Always tweaking something!


Joyeux Noel


From my family to yours, Merry Christmas to one and all.

Found this in New Orleans 6 years ago, corner of Dumaine and Royal in the French Quarter.

Well, that’s over . . .

Day 4663

I don’t generally wander into politics or religion here.  Everyone has their own opinions and we are not likely to change each others minds on either topic.  That being said, ‘let me say this about that’ . . . – At least the sun came up this morning.  I went to bed around 11 with the general notion that Trumps lead was likely insurmountable unless HRC benefited from some late reporting urban counties – and a LOT of them.

I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn that Trump was in fact declared the president Elect in the wee hours of the morning.  Disappointed?  Yes.  Seems that Trumps major following was the non-college educated white male.  Trump did say he loved the uneducated, and now we know why.  He bullshitted enough of them to get his ass elected.  Now what?

I will also confess here that I really didn’t care for either Trump or HRC, but figured that the country could likely weather 4 years of Clinton better then 4 years of Trump.  No political experience, no experience serving anybody, bankrupt several times, and hasn’t paid income taxes in how long?  Not to mention that he just doesn’t have the disposition or demeanor to work and play well with others.  And good ol’ Hillary has had shady dealings going back to the Rose Law firm in Arkansas some 30+ years ago.  Too many times caught skirting the edge of the law, but as first lady, senator and Secretary of State at least she had political experience.

I really saw her as the defensive vote – the lesser of two evils.  But in my home state it mattered little, HRC would have won without my vote.  Florida & Pennsylvania were the real swing states this time and Trump apparently appealed to enough non-college educated white males in each state to carry the win.

What’s going to be painful is watching Trump struggle as he learns just how much he can’t do as president.  I’m also curious about just what his plans for change are because none of them were made apparent in any of the “debates”.

Ah well, like I said-  the sun came up again today, we’ll just march on.

Three word update

Measurable snow today.

Catching up in a list. With Explanations.

So it’s been a while.  Again.  Weelllll, the network at work is down (at least the work side of it), so I can stop in and try to catch up with a list.

Lessee –

  1.  Still haven’t replaced the bionic ear on my right side.  It’s upwards of $1K to do it, so I may have to save for a while.
  2. Coulda paid for the bionics, but we decided to go back to New Orleans next April and really finish the French Quarter Fest.  That whole having to fly off to Columbus to get to my mom in the hospital there put a damper on things.  Did I write about that?  I’ll have to check.
  3. Lost a cat.  Not like misplaced – more like UTI so bad the poor thing couldn’t pee.  RIP 20151106_214041.jpg
    Diesel.  He had his quirks, but he never climbed on the counters or tables and he was very tidy with his litter box.  Could only be petted on his terms, but they were pretty good terms.
  4. Got new cats.  Surprised that Diesel was replaced, or that he was replaced by 2? 20160911_100518.jpg
    This would be Tucker on the right with the frosted ears and Otis on the left with the white nose.  Brothers, litter-mates.  Tucker is a little bigger, somewhat dominant.  Otis is the quintessential little brother, takes a licking, counter-attacks well and is usually the instigator in the “hey – what’s in here?” game.  In this shot they’re about 10 weeks old – all of 2.5 pounds each.  They’re off to the vet today for their last round of vaccines and hopefully some suggestions on how to calm down Tuckers squirts.  Had them both checked for worms, none detected.  We’re trying different dry food, starting to wonder if it’s lactose intolerance (they are both flatulent little shits).  Anyone with cats and ideas, leave a comment!
  5. Looks like our summer heatwave/drought is coming to an end.  Temps have decidedly moderated lately, although it did get into the 80’s yesterday – rare for October in these parts.  For the year we are 6+inches behind on rainfall, but the next 2 days looks like it will take a couple inches off that total.  Again, for us, that’s rare to get 2+ inches of rain out of a single system.  A foot of snow?  Not so rare.
  6. Speaking of which, they actually used the “s” word in the forecast this morning.  Possibility of snow flurries in the higher elevations.  at hoome, we’re about 540 feet above sea level – NOT higher elevations.  They’re talking Allegheny’s, Catskills and Adirondacks.
  7. Our State Parks and DEC Parks have a 9 month window for making camping reservations.  In order to get campsites on the water, you have to have your mouse ready to click the “reserve” button at 9am on the day 9 months before you intend to camp.  The kids figured out their schedule (cop & a nurse – talk about weird schedules).  We clicked in abject horror as our first two selections got snagged right out from under us, then finally were able to lock in our Plan C.  Cranberry Lake State Park, sites 48 & 49.  Come stop by next July!
    This is Cecily learning how to climb rocks at our site last July.  She’s a great camper! Looks like the other half of our clan is seriously considering joining us this year.  Our son is a long time camper, his wife is less sure about it all.  We’re trying to get her to embrace the whole “take a bath in the lake, forget the make-up, your hair doesn’t have to be perfect” attitude that goes with camping.  She’s a great gal, not at all high maintenance, she’s just neat & clean (she’s a dental hygienist – of COURSE she’s neat & clean!).  Not something to strive for when you’re camping.  We’ll break her.
  8. Remind me to call my mom.  I have a part to fix her garage door opener.
  9. Got to stop flying to Charlottesville, VA.  Been there twice for work. Like the company and people I work  with there.  Great folks, super product. But both times the trip home was a large scale pain in the ass.  First trips problem was due to thunderstorms in Charlotte, NC where I had to swap planes.  Second trip we got hung up leaving Atlanta by some really weird electrical problems that cropped up every time they tried to push the plane back from the gate.  Ended up switching planes and getting home 3 hours late.  At 2:30 am.  Plus the drive home.  Worked the next day too.
  10. While in Charlottesville last time I tried this “Lump crab and asparagus macaroni & cheese” dish for dinner.  I know!  I was really excited to try it.  Sadly, they fell way short on the cheese sauce.  It’s like the sauce broke and there were bits of cheese curd and some oil, but no real sauce.  Or maybe we’re spoiled at home, I don’t know.  At least the local craft brew was good.
  11. Golf has wrapped up and bowling has started.  Our golf season here is so short, I just get really into the groove of things, get my drives dialed in, work out some of my iron issues (I can still hook an 8-iron like a 3 dollar crack whore), gain back some touch with the wedges around the greens and really start putting well and it’s time to quit.  Ah well.
  12. My brother in law has 3 kids – 2 boys and a girl.  All married.  The gal in each couple is preggers.  Their due dates are in January, February and April.  He’ll go from 2 grandkids to 5 in a matter of months.  We’re at 3 and holding.  Expect to have #4 one of these years, but we aren’t hanging over them constantly asking when they’re going to try.  Poor girls last (only) delivery was pretty rugged, she’ll be ready when she’s ready.   I just hope she isn’t pregnant NOW and it throws a wrench into our camping plans next year!
  13. no 13.  Bad luck.
  14. 4,442 days since I quit smoking and started a blog somewhere. (8/22/2004)  Wow.
  15. no 15.  Outta news.

Dumb Luck or Just Plain Dumb?

I’ll try to keep this brief.  Sort of.

Went camping this past weekend.   Not far – a place only 70 miles east of us.  Counts as the local Renaissance Festival.  We booked a site at a camp ground about 5 miles from the Festival site (VERY close to Lake Ontario) and planned to stay there Friday & Saturday night.

Got there Friday afternoon, got the camper parked & set up.  Settled down with a cocktail, played some Yahtzee, stared at the campfire for a while (magical) and turned in.

Did the Festival the next day.  Really interesting event.  Saw lots of skits, one man acts, couple of girls doing gymnastics kind of stuff, but everyone keeping it true to the period.  Spent the day there, couldn’t quite get to see everything but resolved to return.  Also resolved to get reservations at the State Park a little farther from the festival site, but we need to plan 9 months ahead for that.

Anyhow.  Get back to camp late afternoon early evening.  Having a cocktail, playing yahtzee again.  Realized that rather than pack up in the morning and head home, we could easily be home getting ready to sleep in our own beds in less than two hours.  Figuring I was about to sweat a bit while packing up camp (it was near 90 still at 6:30 – weird for these parts) I popped out my bionic ears (yeah – my hearing aids) and put them in my pocket.

Packed, hitched up the camper, rolled on out of there.  Got home, unpacked what we had to for the evening and settled down on the porch to unwind.  Had the TV on, so I reached into my pocket to get my bionic ears and – they weren’t there.  $3K worth of miniature hardware NOT IN MY POCKET!

I was pretty much shitting bricks by that point.  It was dark out, no point in searching our yard.  Besides I hadn’t really gone into my pocket for truck keys or anything while we were parking the camper.  My fear?  When I pulled the truck keys out of my pocket at the camp or when we stopped for gas, the wire to my bionic ears got caught up in the keys and they inadvertently flew out of my pocket.

So.  I slept poorly, waited till morning, grabbed breakfast.  Did a cursory search of our yard near the camper.  No luck.  Saddled up the truck and started the drive back to the camp ground.  On the way, I stopped at the gas station where I filled up the night before.  A Fast Trac with 4 pump islands.  The specific Island I used was occupied, so I headed inside and asked the cashier if anyone had turned in a set of hearing aids last night or this morning.  She looked excited, like she was glad I asked that question and she scampered back to the office.  But – no luck.  When I headed out of the store my island was open, so I took a good look around.  Guess what?  Found one.  To my right ear (the better ear actually)  Sadly, it looked like it had been run over once or twenty times – hard to say.  The battery was still with it, but it too was a wee bit crushed.  I put the thing in my ear, closed the battery hatch and waited.  Nothing.  No little chime telling me hello.  Looked around some more, didn’t see the other one, so I continued on to the camp – another 15 miles off.

Got to the campground, drove in like I owned the place.  Technically, I didn’t have to check out for another 30 minutes or so, so I kinda did own a piece of it still.  Drove back to the campsite we had, parked no where’s near where I was the night before and started looking.  Some lady in a golf cart came by, asked if I had lost anything.  Figuring she was one of the owners, I played nice and admitted that I think I may have lost a hearing aid here the night before.  She looked suitably concerned  and started looking too.  Then the gal from the next campsite over came and started looking.  So two minutes at the campsite and I have 3 sets of eyes on the ground.  It took another whole minute of looking before I actually found my left bionic ear and it looked to be in perfect shape. Didn’t dare try it out just yet, I was just glad to have it.  I thanked my assistants and headed for home.

Once home (3 hours after I left – 95%  of the time spent driving) I put new batteries in both bionics and tried them out.  The left ear worked fine, the right ear chimed ok and the volume control worked, but I think the connection to the mic was broken.  Internal command functions all chimed like they should, but I don’t get any boost of external sounds.  Kind of sucks, but I’ll test out how good the warranty is.  Even if the warranty won’t cover my being a dumb-ass, at least I’ll have to replace only one device, not both.  Still can’t believe how lucky I got, finding both like that.

I fear for my new neighbors

A little background.  As of this very moment, We have lived in our current residence for 23 years and 1 month.  Exactly.  Prior to this year, of all the houses nearest to us, only 1 has been sold/bought and even that was over 10 years ago.  Last year the owner of the house to my east passed.  Cancer, x2.  She was a tough old bird and stretched her second bout with cancer from an 18 month sentence into well over 5 years.

Her 59 year old son (Scott) inherited the house.  He was trying to decide if he wanted to rent it (NO, NO!!!) or sell it and hold the mortgage.  He had some minor repairs done, repainted the interior and was about to tackle the kitchen.  Even did an estate sale and got rid of a TON of his Mom’s stuff.

Then his girlfriend found him dead at his computer one morning.  Jeanette, being a girlfriend and not mentioned in the deed, was left to her own devices.  She had a house and was not destitute by any stretch.  She smoked Hav-a-Tampa cigars and apparently disliked bra’s.  Not that I noticed.  Much.

Anyhow.  The house now fell to Scott’s 3 cousins, all out of state.  Eventually the kitchen was re-modeled and the house was sold.  Almost.  I was doing some spring clean-up earlier this year and happened to talk to a couple that had just done a walk through of the house with a realtor.  Apparently I did a hell of a sales job on the neighborhood because they put in an offer.  The offer was accepted.  But during the closing process (painful here in NY) one of the 3 cousins passed away and that threw a monkey wrench into the title search.  Took an extra 6 weeks to straighten that out.

About a month ago, that couple FINALLY got to move in.  They have weird schedules, people are coming and going all the time, but it’s not my life and they’re plenty quiet. However this weekend I noticed different people over there.  Some dumpy guy with his pants way south of his butt and always a cigarette lit, and a really skinny gal in a sundress.  And 5 kids under 6 years old.  So that was pretty entertaining, trying to figure that out.

Then last night, I noticed the two older kids dragging dead branches out of the woods and putting them into the dog run attached to the back of the house.  Odd.  Then I noticed the adult male in the dog run spraying something on the wood and half dead leaves.  He was spraying a LOT of what ever it was.  He disappeared into the garage then came out and arranged the wood into what looked like a pile for a campfire – which was confirmed when he tried to LIGHT the wood inside the dog run, in a pile not 4 feet from the house.

Well, what ever he used wasn’t very flammable.  I could see the flames gutter out.  Then he disappered into the garage again and came out with a gas can.  Yes, a gas can.  He poured that all over his sad looking campfire.  At least had the sense to take the gas can back in the garage before he came back out and lit the pile of wood on fire.  The pile of wood that was not 4 feet from the house.

All the kids and the skinny female adult were all standing around watching this “catastrophe in progress”.  I’d had plenty by that point.  I had been watching all this from my back porch (i.e. our summer living room – covered, screened, TV, fridge, 384sq. ft. of summer enjoyment), not 50 feet from the that dog run.  I got my shoes on, walked over and asked him what he was doing.

I pointed out that the town we are in does not allow open fires like that.

He said “well I was gong to put rocks around it”

Me:  “The only rocks around here are around my pond.  You aren’t using those.  And there are no rocks around it now, so – it’s an open fire.”

Idiot: “But it’s on a concrete pad!”

Me: “Open fire.  Needs to be in an approved fire pit, steel pan, screened, lid.  And you’re 3 feet from the house!  Put it out now!”

Idiot:  “But, but in my town . . .”

Me:  Pointing across my back yard- “That’s the local fire house right there, not 200 feet away.  Should I get them?”

Idiot: ” But . . .”

Me: “Put it out, now.  You start THIS house on fire you’re putting my house at risk.  Oh – and where are Paul & Randi?”

Idiot: “They’re on vacation.  Randi is my sister”

Me: “So you’re house sitting?”

I left at that point because I was about to laugh in his face and call him a fucking idiot in front of skinny bitch and the kids.  I did look over there later and noticed that he’d drowned his mistake in plenty of water.

I just can’t believe a supposed adult can’t see the problem with having a freakin’ campfire that close to a house!  Hope I get to talk with Paul and Randi when they get back.  They’ll have questions about the scorch marks on the concrete and how their canopied love seat swing in the back yard got busted.  Yep – I saw that one too.  Randi is going to hate her nephews.


Poke this!

Day 4000 something, I think.

Some idjit staring at his idjitPhone screen wandered through my backyard last night, apparently in an attempt to track down his next Pokemon thingamawhatzit.  He was totally oblivious to where he was.  I’m assuming he got to my back yard from the street out front, walked along my lilacs and behind the camper out to the church parking lot behind me.

He wandered aimlessly around the parking lot for a while, started back towards my yard then FINALLY (after about 10 minutes of me staring at his stupid ass) looked up and noticed me staring at his stupid ass.  He waved at me like the village idiot he is and wandered off out the parking lots normal exit off to my west.   The dude was at least in his mid 20’s and not someone I recognized from our neighborhood.  He’s lucky he didn’t walk out in front of me while I was driving, because I might not have been able to stop in time. (Kinda on purpose)

What ever company it was that started this stupid activity ought to be forced to shut it down.  Someone is going to get themselves dead because of this aimless wandering.  Maybe after a few families sue the games inventor because one of their sons or daughters walked out in front of a semi while chasing a pokemon and got flattened, they’ll wise up.

In the mean time, if anyone wanders across my yard again uninvited, they will be forcibly detained until the town cops can get to my house and arrest these fools for trespassing and total lack of common sense.

In non-ranty news – we’re headed up to the Adirondacks for a week of camping.  Going to meet up with one of our boys and his wife & daughter.  My mission?  Spoil my grand daughter.  Period.  She’s a hoot.  Not quite 2, going on 13.  She will definitely keep the 4 adults entertained.

Oh – and it rained today, for like the first time in a month.  Now I’ll have to mow the yard next week dammit!