Saturday, November 28, 2015

Camo Crazy

When I started hunting solo 48 years ago at age 12, most guys didn’t wear camo. Those with the money wore Carhartt’s®. Most of the rest of us wore whatever we had. Woodsy-colored flannel shirts and jackets were common. So were regular military fatigue jackets, military field jackets and green and brown plaid CPO jackets. Those who could get them wore brown duck pants or fatigue pants. A few lucky souls found military surplus camo at affordable prices. Blue jeans and work boots were what usually covered the lower end of the body, though. Different hats, caps and toboggans were common, usually in earth tones. Bird hunters often wore them in reds or orange though, usually red, since orange was just beginning to catch on as a safety color. I wore everything except camo and Carhartt’s at one time or another, in other words, whatever I could afford. I probably didn’t have any hunter orange until the relevant laws were passed, or camo until I was in my 20’s. I never had an all camo outfit, though, until I was in my 40’s.

Eventually, camo became a political statement. Its use as such developed as an in-your-face way to show support of hunting, when the anti-hunting sentiment started getting so militant. Whether that’s wise or not, I don’t know, but it isn’t going to end now. For one thing, lower-income hunters figure if they can only afford a few articles of clothing, they’ll get camo for hunting and then wear it everywhere else as well. That’s the opposite thinking from the old days when people bought regular clothes and wore them for hunting, too. Somewhere along the way, that turned camo into a fashion statement. “Urban camo” showed up in shades of orange, purple, blue, grey, yellow and, heavens-to Betsy, even pink. I can’t really say if it helps a person blend into the crowd. I suspect not.

It seems to me like the fashion angle is getting a little out of hand. Years ago, I laughed at camo cigarette lighters, flashlights, emergency whistles and so on. If you dropped ANY of those items in the woods, would you really WANT them to be more difficult to see? This year, I see camo recliners, camo lamps, camo vacuum sweepers and other silly things for sale at the Chinese Emporium. Just recently, camo has even made it into kitchen-ware. The pots and pans are one thing, but if you ever actually took large kitchen knives with camo handles and BLADES into the outdoors, it could get downright dangerous if you drop them. That would especially be the case if it was in low light and you couldn’t find your camo flashlight.

Who knows? In a few years, those new mirror blinds may catch on so much that hunters will be walking through the woods wrapped in aluminum foil (with the shiny side out, of course). At least they’ll be safe from aliens, as long as they have their hat on. © 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

This, That And T’uther

We ate Thanksgiving dinner with “the kids” yesterday. That means my stepson and his wife. There were three of our five grandchildren there, so that made it even better. It seems to me that the youngest (age 8) is even more “huggy” and clingy than she was before my hospital visit. She doesn’t get a lot of physical affection from either parent, but I believe her dad does better than her mom on that, as her mother, a former druggie, is extremely self-absorbed. So her grandparents, and one “shack-up” grandfather have always supplied the bulk of that. Sadly, she lost the other grandmother and the shack-up in the last couple years. I think she’s afraid that she might lose one of us next and is understandably insecure about it. I lament her insecurity, but it does have the one positive effect of making me feel more like a grandpa than ever before. I missed all that with the others, considering that I sort of inherited them all.

Today, my stepson brought HIS stepson out to go deer hunting. Like all of us, my stepson is a long way from perfect, but he does extremely well at treating his step-children as his own. I’m proud of him. Being only 15, I figured that he doesn’t have a lot of money to spare, so I gave him a box of 550 .22 shells that I found in the basement the other day. I’m sure that my stepson keeps him supplied with all he needs, but the boy seemed to appreciate them, anyway.

I learned Wednesday that the neighbor who bought a lot from me and built a house 20 years ago, is planning to sell out and move to the mountains. I don’t know his reasons, but they could be several. He’s been a good guy and a good neighbor. I hope that the next one is as good.

I also learned that I won’t be able to sell a back corner of land to one of the young men who hunts it. It turns out that the neighbor from whom he’d have to buy a right-of-way doesn’t have a good enough one himself to allow for any increase of traffic. I’d hoped to have that option to raise funds to live on until retirement, if I don’t get disability.

We have a severe shortage of places to store things in our house, so I’ve been looking at various options. I found a place that is dry, except at times with extremely heavy winds with heavy rain, then it leaks slightly. Eventually, I’ll get the money saved to have a professional figure it out but, until then, I’ve learned that 550 .22 shells fits in the plastic jars that I buy fruit in t the store. Since that makes them water-proof, I’ll be storing some there until the leak is fixed. They may even stay there afterwards. It would be nice if I could use the same size jars to store shotgun shells, but they only hold 20, and the few old boxes of shells that I have left are 25’s.

I’m getting to where I don’t have many guns or boxes of ammo left. I’ve sold most of my guns and given away most of the ammo. I’ll never use most of it, so why hoard it; let some folks have some fun (or save it for the uprising to come).

Well, my wife is complaining about forgetting what I look like, so I guess I’d better quit typing and go spend some quality time with her and the pooch. © 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

46 Years And Whadda Ya Get?

Forty-six years ago (to this very month, I think) I bought a horse and saddle with the money that I made from growing and selling potatoes. I was 14. Not long afterward, I had him checked over by a veterinarian named “Nick,” whom my father had done business with for several years. Nick’s office was in town, on the street where our country road entered the city limits. We rarely went to his office, though, except with a dog or cat. Usually, Nick came to our place, since our need usually involved one of our cows and, later, my horse.

Soon, I got a dog, so Nick got a little business from me on that account, too. Eventually, I traded horses, plus, two more farm dogs succeeded the first. Along the way, Nick got another, younger vet to help him, until that fellow was killed in a car wreck. A few years later, we parted with the cattle and my horse. At retirement age, Nick sold the business to a younger vet, but the business retained the same name and location. Eventually, even that vet retired. During those years, we had a long-lived house dog, and now have another. Recently, the new owners moved the business from the north end of town to the east end. They’re closer to the country, close to the intersection of a couple four-lanes, plus have a facility three times the size of their old one.

Tuesday, the Mighty Dachshund had watery, bloody stools, and was off her feed, so I took her to the vet. To learn that she had either colitis (most likely) or pancreatitis cost me $92, including medication. The little pooch is like a child to us, so no complaints. The problem was, here at Thanksgiving, the unexpected expenditure tapped me out. The young vet that I got was one I’d never had before (though he turned out to be one of the two owners). He told me that if there was no improvement in 24 hours, to contact him. Considering the pooches’ habits and stubbornness, it was hard to be sure if she was improved during that time, so the vet said to bring her in for a blood test for pancreatitis, as that disease could be quickly fatal, and it was best to either rule it out or deal with it quickly.

The problem was that I was broke, and the vet refused to treat her without payment, even though I will have funds again next week. So, he gave the best advice that he could and left me with a potentially needlessly dying dog, all for a lack of a measly $40. Luckily, my wife found a twenty that she didn’t know she had, and with some other bills we had, we scraped together the $40. So, we went on to the vets. After waiting three-and-a-half hours, she finally got the test and I got the (thankfully) negative results. Had the results been positive for pancreatitis, I’m sure I would have been back to square one, the owner of a dying dog for lack of funds. (Ironically, despite being cash poor, my net worth is probably greater than that of the young vet.)
Out of fairness, I’ll say that It’s not just veterinarians that behave in such ways; many medical doctors, also, demand the cash up-front, or are willing to let the patient die. I ran into some during my wife’s cancer surgery a few years ago.

Now, I realize that, unlike the other partner, this vet didn’t know me from Adam. Plus, I’m sure there were no records to indicate that I’d done business with the company for 46 years. Very few companies, to their great discredit, keep such records. Also, having been in business myself at one time, I understand why they don’t want to start a charity. However, it seems to me that 46 years of loyalty should be worth something.

Two things came to mind following the experience. Firstly, it says something about a person’s morals that they will let an animal die, just because the owner is temporarily broke. Secondly, I would have to be a blooming idiot to feel the slightest loyalty to that business any longer. © 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Recent Observations And Ruminations – Part Two

I heard a barred owl over toward the cave side of the hill a couple nights ago. I don’t know if they’re courting yet or not. I haven’t heard any coyotes for a while. The nights are quieter now that the cold is settling in (except for the sound of the wind in the trees).
It’s a sunny afternoon as I type this. My wife is watching what must be the last soap opera on TV. She says they keep killing people off to where she wonders if it, too, will soon be history. It’s gotten rather trashy over the years anyway; sometimes she gets disgusted and turns it off (especially if it shows people rolling around in bed (and especially if it’s two guys)).

Later – My wife and I went to town this afternoon and let my chiropractor copy my Medicaid card. Then, we went downtown to the Oil Field Museum, where I gave them a three-photo-wide picture of the oil field in Blue Creek, West Virginia, in the early 1900’s. The derricks come right into the wide spot along the creek that makes up the town. Railroad cars are in the photo, along with at least one man on horseback. I would like to have a copy of it, but there’s no easy way to copy or scan something that size (24” or so long).

Years ago, I thought it was amusing when my then teenage stepson took up fishing, after my wife repeatedly refused to ever let me take him fishing. This year, at age 45, he’s taken up squirrel hunting and deer hunting. She’s appalled that he’s taken up the “blood sports” like her heathen husband once did (me). She told him it was a shame that he didn’t have his deceased father around as he grew up. That’s true, of course, but what she was insinuating was that he wouldn’t be hunting these days if his father hadn’t died before getting him raised. She considers it meaningless that her first husband went hunting with his buddies on the Marine Corp base, when they lived in Virginia. Once again, I’m amused.

I pulled my two of buckets of ammo from the basement this week to sort. I’ll never use it all, since I don’t get around like I used to, so I might as we share some of it with my friends and relatives. In fact, I’ve already gotten rid of some of it. I used to have several pounds of black powder and 3000 shot wads, but a young plumber who was doing some work for me a few years ago relieved me of them without my realizing it. I stocked up when Clinton got elected the first time. If I was younger, I’d be buying everything I could afford; now that this country elects muslim commies like Obama. I’m too old to be a “freedom-fighter’ these days though, and too crippled up to be much of a hunter. Still, I haven’t sold all my guns or given ALL of my ammo away. I might need them to go down fighting when the guys with blue helmets show up at my door. © 2015


Recent Observations And Ruminations – Part One

It’s cold here, now. It had been running a little warm for this time of year, but it got down to 36 the night before last and 19 last night. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but there’s a near-constant breeze that cuts right through me. I couldn’t handle wind even as a kid. It gave me earaches, which often led to colds and sinus infections. Now that I’m older and my circulation isn’t what it used to be, I find that even cold by itself is a bit harder to handle. I think that I notice it more, too, since I’ve been limiting my water and food a little, due to my CHF and A-Fib. There are chores and hobbies outside that I want to do, but those will have to wait for warmer days.

Even though I haven’t quite made it down to 400 yet (from 429), the swelling in my feet and legs is mostly gone. I can comfortably wear socks again, just in time for this winter. I seem to have reached a plateau at 402-404 that I haven’t been able to break. This morning, I hit 401, though, so maybe there’s hope yet.

I’ve recently begun using the electric carts at Wally World and Kroger’s. I’d gotten to where I’d just give my wife the money and wait in the truck. Sometimes I’d read and, sometimes, I’d use my laptop. A lot of places are cheapening or tightening controls on their Wi-Fi, though, so I was more and more limited to just writing articles to post, as opposed to going online to check Facebook, my blog, or email. The last few weeks, I’ve just been trying to find a cart and meander around the store while the missus did the actual shopping. It’s been enjoyable to wander the aisles again, after so long away from it. The luster is starting to wear off a bit, though. I find myself now watching for folks that need a cart worse than I do, or sometimes just napping in the truck, after I tire a bit.

I know that some folks using the carts can be really rude and feel entitled to the right-of-way at all times. However, I’ve also noticed even more, how rude and inconsiderate people in general are these days. Women and kids seem to be the worst at requiring the whole aisle, though. They’ll have their buggy on one side of the aisle while they stand on the other side and look at something forever and a day. Usually, I’ll just pull close enough that it becomes obvious that I’m wanting through, and they EVENTUALLY move. Occasionally, I’ll say “excuse me,” hoping they’ll be polite in return. Sometimes, they are. Other times, they’ll snap at me that they’ll just be a minute and continue to block the aisle. I used to just turn and leave, often coming in the aisle from the other end. Quite often, those same people would then change positions, trying to keep me from even entering the aisle. I used to either just wait them out or shake my head and leave. Anymore, I get rather nasty and when they refuse to move the first time, I just tell them that you can always tell the people who were raised by wolves. Then I leave. Just for the record, I’ll say it to the big hairy guys, too, not just the women and kids. I guess that’s not very Christian, but, sometimes, I wonder where turning the other cheek ends and casting your pearls before swine begins. © 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Muslim Database Backlash Bull Pucky

We’ve all heard of Trump’s “muslim database” by this time. Of course, the media is going ape, and is trying to convince us that every red-blooded American is doing the same. Naturally, only flaming liberals are believed by them to have red blood. Most conservatives are probably like myself, slightly uncomfortable with the idea, but realistic enough to believe that it might be for the best.

The liberals remind us that we’re supposed to have religious freedom in this country, and they’re correct. Still, the holy books of Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians nor Jews require them to murder the citizens and overthrow the governments of nations not in line with their theology. That makes them the opposite of islam. It also doesn’t acknowledge that islam is a form of government FIRST, like republicanism, democracy, socialism, fascism, monarchy, etc. and a religion SECOND. Even then, it may hide in its religious disguise primarily to achieve its political goals. Besides, our government already has a Christian database, a conservative database and a constitutionalist database believed by Kool-Aid drinkers and unicorns to be made up of dangerous, un-American enemies of the republic (thanks to Obama).

I heard one “news-person” and a couple celebrities (Who could be more qualified to comment than a celebrity?) say that registering muslims would be exactly like the Nazis registering Jews. On the surface, that sounds true, but let’s think about it. Back in Hitler’s day, Jews were not killing innocent men, women and children. They were not beheading anyone, executing others for simply not being Jewish, or blowing up any buildings or busses. The Jews were, in fact, behaving in a very civilized manner, completely unlike the muslims that we see daily on the news.

I know it seems unfair to non-violent muslims to be lumped in with the murderers, but let’s face it, the only reason those muslims are non-violent is either because they’re sniveling cowards, OR because they are NOT doing what their holy book DEMANDS that they do!

All-in-all, I’m beginning to think that a muslim database might not be so bad. © 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Visit To The Tire Shop

Despite being a month earlier than usual, I had my studded tires put on today. In part, it was because we had snow on this day last year. It was also because I know that I would have trouble putting chains on the truck with my ticker troubles. Considering that I’m going to the Toyota dealership tomorrow to get the 4WD fixed, I figured it was time to put the studs on anyway.

Incidentally, there’s a short story behind the 4WD going out. The guys at the dealership had to remove the skid-plate every time they changed the oil filter. Not surprisingly, they soon had two of four bolt-holes stripped out. Since I don’t go mudding, I told them to just heave the skid-plate. As fate would have it, I apparently had an unseen piece of steel on the highway flip up and put a dent in the front cross-member and crack the cover on the front of the block. Exactly WHEN that happened, I don’t know, but the electronics that kick in the front hubs were under that cover, so the drive to the front tires quit working. Had the skid-plate been in place, it wouldn’t have happened.

When I got to the tire shop, they couldn’t find a couple of my tires at first. After I’d sat around a half-hour, they found them in an out-of-sequence storage slot. Not too much later, the service guy came to the waiting area and asked me to go with him. In the mounting/dismounting area they showed me a skinny, shiny (but probably antique) box-style cut nail they’d missed seeing when they dismounted the tires last fall. Of course, it couldn’t be down in the tread area, where the tire could be patched. No, it had to be within nearly an inch of the bead. They said law prevented them from remounting it. I assume they’re telling me the truth, so I ordered a new one. It’s supposed to be in tomorrow but, until then, I’m riding on three studded tires.

Once again, I made use of some of my time waiting by going around and picking up wheel weights that were stuck in the seams of the concrete and didn’t hose loose when the lot was cleaned. I probably got enough for a couple dozen .50 caliber round balls. I also go ahead and pick up the weights that I suspect are actually zinc. I’m not sure why; they melt at a temperature 200-300 higher than lead. I can skim them off the top with the dross, I guess.

I expect to be at the dealer’s until about noon tomorrow. If the new tire makes it in, I really should go have it put on. I guess I’ll see what happens. © 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Is Coming, But That’s Not The Worst Of It!

What happened in Paris is only the beginning. Actually, I told my wife on 9/11 that she was seeing the beginning of the end, and even THAT wasn’t true. The beginning was long ago, but that’s irrelevant now. I believe we’ll soon see such things happening in other countries, including our own. No matter whether Obama pretends to be against such behavior and turns the government loose to fight terrorists, or whether he doesn’t, I believe things will get bad here. Of course, more and more freedoms will be taken from us in the name of “fighting terrorism.” Let’s be honest, though, Bush started THAT ball rolling.

There is another scenario that’s even worse. I’ve already heard the comment that the terrorists just got Trump elected. That doesn’t bother me. He’s no worse than the rest of the candidates, and probably better. HOWEVER, that scares the bejeebers out of all liberals (and muslims like Obama). They will understand the actual NEED for a Paris-like attack in this country to save them from that fate.

Let’s think about it. Muslims have been streaming into this country for years now. Suddenly, our beloved muslim-in-chief has begun bringing them into this country by the thousands. Remember, also, that Obama has spent his whole presidency trying to get rid of the old guard in the military, get Christianity thrown out of same and “islamitize” the remaining troops. Many of the key positions in government are now filled by muslims, including many in security. All Obama needs is a couple of Paris-like situations, and he’ll happily declare martial law. Does it now make even more sense why there’s been an ammunition shortage, to some degree, ever since he’s been in office, while the government has been buying millions of “unneeded” rounds?

Things aren’t looking good, folks. I sort of hope the Lord comes back before all these things happen, but I suspect He’ll let us reap what we’ve sown. After all, the masses have wanted it SO badly, and for SO long. © 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kilroy In The Boudoir

Most of you older folks (like me) know about Kilroy. He used to leave notes in some of the darnedest places. He had a lot of help, of course, including me a few times.

The last time that I assisted him was several years ago when Janice, a single lady that we went to church with, asked if we could move a bed to another room of the house for her. She wasn’t all that much older than my wife and me, but she had some spinal problems and sometimes depended on some of her fellow church members to help her out. She was just fun-loving enough to be good company, but just straight-laced enough to be the object of a certain amount of teasing.

As it turned out, the two girls that she’d adopted kept her busy while we were there, and Janice barely had the time to show us what she wanted done and then inspect our work afterwards. That left my wife and me alone with the main piece of furniture in the room while we fitted the rails, put in the slats and added the box springs and mattress. Noting that there was a large black pen on the dresser, I wrote “KILROY WAS HERE!” on the middle slat and turned that side downward. We quit attending that church not long afterward, so we sort of drifted away from the folks there.

A few years later, some folks from the church pitched in and cleaned her house and moved the bed again, when she had been ill for a while. Someone found the message on the board and the news spread like wildfire among the folks there that day. Janice got asked a lot of questions in double entendre and blushed quite a bit, as she tried to think up smart-alec answers for them. From what I hear, she never did figure out just how that message got here (or when). We never told them either! © 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I’m Not “Buying” It!

I thought about buying some .22 shells a while back, but couldn’t find any. No biggie. I probably have enough for any hunting that I’ll do in my few remaining years, especially considering that I don’t have the wind to walk much anymore. I was thinking primarily of having them for trade goods, if times get truly desperate. Of course, we’re being told that the shortage is merely caused by panicked gun owners hoarding ammunition. I don’t buy it. In normal times, at least ONE of the ammo makers would be building a whole new factory just to meet the demand. Not so these days.

The experience DID reinforce my belief that there is a continuing war on ammunition, as a sneaky way of achieving gun control. There IS, after all, a war on lead, the idea being to make it harder to either manufacture or reload ammunition. We now live in an era of brass sinkers, zinc wheel weights, lead-free gasoline and steel shot. I’m not saying that those things are completely bad, but don’t think there isn’t an ulterior motive. The last lead smelter in the U.S. closed its doors recently, after the EPA raised the regulations on the process tenfold. Lead now has to come from foreign sources for ammo manufacture. Incidentally, I’ve read that leaded fuel for small planes will become prohibitive, also—another “dangerous” freedom done away with.

In all fairness, this started back during LBJ’s presidency, and has continued unabated ever since. THIS president, however, is managing to hasten the loss of our freedoms like no other. Sadly, most of the same idiots who voted for him earlier would happily vote for him again if they could. I guess the citizens, on average, will eventually get everything they deserve. © 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Month Of Porch-Sitting

Those of you who follow my humble ramblings here know of my fondness for the ancient and honorable art of porch-sitting. One of the few good things to come of my recent Congestive Heart Failure, and my even more recent round with A-Fib is the chance to engage in one of my favorite pastimes.

The leaves were just beginning to turn when my vigil began in earnest, the very day of my return from the hospital on October 5th. I could see, perhaps, 30 yards into the woods from my seat in the porch swing. It’s been quieter than normal in my yard this October. With no acorn crop, the raucous sound of arguing squirrels and quarreling blue-jays was rarely heard. The local crows found things in the distance to discuss, but precious few in the limbs of the white oaks around our home at the edge of the woods. Still, I could hear the flying arguments of both species in the distance, so they were in the neighborhood. Even the titmice, chickadees and nuthatches seemed less plentiful than normal, though I don’t know why that should be.

I haven’t been parking myself for all that long at a time in the swing beside the entry to our home. Only a handful of times have I lasted for as long as half-an-hour or more. It seems something, or someone, always calls me away after a few minutes. The lack of long sit-downs has been made up by their frequency, though. Nearly every time I take out the Mighty Dachshund, we have a porch-sit both before and after her sashay on the lawn. That happens a half-dozen times some days, if you include the trips in the night. My little companion seems to enjoy the vigils on the porch nearly as much as I, since she’s just as willing to stay with me there at night as through the day.

It’s been a little warmer than average this October. In fact, here is the 8th of November, and I have yet to need a jacket. I think that may change this coming week. I’ve listened to a lot of wind rustling through the trees during that time. I love the sound. Sometimes, there was rain hitting the leaves, and that added an extra dimension. As the season progressed, even the leaves sounded a lot like rain, as they released their grip and sailed through the treetops to the leaf-littered ground below.

Most of the early color has been maples, so the color before me has stayed a golden hue the whole time. The color has gotten sparser, though, and I can now see 150 yards to the far side of the small hollow beyond the porch. Still, the view is mostly yellow.

This morning, I watched a doe and her “grown” twins in the neighbor’s yard across the road. They were milling around, as if there was something nearby that made them edgy. Finally, I remembered that the rut has begun and thought that a buck might be making a nuisance of himself. Bucks have one-track minds, like teen-aged boys, but the does aren’t interested until they’re interested. Sure enough, five minutes later, a six or eight point buck strode into the area just vacated by the doe and her brood.

The prettiest month is behind me now, but the story continues. I got out my jacket today, so I should still be able to watch the show. Maybe I should pop some corn! © 2015

I "Just Said 'NO'"

I'm feeling a little better these days. They're slowly getting my meds tweaked for best effect. Now they're ready to make some more money. Yes, I know it would be nice to know if I have any blockages. Yes, I know they can do a "chemical" test, so I don't have to have a heart attack on a treadmill. Still, it sounds dangerous in its own right. AND, if I show a bad blockage, they'd want to operate. I think the danger of going under the knife may be as bad as a blockage anyway. Besides, I was getting a fair amount of soluble fiber until recently. I need to get back to it.

They're always ready to use fear to encourage you to help them make more money. Since my wife didn't have chemo or radiation after her mastectomy, they told her that it would come back on her in five years. It's been eight years now. The main problem she has is the lymphoma from not being warned about what to watch for. It would have been avoidable, had she been warned but, she wasn't. And they wanted her to trust them with more treatment!

I said "thank you, bit no thank you."

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Day Trip, Waste, And A Disappointment

I finally got my first sick-pay check this week, plus, I sold a few things. As a result, I was able to take the missus on a jaunt to Amish country in Ohio. I think we both had an equally good time today, even though I didn’t do anything but keep the dog company and read a Backwoodsman magazine. It was a nice drive up and back and my wife managed to visit the places that she likes the best. Now that she’s older and wiser, she doesn’t try to visit every place possible, but takes her time instead. She even stopped back at the truck a couple times to rest her feet and visit with me and the Mighty Dachshund.

We had a nice lunch at Der Dutchman in Walnut Creek, though my food choices were slightly different than they were before my recent diagnosis. I think part of the allure of Amish country for us is that we remember when a few folks still farmed with horses, including my wife’s father. It’s like a return to our childhood, I guess.

A lot of the local farmers are Mennonite, though, instead of Amish, and they use tractors and such. They use herbicides, too, I think. I saw some specimens of weeds in some fields that could normally be used, or even sold, as medicinal herbs. However, I wouldn’t feel safe using herbs that came from a field that had been sprayed with herbicides and other chemicals. It seems like a waste to me that such volunteer plants are thus made unusable. It sort of made me think about the wisdom of eating food crops from that same ground.

That waste reminded me of an electric motor I’d squandered recently. (Don’t ask me why my mind made that connection.) I trashed the old ceiling fan in the kitchen last month, when the blades became cracked and unusable. Only AFTER the trash men had come did I realize that I shouldn’t have parted with an electric motor, especially one that had three speeds. I’d been thinking of making a sifter for cleaning woods dirt for my garden, and here I’d thrown away the perfect vibrator motor. “Too soon old and too late smart,” the “Pennsylvania Dutch” are reputed to say.

Coming home and checking the mail box, I got a letter from the state that says since I’m now getting $200 a week in sick pay, I’ll lose my medical card and all but $16 of the SNAP benefits I’d just been granted. No more visits to either my regular doctor or my heart doctor, I guess. I’m just too rich to afford them, along with the blood-thinner that will cost me $360 a month without the medical card.

Oh well, we had a good day, today. The b_st_rds can’t take THAT away from us! © 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Sad Scene, And Blame To Spare

We were headed to the chainsaw shop before they closed this evening. Just after we dropped off our hill and into the holler, the road was blocked by a medium-sized SUV straddling the center line with its driver’s door open. A teen-aged boy stood along the right side of the road with his skateboard. Soon, the driver appeared from a little huddle of folks to the rear of the truck, along the far side of the road. A couple seconds later, a young man and woman began walking from behind the truck, toward the little house about 50 feet from the road. In the woman’s slightly extended arms lay the motionless, slightly flattened-looking body of a little dog. Its little friend danced on its rear legs, as it tried to check on its companion.

The SUV began to pull away, so we moved forward, only to have the teen-ager start to mount his board directly in front of us. With her window down already, my wife couldn’t resist telling the boy that he should stay out of the road. I noticed there was no leash or chain on either the live or dead little dogs.

The story was obvious. The “skater” was moving down the road and the little dog ran out to chase him. The boy really shouldn’t skate in a road with that much traffic, and should be aware of the effect his presence could cause. The driver was probably hurrying home from work, paying little attention to animals running loose in people’s yards. A driver should ALWAYS be on the lookout for kids and animals. The dog owners obviously weren’t responsible enough to keep their dogs restrained, either for the sake of passers-by, or for the safety of their animals. People who live that close to a road should NEVER let their animals run loose.

Due to four irresponsible people, a little dog lies dead. I feel bad for the dead dog and for its little friend who will mourn his passing. I find it much harder to feel sympathy for any upset felt by the people involved; they ALL should have known better. © 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Grumps, Gripes and Updates

I got my first sick-pay check today. It was for three weeks, so it was for an amount similar to what I’d get for a busy week at work. From here on out, the checks will be weekly, so they won’t be very big, but they’ll still be better than the zero’s I’ve been receiving. This past month, we’ve bought groceries and gas on money from selling personal items that we’d planned on selling anyway. I’d applied for food stamps, and was going to get some, but I figure I won’t get them, since I’m drawing sick pay now. I’ll try to find out tomorrow. I’ve decided to apply for disability, but have no idea if I’ll get it. If I do, it will pay about 40% more than early retirement, which I was going to go for in a couple years. Either way, I may have to get some piddly little job to make ends meet. I doubt if I’ll be able to keep my CDL after having A-Fib.

My checks are mailed to the shop for some reason, so I’ll have to pick them up there. I find it telling that I’ve not received one card or phone call from anyone at the company to see how I’m doing. I’ve gotten none from the two neighborhood churches where I used to attend, either, though I know I’m on the prayer list at one. I realize that my wife and I are a bit reclusive, but not to THAT degree. Maybe I’ve somehow just made enemies of them all over the years.

I stopped by my doctor’s office today and found that my urinalysis and blood-work both came back “perfect,” according to the nurse. A week ago, I peed what looked like straight blood a couple times, so I quit taking the blood-thinner, but stayed with an aspirin or two a day. She told me to drop the aspirin and go back on the thinner and see what happens.

I’m finding that I’m beginning to miss driving truck. You might guess that I’d be four years on a job I hated (telemarketing), but only a little over a year on one I like. I suppose the Lord has His reasons, though, so I should quit grumping and try to figure out they are.

My stepson and his wife, and her little granddaughter, came out for a visit yesterday and my wife and I really enjoyed seeing them. The little girl is a sweetie. Knowing her mother and grandma, I think it must be genetic.

We had a busy day, after a couple laid-back ones, and I’m feeling tired. The evening is half over, so I think I’ll join my wife and the dog and go nap in front of the TV. Sorry if I seem unsociable. © 2015