Super Bowl 50

I must admit that going in to this super bowl game Diane and I were pretty solid Panther fans, although we had a soft spot for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Our reason for being partial to the Panthers is because two players, Derek Anderson (3) and David Mayo (55) on the team played high school football in Scappoose, Oregon. That’s where Diane and I went to school. Funny thing.

The highlight of the game was Lady Gaga’s rendition of the National Anthem. That was totally awesome in so many ways. Simply spectacular. From that point on it was all business for the Broncos who shut down an offense that was more than prolific during the season.

I wasn’t going to comment on the game but couldn’t keep from it after watching a replay of Lady Gaga’s wonderful performance. While she was singing, the camera panned the players of both teams and one thing became very evident to me.

Cam isn’t much of a patriot or perhaps he simply isn’t familiar with the concept.

Of all the players shown, Cam Newton was the only one I saw, from either team, who chose to not put his hand over his heart during Lady Gaga’s performance. Instead, he stood there with his ever-present towel over his head, which is apparently his trademark, with both hands hooked into the front of his shoulder pads. I suppose one could make a semi-valid argument that his right hand was, technically, near his heart. But, that doesn’t count.

On what led to the Carolina Panthers’ loss, Newton said, “It wasn’t nothing special that they did,” which revealed to me that Cam apparently isn’t very well educated so I shouldn’t be too hard on him for not knowing the proper way to present himself during the National Anthem. But, I am OK with being judgmental in this instance. He should know. That is, of course, my opinion.

Bottom line – we’re glad the Bronco’s won. They were the best team in more ways than the way they played the game.

Cedric & Golf

The day before yesterday, as I mentioned previously, Cedric did his penance at the MEPS center in Portland. MEPS, for those unfamiliar with military acronyms, stands for Military Entrance Processing Station, or something like that. It’s where all prospective enlistees, for any service, go to be tested and thoroughly inspected by doctors. We’re happy to say that he did well and took his oath of enlistment last Wednesday.

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He’s happy to be on his way with this journey.IMG_0334

But, he’s on the delayed entry program and won’t leave until July and graduate from boot camp in September. Since he’s going to the training center in Illinois, just a little north of Chicago, that’s a good thing, but he’s ready to go now. Shortly after boot camp  he will go to school to learn about his new job as a navy cook. Yes, Cedric is going to be a Swashbuckling Chef. We’re looking forward to his journey.

Today Junior and I went golfing again, even though the course was a mucky mess. Still, we had fun. In the below photo, that’s Junior with his back to the camera giving instructions to Suki, the golf course owner, about how he should have the 4-wheel drive of his heft John Deere fixed to he could more easily dislodge his greens mower from the sucking mud in the 5th fairway. There were many muddy tracks around the course today.

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We made some of our own when we got the cart stuck a couple of times. But, we were able to extract ourselves with a minimum of difficulty. What fun.IMG_0336

We plan to go again next Wednesday. It’s supposed to be a dry day, but we don’t really care. Maybe Cedric can go with us.

 

Cedric the Sailor

The title sounds like there’s a story involved here, doesn’t it? Perhaps so, but it’ll be a short one because I didn’t get my nap this morning like normal.

The story is about our Grandson, Cedric, who has completed most of the tasks required for him to join the United States Navy. His parents worked really hard with him to make this happen. Yesterday I was honored to be his last contact with the civilian world before his paperwork is reviewed, he’s sworn in, he’s probed and prodded, and assigned a job … I passed him into the custody of the recruiters in Beaverton.

Once I left, they drove him to an undisclosed location where he was locked in a hotel room last night to discourage any escape plans he might have in mind. He was allowed to keep his phone so he wasn’t totally shut off from civilization, and I was able to text him to see if he was OK and to find out if they fed him. His phone answered “yes”, but you know how texts message are … you never really know who’s sending them.

Later last night he texted to report that his swearing-in ceremony will be around 3 pm this afternoon and that family members are invited, so we’ll be able to check him for bruises.

He’s on a delayed entry program so it could be 3-4 months before he’s called.

It’s really different now than when I joined and was whisked away to San Diego within a matter of minutes after being sworn in. Much too quickly for me to change my mind. I raised my hand, said “I do,” and BAM! I was in San Diego, and bald.

Cedric is excited and apprehensive about moving on with the next phase of his life. Everyone is sad that he’s leaving us after being around for the last 18 years because we were just getting used to him. We’re also excited to see what happens, and live the adventure vicariously with him.

This will be fun.

Church Meetings vs. Football

Today ended a phase in my life that I never thought would arrive. That would be the end of my extended stay on our Church Council. It’s a 3-year term and I’ve been on it for 6. I’m not the only one. My friend, Bill, also saw his 6-year stint end today and I know he’s pretty happy about that.

Now, I suppose you’re thinking that because I looked forward to getting off council that I don’t see the need for people to stick their arm in the air to volunteer, or to at least accept the challenge when nominated during the annual meeting. That’s what we had today. Our annual meeting. Due to a hazardous conflict many years ago, the council decided to NOT have our annual meeting on Super Bowl Sunday.

That wasn’t a good meeting and we learned a valuable lesson … if you want a quorum at any kind of church meeting, do it when there’s not a foot ball game on TV. Any football game, but especially the Super Bowl.

Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do with all my time since I won’t have to attend those monthly meetings.

Maybe I’ll just take a nap, or something.

 

Cortisone and Furniture

We were driving home from a doctor’s appointment for me at which I received a cortisone shot in my right shoulder. I have complete tears in both rotator cuffs, but they happened so long ago that surgery really isn’t an option. So, I get shots.

About half way home my lovely wife asked me how I was feeling. She actually said that, “How are you feeling?”

Giving it a little thought, I concluded that I felt pretty good, and said, “I feel pretty good. There’s no pain.”

She quickly replied, “Good. Let’s go home and move furniture.”

Because of that I figured there wouldn’t be any need to attend the recommended physical therapy sessions.

OK, I lied …

What’s new, huh? My last post was sent in a moment of weakness when I was feeling a little low about something inconsequential, like a pending doctor’s appointment, or something like that where the potential for terrible news was possible. I did have a few doctor’s appointments overt he past few weeks, but I wasn’t concerned about any of them because I typically not concerned about anything at all. I’m Mr. Stress Free about everything. Really, I am. Ask anyone.

I don’t worry about ISIS, which, by the way, I choose to pronounce “is is” instead of “ice iss” just for fun. World events seem to have a way of evening out in the long run, kinda like the stock market, if you just leave things alone. That, and there’s always Karma to fix the wrongs in the world.

For that same reason, I’m not even a little bit concerned about the upcoming presidential election because I figure things will be very interesting no matter who gets into office. I also feel that things won’t change much regardless of who wins.

I do feel, however, that if Trump somehow wins we will revert to a society where “Political Correctness” will become a thing of the past. It will be OK to function without worrying about whether of not all your filters are functioning properly. That’s my perfect world, as most of you might have guessed. I have a hard time applying filters to my words or actions. Life’s way more fun that way. Ask Donald.

If any of the other candidates win it will be business as usual because they’re all career politicians. Those should be prohibited, disallowed, against the law. It should be six-year terms max then it’s time to leave, not rally for another term.

I don’t think there should be an age limit on any positions, either. I figure if a person can either ride a bike, or roller skate, they qualify. If they can do both, better yet.

All office holders should write their own speeches or, like Donald, just share whatever is on their mind at the time in response to any question. It’s just more fun that way.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

Also, to stay in line with my normal conduct, I’m not going to edit the above except to correct spelling errors this program detects. It is what it is. I might read it again in a couple of days, or next week. Maybe. If there is anything too outrageous, I trust those who read it to let me know so I can consider fixing it.

On the fun side of life, I’ve been golfing twice this year already. Junior and I went out on January 1st, and again last Friday, the 8th. I’m happy to say that I did pretty well both times. Our plan is to continue going out once a week, weather permitting, until one of us dies. Now that’s a commitment. Doug was unable to join us because he’s still training his new fake knee and it’s proving to be a difficult process. So, everyone send Doug good thoughts to help get him through the healing process.

Me and Junior ready to tee off.IMG_2836

This was our view looking back on the 5th fairway. Mt. St. Helens looks good.IMG_2838This is what happened two days later.

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Another fun day was last Thursday when Cedric asked me to go with him and his Dad to the Navy recruiter. It appealed to me because the last time I went to a Navy recruiter was in 1962. I thought it would be interesting to see what’s changed. I say that as if to indicate I can remember that last visit. Not likely, but I can guess.

The recruiters we met were great in all respects and put Cedric at ease right away and made it a really good experience. All I did was shoot the breeze with them and share a few stories of what it was like being in the real Navy all those years ago. It was a fun visit, and Cedric is on the way to being a US Navy Sailor. The tradition continues. To expand on that a bit, Lydia is working through the process of applying for an appointment to the Naval Academy. Nothing firm there, yet, but I’m looking forward to that, too.

I hope everyone is enjoying the new year as much as I am.

So far it’s pretty good.

I’m done here …

After making hundreds of posts of the past years, I believe it’s time to quit. The reason is mainly because I find myself trying to think of something witty to write that I think someone may find humorous. It used to be that I wrote simply to purge my brain but now days I fear that purging my brain may result in serious complications regarding personal hygiene. So, I’m not going to do it any more.

In the future, if I feel compelled to share something, I will do so via Facebook.

Farewell

Medicine Warning Labels

After listening to all the warnings at the end of advertisements for various medicine, I’m concerned that they aren’t nearly comprehensive enough. Many thing are missing and I would like the folks that write all that stuff to consider some of these, which I may or may not have experienced personally.

Don’t take this medication if you are currently in the third hour of a 4-hour erection, plan to urinate but can’t, didn’t plan to urinate but did, have had loose stools for more than a week, have trouble sleeping on the floor, plan to have a heart attack within a week and half of becoming pregnant or impregnating someone.

You should stop taking this medicine if you experience a rapid heart beat while eating peanuts, a sudden urge to insert green grapes in your nose, spontaneous alopecia, aversion to puppies and kittens, the urge to damage yourself with dull butter knives, everything smells like urine, your ears bleed for no reason, your eye brows fall out, or you detect excessive nose hair.

Possible side effects include, but are not limited to possible loss of all curly body hair, extreme fingernail and toenail growth, terminal runny nose, impacted ear wax leading to extemporal vertigo stupendous, regressive genderitis, allergy to underwear, loss of ability to tie shoes due to failure of opposing thumbs.

If you experience any of the indicated symptoms call your medical advisor as soon as they get back from vacation. While waiting, take aspirin.

Dumb? Yes.

Why Electricity is Good

It’s December 27th, our 7th day without benefit of a functioning furnace and a fully functional kitchen stove.It’s almost 2 pm and it’s been snowing pretty much all day. Thankfully, the temperature which started out around 37 is still hovering above freezing at 34. But, it’s going down, and the snow has started to stick.

Perhaps you’re wondering what’s going on. Since you asked, I will be happy to tell you.

Last Monday, December 21st, we experienced a very exciting wind storm that nearly blew me away while attempting to secure the portable storage thing we have. Our neighbor, Scott, was helping me because he’s not sure I should be doing anything physical  by myself, as does Diane. During the securing process, which amounted to taking all 8 legs off the sides to get it as low as possible, we heard trees snapping and falling, then there was a very loud explosion nearby. My first thought was that a transformer had exploded, but investigation revealed that it was probably an arc caused when the top half of a 50 foot pine tree snapped off and was deposited neatly, upside down, on top of all the power lines directly across the street from our house. It would have dropped all the way to the ground had not one of the top branches hooked the line to our house, bending our weather head, and parting the tension cable which also serves as the neutral side of our power from the power company. Scott figured out that we didn’t have the neutral line by applying his electrician skills.

The investigation was begun because we only had 50-100+ vac at our outlets which isn’t enough to run most anything that required electricity. Oddly, however, it was enough to charge our phones, and to keep the wifi running so we weren’t totally destitute in the technology department. We were connected, and our phone worked.

When the explosion occurred outside, Diane was in the kitchen and was subjected to an explosion of her own when the electronics in our stove blew up causing the unmistakable smell of fried electronics to fill the house. Fortunately, the stove has gas burners so the fried electronics aspect simply meant we couldn’t use the oven and the little igniters for the burners didn’t function. But, we have matches so we were able to use the stove stop.

Another loss was the furnace. It didn’t work. But, we have a gas fireplace so we were warm in the living room. Freezing in the bedrooms, but warm in the living room. As of today, the fireplace has been burning pretty much non-stop for 5 days. I’m sure NW Natural Gas will be very happy about that.

Full power was finally restored Friday around 7:30 pm. They finally responded to my third call for assistance, but with the fancy new meters we have, they could tell it was still running so deemed that we had electricity so marked us as OK. Finally, after watching Facebook for restoration updates – yes, the power company was communicating with customers via Facebook – they were down to the last 10 customers a couple hours previously and asked that those still without power to call. So I called, and explained our situation, in detail, for the third time. I had also submitted photos of the damage, and an explanation about the loss of neutral which were acknowledged. Finally, on the last call, linemen were dispatched to check us out and discovered that they couldn’t do it alone. So another bucket truck was called in to assist. Between the two of them they got the tree removed from the lines without further damage, and they spliced the neutral line which provided us with full power. Finally.

Tomorrow we’ll contact the furnace people, and someone to look at the stove so we can find out what the damages are.

During this power outage I had only  one occasion where I needed to get out of my pajamas. That was Christmas Eve when we attended the candle lite service at our church. Diane and I sang in the choir, as did Jennifer and Lydia. We all wore choir robes but Diane failed to see the logic in allowing me to attend in my PJ’s even though no one would have known. So, I wore jeans. I even shaved, and everything.

Our neighbors, Scott & Whitney, helped save our refrigerator by running an extremely long extension cord from their garage to ours so that it had full power. With that exception, we managed to eke through a couple of nights watching TV on 50-117 vac which kinda amazed me. I expected that the TV would implode any minute, but i didn’t. Seems to be just fine.

Another big deal that happened is that we got Ziva back from Jeff and family. She’s been having some issues with the other dogs in his house so we thought it would be best if we took her back to see what would happen. Turns out she’s all calmed down now, and doesn’t have the wanderlust to leave the yard. That’s really good because I’m sure it would have been really cold out there chasing her in my jammies. All is well.

This afternoon around 1:30 pm Diane deserted me to go get Jennifer so they could go to Portland to see the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour. They go whenever it comes to Portland which is a good Mother Daughter event. It was OK because I was invited to go see the new Star Wars movie with Daniel, Cedric, Larry, Lydia, Jeran, and Mason at 4:00 pm in Scappoose. I as going to pick up Jeff on the way to the Walters’ home but he was still out in the forest somewhere playing in the snow with the girls. So, it was just the seven of us.

It was a terrific movie and I can’t wait to see the next one.

Now I’m back home and must wait patiently for Diane’s return. The roads are nasty, it’s snowing, it’s freezing, and they won’t be home until 10 pm or so, 2.5 hours away.  I trust Diane’s driving, but not the driving of those with whom she must share the road. Not all of them are driving with a full awareness of how to drive in inclement weather, or that they, gee, aren’t the only ones on the road. Until she safely returns all I must do is refrain from eating a bunch of stuff I really don’t need. I already did that at the movie by ingesting the lions portion of a very large popcorn.

Now I wait.

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