Car Thieves Are Not My Friends

If you’ve been reading this blog at all, perhaps you’ve noticed that I rarely mention politics. Believe me, I have plenty to say about the woes of the world; but my professional opinion is that if a person reads something like “Happy Friday!!!” they might appreciate a break from all the geopolitical falderol. Well tonight I’m gonna get on my soapbox a bit and complain about theft. I know that’s not political (well not in this case), but I’ve been feeling a smidgen victimized and I’m a gonna bark a little.

So there we were, my Beautiful Girlfriend and me, minding our own business on the way back from a funeral visitation when we heard this dreadful ker-whump!! coming from under the car hood; which was accompanied by a sudden loss of power and then the engine was running at way too many RPM but the car was slowing down so of course I hit the EJECT button and both of us were hurled out of the top of the car but luckily our parachutes got snarled in some pine trees so we were able to watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island on someone’s widescreen TV because they had their curtains open and “wow Honey look at how big their picture window is!! Even from up here in the top of the pine tree we can smell the Farmers Insurance commercials!!” and of course nothing after the words “ I hit the EJECT button” was real but it made for a pretty nice run-on sentence which I shall terminate… NOW.

Anyway… the nasty ker-whump!! was an audible warning that the end was very near for the transmission of our brand new, 2001 Chrysler Town and Country racing van. Thinking maybe our trusted service people on the other side of town could help, I drove the ailing minivan over there and the nice man shook his head and said, “nope… you need a tranny shop.” Gack. So I started to go to the closest one but then I remembered our other trusted service people right near our house. Drove over there and the nice man said, “we’re running about a week and a half behind.”

Gack.

OK… back to the other side of town we go but uh oh… not much reverse. Not much forward neither. Got it to limp to our house and was hoping to back it into the driveway. Nope. Reverse go bye-bye. OK… let’s see if I can get it up to the intersection and do a U-turn; come back and park. After several startings and stoppings, that worked. By that time I believe I successfully converted what was once an automatic transmission into a metal box filled with tranny fluid and metal shavings. Borrowed my Beautiful Honey Pie’s car to go to work, stopped at the tranny shop on the way home and asked if it was OK to have the beast towed over to his place after hours. “Sure,” he said, “we can have it for you in 3 or 4 days.” “Great,” I replied, “any guess on how much?” “Oh… around $2200, maybe a bit more.”

Gack.

I figured, hey, we want the car to work… engine works fine, body a tiny bit rusty but pretty good… pretty much everything works; so I signed on the dotted line. Silly me, after I heard all this nice news, I thought maybe I’d check the interwebs for how much this old animal was worth. Stopped at good ol’ Kelley’s Blue Book… what??? $1200 to $2800??? What the heck did I do??? Oy yoy yoy!! It’s highway robbery I tell ya!! This car is stealing from me!!! I must now run outside to eat bark and poop at the moon!!

OK, maybe I won’t go barking at moon poop.

So then I started looking around the interwebs again, this time for a nice, used, certified Toyota Sienna. No more Chryslers for this kid, thank you very much. Sure, they’re affordable… but stuff goes wrong that really shouldn’t. Never had a transmission go bad on a Toyota. I know others have; but from what I’ve learned over the years it’s rare. Chryslers, on the other hand, seem to have a reputation of eating at least one transmission during their life span. But now I’m learning a different form of highway robbery: almost new car prices.

Gack!!!

Looks like $25,000 or so will get me a nice used minivan with low enough miles to still be under warranty. $25,000!!! We bought a house with 5 acres of land for $36,900!!! Well OK, that was a couple of weeks ago in 1982. But still…!!!

Just gotta face the facts. Unless some rich benefactor surprises me with the gift of an antique Maserati or something; cars are always gonna take my money. They are thieves.

And car thieves are not my friends.

I’m unreasonably certain that my car hunt will go exactly like this:

 

Tips For Travel

Well, Spring Break has already broken, but the weather here in Beautiful West Michigan is not very Springy; and some folks are still running away screaming for warmer skin zones that are far away from here; so that of course means they’ll likely need input from me, the person, who offers the following tips on how to travel in this short but long (by Kakahead standards) run-on sentence I hereby bestow upon you all with great instability.

Therefore, I strongly urge every living thing to embrace the following travel tips with great enthusiasm:

1 – Please, for the 328th time, please do NOT tape paperclips to your fingernails just before passing through airport security. This causes very loud brooping alarms and the security people will wiggle their eyebrows at you for at least 13 milliseconds.

R – Always ensure you keep your optical nerves unclogged and free of compost flavored radio components.

5 – Be vigilant of germ bearing strangers. Does anyone appear to be drooling? For all you know, they may be infected with Wasabi Olfactory Ouchy Disorder (WOOD). This is easily transmitted in close quarters; so if you see someone drooling, avoid helping them with blowing the WOOD snot out of their nostrils.

5n- Other nasty diseases that are readily spreadily are: Tingly Or Otherwise Twittering Hairs (TOOTH) that seem to take on a life of their own when they leave your neighbor’s scalp; Funky Armpit Stinky Times (FAST) which disable your sniffing glands after causing brief fainting spells, and Belly Area Regurgitation Flicks (BARF) which… well… urrrp… occckkk…. arrrggghhh get away!! Get AWAY!!

Q – When traveling to other lands, please try to learn at least a few phrases of the native language. For example, in Germany, one might stand on a busy street corner and shout: “Mein Onkel hat noch mal sein Klavier gegessen!!” English translation: “My uncle has eaten his piano again!!” Now if you are in a Spanish speaking country, a proper introduction to new friends could come in the form of: “Mi casa es muy apestoso!!” English: “My house is very stinky!!” The most enjoyable part of these cultural experiences, I’m sure, will be the reactions of those to whom you are speaking.

I have many other artificially flavored travel suggestions, but I don’t want to overload your noggins with such vital information right now. You may e-mail me at u.r.stinky@wuttagoof.com; or of course you can call Snern, my pet wombat; who screens all my calls with the diligence of someone who has never existed.

In the meantime, I would like to leave you with this parting thought: don’t try to build your own plane like Mickey Mouse did. Might cause problems…

An Important Letter To All Frames and Camelstands

Dear Frames and Camelstands,

I understand that none of you have been lifting corduroy. Well I’m here to tell you, that if you don’t begin doing something soon you won’t be able to do anything very soon. Soon you will know that something was done before egg time, and are you even are aware that the thing you ate last night had absolutely nothing nutritionally resembling paint chips??

You better know something. I’ll let you know when to know it. Do you know what I mean? You had BETTER know. Don’t look at ME in that tone of voice!! You often remind me of lentils floating in a small garage. What the HECK have you been slurping during nap time??

The weather was completely perfectly wintry during these past 42 yodelwhompers. That’s because I forgot to throw coat hangers at the sun all last week. I threatened the sun within an inch of its life, and as you can see it paid off backwards. Now we can all cry and roll on the floor because we are very aware that the sun won’t listen to me when I shout. This of course increases the likelihood of macaroni storms.

Cheese is applied during the evening hours.

My beautiful girlfriend, Zonikula, and I went walking the other day with our legs and feet. During our walk, we decided to crawl on our bellies for 13 miles to see if rain deer really know how to fly. Rain deer are absolutely nothing like Santa’s reindeer. No. Rain deer are made of water and they sing greeble songs when the geese run backwards through the tomato forest. This gives them magical flavor crystals that can only glow in the earlobes during The Great Nickel Tossing Festival.

Last time we were never there, the noises of our crawlings were completely different than klick, klick, clomp as we sniggled down along the Mosquito Ribber near the old Cobb plant (where Cornn is Kingg). Suckers were busy catching humans that

were running up the river. Very remarkable. Garter snakes tried to trim our fingernails as we invaded “their space;” and as they wriggled gently over our eyebrows all 13 of them kept whining about how they were missing their favorite Applesauce Program. Why They Capitalized These Strange TV Program Words With Their Nostrils Remains A Mystery To All Of Us Who Enjoy A Complete Breakfast Of Oats Coated With Bullet Proof Mustard.

Please, don’t ever describe this to me again.

There was probably a time when we could have stood up and used our foot things to walk like regular snork monsters, but that never occurred to us until we got back in our car and noticed that our belly mud had hardened into very attractive pajama sandwiches that looked and tasted very much like those old fashioned salami burgers we never had when we were kids.

OK.

Now you have been klempered.

Please resume your taddle-brickling.

My chair eats frogs,

Hyram C. Pooflestench

A.K.A. Peeper Fling Muskellunge

Well, if you’ve read this far, you may have found all of that a bit weird. With that in mind, check this weirdness out:

No News Is (Sometimes) Good News

Once Upon A Time, there was so much information floating around on the TV and Radio (remember Radio?) and the Newspapers (remember newspapers?) and the interwebs that when I tried to absorb all of it, I began to turn very pale and then I began to exhale stinky puffs of sauerkraut flavored nasty air because the amount of reported nasty news far outgrew any reports of good news; so I began to shake wildly and flail my hands about as if I were being shocked by 123,874 electric eels and perhaps you can tell that maybe all this news had some effect on me so maybe I better put a period at the end of this ridiculously huge sentence and come up for air awreddy.

~* Whew!! *~ That was fluffy!! And not in a good way.

Yes, Girls and Boys, there is simply not enough good news being flashed in front of our 3.4 millisecond attention spans any more. Now I know there’s good stuff happening out there, because I see it all the time. And thankfully I live in an area where the really bad news isn’t happening. By that I mean nobody is lobbing mortar shells in anyone’s homes; and by and large folks have enough to eat… stuff like that there.

My professional opinion is: 1) yes, we all should stay informed; but R) it’s probably good to at least occasionally unplug from all the news outlets for awhile. One could argue against such a flatulent (or would that be mucilaginous?) tactic, citing they’d miss stories like the Florida woman who married a 100 year old tree to try to save it from being removed to make way for development. Or maybe one wouldn’t hear about the 18 year old who bought her very first lottery ticket on her birthday and won $1000 for life.

OK so maybe you might miss out on that stuff. But I’m thinking that what may be missing in our Technical Universe is contact with Nature. Nature is big you know. From microscopic critters all the way up to elephants… then our solar system, stars, planets, galaxies… well you know. Nature. Stuff you can see, hear, smell, and taste. And no, I’m not asking anyone to go around sniffing elephants or trying to hear what an earthworm is saying. I’m just imparting what I have found to be true: some of my most peaceful moments come when I have no devices anywhere near me.

I love to listen to the waves of Lake Michigan crashing into light poles as they whiz down the freeway. I love staring at the moon while lying on an ant hill… and when the ants come to visit, I often shake wildly with delight until they are gone. I love watching animals and birds while they have squirt gun fights during marshmallow eating contests. And of course I enjoy visiting with friends; and when they pull out their smellphones in the middle of a conversation, I casually blow my nose very loudly without the use of a tissue and then give them a nice pat on the back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also very aware that technology can bring joy to a person’s life. I’ve worked as a techno-nerd for over 40 years now; and I admit I do derive some funzies out of watching cat videos and bopping around on the BookFace to see what my friends are doing. I also have an ancient artifact in my living room called a Stereo (remember stereo?) that I use to kick out the jams (remember “Kick Out The Jams” ? ) from time to time. You know what they say: “music makes the toenails pop!!” Or maybe I just say that.

Anyhoo, I’m working on not reading so much news on the radio and listening to fewer newspapers. Sometimes I can smell the news on the TV and I run backwards to get away; but then I clunk the wall and all the knick knacks fall down and I burp German words before fainting. I do tune in occasionally to see what Donald Rump and King Jon Loon are doing, but then I barf and decide maybe I should give it a rest for a couple milliseconds. This manic media monstrosity mishmash can make my head bone crackle; then the brain fluids leak out, that that in turn causes my writing to disintegrate into magnetic lag bolt compost droppings.

No news can indeed be good news.

Please pass the marshmallows.

In the future, technology will take care of EVERYTHING. We’ll see it at the World’s Fair!

Cashes To Ashes

When we were quite young, my Beautiful Girlfriend and I were plucked from suburban lifestyles and thrown into the Northern Wisconsin Dingleweeds. Strangely enough, both of us ended up in the same small town called Rhinelander; which slapped each of us in the brainplace with some heavy duty culture shock. However, we met and then fell in love in that quaint little town. And if we make it to August, our marriage will have lasted a miraculous 45 years.

Pretty sure we’ll make it. Not sure how I lucked out, but somehow the Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe became my best friend. And then she let me marry her!!

Besides our relationship, a marvelous benefit arose from small town life: we both acquired a deep fondness of Nature and natural living. And no, by natural living I don’t mean residing in the bush with stone tools and strange, handcrafted clothing. I’m talking about farm life. Our huge (well, maybe not so huge) plot of 5 acres has given our children and us much joy and lots of delicious homegrown veggies over the years. A couple of creeks traverse the property; which provide an amazing playground for kids of all ages, and of course a unique environment for all types of living things. We very much enjoy seeing and hearing all the creatures with whom we share our small chunk of Paradise.

Another part of country living of which we’ve grown rather fond is the bone-warming feeling of wood heat. At first, burning wood was an economic necessity. Our home was built in 1940, and no thought was given toward any insulation at all. Consequently, the Oil Guzzling Furnace Monster in the basement was sucking money right out of our wallets. Thankfully, the chimney was originally built to withstand the burning of coal; so it was ideal for burning wood.

When we were kids, my brother and I were total wood slaves. Dad loved his fire, and we cut, chopped, stacked, and toted many tons of firewood to keep it going. Believe it or not, I actually began to enjoy all this manual labor. It was a great way for a frustrated teen to blow off steam without being destructive. Kept me pretty fit too. And little did I know that all those wood slave skills would one day ease the economic burden of keeping an old, uninsulated house warm.

Since I work full time, I buy most of our wood. Hauling it from outside to inside still helps me stay fit, and believe it or not, I’m still pretty OK with being a wood slave. We’ve greatly improved both the the wood burning appliances over the years and have remedied much of the insulation woes. This place is pretty darn cozy, even when it’s well below zero outside. The Oil Guzzling Furnace Monster has been replace with a high efficiency natural gas furnace; and it might actually be cheaper to heat with gas. But we are hooked on the wood because it warms the body much better.

When you’re a firewood customer; you run into some very interesting folks who cut wood for profit. To be honest, I’m not sure how they can make a profit after putting in all the work of cutting, hauling, and then delivering it to me for $180 a cord. We go through about 6 cords a year; so we have to find someone who works with large quantities of firewood. We’ll look through the newspaper, or maybe on Craig’s List, and give them a try with a cord or two. If we like what we see, we buy more. Always with cash… they gotta have cash. And who could blame them? However, we’ve learned that if a firewood guy says he’s coming on Saturday at 4 PM, that means he’ll probably be there on Saturday… but who knows what time. “Oh, I was on a different run so I thought I’d come early” one might say while we’re eating breakfast. Or perhaps they don’t show until 9:30 PM. And some of the trucks these guys own look like they’ve been in a demolition derby. Regardless of all that, I’ve never met a firewood guy I didn’t like.

Our current firewood folks are real weirdos. They wear clean clothes. They show up on time. They have a truck that’s older but it’s obvious they keep it in very good shape. They have all their teeth. They’re really, REALLY nice. And they have very nice wood.

We got pretty low, so I ordered 2 cords the other day. Most of it will still be with us in the fall. I went to the drive up ATM the other night to get the cash. Dunno about you, but this country boy don’t see $360 in $20 bills very often. Kinda dazzled me I guess. Anyway, the following morning I stopped at the gas station to get an orange juice; and I noticed my debit card was missing. Went back inside, but nobody found my card there. Started retracing my steps… Family Farm & Home. Called them. Nope, no debit card. Then I called Family Financial Credit Union where the ATM is. “Yes, it was shredded,” said the nice lady; and then she explained, “if you forget your card in the slot, it’s automatically shredded.” “Good!!” I said. Not because I was happy my card was destroyed, but I was relieved that it wasn’t lying about somewhere.

Oh well. As the old saying goes, “cashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Or something.

Medical Transformations

The medical profession is a wondrous field with many modern marvels; but at our house we’ve had some big changes slap us in the face lately. For example, I had my very first stress test. The whole idea scared me to pieces for some reason. Maybe I was afraid of a bad result; but one thing’s for sure, I feel a run-on sentence approaching.

So there I was, minding my own business, huffing and puffing on the treadmill, really eager for my very first ever stress to be done, being completely frightened by the radioactive isotope they injected into my body for imaging, and I’m thinking yes OK Doc you can please tell me to stop now, holy moly I’m starting to get a bit winded here… no big deal but you can turn this stupid thing off any time now, and enough with the slanting of the treadmill awreddy, and yes I’m fine, we can be finished now, OK wow thank you for ending the test because I was lusting for my clobber hand to whomp the big red button that they never told me what it was for but it seemed rather obvious it was the EMERGENCY STOP; but I didn’t clobber it because I wanted to go through the whole test; and when I asked how I did they said, “you’ll find out later, go lay down in the imaging machine thing.”

So I did.

You see, after many years of an upper chest pain that seems to come and go with stress; my doctor finally decided I should have an EKG. She was a bit concerned about the waveform, so she sent me off for a stress test. About a week afterward, I received an e-mail that “the first part of the test was within the normal range.” Then I asked about the second (imaging) part, and they basically said, “we’ll tell you someday when we feel like it.”

I’m guessing this is an unspoken, extra stress part of the test?

Anyway, tried to get an appointment to have my physical exam; which needed to be done before the end of March to comply with the Blue (I don’t) Care Network (a cheapskate version of Blue Cross Blue Shield) requirements. The doctor was booked solid so I settled for a Physician’s Assistant. Now it’s been many years since I’ve seen a male doctor. I dunno, I just prefer females in that profession. However, this guy was very thorough.

For example, he had me do the “pole jumping maneuver;” during which I had to balance a fishing pole on my chin while jumping on one foot. Some kind of coordination test I suppose. Then there was the blindfolded “taste this and tell test,” which involves sardines, Tabasco, Swiss cheese, broccoli, and maple syrup. Why those all needed to be mixed together I’ll never know… but I think I have a great idea for a new sandwich. Lastly he had me bark loudly into an empty metal waste basket. That was my favorite part.

Well OK, maybe none of that really happened.

Seriously though, he was a great guy and really went the extra mile with me. Don’t tell my doctor but I think I’d rather have him give me an exam next time. Of course, I pestered him about the final results of the stress test, and he said, “let’s pull it up and see. Hmm… you aced it. You aced it.” So these chest pains are part muscular, part psychological. Nothing life threatening.

Very nice news indeed.

The second really big, pretty ocky and unexpected medical change thing came in the form of my Beautiful Girlfriend’s job. Unfortunately, the wonderful man she’s been taking care of for 33 years was informed that his insurance company would no longer pay for LPN care. Mind you, he is regarded by us as more of a family member than My Honey’s client. Sadly, his doctor made a huge goof on some paperwork; giving the insurance company the shark bait they’ve probably been wanting for years. In their infinite wisdom, the insurance scoundrels made the determination that our friend needed only the help of nurse aides; not full-fledged nurses. When My Sweet Honey Pie called her nursing agency, they informed her that she could continue to work for our dear friend; but for nurse aide wages. In other words, she’d lose almost half her pay.

Ummm… she said no. Well OK, she said lots of other things for which she called back and apologized. But hey, that’s just plain unacceptable and she stood her ground.

There’s an old saying that “when God shuts a door He opens a window.” But after devoting 33 years to care for a person and the door closes abruptly, it makes very big ouchies in the heart. Very sad business. Our friend got his doctor to send the corrections to the insurance company, but only time will tell whether this will get corrected. In the meantime things are a bit different at our house (and I’m sure at our friend’s house too). I’ve also mentioned that insurance (and many other) companies treat their employees like the mob treats its members. Case in point: if the mob puts a hit out on your brother; it’s nothing personal, just business.

Might be that the window those God People are opening is in the form of Social Security. Weird to be able to say it, but it’s actually good that we’re both old enough to start receiving benefits now. I’ve told her not to worry, but to grieve all this and make whatever decision she feels is right. I’m being as supportive as I can.

However, I think I’m changing my mind about something I mentioned earlier. Don’t think I’m gonna go for that sardines / Tabasco / Swiss cheese / broccoli / maple syrup sandwich after all.

When The Cat’s Away, The Mouse Will… PARTY!!

I hope none of you are feeling sorry for me… my Beautiful Girlfriend (who let me marry her some years ago) has left me all alone for the weekend. She went to a women’s spiritual retreat for the weekend. Not sure exactly what they all do there, but of course my mind can make up some “rituals” that they likely “never actually do;” but I’m already dreaming up some “cockamamie silliness” and “using quotation marks” for “no good reason.”

For example, I’m thinking they’re doing “trust exercises.” One such exercise may (or may not) involve the Blindfolded Egg Toss. One person is blindfolded, and “trusts” the other person to toss them an egg. Nah… that could get rather messy. Perhaps a more likely (or not) trust exercise could be something like “Oatmeal Surprise,” which again involves a blindfold. The blindfolded person is instructed to hold out their palms, and as soon as something is felt on one palm or the other, the blindfolded person must clap the two palms together briskly. Oatmeal flies zoom kerblooey all over the place!!

No??

Maybe they just talk and listen to speakers and help each other with life stuff… heck, I dunno.

Anyhow, being the red blooded, Spoiled American male that I am, I’ve decided to take full advantage of a raucous weekend with no adult supervision. Ooohhh yeahhh… this boy’s been PARTYIN’ already!! What did I do? Oh.. well, I went to the GROCERY STORE!! Yess!! And I bought my Beautiful Girlfriend some more miniature daffodils! Oh, and I got her a brand new obsolete DVD player so she could watch movies on her older, more obsolete, little tiny CRT color TV that also has a built in VHS player!! And yes this was in the same store (Meijer) where all the groceries are!!

And that’s not all!! Here comes the party part: I spent some money on myself in the form of pizza makin’s and one of those German chocolate bars with 7 million hazelnuts per square inch!! Well, lots of hazelnuts anyway… Ooohh!! I also got me a bag of Pure Michigan (very locally made) La Fiesta tortilla chips to munch on while making pizza!! Thought about buying a pizza but nobody can make it as well as I can (homemade is still best). Took some time but it was well worth it.

Then I poured myself some sparkling (non-alcoholic) pear juice into a very fancy glass to wash it all down. My Beautiful Girlfriend found two fancy drinking glasses at an antique store. Anyone remember when Welch’s put jelly in glass jars that became drinking glasses when all the jelly was gone? They had dinosaurs and Tom & Jerry cartoon characters on them. Very fancy indeed.

Just to illustrate how naughty I am… I actually ate 3 PIECES OF PIZZA!! And I might accidentally have more in the middle of the night!! And then, I might even drink some more sparkling pear juice right out of the bottle!! AND I might even watch some old movies from the 1930s in glorious black and white!!

Then tomorrow I get to take a load or two of garbage to the dump (yay!!). Oh and I’ll probably stack some firewood too… maybe clean up the vines and such in the garden to get ready for spring.

Am I partying or what??

Next time I may just go to Crazy Town!!.

64 Laps Of Joy (Well, most of the time…)

OK, more like 99.999% of the time. You see, yesterday I celebrated my 64th lap around the sun. In other words, I’m getting pretty close to becoming an old fart. As I just mentioned, 99.999% of the time I have been blessed with joy. Well OK, I’ve just been blessed, period. That’s not to say that I’ve had absolutely no sorrow or sadness. Don’t know how anyone can go this far on the road of Earth life without some icky stuff. But the blessings are real, the joy is very real, and those icky life things have nowhere near the power over my psyche they once enjoyed.

Life is very good these days. Sure, my wife and I still bicker at times; but those little roller coaster rides are very brief and always end up with us remaining best friends. She even lets me snuggle, and get this: I get to smooch her!! We even have silly conversations that make us both laugh with great bigness:

Me: “Honey, will you please tell the firewood downstairs to bring itself up to the wood stove?? I don’t feel like going in the basement right now. They need to start coming up on their own.”

Her: “Ummm… no… they know you are just going to toss them into the fiery furnace!!”

Me: “Oh! FINE!! They can just stay down in the basement… and I will call them really nasty names and stuff!!”

Her: “Well, who’s gonna be our friends???”

Don’t try to make any sense out of that. It was just an actual silly exchange we had the other day that gave both of us a good belly laugh.

Then today I composed a very silly instant message and sent it to many of my friends via good ol’ copy-and-paste:

I can’t seem to decide on the best type of arm pits to use. Peach? Plum? Avocado?? Any suggestions??

I got several nice replies, all of which gave me wonderful smilings. Hopefully my friends got a smile or two also. I confess I’m not always sure what this aging stuff is supposed to mean really. I feel great, I can do pretty much everything I could do when I was much younger, although sometimes it takes a bit longer and other times it hurts. But when I pass a mirror there’s some old geezer gawking at me like I’m the Hunchback of Notre Dame or something. When that happens, I stop and look the old fart straight in the eye; and say with a threatening sneer, “alright old man, what did you do with the body??”

But of course, it’s just me; a child in old man’s clothing.

I even went for my very first stress test after seeing our new doctor about some chest pain I’ve been plagued with for lots of years. Never have an difficulty while exerting myself; but it’s often given me pause about what might be happening. Our previous doctor heard about it too… but she after carefully checking me over she was convinced that my heart was not going to implode. I saw our new doctor about it very shortly after a friend of ours died suddenly of a heart attack. After an EKG, our new doctor saw an anomaly on one of the waveforms and she thought I’d better get a stress test. I went, I tested, and I figured I must have passed because nobody freaked out or sent me to emergency surgery or anything.

Although I thought I had an inkling, I knew pretty much nothing about the procedure of this test. Turns out the hospital staff isn’t allowed to tell you diddly-squat about the results. You get to wait for a few days. OK, so I got a message from the patient portal thingy that “the first portion of the test was within the normal range.”

That’s nice…

Then I replied to the message and asked, “so the second portion is the imaging?”

“Yes that’s correct,” was the reply.

So then I sent another message asking when the results of the imaging portion would be known. Mind you, this is 4 days after my deductible for the test increased my credit card debt to the tune of $670. Seems like I should be able to get results in a timely matter, right?? Well, the reply I got was, “the results have to be finalized and signed and we will let you know when that is complete.”

I found that to be a rather stress-inducing answer.

Breathe… let it go… breathe… (sheesh!!) Hey, looks like I’m writing so I guess I ain’t dead yet.

Well I must be doing something right, I got a very nice compliment from the Nice Restaurant Lady when our Beautiful Friend treated my Beautiful Girlfriend and me to dinner last night. The Nice (older) (as in older than me) (I think) (OK enough with the parentheses) Restaurant Lady said, “it’s your birthday?? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! How old are you? No!! Let me guess… 50??

I told her, “we can be friends!!”

For this week’s video I did a search on the YouTubes for some cartoons about aging, but found out about this lady. She made me laugh…

1 Year, 11 Months, 6 Days

I was wondering if I’ve ever mentioned that I’m really eager to retire. Yes? No? Well if you say no, then I must whisper loudly into your ears: I AM REALLY EAGER TO RETIRE.

Some have said, “Ken! For why you are don’t already retired being?? How long must you endure this work ouch when you could be playing checkers with English Eskimos Looking Snappy (E.E.L.S.)? Or perhaps you could relish an excursion to places like the booming metropolis of Enterprise, Wisconsin; with all its delights and exotic population density? Do you not understand that life is a bowl of deep fried ice chips waiting for you to savor the taste of rest and relaxation??”

Yes, each of them said it exactly that way.

To all who have urged me to retire yesterday or the day before, I must painfully remind you all that if I could have saved more money instead of doing silly things like cashing in a pension from a previous job and paying off debt and buying a car, or if I had maybe not withdrawn moneys from my 401K to pay off our mortgage and all other debt, or if I had just plain saved much more money in the before times rather than singing the blues about my small amount of retirement savings, or perhaps maybe making a run-on sentence that is becoming way too long, well then I suppose I could be retired NOW; (whew, I thought there’d never be a place for a semicolon) but I’m not, because as this run-on sentence reaches epic proportions, it would be economically stinky for me to retire earlier than the ripe old age of 66.

So I won’t.

But I sure do wanna.

Especially after having a fun day like today.

You see, I do computer support for a factory, OK? And sometimes these computers, well, they begin to do really stupid things that cause me to barf on the ground. Fortunately I wear safety shoes, so when the barf explodes into red, fiery puke flavored vomit nodules that scatter everywhere as I’m turning the air blue with my annoyance filled utterances, my toes are safe and warm in a stinky sock but barf free environment.

Yes my friends, I said bad words today while working on computers. A “fix” that should have taken minutes turned into hours; and all the while my hair was vibrating both vertically and horizontally as my frustration with all things technical manifested itself as large fluffy (but prickly) steel wool creepily crawling demons that entered my nostrils and filled my brain with caustic stress annoyance surprises.

Some of the things I may (or may not) have said are:

I am totally sick up and fed with these skunk cabbage eating electronic pus buckets.”

And: “I believe these devices lick the posterior areas of dead jellyfish.”

And not to forget: “These computers are total pig sniffing, possum smooching, booger eating bark biters with little or no respect for composted root beer, much less a poor IT flunky like me.”

Oh, and I really must proclaim now that Microsoft will never be invited to my house for dinner; and Windows 10 can please feel free to go jump into an active volcano directly after I toss slimy gobs of ant manure into its tangled, rotten, dead snake labyrinth of smelly old (yet supposedly new) bits and bytes. You see, Windows 10 is really just Windows 7 with a fancy new look; coupled with all the tools and doodads Windows 7 had but hidden in all kinds of weird places so IT flunkies like me have a heck of a time finding them (at least in the beginning). To use an automotive analogy, what used to be easily fixed by looking under the hood is now hiding under the virtual windshield wiper motor that is only visible if you shake your legs vigorously while operating a cotton candy making machine that doubles as a very annoying audio amplifier with “It’s A Small World After All” loudly looping into your brain.

Or something.

So yes, I am very much looking forward to my retirement; which will commence in 1 year, 11 months, and 6 days.

But who’s counting??

Well for stress relief, there’s nothing quite like the Marx Brothers. At least, that’s my professional opinion…

An Unimportant Announcement

Please note: you are reading this message because you are on a secret list that only the Cheese Vendors can access with toaster friendly amplification.

Hello Habbniferns,

I’m sure none of you are wondering by now whether the sky has been removed from the Ionized Bugle Machines (IBM). There’s probably a good chance that someday I can divulge the particulars of that molecular substation, but this is no time for soaking baby toys in cups of sesame oil.

I ate a bug once during the Warmer Weather Times (WWT). It had very little flavor, and devouring its body really was not as pleasant as one might surmise. This required minimal effort, however: I opened my mouth, a small insect flew in, and I closed my mouth again. I tried to pitoo, then kerchack, but when I said “orgkkk” my swallowing mechanism switched on and down the hatch it went as I Bit My Tongue (IBMT). Possibly there was some struggle on the part of the poor bug, as I was somewhat sure I felt griggling actions as the very small Insect Bit The Dust On The Way Down My Esophagus (IBTDOTWDME).

Now of course we must discuss this business of intermediate tree watering schedules. Please do not go there with me ever again. Why would you insist on watering the trees with that Jell-O dispenser I shall never understand. Don’t you know that pressurized prune skins can injure cats and other flying rodents? We really need to talk about your compulsion to slide wildly through the Baked Apple Rhubarb Fritters (BARF).

OK. I really must go to the store now. They have metal objects on sale, and one can never have too many metal objects. I’m keeping mine in the washing machine; they help spoons and radio antennas stay fresh and crinkly.

Thank you for not licking my car. Last time my car was flattened, all the tire juice ran sideways through the maple syrup. So again, thank you VERY MUCH for not flattening my cat’s toy water fountain. Unless you did. In which case I will stop. Writing in incomplete sentences. Which cannot be sentences at all.  Since they are incomplete. So therefore they must. Be sentence fragments.

So there.

Yours with no hair,

Abnick G. Wiffleponk

a.k.a. “Sgt. Lumpy, Underwater Greenskeeper (SLUG)”

Now the cartoon is about to happen, and this one should cause none of you to long for Jellyfish Bay.