Monday, February 29, 2016


I woke up at the usual time. I watched the news when it came on while I stripped the bedding. That went into the washer. I finally got dressed and headed to Home Depot. I took along the frame from the door window on the odd chance they might sell them. I was determined to either come back with the window or a new door.

A very helpful associate told me they don't carry the windows, but then he spent a long time researching it on his computer. He thought he finally found the manufacturers but they wouldn't be opened on Sunday. So, he said he's call them Monday morning and call me back.

I bought some suet and then went to Costco for more peanuts. It was packed!

Back home,I refilled the feeders and left the truck out. It was warm, but windy! We eventually broke the record when we got up to 64 degrees!

I needed to sand down that floor board, but didn't want the house to be filled with sawdust. I thought the hose on the wet-vac might lips over the discharge tube on the sander. But there were both the same size. So, I took one of the attachments (that I don't use) and sawed off the end that the hose hooks into. I put it on the sander, stuck the hose in it and held it all together with duct tape.

I turned both on and it worked like a charm!!!

I had sanded it down almost as far as I needed when the 60 grit belt clogged up. I went out in the garage to get another one AND COULDN'T FIND THEM!!! I know I have some, dammit! I should have got some when I was in Home Depot, sigh...

So, I left everything out and pulled the truck inside. I made up the bed, did the last load of weekend laundry and took a nap.

Carla's mother's call woke me up. Acenter and I chatted for a bit. After we hung up, I realized how hungry I was (no breakfast or lunch). So, I opened a large can of chop suey vegetables, put in have the chicken I'd fried up and warmed that up while I made some microwave rice.

I put the two together, added some soy sauce and had an excellent supper.

My daughter Melissa called. She was pulling the carpeting off her stairs and then pulling out the staples with a pair of pliers. We talked for a while. When we hung up, I turned on the TV. I watched First Blood 4. Then I turned on the Oscars (not that I was that interested, I just wanted to see how Chris Rock would handle the diversity complaints). He was hilarious and did it well, I thought.

I watched it for a little while until I got bored. Then I read a new magazine  that came in the mail yesterday until bedtime

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Saturday's Story

I didn't set the alarm on Friday night as I "knew" I would wake up around 5:30 a.m. And, I did! I took a piss and then laid back down. That was a mistake!!!

I woke back up at 8:00 a.m. and had to hustle to make my 9:00 a.m dental check up.

Not sure I mentioned this, but my low fuel light came on Friday night on the way home. But, I ignored it.

I had to ignore it on the way to the dentist as well.

But I made it and my checkup went well. Right down the street from the dentist is a Kroger's and, even better, a Kroger's gas station! I finally got to use some of those fuel points I build up.

I got $0.20 off per gallon!

Then I went grocery shopping. I made two impulse buys: some beautiful yellow crookneck squash and a head of cauliflower.

I drove to Merriman, stopping at a car wash to get the salt off the truck. Then I drove from Ford Road to Five Mile and my haircut.

I left the truck outside so I could unload it. Then I went out back to refill the feeders (I found I was out of suet). I came back inside to finally fill out the blog post,

I mostly did small household chores, then I took a nap.

When I woke up it was after 5:00 p.m. and I was hungry. So. I sliced up the squash and fried it in butter. It was delicious and reminded me of summertime.

I watched the news, then a taped show and finally the Red Wings play outdoors in Colorado. We won and I went to bed.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Friday Follies

It was way cold Friday morning. So, all the snow froze into a crust. I used the 4-wheel drive to slowly power through the driveway and onto San Jose. I turned it off on Plymouth Road as it had been salted.

Almost everyone came in today. Except for Courtney, who apparently had come in but then was called back home because her oldest (Aiden) was sick.

The morning was especially busy.

Victoria stopped in and asked if I wanted to go to lunch again and she would buy my lunch. She felt we had been cheated on Thursday's lunch.

Sidebar: We were! But, I am old school and don't want a woman to buy me lunch.

I  let her know that and asked her where she wanted to go. She said the place our boss took her for her review.

Sidebar: That is a neat custom my boss has. She buys you a lunch  and gives you your review.
 I never get a raise, but at least I get a free meal.

Sidebar #2: Spacey Sprockets, did you ever hear of the cost of living index or inflation? You are killing me here!

Anyway, She thought it was called "Tom and something" but all she remembered was they had excellent soup. I couldn't find it on Google.

So, when the boss got back from a meeting, I asked her. Took her a moment, but then she said it was called Tom & Chee. They specialize in grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. She said it was off of Haggerty between 6 and 7 Mile. But she cautioned me that the parking lot was too small and the place was packed!

So, I told Vicky we had to go early or late and I had to drive (handicapped plate). She said 1:00 p.m. would be better, so that's what we did.

When we got there, I was surprised. I thought it was a restaurant, but this was more like a Subway or Jimmy Johns. It's apparently a chain. You walked up to the counter to order and they ask you if its carry out. I said, "No." I ordered the Swiss and 'shrooms' on rye and asked what the soup of the day was. She said taco.

Um, It's Friday! It should be clam chowder!

So, I ordered a bowl of the creamy tomato and basil. I paid and she handed me a placard with a number on it and I moved on to get a glass of water.

Vicky ordered a plain grilled cheese sandwich and the same soup.

Note: They only offer the following soups: Tomato, chunky tomato, tomato with basil, chunky tomato and basil and the soup of the day. You can get it in a little cup (for dipping), a normal cup or a bowl. We both got the bowl.

You put your placard into a holder on the table and a guy brings your food.

My sandwich was a little greasy (I used a LOT of napkins to cope) but never the less, delicious! And the soup was the best tomato soup I ever ate!

Sidebar: I am going to find and steal that recipe!!!

We had a very interesting conversation, first about newer immigrants versus us old white people and then about men and women and sex.

Sidebar: She thinks it would be better if men just said, "Hey, I want to fnck you, but no promises after that." Then the woman could decide, rather than be tricked.

I told her she was decades too late. It was like that in the late 60's and 70's. With the arrival of the birth control pill and women burning their bras, sex was more like a hand shake. If it happened, it happened and there was usually no follow up.

But, today, you wouldn't get laid unless you, at least, promised forever! Or at least promised to put the women's kids through college (I've actually encountered that).

Which is why I don't get laid... Sigh...

The morning was busy, but the afternoon was dead... My boss left before 5:00 p.m. and told me to log out and go home. So, I did.

Back home, I had to deal with some boneless, skinless chicken beasts. I had thawed them out a few days ago to make "Chicken and wild mushrooms in garlic white wine sauce" (it sounded good).

But, I never made that, so I cut them into cubes and fried them in the cast iron frying pan. I'll use them in some other dish.

For dinner, I had Vicky's mother, Evy's, chicken Parmesan. It was good, but mysterious. I could not figure out the seasoning on the chicken (probably sofrito).

Sidebar: Victoria told me that Yanessa didn't like it. But I did...

I watched a taped show and then went to bed before 9:00 p.m.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Winter Thursday

I woke up early, so I left early. I had to use the 4-wheel drive to get out of the drive and to Plymouth Road, but after that, it was just slushy, not slippery. It was windy, cold and snowing, BTW

I did stop at O'Rielly's to buy a jug of windshield washer fluid. I put it in on the spot and it took almost the whole gallon!

I had the front office to myself all day.  Lenore and Fred were both snowed in. Jeff got stuck trying to make it in and Courtney said her side street was solid ice.

Sidebar: I think, since she lives even closer to work than I do, Courtney just wanted a snow day.

So, I was the only one in the front office. I turned the radio on to give me some background inspiration and got on with the day.

I answered some intense emails (one of our guys hadn't backed up his files and his hard drive failed). So I overnighted it to Kroll in Minnesota and paid them to look at it. They stuck it in their clean room and managed to save all but 4 MB of data.

Cost $1500.00 bucks, but problem solved. They will overnight an external hard drive with the files tomorrow. I paid for it with the corporate credit card I have.

Vicky popped in while steeping her morning tea. We chatted for a bit, with nobody to distract us. She asked if I would like to go to lunch (it's been a while). I said, "Sure! Where you want to go?"

She said that Doug Josey (our telecom tech) had been talking up the Cozy Cafe. It is new and located in the strip-mall at Levan and Plymouth. So we went there at noon.

Sidebar: DON'T!

It is  good-sized place, but there were only two other tables of customers. There were two waitresses so you would think the service would be great. But everything took forever, even just getting our water. We were both cold, so we each ordered a cup of chicken noodle soup and a sandwich. Our soup finally showed up after our entree! The waitress explained that she wanted to make sure it was nice and hot! Where was it? In the fridge? It did taste bland and old...

My Reuben sandwich was pretty good, but for $8.99 I would have thought it might come with fries, not the potato chips and skinny pickle slice I was served.

Anyway, with poor service and mediocre, over-priced food, the Cozy Cafe is off my list!

I was telling her about stopping on the way in for windshield washer fluid and she said hers ran out on the way into work. She loves the truck, but thinks she's too short to add some more. So, we stopped at the gas station for a gallon and, after we finally figured out how the hood safety latch worked, I filled it up for her.

Note: The reservoir was conveniently located in the front and now she knows she can add it herself. Which is good as she hates asking for help.

She gave me her lunch as my reward.

It finally stopped snowing. Now it was just windy and cold...

The afternoon passed slowly. My brother Carl called with a computer problem (His Outlook email stopped working. I talked to the techs and they came up with two fixes, so I called him back. He tried both of them. Neither appeared to work. So, I had him start it in safe mode. He said he'd call me back Friday morning with the results.

Finally I was home and treating the cat. I changed my clothes and then went back to doing my taxes online. I wish I could say that was fun, but it wasn't!

I had some leftover that needed to be eaten or pitched, so I saved Evy's food for Friday.

I went to bed at 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Election Prediction

With the Republican race being five guys instead of two, Trump will continue to pick up delegates until he locks the nomination up.

The Democrats will eventually nominate Hilary.

When it comes down to the actual election, the Latinos will not vote for Trump (of course) so Hilary will win. The one thing I didn't want, DAMMIT!!!

Winter Wednesday

It was snowing fat, wet snowflakes when I woke up on Wednesday. The grass and driveway were both already covered in white. <groan>

On the other hand, last year we had extreme cold, the year before extreme snowfall. This year has been amazingly mild, so I guess we were due.

I had shut off the alarm and went back to sleep (I didn't sleep well last night) so I had to hustle getting ready. But, I didn't try to hurry on the way into work.

Sidebar: I have lived 67 years in Michigan weather and I know better than to try and drive fast in slushy, sloppy road conditions.

I still got there before 8:00 a.m..

It was still snowing at noon. I cleaned off about two inches of snow on the windshield and headed out to Big Boy. The place was almost empty, with few customers and the waitresses, standing around and chatting.

I got my old favorite, the veal Parmesan. I got about halfway through my salad when my waitress brought the entree. I said, "Wow! You guys are fast today." The waitress said, "The cooks have no orders."

When I was paying, I asked the manager about my favorite waitress (I haven't seen her in over a month and was afraid she quit). She reassured me she still worked there. They have rotating days off and I apparently come in on the wrong days.

The temperature was above freezing (at least according to the truck). The winds had picked up, driving the snow sideways, but the roads were just sloppy. When I passed over I-96, I saw a county truck plowing and salting.

It switched to freezing rain around 2:00 p.m.

I took I-96 on the way home. It was sloppy and I started wondering just how much windshield washer fluid I had left.

When I got to San Jose, I put it in 4-wheel drive as the plows and salt trucks hadn't gotten to the side roads yet. I pulled into the garage and realized the floor would be a mess tomorrow morning, when all the snow on the truck and in the bed melts.

For dinner, I warmed up Michelle's soup. I seasoned it (she warned me she didn't use any salt) and then ate it all. It was a delicious take on Melissa's cabbage soup.

I watched some taped TV and then went to bed early. It was snowing again, BTW.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Home Depot Humor

Tuesday's Tale

I rolled the now-filled trashcan out to the road before I left for work. It was 34 degrees and clear with no wind outside.

I enjoyed the sighting of the full Hunger moon on the way in.

Sidebar: Among Native Americans, each month's full moon has a name. Hey, it makes sense. They didn't know January, February, etc. So how else could they designate when something (their kid being born, etc) happened. The lack of hunted game nailed it. So, February, at least in Michigan's Algonquin tribes, it was known as the Hunger moon. It was also known as the Snow Moon (obvious) or the Bone Moon (sucking on bones for the marrow) in other tribes.

Anyway, it was beautiful.

It was chilly, but sunny and that made all the difference.

My friend Michelle from Facilities came over to drop off some soup. She said she had been telling a friend about my daughter Melissa's cabbage soup (I had shared the soup and the recipe with her, years ago). Her friend suggested that if she just added ground beef and some rice, it would make Golumpki soup! So, she tried it and wanted me to taste it.

Sidebar #1: If you are not Polish, or not have married a Polish first wife like I did, you might not know what Golumpki is. Here in Michigan, we would call it stuffed cabbage.

Sidebar #2:I had to laugh. She had all the rice one one side and the soup on the other in the same container. Her explanation was that she didn't want the rice to suck up all the juice before I heated it up. What's funny is that Evy does the same damn thing! Maybe Polish and Puerto Rican is not that different? A chilling thought!!!

Sidebar #3: She gave me my final feedback on my chili. She said it was excellent! So, with four taste testers vouching for it (Evy said it tasted like it was made with love, which I thought was sweet), I decided to publish it as my recipe. You can make it as is, but I am determined to figure out how to use fresh garlic instead as I usually have a lot of garlic on hand.

For some reason, which I still don't understand, somebody gave IT $100.00 for services rendered. So, they bought pizza, cheesy bread sticks, a big salad and sodas for lunch. I got a slice of meat lovers, a slice of vegetarian and one bread stick and made that my lunch.

Sidebar: I have been accused of being a grumpy old man recently by a Latino chica. So, I am not going to go off on thick crust (free) pizza. But that ain't right.

Let's just say the pizza was good, but a little bit "bready."

The cheesy bread was cold and, without a dipping sauce, boring, I threw most of the piece I had away.

I still needed a break from work,so I took a trip down the Hines Park parkway. No sign of spring and the only joggers were bundled up like Eskimos.

We did reach a high of 41 degrees, which was nice. But all hell is supposed to break loose tomorrow...

I retrieved the trash can and the mail after work. Then I took the night off.

I realized I had left the damn soup in the fridge at work!!!  So, I improvised.

Not sure I mentioned it, but I had made tuna salad for lunch over the weekend. I added in three hard boiled eggs and some green onions to the usual tuna, mayo and Dijon mustard. Since mayo-based stuff gets funking (watery) in the fridge if it sets too long, I ate that for dinner tonight. Instead of a sandwich, I smeared it on Triscuits.

I watched the news and then the Red Wings before going to bed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Papa John’s Chili

2 pounds ground chuck
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 diced green pepper
2 29-ounce cans of whole tomatoes
1 29-ounce can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of chili powder
Two teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
Kosher salt to taste
1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Brown the two pounds of ground chuck in a Dutch oven. Drain the grease and add the chopped onion, the chopped celery and the diced green pepper.
Empty each can of the whole tomatoes into a separate bowl and squish them with your hands (this is fun) until they are your desired texture. Add the now squished whole tomatoes and the can of the tomato sauce.

Then add the chili powder, the ground cumin, garlic powder, a good pinch of Kosher salt, a couple of grinds of black pepper, the dried oregano, sugar and the ground cayenne pepper. Stir to incorporate.

Next, add the drained kidney beans and pinto beans to the pot.

Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally. Top each bowl with shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional).


It was below freezing when I woke up on Monday...

I had another restless night, with weird dreams. I can't explain it. I spent years sleeping and not dreaming (or at least not remembering any dreams). Now I wake up, practically on the hour, after having the damnedest dreams! Maybe it's just getting old, or maybe the sins of my past are finally catching up with me...

I ate at Ten Yen for lunch. I got the almond chicken this time. Waaay too much food (again)! But, excellent.

Back home, I treated the cat and changed clothes. I cut out the two thin boards for the kitchen floor repair.I predrilled the holes and screwed them down. They are just a smidge above the original sub floor. I can take that down with the belt sander!

Only problem will be the screw heads. I have a counter-sink drill bit, but have no idea where it might be in the vast wasteland that is now my garage. If I can't find it soon, I'll just buy another one.

I made the blue box mac & cheese and ate half of it for a side with two brats for my dinner.

Just for grins, I watched Jurassic Park: The Lost World. It was the second in the series and nowhere as good as the first, in my opinion. I went to bed at 10:00 p.m.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Well, the temperaure went back to normal on Sunday. It was cold when I woke up. I liked Saturday better, myself.

I did the usual Sunday morning chores and ate some toast for breakfast while watching the news.

I finallay got cleaned up and dressed. Then I went to Home Depot. I spent about an hour there, checking things out.

Once home, I washed the bedding and did the last load of weekend wash. I swept and then washed both the bedroom and office wood floors.

I had abandoned grilling outside, but still had all the fixin's. So, I closed the bedroom and office doors, opened the kitchen window a crack, turned on the vent fan and fried the steak in the cast iron pan. I put the asparagus (for another week night meal) and trimmed scallions on a half sheet tray. I tossed them with olive oil and seasoned then with kosher salt. Then I stuck them under the broiler.

I buttered the three little ears of sweet corn, wrapped them in aluminum foil and stuck them in the oven as well.

When the steak was done, I let it rest while I fried the brats.

I ate half the steak, one ear of corn and all of the scallions for my Sunday supper. Everything was delicious! The sweet corn surprised me as it did have a lot more flavor than I expected.

I made the bed and later folded the other load of laundry.

I started watching the Red Wings game and then went to bed.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Nina Simone Sunday In Savannah (Live)

My friend Chrissy Campbell ( RIP, she died last year of cancer) turned me on to her in the 70's. She was an amazing pianist...

Spring Comes, but briefly...

I didn't sleep well Friday night, so I had to make myself get up and get going Saturday. I ate some soft boiled eggs for breakfast, then got shaved, showered and dressed.

I headed out for a 9:00 a.m. massage. As I was leaving, Margaret was telling her blind father that the flowers were coming up in the south-facing front garden. So, I checked it out and they were!

From there I went to Kroger's for a few things. I decided that, if it really gets to 60 degrees as predicted, I was going to grill outside. So, I got a T-bone steak and some brats.

I stopped at the Feed Store and got more much-needed bird seed. Finally, I pulled into Westborn and got some cheese, fresh veggies (asparagus and green onions to grill) and some ginger. I also bought a package of three small (small!) ears of sweet corn.

Sidebar: I know they are from far away and won't taste as good as pure Michigan sweet corn in August, but that's what I like to grill.

Back home, I left the truck out to empty the groceries. It was unbelievably warm, but very windy. When everything was put away, I checked my own gardens.

Crocus by the front porch

Daffodils under my bedroom window

Daffodils on south side of garage

Crocus on Jake's patio

There was nothing coming up in the less protected English garden or the gardens in the back yard.

Since I was back there, I checked on the grill. It had picked up some surface rust over the winter. So, I got the drill and a tapered wire brush attachment and cleaned it up.

But, it was so windy, I was trying to figure out a way to actually use the grill. I thought screwing a sheet of plywood to the wooden herb garden might work. But then, it might catch on fire, and we don't want any more of that!

Back inside, I was still puzzling over blocking the wind when the doorbell rang. It was two of the three little girls who wanted work. So, I walked them out back and showed them all the little branches that had come down. I told them to pick them up and throw them over the fence. I asked them to ring the door bell when they were done.

They were out there about a half an hour and I checked on them out the window every now and then. They finally rang the bell and I gave them each two dollars. I went back to cleaning the house.

About an hour later, the doorbell rang again. It was the other girl. I told her that her friends already had come and did all the work. She was crestfallen!

So, I told her that I hadn't had time to check on their work, so maybe they left some branches by mistake. I asked her if she would go out back and walk all around the yard and throw any branches they might have missed over the fence. She brightened up immediately and ran out back.

She wasn't out there that long, but I gave her two dollars anyway, for showing initiative.

My daughter Melissa called and we talked a long time. That helped me decide NOT to grill in the wind.

BTW, we broke the record today when we hit 63 degrees!

I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner when my brother Jim called. He wanted to thank me for my birthday card.

When I bought the green onions to grill, there were three bundles for something or another. So, I heated up a can of refried beans, topped them with sliced green onions and hot sauce. I ate them with tortilla chips. It wasn't anything like I had planned, but it was good.

I watched some of the Red Wings game but fell asleep.Which was good, as I didn't see them lose in overtime.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Finally Friday

Sidebar: I know I use that title a lot, but this week it's really true. For some reason, I thought Wednesday was Thursday until somebody corrected me. Then the week seemed to stretch out forever!

When I woke up on Friday, it was finally warmer! 36 degrees!!! The weekend warm-up had started!!!

But (there's always a but) it was windy. In fact, we had a "wind advisory" in all the counties from the Ohio border to the tip of the thumb.

You remember the diaper party for Josh? Well, his wife sent in some bakery-bought cookies as a thank you. I had a huge oatmeal raisin one that was excellent.

I went to Time Out to get the fish and chips for lunch. It was warmer and windier. Since there's no precipitation in the forecast, I thought I'd get the truck washed. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea!

The entry driveway to the car wash at Joy and Newburgh winds around a center island where the vacuum machines are. That was so full of cars and trucks that I could barely pull in off of Newburgh! I probably had ten vehicles in front of me. But they were washing the cars and trucks at an amazing rate. So, I finally got through and back to work

Sidebar: It wasn't the best hand drying the truck ever got there, but at least the damn salt is off it.

Courtney was off during the day (she came in early to get some work done) so it was jazz day again. She did drop in with her youngest, Christian, in the afternoon. So, Lenore, Vicky and I took turns holding and playing with him. He is a very solemn kid. I've seen him smile, but never laugh. Even Vicky couldn't get him to laugh and she's funny!

Back home after work, I was ambushed by my San Jose Street Irregulars. Three of the little girls who helped me out last Fall came to the door and asked for work. I told them with all the wind, there would be small branches everywhere in the back yard, so come back tomorrow afternoon.

By the way, the high today was 60 degrees!!! But the winds (sustained 36 mph with gust up to 50!) never stopped.

I worked on the computer, making the grocery list and the ToDo list.

I warmed up more of the sausage and sauerkraut for dinner. I didn't feel like watching TV, so I read until bedtime.

Friday, February 19, 2016

How I think I look like in my new glasses...

But, with less hair, of course!


It was cold again (9 degrees here, but colder in the suburbs) on Thursday. Which wasn't too bad, until the wind picked up...

I went to a new restaurant I wanted to try. Actually, the restaurant isn't new. It opened a while back, then closed and stayed closed for several years. It's reopened and called Mary's Grill. It's on Plymouth Road between Middlebelt and Inkster.

I got the chicken noodle soup and the meatloaf. The soup was good, but not great. But the meatloaf was excellent! And, the mashed potatoes were real! I added that family-owned restaurant to my list.

The afternoon passed slowly.

The wind was really bad going home. But, I braved the wind chill to fill the feeders once I got there.

Once inside, I stayed inside.

I warmed up the sausage and sauerkraut for dinner. Then I watched the Red Wings get their butts kicked. I went to bed around 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

South Carolina

I guess I just don't remember from four years ago, but I don't believe I've ever seen so many national news reporters in Columbia (posed in front of places I've seen) for this Republican primary! Interesting!

Hump Day

It was cold and snowy on Wednesday morning. I had planned on stopping at the quarter car wash and blasting off the salt on the way into work, but with the falling snow and slush, there was no point.

I went to Big Boy's at lunch and got two disappointments. My favorite waitress wasn't there, for one.

The other disappointment came when I ordered. I was cold and in search of some comfort food. So, I ordered the baked meatloaf and mashed potatoes. For my side, I got a cup of the broccoli and ham soup instead of a veggie.

The waitress brought me my soup. I was eating it when she came back and said they were out of mashed potatoes; would I like french fries or hash browns instead?

Oh, hell no! That's not comfort food! It's an abomination!!! I changed my order to the grilled chicken Caesar salad.

Sidebar: I have been eating a lot of salads lately. It's all part of my plot to get off this damn GIRD medicine. Recent studies have linked prolong use to lots of nasty side effects.

When she brought me the bill, she told me she didn't charge me for the soup as that was their screw up. I told her I didn't mind paying, since I ate it. She insisted, though, so I over-tipped her instead.

The snow had let up, but since I didn't know of any quarter car washes around here, I just went back to work.

Vicky had said that Evy had sent me dinner: Pollo con arroz y frijoles (chicken and rice with beans). So, I went back there in the afternoon to pick it up. When I looked at it, Evy forgot to put in the beans! I asked Vicky not to mention that to her mother, as it would just make her feel bad.

Victoria also said that she officially gave me permission to upload the photos of Yanessa opening my Valentines Day card. LOL, she had read the Blog and thought Jake's reminder was funny.

Back home after work, I treated the cat, changed clothes and started the Wednesday night wash.

I watched the news until 7:00 p.m., then I warmed up my dinner (now just Pollo con arroz). The beans would have been a nice addition, but it was still a treat! I love that strange, subtle Puerto Rican seasoning.

I watched the rest of NCIS and then the taped NCIS New Orleans. Then I went to bed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Yanessa and my Valentine's Day card

Yes, Jake, I got permission!

Tough Tuesday...

It had snowed a little bit over night. It made the trash can run to the road a little slippery.

I got to work around 7:20 a.m. and there was nobody here! WTF? Where is Courtney?

My boss got it a little bit later and said that Courtney was staying home today. So, when Fred and Jeff got in, I suggested that Jeff play some of his jazz music for a change (Courtney has the radio tuned to one of those "I Heart" stations that basically play the same damn songs over and over). He asked if I had a preference and I said, "Anything that isn't Adele whining!"

I went and picked up my new glasses. I can definitely see better, but I'm not sure I look better...

I had no time to each lunch as a restaurant, so I stopped at the Farmington Burger King and got some of those chicken nuggets Jake raves about. I was never sure if it was their taste or their price he liked.
I thought you got sauce with them, but I didn't. They weren't bad plain, though.

Sidebar: I did text Jake and ask about the sauce. He said they come with two and they should have asked, but he always specifies BBQ.

Funny story about my new glasses. I came in the office and John, an older tech, said, "I didn't know you wore glasses!" I thought he was kidding, but he insisted he wasn't. They I went to get some coffee and Nicole, the receptionist, said, "Wow! I didn't realize you wore glasses!" She wasn't kidding, either.

Apparently my wire frames were a bit more discreet.

I got the trash can in and buttoned up the house for the night. I peeled and cut up two russet potatoes. I put them in the Dutch oven, covered them with a bag of sauerkraut and topped that with sliced smoked sausage. I brought it to a boil, turned it to a simmer and covered it.

While I waited for supper. I tried to call my Brother Jim and wish him a happy birthday. I just got his voicemail.

I ate dinner while watching the end of the news.

Jim did called me back and we chatted briefly.

I watched most of NCIS. But, I was snuggled under the cover and fell asleep before the end.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016



The "low" temperature when I woke up Monday morning was the same at the 'high" on sunday: 19 degrees. It had snowed a little overnight and even the main roads were slick.

I went to Ten Yen for lunch. I decided to try something different and ordered their chicken fried rice. The won ton soup, egg roll and hot tea were excellent, as always. But, I was disappointed in the fried rice. It tasted like they cooked it a tad too long. First time I was ever disappointed there!

Of course there was way too much of it, so I took the rest home in a take-out box.

My eye doctor's office called and let me know my new glasses were in. I told them I'd get them on Tuesday.

Back home, i started assembling the garbage for tomorrow.

When I got hungry, I warmed up the rest of the fried rice. Still nowhere as good as the little take-out place next to CVS makes.

On a whim, I watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was on FX and had lots of commercials, so I didn't get to bed until 11:00 p.m.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day

It was 0 degrees when i woke up on Sunday. It was freakin' warmer in Minnesota, for God's sake! Damn polar vortex!

I drank hot coffee to wake up and warm up.

Eventually, I made breakfast. Since it doesn't look like I'm going to make that chicken dish anytime soon, I used the mixed mushrooms I'd fried up and the green onions. I warmed them both in butter and then made a three-egg omelet. I toasted up some cinnamon swirl bread I bought yesterday (it was an impulse buy, I'll admit - it just sounded good!)

Breakfast was delicious!

I took the Dutch oven (with the chili) out of the fridge and put it on my smallest burner, which I turned to low. I want to eat it whenever I'm hungry today, you see.

Victoria sent my two pictures of Yanessa and the Valentine's Day card I sent her. It was a Dora the Explorer card with stickers. The first one she's "reading" it and the second one she's playing with the stickers.

Sidebar: If I knew what I was doing, I think I could extract them from her texts and show you, but I don't. Trust me: cuteness overload!!!

I had already run the dishwasher this morning, so I hand washed the breakfast dishes.

At noon, I decided to cut the plywood. So, I backed the truck out (it was windy again and 11 degrees, BTW) and locked it.

Sidebar: Why I didn't do this yesterday when it was 20 degrees, I don't know...

I cut it out (it's a square with one corner cut out and took it in to try fitting it. It fit in the hole! But... it was 1/8 inch too high! DAMMIT!

I'm good with a belt sander but that's a little more than I could sand and still keep it level.

I could chip out the original linoleum, but it's probably got asbestos in it.

I could cut it in half and try running each half through Margaret's planer. But, it's plywood and would probably chip all to hell.

I could see if I can get 3/8" anything at Lowe's or Home Depot.

I think I'll go with the Lowe's or Home Depot option first.

I pulled the truck back in and ate a bowl of chili.

I watched an excellent Red Wings game!

My friend B___ called and we talked for a while, mostly about cataract surgery.

I watched a couple of Valentine's Day comedy shows. one was a compilation of SNL skits and the other a Jimmy Fallon mashup. I had another bowl of chili in there somewhere.

I went to bed at 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Saturday, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. It was 2 degrees. But, one of the many things I like about weekends is that I didn't need to get up. So, I snuggled down in bed, grabbed my latest magazine and started reading.

Eventually, my bladder betrayed me and I had to get up to visit the bathroom. Since I was up anyway, I turned on the kitchen light and fan.

Sidebar: This is the first winter that I've used the fan and am constantly amazed at how it evens the heat out. Just be sure that, in winter, you have it turning counter-clockwise.

I eventually got up and filled in the Blog. Then I made some breakfast (another weekend luxury). Today it was scrambled eggs and sourdough bread toast.

Finally, I shaved, showered and got dressed. I had taken out my down filled jacket from the unheated front hall closet last night (so it could warm up). I put that on and my gloves and headed out to get my hair cut.

Damn it was cold!!! I love my truck but, on days like today, I miss the heated seats in the Volvo!

Sidebar: I also miss the little wipers on the headlights. Newer Volvo's don't have them, but I thought they were cool!

I got there at 10:00 a.m. (the earliest appointment I could get). Michelle (my barber) did a great job and I actually look like a human again instead of some hairy beast.

Sidebar #1: In spite of being semi-bald, it has always been amazing to me just how fast my hair grows. I always put it down to an excess of testosterone. If there are any young ladies out there who want to help an old man to drain this out, private message me, PLEASE!

Sidebar #2: It occurs to me that some readers may get confused about the many Michelle's I mention. So, let me lay it out:

Michelle M. is my buddy in Facilities. We used to work together, years ago. We still exchange food (mostly soup). She is totally crazy and I love her to death.

Michelle P. was the Asset Coordinator in IT. We worked together for years until she left for greener pastures. However, she can't seem to get us all out of her system and comes back to visit, or eat lunch with me and Vicky or attend functions. Everybody loves her (she's lovable) but she has a habit of hugging too hard (at least for a guy with a fused spine)

And, Michelle ? is my barber. When I first came to Redford, I needed a haircut. So, I went to a place on 5 Mile and Inkster called Cardinal barbers. I got my hair cut by a guy a couple of times but one day he was too busy. Michelle offered to cut my hair.

A woman barber? WTF?

But she gave me the best haircut I ever had!

I've followed her through two moves to different shops and still get my hair cut by her.

From my haircut, I popped into Kroger's and got a few items I needed.

Finally, since I was out anyway, I filled my truck up with gas. I should have done this yesterday. It was $1.29 a gallon then, today it was $1.39.

Sidebar: I'm not stupid. I know the cheap price of oil is trashing the stock market (and thereby my 401k). But it's nice to fill up the truck for $25 instead of the $60.00 I was paying when I bought it.

I left the truck outside to get the groceries out. I thought I might cut the plywood as well, but it was just too damn cold.

Instead I made some chili. I got a recipe that I followed, somewhat. I ignored everything except for the measurements of the herbs and spices.

For example, the recipe called for tomato juice and tomato sauce. I used whole canned tomatoes that I squished by hand first. I like the texture of tomatoes in my chili.

So, I browned two pounds of ground chuck in the Dutch oven. I drained the grease (not much) and added a large chopped onion, a little chopped celery and one diced green pepper.

I dumped in two 29 ounce cans of whole tomatoes (squished) and one 29 ounce can of tomato sauce.

Then I added 1/4 cup of chili powder, two teaspoons ground cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder, a good pinch of Kosher salt, a couple of grinds of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.

I opened, drained and rinsed one can of red kidney beans and one can of pinto beans and then added then to the pot.

I brought it to to a boil, reduced the heat and then simmered it for almost two hours, stirring occasionally.

I was tasting it constantly, so I was not interested in eating it for lunch. I made a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup instead.

But, by dinner time, I was ready. I fixed a large bowl of it with some tortilla chips as the side. It was excellent, not too hot, not too bland. I was pleased.

I went to bed around 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

On the other hand...

Frozen Friday

It was cold again on Friday, but the wind wasn't as bad. Still, it brought it home to me yet again. I am 67 years old and love Michigan, but why in the hell do I live in a place where my face hurts? I dunno... Lazy, I guess.

Around noon, the snow squalls started. Perfect...

Today was the infamous diaper party for Josh. I left early for Los Tres Amigos to see if Courtney needed help. She didn't and my being there ended up with a less-than-perfect seating arrangement. Thankfully, I saved a seat for Michelle and seeing her saved me. I should have saved one for Vicky as well...

I got the cup of tortilla soup and the Enchilada lunch. The soup was probably authentic, but after eating Buddy's or the late Max & Erma's tortilla soup, it didn't even taste right.

The enchilada lunch was excellent.

Back at work, heavy snow came and went. Going out at lunch and warming the windshield meant I had to scrape the damn frozen windshield at 5:00 p.m.

I had checked Google maps (I always do before leaving) and there was an accident on eastbound I-96 at Beech Daly. Traffic was backed up before Merriman. So, I drove Plymouth Road home.

Once home, I treated the cat and changed clothes.

It was payday, so I did some online banking.

I ate leftovers for dinner and watched the Red Wings game until bedtime.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Cold and windy again on Thursday, but its only going to get worse I hear. Brrr...

I went to Eastside Mario's for lunch. I haven't been there in a long, long time. All I remember is that there wasn't much parking, the food was good but pricey and the service sucked.

So, I gave it another shot. I was right about the parking (and this wasn't the day for a long walk outside). It was a little pricey, but I ordered off the lunch menu. I got the Mario Trio, which was a bowl (and I do mean a big bowl) of soup, a Caesar salad and a small loaf of fresh-baked ciabatta bread. I chose Italian Wedding soup (my favorite Italian soup) and, when I was done, the waitress asked if I wanted more! I declined, so she brought the salad in a big bowl, with tongs and a plate. The bread came first, BTW. So, there was plenty of food for $7.99!

And, I was in and out in 45 minutes. Now granted, the place wasn't full so maybe that's why the food came so quick. But, I'm putting Eastside Mario's back on the list.

Back home after work, I treated the cat. I decided it was too damn cold to work in the garage, so I did a few small chores in the house.

I continued the Italian theme for dinner. I cooked some fresh Buitoni mushroom agnolotti and warmed up some Bertolli alfredo sauce. I put the two together, added in some fresh parsley and plated it. I topped it with grated Parmesan cheese and ate a delicious dinner.

I was tired, so I watched a little TV but went to bed by 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ash Wednesday

It was cold on Wednesday (9 degrees when I woke up) and windy. It was the wind that killed you! As a result all the side streets had frozen, making San Jose a short, but dicey drive.

It also lightly snowed, off and on.

Sidebar: Interesting snow facts: Our average snowfall in Southeast Michigan is 27.3 inches. Last year we had 37.8 inches. So far this year, we've only had 19 inches of snow!

It was 21 degrees at lunchtime, still with a wicked wind. I went to Big Boy and got a cup of broccoli and ham soup (because I was cold) and the chicken Caesar salad. Both were excellent!

I stopped at Home Depot on the way home and got the small sheet of plywood I needed for the kitchen.

Back at home, I treated the cat and did the Wednesday night wash.

I was still cold and really wanted a can of chili (homemade would have been better, but maybe this weekend). But my stomach is doing great and I'd like to keep it that way, LOL. So, I settled for a can of Bush's baked beans and buttered bread.

I watched the rest of NCIS and then NCIS New Orleans. I switched to the end of the Red Wings game and then went to bed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fat Tuesday

I was up early on Tuesday, so I thought I'd eat breakfast. I warmed up the left over tater tots in the microwave.


Those crispy golden delights turn to mush. Yuck!

It was snowing pretty hard when I drove into work and the roads were slippery. I saw a salt truck on Plymouth Road. It snowed off and on all day.

As I said, it was Fat Tuesday which, in Southeast Michigan, means paczki day! Somebody brought them in so, against my better judgment, I ate one. My better judgement was right!

Sidebar: No, I am not a big fan. It's my belief that most people buy and eat them because "they are here only once a year," not because they "like" them. If you've never had one, they are like heavy, dense, jelly-filled donuts. They sit in your stomach like a rock! No, not a fan...

I went to AppleBee's and got my new favorite there: French Onion soup and the three cheese chicken and penne combo.

From there, I stopped in Bed Bath and Beyond and got a new bathrobe.

On the way home after work, the temperature had gotten above freezing (barely), so the roads were just wet.

I got in the trash can and the mail and then buttoned the house up for the night.

I called my friend Leon and wished him a happy birthday. He's doing fine. Well, at least he thinks he is. He doesn't go to doctors. I wish I didn't.

I warmed up some of those pigs in a blanket and munched on them for dinner.

I started watching NCIS. But, I was warm and snug in my bed and I fell asleep before the end.