Thursday, February 16, 2012
Saturday Autoway Chevrolet had an ad in the paper, and I had a coupon for my GM card that said they would bump my balance up to $3,000, even though I only had 1,900 in earnings on it. I thought my 12 year old Stratus might be worth 2,000, but since I didn't own a GM car, I would lose the $500 loyalty rebate, so maybe I could buy a brand new 23,000 car for a good price.
When we were first married and had moved to Indianapolis, away from family and friends, Sunday was always a dangerous day, because that was the day that boredom set in hard, and we would buy something stupid just to get out of the house and break the monotony.
Last Sunday we went down to the Clearwater store, and were there for about five and a half hours. I really only wanted to see if we could get the advertised price, and in the end we did come close. What was shocking was that we bought the car. I didn't bring my checkbook, but in the end I did give them $100 cash and signed the agreement, and then went back to get the car Monday morning for another three hours. I now know why they take a personal check - they had a machine that electronically takes the money out of your account like a debit card, but slows the official removal by two days as if it were a credit card.
I was so stressed out that I only slept about four hours Sunday night and thought I had done a stupid thing - and still wasn't happy Monday. I was perfectly happy with the Dodge, except it was a little noisier than the Camry - but I bought a new car anyhow. I think it was only the search for a bargain that got me - $12, 549 for a $22,770 car seemed too good to pass up.
Fortunately, by today I have quit thinking that I was incredibly stupid, and pretty much gotten used to the new car. It's a lot of change - the designs are a lot different after 12 years. But it was still a boring Sunday afternoon that caused the problem. Without that I would still be driving a perfectly good older car.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
The remote was completely dead this morning, and the story was that it was put on the charger wrong. I told Ella that I needed it in about an hour, so see if she could send a runner - but in 45 minutes Deanna (the big boss) showed up and showed me two secret buttons on the blue-ray player that turn it on and make it play - then she rushed out. I had to stop her to make her show me where they were (tiny buttons on a ledge - black on a horizontal ledge in a dark enclosure, so you can't see them, just feel them. That left me with the ability to play everything on the disk, but no way to see the menu or to reach any of the 14 different programs that I need to play from time to time.
Now I can turn on the TV, get the right input for the blue ray player, and play a DVD or blue ray manually. I still need training on how to get to the right video on the disk.
I didn't have any video today. On the way out I asked Ella if the remote was up now, and it wasn't. I know it has been around at least three years, and I know rechargeable batteries do not have an infinite life. What I don't know is how that mess is connected together, or how all the infinite number of command combinations are arranged. If there was a written manual I could probably figure it out, but when I tried out the DVD on my home player, I could use it just fine with the remote, but again could not sort through the manual with the button switches on the front.
I really miss the old days, when I had a VCR and a TV. I would turn on the TV and VCR, plug a tape in, and alternate between play and stop the first day. Then I would pop the tape out, take it home, and pop it back in for the second day. I wouldn't even rewind it there just bring it home and rewind it. The VCR never shut itself off, and the tape didn't need to be programmed - you got what you wanted in the order you needed it, without any choice.
The old days are only behind me by about three years - but it has been a steep learning curve with Coral Oaks.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Yesterday the carpet cleaners came and did the house in an hour. We had the windows and doors open and the overhead fans running to help dry it out, and later in the day I turned the AC down to get the humidity down. Today it looks like we have brand new carpet everywhere, but the price has doubled in the last four or five years, and went up 33 per cent from last year. I think the guy must be making really good money.
I also had the leg come completely off of the table we bought in Milwaukee, and which is about the only one I've found that fits comfortably in the dining area in this house. The BW used to push it around, and one of the legs came loose, and kept getting looser and looser. It came off completely, and the screw never does get tight in the hole. I looked at it carefully, and realized that the body of the leg never seats against the table top, so I tried drilling the hole deeper by hand, using one of my own 3/8 inch bits. It didn't help, so I looked again and noticed that I hadn't completely scraped away the edge of the countersink hole. After working on it for a long time, there was always a little more than a sixteenth of an inch gap there, so the leg would not be supported. I finally just bought some more five minute epoxy glue (3200 psi), along with the rest of the pavers and lumber for the patio extension the BW wants, and poured some down the stripped screw hole, along the countersink, and around the bearing surface where the leg doesn't touch. After the leg set for an hour, it was solid as a rock. After 10 years the table is really solid again, but we will never be able to take the legs off so it packs into the van again. On the other hand, the van has been gone for eight years, and no one plans to move.
Other than that, I have33 pavers, four treated two by fours, and a plan for a small extension of the patio (after I get some aggregate and a lot of sand to raise and level the bed for the pavers).
In between the carpet cleaners and the visit to Home Depot, I went to lunch and found out that Murray is really 92 - not 91 which is what I thought. We were at Tiffany's, and I had a really good Ruben. I drank water as a penance, but I hate healthy Rubens. Grant's, out in Yakima, had the healthiest Ruben I ever ran across - the rye bread was toasted instead of grilled in butter, the corn beef was thin and the cheese was thin, and the sauerkraut was dry. Grant's made fine beer but served healthy food, and sometimes that isn't what you really want.
Today I did the first half of this month's safe driving seminar - and the universal remote gave me fits. It started the day by claiming the battery was too low, so I took it back to Ella for charging. She sent it up with a runner, but it only lasted a short while, so I was working with videos periodically. One lady came in and fixed things for a short while, and I could stop and start the video for a while, but then it stopped OK but wouldn't start again. I didn't think I could get my DVD out of the blueray player after the class, but I did figure out an emergency button from the "battery low" screen that brought everything back long enough to get it out. Nothing else would work, but at least I haven't lost any hardware.
Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the battery will be good tomorrow. I never had that problem before, and I did get to show all but one of the videos today, so it should be fine tomorrow, or the battery is old enough that it won't take a charge any more. That universal remote is all they have, and I have been using it for three years, so maybe it's on a death spiral.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
The carpet cleaners are coming to do the whole house tomorrow morning - at 8:00, so the BW is going to have to get up. I plan to take the day off, except for getting ready for the safe driving seminar on Tuesday and Wednesday, and storing everything loose that we can get out of the way of the cleaning crew. I also am going to have to figure out how to get all the stuff out of the BW's room, so I can paint it. I have to do the whole inside of the house before we get new carpet (the BW's rule) and the flooring guys don't want us to remove all the furniture - just everything in the furniture. When I look around (I have four six foot tall bookcases, in addition to a lot of other stuff in my room) I think we need to either do a major declutter effort again, or rent a storage area to keep all the extra stuff for a month or so.
It was a major thing when we sold our house in Indianapolis - after we gave away everything the kids would take, put a lot of stuff on the curb that people would steal overnight, and stored the stuff that the BW couldn't part with (for three years, until she let go of it) the auctioneers came and filled a big moving truck with the leftover junk that I didn't think was there. I couldn't believe that we got $3,000 from the crumbs - I guess we gave away a lot that time.
This house is a bit more than 1/4 as big, but we have been living here for 8 years now, and it's crammed full, along with the garage and the 9 by 12 shed in the back yard that I had to build. We're going to have to do a major declutter effort before getting new floors.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Today the BW took me to the Dunedin Garden Club meeting in Weaver park, and we go the tour. I was surprised that the wood from a slash pine is so hard you need to drill a hole in order to drive a nail into it - I always thought of pines as softwoods. I also didn't know that redbuds, hickory trees, and a few others would grow here - I always thought of them as Ohio (or at least northern) natives.
We finished off by going back to walk the 700 foot pier out to where the water is deep enough for a decent sized boat to tie up - about 9 feet. Sutherland Sound has very clear water near shore - you can look down through three feet of water and look at the sea grass and ripples in the sand, but where it's deeper is gets dark (murky?).
Yesterday Jack and I expanded to four guys. Jack and Murray wanted to do controlling things - Jack wanted to add up our ages for a name for the "Club" - 331. Murray wanted to set up some goals. I think we beat both of them down - besides, every time we gained a guy or lost one the name would have to change, and we are admitting that we're OLD guys. Everyone still had a car and gets around just fine, of course, and I still think that "old" is someone 20 years older than I am.
I used up the gallon of turkey stock that has been cluttering up the freezer today - I made a quadruple batch of lentil soup, using a Spark People recipe. Unfortunately, it turned out the way the BW likes soup (broth between the solids). It's a vegetarian recipe which called for a quart of vegetable stock, so I'm not sure if it is vegetarian, but it's good.
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