Monday, 21 July 2014
3307 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"If I had known it was this much fun to be old I would have stayed a knuckleheaded teenager."
It has been 4 days since my last submission. The first day started great with me being active and issuing orders to the grandsons to do this and do that. It soon became very obvious that they were receiving power in rays from my eyes. That must have been the case since every time I returned to their dimension they were at a dead standstill in the midst of the task I had left them working on. Maybe Superman did shoot X-Rays from his eyes. The second day I abandoned all hope of any help from the one-handed poop-making organisms. One even lost the string head to my expensive weed-eater in the middle of the freshly mowed front lawn. Fortunately he did not lose the bright orange 5 foot long handle section. Unfortunately without the string reel part all I have left is a damned poor fishing rod or a very defective canoe paddle. I did make good progress in getting the pool clear.
The third day I spent huddled in my recliner trying to ignore the bright blinding flashing light and the third worst headache in the history of the world. Just rubbing my head was excruciating.
Today I made more progress on the pool. However I have had to swap out and wash the cartridge filters 3 times today. The dead algae residue is loading the filters quickly. Even though the pool is green the swimming is still good. I swam amongst water moccasins in much worse looking rice canals. While I was in the back working with the pool I managed to clean a lot of the debris. I even got help from both grandsons and YD. Tomorrow I intend to weed eat, with my new Black and Decker, the brick walk from the house to the pool and the edges of the pool deck. I turned the pump off tonight at 30 psig. So my first task tomorrow is turning on the pump and applying the new hose clamps.
I decided to quit taking my blood pressure so often. The natural variability is such that any reading is likely to be within 6 mm Hg of my average BP. My 4 years of charting has proven to me that I can determine if I have high or low BP by the way I feel.
The more I try to acclimatize Rascal to the halter the more he struggles under the sheer weight of the thing. Saturday he acted like the thing weighed more than he did. All 4 legs were spread flat on the desktop and he could barely meow.
Last night I watched my recording of "Letters to Juliet" and loved every minute of it except for the love that was interrupted 50 years ago. That sent tears to my eyes. The longing and the emptiness is fading except for the moments when I see or hear something I used to share with her. In 9 days it will be a year since Carolyn died. I never thought I could endure a year without a heart but it seems I can. I used to wonder how the women in grannies who were recent widows coped with life. Now I know there is no answer to that question. Instead you just keep on moving and living.
I wanted to refresh my memory about the actors and cinematography of the movie and foolishly looked at one of the reviews of the movie in "Rotten Tomatoes". The capsule review says; "Letters to Juliet has a refreshingly earnest romantic charm, but it suffers from limp dialogue and an utter lack of surprises.". Well, Dammit I am sick to death of movies that are trying only to surprise me. I like, most of the time, predictable. By the time the kids who write these reviews get to my age they too will be longing to put on comfortable socks and shoes and have a quiet meal with that special person. I get all the surprises I want picking out ripe melons and fresh fish.
Yall be most excellent to one another!
Yosemite Valley Chapel. Think Fall and cool weather.
Thursday, 17 July 2014
3303 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Just a glich"
Sorry about missing yesterday. Too much activity the day before knocked me out all day. And I did not do much today. I did finalize the arrangements for the Play TEXAS and a cowboy guided horseback tour of the Palo Duro Canyon. Now I have begun to worry about sleeping since I can only sleep slightly reclined and with a fan blowing on me. My first impulse is to buy a folding chaise lounge at Lowes.
Tonight I was supposed to go to Winedale for Merry Wives of Windsor but since I am going to see it with my SD and her kids later in the month I decided not to attend.
Very early this morning, during a bout of insomnia I watched the movie "Fargo". What a depressing movie. The channel guide described it as a dark comedy. What kind of world is it when a piece of caca like this passes for comedy?
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
3301 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"building step 1 of 6469"
Every day since I turned that unknown corner I become more active, less fearful of crowds and physically more fit. Of course having the stents emplaced and improving my blood circulation had a lot to do with my demeanor.
I was fairly busy all day and stayed up until 2am this morning watching the coverage of all 8 days of the "Running of the Bulls in Pamplona" and a couple of the old sitcoms. Normally I would have slept late into the next afternoon. Instead I woke at 7am, took my pills and blood pressure. Then I fed Rascal. He had been a real pain in the butt.
Immediately I went out back and turned on the pool pump and scattered 3 pounds of shock on the surface. I puttered around the pool area for a couple hours. I reverted to my original birthday suit and had a nice walk in the pool. I really need to repair the doors on my shed and the roof. If I was rich I would have Lowes come build me a larger wooden shed. I would equip the shed with a 7 kilowatt generator fueled by propane. But since I plan on selling this pile of rubble in the near future I see no reason to put any money into it. I would already have sold it but I have people and animals and Rascal dependent on me for shelter. If and when I sell I will use the proceeds to buy a small to middle motor home.
Tonight when I went to check on the pool I was captivated by the bats swooping done and snapping up a drink. I turned on the pool light for an even better exhibition.
We are making good progress in finalizing details of the trip to Palo Duro and Groom. The RV is assured. Overnight parking to and from the targets is secured. Camping site at Palo Duro Canyon is secured. I am waiting for info before buying tickets to "Texas" the play and Chuck Wagon Dinner. One of party seems to still be undecided.
This Friday my long running association with Shakespeare in Winedale resumes. I see "Merry Wives of Windor" Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 7:30 pm "Taming of the Shrew" and Sunday at 7:30 I will watch "Troilus and Cressida". When I scheduled these back in March I had planned on staying in a Motor Inn in Flatonia. But I have too many things to do here to allow me to run away to Flatonia.
Monday, 14 July 2014
3300 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Run! He is mounting his soap box again!" I had a series of interesting emails over the last several days. One asked "Who reads this BS". Obviously the person who sent the email reads the BS. The next few emails were from some business friends in Georgia and Nevada. Both seemed to be bragging that they do not use social media. I email a bunch of people a link to the blog entries that are saved on my own domain. And then and only then post do I the entry to a private groups on Facebook. So my question is "Why are they telling me they do not use social media. As I understand the English meaning of those two wors talking to somebody in public is social media. Attending a meeting of any kind is using social media. Writing a letter to a friend or a stranger is using social media. Every interaction we have with other people is us of social media.
I suspect they are referring to the mindless "sharing" of every waking moment with people you would not recognize if they shook your hand. Facebook, perhaps swayed by the prostitution of our language by politicians, generated the "friend and like" baby talk that passes for discourse today. We talk and communicate more now than ever in the past yet more people are suffering loneliness. I use probably every form of social media the human race has created, including Facebook . I do not like Facebook but some people who I know in person and treasure are there.
After I fed Rascal I put his halter on and made him wear it for an hour while I took my medicine and blood pressure. Today has turned out to be a busy day. I reserved the RV, pickup 8/2/2014 return 8/7/2014. Changed reservation at Palo Duro to August 3 and August 4. We will see the epic play "TEXAS" and eat at the chuck wagon before the play. Bought paper and dry goods at Costco. Also a heavenly Tres Leche cake with caramel topping. Four pounds Hickory smoked Kirkland bacon and a ginormous bottle of French's yellow mustard. We go through that stuff faster than a baby uses diapers. Started disassembling pump and discovered some of my specialty tools are missing from my shed. I think someone has discovered a way to jimmy one of the sliding doors. I used a hammer and a hardwood stake to loosen the PVC connections. Younger grandson came out and moved the disconnected pump to a better work location. I thought the volutes were plugged but it was clear that the entire suction tube was jammed with shredded leaves. I dug those out and went to Home Depot to buy a replacement strap wrench.
When I got back I directed the boys to clear the front and north beds. Grandsons were supposed to be cutting down small hackberry trees in the front flower bed while I reassembled pump with the new strap wrench. After I got circulation restored I walked into the bright green "Shock" infested pool. It felt so wonderful.
Sunday, 13 July 2014
3299 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Good morning from the crack of 5 pm"
Sometime after I took the pictures of Rascal in his red harness he climbed across the piano and left. I thought he had adjourned to his bed on the clothes folding table. Just after I laid back in my recliner I told him "Meouwi", meaning good night buddy in cat. He didn't answer so I asked WiiMremiou? Still no answer so I heaved my weary body out of the recliner. I found him in "HER" bedroom with his butt against the door to her bathroom. He was hunkered down like cats will do when they are sick or hurt and meowing weakly and staring at her bed. At first I thought he was appealing to HER to remove the harness. As I carried him back to our room I noticed the little black female cat, that is always in heat, lurking in the hallway. Sarah, the spotted white cat, was stationed near the entrance to her bedroom. I now think he got trapped in the room by those "fierce" other cat. Rascal could eat both of them in one bite but together they scare him. I checked him after taking off the harness to assure myself that I did not injure him when I put the thing on him.
I was so fatigued by all the activity yesterday that I slept from 11 pm last night to 6 pm this evening. Despite all my talk yesterday to the grandsons outlining what they needed to do today. When I checked they had done nothing. I often forget teenage boys are "eyeball" powered. As long as you are looking at them they will work hard. But let your vision drift even a microsecond and they will slump to the ground like marionettes with cut strings.
Tomorrow I must repair circulating pump.
I have a Google map of what I am calling Houston to Zion Round Grand Circuit with the tentative points of interest under a sheet of plexiglass on my desk. After days of almost looking at it I became aware that my plan of driving 400 or so miles each day doesn't give enough time for sightseeing. I need to remark the map in 200 mile of so daily segments.
Tomorrow will be better.
Saturday, 12 July 2014
3298 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"If I didn't have bad luck I would have no luck at all."The support tubes on the rear hatch of my Ford failed some time back. Without these functioning it is almost impossible to use the back of the van. I ordered replacement and got them Tuesday. The only instructions were in tiny yellow type on the black plastic package they came in. I thought they were in French and Spanish. I dreaded the prospect of, once again, teaching myself how to do a repair that I would likely never do again. But my increased activity out and about on errands has my legs trembling so I have been using the electric scooter when I go to Costco or Home Depot. Without those supports I have learned a whole nother package of swear words. After wearing myself out in Petsmart this morning I gathered up senior grandson to hold up the hatch while I figured the procedure. Turned out to be very simple. Pry back a c-clip, pop off the old tube and reverse the steps to install the new one. So a dreaded job turned simple,
Before I left the house I scattered shock on the pool and turned on the pump. Simple job. When I got home I discovered pump was still running but not moving any water. No plugging discovered. Then I noticed the pump was making a surging bubbling sound. Dammit! That means the volutes in the impeller are mostly plugged. I now have to take the pump apart and with my special homemade tools dig the muck and tiny seeds out of the volute and reassemble pump. SGS is going to help me tomorrow by lifting disconnected pump onto a workmate work bench for my ease. Simple job turned horrendous.
I talked to one of the staff at PetSmart and they recommended a red halter for Rascal. She told me if it is not the right size bring it back. After diagnosing the pump problem and scheduling repair for tomorrow I asked Daughter to put the halter on Rascal. I watched carefully so I could put it on him when we hit the road. Well I thought I watched carefully. I took the halter off and tried to put back on. This whole nother set of swear words seemed to shock Rascal. After 2 attempts I got it on him. The picture gives a hint that the thing fits well around his neck and chest.
The next picture shows the idiot collapsed under the monumental weight of the halter.
He has not fought the halter at all. Even though he acts the grumpy old cat with most people I find him to be remarkably docile. He takes medicine better than any of our children. Now that he is old he lets me comb his belly fur.
Yall have a good night.
Friday, 11 July 2014
3297 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Well I'll be danged"
I settled down last night to watch a movie I had recorded off MoviePlex. The channel guide listed Julie Newmar and Patrick Swayze in the movie "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
". Damned thing was about 2 flamboyant New York drag queens and a drag "princess". I guess my feminine side has been affected by all the gender discussion.
He certainly made a fine looking woman. I found myself rooting for them.
Belief in a Supreme God often results in creations of great beauty. This Lutheran Church looks like it is stretching to meet God.
Instead of doing anything productive today I worked up a first draft of the cost of the 3,300 mile trip I posted yesterday. I cannot afford the trip if I rent the RV nor can I afford to buy a 23 foot or similar used RV. At least I cannot afford one without a lot larger search.
Thursday, 10 July 2014
3296 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
I have now scattered 10 pounds of shock on the pool and have, apparently had no success in killing the algae. As I write this I realize that the chemistry of the pool is so bad that the Shock cannot work. Tomorrow I need to take a water sample for testing. Once it appears the shock is working I will turn on the circulating pump and leave it on all day.
I have ODed on my regular cable channels and have seen sampling new ones. I have watched coverage of the first 4 days of "Running the Bulls" in Pamplona. Fascinating but the images surfaced old sweet memories. In the time after I started College in San Marcos and later married I used to sell blood and go to Mexico. Most times I ended up on the sunny side of the bull ring in Nuevo Laredo. I did have a hard time accepting the killing of the bull but found the whole spectacle awesome. Many times friends would invite me to their home after a fight. Most of the time their mothers had bought some of the bull meat to feed to their sons. The bull running in Pamplona are used in the bull fights after the festival. I would like to see another good bull fight before I check out.
SD and I are pretty close to finalizing plans for our RV trip to Palo Duro and Groom. This version allows some time to loop out to Levelland, TX and one more night in the Canyon. I emailed her version 3 last night. As soon as we agree on the plan we need to get reservations made, maps printed, supplies inventoried and acquired.
While waiting to finish that plan I have been making a route map of another RV trip after I buy an RV.
The draft itinerary is:
Fredricksburg-Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War,
Fort Davis-old Indian fort and McDonald Observatory,
Note the left turn at Albuquerque,
Winslow (My Lord there is a girl in a flat bed ford looking at me),
Meteor Crater-Listen to God in the silence,
South Rim Grand Canyon
North Rim Grand Canyon,
Four Corners Monument,
Albuquerque (note the left turn) following Route 66,
Cement, OK (hometown)
Map says 3400 miles (340 gallons gasoline or diesel) and 50 hours driving. I need to work our overnight stops after 300 to 400 miles driving.
I have no idea who will, or if even I will take the trip, but up to 4 other family members are welcome.
My trouble with IRS and Various Hospitals may put the kibosh on this trip.
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
3295 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Fascinating!" I spent the day revising Palo Duro trip because my Emmaus training has been postponed meaning I can spend another day on the trip. After that I got fixated on "Alice in Wonderland" movie on Movieplex channel. During a commercial I found that the Esquire Channel was covering the day to day running of the Bulls in Pamplona. It looks exciting and I would do it if I was in my 30 and richer. Otherwise it is another silly challenge we humans make for ourselves.
I am having trouble getting commitment from my Houston family for a RV trip to the Grand Canyon and other points before school starts and older grandson entering Navy. And I really worry about Rascal. I wonder if he can endure a long motor trip in an RV.
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
3294 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
All of a sudden I realized it was almost midnight and I had not written an entry. I have spent most of the day firming up plans for my trip with the Austin family to Palo Duro Canyon and the giant cross in Groom Texas.
I have started prepping travel map for RV trip with Houston Family to Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Carlsbad Cavern, 4 Corners, White Sands, Groom and Cement OK. One of the family might be in the Navy before the trip.
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