  Makes me happy.

We had a steak, potatoes, and broccoli for dinner.  I also opened a bottle of Gnarly Head Zinfandel...not a bad wine!  Yummy!

I finished my day watching Dr. could a day go better?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Exciting Friday.

I started the day the way I usually do.  With coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  Then I trundled off to work.  We started with a break.  (The coffee hadn't kicked in just yet)  Then we started working and going through some of the rooms that we haven't hit yet.  We pulled the appropriate broken furniture (this school has become everyone's catchall for broken furniture) that no one will buy it at auction which we were instructed to junk.  We began filling the dumpster.

Then one of the guys from another school stopped by and we decided to have a break, but instead of going in the main building we staying in the room we'd been working in.  For some reason, we just stayed there.  Call it laziness.

We were talking and all of a sudden a loud noise interrupted us.  It sounded like an air compressor coming on.  I happened to be facing it.  One of the florescent light fixtures began spouting flame and sparks and it crackled and snapped.  Apparently the look on my face alerted my coworkers and they and I jumped up.

I, possessing superior moral fiber and intuitive problem solving, went strait to the light switch and switched it off while my coworkers mumbled confused.  One of them suggested using the fire extinguisher, but made no move toward it.  I located it and grabbed it and then used it on the still flaming fixture.  So, single-handedly, I saved the school.  I think I deserve a medal or something.

After all, I am Awesome!

We each began making sure our hearts had slowed down to an acceptable rate.  We now no longer needed coffee for speeding our heart rates.  We began searching for the breaker.  I stayed and watched the light, with the extinguisher ready.  Each time they flipped a breaker, I tried the would instantly flare up.  I would quickly switch it off again.

After our exciting morning, we slowed for a bit to take in our surroundings.  Then I began working again.  Twinky, seeing this, asked if this was what I would be doing for the rest of the day.  He decided he needed to do the mowing I had asked him about right after we got there this morning.  He quickly disappeared.  I worked alone.

My parents happened to be in the area and called to ask what kind of coffee product I would like.  They dropped by and we had a nice visit.  By this time I was warmed up and sweaty...a cold coffee drink was welcome!  Thanks Mom and Dad!!

So, we got a hold of the electrician and he told us what to do to make sure some idiot with "just enough knowledge to burn down the school," doesn't do that by turning on the breakers and lights.  We have a few people who might do that and also fall into the idiot category.

So, we finished the day working at filling the dumpster.  Finally, at quitting time, I made sure everything was locked up and left.  I went to town and bought the paint for the sign.  When I got back, I pulled into my usual spot.  But something was wrong.  There was something.  Just.  Wrong.

I looked out the window and noted that there were some mayflies or something in the yard.  Flying around crazily.  In circles.  I looked a little closer and noted they looked like flies, really, they were bigger than mayflies...yet, now that I looked again, they were orange-ish...a voice in my head said, "Hey...those are BEES!!!!"  that's a swarm of bees.  Huh.  THAT'S A SWARM OF BEES!?

I thought about getting out.  I thought better of that.  I looked to see their flight paths orbited a particular place...the next door neighbor's dogwood tree.  There was a SWARM of BEES in my front yard and the majority of them were settling in the neighbor's tree in a clump of bees.  

I backed up my truck about thirty feet and edged around the swarm and into the house, where I grabbed the cameras and stepped out to take pictures.  Then the neighbors came out.  I showed them.  Then I went to our next door neighbor and told her not to go out there because of the swarm.  We eventually called the city who called a local bee keeper.  I messaged Cora and told her about it and to get home.

She came just in time.  He had shown up minutes before and agreed to wait until she got home before he did anything!  He was a very nice gentleman who brought his eight year old daughter.  She was absolutely fearless.  Which, as we learned, was a good thing, since bees are apparently even more sensitive than dogs when it comes to sensing fear and attacking!!

This guy was exceptional!  He simply knew bees and shared some of his knowledge with us.  We stood in the midst of hundreds of bees as they flew around us!  It was awesome.  He got in the tree and clipped the branches they were on and then shook them off into a box.  He was very nonchalant about the whole thing. was just SO COOL!!!!

Also, I single-handedly saved the school from burning down...pretty cool.


As many of you know, I have been saving for a camera, since whining about it to Cora has not helped.  She hasn't just run out to the local camera shop and gotten me that very expensive camera like I had hoped she would.  She's a wonderful woman, don't get me wrong, but she just has not got the "expensive gifts that I don't absolutely need" thing down...but then, I guess I haven't bought her any jewelery lately, either, so maybe we are even.  Still, she was generous (?) enough to tell me if I could find a way to be rid of the two albatrosses cars in the back I could use any money I got from them for my camera.  Well, I am now $450.00 closer since I sold the Mazda.

I still need to sell the accursed has failed to garner even a single call!  I am going to repost it at a lower price and try and give the add a better spin tonight.

In the meantime, when word gets out that you can draw and paint, people start asking you to do things.  I have now been asked to do a mural on a child's wall (I want to do this, it'd be fun) and, more recently, I have been asked to re-do a sign for Cora's work.  Any money I get for that sign will go to the Camera Fund!  (I am sure you are all saying, "Camera?  What about the baby?"  I want to use IT to take PICTURES of the baby!  I know! Genius!  And still, Cora has not rushed out to buy me a camera!  DRAT!)  I brought the sign home last night and began working on it.  I chipped and scraped and sanded and primed it.  Soon, I will replace the old lettering and logo.  It should not take too long and the sign will be as good as new.


Soon, I will have an after photo.  It may be of interest to you that not one of those letters on the old sign were the same height.  The "S" was 35 inches from top to bottom, while others were just a little over 32 inches from top to bottom.

I get to work alone today.  The other two guys are doing ten hour shifts.  I am pretty happy with the amount of stuff that got done this week.  I think we did a good job and the boss will be pleased.

This weekend?  Hmmm, I can't wait to see what it holds!  Have a good Friday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Alright, in the big scheme of things, I may have lost out on a bit of money, but in my head, and in the back yard, everyone is screaming, "HURRAY!!!!"  I SOLD the Mazda!!  Well, me and Craig's List!  I posted it on Craig's List and within minutes someone called.  Then ten minutes after he called, someone else did!

So, the second caller came and looked at it.  He said he would have to talk to his wife.  Then the first guy that called came...he had hooked up his trailer.  He and his employee, as he owns a car dealership, came and looked at it.  They asked me if I'd take $450 for it instead of the $500 I was asking (for a car that does not run).  Of course, I said, "YEAH!!!!!"

We signed all the appropriate paperwork and I looked at the Mazda for one last time.  Then I put the money in an envelope that is set aside for my camera!!  Here is a picture of the Mazda.

I also put the Buick up for sale...surprisingly, no one has even called about the car that runs.  Hopefully, someone will see the potential of a 1977 Buick Skylark Landau.  I'm thinking "Muscle Car."

It was a good day!!  I hope we can sell the Buick and then I will buy my new Camera and whatever is left over will go to the adoption...

Monday, June 21, 2010


I thought you might like a few more of the incredible 700 pictures we took on our vacation ( I say incredible because neither of us thought we had taken so many!).  Both Cora and I like this photo...even though the top of my head seems to be missing, I like it.
I believe I mentioned I was in charge of fires.  I made small ones through out the week since we brought our own wood and did not want to go spend money on the campground firewood.  I might have been a little stingy with the wood and we had a few smoky fires from it.
As you can see, or perhaps not, Cora is in there somewhere.  She was in the process of taking a smoke bath which was successful, in that even after three showers (AFTER we got back), her hair smelled of smoke.  She also took showers at the camp showers...apparently smoke baths are just too efficient.
She tried to get some reading in, in between smoke plumes.  I am somewhat amazed that she was able to breathe during this time.  I mean, look at that picture above!  No matter how long you stare at it, she never comes out for a breath!!
So, yeah, my fire making skills weren't so good at first.

Today, I started back to work.  As a maintenance man.  We are cleaning out the old elementary school, getting it ready to house yet another school while that school is rebuilt or who knows what?   Still, the mess left behind by the last school has to be cleaned up before the new one can move in.  That is our job.

You didn't think I was cleaning an entire school by myself, did you?  No, I have a "CREW."  That crew was working all last week...I was on vacation.  However, my boss, the great guy he is, told the "crew" to listen to me, since I am their boss...huh?  So, I have seniority among the subs.  Yet, my boss still sends back our beloved lazy bastard.  We also have back a hard worker, though socially inept among conservative macho males.  The next is a new guy, who promises to work out well.  So, that is what I have to look forward to...should be interesting, although, I can obviously not post all of my opinions here.  No need to piss off everyone!

We sent off our application to get a table for our coloring books at the Hop Festival.  First weekend of August!  Come and see.

So, from here on out my beloved sun will sink lower on the horizon.  Days will only grow shorter.  I shall mourn the return to winter, even as we gain the first day of summer.  I know, a real downer, huh?  I think it may have something to do with the weird weather this year.  We had tons more rain later in the spring than usual...good for my lawn, but bad for developing veggies and me sitting outside for extended periods of time.  On the bright side, the heat of the summer is coming!!  The veggies will make it all worth it.

We had BBQ chicken and asparagus was fair fare.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Beach Vacation!

We have been gone for almost a week.  We drove to the beach.  We camped for 6 nights.  Our campsite was pretty decent and I think, despite the cold and the breezes, we got some relaxation in.  It rained one morning and we put a tarp over the tent and it stopped and did not rain anymore...until last night...all night...and this morning...all morning.  I hate packing up in the rain.  Fortunately, we made it back to our own, dry, part of the state.

Here are a few pictures to show you what we've been up to.  Above you see us on our way out!  Everyone rode in the cab for the trip out...not so for the way back.  Someone had gas, and it wasn't Cora or me.  We never could satisfactorily discover the culprit.  So our trip there was with the windows down often.
After the ranger lady told us we could come back and trade spots if we didn't like it we began to dread what our site looked like.  As it turned out, our site was very small, and we went back and traded to a much better spot.  As soon as we got the camp set up we went to the beach...the cold, cold beach!  It was freezing and windy that first day, but it got better.  Here is our camp.
We also flew kites on the beach.  This is Cora's stunt kite!
   and below is Cora working her kite!  She was doing the two handed kite dance...very entertaining!
We also drove around the town of Ocean Shores...a few times we saw deer...
When the wild life around town got boring, we drove around Grays Harbor to the town of Westport.  We were about a week early...all the shops were closed and they were repaving the streets, but we did find a great beach with loads of beautiful shells.
Apparently the fishing season is just starting, too.  A friend we know has family here and they run a charter business, so we stopped and said "Hi."
Only a few shops were open...
Here you see Cora shopping to enlarge her wardrobe...
We found sand dollars on one beach, and other shells on different beaches.
We spent a lot of time on the beach, despite it being a cold water beach.
We beach combed, watched the dogs enjoy freedom, and we flew kites.  It's always best to fly kites with a friend.
Oh, and we ate pretty good.  We took steaks for one night, but on other evenings we ate well.
We had Hobos (Not a real hobo, he would have kicked and screamed if we had thrown him on the grill.), and chicken, and hot dogs.
Whenever we were on the beach the dogs were enjoying themselves!  They might have been slower than they were four years ago, but they sure loved it!!
It was chilly.  Even Toby got shivery.  We got him a vest...he looked sharp AND was warm.
One day we drove up to Kalaloch, a very beautiful part of the Washington coastline.  We went to Ruby Beach and played around the tide pools.
Toby thought it was great!
Some of the denizens of the beach and tide pools were kind enough to pose for photos.
Gypsy, the entire time, took every chance available to go swimming in every available body of water.  See below.
Ruby Beach.
Barnacles and mussels.
Us on the beach.
The sun broke through and the mist picked up.  It was beautiful!!
We then traveled back south, and stopped at the "BIG CEDAR TREE."  Yeah, it was big, but this is the picture that got my heart rate going...have I mentioned I love my truck?
Then we went to Kalaloch Beach and had a picnic lunch.
Then home and more relaxation.
then more kite flying...what do you think of the new Crayon Kite?  The dragon we've had for a while.
Toby was digging, so I decided to bury him in the sand...he was cooperative for a short time.
We enjoyed reading during our vacation.
and more reading...note the tarp over the tent.  We did this to prevent the tent from soaking up more than just the morning did not rain after that.
Here is a book I picked up at the local bookstore...this is a pretty good book, even though it is dated.
We also had some decent ward off the cold.
But, we had a very good time.
Yesterday we were about ready to go home, but we stuck to the plan.  We had no sooner gone into the tent, when the skies opened up and began dropping lots and lots of water on us.  It rained all night.  And all morning.  It rained while we packed up.  See that ROPE?  It's still there.  I forgot it.  The dogs, however, we brought home.  See them?  I love those rain coats.  It was a long fun week, but I am glad to be home.

Friday, June 18, 2010


This was taken back when the nights were long and the days were short.  I took the pictures in past few posts with my phone.  I found the card adapter the other night and have been looking through the pictures on my phone.  I thought I would share with you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This M1 Abrams was parked outside Toys R Us several months ago.  I got Cora to let me get this photo with my phone before we headed home.  60 tons of Marine fury!  They are a solid tank.  I have had the opportunity to get inside one.  Back when I was still a teenager my best friend and I were out "cruising" and saw one parked behind the Sunnyside Safeway...the crew warmed up the night vision optics and we targeted the freeway overpass a mile away! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Me Teaching Biology

You will note that I am no where to be seen and Bill Nye the Science Guy is taking care of the lesson...yeah, that's the way I roll!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I am a fan of Haiku.  The Japanese poetry that uses syllables and nature.  The syllables are counted, five for the first line, 7 for the second and 5 for the last. I think one of the reasons I like it is the fact that anyone can write a haiku and it will sound decent.  I can write haiku.  That makes me happy.

Today's is:

Sunshine through the glass
fills up my heart and body.
Can you see me smile?

The reason I write this is plain to me.  I'll make it plain to you.  I am up usual, my internal clock says I should be awake when it's light outside.  So, I am drinking my coffee.  However, I looked up and the sunlight is rushing through the kitchen window painting my plants in a golden light.  I can hear finches singing.  The coffee is doing the trick, and all is right with the world.

A finch sings his song,
sunlight and coffee warm me,
Spring is wonderful.

See, I did it again.

We cleaned the house and I mowed the lawn yesterday.  I also sprayed some of the weeds and it seems to be doing the trick.  I think I am ready for the rest of the week!  I can relax and not have to worry about making sure the lawn is mowed or the weeds are sprayed.  School is out or nearly out (depends on the district) and I am unlikely to be called for sub jobs.  I think I will enjoy the sunshine where ever it finds me.  I hope you will too.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mr. Roberts

"C and E and S divisions and all pharmacist mates will air bedding today!! Positively."

Mr. Roberts may be the finest, most comfortable movie I have watched.  I can nearly quote it word for word, and I have not watched it with the frequency I once did for years.  Today, cleaning house, I needed an extra pick me up to help me work on the house, so I turned on Mr. Roberts.

"Now hear this, Now hear this.  Because another cigarette butt has been found in the container of the captain's palm tree, there will be no movies again tonight.  That is all."

Now, Cora has seen it once or twice, but she does not seem to appreciate it for its greatness.

"We missed you when you went on watch last night.  I gave young ensign Pulver a drink of alcohol and orange juice and it inspired him to relate further amorous deeds of his."

It has several big names from yesteryear.  Henry Fonda, William Powell, Jack Lemon, and James Cagney.  the movie relates a side of World War II (and any war) rarely spoken of, except, perhaps M*A*S*H*.  It's the story of the men NOT on the front line, those whose battles are with their commanding officers or themselves.

I highly recommend it to everyone!!

"Sweepers, man your brooms.  Give her a clean sweep down, fore and aft.  Sweep down all ladders and passage ways.  Do not throw trash over the fan tail."

I REALLY want to go to the beach!!  I think it is nearly time for a vacation!

"Something wrong Doc?"

"Nothing, but stay out of B-29s Frank my boy!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Dog

This is a picture of Toby while I was on the ladder putting up siding.  He had no apparent fear of me dropping anything on him.  He's a good dog.