Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Getting Shatner Faced

I’m experiencing further issues with old mandom this week. Simply put, I have the gout. BUT! This time it didn’t rear its ugly head in a red, angry big toe on my left foot. It hit my right ankle. What in the hot buttered hell? How does it pick and choose its spots like that? Is that normal??

I felt it coming on Sunday afternoon, but I dismissed it as a possible strain of some type. But when nature’s call woke me during the night, I couldn’t put hardly any weight on my right foot. It was the most painful 30 feet that I’ve ever taken on in order to lessen my bladder. I made every face in William Shatner’s overacting repertoire. I may have added some that he’s unaware of, I don’t know. I did manage to complete my journey without waking Jamie up.

Of course, she just had to touch my swollen ankle once she woke up. And that felt like 40 hells right there! I nearly kicked her teeth in. I wish that I could accurately explain what the pain feels like, but for me, it may feel the same as having surgery without anesthesia or pain killers.

I was down for the count on Monday. I was scheduled to be on ‘The Beer Dads’ podcast, but I had to back out. I’ve been wanting to be on that joker since I became a stepfather. I feel like I have a perspective that hasn’t been explored on the show yet.

Jamie wrangled up a cane for me to use. We had a couple in storage that her stepfather used during his bout with cancer. There was one that had a four-point base made of metal. It had more stability, but very clumsy when it came to storing it “out of the way”. The classic wooden cane has proven to be a great help in getting around.

I had to do some running around on Tuesday and luckily, Sam was around (UNCW is closed until further notice due to Hurricane Florence) to drive me to those appointments. Since I gas and brake with my right foot, I didn’t want to deal with the pain of using the brake.

I had to drop Lucy, AKA “The Little Lover”, off at the vet for a teeth cleaning. And then I had to have a medical procedure a little later in the morning. Lucy’s breath is now as fresh as a Spring rain. It’s wonderful!

My bladder needed to be lessened this morning about 4 and the 30 feet jaunt to and from relief really fired up the pain. So instead of tossing and turning, I finally got at 5:30 to let Jamie sleep uninterrupted.

The walk down to the coffee maker was a journey that felt like Annie Wilkes from ‘Misery’ had her turn with my right ankle. But the cane has been a great help with the stairs in this house and over at Bait and Bobbie’s (Sam and I dropped by for a few beers yesterday afternoon).

I expected all kinds of stares while using the thing, but I never noticed anything like that. And when I got to my medical appointment, I was the only one in a crowd of folks older than myself with any walking issues. They were practically turning cartwheels in and out of the examination rooms just to show off their youthful and pain-free exuberance.

I’m not expecting any real relief until Sunday. So, the cane will be a part of my life until then. And it’s cool. I’ve always wanted to walk with a cane, but I didn’t want to be called out like Bill on ‘Newsradio’. Enjoy the clip!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Hurricane Prepping And Pool Closing

We’ve gotten all the Hurricane Florence supplies that we’re going to have here at the Big House. The MIL has her Four Lokos along with things that end in “A-Rita”. Chigs has her peanut butter and “fancy waters”. And we all have beer. The only thing that I don’t have is a generator. But I suppose that I can do without television for a few days. And maybe I need to make a stop at the liquor store.

The broads in the house were concerned about having water. Since we’re on the county water supply, we’ll probably not lose water. We may not be able to take a hot shower, but we’ll have plenty to drink. But SOMEONE insisted that we have some bottled water on hand. I figured a case would appease the goddess of the house, but there was none to be had a Food Lion, Wal-Mart Neighborhood, or at Lowes Foods. Tractor Supply had some, but I blew it off. I’d be SHOCKED if we lost water.

I scored some batteries at Tractor Supply because the goddess boldly proclaimed, “WE DON’T HAVE ANY FLASHLIGHTS THAT WORK!”

I picked up a big ol’ 6 Volt and some Ds for the flashlights. I don’t see what the big deal is… It’s like the snow events to me. Being without power for a few days is nothing new to me. No, I don’t like it. But it does allow for some good decompression.

I have my money bag Monopoly token ready to go at a moments notice. If the power goes out, we could be having a neighborhood game, I don’t know. I certainly hope that it happens. I’m ready for a throwdown.

I might even try to talk everyone into a game of HeroClix. I know that Matt, Sam, and I would enjoy a good game. Chigs hasn’t played in years, but I’m sure that it would come back to her.

We managed to close the pool yesterday. That is a load off my plate. Because the forecast was calling for rain every, damn, day. But it didn’t rain Monday like they said it would over the weekend. We spent the day watching the Xfinity and Monster Energy Cup races that were postponed.

Chigs and I discussed just waiting until Florence poured her load all over us, but I saw a window and jumped on it. I was on it like a Spider monkey. But I didn’t want any of that rain to screw the pool up to where it was costly to fix before closing.

Last year, there was a tropical depression that delayed the pool closing. But it didn’t screw up the water too much.

So, on Tuesday, I took a sample to Carter Pool Company on 150 and she gave me the instructions on how to close that joker. I had the shock, but I needed to buy some Algaecide and came away only 19 bucks lighter in the bank account. I was surprised since my testing strips have been giving me some wacky readings. I did forget them in the heat and sunlight for a couple of days so, that may have messed them up.

I started the process on Tuesday night by mixing up the shock with water and broadcasting in the pool. Well first, I broadcast in the algaecide… That was the first step to take. Then the shock came into play.

I started the closing process at 7 yesterday morning. I cleaned the skimmers and fished out all the frogs except for the one pretending to be Jacques Cousteau diving and swimming along the bottom. It took me a few minutes to fish that little joker out of there. I ran “Sharkey” the TigerShark robotic cleaner to make sure the bottom was as clean as it could be. I fished out the leaves… Ugh, that’s been a problem since that cooler snap last month. And then Jim, Bait, Bobbie, and the MIL helped me put the cover on it.

Our numbers weren’t the most ideal in the pool covering event, but we managed to get it done just before Randy arrived. I wish, just for once, we could close it on a Saturday when we can have some serious help covering it up. But every year some stinking tropical storm or hurricane comes rolling in and delays it or rushes it.

I had originally planned to close it last Saturday on the 8th, but my wife booked a pool party for one of her besties with all her work buds. Who am I to deny scantily clad hotties from getting in our pool and drinking alcohol to the delight of the eyes for myself and Bait?

Back to the closing, ahem…

When we were filling up the water bags, it began to rain. Bait and I kept on filling those bags in the rain. I knew from the lack of clouds that it wasn’t going to rain very long, but I got soaked and peeled off my shirt to show off my manly gut and coin slot in back. And for those that do not know, water bags are used to keep the pool cover in place during the winter.

We had it covered by 2:30 that afternoon. And what a sweet sound it is when that pump is off. You can almost hear the power bill decreasing.

So now all I have to do is gather up all the pool furniture and the rest of the decorations for winter storage before Hurricane Florence rolls into our fair ‘hood.

I hope that everyone has a safe weekend with Flo in town.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

When Florence Comes Calling

As of this writing, Hurricane Florence is spinning in the Atlantic southeast of Bermuda. Jim Cantore has landed at Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington NC and the MIL is now glued to The Weather Channel in Davidson County NC. She doesn’t really show it, but I can tell that the hurricane has her wringing her hands deep inside. She’s asked if we’ll have running water if the power goes out. She’s made checks on emergency lights. She has inventoried the toilet paper and calculated the amount of solid waste that each of us will produce. She is in "prep mode".

Jamie is a bit worried too, but she’s better at not letting it show. She was happy that her oldest Sam got in from Wilmington, NC at 4 O’ Clock this morning. She didn’t want him riding it out. But she has had her moments… “Where are all the flashlights? Why don’t we have enough batteries? Do we have enough food for the dogs? Why aren’t you prepared?”

So yeah, I’m a little ill-prepared. I’ve always been. I’m sure that I’d feel differently if I lived at the coast, but here in the left bosom of the Piedmont region I feel relatively safe. Sure, there could be some fallen trees and hopefully not on our property. I just don’t expect things to be down for days. So, call me a little optimistic.

But to appease the wife and calm the rising fears of the MIL, I’m headed out today for some provisions. Some batteries, some dog food, some beer, some beverages that end in "A-Rita" for the MIL, and I’m having the pool water tested.

I’d like to close the pool as soon as possible, but the hurricanes make it difficult. I remember that we had the same problem last year that delayed the closing for a week. Every day this week has chances of rain. But if I can get that joker closed today, I will be lactating with excitement all night long.

I’d like to keep it open until the first weekend in October, but the nearby trees like to cast aside their leaves right into the pool. I’m constantly pulling out about 20 pounds of fallen leaves every single day in September. That includes the skimmers as well. And since we had that cool spell, it started earlier in late August this year.

So yeah, I need to get this day kicked in the butt.

And by the way, I was jonesing for a little Facebook action yesterday. It’s an immediate go-to when I find a quiet moment. But I managed to resist the urge to log in. It’s kind of nice, but there’s part of me that believes that I’m missing something by not being part of the Facebook world. I’m starting to comprehend exactly why the younger kids don’t care for Facebook. I definitely feel like I’m in a form of rehab, but the detoxification feels pretty good.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

I'm Blah, Blah, Blah'ed Out

Have you ever paid attention to those grand gestures that people make on Facebook?

You know, the ones where they proclaim that they’re going to take a break. Not the normal ones, but the ones where folks go into all the bitchy details about the unwanted drama. The ones about “friends” spreading lies.

Well, I’m joining the ranks of people taking a break from Facebook. It’s not because of so-called drama or friends lying. The politics are what is getting to me.

I’m tired of hearing about the National Anthem debate with knee-taking. I’m tired of hearing about Kaepernick. I’m tired of seeing all of the Nike memes. I’m tired of the liberal posts. I’m tired of the conservative posts. I’m especially tired of the Trump posts.

Yes, I like to stir the pot a lot of the times. But I do try to steer clear of politics. Political posters just seem to be the ones that are just patting themselves on the back for their own beliefs. No one is changing their minds about where they’re standing politically speaking. So why do those people continue to do it unless it’s self-back patting?

Allah forbid that you actually try to engage in a civil discussion. For some reason, people that don’t agree with your point of view will insult you immediately. IMMEDIATELY. There just can’t be an exchange of thoughts or ideas without the obligatory insult. And in my experience, it’s usually from the conservatives. And as their clueless leader would say, “Believe me. It’s true.”

I’m a Libertarian and folks on the left hate me sometimes for being an overly conservative clod. And then sometimes, like during this taking a knee/Anthem thing, the right hates me for being a “libtard”.

So, I’ve reached my breaking point with Facebook and I’m taking a sabbatical. You’ll still see some updates from Instagram and maybe Untappd, but I’m signing out this evening and not sure about when I’ll be back. It’s not like I’m still working in social media these days.

I thought about just unfollowing everyone that post political stuff, but a lot of those people are the folks that I want to keep up with whether we know each other in real life or not. And sometimes I get sucked in because a lot of stuff that people are posting is incorrect. It kind of makes me sad that people just blindly follow things as the gospel without even swiping a finger for some actual research.

I will most likely keep my Messenger open. I’ll still be on Snapchat. That app is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I have so much fun on there. Join me, if you will. I feel that I’m going to have more time to do all the necessary things that I need to do around the house. And I may just find out that I absolutely LOVE being off Facebook. Who knows?

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Fall Is Here And We Are Taking The Plunge

The summer is winding down and I couldn’t be happier. The pool will be closed at the beginning of next week and the new Fall TV Season is upon us!

Personally, over-the-air networks no longer thrill me. They don’t seem to as interested in quality as they are in ratings and numbers. And let’s face it, over-the-air networks have the greatest number of viewers and considering the top 5 shows on those networks, they aren’t appealing to those in Mensa International.

1. NFL Sunday Night Football

I only watch if the Redskins are playing. And it’s funny how it was the top rated over-the-air program even with all that so-called boycotting. We’ll see how it goes this season.

2. This Is Us

Proving once again that women love to watch other people’s miserable lives for entertainment. In fairness, I have never seen it. I have no desire to see it. And if Puffs aren’t advertising during that televised tear-fest, they are missing out.

3. Roseanne

I never felt that it was good the first time around. Sure, I thought her standup was funny before the show. But I never cared for the series, had no interest in the reboot, and don’t care to see what happens now that they’ve killed her off the series.

4. NFL Thursday Night Football

Please refer to 1.

5. The Big Bang Theory

I tried this one after season one was released on DVD. After about two and a half episodes in, it was time to pull the plug. I felt like it insulted true geeks by painting us up as caricatures and besides, it just wasn’t funny. If you’ve ever watched a bump on a log for over an hour, then you can imagine me on the couch watching such dreck.

As for our experiment into the great cord-cutting TV world, that is about to begin. The Roku is just waiting to be put into place. It must be carefully placed into the MIL’s world as gently as possible. Any sudden change to her pace will result in frustration, anger, tears, and possible personal injury. She’s a creature of SERIOUS habit.

The other day I asked the MIL if she wanted to learn something new. She rolled her head back, put a grimace over her face, and said “I don’t want to mess with that Roku right now.”

Oh yeah, it’s going to be fun for her even with 80% less buttons to fool with.

I just wanted to show her how to keep rolls of aluminum foil in their boxes with the handy-dandy push-in tabs at each end of the box. That was all. In her defense, she has been partied out. With the pool closing we’re seeing more visitors than usual. I had my family over last Saturday along with an unusual cast of characters on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, and yesterday. Changing out of a housecoat into clothes and makeup can really zap the zeal and energy out of just about any ol’ gal.

By the end of the month, we should be full force into the cord-cutting world. So once ‘The Days of Our Lives’ is over for the day, Roku 4 will be placed and the process will begin in earnest. Wish us luck, my friends!