Day 215

A reflection of my mood

Yes, my mood has been deflating today, and the tire is just part of the reason. I’ll explain later in the post.

***

Yesterday, at least I think it was yesterday, I mentioned that Cindy and I both wanted to see the new Clint Eastwood film. Today I’m not so sure. I didn’t watch the RNC convention last night, so I missed Mr. Eastwood’s efforts in front of the camera. Unfortunately I saw clips of his performance this morning. I’ve concluded that he needs to stick to a script, and that the Romney campaign staff should have had a go/no go call on his star turn. I know that people will say he was just trying to be funny, but he wasn’t. He was rude, crude and something else that rhymes with crude. I like humor, so I’ll be watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert tonight to get their take, they are professionals and are paid to be funny. Oh, and he should have combed his hair.

***

My day, and welcome to it…for the most part. Let’s see…my instant oatmeal splattered all over the inside of the microwave, I got a call from a credit card company representative who said they had not received the payment I made a week ago, the price of gas hit $4 today, and I forgot to take my camera with me when I went out to run errands this morning.

Of those things, the call from the card rep bothered me the most. I had paid from our bank website while we were in Vegas, and they should have received payment before we came home; also I paid four other bills that same day…did they all not get to their destination? I checked the bank’s website and saw that all payments had been made, but I was still worried. Then this afternoon, in the mail, I got a new bill from our insurance carrier and noted that they had credited our account for a payment. That was one of the other payees from that day in Vegas. I feel better now. I guess I had better put some air in that tire.

Day 214

For my Republican friends

Yes, I have friends who are Republicans. They know who they are, and my lord, so do I. They also know that I don’t hold it against them, any more than I hold anything against Purdue alum…but when they are both it is more difficult. Still, I persevere.

***

I woke up around 3 a.m. this morning and after failing to fall asleep again, I popped in the final DVD disc of the Ascent Of Man with Jacob Bronowski. I like that series almost as much as I like Connections with James Burke. Both of those shows were on tv when I was relatively young. Once you get past the way they are dressed, the shows are   magnificent. I had a little trouble with Bronowski this morning. It wasn’t because his trouser waistband was halfway between his waist and armpits, but because he was wearing a checked sports jacket, a striped shirt, and a paisley tie. It jarred me. However, once I got past that, the show was great. I recommend both of those series even though some of the science is out of date.

***

Have you seen the trailers for the new Clint Eastwood film, Trouble With the Curve? I first saw one of them when we were in Vegas. I mentioned it to Cindy the next day and asked her if she had seen the trailer. She asked me, “The one about the daughter?” I told her that I thought it was a baseball movie, but allowed as there might be a daughter in it. We both said we would like to see it, though probably for different reasons. The people who put together the trailer certainly knew what they were doing because we each saw what we wanted to see when we watched it. I hope the movie is cut as well.

***

Flo, Cindy’s mother has been back in the nursing home for over a week now, with no trips to the hospital. She has decided that she is better off there than back in her apartment. I think she’s right. The only potential problem I see is that she tends to demand more attention than most people. I hope she doesn’t alienate too many of the employees who make minimum wage. If she is like my mother was, she will come to like the people who work there, or at least hide any dislike she may have. After all, she has to depend on them.

Day 213

The picture I wanted yesterday

I went back today to get this photo that I wanted to use yesterday but had so much trouble getting. Today, no problem.I took pictures of two other barns as well. They will show up on my Facebook page sometime in the future.

I’m struggling to find things to say in today’s post. I am afraid you’ll have to bear with me because I expect there will be no unifying theme.

***

There is a new study that says that binge drinking college students are happier with their social life than their sober counterparts. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/48724453/ns/today-back_to_school/t/college-binge-drinkers-happier-more-sober-classmates-study-finds/ I haven’t read the study, but my first reaction was that unless they are sad drunks or mean drunks, they are probably happy about everything…until they pass out. The study also noted that students in higher social classes were more likely to binge drink. Maybe they can afford more booze.

***

While watching tv a few days ago in Vegas I saw an ad for the new Miller Lite punch top can. When I googled it today I found an article in an online magazine, out of Milwaukee, where they seem surprised that the concept of a second hole in the top increases airflow and easier pouring. The writer must be too young to remember church keys. I think I still have one lying around somewhere. Geezer pack rats keep things like that.

***

One of my Father’s day gifts was a collection of mystery movies. I’ve been watching them off and on for a few weeks now. The first disc in the collection has six Bulldog Drummond movies that were made in the 1930’s. I have enjoyed them, mainly because I remember seeing a lot of movies from that era on television when I was growing up. When you had black-and-white tv it didn’t matter if the movies were in color or not. Anyway, the problem I have with the disc is that the movies are not in sequence. The second movie on the disc is the first sequentially. Why did they do that? If I had been in charge…

Day 212

The back porch needs new shingles

I hope you don’t think that this was my first choice for today’s photo. Things started going wrong shortly after I posted Day 211 this morning. Let me tell you about it.

I was ready to go out in search of a photo for today’s post, but realized that I hadn’t eaten anything yet. I had to eat something when I took my pills, and I needed to take my pills. I wanted something fast, so I settled on bread and butter. I ate half, took my pills, ate the other half and took a swig of coffee. Have you ever had to cough when there was food and/or drink in your mouth? I did. I didn’t want to spew coffee out my mouth, so I kept it closed. The cough sprayed out my nose, that made me open my mouth, and I coughed up some well chewed bread and butter.

After I changed my clothes I gathered my camera and went in search of a photo. I drove down a few country roads before I came upon an old photo-worthy barn. I got out of the car, prepared to take the picture, and the camera gave me message that the battery charge was too low. So I got back in the car where I remembered that I had my cell phone. Rather than get back out of the car I pointed my phone out of the window towards the barn and took the picture. 

I drove home and took a look at the picture. I was disappointed in myself because I couldn’t use the picture I had taken. Evidently I had moved my hand when I took the picture, because all I had was a picture of a cloudless blue sky. I had used it, all you would have seen is a blue rectangle.

I put new batteries in the camera and went onto the back deck hoping to get a photo of birds at the feeder. Of course they never came to the feeder. So I looked around and noticed how bad the roof to the back porch looked. That’s the picture I used. 

I came inside to upload the photo and the PC didn’t recognize the camera when I connected it. Well, of course! I ended up rebooting the PC before I could upload. Finally!

***

Now I’m going to get back to working on the list of things I promised people when I was in Las Vegas. I’ve already downloaded a BeeGees album for Sara and burned it to a cd. I’ve copied two home DVDs for Michelle, but I’m not ready to mail them yet. I still have to put together a short list of books that I’m recommending to Kyle, and I need to do some research for Michelle. Then I can start having fun.

Day 211

The finches really like this food

So here’s the thing. I started this post yesterday, saved my draft, and left to do something else, never mind what. Then I forgot to finish and post it…I forgot completely. I don’t know why. Anyway, here it is.

I filled this feeder with four cups of thistle seed the day before we left for Las Vegas. The finches have been busy.

***

If you read yesterday’s post and it was only 1 paragraph long, go back, I updated it with more Las Vegas entries.

***

We got to the airport in Vegas in plenty of time on Sunday. We breezed through security. At least Cindy and I did. Sara and Charlie got the potential terrorist once over. Charlie probably got it because he was with Sara. We had time to sit around and wait for the plane.

Cindy and I sat down and started to talk, and watched Sara and Charlie walk past us and sit in a different row of seats. Cindy said, Let’s sit with them,” ignoring the fact that they obviously didn’t want to sit with us…she can be so oblivious. But I moved with her. I pulled out my book and started to read while Cindy chatted with Sara and Charlie. Cindy, of course, also started to stare at the people around us.Across from Charlie was a woman whose hair was dyed jet black. I was concentrating on my book and lost track of what was happening, but at some point Cindy asked the woman a question. And so it began.

The dike broke and the verbal flood began. The woman with jet black hair had excellent breath control because she barely paused to inhale or exhale. In the few seconds that I listened, I heard that she was a widow, she had spent the past couple of months going back and forth between Indianapolis and Las Vegas, and that her children didn’t approve of her new lifestyle. I went back to my book.

Cindy went to the ladies room, in part to get away from th verbal assault. I leaned over and told Sara that the woman with jet black hair was an example of why I don’t make eye contact with strangers. I once spent 14 hours with a self-described paranoid schizophrenic and learned that encouragement is not needed to keep one going (maybe I’ll relate that story someday). I put away my book and took out my smart phone to check email. Cindy came back and I realized the woman was talking to Charlie. I concentrated on what I was doing.

The next thing I know is that I am sitting alone. Cindy, Sara and Charlie had all decamped and left me siting there with a crazy woman looking around for someone to talk to. I had lost all the bars in my cell phone but continued to stare at it while it tried to load Facebook. I’d be damned if I would look in the direction of the machine mouth. Finally she moved over two seats and started talking to some startled women who were waiting for their spouses’ to return. Before I blocked it out I saw the woman with jet black hair show her watch to the woman closest to her and tell her it was a Rolex that she had bought for herself, that her daughter disapproved of the purchase, that she never took it off even though it scraped her arm when she slept with it on, that she had been eating at Red Lobster and had probably been drinking too much because she remembered eating and then waking up in a hospital handcuffed to the bed and a policeman trying to remove the watch. That I certainly the type of story I would force onto a complete stranger.

Cindy returned to sit beside me, but had no idea where Sara and Charlie (the cowards) had moved to. A few minutes later Cindy felt a tap on her shoulder, turned around to look and saw them cowering in chairs behind us. But we were able to board the plane without incident…except Sara, Charlie and Cindy had to open their drinks so the security people could verify that they weren’t explosive. We boarded the plane before the lady with jet black hair, it was open seating, and Charlie was afraid she would seek them out and set beside them. He coerced someone to set beside him before she could work her way back to us. We got back to Indy, Trina picked us up, and our excellent adventure ended.

So that’s what happened, and now I need to go out and find a photo for the Day 212 post. I’ll be adding that later today…unless I forget.

Day 210 – Updated

We’re baaaack!!

We’re back from our trip to Vegas, and I have plenty to share…but not tonight. I ready to climb into bed, turn on the tv, and crash. Check back tomorrow for the last of the Vegas stories.

***

The crowds on the streets in Las Vegas didn’t seem as overwhelming this trip out. There was still a lot of jostling, but I saw no outright pushing. I’ve given some thought to the crowded street issue (my issue) some thought, and have decided that there are two factors that add to the problem. 1) Most of the people on the sidewalks have no concept of the Midwestern personal space requirements; and 2) many of the tourists come from countries where they drive on the left side of the road and, therefore, walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk. As I said, I gave that some thought…but probably not enough…I just came from the grocery store where a few of the women were pushing their carts on the “wrong” side of the aisle…I should probably give it more thought.

***

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, unless I post it here or on Facebook or write it in a letter. I have pages of things that I promised Cindy that I would not share. Rather than deprive you completely, here are snippets from my hand-written notes. You can interpret them any way you wish.

“bedroom” “wash your hands!” “problems” *expletive* “drying” *expletive* “putting off” *expletive* “knowing”  “Hah!” *expletive* *expletive* *expletive*

I believe I’ve kept my promise to Cindy.

***

I am not a meteorologist. so there may be a rational explanation for this, but on Wednesday in Las Vegas it was raining, but according to AccuWeather.com the humidity was only 73%. Is that possible?

Tomorrow…one more LV story.

Day 209

Sara, still celebrating her birthday

Sara loves having her picture taken. Wait ’til she sees the video Lee took with his phone. The four of us had dinner at Lindo’s last night with Michelle, Lee, Kyle, Steve and Elaine. They have great food, and I like to try different things when we go there. Last night I had Pollo Rebecca, which was chicken, cactus, jalapeno peppers, cilantro and other things with sides of refried beans, rice and guacamole. It was an excellent choice on my part. I have never eaten cactus before and I found that I like it. Finding it in Lafayette may be a problem, but I plan on looking for it.

***

I’ve been composing these posts the past few days by putting on my headphones, turning on the music, and sweating over my yellow legal pad. I had to take a break for a few minutes this morning while listening to Gatemouth Brown and Roy Clark perform The Drifter and Don Edwards do Down By The Brazos. Many years ago I watched Gatemouth and Roy perform this song on Austin City Limits. They put out one album together and I wish they had done more together.

The Don Edwards song made me think of The Weavers’ version which was the first time I had heard the song. I think I like it best,

Now playing is The Eagles’ New York Minute. Great song! “And he won’t be down on Wall Street in the morning.” I have had flashes of those feelings over the years, but reality – my reality – wouldn’t allow it. The closest I’ve come to it was by retiring at the earliest possible moment. Thanks to Ed Henze for hurrying that process along.

Right now there are three people on tour whose concerts I would like to see, Bonnie Raitt – David Bromberg – and Diana Krall. If they ever come to the Lafayette area I’ll be trying to get tickets. What are the odds?

***

Tonight we have dinner at Steve and Elaine’s. Lee tells us that Elaine is a great cook so I’, looking forward to it. I’ve pretty much written off trying to keep my blood sugar under control this week. I could make excuses, but it’s because I put myself in situations where I eat too many things that I shouldn’t be consuming. Mea culpa.

Day 208

Sara & Charlie having a good time

I took this picture of Sara and Charlie in the restaurant before going to see Kevin Burke’s one-man show Defending The Caveman. We all enjoyed the show. To quote Sara, “Hit the nail on the head.” I’m not sure if she was talking about the entire show or just the line, “All men are assholes.” When I asked Cindy for a quote she said, “Pretty?” OK, you had to see the show to understand that one. Also from the show was Charlie’s reference, “They think you’re hiding something from them.” My quote would be, surprise, much longer because I am no longer the king of brevity. I will say that the show is very good and would appeal to most adults who are in, or have been in,  a relationship. I say “must” and “adult” because the F-bomb is dropped a few times, and sex, is the focus of some of the stories. I found none of it offensive, but I’m tolerant. In many ways I’m tolerant.

***

This morning Sara mentioned that she was going to launder her bedding because she had gotten mustard on them. I told her that I didn’t want to hear the details. Her response was, “Hot dog and mustard – put it together.” TMI, TMI. She seemed surprised when I told her it was going into my blog post.

***

Here’s the thing: I planned on finishing one book and getting at least halfway through another while here in Las Vegas. I don’t gamble as the others do, so I figured I would have a lot of time on my hands. Instead, I don’t think I’ve read more than 150 pages. What have I been doing? Not much is the answer. The first few days I spent a lot of time listening to music, undisturbed, for hours on end. And then I spent more time working on Crossword puzzles. The newspaper here publishes three puzzles per day. I like this paper. Going back to the music, I was listening to my MP3 player a little while ago, and heard Bob Gibson singing This Train, which is good for Vegas because one of the verses goes, “This train don’t carry no gamblers, this train. This train don’t carry no gamblers, this train, This train don’t carry no gamblers, no crap shooters, no midnight ramblers. This train don’t carry no gamblers, this train.

Day 207

Sin City keeps on growing

This building is going up just down the street from us. It may be part of this time share complex.

***

Cindy and I went to see The Bourne Legacy yesterday. We both enjoyed it. I liked it enough to decide already that I’ll buy the DVD when it comes out. Why did we like it? I can’t speak for Cindy, but I liked it for the combination of action and emotion. Matt Damon was fine in the Bourne trilogy, but his character lost most of his humanity and emotion when his girlfriend was killed in the opening scenes of the second film. Edward Norton makes a great heavy, and Rachel Weisz was excellent as the fighting damsel in distress. Let’s hope Rachel doesn’t get killed off in any subsequent movies.

***

Cindy is still feeling good about winning a Texas Hold’em tournament the other day. She seems to take great glee in relating how she knocked all of the men out of competition. She may play again before we leave.

***

Cindy likes her toast practically black, so it was no surprise when the smoke detector went off yesterday. I prefer my toast barely golden. At home I go through phases where I turn the heating time down, but for the most part I merely peer into the toaster and manually pop up the bread when it suits me. I have to say I enjoyed it yesterday when the smoke detector went off.

***

Cindy, Charlie and I took the bus to a grocery store in order to pick up a few things. It took a while to find the correct bus. In fact, we caught a north \bound bus when we were looking for a south bound bus. It was good, though, because this bus trip took us to a grocery store on the northbound route, and the driver felt so sorry for us hicks, that she let us ride for free.

Coming back we jay walked across a six lane street and stood in the sun for thirty or forty minutes while we waited. I didn’t feel very good after  the wait, but I’m OK now.

Tomorrow I’ll have a review of the show we’re going to tomorrow.

Day 206

At Bellagio

This is a photo from the Bellagio fountain show. The tune that was playing was Hey, Big Spender. We walked there from Excalibur, just under a mile as the crow flies. There are crows in Las Vegas; I saw one u\yesterday. If you’ve been to Vegas, you know that there is no straight line walking route on the strip.

We went to a show at Excalibur last night. We saw The Australian Bee Gees. They are a tribute band (surprise!) who perform Bee Gees tunes, try to look like the Bee Gees, call themselves by Bee Gees names, and try to sound like the Bee Gees. It’s hard for me to say how good they are because I’m not a big Bee Gees fan. Who do I think I’m kidding? Of course I’ll tell you how good they are…they are OK.

The show started with the instruments, mainly the percussion, overpowering the vocals. I’m pretty sure that was purposeful in order to keep the audience (more about the audience later) from noticing how dissimilar the groups voices were from the original’s. As the show went on, the music was toned down on the percussion and up on the voices. You gradually get used to the voices that way.

***

Let me digress for a couple of sentences. The idea of watching a tribute band made me think of the Dylan Schaffer mysteries Misdemeanor Man and I Right The Wrongs . The protagonist is a small time lawyer who fronts a Barry Manilow tribute band. I recommend these books, and hope Mr. Shaffer continues the series.

***

Back to the show. I mentioned that I am not a Bee Gees fan, but I will admit to liking their ballads. However, I will never forgive them for contributing to disco (the music that tried to kill all other legitimate music).

Let me comment on the audience. The people behind me, over my right shoulder, yelled and laughed loud enough to drown out the drummer. I did not like them. Nor did I like the gent behind me who, when we stood up (the band requested that we stand during the last song (which is a cheap way to get  a standing ovation), this guy shoved my chair into the back of my knees so that he would have more room to bust his old man disco moves. He almost knocked me down.

One last thing about the band. Why did the drummer have a plexiglass barrier in front of him. Was he really afraid the crowd would start throwing beer bottles at him?

***

So we walked from Excalibur to Bellagio to see the water fountain show, and from there to the Mirage, another .6 mile as the proverbial crow flies., to see the dolphin show. After wending our way through the casino to get to the dolphins, we found that the dolphins only work from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. They must be unionized.

From there we took a taxi back to the timeshare where I collapsed for the night.