Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Raining again

I don't think I'll need an ark, though.  It is a light rain this time.  Everyone was freaking out at the forecast after the last go-round.  At least here in Mesa we only have enough to soak the ground for a bit.

I'm getting closer to finalizing my vacation plans for the 29th on.  I'm going to stay in the Southeast and play around in the Smokies on the week that I leave Mom in Nashville visiting friends.  I need a week just to wander around my old favorite places.  Not sure how many folks I'll get to see while I'm back.

Here at home I'm just clearing and cleaning and fixing broken stuff and mending clothes and generally trying to get my homelife situated.  I'm tired of living among plastic totes lined up everywhere.  I can only throw a tablecloth over so many and call them end tables.  I'm starting to look at those plastic Rubbermaid storage sheds to put behind my mobile home to hold the empty totes that I'm not using right now.  It is a step towards the endgame.  I'm looking at those as a more temporary measure that I can either move with me if/when I leave here, or sell to someone else and it would be easier to move either way.  Still researching.

I'm still in a funk.  However, I'm in a winning streak of sorts at the casinos so I'm at least breaking even for now.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I didn't drown

The 100 years' rain didn't cause me any hardship the other day as I was at work during the rain, and the flooding had all drained away by the time I got off work.  Water here is kind of like snow in the South - wait a couple of hours and it is usually gone.

I went to Vegas again last week on my days off.  While making myself wake up to turn off the alarm to go to work when I got back I had the thought hit me from some place deep inside 'I'm not happy'.  When that happens I start thinking.  I knew that I hurt from all the walking I always do in Vegas, and I was very tired from having my routine thrown off because of my strange working hours that are difficult to stick to on my days off.  So, body was low energy.  Diet hasn't been great.  First steps are to get sleep and good nutrition squared away.  Then look to tie up some nagging details.  I've done all this now, and also canceled the second Vegas trip that I'd scheduled for next week as being too taxing physically right now.  I'll enjoy it more in November or December.  I'm making plans for my vacation at the end of the month to get away, back East to see how that all feels.  Once all the data is in, I'm going to do some looking around, inside and out, and make some decisions.  When I get too unhappy, the Universe tends to do things like send me to Honduras.  I'm careful what I wish for now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Who was I again? **Update**

I know, don't post for a long while, then 2 in an hour or so...

There was a time, awhile ago (awhile measured in decades...) that I was mechanical.  Not my body, but my profession and my personal lifestyle.  I did, among other things, a lot of my own work on my vehicles.  It was helped along by the fact that my friends also did most of their own work on their cars and houses an anything else that broke.

I remember a really fun (and I do really mean fun) evening where I went to a friend's house in my '86(?) Toyota truck that had an issue with sometimes starting, sometimes just clicking because the starter had some issue.  It was to be a simple procedure, pull off the starter, go to the parts store, buy a rebuilt one and reinstall it.  However, we took too long and the store was closed.  This friend didn't want the hassle of reinstalling a bad starter just to have to redo it all again some other time, so we did the most obvious thing:  we rebuilt the old one.  Upon taking the starter apart, one of the contacts was worn away.  So we went to the hardware store looking for something brass to fabricate a new right-angle contact.  Found a brass fitting the right thickness (originally starting life in the plumbing section), went home and he made good use of his dremmel (spell check wants to change the spelling of that to 'remodel') tools and fashioned a new contact that was better than the original stock one.  By 9 or 10pm I had a working truck, and that starter was still working fine when I traded in the truck 10 years later.

All that to say, I feel terribly guilty, as if I'm letting the fellowship down if/when I use a paid-for mechanic to do simple things.  Like oil changes.  Especially oil changes.  I've had 3 Toyota trucks starting with that one in '86 (or '84, I really can't remember, sadly).  I was taught that when shopping for a new vehicle, the first or at least second thing to look for is the oil filter to make sure you don't have to pull the engine in order to do an oil change.  Not really an issue as the original Toyota trucks (as opposed to, say, the ones they make now) were made for real people to drive.  The other thing that goes without saying, which is why the oil filter placement is 1st, is that it is a manual stick shift transmission.

Enter the Jeep I bought in 2008.  It had a 5 year/100K miles warranty.  It spent 2.5 of those years in storage when I was in Honduras.  Working on it hasn't been really an issue as it only has 65K miles on it even today.  I ran out of the 5 years, though.  No reason to have a dealership do the simple stuff like oil changes anymore.  The last time I had the oil change done, I was ready to be again upset with a dealership.  They probably didn't really do anything wrong, but I felt the guilt and shame of turning Yuppie (ok the Y for young really doesn't apply anymore) when I handed over the keys to the intake guy.

It is time for an oil change again.  Also, my 'new' Jeep is starting to have some minor issues.  The kind of things that a dealership can end up shaking their head and turn a $50 issue into multiple thousands of dollars, at least in my head.  So, simple solution, I do the oil change myself again and while I'm at it I look at YouTube videos on the issues the Jeep is having and at least go into the dealership being knowledgeable about the issues and the condition of my own Jeep.

Except...  for 2 months I've been afraid to pop the hood.  It started when I glanced at it and realized I've owned the Jeep for 6 years and never opened the hood.  What?  Me?  I then got concerned about all kinds of silly things, the unknown and all.  The Jeep is quite a bit larger than my previous trucks.  And so on.  For 2 months I've looked at the Jeep and backed away.

Today, sweaty and no water and the temperature tolerable I confronted my fears.  I popped the hood.  I was glad to find a secondary latch holding the hood backing up the rubber clasps that I was afraid was all that was between me and the hood flying up as I drove down the road.  Took me awhile to figure out how to do the prop so that it was anchored and not just vaguely holding up the weight of the hood.  I had to climb up on the front bumper to look at the engine.  Then I had to find the dipstick.  Luckily, the Jeep isn't using oil, and isn't ready for another quart yet.  I slid under the Jeep and don't see any obvious leaks of anything, and found the oil filter right where it should be and easy to get to.

Progress.  I may or may not actually do this oil change.  But I at least know what is under the hood now.

The water came on around 10am.  I showered, then watched some YouTube videos.  Also remembered what started all this was that I ran out of windshield washer fluid.  I had a wonderful dealership in Olympia, WA that did everything but hug and kiss me on the way out when I took the Jeep to them for service.  Oil, filters, fluids, and they washed and vacuumed it for me without costing half my paycheck.  While I was in Honduras my Uncle had the servicing done for me at the dealership in Platte City, MO, and they were great.  I'm assuming they, but it might have been my Uncle, did all of the above.  When I went into the dealership here, I was upset that even though I had an appointment, and was there early, they said it would be a couple of hours before they worked on it as there were others before me.  I said What???  I had the first appointment!  And I'm early!  So they put me in the express line, which might mean nothing but the oil gets filled/changed.

So, I showered, then watched the videos.  I checked out the engine air intake filter, and vacuumed out the housing.  I'll change the filter when I get a new one, and I now know what it looks like.  I'll also worry about that darned 4th clip on the housing at that time.  3 will work ok till then.

I filled the washer fluid resevior.  That darned bottle of fluid won't be rolling around on the passenger floor anymore as it has for the past 2 months.

I see which kind of filter is on the blower motor.  I also see that there isn't a filter on the air that goes to the blower when it comes from the inside of the passenger compartment, so that isn't what is the issue with the intermittent cold air from the air compressor.

I'm adding hand cleaner to the list of stuff to get.  And remembering why I had so many stained tshirts back then.

It's 11:30 and I'm sweaty again.  Enough knowledge for one day.

Water, water, everywhere, except...

We've had 2 frog strangler storms with high wind since 4pm yesterday, and a few nice downpours in between. The ground is soaking the water up like it hasn't had a drink in 6 months, which is somewhat close to actual time since good, soaking rains showed up here. After one very close lightening/thunder clap that sent the cats scrambling, I expected to lose power. The power stayed on. As the sky lightened up an the rain slacked I started to get on with the day, starting with a shower. Except, no water from the faucet. Seems in the process of the above a water main broke on the other side of the park. Water is off for the next several hours at least. This is an issue as this is shower/laundry/cleaning day around here. Not to say it is the only day I take a shower, but yesterday being my first day of 3 off, I pretty much just lazed around and never really got around to cleaning up.

Dizzy commented on Sunday about how the full moon affects us, including things like births and deaths. He lost 2 friends last Saturday night. I remember I stepped outside from work and was amazed at the beauty moon sometime around 3:30am. When a co-worker didn't show up at 6am, one of the guys texted him to remind him to come in. The guy's girlfriend called back. Seems that the co-worker died that night. We still don't know how or why, or no one is saying. He was 52. So, I will probably equate a large moon with doing a security check on friends and close co-workers from now on.

September is shaping up to be a traveling month. More as the time gets nearer. And, the new guys at work still don't have laptops. So, nerves are even more frayed now. Part of the reason I'm quiet here, as well as it being summer and I just don't do much when it is hot.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Contrary to appearances, I'm alive and fine. The heat has arrived in Phoenix, over 110, which is my mark for 'hot'. This just happened this week, so I'm considering a good summer so far. Now I'm hiding in the air conditioning. The cats are also healthy and mostly happy. The younger on is again being a terror. I need to spend more time with him, I guess. I am sorry I got the second cat, as Bosley was purfect just as he was. I was afraid he'd be lonely, but I think he would vote for that rather than terrorized as he is sometimes now.

Work is still in the holding pattern. I can't transfer yet because the new guys don't have their laptops so they can start covering shifts. Not anyone local's fault, but we are still short staffed and nerves are frayed.

Sorting and such are on-going at home. I'm not keeping up with the scanning or shredding of paperwork as I would like to. For me the process always seems to take a long time. My sights are on September, when things should start to cool off a bit and I'm making vacation plans to head back East for a couple of weeks.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Thank you, Ed

In my comments Ed has tried to keep me up to date on a bill in the AZ legislature about the Elio car and attempts to get an 'enclosed, 3 wheeled' car to not need a motorcycle endorsement to be legal to drive. Everything I've found is dated April 22, and it was waiting on the Gov. to sign it. When I duckduckgo it, that SB# is about gun control. Maybe it is part of that package, I didn't look too deeply. No notice on whether it was signed into law or not.

I'm at work making Holiday pay. Nothing is going on, but I'm being paid to be here. Previously when I was talking about how I am jogging (for some definitions of the word), I said the next celebration would be when I hit 300' or 50 pillars in the wall I run beside. Yesterday I ran the 50 pillars, walked up and back again that far, and then ran another 40 pillars or 240'. I felt it the rest of the day, but feel ok today. I just need to keep at it. Also, part of my goal was to be able to do 100 pushups of some kind. I've decided that if I can do 100 in a day (12 hours?) I'll consider it a goal met. I'm up to 20. Pushing up from a counter, not the floor. Progress. I can do 2 girly pushups now (knees), which is 2 more than I could do this time last year.

Yesterday I went to Costco in Superstitions Springs, not the one down by work. The one over in SS is a bit nicer, and has better samples. I totally forgot that it was the day before a Holiday, but it wasn't too teribly bad for all the crowd. I spent $125, so I figure if I can eat from my pantry for 2 weeks I'm ahead. So far so good. I definitely have enough food to make it. After I went to bed I was trying to rationalize not having taken the time to make something to bring into work today. Then I realized I could bring in a can of the lentil soup I got. Then I was trying to rationalize that I hadn't made any oatmeal to bring in for breakfast, and I knew that meant I would still go to Walmart at 2am to get something to eat. So, I got back up and made enough oatmeal for 2 days, and added cinnamon, cardamon, rasinens, craisens, sugar, and after it was in the bowls I added slivered almonds and honey. It was good this morning. So far I haven't got to get anything new to eat other than what I've brought from home. One of the samples at Costco was green pea crisps. I guess it is like a crouton for salads and such. It tasted like crispy green pea soup. You can get anything at Costco. They made up for it by also having vanilla ice cream samples.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Plodding along

It seems like I'm not making much progress.  I do remember that I get this way every summer.  No energy, no enthusiasm.  I did not win my riches in Las Vegas, so I'm still working.  :)  Things there are still in a holding pattern as well.  My eyes are now on September.  It doesn't start cooling off here yet at that point, but I'm starting the process of looking for flights back to MO to visit, and it hopefully will be cooler back there by then.

The cats are healthy and I guess happy.  Most of the time they are fun.  Way too much of the time they are destroying stuff or accidentally(?) hurting me with their claws or teeth.  Just playing.  I'm learning to trim claws.  Mostly Rasta, the younger one, is just too energetic and curious for my lifestyle.  He also is the most affectionate one, which is what saves him.  So far.

I now have insurance on the mobile home.  The taxes are paid up.  I'm totally legal.  For now.  For most of the other stuff, it's one step forward 3 steps back.