Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Eve

We had the day off from work today but don't you know someone died and needed to be buried. Called Lou in and we dug the grave, this morning. Burial is probably Monday. We are staying in this evening. Which I feel is a very smart choice. For years we went out and absolutely did not enjoy ourselves. This is a smart choice for the following reasons: You pay twice the cost for food than you usually pay; The cost of a drink is so high that it makes you think about "giving up drinking for the new year"; The food is usually not well cooked because the kitchen is jammed; There is usually twice as many people in the restaurant than regular; The waitresses are all cranky because they are working super hard and the tips' per person, are not as good as usual for the previous 3 reasons; your scared to death that you will get caught at a roadblock and lose your license for life so you aren't drinking anything. All of this adds up to a not very fun, new years eve. We plan on "snacking ourselves to death" and playing a board game. That means we will probably be up until at least 10pm. Someone will wake up for New Years Eve in New York and then we will all go back to sleep. We will all be happy and about $100/head cheaper.

Now is the time I dread every year. NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!
  • {1} lose weight [this one is probably on everyone's list]. I tried to lose weight last year but failed after 7 pounds.
  • {2} Get in shape [this one is on everyone's list]. I tried to do this last year but about March would be a better time. I went to the Y but was unable to get checked out and get time to use a machine because "everyone" was there. By March they have lost interest and there is space available.
  • {3} Be nicer to my wife and kids [this one is on every guys list]. I started being nicer about 2 months ago and have had some limited success. My wife said she noticed something was 'up' when I took up Pie Baking a couple of months ago. Tried to buy her a mixer for Christmas but that was quickly nixed by her. Instead we bought it as a family present because we can all use it. I'm still out $350 and still had to buy her a real present. You'd think I knew better than that. I was going to bake a pie for New Years but right now my wife has the kitchen under her control making breads with 'our' new mixer.
  • {4} Take up painting to relax [this one is on 50% of the lists but with other things than painting]. The painting thing was a result of an off hand remark by me and my daughter picked up on it for Christmas. Bought me all of the supplies you would ever want to have, to do water colors. Everything but the lessons, so I am out shopping for lessons right now. Bet that costs me more than $350. I shall proudly display my attempts on this Blog. You would think that I would know better at age 61. Reminds me of a story about dog tricks and old people, or something like that.
  • {5} Finish up my 'Honey-do' list by the end of January [this one is probably only on my list worldwide]. Before we moved into this house, 9 years ago, I remodeled it as a contractor. Our daughter and grandson moved in about 1 year later and I still needed to get all of the lead based trim out. I did that by removing the old woodwork and replacing with new boards. Problem is I didn't get them all replaced. I have been working at it for 8 years. There is probably about two days worth of boards, sheetrock repair and paint. She has put up with the upstairs being unfinished for 8 years so now I think it is time to finish. Don't you? Another item is a rotted out drain pipe from the sink that leaked. I did a really good temporary fix on it last year and it does not leak a bit but it should be replaced. Etc., etc., Etc.

The dog ate my glasses again today. This time beyond repair. Since I said anything about it, he has also eaten another package of English Muffins, one of my Christmas presents and a banana. Took 4 days to get over the diarrhea from the apples.

To anyone that might stumble in and read this Blog "Happy New Year"

Monday, December 27, 2004

Dog gone it!

Dear ED,
Our dog, pictured below, is a Golden Doodle and has turned out to be a very large dog. He has two different running areas outside, complete with nice dog houses with foam pillows to lie on. At night he sleeps in the kitchen and he has taught us, in the few months he has resided here, to remove everything from the kitchen counters or else he will eat it. So far he has taken off the counters; my cell phone, my glasses, one or two purses, various newspapers and magazines, one loaf of rye bread and one double package of Thomas English Muffins. My cell phone he left alone, the glasses he broke the frames, the purses he perused for things to eat and the bread products he devoured. The old saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" we have certainly proven true because two nights ago he got a bag with 5 apples in it and a loaf of bread. You would think by now that we would have learned our lessons [tricks] and not left things on the counter. Don't you know that the apples weren't very good for him? Every morning I am up at 5 am, go to the Quick Stop to get a paper and coffee and then back home to watch the news, read the paper, drink my coffee, make breakfast and take my pills. This morning at 5 I noticed that the dog had diarrhea and had gone in 4 different places and walked in it. I took Randy outside to his run and got in my pickup to get my paper and coffee. I had several choices ahead of me. 1] Wake up my daughter and tell her what her dog had done in the kitchen and it was her responsibility to clean it up. 2] Wake up my wife and say "honey, you know I have a weak stomach and can't handle this". 3] Figure out how to clean it up myself. I chose #3 because I am 61 and know better. I have gotten away with 1 and 2 for a long time now and I just don't think they would fly. I got 2 plastic bags [one inside the other for leakage control], a roll of paper towels, and a dustpan. I scooped it up with the dustpan and the paper towel and deposited it in the plastic bags until all of the piles were gone and I then washed to floor with water and took everything outside to the dumpster. I found myself in the other room, leaning against the wall and gagging only once. I got out the "Swifer" and cleaned the floor again and finished up by lighting a candle to get rid of the odor. I put the dustpan away and washed my hands, project completed. For the benefit of any females out there reading this "yes, I washed the dustpan before I put it back". I wouldn't have included that last line but both my wife and daughter asked me that question. I am pretty darned proud of myself for handling this little emergency so professionally. After all, I am only 61!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Chinese boxes don't burn very good

Yesterday we went to my wife's cousin's house for dinner and had a wonderful meal. We have been doing this for 20 years and every Christmas she tries to serve something different. This years fare was Prime Rib. Every year something always happens that makes the meal a memorable event. This year the beets exploded? Something to do with the glass cover on the beets or something. I didn't pursue it because I am 61 years old and I know better. The beets were served and they were excellent. Fresh beets they were.

Enough for yesterday. It is the Day After Christmas other wise know as The Big Return Day. None of our vehicles have left the driveway today so that must mean that everyone purchased gifts for everyone else that everyone liked. I don't like The Big Return Day because everyone is always rude at the malls. I rarely go To The Big Return Day because I won't go before Christmas [unless my Wife and/or Daughter trick me] when everyone is in the Christmas Spirit, so I will be darned if I will go when everyone is rude. Yesterday I watched on the news that the stores are going back to being rude about returns. Something about, if they are rude, they can crack down on people returning things for full price when they bought it at a discount or didn't buy it at all but merely stole it. I think the solution to this problem is paying attention to the original receipt. I always thought it was a bad idea that the stores started letting people return items without a receipt. Somehow it seems to me that it merely fosters shop lifting. Maybe I am making a very complex problem way to simple to solve. Maybe not. Home Depot returns anything you give them, with or without a receipt. They don't ask any questions and just load it on the "Junk Cart" which is headed to the dumpster. You know that is directly being charged back to the cost of goods sold which raises our price. Home Depot don't do that! Send them packing if they don't have a receipt. Just don't be rude about it.

Today found me completing two things. One was getting this Blog up and running. I don't care how easy they say it is, it is always a test for me. When I went to college I took a course called "Introduction to Computers" for 1 credit that was required. We had a one hour lecture and a lab course that revolved around a IBM punch card computer. Need I say more. I try real hard and this is my 3 rd web site I have up but it is still a struggle everything. I had a terrible time getting the picture up and the first time I published everything disappeared somewhere. To that big computer in the sky? I am having a real tough time with the word "Blog" let alone with the thought that I am not a "Blogger" whatever that means. I am also seeing this as publishing an email but I don't know who that might be. I am more used to sending out mail that say "Dear Gary" or "Dear Sir or Madam". I kind of like to know who is going to read my mail. This could easily be read by an Alien [re: That Big Computer in The Sky"]. I probably wouldn't write to them if I had a choice and if I did I would probably start out Dear Sir or Madam!

My other project for the day was to burn up the reminants of Christmas Past. I have a shop that is heated with a wood stove and every 'day after Christmas' I burn up all of the paper, cardboard and packing material there is. I try hard to not burn up plastic recyclable materials. I have noticed that, this year almost all of my grandson's toys came in Chinese cardboard that was all plastic coated. You can tell it is Chinese cardboard [1] it says made in China on it and [2] it is white inside. The little structural tubes that are inside the cardboard are real white while USA cardboard is brown. Most of the USA cardboard is recyclable and most of the Chinese cardboard is not because it has a plastic film on it. Brown cardboard burns good but white cardboard doesn't. I don't know for sure if this raises a question about which is a superior cardboard. I don't want to start anything about raising this question and I hope that there are no trade restictions about discussing this item. I would just like to know!

I would like to hear back from some of you out there and if you do I might be able to start my next posting with "Dear Ann or Dear Bob". Thanks for Blogging with me [whatever that might mean?]

someone with a lot to say Posted by Hello

Testing my Blog

I am doing this because my last posting[2000 words or so] was lost when I went to spell check.