Sunday, July 21, 2019

Off Kilter In The Wee Hours


Well. Here I sit at New Delly, procrastinating in the wee hours of the morning, only to notice, upon glancing at the clock, that three of my four pictures are off-kilter.


That is a curious thing. I sit here for hours every day. I don't recall them being crooked. It's not like anything bumps them, or touches that wall. We're on a concrete slab floor. Even when I lumber around like Godzilla himself, I don't shake the foundation to jiggle those frames.


These pictures have been up a loooong time. Farmer H got them for me, at various auctions. Way back when the Rams were a St. Louis football team, and I was a fan of Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, and Marshall Falk. Back when The Pony was just a little shaver.




I have no idea how all but the first frame got crooked. It's hard to tell with my photo kind of skewed, but The Pony and the big Isaac Bruce on the right are tilted clockwise, and the middle picture of all the Rams is tilted counterclockwise. I don't recall any earthquakes around here. I'm not even suggesting that all the tilting occurred at the same time. I just don't know how it happened. I haven't changed the battery in that clock for a long time. Even if that was the explanation, it would only affect the Rams below.

Another mystery of the lair. I might straighten them, and monitor the situation.
Or I might not.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Return From Absence Makes The Heart Grow Somber

Let the record show that I am not exactly thrilled to have Farmer H back home. Three days without him was relaxing. I don't begrudge his return to the Mansion, but I'm not planning a welcome party. Here's the thing. He's the same old Farmer H.

First of all, he's committed an infraction that will be revealed elsewhere, and I'm having trouble forgiving. It's something he's done before, and has been lectured on more than once. Okay. That really doesn't narrow it down. But I am not in the mood to discuss it at this sitting.

Here's the most recent transgression. The precipitating factor to my rant.

It's bad enough that Farmer H does not say what he means. It's TEN TIMES WORSE when he lectures me on "never understanding like a normal person." Sweet Gummi Mary! As IF Farmer H would have any inkling how a normal person's mind works!

I stood at the bottom of the stairs when he returned from the auction. He'd had time to stump around the bathroom, and crank back in his La-Z-Boy, and fiddle with the TV remote. I asked a simple question:

"Are you going to the auction tomorrow night?"

"I don't know."

"Well. I was asking, because I need to know what time you want supper."

"Six."

"Okay. So you're not going to the auction, and you want supper at six."

"No. I'm going to the auction."

"So that means you'll LEAVE at six?"

"Yes. That's what I said."

"Actually, you said you wanted supper at six. That's why I asked. Because you usually want supper at 5:15 or 5:30, so you can be done and leave at 6:00."

"I don't know why you always go on like this. I can't tell you anything. You don't understand like a normal person!"

"Well, it's kind of hard to understand, because when I go by what you tell me, it's wrong. You don't say the facts. You say what you want, and I'm supposed to figure it out."

"You don't know how to listen!"

As you might imagine, I did not bother to ask what he wanted for supper.

Friday, July 19, 2019

This Heat Makes Me Wish I Had My Thyroid Back!

Mrs. HM does not deal well with heat. Part of that problem is the fact that she is too well insulated. But we won't dwell on a condition that she can do something about. We'll jump right to the fact that she is missing the majority of her thyroid, with only a tiny sliver remaining. No, the thyroid did not pack up its meager belongings in a red bandana and tie them to a stick and hit the road one night while Mrs. HM slumbered. Nope. The thyroid was RIPPED FROM HER NECK by a highly qualified surgeon back in '06. Your biology lesson for today is that the thyroid secretes hormones that help regulate body temperature. Sorry, there are no textbooks here. We've gone to online only, hope you have access.

Anyhoo... I just can't take the heat anymore. Gone are the days when I could go out in the early August heat and shovel a dump truck load of dirt in Mom and Dad's front yard, filling in the driveway to plant some grass. No more working up a good sweat on a five mile run. A slow hobble from kitchen door to T-Hoe is almost more than I can take these days. The humidity is so oppressive.

Thursday, I think it was 94 when I walked by the thermometer on the back porch. Farmer H was at the barbershop, soaking up air conditioning and gossip. I didn't know that until later. I thought he'd just run to town for his prescriptions. In fact, I was so optimistic that he'd be home first that I unloaded the soda from the back of T-Hoe, and carried it to the side porch. Knowing that he'd carry it inside. Even though I had pointedly reminded him that it was in the back of T-Hoe for the past week.

It's bad enough that I have to carry in perishable groceries without his help. Bad enough that I have to load that soda in the cart, then unload it in T-Hoe. Soda is heavy! This was two six-packs of 20 oz Diet Mountain Dew bottles. Two six-packs of 20 oz Diet Coke bottles. AND 14 bottles of flavored water (oz unknown) drunken by Farmer H. They were in bags, assorted flavors.

Whew! My face was beet red, and I was melting into a blob of something not as pleasant as chocolate. More like that yellow fat trimmed off a chicken. Good thing Farmer H finally got T-Hoe's air conditioner charged with Freon a few months ago! It didn't take long to cool off. Of course, every stop, I got all beet-faced again.

The Gas Station Chicken Store was OUT OF DIET COKE! The Man Owner had the audacity to admit that it was his fault. He was quite apologetic. He assumed full responsibility, but said he was SHOCKED that he had failed to order my magical elixir. He was SURE that he had. Until the distributor got there, and he saw that he had not.

That meant an extra stop, at Orb K. Where my favorite parking spot was taken by a BRINKS TRUCK. Sweet Gummi Mary! Just because they're full of money, they think they can park ANYWHERE!

It didn't help my mood or state of meltiness that when I arrived home, I saw SilverRedO NOT under the carport. And all those beverages still sitting on the side porch. So I had to carry them in anyway, before I could enjoy my Lesser 44 oz Diet Coke.

More heat on Friday. When I'll be carrying in the groceries alone.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Farmer H Takes One For The Team

Remember how Farmer H went out to Oklahoma to install a vice in The Pony's professor's oven? Lab equipment for the study they've been working on for over a year? He had such grandiose dreams of being their knight in shining armor, and being compensated accordingly. Then he got his wake-up call.

Farmer H spent several hours last week researching what kind of vice would work, with specs supplied by The Pony. They were actually looking for a more elaborate contraption, with a high-dollar price tag over $5000. Farmer H came up with the vice idea. All parties agreed that it would work. Farmer H ordered one from his guy who runs a machine shop kind of business. Farmer H has a guy for just about anything you'll ever need.

The first vice turned out to be about 3/8 inch too large to fit inside the oven and work properly. So it was sent back, and another ordered. I'm pretty sure Farmer H got it for $250. Not sure if he paid yet, out of his Storage Unit Store fortune, or if his guy is letting it ride right now. All I know is that Farmer H had an invoice to show the professor, with the tax ID and everything of the business, in case the university would cut the check to the source of the equipment.

Farmer H, you know, took three days of his time for the trip. It's a drive of 8.5 hours one way. He was fortunate to obtain two nights' free lodging in the local casino 5 miles from campus and The Pony's apartment. Gas, however, was not free. Farmer H arrived by 4:00 on Monday. He took his tools (oh, yeah, he provided his own tools) into the lab, and looked things over. Tuesday morning at 9:00, he went to work on the project. By noon, he was done. He spent some time with The Pony, preferring not to drive 8.5 hours home that night.

Well. Farmer H had grandiose dreams of being compensated for his labor. And of being comped for his lodging if it hadn't been free, and for transportation costs. The Pony had mentioned the whole scheme because his professor was getting a grant for this equipment that she needed. He said his dad could probably design something cheaper, and that's how Farmer H got involved.

Tuesday, upon completion, the professor said she would go upstairs to see about his payment. Apparently, she was told that she hadn't filled out the required forms. That she hadn't gotten proof that the "contractor" was insured. That the invoice wasn't even in her name. Etc. She came back and apologized to Farmer H. Said that she would write him a personal check, and deal with getting reimbursed, and if she wasn't, well, that was okay, because she'd gotten just what she needed, already done, when it might have taken until the end of spring semester to get it done through the university and their maintenance team. However, she didn't have her checkbook on campus, but she could drive home to get it.

Farmer H said he was fine with the professor giving the check to The Pony to send to him. He's a braver man than I (although I'm not actually a man), because I know how long it takes to get a birthday card from The Pony. Depends on when he decides to get it, when he decides to address it, when he decides to go to the post office, and how long the mail takes between Norman and Hillmomba.

So... Farmer H will be lucky to get reimbursed for the $250 cost of the vice. He's okay with that.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Even Steven Will Not Allow My Dehydration On His Watch

With Farmer H away from the Mansion, the trash dumpster once again became my job. It goes out on Wednesday mornings, so I wanted to put it at the end of the driveway Tuesday. Just to be sure. I got caught up watching Trisha's Southern Kitchen, and it was 11:15 before I ventured outside. The dogs went WILD! Oh, how they remember our glory days of dumpster-pulling and rabbit-chasing.

Of course, when I got to the end of the driveway, Farmer H sent me a text. Have I mentioned that he can sense when the worst time is to contact me? I stopped and sent him a text that I was at the end of the driveway. I can't text while walking. Besides, I didn't have my glasses, so it took twice as long.

When I was about 1/3 of the way back to the Mansion, the sun disappeared, and a downpour ensued. I tucked my phone into my shirt pocket, and skewed the bill of my just-a-few-minutes-ago sun-shading cap to cover it. Don't even suggest that I could have sprinted to the safety of the metal-roofed carport. My sprinting days are over.

Pics to prove it happened:

You may not notice the rain in this view, but I'm pretty sure you can see the dumpster WAAAAY up there. You might imagine that from here I was just a few seconds away from re-entering the Mansion. Think again.

Did I mention that it was a downpour? Juno forsook me, to hole up in her house. The two Jacks were off on an adventure over on Neighbor Tommy's ten acres. I hung out for a few minutes between SilverRedO and the Gator. This picture was meant to highlight the downspout gushing at the corner of the porch, but I can barely see it. Ten minutes later, I decided I'd rather be wet than stand on my driveway knees. So I ducked under Carportagra Falls and pussy-footed my way across the wet bricks of the sidewalk.

I probably could have skipped my shower, and just toweled off.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Lengths Farmer H Will Go To For An Alibi

Let the record show that Farmer H has left the Mansion. Don't get your hopes up. He'll be back shortly. He's gone to Oklahoma, not with a banjo on his knee, but with a vice in his trunk. He's taking a part to install in the lab where The Pony has been doing his chemical engineering research. Uh huh. He has been requested by the professor to put a vice in her oven. NOT A BUN! A vice. Used for stretching polymers, not for pinching them.

The professor is from a foreign country. One where I suppose they don't suffer fools gladly. During their meeting, she informed Farmer H that she was pleased with the plan he had for her grant money. And furthermore, she finds it nearly impossible to get good help these days, what with the younger generation pretty much not knowing their butt from a hole in the ground. Not in those exact words. I suppose they have other terms for that in her country. Further furthermore, when former safety officer Farmer H pointed out all the lab violations at the university, such as inadequate extension cords, and electrical outlets too near the water source, the professor AGREED with him that safety does not seem to be a priority. Anyhoo... the project is a success, and Farmer H and a twenty-something female professor have bonded over a laboratory oven.

While Farmer H is away, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom answers to no one. She is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably, not only merely ruling, but really most sincerely ruling the Mansion!

That means I pour out dry dogfood on the back porch in the morning, and make sure Marley has water (he has an automatic feeder in his pen). After that, the day is my own!

I'm pretty sure Farmer H is still trying to kill me. Even though it is currently from afar.

Normally, when he gets up and leaves the Mansion in the inhuman hours before 9:30 a.m., Farmer H locks the kitchen door. To make sure I'm safe, you know, from any marauders who would intrude while I slumber. Monday morning, Farmer H was already near the border of Missouri/Oklahoma when I left for town. I was comforted to see that he had locked the kitchen door on his way out.

The day went smoothly, almost like a vacation, no time constraints on me. I didn't go upstairs to make my supper until 7:45. I'm a night owl, you know. As I was getting a tray ready to take back down to my lair, I heard my Sweet, Sweet Juno barking her fool head off. What in the Not-Heaven with that dog? I went to the front door to take a look out at the driveway, and discovered that it was UNLOCKED!

I had driven to town, leaving the front door nigh on wide open to criminals! I'd been slumbering and showering before that, with easy access for mayhem. All afternoon, I'd been jamming to tunes in my lair, happily unaware that ne'er-do-wells could be ransacking the floor above me.

I suppose Farmer H had forgotten to lock that door the night before, after he returned from helping a neighbor with her electric. I don't have the details on that yet. She sent him a message that when she turns on her vacuum cleaner, her lights dim.

Anyhoo... I'm pretty sure Farmer H is still trying to kill me. Now with an alibi of being a whole state away when it happens.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Reparte At Orb K

I stopped by Orb K around noon on Sunday, to pick up some scratchers. I'd already told the clerk my desired tickets. She was bent over, practically standing on her head, tearing them off. Sweet Gummi Mary! One of these days, the Orb K clerks are gonna blow a blood vessel. I almost feel bad for their contortions to fetch my tickets. But not bad enough to not buy tickets there.

Anyhoo... while she was upside down, out of sight, there's no point in making small talk. The blood was probably pounding in her ears anyway, rendering her temporarily deaf. As usual, I spent the time looking at the floor. It paid off, because I found TWO PENNIES! Yes. Of course I'll show them to you, on Saturday, elsewhere.

The clerk popped back up, most likely experiencing a head rush. While she was scanning my tickets, I stooped over and took a picture of my new pennies.

"That'll be twenty dollars," she said.

"Here you go. And I'm already two cents ahead, because I just found two pennies!"

"Oh! Are they face up? That's supposed to be good luck." She said, not knowing I'm a famous penny-picker, headed for Future Pennyillionaire status.

"Well, one of them is. So I guess that means I'll just break even. But I'm still two cents over!"

She bade me good luck, and I headed home to scratch.

Heh, heh. I had three tickets. Two were winners. One for $5, and the other for $25. So I came out ten dollars ahead! Make that ten dollars and two cents.