Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Weather, whether we like it or not!

After a few days respite from the deep freeze, with temps in the 40's, it's getting cold again. When I left my second job at 6 pm tonight, it was 42 degrees. And it was sprinkling kind of a half-assed rain. I went immediately to my church for a meeting. At 7:30, it was 36F and raining, thunder, lightening and the whole bit. Now, at 10:22 pm it is 20 degrees and snowing it's ass off out there. I can feel the house cooling down. The wind speed is about 50 mph and the temp is expected to drop even more until a +9F is reached by morning.
Professor called and was lamenting that it is VERY cold in Montana with temps not even reaching 0F today. How do those people stand -43F or lower? I cannot imagine it. I hate it when it's this cold. I cannot even think about living like that. Yet they do it everyday and don't think a thing about it. Tomorrow morning, we will probably have at least a 2 hour delay at school. Montanians don't ever miss school because of the cold. They did send the bus riding kids home early today because the diesel fuel on the busses gels when it gets that cold.
On the other hand, I talked to my brother in TX last night. Their weather is like my spring. In the 50's and 60's. My sister in law and her cousin went skiing in Colorado. I asked my brother why he didn't go along. His answer: "It's too effing cold." I invited him here to Area 52...same response.
You know, the older I get and the closer to retirement age I get, the better living in Fort Worth, TX sounds. I loved that town. I could live there in a heartbeat.
What was the point of this blog? Just a point made about weather, whether we like it or not, it's a way of life no matter where we live.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another Confound List!

Say The First Thing(s) That Comes To Mind When You Hear:
..rain?:leaks in the roof
..summer love?:Jennifer ONeill
..Laura?:Ingalls Wilder
...car?:I wanna new one
..peppermint?:Starbucks White Peppermint Mocha
..New Found Glory?:Retirement???
..placebo?:Coors Light longneck and dark chocolate
..orange juice?:heartburn
..candid camera?:my daughter-in-law and her new camera
..sister?:don’t have one, but a fine sister-in-law comes to mind
..brother?:great guy
..hate?:I'm having to deal with this right now!
..President?:Can we ever find a worthy candidate?
..football?:Colts and Packers forever!
..rap?:worst music (noise) ever
..rock?: and roll forever
..punk?:a few of my students
..death?: rather not even think about it right now!
..baby?: I'm gonna be a grandpa again
..duuude?:an expression I even use once in a while
..the end?:of what?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Household Chores

Since living alone, I have discovered that there are a few household chores that I HATE. They are as follows:
  • Folding laundry. What a waste of time. I don't mind hanging the stuff that needs to be hung on hangers, but I hate folding towels and underclothes. Why not leave them in the baskets and just use out of there. What a novel idea. From now on, no folded skivvies for me.
  • Buying groceries. I hate this job. I don't know one brand from another, so I buy what ever is on sale. I hate putting them away when I get them home. But I like to cook and eat, so I guess buying the raw materials is necessary.
  • Emptying the dishwasher. This rates right up there with root canals. Again, what a waste. Why put the dishes back in the cupboard when I am just going to remove them and use them again. So, I usually use out of it, and stack the dirty dishes until I get a sink full, then I empty what is left in the dishwasher, and fill it. Works for me.

Today I actually got out the iron and ironing board and pressed 3 shirts. I also got out the sewing machine and am going to attempt to shorten a pair of pants. Don't know how that will go, but surely, with the instruction book in hand and a good pair of scissors, it hadn't ought to be too difficult.

I am learning. It is possible to teach an "old dog new tricks."


Sunday, January 13, 2008


With all the flap by fellow bloggers about what they are reading, I decided to share what I am reading. I am not going to start a literary blog, but I will just tell ya all what I have just read and what I thought about it.

Since January 1, I have read two novels.

#1. Patriot Acts by Greg Rucka. This is a "series" noel about Atticus Kodiak. Atticus is usually a robust, active jock-type character who is a bodyguard. In this novel, I detected a lot of whining and sniveling by Atticus. Now, this is just my opinion, but I have read better Rucka novels. Once in a while, an author writes because he needs cash. I wonder if this was the case. The storyline was boring, and slow moving. I read it, but I didn't especially like it. But, I am a Rucka fan, so I persisted.

#2. Shoot Him If He Runs by Stuart Woods. This was an excellent read. Again, it was a "series" novel. Stone Barrington, one of my favorite characters, was sent to a remote island, run by a Prime Minister, who was more like a dictator, to find a murderer. It was loaded with action, political overtones, and excitment. The political overtones, turned into the main action, going all the way to the White House. It ended well. I look forward to another visit with Stone in the near future.



I am not particularly a fan of the NFL, but today with our COLTS playing the CHARGERS, I am watching. I have only one thing to say:



In My Room

The words to this old Beach Boys song keep coming back to me, echoing how I feel at this very moment.

There's a world
where I can go and
tell my secrets to
In my room, in my room

In this world
I lock out all my
worries and my fears
In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming
and my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying
and my sighing
Laugh at yesterday

Now its dark
and I'm alone
But I won't be afraid
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room.

Why is it that, even though I now have the entire house to myself, I am the most comfortable in "my room." It's small, very nondescript, has only two windows, neither of which have any kind of a view, has rather ugly carpet on the floor, and needs paint on the walls. Still, when I am in there, I feel like I can hide away from all the ugliness in my life. I can bury myself in sorrow, and no one can hear me, I can immerse myself in a good book, stretched out on my bed, or I can sleep. I do a lot of sleeping! Probably too much. But when the world seems to be closing in on me, and becomes more than I think I can handle, I want to be in my room. There, I am away from the things that frighten me the most. There I feel safe.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Random Thoughts of a Ranting Mind

A good friend sent this to me today:

Birds of a feather flock together and crap on your car.

When I'm feeling down, I like to whistle. It makes the neighbor's dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.

A penny saved is a government oversight.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at theright time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

He who hesitates is probably right.

Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are ' XL.'

If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it.For example I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs.'



Saturday, January 05, 2008

Hey, I Can Cook

Tonight I was hungry. I could either go out and eat alone, or stay home and cook something and ...eat alone. I pulled a chicken breast out of the freezer and put it to thaw. When I was ready to cook, I got out the old faux G Foreman grill we have had for years. I plopped that chicken breast on it, set the timer for 15 minutes and slammed the lid down.
While that was cooking, I cut up a sweet onion and set it to sauteing in EVOO, added a little salt, a touch of garlic, and some cinnamon. When the onion started to turn transparent, I added a splash of chicken broth and a quarter cup of Mike's Hard Berry Wine cooler. I also added a handful of raisins and some dried cranberrys. I turned down the heat and let this cook down.
When the chicken breast was done, I poured the onion mixture over the top.
For dessert, I cut up a banana, added some pineapple tidbits, topped it all off with cinnamon/sugar mix. I finished off the rest of the bottle of Mike's Hard Berry with the meal.
This was good. Just had to share. Try it...you might like it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The New Part-Time Job

Okay, Okay, Okay! I must be nuckin' futs! I cannot do this. This is so different from anything I have ever done, so far removed from the classroom and I felt like a total dumbass! I have never seen so many Excel screens in one place with so many numbers and names on them. The guy training me was super understanding, but negotiated around the different screens like a pro. Of course he is a pro, and he wrote the program I am using. He did all of this while answering two lines on a telephone, taking calls, setting up appointments, and dispatching drivers all over the place. Wow!
Now, one good thing I did find out is that I will answer very few phone calls, and do little if any dispatching. My job will be to prep the route sheets for tomorrow's drivers, make sure they have all the information they need, and have them printed out and in order of "appearance."
It was a lot to learn and absorb in one day. Tomorrow my trainer wants me to work the phones some, and book appointments, and still do all the Excel stuff. He said he would stand right there if I need him. I probably won't sleep a wink tonight!!!
When the day was over, Trainer Bob said "you did an excellent job today. I knew you would, or I wouldn't have recommended you for the job." So I guess all was not lost!
I am tired, hungry and sleepy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In With the New

In prep for starting my new second job tomorrow, I took down the Christmas tree today. Had a Dr. appointment, did some shopping and went to church this evening. I am wandering into a land of Computers in this new part time job. It will be a challenge for someone who is so computer illiterate. But I am up for the task. I just realized that tomorrow and Friday I have to be up by 6:15 am at the latest to be to work by 7:00. This sucks. On my full time job, I don't have to be in the school until 7:35. But my new PT boss wants me to work 7-4 tomorrow and Friday for the ojt training. Then on Monday, I will start at 4 and work until 6-6:30 each evening. Shouldn't be too bad once I learn the ropes. I will be in an office by myself each evening, so it should be relatively quiet. Anything to help pay the bills right now.

Wish me luck!



Tuesday, January 01, 2008


To all (or should I say,"both" ) of my readers: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What a way to end a visit! Yesterday morning, Prof and Kiddo were reacing the clock to get everything packed and ready to go. On a whim, Prof picked up the phone and called the Chicago Metra System to make sure we had the times right for catching the Southshore commuter from Northern Area 52 to Chicago. Guess what??? We had been looking at the wrong schedule!!! Oh shit! We had missed the first train. Recall, it is 86 miles from our house to the Southshore depot. We had been looking at the weekend/holiday schedule, BUT, Chi/Metra wasn't running that schedule on New Years Eve. It was running it's regular schedule. So, we had missed the first train, and the next one would put Prof and Kiddo into Chicago an hour after their Amtrak train had left Union Station. (Damn the time difference!)
So, Prof called Amtrak to see if she could change her tickets. Bear in mind here, that she had changed tickets on the way here, and it had cost her a bundle, no thanks to a ticket agent who misquoted her $25.00 change fee instead of the real $127.50 fee. She had to borrow the difference from her friend there in the station who had brought them there. So, did we really want to trust this new agent yesterday who said she could change tickets and go today for $26.00? Prof didn't have the money to change them if we got there and they had made another mistake, and neither did I. So our other option was to make a rush trip to Chicago. I have never driven to Chicago. In fact, it has been at least 44 years since I have even been to Chicago. (College field trip during a Historical Geology class), but I was brave enough to try it, if Little Bro and Sistah were up for the ride, so I would have company coming back. They agreed.
We piled all luggage, and people into my ol' minivan and away we went, googled directions in hand. It was a beautiful sunny day in Area 52. Spirits were high, and all was well. The closer we got to Chitown, the foggier it got, but it was still okay. Prof sat in front and navigated with the printed directions. We stopped for a "rest" stop before entering the Toll Road, and I bought a Chicagoland map. We consulted it frequently, and lo and behold in a while, I was pulling up in front of Union Station without a blip or a dent. I think Prof was a little frazzled by my abrupt lane changes, but I used my signal properly and just went with the flow of traffic, even if we were all driving 70 in a 55 mph zone. (But I digress)
Parking in downtown Chicago, in front of Union Station is at a premium or non-existent, so we swung into a no parking zone for a few minutes, unloaded all stuff, kissed, cried, laughed, and said our goodbyes. It was quick and that was probably good for us all. Lil Bro, Sistah, and I then got back into ye ol" mini and took off, this time with Sistah in front to navigate. Ten minutes later we were heading back out of Chitown, retracing out route in reverse. Prof called on her cell and wanted to let us know that they had found their train, it was running on time, and wondered how Dad's nerves were holding out. I did Good! Yeah, rah , Me! Sistah had only visited Chicago once, and was enjoying taking pics out the car window of everything we saw. It was cool. When we hit the Toll Road again, we decided to go back across the top of our state to South Bend. Seem that Lil Bro and Sistah had found some shops on the internet that they wanted to visit. So we did. We found these shops, they did some shopping, and then we started home. When we got out of the city, we decided to stop at a Mickey D's and get a sandwich. Do you know that sometimes a greasy old burger from MacDonalds tastes pretty good. After a filling, unhealthy, supper we loaded back into the vehicle and trekked home.
I was invited to friends for a New Year's party, so I quickly showered, shaved and dressed and took off again. I spent the entire rest of the evening with good friends, ate again, and generally had a blast. I was home and in bed by 1:00 am.
It is now 1:00 pm, I am still in my sweats, coffee in hand, and am sitting here typing this blog, watching it blow and snow! It is a bittersweet time, but I am full of hope. I just know that 2008 will bring great things to me and mine.
I know this how? Because Lil Bro and Sistah are going to HAVE A BABY!!!!!
Ahhhhhh! Life just might be good after all.

Peace to all...