Friday, November 30, 2007

Humor: A Bottle of Wine

This appeared in my email this morning and brought a little smile...

For all of us who are married, were married, wish you were married, or wish you weren't married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine:

Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride. With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

"What in bag?" asked the old woman?

Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, "It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:

"Good trade."

Have a good weekend, folks.

Amongst the living...

Still here in the home of Huey P. Long, the KKK and more churches than Carter's has pills. Like the fatted calf, I have been feeding on crawdads, shrimp etoufe, crab-stuffed shrimp and Cane's chicken strips. No photos, yet - left the cable at home for the camera and my daughter's computer hasn't got a card reader.

Am awaiting an estimate for the insurance company for repairs to the trailer. Then, hopefully, we'll be able to get th wheels in motion to effect said repairs - I don't look forward to driving back during heavy snowstorms on the East Coast. The longer we're delayed, the more likely that is going to be the reality...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Trail of Tears, Rips and Breakdowns...

Well, we FINALLY got on the road last Thursday afternoon after a false start. Made it all of twenty miles down the road when it suddenly dawned on yours truly that we (read "I") had left the registration for the trailer at home. Seeing as I'm such a magnet for cops seeking an hollow instrument to thrum their Kubatons upon, I decided discretion is the better part of valor and went back in search of the silly slip of paper. Fruitless after tearing apart the house for two hours, I was saved by my wife's exasperated suggestion I go to the DMV and get a duplicate.

A total of four hours later, we left with yours truly waving a registration and shouting "HiHo Silver, Away!"

Made it to somewhere outside of Boston where I grabbed a four hour restorative, then back on the road at midnight for another four hour run to somewhere just north of New York City. Put up for morning drive time and slept while the commuters wailed and gnashed their collective teeth.

Pulled out and hit the road about 9:30 in a drizzle and blustery conditions. All went well until the New Jersey Turnpike. Then the weather gremlins got serious. Stopped at a rest area and waited out the passage of the front somewhere near that hospital that House terrifies. Later the same afternoon, fortified by a nap, insulin and lunch, we "hobby horsed" our way down the New Jersey Turnpike on their trademark concrete and crack filler surface to the snafu from road construction hell at the border with Delaware, the gateway to the Delmarva peninsula.
There's nothing like five lanes of snarled traffic, me in the far left and needing to be in the far right! My wife's "powers of persuasion" (note to self - do NOT allow her to play with the Mossberg 500 JIC in traffic again) got us over to our exit and onto the amazingly complex network of local, unmarked highways and by-ways that constitute the transportation system of Eastern Maryland. Frantic cell calls to the 84 year-young uncle and a firing up of the old Garmin 76s GPS saved the evening and we wallowed into Rock Hall, Maryland under the cover of darkness.

A good thing it was dark, too. My only living relative lives on the main drag in town so you can imagine the mess that'd have ensued if I'd tried to back the Airstream into their driveway during rush hour! Well, y'alled be proud to know I did it first try, like I created the art of backing a 7 1/2 foot wide trailer down an eight foot wide drive!

We had an interesting stay with my peeps. Visited some fun restaurants, worked like a dog trying to get the water and sewage systems functional. We'd hoped to be back on the road on Sunday, but a combination of factors conspired to delay departure until midday Monday. Oh well, so much for visiting Nag's Head and Cape Hatteras on the way down. Instead, for the past few days it's been a steady slog down the Interstates to Louisiana.

Or at least it was until yesterday.

Just outside of Meridian, Mississippi we must have picked up some debris with our tires, because as we climbed the hill at 70 MPH we found ourselves being shaken to within an inch of depositing our kidneys in our shins! Off to the side we went. One tire shredded like you see on NASCAR races, tore up the side of the trailer, shattering the fiberglass inner wheel well and mangling the outer, ABS plastic wheel well and the aluminum shroud in the immediate vicinity. Changing the tire was relatively easy once I got her stopped and my heartrate back to something approaching normal.

No, the hard part was hacking and sawing (with a Ginzu knife) the ABS outer wheel well away that had collected as a hard lump of plastics between the two tires. Two hours on the side of the Interstate took care of that and then the hunt for tires began.

A lovely, soft-spoken young woman at Camperland RV Sales went above and beyond the call of duty to help us find a pair of tires at Ed Cheney's Tire Sales in downtown Meridian.

They got us fixed up with two tires and checked all of our tire pressures and back on the road in less than two hours on the day before Thanksgiving! Amazing service. A tip of the old fedora to the guys down there for helping out this old reprobate yankee hippy!

We made it the rest of the way to our destination in Baton Rouge, Louisiana before 7PM. Badly in need of a shower and some food, family took us in, cleaned us up and fed us more barbecue than I could eat! A good, long night's sleep and a cup of coffee and I am starting to feel almost normal, if normal is 60's and seventies on Thanksgiving morning! :)

So, there you have it, No pictures yet, haven't really had time to take any, but the wife has a few on her cell phone -- I'll see if I can get them off and into machine-useable form. Today we're doing laundry and cleaning out the car. Tonight, we take off to Texas for a Renaissance Faire with the kids and grandmonsters. Seems there's an oil well that blew up and caught fire last week right next to I-10, so it is closed west of Baton Rouge. Oh joy - back roads the whole way! Yippee Ki-Yay, motherhumpers ... ;) More on the flip side.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Adding Insult To Injury...

Nope, not gone yet. On top of my own general malaise and disorganization, the heater in the trailer decided it was going to get finicky. I can't find the problem, but it goes off on thermal cut-off if I leave the cover in place over the heater space. Snow and ice are in the forecast. Not good...

Saturday afternoon, with only an hour and a half of daylight left, I haul out the big half-inch electrical drill to drill the trailer frame for the anti-sway system install and the drill is dead. I mean kaput. No time to waste, I hightail it to town and get a new one, but by the time I fought my way back through the traffic (this is a big shopping weekend for Canadians to come down here, so the town is jammed with Canadians on top of the locals from outlying towns all cramming in for the weekly shopping) the light was gone and the puddle in the driveway was frozen. Ideal working conditions - not.

Saturday night, the freshwater pressure tank on the house's water system decided it was time to give up the ghost. The pump was circulating madly and water was spraying all over the place. Found a water tank at Home Despot and spent six hours changing it out yesterday.

To celebrate, the wife and I went to town to get something to eat and she decides she needs some cash from the ATM. As I was finishing up the transaction for her, the receipt blew under the car, so stupid me pulls ahead, gets out and walks back to get it only to hear the "Ker-thunk" of the ATM eating her debit card! Fuck me with a porcupine!

As today is a bank holiday due to Veteran's Day (Canada's Remembrance Day) we are stuck here until tomorrow morning when, we hope, the bank will finally open and we can attempt to retrieve her debit card. Cause that was what we were going to use to get back on...

If I believed in God, I'd surely expect a flood any day now...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Almonds Molè

Rfduck is up to his old tricks again:

"Hello again! Hump day is here, so it's time to play. I don't think today's theme (Bittersweet chocolate with almonds day) is very useable, although it is tasty. So we'll talk about lasts today. Name me your:"

Last album/CD/mp3 listened to: Knockin' on Heaven's Door performed by Antony and the Johnsons
Last book read: Chill Factor by Rachel Caine
Last food eaten: Parmigiana Steak Sandwich from Amato's
Last beverage drunk: Coffee (Decaf w/cream)
Last movie watched: Ratatouille
Last item bought: 40 pounds of dog food and 80 pounds of cat food, a carton of cigarettes and a case of Diet Coke for my wife.

Y'all behave now, y'hear? I've gotten stale, so I'm going on hiatus and will return to these precincts, hopefully rejuvenated and ready to write something more than answers to recurrent memes, sometime in early December. Until then, don't do anything I wouldn't do if I still could.

Monday, November 05, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo - A Hero Is Just A Sandwich

Rfduck is hunting for new thrills: “Hello readers! Another mambo is upon us. Today's theme isn't very useable, so I'm going to go with Saturday's theme - Sandwich Day. “

“Make a musical sandwich. Pick a band, musician or instrument for each ingredient.”

Bread (holds everything together) – Bass and drums
Meat (the main attraction, the superstar) – Lead Guitar, Singer, Mick Jagger; Leonard Cohen
Vegetables (crunchy and cool) – U2,
Condiments (makes everything smooth) – Eric Clapton

If you want to, add a side of fries (hot and salty) - Side singers, Perla Battala

Get your copy of the question here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 185

Patrick loves to stir “stuff.” For example: “Here’s a new set of questions based on the ever-popular argument: Mac vs. PC! And I’ll repeat a statement from last week’s set of questions: there are no right or wrong answers…just your own opinions.”

First to play last week: Jude of “My Way.” Congratulations!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. What was the brand and model (if you remember) of the first computer you remember using? NorthStar Horizon – it was a loaner from my younger brother. He'd built it by hand (literally – thousands of components that needed to be soldered to circuit boards by hand) in 1980 and completed his college thesis with it – the first computer program for calculating ceramic glazes. He sold all rights to it to Corning Glass and it never saw the light of day. The PC world was moving too fast and the standard shifted to IBM PC's shortly thereafter. I'd actually used a computer (IBM mainframe) ten years earlier in college. Lordylordylordy, how I hated punch cards!

2. What year do you remember using a home computer for the first time? 1981

3. Hype aside, which platform do you prefer: Mac or PC? For most people who only need a computer for simple things, for it's ease of use and the quirky nature of its supporters, I prefer a Mac. When I require hardware flexibility, broad (free or inexpensive) software choices the PC + Unix combination is my favorite. What I have and hate is a Micro$oft Windoze PC.

4. Take the quiz: Are you a Mac or PC?

You are a PC

You're practical, thrifty, and able to do almost anything. Appearances and trends aren't important to you. You just like to get the job done.

Are You a Mac or a PC?

5. How fair would you consider the quiz to be based on the responses? I dislike “either/or” quizzes – far too limited a response range. Consequently, it isn't a fair representation of my preferences.

6. If money were no object, what brand of computer would you most likely purchase? A Cray supercomputer.

MEME: Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 248

9 hours, 25 minutes ago

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Assets :: Liabilities

  2. Concern :: going

  3. Over the top :: histrionics

  4. Supplies :: winter

  5. Mustache :: beard

  6. Doug :: Wizard

  7. Coach :: Mentor

  8. Bleachers :: hardwood

  9. Stripes :: Sargent's

  10. Assortment :: odd lots

Clicken ze linken above to get your own blank list of words...

Friday, November 02, 2007

MEME: Friday Fill-In #44

1. _Messing about in small boats_ is my favorite form of therapy.

2. If you get my voice mail you'll hear _a TV or music in the background_ .

3. My favorite product EVER is _the drip coffee maker_ .

4. I see something _more needs to go in the laundry_ .

5. When I'm grumpy _my blood glucose level is probably low_ .

6. _Chewing my beard_ is my strangest habit.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _just relaxing_, tomorrow my plans include _avoiding the heavy rains_ and Sunday, I want to _work over at camp_!

Click on the link above to get your own copy of the blank questions and a place to leave a link to your answers. This is probably my last Friday Fill-In until a week or so after Thanksgiving. See you FFI'ers then.