Wednesday, December 28, 2011

AT&T Did a Number on Me, (not a phone number)

I just found out that Dolly Parton is a real live human being and not a Barbie Doll that was lifted to extreme heights on a platform, during a lightning storm, by a fellow named Dr. Frankenstein! For some reason that seems likely to me for an explanation. Oh well, it's one of those nights.

I did accomplish something today worthy of writing about. I have been a customer of AT&T's for 22 months now. I have a Blackberry telephone that I'm more than pleased with. I pay $111.00 per month for my privilege of being an AT&T customer. Accidentally, I learned that everyone else that has more minutes than me is paying less, so I called AT&T and spoke with a representative and she reduced my 900 minutes per month to 450 and allowed me to keep my rollover minutes, which is why I chose AT&T to begin with. That reduced my bill by $20, plus she explained that I would be allowed to have all mobile to mobile minutes free of any charge in an unlimited fashion. I reiterated, "all carriers"? She said yes, not just AT&T as before. Great, so my 450 minutes will only be affected by landline calls, plus I've got over 7000 minutes accumulated in my rollover minutes. I was more than pleased.

Then I spoke with another friend that also has AT&T and he told me he just got his data reduced to the minimum of 200 from unlimited and that saved him $20. So today, I called the mother company (AT&T) again and this time got a young lady that actually spoke English without any accent. She lowered my bill by another $20 per month by reducing my unlimited package to 200 Megabits. My bill is now $40 per month lower. I asked Sara to reiterate my package again and she omitted mentioning my mobile to "any" mobile portion, so I asked her about it. She said no, that is not on my package. I began getting irate as the first rep insisted it was good forever. We went up and back and Sara began apologizing for the previous reps mistake. I stopped her and explained that when a representative of AT&T enters into a contract with me, she is representing the company and "I'm sorry" just doesn't cut it.

Now I've been on the phone for about 30 minutes by this time and she asked me to hold while she spoke with a supervisor. Another 15 minutes went by when she asked if she could call me back? I mention that the conversation I'd had with the previous rep was taped according to what the message told me before I entered into a conversation with her and that if she had any doubts, she could go back and listen to the tape. She said they really don't use those and she has no way of finding out which location the girl came from. That's when I stopped believing her.

An hour later she finally returned my call, evidently the supervisor was out having a cigarette and here was my offer. She cannot do what I want, but she can offer me unlimited "any" mobile to any mobile plus unlimited texting that I really don't care about, for an additional $10. Now that's a good deal, I suspect, but NOT when I was given. I caved, mostly because I was bored with it and agreed to pay the additional 10 bucks. My contract is up in 2 months and I'm going to have to rethink AT&T. I'm also eligible for an iPhone for $99 and that will require more gigs if I get it. Plus it has a better camera!

Here's another thing. AT&T knew for the past 22 months that I had been oversold when I first got my phone and for 22 months they let me pay $40 too much. That doesn't create that warm and fuzzy feeling about AT&T, does it?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I haven't been writing very much of late, the thought of sitting down in front of a computer screen just doesn't appeal to me lately. I was casually sitting on my reclining chair, pivoting between Letterman and Leno when I realized that a bowl of cereal sounded good. I had just watched a commercial about the holidays and how you have to watch your weight, so after arriving in the kitchen, I studied the inventory of cereals. I came across one that didn't look familiar, nor had I ever even heard of it before, perfect. I tried a finger tip of it and it reminded me of a whole grain type and it wasn't sweet at all. It was called "Ezekiel 4:9" and beneath that it said, "As described in the holy scriptures". Hmm.... How bad could it be, it's from Biblical times?

So I poured a generous portion of this shit and on my way to my reclining chair, I knew in the back of my mind it was going to end up in the garbage can. Being the open minded man that I am, I figured I'd give it a chance. If nothing else, it was high in fiber (I think). I settled in and began crunching on this stuff, when I realized the first spoonful was still in my mouth and about 2 minutes had gone by. A commercial came on the TV and I suddenly thought of the desert and wondered what it would be like to take a spoonful of desert sands, complete with milk and sugar and put it into your mouth. That's when I spit the shit out! It was like eating your way out of your grave!

Here it is the first night of Hanukkah and here I am a Jew, eating from the Holy Scriptures. I'm lucky there was no lightning involved!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Macy Takes a Dive...

The night was exceedingly dark with no moon and the only thing that presented themselves were shadows. The time was about 8:30 and after a summer (her first) of above average temperatures, Macy has been enjoying the rather cold evenings we've been having, by barking and chasing off the would be imaginary trespassers in the neighborhood or she's planning a special rendezvous with the neighboring dog next door. Either way, she's been content to spend her time outside during this time of the year.

One thing I must note, Macy is NOT a water dog. She's either petrified of it from some time before she entered our household or she is just plain afraid of the water. If you want to get rid of Macy, show her a hose or pretend you're going to push her into the pool. She immediately tucks her tail between her legs and cowers away. Because she tends to be annoying when she's on one of her rants out there, it's just as obvious when it's too quiet. So during the commercial break of some TV show I was watching, I got up to check her and there was no Macy to be found. I called out her name repeatedly but no reaction. I poked my head into LJ's room through her sliding glass doors and asked if Macy were in there and she replied, No, LJ had taken a bath. I went back outside and searched the yard and just by chance I looked towards the pool and kind of noticed one spot that was darker than the rest and sure enough, there was Macy, nose up, holding onto the side of the pool for dear life. The only thing I could see as I got closer was her two front paws on the side and her nose sticking up and God only knows how long she's been in there. The water was almost freezing, as I pulled her up by her two front paws. Macy weighs about 80 LBS and soaking wet she was even heavier, but my adrenalin played it's part and I was able to pull her out with one try.

She bee-lined it towards the sliding door that I had left open and didn't shake off until she was safely inside, Macy would only walk next to the wall with her back kind of hunched and acted just strange. We dried her off and Julie took her into her room for some much needed pampering. About 3 minutes later Julie came out of her room and announced that Macy was receiving visitors now and I slowly entered and there was Macy, the princess, in the middle of Julie's king sized bed with pillows piled all around her just taking it all in.

I was kind of worried that she had gone into shock, so I looked it up on the Internet and it said to check for her gums appearing too light in color, but Macy's were a rosy pink, so I didn't worry too much. The following morning she came running out of Julie's room and jumped up on me, then the pool table and I knew she was back to normal. She had me a bit worried though. This summer, the first thing she learns is either how to swim or at least how to find the steps in the pool. These pups are worse than kids!

Monday, November 28, 2011

They Wait in the Shadows...

When Macy came along, the first thing on my list to get was a crate to train her in. Evidently it wasn't even in the rankings on her list, because there was never a time when she was happy in the crate and would agree to stay. When forced to, she took it into her own hands and literally broke out within an amazing 10 seconds, pulling the entire front of the collapsible crate crate down, where she could easily just walk out laughing.

The crate sat around collecting dust for about 6 months when I decided to finally try putting an ad on Craig's List. That turned out to be a similar fiasco. I really couldn't find a category for dog crates. There were dogs, but no pet supplies. There were pet services, so I tried both and never could find where my ad was placed. I paid $30 for the crate, "used" when I first bought it, but probably spent at least 5 or 10 dollars on gas picking it up. I put my ad in for $45, knowing I had bought it rather cheaply, but I never got a call for at least 24 hours. Finally on Saturday afternoon about 1 PM, a lady called and said she'd be right over. She was prompt and handed me $45 saying it was going to be perfect. The entire transaction took about 3 minutes. The fact is, Macy had not even had time to stop wagging her tail when the woman with her crate in tow, exited. Macy looked at me as if to say, WTF? Not much of a visit!

That's when the strange things started happening. I started getting text messages that asked if I'd take $25, I replied, Nah! When I checked my spam, it was unusually full for just one day and I checked to see where it was all coming from. It was the Craig's List Creeps! The individuals that sit around monitoring Craig's List for potential victims, suckers if you will? "Please supply your email address, along with your password, to verify that you are really you". Then in the browser, it says it's from Alibaba69. The best one was, YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF CRAIG'S LIST RULES BY PLACING MORE THAN ONE ADD IN A DAY AND WILL LOSE YOUR WELCOME ON CRAIG'S LIST UNLESS YOU SUPPLY YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND PASSWORD!!!" You really needed to have an attorney on hand to undertake such a task as placing an ad on Craig's List The average simpleton COULD lose the family, home along with his savings.

And the madness continued into today with more spam arriving with other insults to my intelligence, but I just delete. I felt pretty good enjoying my profit on something that should never have created one and splurged and ordered a pizza. I know, but I just went crazy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let There Be Light!

Today's wound was from a falling ballast when I dismantled the light fixture in the laundry room. It is the fluorescent type that hold 2 four foot long tubes. When one bulb won't light, it's usually just a bulb, but when both won't light simultaneously, it's either the starter or the ballast, depending upon how old the fixture is. I learned this from a well informed employee of the world famous Home Depot. So today, instead of buying what I thought I might need, I first dismantled the light fixture and found a ballast, indicating the fixture was one of the newer variety. Opening the fixture, after removing the 2 tubes was similar to opening a Swiss watch. Things came flying out, mostly wires reminding me of a jack in the box popping up.

The next step took some nerve. It required me to cut the wires connecting the ballast in an, all or nothing, effort. Then just one small screw held up the hefty item and when it came crashing down to the floor, it cut my arm, ever so slightly. Casualty number one.

I took the old ballast to Home Depot and in no time at all, found an unsuspecting clerk to assist me. Lets call him Clem. Clem looked like every other Home Depot employee that you've ever seen. He wore his orange apron and was very polite. He asked me to wait while he finished up with a customer and I did. Finally Clem smiled and asked how he could assist me. Holding up my old ballast, I pointed out that I thought I needed a new one. He took it from me and inspected it. "Just as I thought Clem explained, it's a PX173945, these are going to be outlawed starting next month. I could sell you one today, but I wouldn't be doing you any favors. That's your government working for you"! Feeling like I owed Clem my life for keeping me within the law, I thanked him endlessly, repeatedly wiping my sweating brow. Talk about dodging a bullet!

Clem walked us over to a selection of the new streamlined ballasts that are approved for extended use. He squatted down to search the bottom shelf creating a sound that I wasn't expecting, kind of a sickly groan. Then he told me that he wasn't used to being old and reached for his reading glasses. I smiled and pointed to mine, part of the "old guys" necessities. That's when Clem started to share. He told me that his daddy told him that after 40, things would start getting tough. He laughed and told me that he was never better between 40 and 45, then all hell broke loose, now that he's turned 50. Trying not to blurt out, "you ain't seen nothing yet", I casually mentioned that I'm 65 and one day, and they don't let you know ahead of time, every square inch of skin on your body changes and begins to look like your scrotum......................... and it happens overnight!!!

That's when Clem looked at me and nothing came out. He was silent, just staring at me. I think this is when we went from customer and clerk to just two guys telling it like it is. Things seemed to move in slow motion as Clem's face curled into a smile and he let out the biggest, loudest belly laugh he ever let out in his 50 years. After composing himself, he asked me, yours got 2 blue wires, 2 red wires, 2 yellow wires, a black wire and a white wire? I said, yes and he sent me to the cashier's. I went home and tried my very best to not electrocute myself. I installed the new ballast, my LEGAL one and got the biggest thrill when I turned the light switch and it actually worked. Let there be light!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Direct TV and Dish Network and Still No Help...

This is one of the few households that subscribe to both Dish Network and Direct TV. I'll get to the reason that I'm telling you that in a moment. Last week I had the miserable job of replacing a kitchen faucet. If you think about it, the working condition leave a lot to be desired. You're squeezed in under the sink with the pee trap and the garbage disposal to keep you company and no matter what you do, you cannot reach whatever it is that you're trying to reach. Once you devise a route to get to said location, you then have to perform a task on that part that requires movement, which is certainly not going to happen. They have devised something called a faucet wrench that we purchased for the job, but I never found the occasion to use it. There's another $12 item that will sit on the table next to it's receipt forever. Now picture yourself reaching up to attache a bolt to the hot and cold water knobs of your sink. Are you picturing where it is? Are you picturing the pee trap and the garbage disposal in their proper place? Now, with only the one hand that can access the thread of the knob, try wrapping silicone tape around the threads. I completed said task, got the bleeding to stop on my head, where I whacked it on the cabinet corner (actually saw stars on that one) and it only took me one afternoon and 3 trips to Home Depot. I told my son at lunch the other day that I installed a faucet in the kitchen sink. All he asked was,"How many trips to Home Depot did it take"? I said 3. He said, "Nice job"! We both laughed because we know that whatever you purchase at Home Depot, for whatever reason, is not going to happen in one trip. My catastrophe was when I was all finished, my hoses that came out of the new faucet would not even come close to the water supply. That required 2 additional trips alone!

By this time you are probably wondering why I started this post with the discussion of satellite TV. Well, in an effort to maybe learn a little bit about installing a kitchen faucet, I watched DIY TV for several days, hoping that they would install a faucet for an example for me. However, it being what you may call boring TV, all they did was mention installing a faucet and suddenly it would appear. Somehow I got addicted to Do-It-Yourself TV. I found it relaxing to watch some poor slob destroy a kitchen that looked perfectly wonderful to me, because it was outdated. I watched them install brass back-splashes, sinks that looked like the urinals at the local YMCA and beautiful granite counters. So after about a week or 10 days of watching DIY channel when nothing more interesting was on, last Saturday I went to my friendly TV and low and behold DIY station now costs money to watch. It was SNATCHED out of my regular programming, which by the way costs an arm and a leg! Not believing my eyes, I went to the room that houses our Direct TV, perfectly lovely 42' flatscreen TV and there it was, my DIY station, still for free.

So here's what I think happened. The powers that be at Dish Network tracked my TV watching and discovered that I had a new interest, DIY. Well, they weren't going to miss a chance at getting a little more money out of us, so in order to feed my new habit, they figured I happily toss in a few more chips to watch some fool demolish his back deck with his overweight daughter hindering his every move! Well, they didn't plan on Direct TV coming to my rescue at $29.99 a month.

The fact is, I don't have Direct TV by choice, but when I had it put in, I didn't know I was signing a 2 year contract, so when I moved, Direct TV moved with me like some unwanted distant cousin that you can't seem to shake.

In closing, I've got 4 more months of Direct TV then they're out of here, if you're attempting to install a kitchen faucet DO NOT watch the DIY channel, but you may feel perfectly welcome to contact me and I can give you advice on how to wrap a bandage and stop excessive bleeding. Good night...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Date in Months...

I haven't gone on a date for quite some time and this is the reason why. I've pretty much dropped off of the dating services after years of poor results. Oh sure I've met a few people that were of substance, but the vast majority of them were of substance abuse!  Most of the people on the sites have been there for many years, expecting the next date to be different, but they never are. I present to you, one more night in the life of the "The Dating Guy".

Without ever joining the site, I have been a member of for many years. It was a spin off of when I was a member in 2004. I send their solicitation to my spam folder, but occasionally it slips past the guards into my inbox. This particular day, there was notice of a woman named Sheila was interested in meeting me. Sheila had a postage stamp sized photo that did not tell much about her, but she seemed nice enough from her email and offered me her phone number right from the start. She told me her name and I Googled her to discover that she was only divorced last month, although she told me it was 6 months prior. We spoke on the phone for about an hour and she told me that if we were to meet, it has to be before Thursday, because she's having a small minor surgery then and was expecting to be under the weather for a time. She was reluctant to tell me what sort of surgery, but it turned out that she was putting her boobs in the shop for a tune up, plus a tummy tuck. I wished her well and told her I'd be in touch with her after her makeover.

Time passed and eventually I tried calling her, but she didn't take the call. I left her a message asking if she were still alive. She called back the following day and explained that she really was not doing well and that I probably wouldn't understand what it's like to have a doctor cut you open. I told her I had a pretty good idea but everyone deals with surgery differently. As two more weeks passed, all I heard about was how horrible it was to be cut open. Finally I told her I did understand, as in open heart surgery they do precisely that, plus saw your sternum in halve and remove your heart a little. She was still pretty sure that a breast lift was worse, particularly when accompanying a tummy tuck. I said nothing.

I had pretty much written off Sheila as not my type and deleted her from my Blackberry Messenger system. I no sooner do that and I get an email from her inviting me back and a phone call saying she downloaded a new version of Blackberry and accidentally deleted me. I again said nothing. Finally she called me and invited me out on a date. She offered me the option of just remaining friends on the phone which didn't seem to interest me in the least. I caved and said to meet me at Costco for an early evening of free samples but she only laughed. Damn! Okay, how about meeting me at Earl's, my location for meeting woman from the Scottsdale area. She agreed and I drove what turned to be a 25 miles ride from my Glendale location. As I pulled up to the parking lot at Earl's, I noticed their sigh wasn't lit and I attributed that to a bulb problem. As I entered the parking lot it was more than apparent that it was more than a bulb problem, as the parking lot was empty and the windows were boarded up. Another business bit the dust in this economic disaster.

Immediately I called Sheila and she answered I'm the fat lady right behind you. I actually looked through my rear view mirror. She said she was running late and would be about 3 minutes. Fifteen minutes later she pulled up next to me, the only car in the parking lot and rolled down her window. "Where do we go from here", she said? I said, if you want to get into my car, we can look for another place. She asked if I were a serial rapist? I said I was, but had a headache tonight and can I owe her one. She laughed and got in. She suggested Bamboo Club in North Scottsdale and I had been there prior with a date of mine, the one that wouldn't tell me her last name after 3 dates. We arrived and were seated where Sheila insisted on a booth at a certain location. She obviously had been here before and had certain likes and dislikes. After waiting for a bus person to clear off that booth. The first thing she said was that she was awfully warm and did I think it was warm in here? I said I was comfortable. Hey, I was! She called the waiter over and verbally abused him for a while, while he tried to explain when he opens the door, other people complain that it's too cold. She takes a menu and tears a page out of it and begins to fan herself. You know it's difficult to try to pretend you're not with someone when they're the only other person in your booth. I tried to change the subject to other things, but I think she eventually actually brought down the temperature of the entire restaurant by fanning herself so enthusiastically. She mentioned that her stomach was hurting her and pointed out the swelling that made her look about 7 months pregnant. Then she showed me the tube that the doctor installed yesterday to eliminate the swelling and the bag holding the blood. So much for my appetite, huh? I ordered egg rolls, just because the waiter was so insistent about getting something. Sheila agreed to eat a little so we shared an order. When they came, Sheila tasted one and remarked about how awful they were and the next thing I know she's summoning the poor waiter to let him know they were awful. I tried one and she was right, but I said nothing, just didn't eat anymore. We talked for about 2 hours and it's funny how when you're enjoying yourself, time just flies. Well that wasn't the case last night, but every time I started making going home noises, she thought of a new topic to keep us there. Her wealthy father, the $50,000 her ex-husband left her owing on her credit cards, her rotten daughter-in-law. The topics flowed, as did her open wound as she barely made it to a standing position when we were leaving. I helped her to my car and drove her back to hers, where I felt like pushing her out the door, but came to a full stop before getting out to deliver her to her opened door of her SUV. She kissed me on my cheek as I said my goodbye and I didn't wipe it off until I was safely inside my car headed home, on a 25 miles ride. So much, for "The Dating Guy"!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Nice to be Back...

I really haven't written anything in a very long time. I guess the "urge to tell" just didn't happen to me recently, however today it is different. A couple of things happened to bring back the urge.

First, I was planning a trip to Costco today, for 2 reasons. I was out of a lot of things and second, pushing a cart with 105 bottles of water in it (3 cases of 35) is damned good exercise, particularly when it takes me about an hour to do my route around the store. Thank goodness for the ladies that give you free refreshments at the end of each isle.  Here lies my problem.

Men are notorious for not following directions properly and refusing to accept help when lost. Women are not given the gift of directions period. Here is an example. I wanted to go to the Costco around Arrowhead Mall. So the first woman that I asked told me it was at 75th Avenue and Union Hills. I didn't want to sound argumentative so even though I KNEW it wasn't on either 75th Avenue OR Union Hills, I just said thanks and figured I'd somehow find it. So when I arrived at said intersection and there was not a Costco to be seen, I really wasn't surprised, but I knew I was in the right neighborhood. After driving around for about 5 miles, I called another woman that lives close by and she told me it was on the street just West of 75th. Avenue. I said then that would be 77th, correct? She affirmed my statement and finished with, "You can see Dillards from there, when you get there." Well, perfect. So when I see Dillard's, I'll be at Costco. Got it. We hung up. I followed her directions to the T, but there was no Costco to be seen.

I'd been to the Costco at 27th Avenue on several occasions and I was really only looking for the Arrowhead Costco because it was closer, but I've already made it much farther by getting pretty lost. So I headed to the Costco at 27th Ave by default. I refer to this Costco as the BAD Costco, because they don't offer some of the items I use on a monthly basis, such as rye bread and Swiss cheese, plus it's not set up like the other Costcos, so I'm kind of lost in there. I did  load my 105 bottles of water into my cart first thing, to insure a good work out. Later, I will visit a friendlier Costco to pick up those badly needed items.

The very worst dating service known to mankind is! No, I never joined this service, it appeared  on my computer some time in 2004 when I was a member of and was a free perk, as it was just being launched in this lucrative dating market. It, to my knowledge, is owned and a spin off of At some point over the years since becoming a member, I checked to see when my membership would expire and it said the year 2050. Unfortunately, I will expire much before that! Here's the deal. Since the year 2004, this misdirected website has been sending matches. People, mostly women that they feel I may be attracted to. What I asked for has really nothing to do with my matches. I asked for women between the ages of 50 and 63, within 50 miles of me, that have posted pictures. Not a lot to ask for. Quite reasonable, I thought. What I get are women who have no picture posted that live in Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, Cottonwood and Sedona, along with a few from Phoenix. Today was the last straw. Today they sent me Robert. A firefighter who is 6' 1" tall and of average weight looking for a mate that is from 5' 5" to 5' 8" and an average to curvy figure. Do you suppose they actually sent me a man??? Around 3 years ago, I started sending to my spam folder and occasionally look at it there. After receiving Robert, I think that's where it will remain!

A few days ago, I spoke on the phone with a woman named Tanami. From her picture, she looked to be European. She had made me a favorite on the website and wrote to me to let me know that she found me interesting. I can't imagine what would be interesting about me, but she didn't know better, poor thing. She offered me her phone number and so what the hell, I called. We spoke for an hour and 47 minutes. She spoke for an hour and 46 minutes, me about one! Here is what I learned. Let's face it, you have to learn something being quiet for that long. I learned that she was born Bonnie Lee Manheim, a Jewish girl, but married a Middle Eastern man and moved to Jordan where she took up the Muslim religion and was beaten and abused for 21 years when she abandoned her husband and 4 children to come back to America and become a teacher. On her profile she listed that she was a teacher, but at this point she was a full time student. She then married another Middle Eastern man who similarly beat and abused her, but not for nearly as long. She divorced him and is currently hiding in Phoenix, Arizona from him. Being the shy non-aggressive type, I decided not to take a turn and deleted her number.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Home Depot Disaster

Since I've lived at my current residence, the bathroom fan has been inoperable. Unless you call a humming noise emitted from it until it smells like it's burning, operating. With more ambition than ability, I headed to the "Depot" (that's what we regulars refer to it as). I had two items in mind. A red flapper for the bottom of the toilet and a replacement fan.

First, I asked an employee that was carrying a record breaking pot belly around, as he was pricing some mundane item. His orange shirt alerted me to his presence. Without looking up he blurted out isle 23 in plumbing. I headed over and found that the one that I brought in with me, the broken one, was out of date and was not going to be easy to replace. A little guy about 30 made the mistake of greeting me as he walked by, so I asked him about my fan replacement. Now is it just me, or does every Home Depot employee know everything in the world about repairing anything you need repaired. They just act so matter-of-factly about it, like they just completed the same job this morning. And I ALWAYS fall for it. This little guy, about 5' 6" said, "We don't carry that particular model anymore, but between you and me, just buy the cheapest one and remove the motor, they're all the same. Then he actually takes out the fan and shows me. I fall for the Home Depot trick and buy it, along with a toilet flapper, that he also knew exactly where it was, since he had just replaced his this morning too.

I proudly walk into the house, "Mission Accomplished" and in a record breaking amount of time. I change into my work clothes, which means I took off my shirt and began the job of removing the motor from one fan to install it on the old frame. After removing anything that looked like it could be removed, I suddenly realized it was not going to be possible to remove it completely from the housing bracket, because the fan portion was on the other side of the bracket and it was not removable!

Suddenly my mind went whirling back to the time that I needed a toilet top tank and a Home Depot employee told me that I can buy a universal top tank that fits all commodes. That was just NOT TRUE! This little short guy must have been his cousin! It's a Home Depot conspiracy!

When I realized my $15 new fan was never going to work, I went into the laundry room and cannibalized the fan in there, that fit the bathroom perfectly. Whoever uses a laundry room fan anyway!

The thing that bothers me the most is, I told the short kid how helpful he was.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Puppy News

I was awakened this morning from an unfamiliar crash. The crash was this 15 LB box of dog cookies from Costco going crashing to the ground, off the table that it was previously resting upon. The table just next to the mess. There in the middle of 500 cookies was Macy, laying on her back with as many cookies in her mouth as would feasibly fit. One look at me and she cam running over, proud of her accomplishment, even though I was giving her the old "Bad Dog" shame we all know. I was literally laughing my ass off, as Macy leaped up on the pool table to discuss this with me face to face. Did you know that 500 dog cookies will not fit in the same exact box they originally came in, once casually removed?

LJ bought Macy one of those fancy apparatuses instead of a collar. It wraps around her front legs and snaps around behind her. It's a harness for walking your dog, but I've always been of the belief that it allows the dog much more power in pulling, as if she has here entire body to pull with instead of just her neck. Every time LJ takes out the harness, Macy gets all excited. Even more excited than when she would go for a walk with just the collar. I just found out that LJ told Macy that it was really a training bra!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


In my younger years, I was what you'd probably refer to as a little on the wild side. I did what I wanted to and didn't necessarily abide by laws and rules. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't dishonest but did have a full selection of fake ID's from the age of 17 forward. At late 17, already done with school, I found myself running around with a bunch that frequented the Rush Street area of Chicago, along with an area known as Old Town.

I'd drive my 65 Pontiac convertible down to the area and park wherever I could. Often times, I'd be alone and would walk as far as a mile to get to the mentioned areas. One particular evening, it was slow and not much was going on. I'd tried my haunts, Whiskey- A-Go-Go, and some other joints whose names have escaped me and it was early yet time to leave and head north to home. As I walked through a questionable neighborhood, I noticed that a man was walking right behind me and pretty much keeping pace with me. I picked up my pace, only for the follower to do the same. I wasn't really scared yet, but a sixth sense told me something was amiss. Keep in mind, I'm at almost a run now and not gaining on the stranger.

Stranger: Hi!

Me: Silence.

Stranger: Slow down a minute.

Me: Silence.

Stranger: What's your rush, I just want to talk a while.

Me: Silence at full speed!

Eventually the stranger stopped, yelled something insulting and went away. My heart was beating at a rate that was clearly off the charts and that's when I realized I was homophobic. Not with all gay folks, but certainly with the ones that have ME on their menu! That was 48 years ago and I remember it like it was recently.

Later, my younger brother confided to me that he was indeed gay. I laughed at him and asked why he thinks he's gay, after all he'd had several girlfriends (beards) in the past. He told me he thought he was gay, because he sleeps and has sex with men. I'm not sure how long the lapse of conversation was after that announcement, but it was lengthy. I did what any close, concerned brother would do. I ignored him for 15 years. Yep, it scared me.

At my mother's funeral we reunited and I learned that he was a nice person with a wonderful sense of humor and a rather high IQ. He taught the deaf sign language in his spare time and decided to turn his pudgy body into a body builder's physique. When we reunited, it was 1987 and he was a strapping 6' 3" and had muscles that made me envious, a shaved head, mustache and goatee and a powerful presence. I realized that his sexual orientation did not make the person and was merely a phase about him. I liked him, but it was short lived, as he had contracted HIV and it had developed into full blown AIDS. He passed away in 1989. I went to Chicago to visit him 2 weeks before he passed away and he was truly suffering. At that point, I believed my homophobia was behind me. I knew of some gay people and didn't shun them because of it. I believe in Gay marriage.

Last night, I was browsing through the local dating service, because I find as I get older, it's harder to find a mate. I was writing to a very pleasant woman that I have no interest whatsoever in meeting, when I get notice that TX Mustang has made me a "Favorite". How sweet, I thought. I continued that email I was composing when suddenly there was notice that TX Mustang wants to "CHAT" with me. Well, I'm really not a fan of the instant message or "CHAT" feature, but it also gave me the option to view the picture and profile of little TX Mustang. I clicked on it and below is what I saw!

Meet TXMustang, a burly 52 year old MAN that brought back my homophobia! I slammed the computer and ran for my room to hide under the bed. That really the only place you can hide from those guys, you know!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SpEeD FrEaK!

Today was a day not too unusual from many other days, except I received an Iron infusion yesterday and slept from midnight until 11 AM without interruption. That kind of scared me because I was due for another infusion today. I've never had Iron infusion, two days in a row and knowing the damage that one day does to my system created a little apprehension. I had to drive to the other side of town, because that's where Becky was working today and in order to get my Iron infused at the proper intervals, a little drive was required. It was a beautiful day here in the Valley of the Sun and the Mercury was hanging around 113 when I got to the car. Don't worry, as I reached my destination the car was almost cooled down.

I arrived about 2 minutes early and had to wait the customary 3/4 hour, before I was called in. The infusion took about 10 minutes and just to add insult to injury, there is a new alleged FDA law that requires them to keep you sitting there for 30 minutes AFTER your appointment to have your blood pressure taken to make sure it hasn't spiked. It took me back to my high school days where I had to sit for an undisclosed period of time in detention hall, with all the other rowdies. She came out, took my B.P. and it was noticeably low at 134/47. I was good to go and did. My car read 119 as I hit the starter and I took off. I pulled into the left hand turning lane and was about 5 cars back. A few seconds later the pickup in front of me crept up and it turned out there was no one in front of "her". That's just how she handles left turn lanes. When the arrow lit up and it was our turn to go, but she just sat there, no doubt not noticing the arrow. I tried to honk once and nothing happened. On the second attempt, the horn worked, but the driver in from of me just looked in her rear view mirror to see who was honking. By now the left turn arrow was gone and we'd missed our turn. I accepted that and waited patiently, what other choice did I have since I'd left my automatic weapons at home? Finally when the light turned yellow, she crept out into the intersection and completed her turn. NOTE TO SELF: Never leave home without a gun or heat seeking missile!

I got on the 101 West and started my ride home. I was going along fine when I reached the I-17 connection and a dark gray pickup truck moved over to the left lane and was going about 10 MPH slower than me. There was no reason for the truck to move over in front of me, as the third lane was completely clear. Frustrated, I casually pulled over to the third lane, using my turn signal and attempted to pass the dark gray truck. To accomplish this, I used my passing gear. Hey, I was PASSING! Just as I did this, I passed a DPS officer hiding behind a 55 gallon drum on the side of the road. He sure looked excited as he started his motorcycle and took chase after me. He commenced upon me in no time flat and I'll bet anything he was whistling the sound track to COPS, as he did this. He got right on my tail and stayed there. By the way, when I passed DPS guy, I looked down at my speedometer and it read 70, so it's not like I was insanely tearing up the road. Next, not knowing what to do, I pulled over a lane, using my signal just like I learned in class. He stayed right on my tail and I think that's when I realized it was a bad sign.

As we approached the 51st Ave. exit his siren and lights went on and he signaled me to exit. I complied, after all, he had a gun! He now signaled me to make the right turn and pull over. Again I complied. He pulled up behind me and that's when I lost him. He had sneaked over to the passenger side of the car and made the International sign to roll down the window, you know it. He then introduced himself and also identified himself, as well. Yep, I was right, cop! He asked me for my license and registration and proof of insurance. I had a license and proof of insurance, but I explained that my registration was on the back of my plate. He said, take it off! These are connected with 4 octagonal metric size 10 caps. I asked if he had a pliers and the answer was no. I also know that the registration on the back of that plate was from around 2001 and when I renewed my plates this year, I did it online and it said my registration was ready to print, but my printer wouldn't work and I didn't think any part of that story was going to endear me to the DPS dude.

By the way, this guy was no taller than 5' 4", with a shaved head and a bullet proof vest. In reality he was 5' 6" but I was mad, so I made him shorter. "Literary License", that means the author can lie!

Okay, did you know that cops don't "write" tickets anymore? They have a computer and they type in the info and then it prints out the ticket. Now, I've already told you how freakin hot it was and we're standing in the sun, me unscrewing my license plate with my bare hands and him waiting impatiently. Here's the part where God stepped in. I actually was successful at removing my plate and on the back of the plate, there was my registration from about 10 years ago, which should have gotten me an additional ticket, but the sun had bleached off ALL of the type, except for the form lettering itself. He then gave me a stern warning to get it replaced as soon as possible. I asked him if he knew how to do that, since our DMV is out of money and had closed just about all the locations and certainly the Dealer Section is obsolete. He did not. He handed me back my plate and I spent the rest of the time screwing it back onto the car, while perspiration dripped in my eyes. I mention to the DPS dude that it was about 113 when I last checked. He looked up to the sky, where the guy who erased my registration for me lives and said, "Hmm..... seems about right". I mentioned that I've been in AZ. for 37 years and it seems to get hotter every year. That's when we bonded and he said he'd been here since 95, but worked out in Yuma. (Must have been a guard at the prison).

Well, it was parting time for this pair. I had signed receipt of my ticket and asked if he knew how much it was going to cost me and he said, no. I wanted to be polite with my new friend and I knew that thanking him for his time might not seem sincere, so instead I said, "Well, see ya next time"! Shit, wrong thing to say. That prompted mini-cop to say you'd better not see me again. Unless you see me on the side of the road and wave me a safe day. I smiled and said, "Yeah, that's what I meant" and got into my race car.

I always worry about leaving after getting a ticket. I worry that cop will follow me and give another one for no turn signal or illegal U-turn. But that doesn't happen, does it??? You know, he might have been 5' 2"!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My First Carefree Mini Pad...

If you've been following the antics of this adorable puppy Macy, the innocent puppy from HELL. You'll probably be interested in Chapters 3 and 4 written within.

Chapter 3 was a week ago or so and it found me standing at the kitchen counter making a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich . When one is doing so, you are pretty wrapped up in your creation and probably wouldn't be noticing a 65 LB puppy sneaking up behind you at about 9 PM in the evening. Well, Macy was that puppy and just to be close to her friend and owner, took up a position curled up in a ball behind me. (here it comes) When I took my first step backwards, my foot came right down on her and she yelped as if she were being butchered. So in defense, I start hopping with the Swiss cheese still in my hand and the next time my right foot comes down, it is upon Macy's little foot. In reflex, I continue hopping on my left foot and when I finally come down, it's on my poor ass from a distance about 10 or 12 feet away from where all of this started, with the Swiss cheese still in my hand! Now Macy, thinking I'm playing, is on top of me and her goal is the cheese. I give her the cheese, only to divert her attention, so I can see if I broke a hip and if standing is an option.

That's been about a week now since that happened and for the past week, I've been limping quietly around the house with an ass that's twice as large on one side, as the other. It still hurts like hell, but someone told me, if you can walk, it's not broken. As much as I hate doctors, I'll accept that diagnoses.

Chapter 4: Getting back to my mini pad. Fast forward about a week now and picture me just sitting on my reclining chair, something that I'm pretty much mastered. Here comes Macy to keep me company and steal a few pets. I stroke and pet her for about 3 or 4 minutes and then when I feel I've done that enough for one sitting, I stop and put my hand at my side. It's Macy's way to let me know she's not quite content with the 3 or 4 minutes of petting and that she wants more, by taking her paw, with now razor sharp claws and strike it an my resting arm, Slicing off a strip of skin in two places.

Because I take Aspirin everyday as a blood thinner, my blood will not coagulate like a normal person's and several hours later, at 10 PM I wanted to go to bed to read. Knowing I'm down to my last set of sheets and knowing that I've already gotten blood onto my white bed spread from an earlier assault of Macy's, I looked for some kind of a bandage or band aid.

Not knowing where such a thing might be in Julie's house, I inquired. She directed me to a first aid kit that only had a few of those little tiny band aids that you put on shaving nicks. Useless, because I'm kind of flowing here. Maybe it was the word "flowing" that gave me the idea, but next I asked if she had any of those Kotex pads or pantie liners. It was yes to the pantie liners and there you have my solution. I had her put Scotch tape around my arm and I was good to go until this morning when I ripped it off and it started bleeding much worse than last night. What do people with Hemophilia do? I just hope this doesn't happen again in 28 days!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

August Snow...

Snow Dog

Having been acquainted with Great Danes for about 35 years, I thought I'd experienced every physical insult available to mankind. Once in the middle of the night, I was fast asleep and was awakened to the feeling of something wet running down my arm. It turned out to be my own blood running freely. My little female wanted my attention because she was having a hard time getting to sleep, so she walked over to my side of the bed and clawed innocently at my arm that was hanging down in the dark, tearing it open for about 3 inches. That's to be expected if you have dogs the size of farm beasts. Bogie, my boy was about 300 LBS in his prime and Zoie a lithe 120.

Enter Macy, a $93 pound dog. Was supposed to be a mix between a Doberman and a Shepard, but she's too small for a Doberman and too small a head for a Shepard. In fact her head is a little too small for her body, which has caused me some concern. She kind of has the head of a Dachshund, really! We laugh about it, but it's really of no concern, she won't be embarrassing us anytime soon with puppies, she's spayed.

Each dog had a talent of their own. Bogie was the best catcher I'd ever seen. He could grab anything out of the air without a moments notice. Once he grabbed a baby bird that flew too close to Bogie and swallowed it right out of the air. Zoie was grace personified. She ran like a gazelle and could jump like a deer, with perfect conformation. Macy has the ability to change the season. Yes, you read that right. She changes the season. As you probably know, we're having a heat wave here in the valley of the sun and it's been unseasonably hot around these here parts, similar to other parts of the country. Macy realizing that, has changed the season to winter in the Alps. Above is a photo taken just after one of her miracles. Notice how small her head is? Below is a likeness taken after her miraculous transformations of season. She gives you August Snow!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mean Girl at the Dog Park...

It was about 8 PM and the sun had finally gone down and I thought it might be a little cooler outside, but no. It was still a blistering 101 at that hour, typical of our monsoon evenings without a storm. Add to that the humidity that you Easterners think we don't have and it was pretty unpleasant, but try explaining that to a 1 year old pup. Macy was leaping around like a maniac at the mere thought of running with her friends. It's what she lives for!

She leaped into the convertible from about 5 feet away and immediately hopped into the back seat, where she is assigned, looked at me and waiting impatiently for me to start the car. Yeah, she knew where we were going. It's only a short drive to the park, about 2 miles and we were there in no time. Macy doesn't even wait for me to get out of the car, but rather leaps over me. It's all I have to do, to hold on to her once we're there. When I release her, she flies off into the horizon like a dove flying off to freedom. She hits zero to forty in a 8.2 seconds and runs to the first dog she sees and slams on the breaks to exchange kisses. It's really quite cute.

Probably because of the heat, there were not a lot of dogs there, plus it was a Saturday night and some normal people have better things to do. Macy was content to play with whoever was present and doesn't mind going off by herself to sniff the various odors left behind. I was sitting by myself, on a bench on the West side of the park and there weren't many dogs around my area. Thinking that if I relocated across the park, Macy would follow and have a greater number of playmates. I sat down on a bench about 15 feet away from a teenage girl that was texting. She had two very large Chihuahuas, large and extremely overweight. They were friendly though and Macy befriended them and when they came over to say hello to me, I pet them. The three played rather nicely together in spite of the little fat dog's ages, which was quite advanced. That's when the mean girl became the mean girl!

She put down water for her dogs and kept shooing Macy away, so poor Macy couldn't drink. That's when she lifted the bowl of water over Macy's head and explained to her that if there's any left after her dogs drank, then poor little Macy could have it. It turned out that her dogs didn't want any water and she put it down for Macy, who took one sip and walked away. It was then that the mean girl pour out the water, as if it was contaminated!

Okay, in my mind.............. I walked over to the girl, took my right hand and put it to my left shoulder and "Bitch-Slapped" the mean girl! Then reality set back in and I went over and got Macy and announced going home time. I "seethed" all the way to the car!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ah Sirina...

A strange thing happened at the old dating service this week. For one thing, I suddenly became very popular and everyone I drop a line to responds. In addition, I'm being contacted by a myriad of women, something that seldom happens.

The lady that is pictured above, I saw and was instantly taken by her. I wrote her a brief email that said, "You may be too adorable for this website, so I'll check with the management and get back to you". This prompted an immediate reply of length, that said she wanted to get to know me better, but to do that we should chat at Yahoo, who has an instant messaging system. I replied that I already have so many email addresses, that if I were to open a new one, Gmail might think I was two-timing it! I offered her an invitation to open an account at Gmail, as they offer the same features. To my surprise, she agreed and opened an account.

At this time let me interject something. I wasn't born yesterday and also own a mirror. I'm aware that a woman of this age and beauty really has no business flirting with a 65 year old man. She looked way younger, but claimed to be 50, but still I had my doubts. Last night the following dialogue took place between Sirina and myself. Be sure to observe the time frame between replies from Sirina and her spelling and choice of words. Her last name is Issah, which is Middle Eastern

7:26 PM sirina.issah: hello there

33 minutes
7:59 PM me: Didn't you get the email that said I'd meet you here tonight at 8 PM?
8:00 PM Look, it's 8!
sirina.issah: Sorry no i did not
8:01 PM me: t Yahoo
I sent it a couple of days ago at Yahoo/
sirina.issah: well did not check my email yet
me: Anyway, hello there!
8:02 PM Are you there?
sirina.issah: Hello how are you doing
8:03 PM me: GREAT!
And you?
Are you busy?
8:04 PM sirina.issah: Am fine thank you we keep missing each other on here have been here through of the night last time waiting to talk to you but you where not here
8:05 PM me: Sorry, I was waiting for our date at * tonight.
I thought you had gotten my email.
Thanks for opening a Gmail account. Isn't this great?
8:06 PM We seem to have 2 conversations going.
8:07 PM We seem to have 2 separate conversations going.
sirina.issah: Ohh yes and think that will be really nice.. am really happy meeting you on here now i think with this we can chat and get to know each other more better
me: Are you from Chicago?
8:09 PM If you are busy we can talk later?
8:11 PM sirina.issah: Is a friend who put me on the site am very new to the site and dont really know anything about it she even did some mistakes which i need to correct them my self but i try all i can but still did not work out for me,, that makes ma very sad and worried My age is 35 and not 50 nand also i live in West africa and not Az i have nothing to hide from you or anyone so think i will let you know this from the beging if you will like as to be friends fine if not we can say Good Bye to each other....
8:12 PM me: Good luck!

Her replies were a full 2 minutes after my questions. I immediately pictures a guy named Achmed sitting there typing with a cigar in his mouth and trying to translate what I am saying from his native language of Arabic. As you could see, my only reply was "Good luck" and I quickly cancelled the chat and deleted her email address. I went to the website where I found her and the management had already cancelled her account. It was as if Sirina never existed, heh, she probably never did!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Christmas in July...

For all intents and purposes, the adorable puppy that we brought home from the Humane Society last month, will from this point forward be referred to as "That Rogue Dog"! Here's what happened...

On more than one occasion, Rogue Dog has terrorized, abominated and otherwise destroyed every stuffed animal that the Lovely Jules had purchased for her or currently owned. She first rips off their faces and then whips them around the room in a mighty fight that she always wins. After, the room resembles the North Pole right before Santa takes off on his run. All white and fresh and clean with crystal clear snow. Our snow is really the efforts of migrant workers picking cotton. Tons of cotton is splayed around the room for Rogue Dog's personal pleasure.

Rogue Dog also has Houdini capabilities as outlined earlier, therefore she is capable of entering locked rooms that would otherwise be off limits to her, such as my bedroom pictured above. It's not a wonderful bedroom, it's rather small and I had the nerve to stuff a king sized bedroom set in there to add to the confusion. Therefore, the room consists mostly of bedroom set and a clothes horse for tossing used clothing, that's not quite ready for the laundry yet. Got all that?

In 1996 I married a woman that it seems that all she wanted from me was a Ralph Lauren King sized flowered bed set of sheets, complete with dust ruffle and shams. For the mere cost of $500 we could be the proud owners of these beauties. Well, the first time I realized she was serious, I kind of blew it off with, "Look, isn't that your sister walking in the mall?" She ran off to see and we exited the department store that had the nerve to ask that much money for frinkin sheets! I let go of a big WHEW and we continued our shopping.

One day at the outlet mall between Phoenix and Tucson, we stopped and wouldn't you know it, the department store had an outlet store there too. How lucky, right? There were the same sheets that she fell in love with for only $350 or something. Naturally, we couldn't pass up such a bargain. Old whats-her-name, was really happy now! To say that I always HATED those sheets was an understatement. They were poorly fit to the bed, loud, obnoxious, and had these hideous ruffles at the end of each edge and you got them caught in your mouth when you snored.

Well, the wife is long gone and all that remains are those stinking sheets. I should have used them to wrap fish in, years ago, but didn't and every time I look in the linen closet, those are the only ones available to use. Well, no more. Getting back to the Rogue Dog....

Rogue Dog has discovered the easy way, that the inside of my pillows has the same cotton that her toys have and she has single handedly attacked and defeated three of the four pillows, pillow cases going first. God bless her, she did what I've wanted to do since day one!

The bed is one of the Sleep Comfort Numbers beds and I have no complaints there, but the picture showcases the poorly fitting sheets and one lonely pillow slip. Next step for the sheets, GARBAGE CAN!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Androgynous Hermaphrodite..

A trip to the dog park this evening produces a great deal of pleasure and some obvious confusion. I'd never been there before and LJ introduced me to it. It's at 57th Avenue, south of Utopia, just past the library, got that? It separated into 3 different fenced in parks for little dogs, big dogs and not so friendly dogs. We fit into the big dog section, where frankly I feel more comfortable. Macy had been there with Jules several times before and had already acquired quite a following. She sort of runs with the pack now. She knows Lacy, one of her girlfriends from the Humane Society, a cell mate there, if you will? A new friend is a little Cocker Spaniel named freckles, and an Irish Setter that never did mention his name.

About 15 minutes into our visit, a stranger came into the park with his male yellow Lab. It was the dog's owner that caught my inquisitive eye. Many years ago, on Saturday Night Live, there was a skit about Chris, an androgynous individual that appeared to be sexless, or should I say genderless? At first from her walk, I thought she was a woman. He/she was tall but lacked the bumps on his/her chest that would set her/him apart from a man. The hair style was no indicator, it was short as a man or a woman might wear it? "IT" wore his/her shorts a little too high for any man to wear them comfortably, yet some geeks might try it that way? The fanny pack that I pointed out to LJ, could have gone either way? He/she let his/her dog loose and he/she immediately picked up the public pooper scooper and cleaned up every one's mess. Still watching out of the corner of my eye, I was weighing the possibilities to LJ who swiftly told me to forget about her/him. But I couldn't!

His/her dog, a yellow Lab as mentioned, was quite a friendly fellow and came over and just about jumped up on my lap. I pet him with a big smile on my face. Just then, Macy came over to see who was somewhat mauling her semi-owner and the fellow took particular notice of cute little Macy, gave her a quick sniff and attempted to mount her without the advantage of flowers or even a dinner! How rude! LJ quick to protect her little angel, pulled the rather stout fellow off of her and we sent this would be lover on his way.

Now I told you all of that, so I could tell you this. Just about that time, the owner of the yellow Lab, came over, flashed his/her leash at his dog and said the following statement to his dog, "COME ON, GIRL" and they both exited the park! Jules and I both looked at each other and shook our heads simultaneously. We'll never know now...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vandals Strike in Beautiful Glendale, Thousands Lost!

When Dr. Harvey told me to do a 24 hour urine collection, I had no idea it was to all come from me! Some of the neighbors got outright unpleasant when I rang their bells to ask for a donation. It's not like their kids don't ring this bell all the time for collections for their schools. Oh well. I finally completed the 24 hour collection and turned in the results today. The nurse at Lab-Corp. said to wait there while she puts my collection in the refrigerator and I told her that was the second time I'd gotten rid of the stuff, do whatever she wants with it. I waited about 30 minutes for them to call my name and withdraw 14 viles of needed blood from my arm. As I counted them, I was expecting the next vile to only produce dust, but I didn't disappoint them. I checked more than once to see of the girl drawing my blood had extended K-9's but she didn't. I felt it would add to the story line.

Earlier in the day, LJ came home from running errands and told me that my car had a flat tire. I asked which one, as I was outside last night with the dog and didn't notice anything looking out of place. She said it was a rear tire. I made every effort to put the air back into the deflated tire in hopes of getting it filled to drive it to Discount Tire for the repair, but no luck. It wouldn't take any air. I decided it was a bad valve stem of at least the seal had been broken from sitting too long in the sun. I jacked up the car and removed the tire and borrow LJ's truck to haul it to get it repaired. I dropped it off and left my phone number to call when it was ready and I continued to the lab.

While getting my 14 viles of blood removed from my arm, my phone rang, but I didn't recognize the number so didn't answer at such an inopportune time. I called my voicemail to see what the message was and it said to call Discount Tire, there is a problem and they want to know what to do to proceed. Hmmm.......

When I called, I got someone named John to tell me that my tire had been stabbed and it needed to be replaced, not repaired. Shit, I HATE when that happens! These are expensive tires too and I have to replace it with the same type, obviously. I told him to go ahead and do the best he can at matching the others and hung up. When I got there, the tired was ready for me and the bill was not as much as I'd expected. I took the tire home and installed it onto the car and went into the house for a cold drink.

Still not believing that someone would do something like that in this neighborhood, which is a clean suburban atmosphere, on the golf course no less. As I sat back, LJ came in to ask if I was all finished and I told her yes, and that if I had a knife and wanted to do some vandalism, I would slash the top on a convertible, not stab the tire. As I said that, a light bulb actually lit over my head and I thought, "I wonder" and headed back out.

The top is black and difficult to see any variance in shape indicating a cut, but sure as hell, there were 4 stabs, about 2 inches long each along the driver's side from front to back. That took my loss from a little over a hundred to well over a thousand. Woe is me! Ain't the Fourth of July grand?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Houdini, Alive and Well...

Last night was a long one. It started out as any other night, but soon became a long drawn out nightmare. Macy, the innocent beloved puppy, has taken to sleeping in Julie's room. It's more spacious and Julie seems to sleep on a schedule similar to Macy, going to bed kind of early and rising around 6 AM. Me, I read until all hours and sleep in most days, so sleeping with Macy is really an inconvenience because she climbs on top of me when she awakens for affection and to let me know she has to go out. I stumble to the door, stubbing toes on the way and let her out, hopefully before she starts her early morning barking routine and waking the neighbors.

Last night, after Macy beginning her night in LJ's room, got cast out. I heard barking, then 3 loud high pitched yelps, then nothing. About 30 seconds later, I found Macy scratching at my bedroom door. I opened it and she thought it was time to play, although the clock said something about 1:30 AM. I had just turned off the light and dozed off. She came inside and was pleased as punch to see me and began jumping all over me. I finally got her settled down and she wanted out, but she had nowhere to go. She had already burned her last bridge. She finally got quiet after some severe yelling of, "Go lay down" and some aggressive NO's! About 5 AM she got me up to let her out. When doing so, I passed her new crate laying on the living room floor and noticed that the entire front of the crate was missing! It was laying down inside the crate itself.

Evidently LJ, in desperation, put little Macy into the crate and evidently Macy had taken some classes in engineering and it was mere child's play for her to figure out how to escape. In the picture that you view at the top of this post shows some pieces of wire hanger that I rigged, in order to keep Macy from collapsing the cage and escaping in 3 seconds flat! Who ever dreamed that I'd spend time trying to outsmart a puppy and lose?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Old Menagerie...

When something works it's way into your memory, for some unknown reason, only the good parts exist. We tend to forget the bad. We call it human nature. So when Paul called me last week and told me it was time to put his investment back to work for him and that my inactive business being there is costing him money, I offered to close it down entirely and toss out the old Airport Enterprises sign for good.

No he replied, that's not what I have in mind. Why not go back to work and try to make a go of business again? Well, Oprah did retired leaving a big gap in my afternoon... Hmm.... I wonder if I could pull it off again? So began the idea of going back to work. Last Thursday I attended an auto auction and gained knowledge of the current market trends and values. I made some phone calls and actually bought a truck to resell. By the way, if you run into a guy named #25 running around, tell him I've got his truck!

Yesterday, now that LJ is home from travelling around the countryside, I felt confident that it would be okay to drive my truck down to Paul, my mechanic to get a few things done to it. This is where my story begins.

Paul is sort of a character on his own. He portrays himself to be the silent strong type, due to his size. He's about 6' 4" and rather muscular. About 45 years old, without a hair on his shaved head. The only picture I have of him, shows him covered in grease from working on cars. Paul is the victim of every con artist that ever climbed out of his car. He doesn't seem to have that built-in feature in his brain that says, "Hey, wait a minute"! So Paul continues to be the victim of everyone that comes along that wants a piece of him and he already owns 2 time shares!

Enter Steve. Steve was hanging around about 10 years ago, and made Paul promises that he could make Paul a lot of money if he just gave him a try. Steve claimed to be a mechanic and was also going to be Paul's manager. Steve lasted about 4 months and one day just disappeared. I was pleased, since I spotted Steve as a bullshitter from the start. Well, guess what? Steve is back and is going to head up Paul's new body and paint division. It seems that Steve is tired of working for other people and is going to make him and Paul both rich. When I first spotted Steve, he looked familiar, but he had gained about 30 LBS and turned completely gray and went from 38 to an unkind 48. It was almost as if he'd never left. I was invited into what used to be my office and I said, "oh, there's my old desk and computer". Steve replied that they're his now and the computer is going into the trash, it's junk. Well, I don't have to tell you how I felt. It was almost like he's never left.

I decided not to stay for lunch. I had intended to have lunch with Paul and find out what he was expecting from my going back to work and to leave the truck with him to sell. The lunch turned out to be a figment of my imagination, even though I had called ahead and planned this. Ready to go to lunch were Paul, me, Steve, his 17 year old son that was only a head of hair, from what I could see, Paul's brother Steve was coming down. Steve, Paul's brother is a convicted felon that did his 20 plus years in prison for murder one. Now he is a worthless drug addict that lives off the fat of the land which means Paul and his mother. Paul's mother was also to be in attendance, but she was asleep in the second trailer. Paul's mother acts like she's my date every time I see her, which was once about 15 years ago. She's NOT!

I told Paul, there's no reason to awaken sleeping beauty and we can just have lunch another time. I left. I wanted to call Paul back and tell him to throw Steve the con man out on his ass, but I minded my own business. Paul will find out soon enough. Similar to Superman, I try not to change history!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Houdini Dog...

I never really watched a lot of kids movies when I was a kid. I was more of an outdoorsy type, more interested in sports and friends and staying active, so sitting in front of a TV watching Lassie was not a priority. So begins the saga of the Houdini Dog.

If you read the last post, you realized that Julie and I searched the lands high and low for the perfect dog and came home with Macy, the Doberman/Shepard mix. She's 10 months old and pretty much house trained with the exception of an occasional yellow stain that appears on the carpeting. When it came time for her to be alone, Julie and I discussed it and she was for giving her the run of the house and letting her get used to it. In my eternal wisdom, my theory was that by locking her in Julies/Macy's room where Macy sleeps cuts down the area of destruction from 8 rooms to simply one. Good reasoning, right?

So in preparation, I brought all of Macy's toys into the single bedroom, gave her plenty of water and even brought in her uneaten breakfast, in case she got a little hungry. Now the room has double doors. One is secured in place and the second one swings freely. The two doors, when asked to, open into the room. In other words, when you're standing inside the room, you have to pull the doors towards you to open them. Knowing that Macy was not afforded an opposing thumb, I felt that she would have a hard time exiting that room without the intervention of at least an ape. Then, I went to the junk drawer and looked for something to secure the two handles to each other, just in case the circus was in town and an ape escaped. I found one of those big, thick rubber bands, the kind you pull off of Broccoli clumps, from the grocery. I gave her a couple of cookies as a peace offering and went about my business, which was to pick up a truck that I had bought. I anticipated being gone about 90 minutes and was.

Fast forward 90 minutes and with my new truck parked in the driveway, I entered through the front door and to my surprise and dismay, there was Macy as proud of herself as could be. She jumped up on me and wagged her tail like there was a parade in front of our house. Time for an investigation.

While walking back to LJ's room, I thought could someone have broken into the house and let little Macy out? OR, was this a Houdini Dog? There on the floor was the thick rubber band snapped in two. Hmm.... and there under her door was a throw rug that Macy had literally ripped to shreds. Upon further investigation, I found that this throw rug was connected to the carpeting that was in LJ's room. In fact this WAS the carpeting that used to be in LJ's Room! Macy had single-handedly unraveled the Berber carpeting. There, long 8 foot strips of it fanned out across the room and I'm not a re-weaver. Holy crap! This is the puppy from HELL!!!!!!!!

A friend suggested I go to Costco and buy one of those big pictures and place it over the holey carpeting and she'd never know, but I felt that might be the wrong approach. Now, here was my dilemma. Do I tell LJ and chance ruining her vacation or just let it play out? I let it play out. LJ called and texted and wanted to know how her little puppy was and didn't even hint at a problem until day 5 when LJ was coming home. Now was the time! In a brief conversation, the topic of Macy came up and I threw it into the end of a sentence. Like, everything went pretty well with the pup with the exception of a little carpet trouble. I was hoping that might go right over LJ's head, but no, she caught it immediately. Carpet trouble, what kind, she retorted? I said, "Oh, when I had to leave on Friday to go pick up my truck, she ripped a little carpet". Oh, that's nothing, that carpeting needs to ripped out anyway, answered LJ. I said, good because Macy gave it a head start! That was the end of the conversation. WHEW!!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Macy is MY Puppy...

As you can see from the above picture, I'm on love. Introducing Spacy Macy, the goofiest 10 month old puppy in captivity. Wait till you meet her. It was love at first sight. Here's how it happened.

I was in my trusty recliner watching some silly afternoon movie, when LJ came out of her quarters toting her computer. "Look at that face, how can you resist it"? I took a look at the 8 week old puppy that was up for adoption at the Arizona Animal Welfare League, then read below it, where it said "Pit Bull" and that's all it took for me. Done. Not getting a Pit Bull that I'm sure we could easily fall in love with, then have it outside sunning itself when the neighbors 6 year old child walks up and gets attacked. Not for me, no Pit Bulls. However I realized that LJ had the puppy blues and needed a quick dose of puppy breath. I told her I could be showered and ready in 20 minutes, to get ready to take a ride.

Many years before I adopted a pup from AAWL and although the pup didn't work out, the people and the organization were wonderful. The dog was a psycho and attacked children without provocation, but that's another story. We wasted no time in going south on the freeway to AAWL. The strangest thing happened though. We could not find a dog that seemed to fit. Most were Pit Bulls or Pit mixes and after about 30 minutes, we realized this was our second attempt and nothing that seemed to fit. Julie even got bitten by a wolf in Chihuahua clothing! She had the most shocked look I'd ever seen on her, when she pulled her finger out of little Paco's cage.

The folks at AAWL referred us to other adoption places and we found ourselves heading south to the main location of the AZ. Humane Society at 19th Ave and Dobbins. Now that's a long ride. We finally found the place and it was large and well kept with a polite staff of volunteers. We headed out and naturally the first dog that LJ fell for was a Chow-Chow. Again, horrible reputations for aggression. We agreed it would not be a good idea and moved on. I think we were on our second row of incarcerated pups when I heard a scream! It was the Lovely Jules, as she laid eyes on this goofy looking over sized puppy that was just all over the place. Macy, a 10 month old Doberman mix is about 22" at the shoulder and weighs about 65 LBS. It appeared that she had just grown and was tall and lanky and didn't know what to do with her size yet. She jumped up on her cage and couldn't get enough affection from us. I really didn't know what I was looking for until I saw her. Yep, she was a keeper!

Whoa, wait a second. Macy was a 3 time loser. She was turned in at the shelter as a new born and adopted out. Then she was returned again for poor behavior. What "poor behavior" could a puppy do? Chew? Poop? Cry? Well, when you adopt an 8 week old puppy, you expect that. Next she was adopted out by an elderly couple and they returned her for jumping up. Yep, that's normal too! She been locked up in the "joint" now for about 2 weeks and things were not looking too good for her. I can cure jumping up. It just takes some time.

Okay, we decide jointly to take home this dog. That's when LJ announces that it's my dog and she will sleep in my room and LJ doesn't want the responsibility of a puppy. Spacy came to $93, including tax and license. I charged it on my card while LJ stood there pretending to shop for a cat, they were on sale! We packed up MY new puppy and I drove while Spacy Macy sat on Julie's lap all the way home in the car. Then Macy ran around the house like a maniac while Jules laughed like a hyena enjoying herself. Then LJ fed MY dog, after which she went outside to do her business, (Macy, not Julie) and took her into her room where MY dog is fast asleep in Julie's bed alongside LJ and I really can't tell who is snoring louder.

Yep, Macy is MY puppy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Going to the Puppy Prison...

It had been about a week since the loss of Pawpaw. LJ has been moping around the house staying pretty much to herself, so when I asked if she were ready to go to the Arizona Humane Society, I saw a definite sparkle in her eye. I knew she wanted to get another dog, but wasn't sure if she were quite ready. She gave me a definite maybe. The next day rolled around and she came back from an early morning shopping trip and asked if I still wanted to go? Sure, I was already showered and all I needed to do was put on some long pants.

When we arrived at the location, you would have thought they were giving away cash with each dog, from the looks of the parking lot. There was a 3 car line waiting to go into the lot! Not a parking space to be found, so after 2 trips through the lot, I decided to look for a spot on the adjacent street. After pulling into one that looked legal, we exited the car and before we got 5 feet away, a lady walked up to us and told us we couldn't park there, that was where the ambulances like to park when they bring in an injured animal. I briefly pointed out that it look like a legal spot. She agreed with me that it was legal but not convenient for them. LJ and I looked at each other and moved the car.

We wound up parking about 2 blocks away. Now why is it that when you go ahead and park that far from a location, when you walk past their convenient parking lot there are always 5 new parking spots, right by the front door? Oh well.

We walked past the parking lot that was formerly so packed and realized it was the free neuter or spay clinic. There we tons of people just waiting to get their chance to see the vet, along with their pets that were not destined to ever be parents. Finally we found the front door and entered, passing 2 perfectly good parking spots, but I digress.

There wasn't anyone to greet us, so we just walked back to where the incarcerated dogs were kept. For some reason we got the feeling we had just entered a puppy prison. We walked along a narrow pathway and several dogs came out to greet us. Each pup had a story. LJ became pretty animated with lots of ohhs and awws. Oh look at this little guy, he's soooo sweet. She reached into several cages and tried to pet some of them. Tails were wagging and LJ's hands were soaked with puppy licks. About 5 dogs into our search, we ran into Lucky. Lucky must have been trained in playing the emotions of the potential adoptive parents. He wagged his tail so hard I thought he was going to fall down. Then he raised his front paw and stroke LJ's hand and Julie looked at me melting and said, "This is the one"! While Julie was planning on what we needed in order to bring him home, I was reading Lucky's biography. Hmm.... let's see here. Lucky is a barker and gets along with other dogs, cats, men, women, and children, most of the time but sometimes gets a little moody. He was returned to the shelter by his previous adoptive home after about 3 months because he had attitude problems...........Whoa! He's a jumper and escaped over a 7 foot fence and has been known to dig under fences, as well.

As I pointed out this information to LJ, I reached in to pet Lucky, when he curled his lips and growled and snapped at me, exiting to his outside run. All we did was look at each other, LJ and me, when LJ said, that would have been a mistake.

Next was a felon named Sparkie. Sparkie was a Terrier/Pit Bull mix, uh oh! Next, we came across a rather sedate dog who seemed to just be content laying on his blanket, so we read about him. His name was Homer, a mixed hunting dog. Homer was found and brought into the rescue by ambulance. He had been hit by a car and the damage to his leg was so severe it had to amputated. Ohhh, poor baby...

On the way out Julie said goodbye to Lucky, briefly explaining it was his attitude and I swear he flipped her a puppie finger that she completely missed.

On the way home I gave her about 10 more minutes of the great value of owning a Great Dane, but LJ held firm about, "No Great Danes"! Damn...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Exotic Coconut...

So I'm cruising along one night watching TV and reading a little, when I get an important notice from the dating service that Exotic Coconut wants to meet me. Well, to say that I was honored was an understatement. I'd never met any coconut let alone an Exotic one. So I hopped online and went to my fate. My first reaction was one that was shock. This looked better than the usual old hag that flatters me with attention. That's when I noticed that it said she was 5' 4" and 102. That's pretty thin, right? Wait, 102 wasn't her weight, it was her age! Seems like there's always a catch to the online beauties. She can't be 102 and look like this, so I assume she's joking and really doesn't want to disclose her age. In addition, she had some other pictures that were quite flattering. I wrote to her and we began a dialogue.

It turned out that in spite of her somewhat youthful look, she was really 61, but that's fine, I'm 65. She offered me her phone number and told me that after 4 PM, she would no longer be on call for work and to call. I did. Turned out that she just moved here from Wisc. and was recently divorced from a man that was 41 and she went ahead and explained what a total asshole he was for about an hour. Hmm...... A bit jaded, I'd say. She lives in a foreclosed home for free while a friend of her ex-husband is renovating it, has no furniture including no bed, but does have 3 rescue dogs and had to put down four others this past year due to old age. She was a retired Maricopa County Deputy and had a career in law enforcement, but was doing "other" work currently. When I asked her what sort of work, she got rather testy and would not tell me. So naturally I assumed she worked for the CIA. On a scale from 1 to 10 on conversation, I gave her a 3 or 4. We didn't speak again, but I emailed her that I'd like to meet her, thinking I'd give her the benefit of the doubt considering she had just moved, gotten divorced, lost 4 pets recently and had no real job. Those are a lot of tough things, after all. She told me that she had to work Saturday until after 9 PM, but was free on Sunday. I replied that Sunday would be fine and no pressure and perhaps then she will tell me about her secret job? Immediately she shot off another email full of capital letters. That's SCREAMING in online chat. She told me that her secret job is none of my business and why do I insist on continually asking? I replied only 2 words. "Nevermind Sunday!"