Saturday, March 31, 2007

Domestic transcript

Keeping in mind we are celebrating our 30th anniversary this July...

Had we been under domestic surveillance Friday night, part of the transcript would have read as follows:

Me: (Raised voice to be heard in front room) Is it OK if I shut off the computer?
Her: Yes

Me: Do you want me to leave the laundry room light on?
Her: Yes

Me: (Figuring I'm on a roll with the affirmative answers) Do you love me?
Her: What did YOU DO!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fool us once, shame on you.

In a case of corporate-consumer kiss and make up, MoonRabbit and I are the owners of a new, Silver, 2007 Honda Odyssey LX. All is forgiven, but I wouldn't buy a 1999-2004 Honda Odyssey without a long term warranty on the tranny. We felt like we got a good trade in for the dead un, MSRP on the new, a package at a discount and an extended warranty with another discount. We normally don't go for extended warranties, but we're a bit gunshy I guess.
Oh, and they threw in the bridge!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oy! Such a headache!

No, I'm not jewish, but those words best convey how I'm feeling right now. (BTW, I DO have a literal headache)

It all started last night about 9pm, when wife unit (Moonrabbit) called from her cell phone that her car was having serious issues on an unlit country road about 5 miles from our house, and had pulled over. After brief phone triage, I went to the "rescue". Her Engine light had come on, and the car, a 2003 Honda Odyssey, was popping out of gear sporadically. I checked the manual, and checked that the gas cap was on tight. We were actually closer to the Honda dealer than home, so we dropped it off about 9:30 pm.

We have been Honda owners for over 20 years, so I was confidant that the problem was minor. Having said that, we have had more problems, though minor, with the Odyssey than any of our previous Civics and Accords. About 10:30 am I got the call from the service department. Our 2003 Odyssey, with 59,100K miles on it, needs a NEW transmission! Estimate $4600! Warrantee ran out at 50K.

I transformed into Seriousyak.

So, from about 11 until 3:30 we have been shopping, looking at a new Honda Odyssey vs Toyota Sienna. A service rep came through, and made an offer to repair for about $1000, as a good will gesture. I am inclined to go with a new vehicle, since this one seems somewhat unreliable. We were reminded several times, that if we had ONLY bought the extended warranty, it would be covered. I reminded them that if they feel I NEED an extended waranty, I'm not buying their vehicle.

The Sienna vs Odyssey is just about a tie. Honda appears to be making a very real effort to keep us as customers. We haven't made a decision yet. Keep ya posted. (pun intended)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I never would have been a contender

Iris Uber Alles is playing baseball.

She is probably as good now, as I ever was. The only consolation is that IN MY DAY there was no T ball, no softball, and to the best of my recollection, very little actual coaching. The only advice I remember was "Just let your bat meet the ball." (But of course I still closed my eyes and swung like mad at the first 3 pitches.)

Part of the problem may have been the mandatory nature of my participation. I was asked by maternal parent unit if I wanted to play baseball like my two studly brothers before me, who had clothed themselves in glory with their multi sport prowess.

I declined, and was signed up anyway. (For my own good)

My 45+ year old memories are limited, but include the following.

By observation, I realized I was the 2nd worse player in the league...until the worst one quit.

Some idiot, during a practice, decided to try me at catcher, where I took a pitch right in the forehead, knocking me out for the first time in my life. I'd like to think it wasn't the very first pitch, but I can't remember much.

Banished to right field, I was reasonably content, I lucked out and got assigned to a very good team, (The Cardinals!) which eventually went on to win the championship...without me. Because they had an extra player, when the previously mentioned worst player quit, I got sent to his team. Fate having a sense of humor, caused that team to be sponsored by the local mortuary, meaning they of course had black and white uniforms. They were perennially the worst team with the worst morale.

So who did we play my first game? Remember fates sense of humor? My old team naturally. Did the "coach" tell my old teammates ahead of time? No way! So I had to keep explaining why I was wearing the "wrong" uniform. My only fond memory of this time was that most of my old teammates were righteously indignant for me.

I played a couple of games before I decided that my brothers had used up all the sports glory for our family. (but I was wrong) Without even consulting parental unit, I called up, quit, and arranged to return the uniform.

Many years later, I got a job with Parks & Rec, and spent some time COACHING! "Just let your bat meet the ball". I did have a moment of glory when a game of slow pitch was arranged between the maintenance crews and the playground directors. I was the winning pitcher! (in slow pitch the idea is for the team to hit the ball) Maintenance had all these huge apes who would swing for the non existant fences. Our fielders would stand as far out as they had to to catch the balls. A bloop over the infield would have been a home run, but they kept hitting them long.

My oldest brother became quite a hero (linebacker) in High School football, and I was of a size that I had potential to be a good lineman, and based on my brother's performance I got a lot of pressure to play.

I joined the band instead. (First chair Alto and Baritone Sax)

Monday, March 19, 2007

The all new Amazing Quest!

Last night, watching "Amazing Race", it occurred to me that there is a remarkable similarity to trying to obtain a building permit.

1. Drive 25 miles to the county seat to obtain a building permit.
2. On arrival, and after waiting 3o minutes and being directed to the wrong desk, find out there is a Detour!
3. Return home, get special form filled out by architect.
4. Week later drive back to county seat, wait 30 minutes, clear first station "Zoning" sent to 2nd station "Wells & Septic", Pay, non refundable permit fee of $630, Detour!
5. Because the county has no record of a septic system on your lot, you must have a verification inspection and have system pumped. This may include locating unknown leach field. 2 copies of site plan and floor plan required.
6. Drive 25 miles to county seat, obtain permit, Pay permit fee $409. Call Environmental Specialist to schedule appt for tank verification.
7. Roadblock! The name and phone number you were given is incorrect, obtain correct name and phone number, schedule appt.
8. Contact septic tank pumping contractor, make appt slightly earlier than Inspector so that tank is empty on arrival.

Come Thurs pm we'll see what new twists and turns await us! Remember! Our shit is THEIR bread and butter!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Poop story standby alert

After a second two hour wade through building permit bureaucracy, following immediately on the heals of our tax preparation appointment, it was determined that we need to have the septic system inspected (Verified) which of course opens fate to a wide range of possibilites. Fortunately, I KNOW that it is a concrete tank (no falling though rotten tanks tops here!) But more plans need to be drawn, permits applied for, and appointments made. And, considering the tank hasn't been pumped in maybe 25 years, a pump out. (This also means I will call in professionals, and not be tempted to do it myself.)

In hindsight, to make this a truly wonderful day I should have had a dentist appt, but that's not until the 30th.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Still life with Lily

If Boski wants to flaunt cute kitty pics in an attempt to woo readers...


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mind games

Once again, Drunken Housewife, has inspired me! If you visit her site, think soft lovely thoughts, perhaps sing a lullaby.

ANYWAY, many, many years ago I worked with a man who probably could have been crowned as King of the Passive/Aggressives. I remember three stories he told me. The first two involve cruises.

#1. He and his wife were on a cruise many years ago before it was popular among younger people, so most of the passengers were elderly. It seemed EVERYONE was curious how this young couple could afford the cruise, so he told them that they had won an all expense paid vacation, plus money just by returning a coupon in the mail.

#2 As the boat approached S.F., He was in the bar, with an Australian bar tender, who remarked about what a magnificent sight the GG bridge was. My friend, not missing a beat, says, "Yes, it's great, but it's not as wonderful as the original" He proceeded to weave a tale about how the original had come down in the "Great Quake".

#3 Before most of you were born, there was a time when gas stations were predominently full service. My friend had worked at a station during a time when the parent Company advertised that the attendant would brush the bugs out of your radiator if asked. This station had decided that it was easier to blow the bugs out with the air hose. The problem was that only the "lower" island (it was on a slope) had an air hose. One day an elderly lady drove in, and my friend heard her ask "Could you use your wiskbroom?" to which he replied cheerfully, "Just pull it down, and we'll BLOW IT OUT!" Apparently, the question had actually been, "Can I use your restroom?" The lady drove off in a huff, and wrote letters of complaint on up the chain, which caused calls to the station, which when the story was retold caused enormous entertainment. He told me this story with a straight face. I believe the story, I'm not so sure of his innocence.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Neighbors Part two

New neighbors, whose lot abuts the rear of bad neighbor, take on this family as a “project” to help them learn how to parent. They become friends with new neighbors (Earth Mother and High Tech Father and 3 sweet girls) , making a positive impact on them. At least for awhile. New neighbors tell bad neighbors “like it is.”

Mom gets off drugs (supposedly) and gets a job working for the Peacock County Health Dept. She embezzles money and ends up arrested for embezzlement, and then arrested for drugs in our County. She went to trial and landed a year in jail. During this time the Older son (16?)becomes, essentially, the head of house. Dad works constantly and there are male teens constantly at the house—partying a lot. Daughter eventually goes to live with a neighbor after Mom begs the neighbor to take daughter in. Felt daughter would be safer, and they might be capable of dealing with her lice infestation.

Several times a week during the early morning hours, a car would drive by shouting loud obscenities and threats toward Elder son . Someone has not been playing well with others in school. It wakes us and other neighbors up. This continues off-and-on for several months.

Upon release, Earth Mother gets Mom involved with her daughter’s school. Mom’s in therapy as well as daughter.

I approach Dad, the bad neighbor, about helping him get rid of the non-working vehicles. Earth Mother also pushes Mom and Dad to clean up yard and get rid of cars. Earth Mother and I pay for 1 car to be towed. After several more weeks, Donna’s car finally gets towed. The 3rd car was to be given to son. Eventually it disappears.

Elder son has plans to join Coast Guard. He drops out of high school. He has belonged to Sea Scouts for a few years. Not sure what happened, but THAT bridge is burned. He starts getting drunk and starting fights downtown. (underage) He is arrested, is not bailed out. After he eventually goes before a judge on a Friday, and is given probation, he is arrested again on the same charges on the following Monday night. This fight was a drug dispute with a Coast Guard sailor! (Another bridge burned) He does some more time, and upon release gets a job as an apprentice electrician. So now he’s making more than his step dad. When work slows, he is laid off because he is the only employee who has problems showing up on time and taking off a lot of days when he didn’t feel well. More drinking, more fighting, more jail, another good job in an auto body place. Now he’s driving.

Oct/Sept 2004 – Mom and Dad decide to marry. We pull weeds in their driveway anticipating their wedding and to reward them for cleaning up the driveway. Had wedding in their backyard, inviting some of the neighbors.

2005 – Small trailer is placed in their driveway, right next to our bedroom window, to be used “by the boys” as a place to hang out with their friends. Becomes a nightmare—loud parties, drinking, fighting. Teens in and out all day long, even when “boys” not around. Trailer has widows knocked out, etc. Mom and Dad begin to place plants around it to “hide” it more from view.

SWAT Team shows up and arrests Younger son for home invasion and pistol whipping the resident (But he was a drug dealer!) Caught with a gun. Sent to locked facility. Did some major time, almost sent to the “Big Q” .
Cite home owner for code violations. Back yard finally gets cleaned up.
Home Owner tells us he is evicting Dad and Mom. Says he thought about evicting them many times. This does not happen, however.

2006 – Mom “disappears” for 3-4 weeks, and returns with a new boyfriend. Mom and new boyfriend stay at Earth Mother’s house. Dad moves out of house, and Mom and new boyfriend remain at Earth Mother’s house to “housesit” while Earth Mother and High Tech Dad move back to Oregon. Later, they move to another rental owned by Earth Mother and High Tech Dad.

2006 - House finally becomes vacant, landlord does half ass job of fixing it up, new renters found.