Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finger lickin'

Being a guy in rural America, living with a bunch of animals, having been in various health care settings including EMT and post-surgical, it takes a lot to disgust me. There is one thing that I really am squeamish about. Money. Not your plain everyday bills and coins, but in how it is handled. Yes, I know there are traces of cocaine on most denominations over $20, but there is one other thing. The other day a known customer and writer of the occasional column in the local fishwrap (newspaper) decided to pay cash for a small purchase.

He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a wad of bills, sticks out his tongue, slobbers on his thumb, counts out some bills with said thumb and hands them to me! I wanted to yell, "You spit on your money and then hand it to me?!?", but I didn't because this Minnesota and we're supposed to be nice.

He did this!

I wanted to barf ! Or better yet, pee on his change before giving it back! I really should have just to make a point. At least urine is sterile (usually)! There have been at least 500 types of bacteria  found in healthy human mouths, let alone a sick person. EEEEWW!

People with the habit of licking their fingers before giving their money to someone should be made to walk around like this:

Maybe I should stop whining and do something constructive. I should buy a bunch of various office products made for such purposes and distribute them freely among the businesses in this town. Then maybe on to Duluth and the Twin Cities! Yeah, this could be big! I could wear a mask and costume and do it for Truth, Justice, and the American Way! SuperTackyFingers!
 Leaving these wherever I go.

Or I could just put up some silly pictures on the internet and hope it helps curb this nasty habit, because this is Minnesota and we are supposed to be nice.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Tricky Mind

A wasted mind is a terrible thing. Or something like that. Sometimes I wonder how mine works and every once in a while it will do something quite revealing, although like some avant-garde thing no one knows what it means. Including me.

I was up to my eyeballs in work at the office trying not to fall farther behind. It is often my job to stop whatever I am doing and help the people who walk in off the street. So this one guy comes in and I notice this "thing" in his ear and think, "My god that's a big hearing aid!" Of course I remember seeing them in airports when I travel, but they look uncomfortable and totally silly in an area like this where cell phone reception is iffy on a good day. Or if you are hiking in the woods and a spruce branch knocks it out of your ear. It does keep any biting insects out of that ear.
I wanted to talk louder to be sure he could hear me through his "good" ear. He was obviously in a hurry and the kind of person who couldn't stand to be out of touch with whoever was on the other end of that thing. Many people come to this area to escape all that kind of pressure and sensory assault. With spring bird migration and especially bears coming out of hibernation you would think he would want all his senses to be fully functioning. Somehow I doubt if he spends much time outdoors, though.

I had yet another misfiling episode at work. Sometimes I don't get around to filing everything I am supposed to because several other things come up and I forget until later. Or I get through the pile far enough to say to myself, "Hey! I better get this thing filed!"  So the boss was looking for something in the file I had ordered for a guy named Dave Burns. (Not his real name, but the same initials.) Boss says, "Did you file an order for Dave Burns?" It was last week so I said, "I think so, but I will print up a new one from the numbers on the purchase order," which I did. A few minutes later the boss says, "I found that order under "C". I said, "Well, I must have averaged his first and last initials and compromised by putting it in C."   It seemed like a reasonable explanation at the time. Now we know where else to look next time.

In other exciting news I decided to play "appliance repairman"  yesterday. The dryer hasn't been drying very thoroughly as of late and we were trying to figure out what to do. Last weekend we took the dryer apart to clean out the lint and see if there were any blockages.  I did watch the obligatory YouTube video of how to first so as to lessen any possible damage I might do. So after 8 or 9 years there was a bit of lint on the inside. Not enough to replace all those socks that disappeared, though.
  After reassembly I realized that it was still doing the same thing so I ordered a heating element. Yesterday's project (one of) was replacing the heating element. I am currently doing laundry as I write this (my version of multitasking) and will find out if it worked. So far I do not smell any smoke. Oh! I forgot to tell you there was a bonus. Stitch (alias the one armed bandit with her arm in a cast) and I found nearly a dollar in loose change in the bottom of the dryer when it was all apart!  We look like this now.

Life is good! Albeit mundane.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Did you miss me? Did you know I was gone?

Wow! So my knee hurt and I got a new one. It is a match for the other one and now I am symmetrical again. At least as symmetrical as I ever was. Physically. Eight weeks after surgery, according to my Fitbit, I did well over 10,000 steps yesterday which is about five miles. That was just a normal Saturday, so I guess I am cured now.

I know this might sound like an old geezer thing, but I got a metal detector to look around the old farm house and a few old sites in the neighborhood. Now I always used to picture Richard Milhous Nixon walking on the beach at San Clemente with his big ol’ shorts on, humming to himself out of tune, and swinging a metal detector. I’ll do my best not to look like that. I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting. The farmhouse is 100 years old this year and is in rough shape, but the roof doesn't leak. Well maybe a little around the chimney.

I have done three searches on the ground in that picture and have come up with at least one coin each time. However, Most of what I find is junk or garbage, especially the old aluminum pull tabs from beer cans. They must be the scourge of detectors everywhere. I can discriminate them out with the detector, but I hate them enough to want to see them gone. I think it will be a losing battle. They were around in the 1960's and 1970's mostly. I have found at least two dozen.
I have found coin(s) each time I search, but they are all modern. The residents of this farm have always been of modest means or less so I don't expect much in that department.

Meanwhile, Spring has sprung. It went from this:
 To this:
 To this:
in just a few weeks.

The neighbors got their feeder pigs. Another sure sign of spring.


I think a lot of things have happened, but I never write them down and forget most of them. I need to change that habit because, you won't believe this, I sometimes have good ideas. They just don't last very long.

It was our anniversary a couple of weeks ago and the Cooker made a lovely card for me. She removed the gray from my beard and I really don't own a blue suit, but otherwise it is me. Sort of.
Yesterday was somewhat eventful. It was garage sale opener (the fishing opener was last weekend) and I just had to go see if there was anything I couldn't live without or flip to feed my own hobby habits. I spent a buck, so it was a bit of a letdown. OTOH I didn't have much more $ to spend anyway, sigh. It was, however, a beautiful sunny day on the farm. When I got down by the lake (2 miles and a 600 foot loss in elevation) I found this:
taken from about the same place as picture #5 of the harbor.

Later in the day I was cleaning up my mess in the garage and I heard Stitch call my name. She had been furiously gardening and was about to transfer some tomato plants into the ground (risky this early in the season). She had tripped and fallen. Apparently, the landing wasn't so good as she landed on a piece of cement block used for anchoring things in the wind. The Cooker took her to the local Emergency Room to do what they could for her broken wrist and cracked ribs. As much as she loves to garden, I think she should maybe look for a safer sport. Gardening and growing food has some built in dangers that shouldn't be taken lightly. Since she is good with horses maybe rodeo is something she should look into.

A new statement I picked up from a forum I follow. Something to keep in mind should you get a bit frustrated.
“A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.”