30 December 2022
We are BIG fans of old movies. The old Black and Whites are by far our favorites. In our opinion they get no better than "Mrs. Miniver", "The Best Years of Our Lives", "The Mortal Storm", "Watch On The Rhine", "Casablanca"... I could go on. If you are nodding your head and have not seen any of those I've listed you'll do well to look 'em up. (And if you have a favorite please mention it in the comments.) They reinforce the fact the country USED to be patriotic and is... different today.
(As if you needed proof, huh?)
Last week, after a "Feature" we watched, TCM played this "Short" starring James Cagney, Ann Sothern, and Margaret O'Brien.
Little Miss O'Brien has been a favorite of ours for years and I was thrilled to see her in this piece. As always, she's wonderful in it.
A little over 10 minutes in length, I think it's worth your time.
Your environment may even get a little dusty, so keep the tissues handy.
And remember how "we used to be".
28 December 2022
The plan to head South to spend Christmas with our son had been in place for weeks. Our day of departure, (Thursday), weather was certainly a factor. I had to deliver meals in the morning and the forecast was for it to get "ugly with a capital 'U'" after Noon. Temps were forecast to drop almost 40 degrees in 12 hours with a rain/freezing rain/snow situation a possibility. I luckily finished delivering meals to our clients by 1000 hours and rushed home to "get outta Dodge" as soon as possible.
Knowing the situation our home would be facing during our absence I opened the doors to all the cabinets/sinks on outside walls and left the furnace set at 55 degrees to keep the house at a threshold temperature to avoid freezing. I considered leaving the most distant faucet trickling, but we were gonna be away for five days... did I want to leave water running that long?
No. (Don't get ahead of me here.)
Our trip South was uneventful. The car's thermometer read 34 degrees as we pointed our noses South, and temps rose to 45 degrees by the time we arrived in Northern Tennessee. Traffic was light.
Friday morning we got a call from a neighbor-
"My water pipes are frozen."
Niggling worries began. But the guy with the keys to our home that I depend on to insure our house is okay was sick as a dog and I didn't want to bother him. Temps rose the next day and our "pipes frozen" neighbor reported that his water began to flow again.
I relaxed some.
Four days passed. We drove home in "still below freezing" temperatures.
We arrived home, opened the door, and Sara Jean exclaimed, "Water is running somewhere."
It was raining in my office. Raining in our downstairs bathroom.
Quickly as possible I entered the crawlspace beneath our house. I had to crawl through snow to get there. It was raining under there too. I crawled 20 feet through two inches of water-soaked mud to reach the main shut-off valve.
The indoor rain continued for an hour. I realized there was a problem... the shutoff valve had NOT shut the water supply off. I crawled back under the house and forced the valve to close farther than I was really comfortable twisting it.
That act slowed the flow of water in my office to a "drip, drip, drip".
We deployed buckets to catch drips. I went to our outbuilding and grabbed the "wet-or-dry" vacuum.We sucked as much water up as we could and I got onto the phone to our insurance company.
Trying to contact a plumber after an event like this is disheartening-
"I have a week's worth of work ahead of you. I'll put you on my list and get to ya as soon as I can."
Today marks two days since we got home to find it raining indoors.
One of the plumbers we left a message with arrived this morning and started pulling out drywall. After "tearing up Ned" for an hour he found and repaired the leak.
We can once again bathe, brush our teeth, do laundry, run the dishwasher, and flush toilets.
We don't realize how much we take electricity and water for granted until they are gone, do we?
The process of returning to normal has begun. Being able to turn on the water tap is about 40% of that process.
Now the drywall, carpeting, fixing/replacing electronics, etc., process begins.
And thinking of those sleeping in the cold we once again realize how BLESSED we are.
26 December 2022
We saw the Whitney Houston movie last night.
It was good, but succeeded in making me very sad.
Why do all these talented celebrities think "I can ingest that and the thing that has happened to SO MANY people before me won't RUIN my life!"?
She "danced" with Bobby Brown.
Bad choice of partners.
24 December 2022
We arrived here in Tennessee Thursday night. After we had unloaded the car, grabbed a bite to eat and settled in, our son said, "Let's go watch a movie". He has a "media room" in his home here, complete with an 85-inch television and great sound system. I leaned back in my recliner and he punched the "Play" button, and I was surprised to see the credits for "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" roll.
"What the heck?" I thought. I have never seen the movie all the way through and it will help me get into the Christmas spirit!
The movie is about an hour long and is for kids... cute, but because you've heard the basic story via the old Gene Autry song over a million times, it's kinda boring.
Our son had purchased tickets to a "special event" at the "Gaylord Events Center" and wouldn't tell us anything about what we were gonna experience other than to say, "Dress WARMLY!"
We arrived at the Gaylord complex and entered the Events Center and found "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in ice sculpture was what we would see.
And it was amazing. The big facility was cooled to 9 degrees, obviously to keep the sculptures from melting, so all attendees were issued parkas for comfort. As you walk the pathway, the story of the old movie unfolds with help from signs in front of the characters.
And I noticed something odd-
The "Yukon Cornelius" ice character had no revolver tucked into his belt!
The Snowflakes that put this display together had disarmed Yukon, (I'm sure his piece in the movie was AT LEAST a .44 Magnum!) leaving him totally vulnerable to Polar Bears and "Bumble" Abominable Snowmen!
I asked several of the attendants about the oversight, (average age amongst 'em was about 22 I think), and they all just shrugged their shoulders. (I'm sure most of them have never seen the old animated feature.)
But you and I know what this is all about.
Carrying a gun is bad, ya know?
Being eaten by a white bear is preferable.
23 December 2022
We "got outta town" up North just in time to miss the dangerous driving conditions. It was 34 degrees with light drizzle when we left home, and the car's thermometer steadily increased to 45 as we ventured South in light traffic. We encountered ONE slowdown along the way, but even that was just an irritation... never came to a complete stop.
We got word yesterday that a couple (relatives) back home have tested positive for the Wuhan Flu. One was the recipient of a new kidney some years back. Both are multi-vaccinated and multi-boosted. This is the second battle with the virus for both of them. He very obviously has a right to be concerned about his future, but I wonder-
What good did it do the two of them to get stabbed all those times? Sara Jean and I both have also tested positive for the disease and had cold/flu-like mild symptoms. She has now been battling a coughing/snotty bug for three weeks. Is she uncomfortable ? You bet. She has tested negative twice during this three week period, so she probably will not die from this.
There are people around us that LOVE being frightened. It's the reason Halloween Horror Houses and scary movies make money. And there are some EVERYWHERE that are secretly enjoying being frightened that death is just around the corner because of this disease:
"Wear your (useless paper) mask! And two of 'em are better than one!"
Don't get me wrong- There ARE people who must be concerned about this bug. I sure as Hell hope they have access to and wear an N95 mask because anything else will likely do more damage than good.
But at what point will we realize that lots of people are afraid someone will jump out from behind a bush and shout BOO! at them?
As I recall, the chance of dying from this disease- rounded to the nearest whole number, is ZERO.
19 December 2022
"...ain't nothin' in the world
Like a big-eyed girl
That makes me act so funny
Make me spend my money
Make me feel real loose, like a long necked goose
Like a girl, oh baby, that's what I like!"
I'm a VERY happily married man.
But I ain't blind.
Let some cute/beautiful female flutter her eyes at me and I'm reduced to jelly.
"Can you do THIS for me?"
And I'm not the only living thing with XY chromosomes for which that's true.
My problem? OUR problem?
The humans with XX chromosomes know how to manipulate us. And they're smarter than we are.
Do I/we mind?
"As it was, and forever shall be."
Ain't nothin' in the world like a BIG EYED girl!
17 December 2022
08 December 2022
04 December 2022
We're back home in "The Great White North" after our 30-day stay in Destin. Our visit there this go-round was not the best... the condo we stayed in was newly remodeled and we were the Guinea Pigs that had to find all the little glitches and call to get them fixed. (Ground floor condo with NO window coverings when we arrived? Sheesh.)
Weather too was a bit of a disappointment this year. Cold, rainy, and blustery, the guests we invited to spend time with us were not, I fear, very impressed with the Florida Panhandle.
One of the great mysteries of life-
Try as hard as we might, I always have trouble jamming all the STUFF we have accrued into the truck for our trip home. Junk that can be damaged in rain always goes into the Extended Cab while impervious stuff can reside in the bed.
Not this time. Too much to fit in the Cab.
I bought "contractor strength" garbage bags and many items went into the bed this trip.
Contractor bags? We learned the lesson the hard way some years ago. Normal trash bags blowing in the wind back there fatigue and get holes in 'em pretty quickly. These heavier-duty bags fared quite well.
I like to drive. "Back when", road trips of 10+ hours were no problem. That's no longer true. Part of the reason for that, I'm sure, is the vehicle- Our 25 yr-old 3/4 ton Dodge Cummins diesel is... a TRUCK.
Noisy. And it rides, even when pretty heavily loaded, like an old log wagon.
First "leg" home, picking up the dog from my Sister's in Pensacola then pointing the truck Northbound to our son's home, was 12 hours. (Rest areas, fuel stops, restaurants.)
I can't do that trip length anymore. Future trips will require overnites after 6-7 hours or so.
Our final leg home was 3 hours.
Exhausted, we went right to bed. Next day we continued to spend lounging around, mostly watching TV, trying to recharge our batteries.
Feeling better today, we can start the unpacking/organizing stage of our arrival home.
"Be it ever so humble..."
It's wonderful to be safely home.
02 December 2022
Our "betters" want us to ride our bicycles to work.
They care enough about the issue that they flew their private jets many miles to a conference to emphasize that fact.
I could be convinced the climate may be changing. My question to the statement is always, "When in our history has the climate NOT changed?"
"Climate change people" aren't really stupid, so they have no answer to my question.
But the more frustrating questions?
What's the population of the U.S.?
What's the population of China?
What's the population of India?
What are those countries, (orders of magnitude in population BIGGER than ours) doing to lessen their impact on poor Gaia's climate?
We are stupid.
And we are deserving of the screwing we are receiving.