Sunday, June 15, 2014

A panther, a cougar, or the ghost of Scruffy???

Saturday, the cold front that moved in Friday afternoon was still sitting over the house. It was barely 50 degrees F. outside. But, it’s supposed to get back to 72 degrees for the high today and it’s sunny. So, I’ll take it!

I wanted to get to the Nissan dealer at 8:00 a.m., but didn’t make it there until 8:37. I had to stop and get gas (the light came on). The reason for the dealership trip: It was time for my first maintenance visit.

I did everything wrong (but when the hell was I last at a dealership for a scheduled maintenance?) For example, I parked the truck and walked inside. So, my guy had to walk outside and pull it inside. Okay, so now I know.

Anyway, the nice part about it (which I didn’t know) was that they give you the first one free! They changed the oil and did a laundry list of “checks.” And they even washed the truck. I had them put on the vent cover that fell off on the way home when I bought it (and I couldn’t for the life of me get back on).

I was in and out in less than an hour. One the way back, I passed the Irish Festival grounds on Beech Daly in Redford.  I heard about it on the news this morning and thought I’d stop in. But, I didn’t catch the opening time.  It was before 10:00 a.m. and there was only like five cars in the lot and nobody moving around. So, I drove on.

Musical reference: Drive on! – Johnny Cash

I went to Home Depot and got a six-foot 1x8. Then I stopped at CVS and picked up a prescription. I got home about 10:30 a.m.

It was still cool outside, so I opened a window downstairs and the bedroom window, then I turned on the oven to 350 degrees F. Here’s why: I have eight or nine small russet potatoes that are seriously starting to sprout. I need to use them or lose them.

So, I knocked off the sprouts and scrubbed them with a brush. I piled them on a paper plate.

I dumped some Kosher salt in a large flat dish. Then I got some olive oil and started a production line. I rubbed oil over each one, rolled it in the salt and then set it on the oven rack (I have a half sheet tray on the rack below it to catch anything that falls – so I don’t have to clean the oven, lol!)

I’m thinking I’ll use most of them for a baked potato salad. If there are any left, I’ll use them for sides next week. I set the timer for an hour and went to change clothes into something I can work in.

Next, it was time to set the young Shaolin monk back in his place. I went and got a couple slabs of concrete to set in place for him to sit on. I figure that will help him not to deteriorate any further. As you probably know, I always just set him in the garden dirt. I decided to skip any polyurethane and see how durable this paint is.

I went in the shed and got out the garden wagon. He’s short, but he’s heavy and I didn’t want to blow out my back. I tried to take a picture of him in situ, but the sun was still over the house and cast him in shade. I will take some photos in the afternoon.

I noticed the clematis out back had escaped my attention and grew onto the fence to get more sunlight.

Back inside, I took everything out of the downstairs shower and sprayed the entire damn thing with “Scrubbing Bubbles.” This was my daughter Melissa’s suggestion. She and Dave had a wood stove back in the day in Wolverine, Michigan, and she said that it took soot off the tiles.

Ummm… I let it sit for over 20 minutes and then wiped it off with a tile sponge but I still see soot. Damn! I’m thinking soot from oily propane is a little more tenacious that wood smoke.

I’ll give it a second coat on Sunday…

I was hungry, so I used a can of tuna fish, a Vidalia onion and mayo to make a tuna fish sandwich on toasted sourdough bread with lettuce.

It was already after 2:00 p.m. and I had promised myself that I would take a nap on both of these Father’s Day weekend days, so I did.

When I woke up, I went out in the garage, pulled the truck out and got started on my latest project. I cut up the 1x8 board and then made a jig to determine the angle of a cut for a rocker. It was a b*tch but, after Stephanie’s star clock, I knew what I had to do. But, it took forever to get the right curve! Then I rough-cut two rockers.

I took a break at that point and got down the line trimmer. I cut down all the weeds/trees growing in the driveway.

Sidebar: The Jon-boy folks still have not cut my lawn again. I realize it was an emergency call on my part, but I pre-paid for a month’s cutting (which I never had to do before) so, WTF?

While I was out front, I was approached by an older gentlemen who introduced himself as “Joe” who lived across the street in the townhouses. He said he was a SMART bus driver (to add his credentials, I guess). We shook hands and he asked me if I had a big black cat.

I said “No, why?” He said he comes outside at night to smoke, and several times recently, he saw a large black cat on my sidewalk. He claimed it was as big as a dog! He also said several other neighbors had seen it as well.

I asked if it could have been a raccoon or a possum (they roam here), but he said no. It was definitely a cat, “as big as a dog.” It was lying down between the front of the garage and my back gate. Not lying down, but in his words, “crouching.”

He said he had gotten as close as the mailboxes across the street to check it out but was afraid to get any closer. He said (again) the body was a big as a dog, but the head looked like a cat. He explained that, a bus driver, he had been warned about coyotes and cougars and just wanted to know my take on this.

I told him that in the past several weeks, when I got up to pee during the night, the motion detector light on the porch was on. But, when I looked out front, nothing was moving. So, I dismissed it. But now, with his new information, I promised I would take my handgun and investigate.

That’s just a little weird…

So, I cleaned up the sawdust mess, put away the sawhorses and pulled the truck back in. I quit for the night.

It was after 8:00 p.m. and “making” dinner seemed like a pain. So I ate the last of the pasta salad. I watched some taped TV shows and then went to bed.

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