Bargain of the day!

I just got my daily email from Costco that lists all the great deals available to me. Here’s my favorite so far …. Japanese Wagyu Boneless Ribeye Roast … a deal at $109.10 a pound, with each roast weighing a minimum of 11 lbs, making this roast ring up at $1499.99, including shipping.

BUT! Since I’m a valued Costco customer, I get $300 off making it a mere $1199.99.

I’m sorry, but I bet I could buy an entire cow for that much. Might not be in the best shape, but a little ketchup makes it all tastes the same to me.

I’m wondering about the boneless part of this. Maybe these animals were genetically engineered to omit bones from their structure since they probably don’t walk around much. That way the growers could squeeze 3 or 4 of them into a feeding space meant for one that has bones. That might not work, though, because they’d have to have bones in their heads or they wouldn’t be able to chew their food. But, if they eliminated head bones and just fed them with giant IV’s, they could just lay them flat on the ground like a rug.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not an advocate of raising flat steers, no matter how good the meat might be. No sir. I’ll stick to steaks that have the bone in.

That’s probably all I should say right now.

ID Theft Adverted

Recently my debit card was denied at a couple of places so I thought it might be prudent to ask someone about it. I was gratified to know that my credit union was aware enough to know that I couldn’t possibly be in Oceanside, CA and Middlebury, CT at the same time and correctly locked down the card so no one could use it. I wasn’t aware of the problem for a while for two reasons … 1) I don’t use the card very often, and 2) Comcast changed my home phone number for a period of time so no one could call me.

Well, they called, but it was the number we used to have before Comcast changed it so the number rang up “Not in Service” which is why I convinced them it needed to be restored. Which they did.

Beware! This is the time of year when the scum of the earth creep out in larger droves  than normal and invest a ton of energy into stealing from unwary folks. Too bad they don’t understand that the same amount of energy expended for an honorable reason is far more rewarding.

Scappoose Sports

Once the St. Helens football and soccer teams were eliminated from contention for their respective playoffs, Diane and I started going to Scappoose football and soccer games. It was an easy thing to do because both Diane and I are Scappoose alumni and actually know a lot of people sitting in the stands around us. The upside to attending those games was that they were winning and lots of fun to watch. What made it even better was that they played some of their games on St. Helens’ new turf field. Therefore, we didn’t have to travel all the way to Scappoose, those dangerous 8 miles, to watch the games. It was as simple as rolling down to the bottom of the hill, kinda.

Yesterday we watched Scappoose win another quarter-final game 48-46. It initially looked like it was going to be a blowout when the Indians went ahead 34-13 but Marshfield (Coos Bay) came back and made a game out of it. It was pretty tense at the end of the game when they got that close.

Now the Indians, who are still maintaining home field advantage, must win their semi-final game against North Bend to earn their spot in the state championship game which will be played November 28th, right after Thanksgiving. Sadly, we won’t be able to attend the semi-final game because we’ll be somewhere in Portland watching Riverdance. I’ve always wanted to do that.

Now, the girls soccer team. What a powerhouse they are. I may have mentioned in a previous post that the football team place kicker is on the girls soccer team. She’s pretty tricky with her feet and is one of the primary scorers for the team. Today the Lady Indians played their last game, winning the state championship game 5-0, and ending their season unbeaten at 18-0. Of the games we watched, we only saw one goal scored against them. Today’s game was really a little boring, like everyone knew what was going to happen so there was no excitement in the crowd. That came out only when the girls scored. They reminded Diane and me of how the St. Helens JV team played … totally as a team that knows how to pass the ball. It was a clinic for their opponents.

Here’s a photo of the boys’ last win on the St. Helens field … this is when they broke ranks from what appeared to me to be an illegal prayer on a school field. I loved it.IMG_0227

And, here are the girls right after winning their championship game. It was supposed to rain buckets today, but it held off so they played dray the entire game.

Weight Loss Furniture

I heard on the news tonight (KGW Channel 8) that flame retardant chemicals on furniture are suspected to be linked to cancer, low IQ, and obesity in children.

Fortunately, I’m frequently told I’m childish and we just bought a new couch from Ashley Furniture that doesn’t have chemical flame retardants. Therefore, it stands to reason that I can sit on that couch as long as I want with no fear of gaining weight, getting cancer, or dropping a few numbers off my IQ. Also, since there was no mention of food regarding the obesity with regard to chemical flame retardants, I see no reason why I can’t eat whatever I want while sitting on that couch for as long as I want.

Life is good.

Star Light, Star Bright

I felt compelled to share the sunrise that greeted me two days ago because it was totally unique in my experience which, as those who read my drivel know, is vast, if somewhat tainted by an overactive imagination. This one is the real deal, however, and I wonder who else was fortunate enough to have been delighted with this sight of Oregon’s Southern sky …


The view of Mt. Hood is the common draw for my eye, but the morning moon, accompanied with an incredibly bright star was a special treat. Sadly, I failed to use my handy-dandy iPad app to discover which star it was, but I’m betting one of you astronomers out there can help. I’m guessing it’s Venus, just for fun.

Golf in the Fog, High School Football, Church, and Best Buds

Golfing in the fog isn’t for the lighthearted, but it’s fun. Actually, for some of us, it’s really no different from golfing on a bright sunny day. For those lucky folks it’s still a matter of hitting the ball, then finding it so they can hit it again, as many times as necessary. For normal golfers, those who can actually golf, simply go to their ball because they know where it landed and don’t need to look for it. I suspect those folks do as well in the fog as they do on any other day. I bet they aren’t as excited about finding their balls as much as those who have to find theirs.

Finding our cart was easy, as was finding the first tee box. It’s out behind the mushroom looking tree a little ways.

Here’s what it looks like from the #1 tee. Plenty of visibility to see which direction the ball heads once it’s hit.


By the time we got to #8 the air was clearing up.IMG_2488

This is JP warming up for a tremendous drive down #8. I believe he parred this one.IMG_2492

Tuesday was a good day.

Friday we went to the St. Helens High School foot ball game, a new tradition we began a couple of weeks ago. We’ll no doubt keep it up because Lydia’s boyfriend, Mason, #9 below on the near right of the photo, is also a Junior and will play again next year. Also, since the current place kicker seems to have a bit of trouble, Lydia is seriously thinking about trying out for the team as the kicker next season. As a soccer goalie she’s learned how to kick quite well. Should be an interesting year. We hope she is successful in this endeavor. Me especially because I can’t wait to get a photo of her and Mason together in their varsity football uniforms. That would be pretty awesome.


Just a selfie of some folks sitting in my vicinity in the bleachers. Actually, that’s Noydena in the back, and her mother, Sandy, below her. In case you haven’t figured out by the stuffed Lion, The St. Helens team is, well, the Lions. Go figure. IMG_2498

At church on Sunday Diane discovered that she almost dressed exactly like Randy. That’s Diane on the right.


Today JP came by the house and asked if I had a vice.

Not having one, I said "no." 
He said, "well, I guess we'll have to go to Doug's, then."
"Why", I asked.
"To replace the grips on your golf clubs", he said.
"I don't have any new grips", I replied.
"Yes you do."
"I do?"
"Where might they be?"
"In my car."

That ultimately resulted in the  following scene where Doug and JP went to work ripping the  old grips off, dousing everything in sight with BBQ lighter fluid, applying special tape, applying more lighter fluid, then slipping the new grip into place.

I’m truly blessed to have friends like these two guys.


For an ending I have to share with you Panzee and her new best friend, Cloud, a small rabbit living next door.


Panzee will spend hours just sitting there watching the bunny and the bunny will come to the fence for a nuzzle once in a while. Very touching. Actually, I think Panzee just wonders what it is and what it might taste like.


I’m The Maytag Guy – The Winnebago Guy Too – Who Knew?

Today I successfully resurrected a 20(+)-year-old Maytag Neptune washing machine. It’s been sitting in the basement, unused, for the last 4-5 days because it wouldn’t drain. That malady made it a little difficult to wash clothes so Diane just didn’t do that. I’m not an expert Maytag repairman, but neither am I a rookie at bringing this particular washer back to life. When it was fairly new it was used to wash some really old area rugs, one of which had some old crispy rubber backing that the washing successfully stripped and attempted to flush out the drain hose. Needless to say, it didn’t drain well and it was necessary to dismantle the drain system and remove about a gallon of those little bits of rubber from the drain hose and drain pump. It was an enlightening evolution, one about which I knew nothing in the beginning. But, I’m not shy about taking things apart, something I may have mentioned in one or more previous posts.

As luck would have it, removing all the rubber solved that problem and imposing a ban on washing rugs that have questionable backing has allowed the washing to work quite nicely for the next 20 years.

Since I wasn’t sure what the problem was this time I ripped it apart again to check the pump. I dismantled the pump housing and confirmed that the motor ran OK, I thought, put it all back together and reinstalled it. Then the computer came in to play as I searched for parts that I thought might resolve the problem. The only choices I could think of was the timer or the pump motor. They arrived this afternoon.

When Diane returned from her trip to Longview, to take Cedric to the dentist, I was knee-deep in getting the parts installed. I’d already replaced the timer and had determined it wasn’t the problem. Therefore I pulled out the old pump, which was very hot, indicating that though it didn’t drain the washer, it gave it a good try. Too bad I didn’t feel the pump first, right? Well, I was going for the easiest solution first.

Diane arrived just I was in the process of tightening the last hose clamp on the new motor so she got home just in time to help me check it out. Before running a test I pushed the washer back into place, pretending it was going to work fine. Turns out it did just that.

As the water was being pumped from the washer Diane clapped and jumped up and down because she was so happy that she would be able to spend all day tomorrow washing clothes. I think that makes her the best wife ever.

Long before the washer parts arrived, we made a trip to Portland with the hopes we could purchase a replacement hose that would keep the transmission fluid from vacating the Winnebago, leaving messy drips all over the place. The business we found is one that makes replacement hoses as needed. When we got it back home I dug out some work clothes, found my wrenches, and crawled under the RV to see if what I had was, indeed, the solution. It was, and I was elated. All that took place after Diane left for the trip to Longview with Cedric, and it was a quick fix. I was very gratified that I was able to resolve that problem with a simple solution. The custom hose, by the way, only cost $14.11. I was figuring it would cost between $30-$40. Can’t wait until I have to get another hose made, now that I know they’re so inexpensive.

After all the work was done, I received a phone call from Legacy Health to report the results of my MRI last week. Turns out I have a full tear in the rotator cuff of my left shoulder. So now I’m being referred to a Ortho Surgeon to see what can be done. Oddly enough, the pain I have from this injury is mainly when I lay down to sleep. Golfing isn’t a problem.

So, tomorrow I’m going golfing. Doug said so.

Jennifer Lynn is 40

I already shared a bit about Jennifer turning 40, but it bears repeating. Especially since she’s a Happy 40. That, and we had a family party after church yesterday to celebrated just one more time.

We did it at Fultanos in Scappoose and almost the entire gang was there.

Here’s proof …


Left to right we have … Baylee, Daniel, Diane, Jeran, Jean, Cedric, Jeff, Jennifer, Gilligan, Lydia, and Mason. Jerrie took the photo, like normal.

The cake was made with cupcakes and was expertly decorated by a couple of people who don’t decorate many cakes. It was a challenge but all the little red-hot candies saved the day. Jennie really like those little red-hot candies.DSC_4744

There were only 4 candles because the baker figured that, since they were extra tall, they really each counted as 10 normal candles. Plus, there was a question about whether or not the new 40-years-old could muster up enough wind to blow out 40 candles. She did really good with the 4 provided.DSC_4751

We ate pizza, cheddar cheese fries with bacon, and lots of soda, lemonade, and water. It was a really good day.

We really, really love our daughter and are tremendously proud of the Lady she’s grown to be.

A Birthday Milestone, a little Football, X-Rays, and an MRI

I’ve been a little remiss in getting information out to all of you who think there’s a need to keep tabs on me for various reasons, so here I am to bring you as up-to-date as possible.

Before I get going, however, I must report the most important news for this day, the 23rd of October which just happens to be my favorite Daughter’s, Jennifer’s, 40th birthday. Here she is at 6-years-old – she’s the one on the right.Jennie 1981

Here she is a little older …


She’s a very lovely, very special Lady.

Using my handy-dandy calendar, the one on my computer, I will do my best to report events in chronological order unless, of course, I either see something shiny or a squirrel runs by my window. Should that happen, all bets are off and you will be at the mercy of my random thought generator.

Since October 14th, the date of my last post, we have attended three of Lydia’s soccer games (won 2 lost 1), spent three days in the RV in a field in Hood River, went to see my local doctor because stuff hurts, got an X-ray, played golf, had an MRI, fasting blood work, attended a meeting at our church with the ladies who write all the checks, and attended a Scappoose High School football game against Seaside.

That’s about it. But, I suspect you’d be more interested in the details of some of those events, particularly the one about staying in the RV …

Regarding that … we joined our Winnebago friends in Hood River, at the Hood River County Fairgrounds, so we could enjoy traveling the Fruit Loop through the numerous orchards that dot the countryside around Hood River. There’s a bunch of them and they are all selling tons of fruit. Since we like fruit, we bought some gigantic Jonagold versions at $.50 a pound. That’s only if you buy 20 pounds or more. If not, they are $.89 a pound. I got 23 pounds for $11.50. That was most of an entire box. I love those things. They are my evening snack along with a piece of Tillamook cheddar cheese.

Everything went nicely on this short little visit until we were well on our way home. That’s when the transmission started giving me fits. We’d be flying along just fine then it was like the transmission just shifted to neutral and the engine revved up a bunch. Then smoke started pouring out behind us making it difficult for me to see how close people were following. That really wasn’t a problem, however, because everyone passed me and no one was following us. The problem was the transmission was losing fluid from somewhere that I couldn’t find during a quick stop to see what was the matter. The smoke was from transmission fluid burning off the exhaust pipe on the left side of the engine. I looked all over for a possible leak but it was difficult to pin it to just one place because pretty much the entire bottom of the transmission and the frame was covered with the stuff. Still, I looked, hoping to get lucky. At this point we were about 50 miles from home and I wasn’t in the mood to spend the night parked alongside the road. So, I dug around in the from part of the RV and discovered a nearly full quart of transmission fluid which I poured into the proper receptacle to, hopefully, top off what was missing. I knew, from prior experience, that a relatively small amount of viscous material, like oil, and transmission fluid, could cover an astounding area making one think the reservoir must surely be dry, but it isn’t.

Once the fluid was added I cranked the rig up and shifted to reverse and D a few times to see what would happen, got the appropriate response, put it in D and took off down I-84 West once again. We made it all the way to Warren when things took a decidedly bad turn in that no amount of coaxing would provide enough friction in the transmission to increase the speed even a little. The result was that we coasted slowly to a stop. Knowing this was going to happen gave me an opportunity to get off Highway 30 onto Old Portland Road, across from Bennett Road, with enough forward momentum to ensure the coasting stopped in the Moose Lodge parking lot. That rig would not move another inch. I tried.

We were towing the PT Cruiser most of the way but figured removing that tow weight might be easier on the RV transmission. So, it was available for Diane to make a run to Wal*Mart to get some more transmission fluid for just one more effort to got that next 2 miles to home. There was just enough of everything to do that with nothing to spare beyond parking it off the street. What a trip. It took us 5 hours to make what is normally a 2 hour ride. But, we made it.

The next morning I got up and tried to figure out where all that fluid was going, but didn’t have any luck. So, I decided to do something else and went to our Lions Club meeting. I went alone because it was Diane’s bunco night with the girls. I told everyone at the meeting where she was, of course.

The next day, Tuesday, I went to visit one of the Legacy doctors at the local free clinic to make sure I didn’t have any STD’s and to see if they could do something about my left arm which had been a problem all weekend. I made an appointment the previous day so they were expecting me.

After poking, prodding, and asking a zillion questions it was determined that I needed to have an MRI of my left shoulder and X-rays of my left wrist to see what was up. The X-ray was done right away and the next day I received the news that my left wrist was severely diseased. I know that sounds kind of like my wrist was in such terrible shape that my hand was in danger of falling off. Not quite the case. It’s just that those little tunnels in the wrist bones through which blood vessels pass to give me warmth and feeling to my hand are severely restricted which causes my hand to be cold most of the time and to ache pretty much all the time. It’s been that way for about 20 years. I’ve tried to get doctors to amputate it, but none of them would because all the fingers still worked. So, I’ve just lived with it. You may be happy to know that I don’t have any STD’s. I know Diane is.

But the shoulder was something else … It keeps me awake long into the night and wakes me up sometimes when I finally to get to sleep. It needs to go, too, but I know I’ll have to keep it. So, I’m curious to learn the results of the MRI I had yesterday. At 0715 in the morning. That means we had to leave town at 0615 to make sure I made it on time.

Since I don’t normally do well in MRI machines, I was given a Valium to ease the tension, allowing me to lie very still with no fear that I would have to claw my way out of that tube before it collapsed in on me. Nope. It all went just fine and I was deemed to be a model patient for that procedure.

Later that afternoon we went to school to watch another one of Lydia’s soccer games. Unfortunately, they lost 1-0. It was a good game. Directly after the game Diane took me home to get my car so I could drive myself to my American Legion Meeting at the Moose Lodge. It’s been deemed advisable for me to attend those meetings because I’m the Sgt. At Arms for the group and I’m sure you can imagine how rowdy a bunch of old Viet Nam vets can get when they’re off their meds.

That brings us up to today and the news that I discovered the reason all the transmission fluid disappeared. There’s a little rubber tub connected to the bottom of the radiator and a rigid line running to the left side of the transmission. There’s a matching tub on the right side of the radiator that is flexible indicating it’s been replaced. The one on the right was hard like a rock and it was leaking around the brass fitting. So, I took it off. In doing so it pretty much fell apart. I took the pieces to both of our auto parts places, NAPA and CarQuest and neither of them could produce a replacement. Turns out I’ll have to take it to a specialist and have one custom-made. Maybe tomorrow.

This evening we decided to attend the Scappoose High School football game because they are playing really well. They are 11-0 on the season and made it 12-0 after stomping Seaside 55-6. The tone was set when Seaside kicked off and Scappoose ran it back for the first touchdown. During the course of the game Scappoose intercepted 3-4 passes and ran most of those back for touchdowns, too. It was pretty bad. So bad, that we found ourselves hoping Seaside would score at least once, which they did.

Now it’s late and I must quit. Need to rest up so I can search Portland and the surrounding area for a place that will make the connector I need to resurrect the Winnebago. When that’s done, it’s going on the blocks and we’re going to buy a trailer.

Diane’s Truck

After seven months of driving around in abject luxury in the form of a new Chevy Impala, we pulled the plug and traded it for the vehicle Diane really wanted all along.

Turns out the truck is more comfortable than the Impala. No doubt there will be more about this later.

Can’t wait to make my first dump run in it.

IMG_0209 IMG_0210 IMG_0211


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