Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Monday Moanin’



It was overcast and cool again on Monday. I had the furnace on all weekend, so I didn’t notice until I got to work.

Sidebar: A friend has strict rules on heating and cooling. He won’t turn on his air until after June 1 or his heat on before December 1. I don’t believe in that. It may save a little money, but if it’s hot, I turn on the A/C, no matter what the date. The same if it is cold. And it was cold over the weekend.

At work and after 9:00 a.m. I called my lawn service. I noticed when picking up branches yesterday that the back lawn didn’t seem to have been cut last week. I wasn’t calling to ask for a refund, I was just nervous that a new crew was doing my lawn and they thought the gate was chained.

Sidebar: It’s not, it just looks that was to keep the bad guys out.

But, I only got voicemail. So, I left my message and called it good.

At lunch, I went to a Mexican restaurant on Wayne Road (whose name I can never remember) and got beef enchiladas, with Mexican rice and beans. Don’t ask me why. It was just a hankering…

Sidebar: They are nowhere as good as the Old Mexico restaurant on Five-Mile between Middle Belt and Inkster, but it’s okay, closer and a lot less packed. Then I took a ride through Hines Park and went back to work. It was sprinkling as I pulled into the parking lot.

I was there about 10 minutes before 1:00 p.m. I just got on my computer when the power went out! WTF? It was just me and Fred, sitting in the dark. But, outside, people from all our building were wandering out and pointing down the street. Turned out a transformer near Plymouth Road had blown up. Not good…

The generator at the main data center at Building 28 came on line and saved the servers. But the one at the back-up data center at Building 7 did not (which was weird as we had just tested it last Friday and it worked fine). Meanwhile, at all the individual building, the UPS started failing. So, our network team began racing around shutting servers and switches off.

The power came on, but only about at half speed. I knew that because the lights came back on, but my little personal fan was turning, but not enough to move any air. And Fred and my desktops would not turn on. We put up with it for about an hour.  We used a CradlePoint so people with laptops “might” connect if there was a network. My boss finally told me and Fred to go home.

So, we did.

Sidebar: I only hope that this didn’t blow up my power supply. This computer and I have been friends for a long time…

I stopped at the corner gas station and flirted with my little friend. Sure, she’s 40+ years too young for me, but she has a cute smile and seems to like me.

Back at home, I changed clothes and then started to finish cleaning the house. First I totally cleaned the main bath and washed the floor. Then I vacuumed and swept the rest of the house.

I went out back (to let the main bath floor dry) and cleaned out the gutters over Jake’s patio. Then I got the line trimmer and cut all the weeds growing on both patios. Finally, I got out the leaf blower and blew both patios off.

I was back inside, filling up a bucket with Pine-Sol, when I heard the lawn service guys cutting the lawn.

I made sure they got into the back lawn and then ignored them.

I washed the downstairs bathroom floor, the downstairs and then replaced the water. Next I did the kitchen. Now, I was trapped in the bedroom, main bath and the office. I watched the rest of the evening news.

I checked at 7:30 p.m. and the kitchen floor seemed to be dry. So, I went out and made my dinner.

Sidebar: I have a lot of leftovers, and two huge pork chops, but I didn’t feel like any of them. So, I made a can of Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I kicked it up a notch by adding cut chives to the American cheese before I grilled the sandwich.

I put the soup in the cup (of course!) and the cut sandwich on a paper plate and went in to watch some TV before bedtime. The sandwich turned out great, BTW.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday’s Story



I woke up late on Sunday, 7:00 a.m. Well, that’s late for me. I finished filling in the Blog with the last cup of Caribou coffee. I ate my blueberry muffin I bought yesterday (and my morning pills) while watching the news.

I admit that this past week’s events have been so dramatic, I watched the news until almost noon!

Sidebar: Up to and including President Obama singing “Amazing Grace” at the eulogy in Charleston, South Carolina. He’s not the greatest singer, lol, but since I love the song, I forgave him.

Then my daughter Melissa called and we talked for a long while. Turns out her and Dave both bought the sit-on kind of kayaks when they lived in North Carolina. So, when we get the chance, we plan on all going kayaking somewhere on one of the lakes up here (maybe Lake Orion?)

I started yawning before we ended the call, so when we did, I went and took a short nap. When I woke up, the rain had stopped and the sun was out. So, I shaved, showered and got dressed. I went out back and picked up a ton of small branches that yesterday’s wind brought down. Thank God there was no big ones!

I noticed the raspberries over the fence were out!



I check the ones I had transplanted in my yard but they are still green.

I also noticed the day lilies next to my young Shaolin monk were in bloom.



Back inside, I tackled the garage. I gave up on finding a permanent home for the damn kayak and just crammed everything closer to the wall. Then I leaned the kayak against the sawhorses. I pulled the truck in, on top of the cardboard (I’ll throw that was on Tuesday). I can’t open the truck door all the way (which p*sses me off) but at least it’s inside.



I took some thin cut chicken breasts and cubed them. I fried them in canola oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Then I added some drained chop suey veggies and made some rice. I ate that for a late dinner.

Sidebar: I would have taken a picture, but there is nothing pretty about chop suey.

I thought about finishing the house cleaning, but I wasn’t really into it, so I watched TV until bedtime.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saturday’s Story



I woke up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. It had been raining all night and was still raining then. I checked the rain gauge with my binoculars and there was already almost one inch of water in it. Since it’s supposed to rain steady until late Sunday, this did not bode well.

So, I watched the news until it was time to get ready. Then I shaved and showered, got dressed and headed out in the rain. Note to self: You should have worn a coat! Besides raining, it was damn cold!!!

So, I got a haircut. Then I went to Kroger’s for some supplies. I made the first (but not the worst) of my impulse buys: a box of Michigan strawberries. Why? I dunno. They looked good.

Then I went to the Feed Store and bought 40#s of bird seed. From there I went to Westborn. I wanted some onions. So, I bought a bag of them. But, I made three more impulse buys: a huge bunch of big, fat radishes, a big blueberry muffin and two thick, fat pork chops.

Then I went to Costco for some peanuts (for the squirrels) and coffee (for me). Unfortunately, they were either out of, or stopped carrying, the Caribou coffee I always buy. Now, I rarely have more than one cup of coffee each day at home, but I do enjoy it every morning. So, I hemmed and hawed over the other brands of K-Cups. I finally settled on Newman’s Own Special Blend. I only hope it does not disappoint…

Then I made the stupidest (maybe) impulse buy of the day: a 10-foot kayak. Now, those of you who read this Blog might remember, I wanted to buy one last year, but they were out of them. So, I researched kayaks and found the perfect one for me: a 12-foot fishing one, with three rod holders at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I figured I could use it on Newburgh Lake. But it was over $400.00 bucks, and didn’t come with a paddle. By the time I added in the paddle and an obligatory life vest, I was way over $500.00, so I passed.

But, today, they had them there again, with the paddle, for the same price: $299.99. So, I found a helpful sales associate and told her I wanted to buy one, but had no way to get it to the checkout or, worse yet, load it in the truck.

Sidebar: I am still hobbling around on my cane from the zoo walk. Note to self: Never, EVER, try and keep up with Puerto Ricans. They will kill you!

So, she got on the radio and, within minutes, two guys were there (with an undersized cart) to help me.

So, they piled my peanuts and coffee on the one end to stabilize it. It sorta helped. So, I offered to buy another bag of peanuts and one of the guys grabbed one. We made it to the checkout without incident.  Then my helpful (seriously) female store assistant pushed it through the line. I paid for it and she took it outside. She told me to bring the truck around, so I went and got it.

Sidebar: The wind had picked up at an unbelievable rate at that point. They said the gusts would be over 45 mph this morning and I believed them, now.

She asked me how I would get it unloaded and I reassured her my neighbor would help. Then two guys came and stuck it in the truck bed. I used some clamps and a strap to secure it and drove home.

I unloaded my stuff (minus the kayak and the bird seed in the truck bed), treated the cat and put everything all away. I walked next door and rang the bell (for help with the kayak) but nobody answered… Damn!

So, I thought about it and got the little gardening tractor seat. I muscled the box out of the truck and stuck one end on the seat.

Note: It’s not that heavy, only like 60 pounds. But that’s about 30 pounds more than I am supposed to lift.

So, I grabbed the other end and rolled it into the garage.

My driveway had a huge pool of water in it, so I took the old hoe I keep in the garage and dredged a channel for it to drain off. 




Sidebar for Jake (before he makes a joke): Yes, I have an old hoe in the garage. She’s the same one I used back on the farm as a kid in my Mother’s kitchen garden. I also have the pitchfork I stuck through my poor left leg back then when I was five years old. Every fall, I rub the handles with linseed oil (like my Dad did) and put them away for the winter.

That done, I opened the kayak box.



Cool! Now where the hell do I put it? I have three ongoing projects I can’t move. I know they sell hooks for the wall, but my garage walls are kinda full. Plus, how would I pick it up or get it down? Note to self: What the hell were you thinking, old man? I gave up thinking about it. I locked the truck, shut the garage door and went out back in the rain to give some peanuts to the squirrels.

By the time I got back inside, I was soaked (that wind was killer). I took off the wet duds and decided to take a nap. So, I did.

When I woke up, it was almost 3:00 p.m. I got up and made a cup of coffee (not the new stuff, one of the last of the old).

I decided that, since it was impossible to work outside and the garage was full, I’d thoroughly clean the house (it’s been a while). So, I got started. I quit just after 6:00 p.m. and had it about 1/3 done.

I warmed up the last of the pasta after adding the pasta sauce. I threw away the other chicken Parmesan breast, believing it’s been in the fridge too long. But, I didn’t think pasta or pasta sauce would go bad that quick.

I ate that (topped with Parmigiano Peggiano) watching the rest of the news. Then I switched to DIY shows until my 10:00 p.m. bedtime.

Well, I say that, but my nap messed with me, so I tossed and turned and I didn’t actually fall asleep until after 11:00 p.m.