Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I made a bunch friends at TVCable a couple months ago when their installation guys failed to show up or call 3 days running.  I was really happy after staying at home 3 days waiting for techs that were always promised in ’20 minutes’. So I paid a couple calls to their office and shared my joy ....... because I am a generous guy.  Made friends on those visits.  Made more friends when, the Internet service was not what I was paying for.  (The TV has always been ok.)  Made friends yet again when I had to explain that the Internet techs they sent out were ‘no mucho intelligente’ and I would really like to have a quality tech come out.  Amazingly, I made all those friends using my limited Spanish.
Anyway, I went in today to cancel the Internet service.  I am a picky *ssh*l* and narrow-minded.  I get annoyed when I don’t receive the services I pay for after giving them 3 chances to get it right..
You take a number when you go in.  I was #75.  They were on #55.  It didn’t take a genius to tell that there were only 3 customer reps there.  For the first half hour, one was doing data entry, another was flirting with a co-worker or otherwise not helping customers.  The third was handling 1 person about every 12  minutes.  After a half hour they were at #58.  So, I strolled back into the offices to make some more friends.  Found a boss.  New friend.  But not a good friend.  
Found a boss in a bigger office.  The secretary wasn’t in so I just went in and got friendly.  We will call her ‘big boss’.  Anyway, big boss picked up the intercom and by the time I got back to the bullpen, data entry and flirt were actually helping customers.  Plus there was a fourth person.  All friends of mine now.  Remember ‘big boss’ for later.
Anyway, finally it was my turn (data entry gal).  She explained that I could not cancel the Internet until I paid for 6 months.  Or I could pay $110 to cancel.  I told her that I wasn’t going to pay anything.  The service was bad.  I didn’t want it and I wasn’t paying them.  She insisted.  We had a friendly chat for a while.  So I finally said  ‘Fine, let’s cancel the TV too.  But I am still not paying.”  She sent me to big boss.
Back with big boss.  Got the same party line with big boss.  Big boss and I had a long  friendly chat.  (FYI ‘lo peor’ means ‘worst’.)  Finally big boss and I agreed that I could cancel the Internet (no fee involved) and she would refund for the 2 months that I had their lovely Internet service.
There were a couple more steps involved, but only with old friends at TVCable.  They were thrilled to see me again.
Hey, if your service is sh*tty ........... you gotta expect encounters with the customers.  Right?

Truly ........ I do my best to be easy to get along with and I try to avoid conflict.  Unfortunately, sometimes ............
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It is nice to put pics on blogs.
So here is a pic of the Brennie recharging her batteries.
She may be planning the trip that starts this weekend.
Notice how Bugger and Wanker are assisting. 

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(Read this only if you are bored and have nothing else to do ....... oopsie, I guess that could apply above too.)
A little background on ‘making a new friend’.  I was a public school teacher for 25 years.  The last 16 were at a high school.  It was a suburban high school.  About 85% of our kids were fine.  Any guesses on the other 15%.  Did you guess, princesses, thugs and jackasses?  At any rate the P, T & J’s believed they were (and indeed often were) immune from the rules and constraints that only applied to the 85%.  
Anyway, all teachers were required to do hallway duty between classes.  Most of us hated it (myself being one of those) and in reality only a % of us did it (include me again).  I had this strange notion that it was only fair to the 85%  if the 15% also were held to the same behaviors.  I don’t blame many of my colleagues for turning a blind eye to the P, T & J’s.  As often as not it was a real headache.  Did I have a lot of interaction with the 15%?  Enough.  Sometimes it did not go well.  The royal family of the princesses often had direct lines to people that could say to me ........ “come in and close the door”.  The thugs liked to escalate any request into something more serious or often enough even MORE serious. At the very least, this created additional  paperwork. The jackasses ...... well you never knew.  
Anyway, I always called it ‘making a new friend’.  Sometimes it made me late to class.  I would tell my students that I had been making a new friend.  My students thought it was funny.  I guess it was.
Silver lining?  Yes.  The P, T & J’s never signed up for any of my classes.
Life is sweet,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set .......

Okey Dokey,

Well, women are just different than men.  I am a guy.  The Brennie is all woman.  For us it just works out better that way.  But let's face it ........ There are many differences beyond anatomy.  Some are a little confusing.

We are getting ready to set out for Morocco, Spain and a cruise.  Total time gone ..... 6 weeks.  4 weeks in Spain and Morocco followed by a two week cruise from Spain to Panama.  We leave a week from today.  We have done too little travel in the past and have always packed to heavy.

So this time, we are pretty much going with carry-on luggage only.  It is a relief for one of us.  We did a practice packing this AM using suggested packing guidelines from Rick Steves' website.  The links to the guidleines can be found here.

So back to gender differences.  So I am looking at the list:
- it says 5 shirts.  I assume that I will wear one so off I go to the closet, grab 4 and stuff them in my bag.
- 5 underwears and socks.  Subtract, grab and stuff.
- two pairs of pants and one shorts.  Subtract.  Grab. Stuff.
- etc
You see the pattern here.  Pretty straight forward.  Just follow directions.

However the 'other one' ........... holy mother of god!  Do I need to draw a picture here?  There seems to be some type of complicated estrogen driven selection process.  The closets are close to empty, things are laying out and arranged by ...... arranged by ......... color?  Wrinkle resistance?  She explained it to me.  It made me dizzy.

Whatever it is, it is pretty sophisticated and totally beyond me.  I did catch her eyeing my bag a couple times.  This should be interesting.

It looks like we are also taking a checked bag which will NOT be dragged around for a month in Spain and Morocco.  Apparently, the female clothing requirements for 2 weeks on the cruise are ....... not sure how to end this sentence.

This is a picture of one of the staging areas.  There is another staging area in the guest room.  I have already returned my stuff to my closet floor, made and eaten breakfast and written this little lovely.  I suspect she has just begun.

Life is sweet ,

PS:  I just walked back into staging area #1.  Even more things are coming out of her closet (her #2 closet).  Gawd, I love her.  I hope she loves me after reading this.  Actually, this is nothing.  one of the gals I play bridge with has 2 closets just for shoes.  Remember Imelda Marcos?  

PPS:  I don't pray too much.  But I pray that I never understand this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

House Pics

We have wanted to put up some pics of the house.  The delay is that we have been waiting to take pics for two circumstances to converge .......... clean house and sunny day.  There has been more of the former and fewer of the latter. 

Got tired of waiting, so took some pics this AM.  Not actually sunny, but not raining either.

Also, my sissy has been asking to see pics.  I told her that if she wanted to see our place, she would have to visit.  Maybe now that she sees that we don't live in a cave............

So here are some pics.  I haven't bothered to caption them as they are not all that obscure.  I figure it is not too hard to distinguish between the living room, stairs, kitchen, etc.

Life is sweet,

PS:  We have another little secret.  Nancy Watson will probably blog about it before we do.  But here is a PARTIAL HINT.

This is a partial hint.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's ..........

........... SURGERY TIME!  Yippee!

According to Wikipedia:
Umbilical Hernia ...... "Congenital umbilical hernia is a congenital malformation, common in infants of African descent. Among adults, it is three times more common in women than in men; among children, the ratio is roughly equal. An acquired umbilical hernia directly results from increased intra-abdominal pressure caused by obesity, heavy lifting, a long history of coughing, or multiple pregnancies."  Who says there is no useful info on this blog?

I am voting fot the heavy lifting.  (You know ...... carrying the weight of the world.)  However, this is my second hernia operation.  I had one when I was 2 weeks old.  So maybe the 'African descent' thing comes into play too.

I've had this darn thing for 3 or 4 years, but it is getting worse.  So I went to see the surgeon today.  Surgery is tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.  Took about 10 minutes to set it up.  Really simple.

I asked what it would cost:
$900 if I want the general anesthetic.
$400 - $500 if I choose to go with only a local anesthetic.  
I chose the local.  I am not cheap, but why piss away the extra bucks?

I almost asked if there was a third choice, but if there is, I don't want it.

I come home the same day ..... maybe by the time anyone reads this.  Then I spend a few days recouping at home.

The Brennie will be my nurse and make sure I don't bleed all over her favorite furniture.

Anyone have a 'naughty nurse' outfit we can borrow?

Life is sweet,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blog Readership

Some times (actually more than just some times), I am amazed at the number of times this blog is read.   I have even commented on it to the Brennie.  It usually goes something like this ....."Who do you think is reading this dumb *ass blog?" Her response is generally something like ........ "I need some money.  Is there any in the drawer?" or "Did you wash the dishes like I told you to?"

Anyway, I had my answer just the other day.  Obviously not from my wife.

Here is how it went........
I was standing in a long line at the restroom at a national park in Ontario, Canada.  There is this one guy in line that is hard not to notice.  A nice looking young fellow of about 25. He has had a recent injury resulting in the partial loss of one hand and multiple lacerations on the other two.  He still has bandages on his hands, etc.  (Yeah, no typo there ...... Ontario, Canada, partial loss of one hand and bad cuts on the other two.)  The line is taking a while and being a congenial fellow, I strike up a conversation.  We introduce ourselves and shake hands.  The whole handshake part was a little awkward.  I chose to shake the hand with the least bandages.   It probably would have been a little odd, even without the recent injuries.  

Anyway, I tell him my name is Clarke.  He takes a short pause, gets a thoughtful look on his face, grins,  and says ....... "and Brenda, Next Stage."  I am dumbfounded.  This is getting a little strange.  Anyway he smiles and tells me that he reads the blog.  Wow!  

I know this sounds a little bit out there.  But I swear it's true.  I had this dream the other night where I was standing in a long line at the restroom at a national park ........

I would tell you the rest of the story, but it just got bizarre after that.  I finally woke up, had a JIF snack and went back to bed.

Anyway, now I know who reads the blog.  Kind of.

Life is Sweet,