Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Saturday Post on a Sunday

I am writing you today from the new enhanced Interweb. The phone guys have just left and I made sure all our Interweb compatible components were working. I had to reset it once but everything is cool. It is supposed to be faster now and we are paying less.

We have had a quiet day. It's still pretty warm out and the melt off is continuing. I built a fire this morning and it's been going all day. 

I had to restock the wood pile. I wasn't easy because the auxiliary wood pile is in pretty deep snow. I managed to get it uncovered and got enough wood back in the pile to last us for another day or so.

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017: I have not been able to finish this post because our InterWeb connection has not been working. It has been spotty all day. We even had a problem with the phone...although it seems to be working now. 

It has been raining today so it continues to be sloppy out there. Pot holes are suddenly appearing on the heavily traveled streets and residential streets are strewn with ruts made by the snow. It's quite difficult to navigate some of the side streets.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Slop Cometh

I woke up this morning to a couple of inches of snow on the car and the whole surrounding neighborhood but I had no time to handle any of it. Fortunately, by getting in to work early, I was able to leave early and get back home to meet the Cable Guy. Actually, it's the Dish Network guy. We had some issues with our new installation.

There were a number of channels that didn't come in. The technician whose name was Spenser, climbed up and re-aimed the dish. By the way...see if you can guess Spenser's last name. What's the natural last name to follow Spenser? That's right. Our Satellite guy is Spenser Tracey.

Anyway, I got home early enough to break out the snow blower and try to clean up the slop. The temperature was well into the 40's today so everything was getting very soft.

I was able to kind of get a start on coming close to digging out portions of what one might call the sewer drain. If it's going to start melting, we will need some exposed drains.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Eight Degrees of Warmth

It is a sunny and chilly Saturday in Spokaloo. I read 8 degrees at the moment.

It is a big day for us televisionally because we are switching from the DirecTV to the Dish TV. Warren is here now and installing the new Dish dish. The reason for the change is a savings of about 40 bucks a month, locked in for two years. Plus, we get "the Hopper". That means we have the DVR machine but we can watch recorded shows on any TV. With DirecTV, we could only watch DVR'd shows in the TV Room, where we never watch TV. (It really is an awkwardly named room.) We also have three months of premium movie channels and since we have the DVR with lots of storage, we are going to record the shit out of movies.

Another perk is that we now have access to Netflix through the TV rather than my old computer with the old set up.

I received paperwork from the state yesterday declaring my car is totaled and therefore, not legal to drive. I need to get the title re-issued and I only have until 1:00 to do it. The Licensing offices are closed after 1 on Sats.

However, I really need to wait for Warren to finish his work.

While Warren is toiling away, I worked on a little project. It's really fixing a screw up I did when installing the shower surround.
Here is the shower. Please to notice to handle on the door.
It is installed incorrectly...upside down.
My task is to turn it around. It's an easy fix except for the part of all the little extra beauty doodads that require an extra set of hands to put it together.

Warren is making great progress and the TV looks like it is connected and downloading info.

Now I have to make the unfortunate call to DirecTV and cancel my account.

It is now almost 3:30 and we are watching the Seattle Seahawks play the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta just scored in the third quarter making the score 26 to 10.

The Dish Network is now successfully installed and operating well. 

During the halftime festivities, we went upstairs and removed the last vestige of Christmas, the lights up on the balcony. Following that task, I went outside to tackle this rascal.
I wasn't especially worried about it other than the weight of it hanging off the house. It has now been knocked down and no longer considered a threat to the neighborhood.

The Seahawks have lost. Now, Susan and I will switch to rooting for the Green Bays for the remainder of the playoff season.

In the meantime, I am now concerned for any of the teams I root for. The game coming up is the Gonzaga Bulldoogies against the St. Mary's Gaels.

They play in about two hours and the big deal about this game is that St. Mary's is traditionally Gonzaga's stiffest competition. The Zags are 16-0 so they are having a GREEEEEEEAT season start. Hopefully, that streak continues.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Half a Plow

When I drove into the neighborhood last night, I was hoping to see the city plows had visited us. No such luck! Waverly Place was thick and chunky with snow. When I turned on to Wall Street, the street our driveway is on, the road was clear of chunks. As I approached the driveway, I realized the street was full of chunks past the driveway. 

I parked the car and walked out to the street to get a better look. It looked like someone with a blade on their truck has plowed the northern half the street.

After going in and getting settled a bit, I returned to the driveway to break out the snow blower and manicure the little bit of snow that fell yesterday.

My neighbor Lou showed up after a while and I asked him if he had hired someone with a blade to plow the street. He said that James had cleared the street with Lou's snow blower.

(James and Shelby live in the upstairs portion of Lou and Tammy's house.)

That is an impressive effort as the snow in the streets is very heavy and the snow blowing would be very slow going.

So...we continue to wait for the city to come down the street with the big manly blades and clean up the neighborhood. Lou said we are at the bottom of the list. I checked the official city plow map and he is absolutely correct. We are in Group 11 and it is listed last.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mo' Sno'

I am very happy with my snow blowing work I performed last night after I got home from work. I was out there for about an hour.

The tough part of the job was doing the alley. The snow was deep and thick. I also did the street in front of our driveway. Again, the snow was deep and thick and churned up by the traffic. 

We are waiting for the plows to come.  We have been notified that they are coming but the 64 thousand dollar question is when. The question is complicated by the fact that it is snowing again right now. If, like me, you follow the old Indian adage of "Little Snow, Big Snow", we are in for a few more inches on the ground. The flakes that are falling are very small which means there will be a lot of them. Possibly more than a million, per square inch.

The extra snow will divert the plows from coming to the residential streets and put them back on clearing the main streets...which is as it should be.

I have always strived to behave as though I do not depend on the government. I have to for garbage and water but I am not going to wait around for the city to plow my street, clean my street, or do anything other than pave my street.

If our streets are unplowed on Saturday, I'll be out there trying to clear the curbs.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Monday Morning Snow Blues

So it snowed pretty much all through the night and was still coming down very lightly when I got up at 5:45.

I heard my neighbor Lou already at it with his snow blower so I knew I had to get out there get my blowing done.

I was out there for about 45 minutes and I'll be back out there tonight. I estimate we received a good solid five inches. Here's a look at the snow depth.
With what we had on the ground and the new snow that fell, the total snow on the ground at Waverly and Wall is now estimated at 16 inches. I'll try to see if I can find a pristine spot in the yard where I can measure snow depth accurately. 

With the snowing, the blowing and the traffic, I made it to work 8 minutes late.

The good news is my knee is getting better and it really hasn't been an issue when I'm out with the snow blower. I would imagine it would become an issue if I slipped or strained it, but that has not happened, thankfully, yet.

I would like to say one nice thing about having radiators as our main source of heat.
They are great for coat warmers and glove warmers. There is nothing better than pulling on a warm coat that has been gently roasted on the radiator.
The snow continues to fall here at work and my break is nearly over. I guess I had better get back to the grind.

I'm on lunch right now and the snow has continued all morning. I have not looked at the forecast so I don't know how much longer this is expected.

All I know is I'll be out there tonight once I get home from work.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Snowy Sunday

We rise out of the freezing temps only to have something else fall. Snow! It looks like a couple of inches. I'll have to take care of my D.S.R.A. after church.

One thing that has been on my mind is how much energy we were using to keep warm during that cold spell. I'm not concerned because of Global Warming or my carbon foot print. Hell, we have access to all the power we want and I'm going to use it. I'm concerned about the cost. I will bet we are in for a $500 month. The bill will be coming out in a couple of days. We shall see.

It is approaching 12:30. we have returned from church and I have got my snow blowing in. I feel guilt because I did not do the alley. I have always done the alley because that's where I blew the snow in the driveway. I felt it was only fair to clear an area I desecrated.

Today however, I blew the driveway snow into the Arbor Vitae and then out into the street on my final pass. My impotent excuse for not doing the alley is because of my gout knee. I'm sure I'm going to come to regret not blowing the alley.

More snow is in the forecast so perhaps I'll make up for my impropriety.

3:25PM: The snow has returned and it is coming down in a healthy fashion. I would say there is almost half an inch of the fresh stuff since it started about two.

I'm hoping it will come to an end so I can get in another round of snow blowing tonight. I hate firing up the snow blower a 6AM and making the rounds.
I just went outside to take this picture to try and catch a little flavor of the snowy winter wonderland in which we live. There is indeed a half inch on the ground and it continues to fall. The forecast calls for 3 to 5 inches.

It is now 9:00 and it is still snowing.

Looks like I'll be revving up the snow blower at 6AM.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Saturday Chores

The deep freeze continues. It was 6 degrees when I got up at 8. It's now up in the 20's. 
I managed to go out at get my car over to Les Schwab and get a tire fixed. It had a slow leak that turned out to be a screw. I was there for about an hour and a half. While I was waiting, I would have liked to go somewhere and have lunch or something, but there was nothing in the immediate area. I was not going to go out in these chilly temperatures. 

I am willing to admit that I am a wimp but the added feature to my aura today is my achy gout knee. It's really stiff today and makes every movement  difficult. Plus, I'm wearing a heart monitor and that's kind of a hassle to have it hanging off me.

Anyway, I finally got my car back ($18.00) and the guy mentioned it pretty much time to get new tires ($600.00). I agreed but I'm not quite ready yet.

My other main errand was to get to the Health Food store and get some cherry juice. I'm in the process of drinking my weight in Cherry juice in order to get rid of the gout. It goes well with vodka.

Okay, I am off the heart monitor now. My 48 hours ended at 2:32.

I'm going to go out and get to work removing Christmas lights.

Okay, Phase One of Christmas light removal is complete. I have three zones. The lower front porch, which I just completed, the upstairs balcony, and the back deck. The back deck is next on the agenda but not yet. Old Man Stan needs a break.

My break extended well into the evening. I was just feeling tired, run down and not all that great. So I parked myself on the couch and dozed through the Seahawks game. I stirred about 7 and changed the channel to watch Gonzaga but I couldn't find it. After some research on the interweb, I learned that the game had been canceled due to inclement weather in Portland.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Frozen Pipes?!

I believe I have made many references to the cold spell we are experiencing.  It's about six degrees outside right now. 

I came home tonight to discover that our water was not working. I immediately assumed that the pipes had frozen. I went down into the bowels of the house, back where the water meter is. I did not notice any obvious problems which I took as a good sign. I broke out a space heater and fired it up in the little room. Then I fired up the heat gun and applied direct heat to the piperage. I had turned on the faucet in the utility sink and was watching it whilst heating the pipe.

It was not long before I saw a trickle of water coming from the sink. Don't worry...that sink doesn't run very well and a trickle is a good sign.

I ran to all the sinks and toilets to see if the water was working. It was!

I am a hero!

I have the space heater running down there and will probably continue to run it throughout the cold spell. I need to get some insulation up into the ceiling of that little closet. I can feel the cold air having it's free run of that whole ceiling area. Well, enjoy it while you can cuz tomorrow, the free run is OVER!

Mr Modus

I left the house this morning and completely returned to my routine by driving my injured Ford Escape to work. It was not happy to fire up this morning, since it hasn't been fired up in a few days. Add to that the fact it was -3 in the temperature department. We are smack dab in the middle of a freeze.

I am getting forgetful. I have a Doctor's appointment today and in preparation for it, I have been searching for a file for the last couple of days. The file is a list and a picture of my medications.

I knew I had made it because I took it to my last Doctor's appointment. I checked my computer at home. I checked the flash Drive I carry around. I could not find it.

Then, this morning, in the middle of my Rice Crispies, I remembered that I posted it over on my Health Blog. ( - if you are at all interested, what is wrong with you?!)

I returned the rental car last night and I am a bit concerned because the guy at the counter was not able to check me in because it was an Insurance Rental. I will need to call later and make sure all is well. Or, I could go with my normal modus operandi and ignore the whole thing.

Next item on the agenda is to call State Farm and arrange for some closure with my claim.

I think I shall do that right now.

Well, that was easy. I was on the phone with John from State Farm for less than five minutes. I told him I want to do the Vehicle Buy Back and they will be sending out a packet with forms, information and a check for $5K and some odd cents.

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Second Day of the Rest of the Year

Here we are at the second day of the year and I am posting again. I'm posting a thousand so far. Too bad it's not helpful, informational or entertaining.

The forecasting people at the various weather predicting services have been telling us for days that there is deep freeze coming. It finally appears that they are right. It is 15 degrees outside right now. It is supposed to get colder and stay cold for the next few days.

Despite the weather, we have had a productive day. We got up this morning and met our friends Chuck and Maggie at Dolly's Cafe. Susan and I split an Eggs Benny which was just perfect for starting the day.

We returned home and got Susan's studded snow tires out of the garage. With a good ten inches of snow on the ground, her car needs the extra little umph that studs provide. She went over to the local tire place to get that taken care of. I offered to change them myself but she had other plans for me.

I got to work installing the shower surround in the bathroom. I started at 11 and finished about 4. I think it was four, that's when I left for the Hub.

It took me forever. I was very unfamiliar with this set up so I took it very slowly. I also had the added stress of drilling into our pristine tile installation. One wrong move and I could really screw it up.

Fortunately, it all went fairly smooth. I taped the instructions up on the wall and followed them slowly and carefully. I had to throw on my glasses at several points in order to really drill down on what the instruction was trying to instruct on me.

But, it appears that all is well. The only thing left to do is caulking the sides and the base. I started the process already with white caulk but Susan was quite adamant that the caulking should be clear.

Nonetheless, I'm happy with the results.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The First Day of the Rest of the Year

We are sitting around the house this morning trying to figure out our new electronics machines. Susan, on her Google Chrome Book and me, on my LG Rebel Smart Phone.

One of the things I have discovered is that I'm going to need more memory. The phone came with 8 gigs. I'm already down to 2 gigs left, and I haven't really done much of anything. I haven't downloaded music, I haven't taken that many pictures and I haven't downloaded any Apps.

It snowed last night and I need to get out and get to snow blowing. However, the snowing has picked up again and is coming down right now. 
That photograph is not a very accurate depiction of how much snow is coming down. According to the weather report I just checked, we are in a weather advisory through tomorrow. It looks like it will snow until about 2:00 this afternoon.

It is approaching 2:00 and the snow is getting smaller. I just went outside and shoveled the front walk. I measured 3 1/2 inches for this new snowfall and a total of 10 1/2 on the ground.

I'm about to go out and start maintenance in my D.S.R.A.

5:15PM: I have completed my snow blowing for the day. It took about an hour and a half but I got a lot done.

I finished up a little after 3 at which point Susan and I walked over to the Hub. The sun is down, it is cold and we are bundling up and snuggling for a chilly night.

The New World of Movies

Movies have changed!

Susan and I do not attend movies. We just never seem to be able to find the time. We were both trying to figure out the last time we saw a movie and the only thing I can remember was New Years Eve two years ago. I don't even remember the name of the movie but it was a depressing one about a guy who got captured by the Japs in WWII and held in a prison camp. We thought it was an okay movie but we were looking for a fun movie.

I bring this up because a fun movie is what we had in mind for New Years Eve this year. We didn't go last year because we got to the theater too late and would have been looking straight up at the screen.

Movies have changed! In order to avoid the front row, I went on line with my new smart phone and pre-ordered tickets. The best I could do was Row F. That's like five rows back from the screen. Well, if that's the best I could do, then that will have to do. I was even able to pick the seats. That's least to me.

The movie we wanted to see was a light comedy called "Why Him?" starring James Franco, Bryan Cranston and Megan Mulally. 

I had a little problem ordering the tickets. I ended up ordering two sets of tickets and then returning one of the sets, which still cost me $4.00 for the convenience of it all.

We met Mark at the theater and the only proof we had of purchasing tickets was a QR Code on my new smart phone. I was really hoping I would be able to call it back up. Fortunately, I made it happen. We got into the theater and found our particular auditorium. 

We walked in and it was very small...maybe 50 seats, and about half full. We walked up the stairs to find Row F and to my surprise, it was the very last row. In the row was a whole line of these giant plush recliners. IT WAS FABULOUS! 

Movies have changed!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hanging Out in the D.S.R.A.

It's my last chance of the year to post so here I am posting a post that might turn out to be POSTERRIFIC! Probably not, though.

It's a bright sunny day out and we are just kind of puttering around the house doing this and that. 

The traditional meal for Good Luck at New Years is Hoppin' John, so Susan is doing that. 

My "this" is to make sure I have the outside faucets shut off. There has been an issue as to whether or not they were off. Well, I have discovered they were partly off...but not completely off. It took a pair of channel locks to make it so, but it is so!

My other job today is to go out and do some maintenance in my Designated Snow Removal Area. My D.S.R.A. took a hit whilst we were Christmasing in Iowa. I gave my neighbor Jeff access to the snow blower while we were gone and he kept things clear. But not quite to my anal standards. (I'm not anal about anything except snow removal.) 

I'm waiting for half time of the Alabama-Washington game (the Peach Bowl), which is a minute thirteen away. Oops! Bama just intercepted and scored some goal points. The score is now 17-7, Alabama.
My manicuring is complete. I'm still not down to pavement but everything is clear.

In contrast, the Huskies are not doing so well. The score is 24 - 7. They are starting to look like the Cougars.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Figuring out my Routine

I stumbled through my morning today, trying to get my bearings and figure out my routine again. I think I've got it down but it does not yet feel familiar.

I played with my little travel computer on the way to work and got the following data.It's 18.2 miles to work. I averaged 39 miles per hour and it took 28 minutes. I stopped for coffee this morning which probably added 5 minutes to the time. That also effects the average mph.

I found out today that State Farm has declared my car a total loss. I will get about six grand for it or about 55 hundred if I decided to keep it and repair it myself. I have a week to make the decision.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Trip to Iowa - The Final Day

We are starting the final leg of our trip to Iowa. I've looked on line and the roads appear to be open. We are going to continue forth because...well, what other choice do we have. We are not going to take up residence in a Super 8 Motor Lodge. I can only eat so many waffles.

So, when we meet again, it will be from home or a ditch somewhere in Montana. I'm hoping it will not be the ditch because I still have to publish these posts. I'm sure as shit not leaving the house empty for ten days and letting every scumbag on line know about it.


We have made it home. It was a great trip but we are glad to be home. And Oscar seems to be happy to have us back, while at the same time being really pissed off at us.

Now that we are home it is time to access the trip and look at all the stats.

This is our traveling vehicle. It's a Kia Sportage with 10,076 brand new miles on it.
It's a totally okay vehicle with a bluetooth feature for the phone and Ipod and this very groovy trip computer that tells you the time of the trip, the average speed of the trip, the miles traveled during the trip and the gas mileage for the trip.

For example, on a leg of the trip that I drove from Gillette, Wyoming to Wall, SD, I averaged 76 mph, it took 2 hours and 33 minutes and I traveled 195.4 miles. Isn't that cool?! That is raw hard data that can be used have no idea what to do with the information. But it is cool.

The trip to Des Moines took two and a half days and we traveled 1,628 miles to get there.

Here's another cool bit of useless data. Today we drove 543 miles and it took us 7 hours and 44 minutes. Our average speed for the 7 hours was 70 mph. 

We have put 3,297 miles on this car.

Okay, now it's time to re-align to the Pacific Time Zone and get back to life.