Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Saturday Story

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday and could not fall back asleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I thought about screen doors.

Sidebar: Not today's modern storm doors with screens in them and the automatic door closer. But the old wood ones with just screens and a long-ass spring, with the wood usually unpainted.

The spring made a weird (almost musical) sound when you opened the door. And, if you just let it go, it slammed and somebody would holler at you. But it closed.

It took it's toll, though. The inside wooden frame was always gouged by the action of the spring. I can still picture that.

Back in the day, everybody had them, but the last one I remember was on the front porch door at Waconda, my grandparent's cottage in Lake Orion.

Sidebar: I have no idea why this was important enough to wake me up. I fear I am going insane.

Note to Jake: When you put me in a home, please make sure there are foxy nurses. If there are just male attendants, I will curse you!

I gave up trying to fall back asleep at 6:00 a.m. I had a cup of coffee and two pieces of toast and then ate my morning pills.I shaved, showered, dressed and left for the morning errands.

First stop was a 9:30 a.m. haircut. I went to Kroger's for groceries then Westborn for more sweet corn. I made one impulse buy at Westborn. They sell these very large and very good tasting muffins (very expensive, too). I debated over which kind to buy and ended up with a banana nut one. So, my Sunday morning breakfast is done!

Finally, I stopped at Home Depot and bought a right angle cordless drill. I need that for the wiring project. I also picked up more drywall mud.

It was sprinkling on the way home. I left the truck outside to unload it. When I got everything inside, I locked it and left it outside. I was going to work on the garage.

But, first I needed a nap!

When I woke up, it was raining steady. There goes my grilling dinner plan. But, I'll take the rain!!!

It also put an end to working in the garage. I need more daylight than I was getting.

So, I worked in the house instead. I stripped the bed and washed the bedding, swept floors, cleaned kitchen counters, etc.

When I got hungry, I ate some mild Pinconning cheese and crackers. I watched some TV and managed to stay up for Saturday Night Live (the nap helped). Then I went to bed.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I always wanted to be a street musician...

Finally Friday

It was cooler and cloudy on Friday, with a chance of thunderstorms.

I finally broke down and admitted I can't find the bike title, so I spent $16.00 online to apply for a new one. Then I suppose I'll spend half a day at the Credit Union getting them to release the lein.

I called to bitch about my water bill. Last time it was $69.00. Last year at this time it was $75.00. This time it was $174.00! The lady said Detroit had raised their rates, so Redford had to as well.

Okay, so no more watering, dammit!

Vicky asked Courtney and me if we wanted to go to lunch. Courtney said she and Mike (her husband) had planned on going to Time Out, so we agreed to all meet there.

But, when lunchtime came, Mike had bailed. Apparently, today is national buffalo chicken day. To celebrate, Buffalo Wings has some fantastic deal going on. So, his company decided to have a working lunch there.

So, the three of us walked over to Time Out.

Sidebar: Yes, we walked (groan). They decided it would be a good way to work off bar food, because they both missed going to the gym. My knee didn't agree with that, but WTF?

Courtney and I ordered the chicken quesadillas while Vicky stuck with the fish and chips. I asked her how they tasted. She said they tasted different, but still good. I'm not sold on them, yet.

The afternoon passed with no rain here. I guess it hammered Detroit though (the Southfield freeway was shut down due to flooding, for example). Just my luck...

I got a text from the electrician saying he couldn't make it tonight. Something came up and he had to work overtime. He said he would get back to me on Sunday and let me know his schedule for next week.

So, that gave me a few more days to figure this out myself...

It sprinkled on the way home, but no real rain.

It was a payday, so I spent some time on the computer with bills. Then I did the grocery list and the ToDo list for the weekend.

I made tuna and peas and served them over egg noodles for dinner.

I watched a movie and then went to bed.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Michigan Road Repair


It was warm again (91 degrees for the high) and a little more humid on Thursday. There was a "slight" chance of showers, but they all stayed up in the thumb. Nothing here.

I needed something from Home Depot, so I tried the new Applebee's over there. I got my usual (the chicken and three cheese pasta and French onion soup). The soup was good, but I was not impressed with the pasta. Way too dry. Besides, they only had waiters, no waitresses. WTF?

I got what I needed at home Depot and got back to work.

After work, I left the truck outside. I treated the cat and changed into shorts and a t-shirt and went into the garage. I have to rearrange it so the electrician can have room to work.

But first I had to take off the outside light and replace that box. I got the stepladder and went out to Jake's patio. I got the light fixture off and then unscrewed the short box. I installed the deep box (that I bought from Home Depot today).

Sidebar: If you remember, I jury-rigged the regular box with long screws to get the light working, back in the day. But, I didn't want the guy to think I was a hillbilly.

Next, I carried all the boxes on the big work bench into the back room. I moved the table saw, wet-vac, dolly, etc., out and into new places. That gave me three feet to pull the work bench away from the wall.

Sidebar: Damn, that thing is HEAVY!!!

I installed the box for the light switch where it wouldn't interfere with putting the shelves back up.

Finally, I swept the garage floor (so he wouldn't think I was a bum) and pulled the truck back inside.

Sidebar: I'll have to move the workbench with the bandsaw on Friday, because it can't move without blocking the truck.

I finished up just before 8:00 p.m., tired, sweaty and sore.

I was going to just eat a can of chili, but found I didn't have any in the pantry. So, I warmed up a can of Bush's grillin' beans instead (I was too beat to make dinner).

I ate that and went to bed.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Damn Straight!!!

Hump Day

The humidity was creeping back in on Wednesday. We hit a high of 91 degrees here in the D, so it wasn't pleasant.

I stopped on the way to work at Larry's Foodliner to buy a loaf of 12-Grain bread. I ran out yesterday, so today I ate some of the cantaloupe for breakfast.Trust me when I tell you, that didn't sooth my pill intake, at all...

I walked outside at 10:00 a.m. but it was uncomfortable.

I talked with Courtney (I thought she had said she had a relative who was an electrician) but it turned out it was her grandpa who was retired. But, she said she had a friend who worked on construction who did wiring.

Sidebar: I need the back wall of the garage wired so I can put insulation in, the quarter-inch plywood back up, the shelves back up and all the damn boxes unpacked and tools put away. I need my garage back!!!

Anyway, he's supposed to come over Friday night. I need to provide the materials, so I went to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch (it's kitty-corner from Lowe's). I ordered my favorite, the buffalo chicken sandwich. I made a mistake and switched out the fries with onion rings. I forgot that they (like Red Robin) use an extra crispy breading that hurts my mouth.

Sidebar: I guess it's just who ever the chef is, but this sandwich sometimes comes with shredded lettuce and sometimes not. I like the lettuce, but this time it wasn't there. Weird...

Then I went to Lowe's and got what I thought he might need.

I walked inside in the afternoon.

Back home after work, I began watering (again). I watered everything out back with the hose and then hooked it up to the soaker hose in the veggie garden. I had three cucumbers that had hit about six inches, so I harvested them.

Sidebar: I have noticed that if you let them get much larger than that, they get a bit tough and are mostly seeds, so I grab them young.

I watered the front container gardens with the watering can. I noticed the "Thrill" in both my container gardens were about dead from the heat.

Sidebar: I learned long ago that the best way to plant container gardens is the "Thrill" (a tall plant in back - I used a daisy variant I thought looked cool), the "Fill" (filler plants on either side - I used coleus) and the "Spill" (any plant that falls over in the front).

Anyway, I have to replace the back plants if there are any left in the garden centers.

I finished up around 7:00 p.m. I unhooked the hose and then stuck it into the reflecting pool to refresh it (and water the Japanese maple at the same time).

I went inside and warmed up the last of the sweet corn and another brat for dinner.

I watched some TV for a while and then went back out and turned the water off. I wound up the hose and buttoned up the back.

I went in and read a book until bedtime.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


It was still hot on Tuesday, but a lot less muggy, for a change. I took the trash out to the road and went to work.

I walked outside both times.

I went to Big Boy for lunch. I got the grilled chicken Caesar salad and it was excellent! Then I went to Ace Hardware (in the same strip mall) and got two plastic drywall taping tools (I forget what you call them), one four-inch and one six-inch.

Sidebar: I have good steel ones somewhere, but I'm not sure what box they are in...

So, I left the truck outside when I got home. After treating the cat and changing, I went out in the garage and got the two other pieces of drywall up.

Then I got the drywall mud and filled in the cracks. I put on the tape and covered it with the first coat of mud.

I'll let that dry for at least a day while I look for my sanding mesh thingie. I pulled the truck inside and closed up te front.

I got down the line trimmer and got the weeds wacked on both back patios.

That was enough for one night.

I warmed up two more ears of sweet corn and a brat and ate that for dinner. Then I cut off two slices of watermelon for dessert.

I watched an NCIS rerun and then went to bed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monday, monday...

It had rained overnight, so the streets were wet when I went to work.

It was cloudy and still looked like rain, so I left the windows up when I got there.

I walked outside in the morning, but noticed the heat and humidity were climbing.

I regretted the closed window thing when I went to lunch. The sun was now out and the truck was stifling for the first mile or so.

I went to the Newburgh grill and had a cup of beef vegetable soup and the mini Greek sandwich. Then I went to Meijer's in Westland and picked up a few things I needed for the house.

I walked inside in the afternoon.

When I got home after work, I pulled the truck in. Gone were my plans for finishing the drywall - I'd give myself heat stroke!

I warmed up the other two burgers and ate them with a warmed up ear of sweet corn for dinner.

I ran the dishwasher and then watched American Ninja Warrior until it ended. Then I went to bed.

Monday, July 25, 2016

True Story...

Rainy Days and Sundays...

When I woke up late on Sunday it was raining! I'm not complaining, because we really need the rain. But, I planned on riding the Big Thumper this morning. :(

So, I putzed around, thinking it would stop (it usually does these days). But, I finally gave up and went to do my grocery shopping.

First stop was Westborn, supposedly for some sweetcorn. I was wearing one of my Puerto Rican polo shirts and the rain had picked up. I parked in one of the handicapped spots, but by the time I walked in, I looked like a contestant in a wet t-shirt contest!

I left with the sweetcorn, a cantaloupe, a wedge of watermelon and a chunk of Pinconning cheese. I was glad to get out of there as I swear all the women were staring at my nipples!

Back in the truck, I reviewed my Kroger list and decided I didn't "really" need any of the stuff today. So, I went home.

I left the truck outside, both to unload it and work on the wall, later.

I changed out of my wet clothes and then took a nap.

When I woke up, it had stopped raining, but was now hot and steamy. I went out to the garage and got to work. First I started the bike up and let it run for a while, just to keep everything oiled and moving. Then I got half of the drywall up before the heat forced my back into the A/C.

I trimmed the sweetcorn and put it in the stock pot. I thought it was weird that the sweet corn turned the water yellow.

I read for a while to cool off and then went out back.

Sidebar: Somebody on Facebook had said you could replant the root ends of green onions (that you normally discard) and they would grow. So, I planted some I saved in water from a salad last week.

Hey, if its on the Internet, it has to be true, right?

My neighbor came over to the fence and asked me what color my water was. Huh? He said his was yellow, now it's brown. His wife was going to make a pasta salad and he told her to forget it and not use the water. He said there was no official announcement, but friends of his in the area had been texting they thought it was a broken water main.

So, that explains my yellow water in the sweet corn. But, I figured I was grilling it over hot coals so any gunk that may be in it would be burned off.

So, I fired up the charcoal chimney. I went inside and made another pound of ground chuck into four patties.

Back outside, I cleaned the grill grate and then roasted the sweet corn. When it was done, I put them on a half sheet pan and stuck then into the oven on low. I went back outside and grilled the burgers.

Back inside, I put mayo on the bottom bun, added lettuce, tomato and a slice of onion, topped that with the burger and yellow mustard and the top bun. Excellent!

I ate two of the ears of sweet corn as well. This time it was Michigan grown and I swear you could taste the difference.

I cleaned up most of the mess and then went back into the living room to read. I didn't feel like watching TV, so I read until bed time.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Saturday Party Story...

I woke up early on Saturday (3:30 a.m.). Apparently that's now when my body thinks I should get up.

Sidebar: It sucks...

I know better than to try and fall asleep, so I grabbed a book and started to read. Eventually, it was 6:00 a.m. so I turned on the news.

When the news turned to Saturday morning cartoons, I turned the TV off.

Sidebar: I got nothing against cartoons. When I was a wee lad, I loved Bugs Bunny (before he was censored for violence) and/or the Road Runner and Wiley Coyote. Yeah, sure they were violent, but they were funny. These new cartoons are LAME.

So, I started the weekend wash. I made myself a fried egg sandwich for breakfast: Two fried eggs, topped with American cheese on Brownberry 12 Grain bread with mayo.

Sidebar: No, I'm not turning into a health food nut, but I like the texture of those half turkey on whole grain bread sandwiches at Big Boy's.  So, I bought me some...

I put the first laundry load in the dryer and stripped the bed. The sheets and pillow cases went into the washer.

I laid on the naked bed, watching old DIY shows (that sounds a lot more erotic than it actually was).

It was hot again, but not as humid. But, the Heat Advisory was still in effect.

I finally shaved, showered and got dressed in my lightweight Puerto Rico clothes. I left the house at 1:30 p.m. on a mission-critical errand. I had to pick up the fried chicken for Yanessa's birthday party.

So, I headed over to Plymouth and Lee's Chicken on Ann Arbor Trail. It's hands down the best take-out chicken I ever tasted.

Sidebar: I think Carla's Mom wins at the best homemade fried chicken (sorry, Mom). But, I digress...

The chicken wasn't ready, so I waited a bit, but then stuck a huge box in the truck and headed back to the D.

I was afraid there would be no parking left at the house, but there was an open spot right in front! So, I hauled the chicken in and then got my empty cooler out (Vicky had asked me to bring it).

It was still before the 3:00 p.m. official start of the party, so there was just immediate family in the house. The heat was killer inside (Evy was making rice with pigeon peas) so I grabbed a bottle of water and went outside.

As usual, Victoria went all out.

Sidebar: This seems to be a Latino concept. Now, granted, my birthday was on Christmas Eve in the dead of winter, but there was only my family who still lived at home. No party, just whatever I wanted for dinner, a present and a cake my Mother made with candles to blow out. But these people seem to go big!

This year, the bounce house was now a water bouncer (made sense with the heat).


They put a smaller "kiddie pool"next to it for the littler kids.

 She had a tent put up for much-needed shade as well as their permanent cabana.

Josh, from work, his wife Megan and their oldest daughter Charlotte arrived. Together we made up the entire white population, but we made do... We represented!!! I spent some time explaining to Megan who was who (but I still get confused now and then).

Everybody (except Vicky) something to eat. I got the rice (my favorite) and some chicken and that seemed enough, but she walked by with a tub of potato salad and plopped a spoonful on my plate. Everything was delicious.

She also had a silly blow up selfie frame with stick emojies. Since she misplaced her own phone, Vicky asked me to be her photographer. So, I and her cousin Karlita, went and annoyed people, making them let me take their picture.

Finally, one of the young ladies on Yanessa's daddy's side challenged me to get my selfie taken. What could I say? So, I did.

Finally, it was the pinata event. The kids managed to break it, but not bust it.

Then it was time to blow out candles and cut the cake.

They served the cake with ambrosia salad, which was nice. It cut the richness of the chocolate cake and frosting.

Finally, Yanessa opened presents. I gave her the two books my boys liked best when growing up. She's probably too young to "get" Paddle-To-The-Sea, but I know she'll like This Farm Is A Mess!

By then it was 7:30 p.m. and I was tired. So, after shaking a lot of hands and getting a lot of hugs, I headed home. Nice party!!!

I was beat, (a lot of standing) so, I just undressed and went to bed a little after 8:00 p.m.

I realized, just before I fell asleep, I left my cooler at their house...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Finally Friday

It was already hot and steamy Friday morning. We are under a Heat Advisory today with a "feels like" high temp of 105 degrees. But, when I watched the weather this morning, it looks like Minneapolis, Minnesota will be worse!!! Poor Amy and her Carls...

Sidebar: They have a pool, so I'm thinking they will be okay.

I walked inside the shop today both times.

I went to Time Out for lunch. I ordered the mushroom and Swiss burger with fries. Nancy, my waitress, said, "What, no fish and chips?" Dan, the owner, wasn't there, so I told her to tell him his new fish monger sucks.

I forgot how damn big a half-pound burger can be, so, I left most of the fries on my plate.

I chatted a bit with the other waitress, Amanda. She said the night before was good for her with tips, so she could afford the tickets for the concert she wanted to go to. I asked where her son would be staying and she said at her parents house.

Courtney and I met our new Purchasing agent, Michael (we blow through them about every three months). Gone are the days when Judi Trygier had our backs...

He wanted to set up a meeting to discuss a blanket P.O. for stock items (good idea) and Courtney said, "Well, don't invite John. He doesn't like meetings."

Sidebar: That's true, but why say that? This is the second time in two days she dissed me. On Thursday, there was a guy in to pick up a phone (Fred is working two days a week in our building in Auburn Hills, due to the I-275 construction). I knew I knew him, but couldn't recall his name.

Sidebar: That happens a lot, as I get older.

So, I didn't say anything. Upon reflection, I should have shook his hand and admitted I forgot his name. His name was Scott, BTW.

Instead, I went in back to check on some monitors.

While I was gone, Scott said, "I guess John forgot I worked with him up in Building 32." Courtney said, "No, he probably recognized you, but he's just not very sociable."


The A/C at work gave up and the temps just kept climbing. So, I figured I was fncked at home.

Sidebar: I signed up for that "cut off your electricity when demand is high" when I moved in (to save money).

But, when I got home, the AC was on and it was a delicious 74 degrees inside. So, I stayed inside!

I didn't feel like leftover brats and tots for dinner, so I made the other small pizza, after adding banana pepper rings, black olives and more mozzarella.

I watched TV until 10:00 p.m. and then went to bed.

Friday, July 22, 2016


or as I like to call it, "Day Four of the Hostage Situation!"

It was hot again on Thursday, but not that humid in the morning. So, I walked outside.

I went to Ten Yen for lunch. The owner of the building they are located in is remodeling and he put two huge picture windows in front, put in can lights after removing the Chinese lantern light fixtures, etc. It looks nice, but certainly different! I had the Chicken Sub Gum with Won Ton soup and hot tea.

I walked inside in the afternoon.

There was a line of thunderstorms heading my way. I was the only one left in the office around 4:30 p.m. when the lights flickered. Oh, oh... So, I shut my computer down, just in case, and left for home. I got about a block away when the storm hit.

I drove through sheets of rain that even the highest setting of the wipers wouldn't clear. I deliberately took Plymouth Road instead of the freeway (I hate freeways in the rain) and the flooding street and rain had everybody just crawling along. My usual 10 minute drive took 30 minutes!!!

I didn't even try to work in the garage tonight. I pulled the truck in and let it drip-dry while I treated Caley.

I changed clothes and watched the news. The rain had moved on...

I used the cast iron frying pan to get a nice crust on some brats (I was going to grill them outside, but...) and then finished them off in the oven, along with some tater tots. I ate two brats on buns with mustard with some tater tots. Yes, that's right, brats and tots.

I watched TV until 9:30 p.m. and then went to bed.

Sidebar: I checked the rain gauge Friday morning and, in spite of the appearance of a torrential downpour, we only got 1/4 inch of rain here.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Politics, these days...

Hump Day

It was a little warmer on Wednesday. It keeps creeping up and supposed to be brutal this weekend (then again, its supposed to be that way almost everywhere in the country!)

I went to Big Boy for lunch and got a Slim Jim and fries for a change. Both tasted good.

I had an uncomfortable walk in the afternoon; hot, but the humidity wasn't bad.

So, when I got home after work, I putzed for a while, unloading the dishwasher and folding clothes from the dryer.

Sidebar: Those are my two biggest "fails" as a homeowner. I start the dryer or dishwasher, but then forget about it! My bad...

Then I went out in the garage. I pulled the truck back out and screwed in the sistered 2x2's.

But, it was bloody hot in the garage! So, I quit for now. Drywall will have to wait. I pulled the truck back inside, which triggered another whiny session with Caley, which only stopped when I gave her more treats.

I walked out back to check on the vegetable garden. I ate a couple cherry tomatoes and more sugar snap peas.

I had to laugh. When my neighbor was negotiating cukes for butternut squash, he said he would jump the fence and put plastic down between the garden and my fence.

Sidebar: I ignore the weeds as that's where the catnip I pluck for Caley grows.

Anyway, he did. But only under the cucumbers, not the yellow squash that he hates!

I grabbed more catnip and went inside.

I warmed up the last piece of catfish and the rest of the rice for my dinner.

I started watching "Red River" (a John Wayne movie on TCM) but fell asleep before the end.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Helpful Microwave Hint!


I woke up earlier than usual on Tuesday morning. I really have to reset my inner clock!

But, then again, it worked out well. I was able to get the trash out to the road and also stop at Home Depot for that star bit I need. Again, it was cool in the morning (but we are supposed to have a heat wave over the weekend).

I had to go to the Post office at lunch, so I left at 11:30 a.m. (to beat the lunch crowd, I thought). I drove to the closest one (on Merriman, just off of Plymouth Road). What a difference from the one in Redford! In Redford, you have two or three clerks, but rarely more than five or six people in front of you. In Livonia, they have five clerks, but 16 people in front of you and more lining up behind you all the time!

I did get out in time to stop and eat a quick lunch at Eastside Mario's. I had the same lunch special I always get: A big bowl of Italian wedding soup and a large Caesar salad, with a loaf of garlic bread. I ate all the soup (and they always ask you if you want more) and about half the salad and garlic bread. Excellent!

It was noticeably hotter in the afternoon, but still not that muggy.

When I got home, I checked the container gardens and decided it was more important to water than hang drywall. So, that's what I did.

I watered everything out back with the hose and then attached it to the soaker hose in the vegetable garden. There were a few new sugar snap peas, so I had a quick snack.

Then I started hauling out water in the watering can up front. I am no longer trying to get things to bloom. I'm just trying to keep them alive!

I finished up about 7:00 p.m. I put away the watering can and rolled up the hose. Then I went inside.

I set up a breading station of flour, beaten eggs and corn meal. I patted three catfish fillets dry with paper towels and then breaded them.

Tip: You can get HUGE catfish fillets, but the smaller ones taste better. I'm just sayin'

I fried them up in canola oil while Uncle Ben and the microwave made me some rice with butter and garlic. I topped the fish with hot sauce and ate a fantastic dinner.

I watched an NCIS rerun and went to bed at 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monda Moanin'

I did manage to fall back asleep after the thunderstorm, but I was still tired on Monday morning.

It was a little cooler than usual on my morning walk.

I was almost out of coffee, so I left for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and went to Sam's Club. That was a bit tricky as they are resurfacing Newburgh Road between Warren and Ford Road. I grabbed my coffee and headed back, but this time I took Hix Road back to Warren.

I still needed some food, though, so I stopped at Culver's and got their North Atlantic Cod meal.

Sidebar: After Friday's fish and chips disaster at Time Out, I needed a good fish filet!

I got that to go and ate lunch at my desk.

It was a little hotter and more muggy in the afternoon.

When I got home, I left the truck outside. On my way in to treat the cat, I turned the air compressor on. I took care of Caley and changed my clothes.

Back in the garage, I used the nail gun to tack the 2x2's onto the 2x4's. Then I pre-drilled holes for the deck screws I wanted to use to securely attach them.

Unfortunately, the only long deck screws I have need a star-type drill bit. And, I couldn't find mine!!!


So, I put the tools away, shut off the compressor and pulled the truck in.

I warmed up the two leftover burgers. I skipped the cheese and onions and ate them with just mustard on the bun. I used the last of the BBQ chips as my side.

I started watching some taped TV, but fell asleep by 8:30 p.m.


True that!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Then it was Sunday

I ate some soft boiled eggs for my breakfast on Sunday. Then I did the Sunday morning chores and another load of laundry. I shaved, showered and got dressed because I forgot to stop at the gas station yesterday for more Copenhagen.

So, I left the truck outside again. I waited until 10:00 a.m. and then got to work.

Sidebar: I try not to use power tools before 10:00 a.m. on the weekend, just in case any of my neighbors are still sleeping.

I used the table saw to rip down two 2x4's into 2x2's. Then I cut them to the correct length with the compound miter saw.

My plan is to sister them in to the existing studs so I have more room to attach the drywall.

I swept up all the sawdust and pulled the truck inside.

I filled up the charcoal chimney and lit it on fire. I had thawed out a pound of ground chuck overnight, so I formed it into four patties. Meanwhile, inside, I heated up some Bushes Grilling Beans in a saucepan.

I put a slice of American cheese on two of the burgers and put them on sesame seed buns with some mustard and onions. I added some beans  and chips to the plate and ate a great Sunday dinner.

I had a lot of little scraps of wood in the garage. I had planned on taking them to my brother Carl's house for his fireplace. But, there's too many now, so I started a fire in the fire pit  and burned up two boxes of them.

It was almost 6:00 p.m. and I decided I'd done enough for one day. I went in to watch the news, after checking that the fire was out. But the "Open" was on Channel 4 (my usual news station). So, I watched it on Channel 7, instead.

I started watching some TV, but got bored. So, I read in the living room until I felt sleepy and then went to bed.

My weather radio went off around 3:00 a.m., warning me of fast moving thunder storms approaching.I shut it off and fell back asleep. The thunder woke me up about 10 minutes later! There was a lot of thunder and lightning but, sadly, not much rain involved. When it moved on, I went back to bed.

Panic in Detroit!

I woke up, wide awake at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday. Try as I might, I couldn't fall back asleep. So, I eventually said, "Fnck it!" and got up.

Sidebar: I really did say "Fnck it!"

It was cool outside, so I opened some windows to air out the house.

Sidebar: I have this personal problem in both winter and summer. I always think the air inside is stale. I don't know if its true, but I try to let in fresh air whenever I can.

I eventually made some scrambled eggs and topped them with hot sauce for my breakfast. Then I got ready for my Saturday morning errands.

Before I left, I stripped the bed and started the washer.

First stop was the barber shop for a haircut. Then I went to Kroger's to resupply.

I was stopped at the light in the left turn lane at Inkster and Plymouth Road when I saw my first LSV (Jake is enamored with them)! At first, I thought somebody had put a body on a Cam-am Spyder, but no. There was a steering wheel and not handlebars. Cool!

I left the truck outside so I could unload it. It took many trips after treating the cat.

I changed into shorts and a t-shirt. Then I went out back and hooked the hose to the soaker hose in the vegetable garden. A few of the tomato branches were going crazy so I got the Velcro tape out of the shed and hooked them to the trellis. I have some nice looking green tomatoes. Now if the damn skunks let them ripen I should be good!

I ate some more of the sugar snap peas as a snack and then moved on to the blackberries. They are just about done for the year, between the birds, me and the heat.

The garden at the back of the house and the herb gardens are doing great (because I can easily reach them with the hose)

I went in the house and set the timer for an hour. I entered my debit card receipt from Kroger and then thought I'd check my bank account. Oh shit! I have transferred $405.11 from my checking to my credit card (to pay off the balance and avoid interest) but I had inadvertently done it twice!! I was panicking!!!  So, I called up my bank. After a 24 minute wait, I finally got to talk to a person. A very nice young lady, who reversed one of the payments.  However, she said it might take two-four days and I still might get an overdraft fee. Sigh...

Then I took a well-deserved nap (this getting up at 3:00 a.m. was killing me!)

I woke up two hours later, so the vegetable garden was well-watered, LOL! I rewound the hose and came inside.

It was still pretty cool, so I baked some bacon for my lunch. I made a nice BLT and ate it with some Better Made BBQ chips.

Then I went out in the garage and started rearranging stuff so I could get to my table saw.

The hardest thing to move was the drying rack I made for Vicky's cupboard doors.It's made out of 2x4's and screwed to two saw horses. So, I'd lift and pull one end until the other saw horse started to tip.  Then I'd lift that end and straighten the legs out. Each attempt only got me about eight inches, but I eventually got it where I wanted it.

I moved other things as well (and a lot easier). Finally, I pulled the truck back inside. Perfect!

Flushed with success (or maybe the heat in the garage), I quit for the night after bringing in my new (old) kitchen light.

I had planned on rewiring it, but decided I would do it some other time.

I made another BLT and ate that while watching some DIY shows. Then I went to bed.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Linda Ronstadt - Willin' - Live 1976

This was one of my favorites. I had a HUGE crush on her back in the day, Happy 70th birthday

BTW, when I played this on my guitar, I changed "driving the back roads" to "running the back roads" and oh, yeah, if you're that young, "whites" were speed. Forgive my generation...

Finally Friday

It was actually quite nice on Friday morning, partly Cloudy, cooler and with a nice breeze.

So, my morning walk was quite pleasant.

I went to Time Out at lunch for their fish and chips. I was disappointed! They must have changed their fish monger or something. The fish was almost chewy (before it used to melt in your mouth). Yuck!

I met up with Vicky at Costco. She wanted to buy some supplies for Yanessa's party next weekend, but she's not a member. So, I got her in and then pushed the cart while she bought incredible amounts of "things" (three cases of water, napkins, cups, tons of small candy to fill the pinata, etc.). Then she went to Building 50 and I headed back to work.

The walk outside in the afternoon ws a little warmer, but still nice.

Finally, I was home for the weekend!

Today was a payday, so I spent some time on the computer, paying bills, doing my grocery list and my ToDo list.

I made a salad with hard boiled eggs for my dinner.

I watched taped TV until 10:00 p.m. and then went to bed

Friday, July 15, 2016


It was warm again on Thursday. We had a brief shower overnight, but just a splash in the rain gauge, not enough to measure.

The techs in the back save their soda bottles and cans (and techs drink a LOT of soda) and every now and then, they cash them in and have a pizza party. This time they decided to try something different. So, they ordered a huge party sub from Subway, chips and, of course, soda.

So, I didn't go out to lunch.

The Subway folks had the basic meats, cheese and lettuce in the bun, with black olives, onions, banana peppers and so on in individual cups, along with mustard and mayo so you could customize your sandwich. Nice touch!

The sandwich  was excellent, but way too big and way too filling.

When I got home, Jake called and we talked for a bit, mostly about security concerns (what else), LOL! Then I hard-boiled some eggs. While they cooled, I got to my main task for the night: Finding my revised bike title.

If you remember, I went through nine kinds of hell to get my title amended to reflect the correct model year of the bike. The first one I got had a typo and said the bike was a 1983. So, after many visits to the Secretary of State (SOS) office and having the police over to verify the VIN number, etc., they finally sent my the correct title.

Well, the Credit Union just sent me a copy of the title with the lien released. But, it was the 1983 model year one!!! I just assumed the SOS would have sent them the corrected title.

I figured I'd take in both to the Credit Union and have them release the lien on the correct one.

But, when I went into the fire safe where I keep titles and such, IT  WASN'T THERE!

So, now I'm tearing the house apart, trying to figure out where I put it.

It was about 7:30 p.m. and I was still at it when B___ called. We haven't talked in a while and we both had stories to tell. We hung up about an hour later.

By then I was not interested in making dinner. So, I just ate a couple hard boiled eggs with horseradish and called it good.

I replaced the batteries in the TV remote (I tried to watch Netflix the other day and couldn't change the HDMI). I checked it and it worked. But, I decided it was too late to get interested in a movie so I went to bed, instead.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hump Day

It was another blah, blah, blah day here on Wednesday.

Sidebar: I keep trying to tell myself I am going to miss this weather in December, but I doubt it. I'm German and we are cold blooded bastards...

I went to AppleBee's for lunch. I got their French onion soup and a half sandwich. Then I went to Lowe's and got a new utility knife (I couldn't find my old one for the drywall project).

I was sleepy during the hot afternoon.

Back at home, I did the Wednesday wash. Then I took the rest of the night off. I was tired...

I made a salad for my dinner. I used the leftover almond chicken (after scraping off the breading) as the protein. I made an oil and vinegar dressing. It tasted good.

I watched a little TV and then went to bed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Good idea!

or any other motorcycles, please...

Tuesday's Tale

The one thing I didn't do on Monday night was to get the trash ready for pickup. So, instead of filling in the blog like I should have, I was going through the fridge looking for expired stuff.

I got dressed for work and took the trash out to the road. I had to laugh. I could see the boxes out there all night, so I figured the trash pickers never showed. However, when I got close up, I saw they had left the fan blades and lights, but took both fan motors!

It was another muggy day, with a high of 92 degrees here.

I went to Newburgh Grill for lunch. To celebrate their reopening, I ordered a chili dog and onion rings. I again chatted with both waitresses at different times and they said they had great vacations. Good for them, they work hard!

Lunch was great, but I burped for the rest of the afternoon.

When I got home, I took in the trashcan and the mail and then changed clothes. I went out back and watered the flower and herb gardens with the hose. There was a "chance" of scattered showers tonight, but I no longer trust these chances.

Sidebar: the gardens next to the house in back look great. It's the ones up front that have suffered this year.

I hooked the hose to the soaker hose in the vegetable garden and set the kitchen timer for an hour.

Sidebar: My neighbors were splashing around in their pool. I was hot, sweaty and jealous.

Then I took the watering can and watered all the container gardens, the mailbox garden and any plant that looked pitiful (and there was a lot of them) up front. This time I mixed Miracle Gro in the water.

I finished up around 7:30 p.m.

I had bought a smaller size DiGiorno pizza. Not exactly a personal pizza, but more like a four piece pizza (first time I ever saw one). Anyway, this one was thin crust with just pepperoni and green peppers. I baked it up and cut it up. I ended up eating the whole thing! It was pretty good.

A rain shower blew in a little after 8:00 p.m. But when I checked the gauge Wednesday morning, I got less than 1/4 inch of rain here.

I went to bed just after a rerun of NCIS was over at 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Taking a break by going to work...

It was hot and muggy again on Monday. But, I walked outside both times. I was using my cane. I guess I overdid it on the weekend.

Since these restaurant vacations were now over, I celebrated by going to Ten Yen. The place was packed, so I guess I was not the only one who missed going there. I got the Almond Chicken and it tasted great! I chatted with both waitresses about their vacations. I ate as much as I could and took the rest with me in a takeout box.

I had planned on working in the garage, but it was hot and I was tired. So, after I took the two fan boxes out to the road, I stayed in the air conditioning and watched the news.

I made a big salad for my dinner. I put in a sliced hard boiled egg and some shredded cheese for protein. I used the last of the Thousand Island dressing and threw the bottle in the trash.

The salad was pretty good.

I watched some TV but was asleep by 9:00 p.m.

Science Lesson

Monday, July 11, 2016


I woke up at dawn. I threw on my shorts and t-shirt and went outside. I dragged the hose out front, hooked up the oscillating sprinkler and watered the front grass and gardens for an hour.

I came back inside, ate some soft boiled eggs and took my pills. I watched the news for a while and then did my usual Sunday morning chores. Then I shaved, showered, dressed in my town clothes and left for errands.

First stop was Home Depot. I got some screws, washers and lock washers for the fan project and some 2x2 drywall sheets, mud and tape for my garage project.

Then I went to Kroger's and did the grocery shopping for the week. Main thing on my list was the damn cat treats!

Back at home, it was already heating up and it was only 10:30 a.m.  I left the truck outside with the windows cracked. I put my shorts and t-shirt back on and went to work in the garage.

Sidebar: Having the small window that opens is a blessing when its hot. I had the garage door open and there was at least a breeze blowing through.

I had bought a saw specifically made to cut into drywall. But it's made to cut out holes for, like, an electrical box. Sawing out a big chunk of drywall was way to much work! So, I got the Skill saw, set it for 1/2" depth and cut the hole that way.

Needless to say, between the plaster dust and the sweat on my body, by the time I finished I looked like the abominable snowman!

I broke up the drywall into small chunks that fit into a garbage bag and swept up the dust. It was after noon by then, so I went inside and took another shower. Then I got dressed in my trash pants and a wife-beater shirt. I called Vicky and asked if she was home.  She said yes, so I headed out.

When I got there, she and her brother Luis where trying to find studs to put up a shelf in the laundry room.

I checked the wires going to the lights and they were dead. It occurred to me last night that since the fan worked, but not the lights, the white wire must have come out of the wire nut.

It also occurred to me that that mysterious wire (looked like picture-hanging wire) that was wrapped around one of the unused holes served a purpose. I'm guessing he tied it to the fixture so he could connect the electrical wires!

Sidebar: The way we did it yesterday was Vicky stood on the two bar stools, holding it up over her head while I wired it. Not cool!

I went and broke the bad news that we had to take it down. So, they both quit. I told Lu that Vicky and I could get it and she said, "No, you are NOT climbing that ladder today. You scared me yesterday and I thought you might fall." I said, "How the hell do you think that fan came down at my house?" She said, "I don't care. You hand us stuff when we need it, but no ladder today!"

Sidebar: Puerto Rican women can be very bossy. But then they bring you lemonade and sit and chat with you under the cabana. So, I don't take it personal...

They took off the fan blades and then got the motor down. I had them wire in two longer wires first to the short ones in the ceiling. We checked and they were both live. I put the picture wire back on the fan and had them wire it to the fixture Then Lu wired the fan and lights in. They attached the fan to the fixture and turned it on. The fan work, but not the lights!

I said that white wire must be broken or something, because it worked fine at my house. So, they tried taking off the next section, There were a lot of wires in there, but none looked broken or loose. They put it back together  and then the damn fan didn't work!!!

We all took a short break to cool off and think.

We were sitting there with now two unusable fans, no light in the living room and her Mother is due home on Thursday. So, in the end, she and I ran up to the Home Depot in Dearborn and she bought another fan. It wasn't as big as mine, nor as elaborate as their old broken one, but it was only $59.00.

We drove it back. It was amazing how far they've come! Mine is at least 12 years old and their old was was even older.

But, this one had a hook on the ceiling fixture to hang the motor on while you wired it.and the light kit just plugged into the fan wires! I called out the assembly instructions. They worked on that while I screwed together the fan blades to the brackets. We had it up and operating in about a half hour!

Since they are cleaning up for Evy's return, I volunteered  to take the two fans and the new fan's box home and put it out with my trash.

Just then, her Uncle Jose and his wife showed up. Five minutes later, Yanessa's grandparents brought her home from up North. Yanessa's grandmother, Crisi, gave me a big hug, even though I warned her I was sweaty.

Sidebar: It was nice to see them all again, especially Yanessa, who told me all about her vacation. But I was dressed like a bum and my deodorant was long gone! I had hoped to be gone before they showed up.

But we visited for a while, and the guys helped me load my tools, the step ladder and the junk in my truck. I made my goodbyes and headed home.

It was about 6:00 p.m. when I got there. I had planned on getting back to work in the garage, but I was beat.  So, I just took my third shower of the day. I made some dinner and ate watching the TV. But, I turned it off around 8:30 p.m. and went to bed.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


I woke up a little late on Saturday. Which was okay, because I needed the morning light. So, while I waited for the dawn, I ate some toast, took my pills and had a cup of coffee.

As soon as it was light outside, I set up my painting station and worked on the other side of the fan blades. I got three coats on and they look as good as they are going to get.

Back inside, I did a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher.  Then I started assembling my tools. I loaded everything  into the step stool.

Sidebar: I had my electrical tester in my hand (I used it taking down the fan and left it on the table). But, I thought , why would I need this? So, I set it back down.

Then I shaved, showered and got dressed in my crappy work clothes. I put the step stool and the step ladder in the back of the truck. I put the fan components in three boxes and loaded them in the cab.

I headed out around 1:30 p.m. I made one planned stop at KFC. I bought a bucket of chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, biscuits and a half gallon of lemonade. Then I headed down I-96 to Vicky's house.

Sidebar #1: She's been sprucing the house up for her Mother's return, BTW. She got a used dryer from Courtney and I assumed she would have some of her family there installing it. That's why I bought the food.

Sidebar #2: She had told me that the ceiling fan in the living room had quit working. Since they have no air conditioning, that was a real problem. I told her I had the one in the kitchen I no longer wanted and she could have it.  I asked her at the time what color the old fan blades were and she said white.

I was about halfway there when the low fuel light went on. Dammit! So, I got off the freeway and searched a bit for a gas station. I finally found one and filled up my tank.

Unfortunately, I was relying on my phone rather than my recollection and, for some reason, it took me into Cork Town, then down Vernor to Mexican Town. Which wouldn't have been a problem, except they are resurfacing Vernor. So, there were barrels, hot tar and big trucks everywhere. I couldn't even turn onto her street so I had to make a loop and get there another way. But, I got there and parked.

Sure enough, her Dad and two brothers were there. So, I gave them the food, telling them I knew she wouldn't feed them! They laughed.

While they ate, I got to work. Her brother's had gotten the lights off the old fan, but couldn't figure out how to get the motor off. But, been there, done that, so I got it down. I took off the bracket and started to assemble my bracket.

Sidebar #1: It's a 10-foot ceiling, so the step stool was useless. Her brothers had used two bar stools to stand on, so I was glad I brought the step ladder.

Sidebar #2: The old fan blades were almond, not white!

I got the bracket reassembled and then tried to install it. But the electrical box there was much tighter into the plaster and one of the screw hit it. I ws going to just gouge out the plaster, but her brother asked if he could help. He worked on it for a long time while I sat and sweated (it wasn't that hot outside, but the house was an oven).

He finally got it and I took over. Now the hardest part is trying to get the wire nuts back on. So, Vicky climbed up on the stools and held the fan motor while I tried to wire it in. The problem is that the house wires were only about one-inch long! So, it took a while. But, we finally got it! I put in the two screws that hold it to the bracket to keep it in place and we both collapsed on the couch, sweating.

But there was a problem. One of the screws was too long! I had it in about a half inch and it stopped. So, I got a smaller one and tried to replace it. But that one wouldn't go all the way in. WTF?

So, her brother tried and it wouldn't work for him either! He had to leave for work and her other brother and father left, so it was up to me and Vicky.

We tried and tried. But, no dice. Something was stopping the new screw. Then we tried putting a light bulb in a socket and turning it on. The damn light didn't work! The fan motor worked, just not the lights.

Sidebar: If I had taken the electrical tester, I could have diagnosed it, dammit!

We put on four of the five fan blades. I was embarrassed because by that time, my right arm was shaking so badly I kept dropping the screws. Finally, Vicky said, "John, your hand is shaking too much. Give me the drill and you hold the blades, please." So, that's how we did it.

Sidebar: We left one off, so there was room to work on the screw that wouldn't go it.

We decided that the only solution at that point was for me to get the tester and another screw and come back on Sunday.

So, we went out back and sat outside in the shade. I drank a tall glass of lemonade while we sat in a nice breeze and talked. It felt good to get out of that hot house!

Finally, I said I should get going. I left my tools and the stepladder. She asked me if I wanted to take the rest of the food home (they left me a piece of chicken). They also left all of the mashed potatoes, gravy and coleslaw. All they ate was the chicken and the biscuits.

My bad! I forgot my target audience. Puerto Ricans are not big on potatoes or coleslaw. If I'd brought rice it would have been all gone!

I went the old familiar way back home.

But, then I remembered that I used the last of the cat treats! So, I went to that little grocery store on Joy and Beech Daly. But, they didn't have any! So, I bought a little can of Whiskers (or something like that) seafood delight cat food.

When I got home it was around 6:00 p.m. I opened the can of cat food and damn near threw up. It smelled awful! But Caley seems to like it.

I took a rinse-off shower and changed into shorts and a t-shirt. I went out and hooked the hose to the soaker hose in the vegetable garden and watered it for an hour.

I warmed up the chicken and some of the potatoes and gravy. That and the coleslaw made a nice dinner.

I threw the rest of the uneaten cat food in the trash and took the bag out to the trash can. I had to get rid of that smell!

I didn't see anything interesting on live TV, so I watched a couple of taped DIY shows.But I went to bed before 9:00 p.m. I was beat!

Friday Follies

It was yet another hot, muggy day. You are probably getting tired of reading that. Imagine living through it!

I walked outside in the morning.

I went to lunch at Red Robin and got their Bleu Ribbon burger. It's pricey, but delicious. I would have swapped the fries for onion rings, but the Red Robin breading hurts my mouth when I chew them. Sorry, Jake.

Sidebar: I am really jonesing on onion ring recently, for some reason. I have yet to Try Time Out's but, so far, the Newburgh Grill is the clear winner!

I walked inside in the afternoon.

I left work at 5:00 p.m. but didn't go home. I went to Bar Louie in the Laurel Park Mall. We are saying goodbye to Matt, a great employee and a good friend.

Sidebar: I'm not sure why this hits me so hard, but I think it was the camaraderie. After Jake left, Vicky was the Help Desk lead and they brought Matt in to help. So, it was me, Michelle, Vicky, Matt and Fred for a long, long time.

Matt eventually went over to the LAN/WAN team (as did Victoria, for a while) in Building 4, but he still stopped in a couple times a day to refill his water bottle from Jake's Absopure water dispenser.

Sidebar: That's another whole story. Jake took it with him when we moved out of Building 50. They finally replaced it this year with a newer model that you don't have to take the top off the jugs. So, no more spilled water (which was a continual delight when somebody changed the large jugs).

Anyway, we finally all ended up at Bar Louie. Well, some of us. Gone are the days when the whole department gathered at Snooker's after work. Nowadays we seem to gravitate to Buddy's pizza for lunch, instead, when somebody leaves.

When I got there, it was just Matt and Don Swain (a PM), Fred, my boss, Lenore, and, surprise, surprise, an ex-employee, Lafel. They were all perusing the craft beers and ended up drinking weird-ass shit (hard apple cider this and blueberry that). I ordered a Hienekin from an exceptionally lovely waitress.

It was hot as hell in the bar, BTW. They have a outside patio, much like Time Out. But, instead of having the waitresses walk through a door, they have HUGE glass garage doors they open wide. So, the only place that was cool was the restroom, which I visited often (whether I needed to or not).

Other people trickled in: Robin, the manager of the PMs, Sean, the new LAN/WAN guy and finally Don Christie.

I got a call from Victoria that I missed (it was noisy). She was lost, but she texted Lenore who gave her directions. So, when she showed up, I moved down a seat so she could sit next to Lenore.

I had another Hienekin that I nursed. Vicky ordered some appetizers, chicken wings and a tortilla chips dipping platter, both of which I passed on.

Sidebar: It was then I realized the poor kid is on her own. Her mom is in Puerto Rico and Yanessa is up with her father's family in Traverse City. So, dinner has to be a lonely thing. I understand that...

Lenore and Fred had left (they have long drives) so I made my own goodbyes and headed home.

I got there around 7:00 p.m. I treated the cat and quickly changed clothes. The sky looked ominous.

I got my painting station set up outside and began to spray the last coat on the one side of the fan blades.

That's when I heard the thunder. Just then the Township sirens went off. My neighbor, who was sitting on his deck, said, "You better hurry up!" So, I did. I put everything back in the shed when I finished. It was raining as I went back into the house.

My NOAA (I think I have that right) weather radio was going crazy. There was a fast moving thunderstorm heading in my direction! So, I sent a text to Vicky, asking if they were still there. She said yes, so I told her to tell anyone there to stay there for a bit because of the thunderstorm. She said they could here the thunder in the bar!

It did rain for a bit, but just a bit. I went out and checked the gauge when it cleared up and there was only a splash of rain in it.

I made a blue box of macaroni and cheese (mostly to use up the milk that is expiring) and ate some of that watching an apparently forgettable show on TV. Then I went to bed.

Friday, July 8, 2016

5:30 Friday Morning Rain Update

I was watching the morning news and the east side of Detroit got hit with 3+ inches of rain last night. Freeways were flooded and shut down (I-94 sucks like that).

Intrigued, I put on my Crocs and checked the rain gauge. We only got just over 1/2 inch of rain here in Redford.

Now, I didn't want flooding, but was really hoping to catch up a little on this 3+ inch drought deficit.


It was yet another hot, muggy day on Thursday. Oh, and its official! Southeast Michigan is now listed as being in a moderate drought.

I went to Applebee's for lunch. It was too hot for soup, so I got the three cheese chicken cappatavi with a Caesar side salad (first time). I wasn't impressed with their Caesar salad. Their lettuce pieces were way too big and the dressing, while nice and creamy, didn't have nearly enough garlic in it.

Speaking of salads, from the restaurant I went to Randazzo's and got more lettuce, two regular cucumbers and three vine ripen tomatoes so I could make more at home for dinners. It's too damn hot to cook.

We had no pop-up showers in the afternoon, although I heard on the news that New Baltimore did. That's nice. At least my Mother's old gardens got a drink.

Back home, after I changed I went out to the garage and checked on the fan blades. They still felt too sticky to paint. So, I sanded them using the orbital sander and 100 grit sandpaper.

They are so thin I had to come up with a new method of sanding. I got a 1x10 pine board longer than they are, laid one on it and held it down at one end with my Croc. I switched ends when I was finished and finally flipped it over and repeated.

At first, I was just doing it on the garage apron, bending over. But that was uncomfortable. So, I sat on the porch bench and did it there. I switched out the sandpaper after each blade as it was clogging up fast. I could have used 60 grit, I suppose, but they are so thin I didn't want to take off any wood.

When I finished, I took the blower and cleaned off the porch and garage apron. I wiped the blades off with an old t-shirt and took them out back.

I got the sawhorses and that scrap piece of plywood I painted the planter on out of the shed. I laid all the blades on the plywood and started spaying them white (they were black). I got two coats on the first side when I felt some rain drops. Praise the Lord!!!

So, I picked up the plywood and carried it into the shed. I set it on the wheelbarrow to let them dry. I put away the sawhorses and locked the shed.

As I was going into the house, I heard a big splash. It was my neighbor, diving into his pool. Hah! I think at this time I'm as wet as he is!!! It was 92 degrees here.

Back inside, I took a quick, rinse-off shower and changed clothes (mine were literally dripping).

It was already 8:30 p.m., so I just warmed up the rest of the kielbasa and sauerkraut and ate that as a late dinner. I turned on Spartan (a reality team challenge show I like) but I fell asleep before I learned which team won.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hump Day

I took the trash out to the road on Wednesday (4th of July bumped up my pickup day) and then went to work. It was 70+ degrees and muggy already.

I walked outside at 10:00 a.m. but I didn't like it!

Sidebar: I'm more of a Spring and Fall kinda guy. While I don't like it too cold, I hate it when its too hot!

With all my little restaurants closed for vacation, I went to Ruby Tuesday. I got my usual: the buffalo chicken sandwich and fries, with a side of extra blue cheese dressing. I skip the tomato and pickle and just get the cheese and lettuce.

It comes with three huge chicken tenders, which makes the bun unwieldy. So, I take one off at the beginning and eat it with the side sauce.

I switched up from my usual water to lemonade. It seemed like a summer-time drink.

Sidebar: My favorite lemonade was the one my sister-in-law Jean made when I was a kid. It was fresh-squeezed, with slices of lemon floating in it. It was fantastic and I have never tasted any better in my life!

It was too damn hot to walk outside in the afternoon so I walked around inside the building, much to the amusement of my co-workers. But, most of them were here when I had my rolling walker and that damn brace, so they understand why I have to do it.

When I got home, I dragged in the trash can and got the mail. Then I changed clothes after treating the cat.

I went out to the garage and got the right screwdriver. Then I got the fan down!

I rigged up a temporary light until I can rewire the new light fixture.

I peeled my last four russet potatoes and cut them in cubes. I popped them into my Dutch oven and topped them with a bag of sauerkraut. Then I sliced a ring of kielbasa on the diagonal and put them on top the sauerkraut. I brought it to a boil and then turned it to low.

I went and watched the end of the news. I checked the potatoes and, when they were tender, I dished up a big plate of food. I ate the sausage with Dijon mustard and the potatoes with butter and had and excellent meal.

I watched a taped show from PBS about the early Greeks and then went to bed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

And then it was back to work...

It felt muggy when I left for work.

It felt even worse when I walked at 10:00 a.m.

I went to Big Boy's for lunch and had a cup of the broccoli and ham soup and the Caesar side salad. Then I walked across the parking lot to the Ace Hardware and bought some spray paint.

It was 80 degrees + when I walked at 3:00 p.m.

There is a slight chance of rain on Wednesday, but I had to water everything again when I got home. I finished around 7:00 p.m. with an aching back.

I warmed up the rest of the steak and eggplant for dinner.

I watched "Stagecoach," a 1939 movie directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne in his first important role. It's not only a good story, but it was shot on location in Monument Valley and I was there in my Western wanderings.

Then I went to bed.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th Weekend, Day 3

I woke up on Monday to the alarm on my phone. I forgot to turn it off.

I just ate a piece of toast with my morning pills. I had a cup of coffee watching the news. It was nice and cool outside, so I opened most of the windows to air out the house. I had to close them all around 11:00 a.m. when the air conditioner kicked on.

I watered the container gardens that needed it. I got the step ladder out of the garage and started to take down the ceiling fan. I had the light base off and was disconnecting it when I realized I didn't need to.

Sidebar: I googled "how to take down a ceiling fan" and got generic instructions, but I have no real clue what I am doing.

So, I put that back together and proceeded to take off the fan blades. This fan was here when I first moved in, so the blades were coated with grease, dust and hair. I got a bucket of hot water and Pine-Sol and went out back. I washed each blade with a brush first, then a sponge. I set them on the patio to dry.

Back inside, I needed a flat head screw driver (up to this point they were all Phillips head screws). But I was tired of going up and down that ladder, so I quit for the night.

I took out a t-bone steak to come up to room temperature. Then I fired up the charcoal chimney starter. I got out a large eggplant and set it on the counter. I wanted to grill something besides sweet corn (although I love it!)

I used a small bowl to mix together three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, two tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme that I crushed.

I cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and brushed them with the oil mixture. I cleaned the grill and oiled it. Then I put the eggplant on. I turned them to get some grill marks and kept applying the oil with a brush. When I figured they were done, I took them inside and stuck them in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

Then I grilled my steak, along with some green onions. I took the steak inside to rest and put the green onions in the oven. I put a dab of butter on the steak and covered it with aluminum foil. I took some pictures for you before I plated.

I ate about half the steak, two pieces of eggplant and all three green onions. It was a delicious Fourth of July dinner!

In the spirit of the day, I turned on the Macy's 4th of July show at 8:00 p.m. I was curious if their fireworks were as impressive as Detroit's.

Sidebar: A lot of places around here banned fireworks this year because its so dry. I don't know if Redford was one of the, but people have been shooting them off all around me all weekend.

The show ended at 10:00 p.m. I think the New York fireworks lasted longer than Detroit's, but ours were more impressive.

I turned off the TV and tried to fall asleep (I was sleepy enough). But the damn mortars kept me up until after midnight!

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4th Weekend, Day Two

I woke up on Sunday at 6:00 a.m. I was hungry, so I made some over-easy eggs, two strips of bacon and some tater tots in the oven in my jelly roll pan.

I ate it watching the news. When it warmed up outside, I hooked the hose up to the soaker hose and watered the veggie garden for an hour.

Then I got my gloves and a rake. I pulled all the vegetation I had cut down in the back garden out onto the lawn (so it could dry out even more).

I talked with my neighbor and his wife for a while. If you remember, he gave my two cucumber plants after the ones I bought died. Turns out his then died (mine are doing great). They always grow a ton of butternut squash, while I grow yellow crookneck. So, we made a pack. I'm gonna trade excess cukes for butternut squash.

Back inside, I did another load of laundry while I vacuumed and swept the house.

Then I took another nap (I love weekend naps). I'd do it during the week, but I think my boss would frown on that.

When I woke up, I went back outside. I got my gloves and, this time, a pitchfork.

Sidebar: This was not the long-handle, four-tined fork I put through my leg when I was a little kid and I've hauled around with me ever since. This is a short-handle five-tined one.

I scooped up all the vegetation and put it on the compost heap.

Back inside, it was getting late. I made another ham salad sandwich, but it didn't taste as good. The mayo got watery sitting overnight.

I watched some taped shows, but I switched to reading in the living room until I got sleepy. Then I went to bed.

July 4th weekend, Day One

I had went to sleep on Friday night without turning the oven on to "Self Clean." I try to do that overnight in the summer months.

Note: the oven's not that bad, but its getting there.

So, when I woke up early on Saturday, I fired it up. I turned on the vent fan and opened the kitchen window. It was only in the mid-50's at that point.

I went back to bed and dozed until it was 6:00 a.m. and the news came on. By the time I took my shower at 8:00 a.m., the A/C had kicked on. Should have turned it on at 11:00 p.m. like I planned.

First stop was getting my haircut. Then I drove up to Farmington and my eye doctor. This is the six month visit where he's going to decide if I need cataract surgery.

He did the drops and I sat in the waiting room until they worked. After the exam, he said the left eye was a little worse, but the right eye was almost the same.

He suggest that I wait for my normal February appointment, unless I notice any blind spots in my vision or the glare of lights when night-driving gets worse. Then I should just come in.

Fortunately, it was overcast, but I still had to use sunglasses on the ride home.

I skipped going grocery shopping and just went home. Well, I did run the truck through the touch free car wash. So, I left it outside while I went inside. I treated Caley and got a towel to dry it off.

It did rain on Thursday, if you remember. So, it had splashes on the sides, etc. I was going to wash it Friday at lunch, but we ended up getting Miss Victoria's truck washed instead.

I made a small salad for my lunch. I had a headache so I went and took a nap.

When I got up, I stripped the bed and started on the weekend wash.

I watched some DIY shows until it was time to make dinner. I had thawed out a package of small-diced ham. So, I added some diced onion, some Wickles pickles, a hard boiled egg, diced fine and then some mayo, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. I toasted some bread and made a great ham salad sandwich.

I took out the light bulbs and then removed the glass shades from the kitchen fan. I left them soak in soapy water overnight.

Sidebar: If you remember, I bought a 1950's light fixture in an antique store. It was my plan to move the electrical box from the middle of the room to over the middle of the table. I also wanted to put in some can lighting over the counters.

But, that hasn't happened. Until it does, I'm going to make it a swag light. I bought a kit to rewire it, add on a longer chain, etc.

I went to bed around 10:00 p.m. after remaking the bed.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Quote of the Day

"You have to risk it to get the biscuit!"

~ Texas Flip and Move

Friday Follies

It was raining when I woke up!!! It only lasted about a couple of hours, but still...

So, I drove to work with the wipers on. it was noticeably cooler, too.

It had all stopped by the time I walked outside at 10:00 a.m.

Vicky asked if I wanted to go to Time Out for lunch. I told her that would be great, but they are closed for two weeks (employee vacation).

Sidebar: All the local little restaurants are closing for vacation (Newburgh Grill, Ten Yen, etc.)

So, we were talking about this and that and she mentioned her aunt told her she had a like-new riding mower Vicky could have. Evy's house is on a double lot and it's a lot of lawn for a push mower.

She said its nice to have the truck and, if she has to move, say, a dryer, she can get her brothers or uncles to help load it. But, there's no way they could pick up a riding mower.

I said I had the same problem. I need my neighbor to help me load things. I said I wished I had a ramp, but the only ones I've seen are the ladder-kind for driving up motorcycles or ATV's.

So, we decided to skip eating at a restaurant and go ramp hunting! I suggested Harbor Freight, because I knew they'd be cheaper than a trailer hitch store. And, I bought my trailer there and kinda remembered there were ramps next to it.

We took her truck (she wanted to get it washed) and then headed to Harbor Freight. Sure enough, they had several kinds, but they did have the type I wanted!

They are aluminum, so they are bulky, but not that heavy. They can hold up to 1200 pounds so that should do for anything I need. and best of all, they only cost $149.00!

We stopped at Culver's on the way back to work. Don C. at work raves about the place (something about buttered burgers) and had given Vicky a coupon. I skipped the buttered burger thing and got an Atlantic cod sandwich.

We ate back at work. Vicky said the hamburger was just so-so. My fish sandwich was an actual filet and was pretty good. We both agreed the French fries were great.

It was dead in the afternoon. It seemed like half the company had taken the day off. So, just before 4:00 p.m., my boss got back from Building 50 and told us all to go home. Yes!!!

I went in the back and reminded Victoria to take the ramps out of her truck when she got home so nobody would steal them. They are in a flat box and I thought she might forget them.

Back home, I went out back and finished clearing the weeds in the back garden. I checked the gauge and we got a much needed 1/2 inch of rain this morning!!!

I gave her an hour and then sent her a text, asking if she got the ramps out, She sent me back one word, "Yup!" She's going to borrow them to move stuff and bring them back to work when she's done.

My daughter Melissa called and we talk a long time. Then her aunt Carol called her and she conferenced her in and we all talked for an even longer time.

By the time we finally hung up, it was way too late to make dinner, so I ate a peanut butter sandwich and went to bed.

Friday, July 1, 2016


Thursday was warmer, but with no rain yet again. BTW, this is the 10th driest June on record for Michigan.

I went to Big Boy for lunch and then decided I really didn't want lunch. So, I ordered breakfast. I had two eggs over easy, sausage links and hash browns with rye toast. It was delicious!

Back home after work, I changed clothes and hooked the hose up to the soaker hose. Then I started hand watering the container gardens, the mailbox garden and any perennial that looked limp and sad (which was a lot of them).

Sidebar: There is a "slight" chance of rain on Friday morning, but I have been fooled by that forecast too many times this month!

Back inside, I talked to my friend B___. We chatted until it was time to turn the water off.

I cooked two hot dogs in the microwave while some Bush's Grillin' beans heated up on the stove.

Sidebar: I was going to grill them outside but it was too late and too hot.

I watched some taped TV before going to bed.