Move or Stay?
Do you wnat to move or stay where you are?
That was the question posed to me three weeks ago, when I arrived home from work.
What are you talking about? I asked the wife.
She went on to inform me, that our landlord, gave us two options...either move within 30 days, or try and purchase our rental home. (The owners want to sell the property and take out their equity-can't say I blame them).
It's a long story, why we are still renting at retirement age, but suffice it to say that an injury some time ago and a long rehab., put us in dire straights. It wasn't comforting to start from scratch in your middle years, but there it was.
We sold our beloved home on a half acre and started over. It's been a struggle ever since. Not withstanding all the boo hoo, we decided to try and purchase this home. It needs a lot of work, but the price is right, and I am a long time builder. Besides that we like the neighbors and the neighborhood.
While waiting to hear whether the loan will go through, we have been preparing for a move. In the scheme of things it works to our advantage. If we need to move, we've got a start on the packing and cleaning. If we get the house, we have it partially emptied and plan on re-texturing and re-painting.
In the end, spring cleaning happened upon us almost at the same time. We shreaded documents, old files, had a garage sale and will ship out all the kids stuff we have been saving for years.
So whether or not we get the house, we are prepared...at least I think we are, lol!
I'M BAAACK!-After a five year hiatus, I'm back to add more fun to my previious long running blog. Since that time, I've become semi-retired, have divested myself of a lot of time consuming stuff, and decided to concentrate on one blog and some other writing.
I've had several Wordpress blogs, a military website and some other things, that ran their course. During that time, we lost my dad, a daughter-in-law- who succumbed to a brave two year battle with cancer, a cousins wife's accidental death, and other things that affect daily life.
Now at the age of 66, I want to concentrate on certain things, but I don't want to give up blogging. To wit, I recently asked to retrun to Blogdrive, (I had delted my old email and couldn't access the site). I was pleasantly surprised with a quick response and info that helped me once again gain access.
So what's new? Well I guess you'll just have to stop by and check me out again!
Halloweenie is alive and well at HD
Orange Aprons rejoice!!!
Just in time for the annual Spook Festival is all us underpaid, overworked, highly ambitious Orange Apron look alikes...I often find myself, standing in front of the Halloweenie Display, face contorted, arms outstreched, trying to scare the heck out of unsuspecting passerby's.
Looking more like one of the evil, yellow toothed, grey haired old men, whom pop out regularly at young children and adults alike-from atop a display shelf, I find myself both amused and horrified.
At one side of the aisle, is the Halloween display. A mummy stands guard, high atop an overhead shelf, arms outstretched, duct tape...or perhaps strips of cotton swabbing hanging from his torso. Below him, a headless horsemen....ah less his head and his horse....um....looking like a headless...ah...corpse?
Down at ground level, various animatronic evil things that pop out of coffins, undergrond caverns and other misc. hidden places. We even have one of these "Living Dead" things haning over a display outside which reads:
"Scare up a new granite Countertop!" (They don't lie...The $85.00 buck per sq. ft price would scare the heck out your old lady)!!!
Opposite the Halloween Evil doers, is the Christmas display...No kiddin!!! Only a hop, skip and a jump to your death away from the Devil display is the Christmas display....Wires bent into the shape of reindeers, and winged angels, provide safe haven for those frightened kids trying to hide from the Ghosts and Ghouls on aisle twelve. It won't be long now until Christams carols waft over the loud speakers of the store. Intermixed with the cries and growls of Werewolves, the Mummy and the galloping hoofs of the headless horsemans horse, it will surely be a holiday to enjoy!
Word of caution though....You can hide behind one of our fake Christams trees, or try to vanish beneath boxes of plastic ornaments or silvery chaff....but...and I say butt...beware that tall old fart in the orange apron, with outstretched arms and a growl that scare the crap out of an unsuspecting customer let alone a child!
Take it off-Conclusion
About fifteen minutes later, I spotted the elderly gentleman and his wife, as they came back out the front door of Home Depot. They immediately headed back towards the weedeater.
I watched as the old man, lifted up the machine again, some twenty minutes after his initial inspection. I focused on his movements as he swapped the weedeater end to end and inspected the line.
Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer. I left the comfort of my shade and sauntered out into the hundred degree sun to get a fix on the situation.
"Did you find a similar weedeater inside?" I asked.
"We found some other Homelites-different model numbers," He expalined. "But they were more money."
I watched for a minute or two, as he tried to remove the red nut from the bottom of the weedeater, which contained the line.
"Hey, sonny," He said. "If you can get the nut off this thing and show me how to wind the line, I'll buy it!"
Say no more, I thought. All of 6'-41/2" and strong as an ox..(Well I was once, lol!) I wrested the weedeater from the old mans hands and took it upon myself to impress the elder gentleman and his wife.
I twisted the nut counterclockwise, but it wouldn't budge. "I got a broken hand and wrist on this arm and arthritis in this one," I explained....But..the doggone thing shouldn't be so hard to remove.
The old man smiled. "I understand he said, as he took the machine out of my hands. Let me give it one more go!" He did the same as I did, twisting the nut counterclockwise as per my instructions.
"You guys sure your twisting that thing the right way?" The old lady asked.
I comforted her with years of knowledge and experiance with various makes of weedeaters. "Oh yeah!" I hollered. "Every machine I have had, you had to turn the nut counterclockwise." The old man concurred.
"Why is that," She muttered softly"
"Because the head rotates clockwise, so putting on the nut counterclockwise ensures it doesn't fly off." She seemed satisfied with my answer, as I once more took my turn trying to remove the nut. After some time, it occured to both of us, that we required help.
My next trick, was to recruit an unsuspecting stranger. A muscular guy, probably 10 or 15 years our junior, seemed eager to impress. But he too failed as did we.
I told him that whoever put it together must of used a wrench and overtightned it. I sent him into the store to retreive some water pump pliers. A few minutes later he reappeared. I asked if he found pliers and he said no, but that he had found someone else to help.
A minute later, Nicole, the Garden Center gal showed up. I looked at her, she looked at me. "What's the problem," She asked. Overtightened nut all three of us husky men replied.
She took the weedeater from my hands and turned it over. She started to turn the nut, albiet without a wrench..."I told you it was on too tight," I replied...."Your going to need a wrench. Just then, the old man turned to me and said; "Would'nt you be surprised if she took it off!....Then how would you feel."
I would feel embarrased!" I replied..."Plus she would never let me forget it!" A few seconds later, Nicole spun around, and with a smile on her face, handed me the red nut.
"How did you.....?"
"You turn the nut in the direction of the arrow, silly" She replied....You know clockwise!"
We all laughed. Three strong guys, ten minutes and a twenty something gal, took it off in a few seconds with one hand.
Silence fell over the assembled throng, which then stood at five.
"Just like a man!" Chortled the elderly old gal. "They never read the directions!!"
We all had a good laugh, at my expense.
And...they bought the weedeater, with Nicoles help of course!!!! ;)
If she takes that off....Part 2
At some point, I spotted an elderly gentelman pushing a shopping cart, his wife in tow. Opposite the tent I was in, was an open display with such things as lawn mowers, power washers and a lone weedeater.
Between giving away coupons for the Tuff Shed BBQ drawing, and watching to ensure product did not "WALK" off from the lot, I kept an eye on the interesting couple next to me.
The elderly gentleman bent down, picked up the weedeater, turned it this way and that, then turned to his wife asked her a series of questions.
"The tag says it was $89.00 but now it's listed for $59.00. Do you think thats a good deal?" He asked.
"That's a good price!" She answered. "But there must be something wrong with it, if it only costs $59.00."
"Well, it looks in pretty good shape, but for $59.00, maybe its a rebuilt."
"I don't think it's rebuilt," She replied, because it looks too new.
"Well they clean them up after they rebuild them," Said he....so maybe this is a rebuilt machine that someone washed off."
The conversation went on for some time like this...perhaps for ten minutes or so. Freeing myself from the comfortable shade of a tent and some onry kids that had been running amok thru glass lamps, I made my way towards the couple.
"How can I help you folks, today?"
"Well....young man...I am looking for a weedeater."
"Are you replacing one," I asked.
"The old man grinned broadly, then informed me that he was buying one for his wife. Curious, I asked what she needed a weedeater for.
"Well...I only mow the lawn," He stated. Pointing to his elderly wife and smiling broadly, he said; "The old gal does the weedeating!" We all laughed, then he picked up the weedeater once more.
"Honey," He said. This one has a straight shaft...like...then he winked...."Do you like this one, or would you prefer a bent shaft."
"Well, the bent shaft is OK, but now that I look at it the longer one would be nice."
The conversation went on for another five minutes- the old man and his wife discussing the pro's and con's of a bent shaft weedeater vs a straight one. It was all I oculd do to keep a straight face, lol! At one point she stated she thought it was too heavy for her. I demonstrated the weedeater, informed her it was one of the lgihtest ones we sold, then she tried it out.
"Do you think tis price is right," She asked.
"Yes maam....it was orginally $89.00, now its on sale for $59.00." Another five minutes passed as they discussed whether the machine as new or rebuilt. I finally took the machine, opened the fuel tank and showed them it had never been filled, how clean it was, etc.
"But do you think its a good deal?" The woman asked me.
"Lets put it this way," I said. "If I didn't work here, I could buy it, and seeing I need a weedeater, I would have bought it, one; Because I need one, two because the price is in my budget and three, because it's a Homelite, which I have owned three of.
This immediately triggered the old mans recollection about of all things chainsaws...Seems he was a rep for McCullough chainsaws some years ago up in Canada. As it happened, my first and second chainsaws were also McCullough's, so we had a discussion about them. Somehow the conversation turned back to Homelite and my dad's passion for Homelite chainsaws. Another five minutes passed as he and I discussed the pros and cons of each chainsaw, as his elderly wife stood patiently by.
Finally spotting cusotmers near the tent, I asked;
"Would yo like to take the weedeater with you today?"
"Well...I had some more questions...Think we will go in the store and look at your selection...We really want to be sure this is new and not a rebuilt.' (No matter what I had said over the previous 15 minutes, I hadn't convinced them that the machine was new).
Thinking I had lost the sale, I scurried back to my shady tent to attend to other customers...
If she takes it off.....
Home Depot, Adventure #1:
The other day, while hiding...er....sitting in my self-imposed four walled cell of a Kitchen cabinet design center, I was handily dispatched...or what they called in the Air Force, "VOLUNTEERED." for a special assignment.
"Hey Pops," Bob-one of our esteemed department heads asked. How would you like to sit outside in the fresh air and get a suntan for a few hours....?"
Well...you didn't have to hit me over the head with a shovel, or ask me twice. Being an old carpenter and fisherman/hunter...I always love a chance to get outdoors. It hasn't been in my nature recently, but I never turned down a chance to get some sunshine.
As it turned out, it was a pretty good assignment. HD had put a bunch of items on clearance-mainly to draw the weekend shoppers, then set up shop, under a nice tent, complete with table and chair.
All I had to do, was give away a chance at a drawing for a gas BBQ, sponsored by Tuff Shed, and keep an eye on the other products, so they didn't "WALK" away....;)
Oh...I could tell you about all the beautiful tanned girls and women in short shorts and other thingies...but that would be interesting. Instead I will tell you about one old couple...
Stay tuned....If she takes it off, I will be embarrased.
I showed up for work the other day, prepared to go into the training room at Home Depot, and continue my non-stop, incessant computer training, by watching flash videos of various things such as warranties, cashiering and the rest. God knows Home Depot needs help, but why or why do they put a 38 year carpenter on 20 hours of cashier training is beyond this old fart!
I assumed, (Unlike my old military Sargeant whom said not to assume anything), that the room would be all to myself, but I was wrong. Six fresh faces lined the training tables, with their Orange Home Depot Kits neatly arranged in front of them.
Assuming my seat in an old cloth chair, I aranged the foul smelling and ill fitting headphones upon my grey head of hair and proceeded to doze off into la la land. (I meant training, lol!).
So everything was gong pretty hunky dorry, me concentrating through my closed eyelids on a cartoon figure whose mouth didn't match the words coming thru the mike. Even with ear phones on, one could ovehear conversations...the same old stale speil that I heard a month ago....I tried to go back to sleep...er...training, but it was no use.
After four or five hours of sitting on my duffes, I stretched out my 6 foot four frame and in doing so, shoved my chair backwards hitting a young lady in a chair behind me. I nodded my apology, she smiled...I went back to sleep. After another boring hour, I stretched again, and once more knocked the young lady almost out of her site. Another apology, another smile....Zzzzz.....
A few minutes later, I noticed a large blue cloth chair come flying across the room in my direction. It hit the computer desk next to me almost knocking it to the floor. It then fell in my direction, almost knocking the sleep out of my eyes!
As I looked behind, me, I noticed the same yung women, now sprawled across the floor. I threw off my headphones and offered a hand up, but she got up on her own. "You trying to retaliate for me hitting you twice?" I asked.
"No!," She responded. "I got up to switch videos in the VCR, came back to the table, but when I sat down I missed my chair!"
She apoligized this time, and I just smiled back.
Chair Wars....The game bored people play!
OK, so I laughed at a couple of the videos! The snowman, wanting to know what the contestants...oops!!! I mean the canditates would do about global warming and what effect it would have on his little snowball son...or the two Tennessee guys who put on a good imitation of backwood shanigians for Joe Biden and the rest of the group.
So it was an experiment gone berserk, so what! YOU-Tube or what I call it, YOU- Boob! If you ever watched many of the videos on this new fangled contraption, you will note how many of them are just stupid. Oh sure, some are good, a few are funny, but for the most part, I can spend my time watching something much more worthwhile, then some injuts video rendition of his Elvis Presely imitation, some gal half naked in her thong, or some fat kid swinging around a sword while Star Trek is playing in the BG.
Anyway, I came away from CNN and the likeable Anderson Cooper, with the same thoughts I have had on every other Presidential debate...They really just need to cull out all the video, all the talking heads all the BS...and give all these folks about 10 minutes each to answer...The trouble with each and every debate is the one minute response.
My answer to this problem goes like this....Lets get them all together in the Senate or House Chamber, with a video camera. Since they like to blather for hours about insignificant things, lets lock them all in a room with say 50 folks, one from each state of the union. Questions are put forth to the dias, and one, by one each canditate, has to talk for an hour about how they will fix a certain problem facing the nation.
Simple rules state that each canditate must not do any of the following:
1. You must talk for an hour at the min. about the subject at hand.
2. You may not tell us what the problem is,,,(We already know!) You have to tell us how you would fix a problem. (Details, Details, Details!)
3. You may not ask another candidate a question or demand equal time. You are to answer a citizen directly and not get off track. (Paris Hilton will be monitioring your electronic bracelet!)
4. Your not allowed to doze off, go to the bathroom, drink booze or womanize until your hour is up.
5. Bashing the current President will get you five minutes in front of Lindsy Lohans Yukon SUV.
6. Stupid campaign videos or clips will not be allowed. (Excepting of course Global Warming Snowman, who was very funny)!
A busy month...
Where is the old fart?
Well the old guy has been busier than a herd of old gals chasing DMan and Herb around the coffee machine, lol!
Had to work late at my new job...(Even after 38 years in the construction business, you still have to push a wagon load of lackers up the hill with ya!) So I got off at around 7:30PM, having missed spending the day with our grandkiddies and watching the parade...(Not to mention, this shutternut missed some fantastic pics).
My wife and youngest son, met me at work, left his car and headed to Melba for the Fireworks. Although I missed the kiddies parade and the carnie, we camped out, in the middle of an old high school grass field and watched a terrific light show. As last year, it was Patriotic to the core, the fireworks going off in unison with the music.
Welcome to the Home Depot...Dummy
Somedays the job sucks, other days it's bearable. For the first few days, everyone was nice, but I quickly came to the realization that HD is the same as my other few and far between jobs with big corporations. They are full of backbiters, backstabbers and lackers...Oh...their are a few nice guys and gals, but few and far between. Not to mention that they lie a lot.
Hired as a Kitchen Designer, I soon came to the conclusion that all I am is an old glorified salesman...which I am not...at least not yet, lol! It's amazing, as with several other outfits I have worked with, that somewhere along the line, what they hire you for is something entirely different than what you think.
So it seems, I am third or fourth in line for this job, behind of course...(And Ok with me, several senior people who have been with them for several years. But upon learning that it takes a year and half to be certified as a Kitchen Designer, don't know if I want to hang around that long.
Anyway it is OK somedays, not others...The weekends we spent with he kiddies are gone, no two days off in a row and wierd hours. I shouldn't be complaining, at least its a job. But as you grow older, friends and family become more important than an unfullfilling job. (Not to mention this is out of town and it is costing a fortune in gas).
Have had a lot of friends and family up to visit my mother. After dads passing last year, they realize that they better make trips to see mom, while she still has her mental capicity. Now 83...and still spry, she is none the less aging quickly before our eyes. She talks of having to give up her driving which is limited right now, and her health as it deteriates over time.
My free time is spent between chores at our house and hers. Any free time is few and far between, but that comes with having to take care of an aging parent. It's kind of like having kids for you younger folks. Its a full time job, and you must make sacrifices in your life when the time comes.
So anyhow...we relish the time we spend with our grandkids and what little free time we have to ourselves these days. The older we grow, the more important family is to us. We will all hit the end of the road someday, and as my dying father said to my mother..."Mom....we had a great ride, didn't we!" (I wish I can say the same, when my times comes...)
GOD Bless, Dad...you were the best ;)
Cup Half Full or Half Empty?
You all know by now, that I have a new job at Home Depot. So far the training sucks...but that's another story, lol. Anyway, we have to spend four hours in the AM sitting in front of a computer, ear phones on-as we watch and listen to some Flash cartoon like character giving us tips on stuff that I have learned over my 38 years in the construction trades..I think they mistake us old farts as young kids....Dumb and DUMBER ;)
Half the stuff is so boring, it's hard for an old geezer like me to keep my peepers open. Weaned off coffee a long time ago, I usually opt for hot tea to keep me going...but low and behold, the coffee maker machine in the break room doesn''t have tea...
The first day, I spent 10 minutes trying to figure how to put a dollar bill in the doggone thing...Fold it flat, stick this end in...no the other one...make sure George is facing up...no the right...no...the left....turn it around dummy! Finally it took my money...I then spent another minute or two, trying to figure out which button to push. Little did I know you can select three types of coffee; Mild, Strong or JUICED!!
After all that, and some razzing from the break room crowd on the old fart, trying to use the coffee machine, it spit out a cardboard cup. Low and behold I received not a full cup but about three fourths. I told someone it was outrageous to spend a buck for a cup of coffee...but the very next day, I found it cost only .50! Oh well...Hope whomever got my change yesterday, scalded their tongue!!
The following day, I hit said machine up three times...each time I got something different...Half full or half empty, depending on your take of things...1/4' full or empty the last time...Still...it only cost me .50 cents...what am I complaining about?
Today I lucked out and the cup was overflowing...Now i don't know who invented this thing....but my take is that if averaged out over a week, I probably get 3/4 cup of coffee for my hard earned two bits!
Oh yeah...and I found a slot that accepts two quarters after two weeks on the job...GO FIGURE!