Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Return to Summer, Part I

It was already warm when I woke up for work on Monday. Because of the forecasted heat and humidity, this was our first official “ozone action” day here in Southeast Michigan.

Since my earlier sighting of the cat, I was anxious for daylight to check for sign. When it was light enough, I went out back. I could see where it had walked in the dew-covered grass, but was unable to find any distinct tracks. I went back inside and then left for work.

I had checked the Sandisk from the game camera in my computer (I have a SD card slot), but there was nothing there. I figured I was doing something wrong (it didn’t even show up as a drive) so I took it into work. The techs in back read it and it showed 28 photos of squirrels all in the daylight but no nighttime shots and no weird cat. I asked what I did wrong at home and they said I probably put it in backwards… Duh!

You could feel the oppressive air during my morning walk.

I went to Time Out and got my second favorite sandwich, a Rueben, with a cup of French onion soup. Then I drove to the car wash at Newburgh and Joy road and got the truck spiffed up.

The afternoon walk was even more uncomfortable. It was already 84 degrees outside.

When I went home at 5:00 p.m. the truck temperature showed 92 degrees, but according to the news, the official high was 86.

I took the garbage can and the Shark sweeper out to the road, then went inside and treated Caley.

I put the Scandisk into the game trail camera and went to put to back on the tree. That’s when I noticed my lawn was not cut. Was it the ozone action day? Did they forget? I dunno. But, there’s no way in hell, I’m gonna hang the camera back up and end up with 1500 photos of a lawn mower driving back and forth. Damn! I really, REALLY want to know what the hell that is!

Sidebar: I did google “exotic cats” and the closest I came up with was a serval. It’s got the height and the length, but the color’s all wrong. They are an African cat and sold here in the US. I actually knew somebody who bought on for a thousand dollars, but ended up selling it to somebody else when he learned he couldn’t train it to a litter box.

However, the color’s all wrong. They are spotted (with a coat that looks like a cheetah). On the other hand, it was dark out. But, when my neighbors spotted it, it was lying on the sidewalk with the south light full on it and they swore it was pitch black. I dunno… I guess it could be a serval whose parent mated with a domestic black cat.

I went out back and watered the raised bed herb garden. I checked the container gardens, both back and front, but I think they can go another day.

Back inside in the air conditioning, I watched the end of the news. Then I warmed up the other chicken Parmesan and remaining pasta. I ate another excellent dinner. I wish now I would have made all four chicken breasts into chicken Parmesan!

I watched ”The Punisher” again until Longmire came on. I watched Longmire until it ended and then I went to bed.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Poem of the Decade!!!

I have outlived my pecker

~ Willie Nelson

My nookie days are over,
My pilot light is out.
What used to be my pride and joy,
Is now my water spout.

Time was when, on its own accord,
From my trousers it would spring.
But now I've got a full time job,
To find the friggin thing.

It used to be embarrassing,
The way it would behave.
For every single morning,
It would stand and watch me shave.

Now as old age approaches,
It sure gives me the blues.
To see it hang its little head,
And watch me tie my shoes!!

[I hear ya, Willie! I hear ya...]

Thanks, Brother Carl...

I Saw the Sonovabitch!

When I woke up Monday morning, it was 5:10 a.m. and I had to pee. When I walked out of the bedroom, I noticed the porch light had come on. Inside the bathroom, I noticed the back spotlights had come on, too. So, I looked out the bathroom window for intruders or wild life.

And that's when I saw it!

It was near the raised bed vegetable garden (so pretty far away). It was maybe a little taller than a cat, but definitely much longer than a normal cat and walked (or rather loped) with an odd gait.

It was all black and I have no idea what the hell it is. It looked like a mink, but I think they are shorter than that. At least I know my neighbor's aren't collectively crazy.

I wish to hell I hadn't taken the camera down last night!

Sunday Morning, in a Fog…

It was foggy outside when I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday. But it had burned off by 7:00 a.m. here in Redford.

I ran through all the Sunday morning chores and then fixed breakfast. I went outside and got some chives, then snipped them into some eggs I whisked. I toasted and English muffin while I made the scrambled eggs. Then I ate a nice breakfast watching the morning news.

I shaved, showered and dressed to meet the day. First on the list was to try out the new mini face shield. So, I took an hour ride down through Hines Park. There was a lot less tearing today, but definitely still had some. I guess I’ll have to pop for the prescription bike glasses.

Back at home, I put the bike up and got the truck out. I need to deliver that fridge (I set it up with Mercedes at the party yesterday).

I got it up and on a blanket in the truck bed. That’s when I discovered how it looked on the coil under the bottom: covered with a thick layer of dust. Damn! So, I got out the shop vac and a brush and vacuumed it all off. Managed to get most of it off and about half of it on my shirt and pants!

Sidebar: It made me wonder what the bottom of my fridge looks like…

I got out the tie downs and strapped it in place. I had already taken out all the shelves, drawers, etc. I took a photo or two for you and then hit the road.

It was when I was plugging in her address again that it hit me: they live in Melvindale, NOT Trenton. I was probably within a mile or two of their house yesterday! Dumb!

When I got there, there was a problem (of course). Their front door knob quit working a day or two ago and they can’t open the front door. They had called the landlord, but he hadn’t fixed it yet. I offered to help, but told them I didn’t have any tools in the truck.

Note to self: buy a small tool kit and keep it in the truck for emergencies.

But, after about 20 minutes, we managed to completely destroy the doorknob and get the damn door opened, using a paring knife. They do have a deadbolt lock on the door, so they are not really at risk, BTW.

I gave Mercedes the shelves, drawers, etc.,  and gave her a couple of hints. I explained I had tested it, but when I didn’t deliver it last weekend, I had unplugged it and left it closed, so it smelled funky (my bad). I told her if it still smelled after it was on for a while, to get a box of baking soda, cut the top off and it would be okay in a few days. She said, “Oh, my grandma does that!” Kids…

I also told her I assumed she would wash everything (I doubt it though... Kids...) and if so, to use just a little dish detergent, not something like Pine Sol. I shook hands with her boyfriend (whose name I can’t remember) and told them both goodbye.

Then I left and headed home. I got there about 2:00 p.m. I was sweaty, hot and tired, so I changed into shorts and a t-shirt and then took an hour-long nap.

When I woke up, I went out to the garage and started the slow process of putting away things I used in the project. I got about half the tools cleaned up and put away when I decided to do something else.

The grass and weeds in my dirt driveway were getting out of hand. I was gonna cut them down with the push mower, but it was out of gas and I had none left. So, I got out the line trimmer, slapped the battery in it and started to trim everything.

That lasted about half the way up one side when the string ran out. Dammit! So, I had to find the replacement string, rewire the trimmer and then continue on.

Then I got out my last year’s jug of Roundup and started to spray it on. Please note: this is not “this year’s” Roundup, with the battery-powered spray wand (that my friend B___ keeps bragging about) but last year’s hand pumped version. I got about 1/4 of the driveway done before my hands (I alternated) hurt too much to continue.

While I was out there, my new friend (the guy who parked too close to my mail box and then later told me about the giant cat that lives here) called over and invited me to a barbecue. I regretfully declined (seriously – I love barbecue) and explained I had some chicken thawed I had to cook tonight.

It was already after 5:00 p.m. when I closed up the garage, but before I could make dinner (and I was hungry) but I had two more things to do: One was to hook up the soaker hose and water the vegetable garden. But when I did that, I saw there was a whole new crop of green beans I needed to deal with. Make that three things to do!

So, I picked the green beans and will blanch them before I freeze them.

Next, I took down the game trail camera and brought it inside. Why? Well, as you can tell by the photos, it’s pretty well camouflaged. I doubt my neighbor Rick has even noticed it. But, Monday, the guys from Jon Boy will be here to cut the lawn and I didn’t want to tempt anybody.

Back inside, I took out the Sandisk and stuck it in the SDHC slot on my computer. But, it didn’t show up as a new drive, when I went to download it. WTF? There’s either nothing on it (weird, as there should at least be squirrels photographed during the day) or I am doing something wrong. The SDHC slot is lit up, but nothing, not even an empty drive shows up.

I gave up messing with it and started dinner. I took out the thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I hadn’t noticed that they were “thin-cut” when I bought them, but it saved me from having to pound them thin.

I set up a breading station while I fried two of the breasts “as is.” I’ll use them in another dish, so I don’t have to eat the same thing night after night. When the naked breasts were done, I breaded the next two and fried them.

I warmed up some Classico traditional pasta sauce (not marinara) and made some pasta (it should have been spaghetti, but I had half a box of fettuccine left over from something or another, so I went with that). I topped the breaded chicken with some pasta sauce, then put two slices of provolone cheese on each. I lined a half sheet tray with separate aluminum foil sheets, put on the chicken and, just before I stuck them in the 450 degree oven to finish, I topped the provolone cheese with shredded mozzarella cheese.

I baked that for about 15 minutes (until the cheese was bubbly). I pulled them and plated one with some fettuccine topped with more pasta sauce. A good helping of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and I ate a really delicious Sunday supper!

Everything after that was anti-climactic.

I watched taped TV shows until my bedtime around 10:30 p.m.