Sunday, August 20, 2017

Road Trip!

As I said, I overslept on Sunday due to late night reading. So, I woke up at 8:30 a.m.! That normally wouldn't be a problem, but I was supposed to be picked up at 9:30. So, no Blog, no breakfast, just hustle, hustle, hustle.

I was drying off in the shower when I heard the phone ring in the bedroom (should have put it in my bathrobe pocket). Of course, by the time I got to it, Amanda had hung up. I tried to return her call, but just got her voice mail. I went back downstairs (with the phone, this time) to brush my teeth.

She called back to say she and her son were on the way. So, I got dressed and closed the bedroom door. Just as it clicked shut, the doorknob came off again. Now it's easy enough to put it back on if the door is open. But closed? All I managed to do was make the other end fall onto the bedroom floor!

The mechanism inside the door is square, so I figured all I needed was a wide blade flat head screw driver. But I couldn't find one!

Sidebar: My garage and back room are a mess (as regular readers would know) and I was rushing. It's out there, somewhere.

Finally, I had a brilliant idea. I took the doorknob off the linen closet door and used it to open the bedroom door.

Amanda showed up just then, so I left the doors open (please don't puke on the bed, Caley) to deal with later.

I climbed in the car, wished Keldon a happy birthday (he turned eight years old on Friday) and we headed out to Ann Arbor.

Twenty minutes later we we there and looking for the Natural History Museum on the University of Michigan campus.

Finding it was easy. Finding parking was not. We finally got a spot that said we needed a parking permit. So, Amanda went inside to get on while Keldon and I sat in the car, chatting. She finally came back, hung it on the mirror and we went inside.

It's a beautiful old building, BTW.

Admission was free, although they welcome donations.

The first floor was just the lobby and gift shop with a beautiful stairway up. Luckily, they had an elevator, albeit a freight elevator with pads on the inside walls.

The second floor (and biggest) was dedicated to dinosaurs and fossils.

The third floor was all about Michigan's animals, fish and birds, along with native Americans.

The fourth floor was the planetarium. We killed a little time on the third floor waiting for 12:30 p.m. and the next showing.

Sidebar: That was not free, but Amanda bought the tickets, so I don't know what it costs.

Finally, it was time and we filed in. I was used to planetariums at, say, Cranbrook. So this one was very small by comparison. It just had two curved, padded benches. But the show was very interesting, informative and entertaining. After the usual star show, there were two short films. One was about how a single meteor could have killed off the dinosaurs and the other about the inside of a black hole.

After that, we stopped at the gift shop, where Keldon bought a dinosaur with some of his birthday money. Then we left.

I was starving, so I suggested lunch. We went to a nearby Wendy's. I got the junior bacon cheeseburger and fries. Amanda got the junior bacon cheeseburger (no tomato) and the baked potato and Keldon got the kids cheeseburger, fries and some sort of a shake.

Then we headed home.

Amanda dropped Keldon off at her Dad's (they are going to a second birthday dinner tonight for those who couldn't make it on Friday night) and then me. We sat on the porch for a bit and relived the day's events. Then she left to run some errands and I went in to fix the doors. I put the linen closet door handle (rarely used) on the bedroom door and the worn out bedroom door on the linen closet.

Then I lay down (my legs were killing me). I fell asleep and had a nice nap.

When I woke up, I called my friend B___ to wish him a happy birthday and we talked for a while. Then I finally filled out the blog.

I heated up more of the sloppy joe mix and recreated Friday night's dinner for my supper.

I watched TV until it got boring and then went back to my book. I read until 1:30 a.m. Then I made myself got to bed.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Note: I apologize the the lateness of this post. I read a book late into the night, overslept and was in the shower when my ride called this morning to say she was on her way. So, I had to hustle just to have clothes on when they got here, much less writing the Blog post.

I woke up at 7:45 a.m. on Friday. I made a cup of horrible coffee and some oatmeal to eat with my pills.

Sidebar: I ran out of my preferred "Caribou" coffee. They stopped selling it in bulk at Costco a while back, so I joined Sam's Club. Now they don't sell it either! So, when I was at GFS, I bought a box of off-brand (called "Mosaic") that was advertised as having 100% compostable pods (a sore spot with most k-cup users).  It was 100% Colombian Arabica coffee. Now, I admit I am not a gourmet coffee drinker, but apparently, 100% Colombian Arabica coffee means "bitter as hell!"

I watched some of the morning news shows and then shaved, showered, dressed and got to work.

First I did the routine house chores (swept the kitchen and wood floors, vacuumed the rug, emptied the dishwasher, etc.). I may be retired, but I refuse to have a messy house, dammit! Then I got started back on the toy box.

I got the veneer edging on one side of the front facing edges. That's when I realized I was running out of the edging. I searched high and low, knowing (or maybe hoping) I'd bought two rolls. But, if I did, I couldn't find the second roll.

So, I changed into my "town" clothes and headed for Home Depot. I bought the second roll. It was after 12:30 p.m., so I bought a hot dog on the way out and ate it in the truck for my lunch.

Since I was out anyway, I headed to Kroger's to pick up some some things. I left there $29.00 poorer and went back home.

I treated Caley, changed back into my shorts and t-shirt and put away the few groceries. Then I went back to work on the toy box.

I finally finished the other side of the front facing edge (I told you this is a time consuming, labor intensive, precise process). I had the material to go on, but not the will. So, I took a nap instead.

I woke up near 6:00 p.m. I watched the news until I was hungry. So, I made dinner. I had thawed out a pound of ground chuck, so I browned that, drained the grease off and added a can of Manwich.

Sidebar: I know you can make a delicious sloppy joe yourself, but I didn't have the patience or time. Plus, Manwich tastes good to me.

I filled up one of the buns I had purchased earlier and plated it with pure Michigan: a McClure's pickle and Better Made potato chips.

It was excellent!!!

I couldn't find anything interesting on TV, so I shut it off. I read my book until I forced myself to put it down and turned the light off at 2:30 a.m.!

Sidebar: I am becoming my Mother! My Mother used to complain she couldn't stop reading because she wanted to see what came next and thus went late into the night. I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Breaking News!

They are starting emergency repairs on the Paint Creek Dam in Lake Orion. Authorities say there is no "immediate" danger the but original dam is starting to crumble and leak.


It started raining here around 8:00 a.m. It wasn't hard and didn't last more than a couple hours. I checked the gauge and I only picked up a quarter inch. Sigh...

But, after lunch (another tomato sandwich), it started raining again. This time it was a little harder and lasted longer. When the sun came back out, I checked the gauge again and I had picked up a total of just over an inch! That's what I'm talking about!!!

I spent some of the afternoon on the toy box. I got the veneer edging put onto the back. That was the hardest part, due to the curves (it's hard to keep even heat with a flat iron on a curve). It was also the longest run of edging. Since you can only heat up about six inches at a time before you have to stop and rub it with a smooth block of wood, it takes time.

I ate the rest of the sweet corn and brats for dinner.

Caley and I spent a quiet evening on the bed. She slept while I watched TV. That is, until the Saturday Night Live special came on. When I started laughing, she got up in disgust and went into the living room.

I went to bed after the Tonight show.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wednesday Woes

I woke up at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday. I had some instant oatmeal (trying to use up the box) and my pills for breakfast.Then I shaved, showered and got dressed for a 9:30 a.m. haircut.

It started to get steamy during my haircut. Michelle (my barber for years) noticed it first.

Sidebar: The barber shop uses a screen door before turning on the A/C.

So, I left the place with great hair, but sweating.

I drove to the Secretary of State's office on Wayne Road. It would have been closer to go to the super center on Farmington and Six Mile Road, but that place is a mad house.

Sidebar: I finally got the release of lien from Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation for my paid-off truck. It said, in bold letters: Please note: In order to obtain a clear title, these documents must be taken to your local department of motor vehicles to complete the title transfer to you.

I waited over an hour (and that was just to get into the handicap seat). When I finally got my turn, the lady said, "Oh, honey, you don't need to have us do anything. Just staple the documents to your title and file it away."


I drove back home, taking Hines Drive to Inkster to calm down.

I had to go to CVS so, on a whim, I popped in next door and got my usual order of chicken fried rice. Then I ran the truck through the touch-less car wash.

I left the truck outside in the sun, treated the cat and then dried the truck off.

I still left it outside while I went inside and ate lunch. Then I changed clothes and designed the last two jigs for the toy box.

I went in the garage,opened the door (it was hot in there) and cut out the pieces I needed. I screwed the one together and used the brad nailer to assemble the other.

For attaching the birch veneer edging

For sanding the lid
I cleaned up the mess, set the jigs aside, put the saw horses away and pulled the truck inside.

Once everything was buttoned up, I went inside and took a long nap.

I ate the rest of the chicken fried rice for dinner.

I watched TV but the nap did me in. I couldn't fall asleep until 1:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


I woke up to the alarm on Tuesday. I threw on some clothes and got the trashcan out to the road before 7:00 a.m. The new trash company had changed the routes. Sure enough, when I checked at 7:30, my trashcan was empty.

So, I walked out in misty rain and brought it back in.Yes, it was actually raining (or misting) here for a change! Later on, it briefly really rained here. When the sun came out (around 10:30 a.m.), I checked the gauge. We only got about 1/4-inch of rain, but that's a lot more than we had.

I shaved, showered and got dressed. Then I left the house around 11:30 a.m. to go to Gordon's Food Service to get more lump charcoal. I wrestled that from the cart to the truck bed and headed back home.

I thought briefly about filling my truck up on the way back, but I still have over half a tank so I said screw it.

Sidebar: Gas prices keep inching up (probably due to Labor Day).

Back home, I wrestled the charcoal out of the truck and into the garage. I made it as far as Amanda's wheels and set it down. That bag is big, bulky and heavy for an old guy with a bad back!

I changed into shorts and a t-shirt (it was getting hot).

I called the dealership to get an appointment. The service department asked me to hold on while they checked if they had the parts in yet to make the repairs (huh?). I was on hold for over five minutes when they came back and asked for my phone number. They said they would call me back when they got an answer...

Sidebar: Why would you issue a recall but not send the replacement parts to the dealers?

I went out and watered all the container gardens. I found two more ripe tomatoes. So, back inside, I made them into a tomato sandwich for lunch.

I ate it on the bed watching TV. The bed felt good, so I took a nap.

When I woke up, I walked out to get the mail. Now, it was hot and muggy.                               

Back inside, I found that in just the short few minutes it took to get the mail, Caley had managed to barf on the bed sheets. Dammit! I just washed them on Sunday!! But, I stripped the bed and started the washer. I started the dishwasher as well.

I cut the kernels of sweetcorn off the cob (like I have seen Jake do) on two ears of corn, hoping that would make them taste less tough. I warmed them and a brat up for dinner in the microwave. It might have been just my imagination, but they did taste better.

I made up the bed, but left the dishwasher for another time.

I watched both NCIS shows, but still wasn't sleepy. So I watched the news and then the Tonight show before finally going to bed.

Sidebar: The dealership never called back. Sigh...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, again...

I woke up at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, after a long night's sleep. I ate two Eggo waffles with warm maple syrup and my pills for breakfast. Then I got cleaned up and dressed.

It was warmer than Sunday, but cloudy and overcast.

I was lazy (although I got plenty of sleep) so I watched the Today show until noon, then the local news.

The only mail I got was a recall notice on the truck. It was for the air-bag activation switch. Seemed important, so I put it on the fridge to make an appointment to have it done.

Didn't feel like leftovers just yet, so I made some elbow macaroni and ate that with butter, parley flakes and lots of salt.

I watched the Tigers lose another game and went to bed (disgusted) just after 11:00 p.m.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Well. I didn't make it to Office Depot at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, but I was there by 10:30. I bought a wired Logitech keyboard for $15.00.

Since I was that far anyway, I went up to Westborn and got eight ears of Michigan sweet corn for $1.99.

It was a perfect summer's day and I planned on grilling later.

Back home, I installed the new keyboard. Much, much better!

I did two loads of weekend wash while watching TV..

About 4:00 p.m., I started the charcoal.When it was ready, I grilled the sweetcorn.

 Then I grilled the brats and a small steak I had in the freezer and thawed out.

I ate part of the steak, a brat and two ears of corn. I was a little disappointed in the corn. It was grilled perfectly, but was rather tough. I guess its getting near the end of the season.

I watched the news and then Pulp Fiction, just for fun. Then I went to bed.