Saturday, February 18, 2012

This and That

I'm fighting a mind battle that I may eventually lose.
I took the dive back into the church scene - 8 months ago?  I don't know. last year some time.
I was intent on getting back into it to the fullest.
I find myself not wanting to go to church tomorrow and though I may force myself to go, my
mind will probably not change about the situation.
Of course, that's today, who knows about tomorrow - and not going to spend the time going into all of it.

Meanwhile, Caleb is applying to go back up to the mountains and be a staff member at the - internationally known - ministry that has a camp up there that parents send their kids to from all over the country.  He undoubtedly will get the gig.  I have been getting used to the idea of not having him around since - that's the natural progression of things when it comes to your kids, them growing up and going out on their own.  I have no judgments on his choices of what he is doing with his life.  There are things I would love to see happen, but that's my opinion and a person - even if your kid - has to make their own choices in life and  either reap from them or pay for them.  I give input where it is asked for or the opportunity arises.

We have agreed that when he comes back from the mountains, we will go to San Diego again and do the boat/sport fishing trip again.  Well, not an agreement, just a conversation that arose out of the conversation of going to do the 2 month gig up in the mountains.  We both want to go and we both want to do the overnight trip.

I have bugs in my right eye.  I have already been to the doctor once about this almost 3 weeks ago telling me there is nothing there.  Uh-huh.  My eye is still red after doing their antibiotic drops for 2 weeks. I was reminded of whatever those things are again tonight as I felt something twitching on my eyelashes.  I got my reading glasses, went into the bathroom and saw 2 "things" moving around there.  I will be going to the doc again tomorrow, I guess, but not the same doc.  They don't want to believe me, they can go jump into a lake.  I have SEEN the damned things with my own eyes, they are there.  They seem to burrow into the eyelashes themselves.  Yes folks, not dinner time reading, but a reality that has been going for a month now and not something I am willing to "live with".  Good grief.  I don't KNOW how they got there or why they are only in one eye and not both.

General manager.  He's sick.  Not a bad person type of person, I mean sick.  He sent out an email explaining why he isn't around and what's going on.  Some sort of ulcer condition that he has been attempting to deal with since October of last year.  Friday - when he sent out the email - was the first I heard of it.  I am not in the "inner loop", of course, since I am not in management.  Which did not stop me from sending him a personal reply to his mass email.  The email consisted of the fact that I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and would he mind if I put him on a couple of international prayer lists.  I have no idea if he's a believer or not, I only know the power of God.  I have seen it with my own eyes time and time again, in person, not on TV shows.  Well, I have seen the TV shows, but that isn't that qualifying factor here.  My own, personal experience is enough for me, which is ample and not limited to just one person or family.

I don't know what his reply, if any, is, because I wrote that out of my company email at work on Friday and left directly after that.  He is laid up at home, in pain and apparently is going to have to stay that way for weeks if not months.

Meanwhile, Coco, my Great Dane/Catahoula mix has done something to her rear, left leg.  I don't know what, but she is limping and not in good spirits.  Wincing occasionally.  She is putting pressure on the leg in walking around, but definitely favoring it.  I don't know what happened, but I am wondering if it has to do with that kid I have been giving a little money to to walk the dogs here and there.  I don't know.  I will be asking him about it the next time he comes over.  I gave her some aspirin for the pain and she is conked out.

Life and it's continual offerings.

A Conversation With My Son

I went out to the mailbox a while ago.
Started looking at all of it.
One of them was in a plain, white envelope.
It's sender was the "City of Mesa".
I immediately identified that letter as a photo radar ticket.
I started thinking.  You know when you're caught by those
cameras cause' those lights that flash are bright.

But, I don't speed or run red lights through the City of Mesa.
I drive through there frequently in the semi, which is why I am
extra-cautious to make sure I am not breaking any moving-violation
type of laws.

So, I simply couldn't figure that one out.

Brought the mail inside the house, drew a deep breath and
opened the letter.  My old Buick.  Small type and small pictures,
so I go out the reading glasses. 4 pictures, 2 inches square.  One
with the license plate of my old Buick; second with a picture of my
son behind the steering wheel; third with the car just beyond the
crosswalk lines, not even yet turning; 4th about half way through the

He is following behind a pickup truck that undoubtedly also got flashed
and sent a notice.

Here's one case where I will say these cameras have an effect.  That's my
car with the notice being sent to me.  Apparently, whoever reviewed this
thing must have realized that a 48 year old man doesn't quite look like the
person in the picture, who is 18 years old.  It is a "notice" to identify the
driver of the vehicle.

Yes, well, the State of Arizona does NOT require you to identify the driver,
however, the picture was troubling.  He had obviously entered the intersection
AFTER the light had turned red.  I mean, the car was JUST beyond the crosswalk
lines and the arrow on the is clearly visible and clearly - red.

Yes, we had a discussion about this.  Driving is a learned skill, even an art.  You
don't get that sixth sense about things in driving after a year of driving.  Maybe 10
years, I don't really remember when that kicked in, probably after I started driving
semi's to be honest.  Whatever the case, the pictures paint a potentially dangerous
situation: your car in the intersection, making a left hand turn while the light has turned
green for traffic heading the opposite direction.  A car with an open lane travelling at
45mph slamming into a car turning in front of it?

That was my problem with this.  It's extremely dangerous driving and it's inexcusable.
You are risking yours and other's lives in making such a move.  It isn't worth it, saving a
few minutes of time.  And yes, we had this conversation and yes, I made my view of it
very, very clear.

It is not a ticket, I finally realized after getting past the picture part of it.  It was a request
to identify the driver of the vehicle with the statement that you are not required to identify
the driver.  I already knew that.  I am not going to, either.  I hope that our conversation
about getting killed or killing others might have an impact.

I do hope to not receive another notice like that, is all I can say about it.

Saturday 2/18/2012

Kinda strange.  I went online to pay my new American Express card down to zero.  It wouldn't let me.  I made the first payment but after that?  Not able to do anything.  I would rather not have a balance that I know I am going to have to pay down to zero hanging around. I had thought you could just pay it up whenever - I would prefer to pay it down as you use it, but I guess not.

Trailer roof time today.  It will require 2 things: a cigar and a couple of beers.  Liquid motivation is better than none at all. I have absolutely no desire to get up there and do all that is required to be done to pull off that other roof vent and install a new one.  Sounds easy, right?  Yeah, in a pig's eye. Those old screws have been in there for 25 years.  They have been covered over with coatings of elastomeric roof coating multiple times.

One thing I learned long ago: if you need to re-coat a roof vent like that with more sealant? Best to remove the old sealant, first.  And I mean remove it down to the metal type of clean, the same you would do if you were replacing a head gasket on your car's engine.  It has to be perfectly clean to make sure that no water can get through there.

THAT is what the pain is all about, thank you very much.  Getting all that old crud off of there and trying to remove the old screws.

Much too early right now to do any of that, my front yard plants need watering and since my drip system is screwed up out there, I intend on getting the garden hose and hand watering everything.  BTW, my little pond out there is doing quite well and the little fishies in it are seemingly happy.  Or not, who knows.  They are all small fish in there, the longest being maybe 4 or 5 inches, most of them being more in the 2 inch range.  Good start pond for small fish.

On my horse trough pond  - which is right outside the east side door of my house (which no-one uses so that's what I put it there) - those fish know me very well.  When I come out, they are at or near the surface, waiting for food.  When anyone ELSE comes out, they go into hiding.  I didn't know fish had that kind of recognition going on.

The other pond is a toss-up.  It's in the ground and the fish know who I am, but the bigger fish go hiding.  There are so many plants in the pond, it probably obscures the view quite a bit of who is there at the pond's edge.  I am still totally into this ponding business, but my idea of building a much larger pond has been put on hold indefinitely.  Bigger "fish to fry", no pun intended.

No, I have definitely turned it into a goal now: a guest house. I must get the idea into the operating/functional stage and off of the "sitting there on the shelf in my mind, waiting for something to happen" stage.  Whether I stay in this house or not, I am going to move on with that plan.  Oh, well there is not going to be any real movement for a while.  I will not start that project until I have at least most of the money to be able to finish it.
I'm giving it a year to save up enough to do it right the first time. The concrete pad will be the most expensive thing about the whole affair.  Even if I do it myself, it will still be at least $1,000 to $1,500 if you want a good, solid foundation that isn't going to crack.

Kitchen and bath fixtures do not have to be new.  I have scored some very nice fixtures in the past that were used but in excellent condition for a fraction of the cost of buying new.

This goal has come forth mostly because I have looked at my retirement savings and where it might be in 20 years and it has come up lacking.  I refuse to just sit here, grow old and be broke and poor in my old age, if I indeed, do make it that far.

Of course, another idea would simply be to save up enough money for a good down payment on another house.

Who knows.  Savings account is up and functional and getting close to the first one thousand dollar mark.  Some of that will disappear, however, when I have that trailer moved up north.  I forgot to call Penske, I was going to ask how much to rent a small semi tractor for a day and just pull the thing up there myself.  I was quote $300 by the guy who does this as a second job, but I have a feeling he is going to raise that up as he has already raised his rates for pulling locally.  But, he is still far cheaper than anyone else I have been able to find.

Now, for one of the final tree plantings that I want for my property.  The Queensland Bottle Tree.  I finally found some available to be shipped online!  You have to buy like 15 of them, I think.  I don't want 15 of them, maybe 3 or 4 planted at strategic locations around the house.  It's a 20 year deal there.  In 20 years, you have a 30 or 40 foot tall tree that has this HUGE trunk with a bottle-shaped appearance.  They are awesome looking trees.  If I were still at this property in 20 years, those Sissoo trees will be enormous.

I'll be 68 years old in 20 years, so no big hurry to get there : )

Off to do some watering.



Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...