16 April 2021

Taxation Without Representation!

Washington D.C. voters say they're being cheated-
They're citizens, but they have no real say in Congress.
They want to be our 51st State so they'll get two U.S. Senators and representation in the House.
I have a better idea.
Move the Nation's Capitol to Kansas City. Give the D.C. Real Estate back to Virginia and Maryland.

This solves at least two problems:
It makes our seat of government less susceptible to enemy attack, and,
It gives D.C. residents new representation in Congress via their new State residences.

And we don't have to worry about designing a new 51-State flag...
Yet.


14 April 2021

Frontier.com

Fifty-Nine minutes, 12 seconds.
That's how long I spent on the phone with my Internet Provider.
I woke yesterday and tried to watch some YouTube videos on our Roku System...
No workee.
We got a connection to our router, but no internet connection.
I reset everything that had a "reset" button.
I unplugged the router for 20 seconds, then plugged it back in.
Still no dice.
None of our neighbors have a connection.
Oh well... give 'em a little time to fix the problem.

I tried two hours later...
Same result.

So I called Frontier.com's service number and, as usual, got someone with an accent that made it difficult for me to understand.
"Go unplug your router."

I made three phone calls yesterday and spent maybe an hour on the telephone. I finally got the person on the other end to admit there was a technical problem at their end. She assured me they were working on it and the problem would be resolved soon.

I woke today with hopes she wasn't blowing smoke up my delicate tush.
I now understand why my tush was irritated.
We still have no internet connection.
I can complain if I just email them at "Frontier.com/service". I may do that just as soon as I have an internet connection.

I spent an hour this morning, mostly on hold, waiting on someone to tell me when I'll begin to get the service I am paying for.
Instead I'm informed a new router is being drop-shipped to my address because my router is more than a year old and MAY be my problem.
I'm now at the Public Library writing this.

So, you tell me...
What are the chances the new router will fix what ails us?

08 April 2021

My 200,000-Mile Checkup

"Have you registered with the VA?" my friend asked.
"No. Why? Should I?"
"Well, we were exposed to Agent Orange and they're now finding LOTS of health difficulties associated with it popping up in our peers. You need to register with 'em just in case you have problems later."
And so I registered. And they've given me a pretty extensive semi-annual physical ever since.
My latest was yesterday.

Height/weight/blood pressure/heart rate.
Cholesterol levels.
O2 saturation.
Blood work.
Pee in the bottle.
Take a peek at the eyes and ears.
Stethoscope listening to various functions.
And more.

My VA Doctor is a Pakistani female, complete with head scarf and now... wearing TWO face masks.
With her heavy accent and "muff murf stamig?" through the two masks, it's almost impossible for me to understand her questions.
But we muddle through.
She's VERY efficient.

My weight is down a little. My tinnitus is worse. PSA is okay. Cholesterol, Vitamin D, Sodium... all okay.
Neutrophils, auto... Neutrophils, absolute... Eosinophils and several other "Phils"?
Who is this "Phil" guy and why are they watching him so closely?
But apparently  all my "Phils" are fine.
The only Clinker in the closet?
My blood sugar. Thank you Mom. (Or maybe this is MY Agent Orange problem?)

My glucose level and A1C are both off the chart. I know why.
And we've all heard "Denial" is NOT a river in Egypt.
My glucose problem is caused by COUPONS.
Yeah, that's the ticket!

Burger King. Culver's. Little Caesars. McDonald's. Taco Bell. Wendy's. And tens of other fast food joints...
All send out coupons to tempt me.
And "Cheapo Me" takes complete advantage of 'em.
That's a LOT of carbs. And I think "Phil" is an expert at turning carbs into blood sugar.
I think Phil also loves the BIG nightly glass of Merlot.

But my relationship with Phil has to change.
My Pakistani overseer is now pointing a bony finger at me, promising me insulin shots if I don't get this glucose situation under control.
Her finger is a scary thing... reminds me of Halloween.

Retirement was supposed to be easy, relaxing, and enjoyable.
This is beginning to look a lot like WORK.
Where did I take that wrong turn?





06 April 2021

George Floyd

Don't we already know the outcome of this trial?
If Chauvin is found guilty, many will be outraged. But the only bad thing that will happen will be he will go to prison.
If he's found not guilty, cities will burn, and people will die.
Black lives matter.

Yesterday I learned something I had not heard anywhere in the "News"...
Before he was even on the ground, Floyd said, "I can't breathe".
So he was an ill man, already suffering from respiratory trouble before Chauvin laid hands on him.
He also had a bad ticker, and was under the influence of several drugs.
None of that matters.
Black lives matter.

Do you see any way short of Civil War to get our country back to sanity?


05 April 2021

"It's not fair..."

Sara Jean says, "It's not fair. Women get old, wrinkly and ugly. Men get older, more rugged, and handsome."
But that's only true with some-
We watched "Executive Suite" with Barbara Stanwyck this morning.
A WONDERFUL, talented actress, she got prettier as she aged. In "The Big Valley" I thought she was beautiful.
And Errol Flynn certainly did not die a "rugged, handsome" man.

Genetics play a huge hand.
But environment and attitude also play a major role, don't they?

04 April 2021

03 April 2021

Shot

Covid vaccinations-
The rebel in me pretty much said "Let 'em shove it up their ass."
But my wife is a "Nervous Nellie" and worried about things like needing to get on an airliner if the vax is required.
So I acquiesced. We scheduled and got our shot yesterday. Part of the reason I agreed was because the vax was the Johnson and Johnson single-shot vaccination.
So... done.

And now it seems there are questions about the J&J vaccine that will impact some 15 million people.
Our "experts" have struck once again.

What a load of feces.



01 April 2021

Mice Eat Mice?

Six weeks in the Florida Panhandle... wonderful. But that part of Florida can be cold, windy, and wet simultaneously during Winter, so... BUG OUT TIME.
Fourteen weeks in Phoenix... great. If you spend time there you can easily understand why old farts like me spend Winters there. In the 3+ months we were there it rained three days. Temps this year never dropped below freezing. Normal days we experienced 65 degree highs; 45 degree lows, with humidity generally running 20% or so.
Nearly perfect weather, but we Midwesterners began to yearn for a raucous thunderstorm about the beginning of March!

We rented a Toyota Corolla for the trip home and decided to take an extra day in hopes we'd not be so exhausted when we reached our destination. I also decided to take different route home.
In the past we have driven South via Tucson/Deming, NM, El Paso/ Dallas-FTW/ Little Rock/and home.
We've also traveled via Holbrook, AZ/Albuquerque/Amarillo/Ok City/Tulsa/Springfield/and home.
Both those drives are long and, for the most part, boring. This time I decided we'd head North out of ALB and drive up the East face of the Rockies, hoping they'd be snow-capped and beautiful.
We were not disappointed.

The Corolla was comfortable. It drove nicely, got about 35mpg at 75mph, and had "smart" adaptive cruise control, (which henceforth will be a requirement for any future rental choice!)
We did NOT order a GPS option, and that turned out to be a mistake when I depended on memory as we headed North out of Colorado Springs...
Thank God I realized I was lost early on; stopped at a Fire Station, and a fellow Public Service worker got me back on the proper path home!

Motels we stayed in:
A "Comfort Inn", a "Super 8", and a "La Quinta". Since all we require in our temporary housing is a clean place to sleep and bathe, (and breakfast of some sort is also nice), we generally go the "budget" route for accommodations. All our stays were satisfactory, but I was surprised our normal choice, the La Quinta, had NO breakfast offerings at all.

The trip was uneventful. After gratefully spending the night in our own home and bed we returned the rental car and came home to resume our normal routine.
Scooter and truck started without fuss. But while I was sitting in my pickup allowing the battery to get it's first charge in months I caught a glimpse of movement to my right and saw either Mickey or Minnie sitting transfixed on the passenger seat. After a few seconds, MM decided to beat a hasty retreat into the bowels of my Ram/Cummins pickup somewhere. It was after a little searching that I noticed the roll of toilet paper we leave in the truck for emergencies had been well-used for nesting material.

Last night I set the trap... on the passenger-side floorboard, with peanut butter as bait. Investigation this morning found the trap gone!  I searched beneath the passenger seat... beneath the driver's seat...
Nuttin'. But further investigation beneath the extended-cab jump seat revealed the trap with a half-eaten mouse lodged against the rear bulkhead of the truck.

So the question now is-
Did Mickey get a bellyful of Minnie...
Or Vice-versa?



29 March 2021

Road Trip Random Thoughts

-Topeka Kansas is the home of Harry W. Colmery. Who knew?
-Kansas is windy. Fifty knot gusts made me thankful I wasn't driving an 18 wheeler.
-Anyone that thinks Kansas is flat has never been to Ft. Riley.
-Renting a car without GPS is a big mistake.
-But having a "seek" function on the FM radio proved there are LOTS of  "classic rock" stations out there.
-Four cylinder engines are buzzy and irritating in mountains but get GREAT mileage.
-Buzzy rental cars help you realize how much you love your non-buzzy car.
-Windmill farms are majestic and simultaneously an eyesore.
-In fifty mph winds, windmills feather. (Shut down.)
-Cell phone coverage on Interstates is nothing short of amazing.
-There is NO comfortable way to drive more than 700 miles in one day.

Care to add to my list?


Driving Miss Sara

We're two days into our trip home from Phoenix. We spent the first night of our drive in Albuquerque. Experienced a HORRIBLE traffic jam on Interstate 40 near Gallup, NM, nearly dead-stopped for almost two hours. This is the seccond time we've had terrible traffic there and WILL NOT be coming home that way again. 

Decided to take a different route home from ALB this time and headed North on I-25 toward Denver- up the Eastern face of the Rockies. The peaks were snow-capped and GORGEOUS. 

Spent the night in Limon, CO in a tacky little motel room. Since we only spend a few hours in the motel we've always felt so long as they are clean and have basic "necessities" like a TV and microwave, why pay a fortune for those few hours? 

There's just no way to make a 24-hour drive comfortable. But flying, more and more, is becoming such a burden I no longer want to do it. Our rental car, a Toyota Corolla, is a pleasure to drive.
It's getting 35 mpg at 75mph and has something I will NEVER again be without-
"Adaptive" (Smart) Cruise Control. It takes much of the stress out of driving long distances on the slab.

Home tomorrow night, our neighbors inform us our wild onion crop is ready for harvest.
That's a smell/experience I always enjoy in the Spring.

I'm homesick.
And ready for Spring storms and home "Honey-do's".

23 March 2021

"It's Snowing!"

We set out from Phoenix yesterday with a GREAT plan-
Leave comfortably around Noon +-. Drive North to Hwy 74, then go Westbound to Wickenburg. Just Northwest of there, hang a turn onto Northbound 89. Make our way through Yarnell where the "Hotshots" lost their lives in the fire some years ago, then continue to Prescott. Just East of there take 89A through Jerome and Cottonwood, then on through Sedona to just South of Flagstaff and spend the night at the Air Force recreational facility at "Ft. Tuthill" County Park.
Beautiful.

All went exactly as planned. Weather was "Clear Blue and 22", and we drove through Sedona as Ol' Sol was getting low in the sky, casting intense red rays on the already red stone cliffs there.
Breathtaking.

The "Best Laid" plan was to spend the night at Ft. Tuthill, rise at a comfortable hour and have breakfast, then drive a couple hours North to "Horseshoe Bend" near the AZ/CO State line. Time permitting, I wanted to also hit the South Rim of the Canyon to take in the view there. At that point I intended to take the pulse of both Sara Jean and Big Bubba to see if they wanted to pound the pavement back to PHX, or get a room for the night in Flagstaff and head back to Phoenix rested on Wednesday.

The Air Force facility at Ft. Tuthill was a BIG disappointment. The problem MAY have been partly due to the WuFlu virus. The place was... umm... Spartan, to put it kindly. We slept fitfully.

Morning dawns. Sara Jean opened the draperies to the room.
"It's snowing!" she says.
And indeed it was. Four inches of the stuff on the ground.
Not just flurries... big, wet flakes coming down, limiting visibility to about a mile.
The chances of seeing anything at Horseshoe Bend or the Grand Canyon?
Zip.

So we leisurely lolled in bed until checkout time, then drove and had Brunch at Denny's, after which we all agreed to point the car South to Phoenix where our phones said it was 65 degrees with a chance of rain.

Sara Jean's first view of the Grand Canyon will have to wait for another day.