Monday, March 31, 2008

It's Finally Here!

Do you realize that today is? This is the day I have been waiting for 180 days to finally happen! Today is the opening day!! Yes, baseball season is upon us once again.

My beloved Cubs were the winners of the National League Central Division last year. Can they do it again this year? Can this be our fabled "wait until next year" year? Could we go all the way this year? Holy crap, it's all possible - at least for today!

Today will be a day thinking of Mom for sure. I used to take opening day as a sick day and Mom and I would watch opening day together. I'm not taking today off, but I will be watching the major league baseball's website and will be keeping up with what's going on in the game.

Today is the day. It's a day full of hopes and dreams for all baseball fans. Today the slate is clean and we're all tied for first place. This could be our year, people! Zambrano is looking good taking the mound today for the boys in blue. Yeah, it's finally here! Now let's PLAY BALL!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sightings From The Road

Not much has been happening lately. However, my drives to work have given me points to ponder.

Point # 1 - The other day, I was driving to work and I am stopped at a red light. I noticed the silver mini van behind me was inching closer and closer and closer and I was afraid it was going to hit me. I looked in my rear view mirror to see if this soccer mom had her hands full with a van packed with kids or what when I noticed there was no soccer mom driving the van. No, instead was a 40 year old man (obviously I'm guessing his age) who was too busy using his rear view mirror to make sure he was trimming his beard correctly to bother watching traffic or keeping his foot on that pesky brake. There is a lot of work involved in holding out one errant hair on the side of his face to trim it close and tight to the rest of the beard. Or, moving your nose to the side to make sure the top of your moustache lines up with . . . what? Ok, as much as I am complaining about this, car # 3 in line had to honk that the light had turned green because I was too busy watching the guy behind me trimming his beard at the red light. Thank goodness the next light was red so we could all go back to what we were doing. Me watching the guy in the van, him trimming, third car watching the light. That was fun!

Point # 2 - Another day this week, driving to work, I'm again stopped at a red light. This time, I'm behind a limo town car and I'm over a little bit more to the left and have a good view of the driver in his side mirror. The only reason I mention this one is because looking at him in his mirror I couldn't help but see that he had a knit cap on his head and all around the knit cap was skull and cross bones. Um, I'm not a limo expert, but if I'm paying for some guy to drive me somewhere in a fancy car, I'm not sure I want him wearing skulls and cross bones. Call me silly, but I don't wanna see it. Maybe that's why I just drive myself in my Honda.

Point # 3 - This one happened this morning on the way to work. I'm on the turnpike, minding my own business, cruise control set at 70 (in a 65 zone) when I see a police car in the turn around spot between the concrete barriers separating the east and west bound traffic. I am east bound, the police car is sitting north/south and facing the west bound traffic. I would say generally, when the officer is pointing at the west bound traffic, his radar gun would be aimed out his passenger side window to see all the cars heading westbound. Then, if someone was speeding, all he had to do was put the car in drive and go after him. That also means that the cars passing behind him in the east bound lane usually don't slow down too much. The good thing about setting that cruise control at 70, I don't worry about seeing the police. I don't feel I'm going to get pulled over for five miles per hour over the limit. However, as I was passing this officer, I see he does not have his radar gun pointed to the westbound traffic! He actually has his radar gun pointed out the driver's side watching our east bound traffic! That's like cheating! I'm surprised he'd want to back up onto the shoulder to go forward to chase someone in our direction, but that's what he was doing. Tricky, huh? I bet he filled his quota today with this fake out.

At least my drives home have been uneventful.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Oops! My Fault

My car has been emitting a smell - sort of like spoiled milk, when the temperatures are getting to about forty degrees. I know I spilled a couple of cups of coffee in my car, and even though I drink my coffee black, I couldn't think of what else could cause the smell. So, I made an appointment for my local detailer to detail the inside of the car.

As I had posted before, everything inside of the car has been damp and difficult to get to dry up with all of the snow and rain we've been having. One thing I found that helped is when I garage the car at night, I have kept all of the windows open and after a few nights, that did the job and the inside carpets and seats finally dried.

Friday, I finally got around to taking the floor mats out of the trunk and putting them where they belong inside of the car. Unfortunately, when I lifted the floor mats out of the trunk, I realized that the carpet in the trunk was still damp. If open windows worked once, an open trunk should also work. So, Friday afternoon when we got home I garaged the car, opened the trunk and shut the garage door thinking the trunk will be dry next time I go into the car. Unfortunately, the car was never moved all weekend.

Um, does anyone realize that your trunk when open has a little light inside? However small that light might be, it will continuously drain the battery for the entire time the light is on? Yeah, I just found that out too.

I went to go to work this morning and I tried to unlock my car door. The light on the clicker on my key ring was flashing so I know I had battery power there. However, nothing was happening with my locks. I unlocked the door the old fashioned way, with the key, and reached to the inside button that will unlock all of the doors at the same time. Nothing happened. I again manually opened the back door of my car, put my lap top bag on the floor in the back seat, and went back in the house to tell Ron that I think my locks were frozen or broken. He offered to come out and look at them, but figuring I'm already late for work, I'll just hope for the best for the busted locks today and we can worry about it tonight when I get home.

I go back out to my car, sit down, buckle up, and put my key in the ignition. As soon as you start to turn the key, all of the dashboard lights light up. Uh, that didn't quite happen. There was a faint glow perhaps, but definitely no lit up dashboard. A turn of the key brought no familiar vroom sound. Uh oh. Manually locking the car back up, I ran back to Ron. Even I could figure out that I think it's the battery in the car that is on the fritz.

I am nose first into the garage and the floor of the garage is a good three inches lower than the driveway. This means we can't jump start the car nor can we push it out of the garage with the two of us to jump start it in the driveway. Luckily Ron has a battery charger and he hooked that up to my car and said we just have to wait. I called work to let them know of my dilemma and went back inside to watch the Today show!

Just as Monk was coming on and I was getting ready to sit and enjoy and have breakfast, Ron went to check the car. He came right back in to tell me the car was running and good to go. What? I thought I could get a half a day out of this! Bummer! Since you should never leave a running car unattended in my neighborhood, I grabbed my coat and headed out the door. I'm worrying about having to buy a new battery today and worrying if I will make it home from work when Ron says "by the way, did you ever shut your trunk or was that light on all weekend?" Um, oops! It suddenly all made sense.

Yeah, my fault. I can't blame this on anyone. Who'd have thought? At least there is good news out of this. My trunk is dry.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Score One For The Little Guys

The other day I was coming home from work, and for once, the police were in the right spot at the right time!

Obviously, that means I wasn't the one that was speeding.

Just about every day, I am on this four lane road. I'm not sure if you'd classify it as a highway as the speed limit is only 35 mph on this road. It's sort of rural/residential/farm land/commercial. Yeah, a little bit of everything. What it is though, is a well traveled piece of road that goes from two lanes to four lanes and then back to two lanes.

As I was heading home, just after it went from two lanes to four lanes, some idiot in a big black Ford SUV came flying down the road. There is a good amount of traffic on this road, and to be honest, we were all going between 40 and 45 mph. This SUV had to be going 80 easily as he dodged back and forth between lanes zooming in and out between all of the traffic; he passed me like I was standing still. A real idiot, if I do say so myself. It's one thing to drive too fast, but by him just being an idiot, he truly did put all of our lives in danger with the erratic behavior.

Lo and behold, a few short miles down the road, I see flashing red and blue lights. The traffic from the right lane is moving into the left lane. Sure enough, a State Police officer had his idiot pulled over and the officer was just making his way to the guy's window.

What did I do to show this officer my appreciation for keeping us all safe and for showing this scofflaw that this behavior will not be tolerated? I rolled down my window, stuck my left arm out, waved at the scofflaw and laid on my horn like like no one's business of course!

Thanks to the Ohio State Police for once, being in the right place at the right time. You made my day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No, I Did Not Pee My Pants

Yes, the backside of my pants is wet as I type this, but no, I did not pee myself.

My car has had a bad odor for the past week, sort of like spoiled milk. I took it to my neighborhood detailers yesterday for them to give the car a good inside detailing. This includes shampooing the carpets and floor mats, shampooing the seats, getting into all the nooks and crannies with the armor all or some similar product. And, it comes back smelling like a new car to boot! Bonus all around.

Ron and I dropped the car off Sunday night. The fact that I could reach into the key drop and pick my key right back up again didn't scare me in the least. Ok, yeah, I had my speech ready to give to the police to explain my stolen car, but I digress. The shop did call me yesterday afternoon to say that the car was ready and they closed at five. As if I needed an excuse to leave work early, Ron picked me up before 4:00 to make sure we got to the shop by 5:00.

The guy explained that the windows were open in my car and I should leave them open for the night to facilitate the carpets and seats drying. My floor mats are in the trunk and as soon as the carpets were completely dry, I could feel free to return them to the car. There was a plastic mat on the floor and a plastic covering over the driver's seat. It's a good thing I didn't have to drive far as I was having a heck of a time staying on the seat covered in plastic! But, I did manage to get the car home in one piece and into the garage for the night. I left the windows open a couple of inches and then took out the plastic covers in the car and threw them out. By morning, I was confident that all would be dry in my world.

Well, the weather didn't cooperate. We are having flash flood warnings all over the area due to the excessive rain. But, my car was in a garage which believe it or not does not have a leaking roof so maybe I'd get lucky and the car would be dry. I didn't take the time to put the floor mats back in. As a matter of fact, all I grabbed was my toll card so that I could get on the turnpike. I didn't even grab my garage door opener, so I had to get out of my car in the pouring rain to shut the garage door! (Hey honey! If you're reading this, how about popping that door open for me when I get home tonight!! Yes, I am spoiled!)

So, I'm in my car, windows are shut again, and I start my trek to work. The drive takes me 40-45 minutes and I'm not even 10 minutes into it when I feel something funny. Not funny as in ha-ha just funny. Yes, my ass is wet already. I slide a hand under my butt and sure enough, my seat is still very damp which of course means my pants are now very damp. Plus, I'm sure they put something like scotch guard on my seat so now I'm sitting in my office on my leather chair (actually, it's probably vinyl) and all I'm doing is squeaking every time I move on my chair. And my butt is damp. And not in a good way. HA!

In hindsight (no pun intended) it's good to walk into work and the first words out of my mouth were "no, I didn't pee myself!" Yeah, that sure makes them wonder about you for the rest of the day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beam Me Up, Scotty

Our house has not been fun this week.

I am back to work today, since my fever finally subsided this morning. I guess that’s the good and the bad news.

Let’s talk about cold medicines though.

My family has always been supporters of NyQuil. As good as NyQuil is for making you sleep when you’re sick and taking care of all of those symptoms of the creeping cruds, for me it has one horrific side effect. It gives me nightmares.

I don’t just mean lochness kind of monster nightmares, but wake-up-screaming kind of nightmares. You do that for a few nights and you won’t take NyQuil anymore either.

I’ve switched to a comparable brand, Tylenol Cold and Flu. It’s the same kind of medicine, a multi-symptom cold relief. This at least won’t make me wake up screaming for mercy.

However, it does mess with my mind. Every night and during every nap, my mind has just gone wild with crazy thoughts. The dreams are so realistic that I even woke up scared half to death yesterday afternoon and I was crying.

I can’t remember all of them now, but some of the biggies include:

- Hiding in the attic of the house I grew up in. I’m not sure who I was hiding from or why, but I went through the door in the kitchen up to the attic and blocked the door back to the kitchen. I should have been safe there, but suddenly, almost all of the cousins I’ve grown up with (and now their families) had come looking for me up in the attic. I was going crazy, worrying about my hiding spot and then how did they get up there with the door blocked? I was told they all came up through the new stairway they put from the living room to the attic. What new stairway? My brother Jim in my dream was hiding in the attic with me and I started asking him about why didn’t he ever tell me they put a new stair way from the living room and he told me it was on a need to know basis and obviously, I didn’t need to know! Just like a brother, huh?

- I was working, but in a lobby of a big building, waiting for someone. I don’t know who I was waiting on, but I am assuming it was a client. The next thing I know, security comes and rousts me from the comfy chair in the lobby and manhandles me out of the lobby and into a freight elevator. They told me I was going to be sorry for not listening and being where I wasn’t supposed to be. I was being crushed into the corner of this freight elevator when suddenly the security goons left me, pushed a button and the entire floor of this elevator except for a tiny ledge all disappeared. Do you have any idea how afraid of heights I am? Here I am, barely standing on this ledge, and I’m told to stay there. Buddy, I ain’t moving anywhere! I start to shake, and all I can do is imagine falling through this elevator shaft. I start crying and pleading with them to explain what I did wrong and why were they doing this?

Ok, in hindsight (and the light of day) neither of these sounds so bad. But when you’re the one in the middle of the dream, it’s made one afraid to shut their eyes at night. And to think this is SO much better than the NyQuil!

Last night, I didn’t take any meds. I still feel like I’ve gone 10 rounds with Lennox Lewis and I didn’t sleep hardly a wink last night. But at least this morning the fever did finally break so I don’t need the meds any longer.

Damn, I’m getting too old to be sick; too old to dream.

Monday, March 10, 2008

How Sick Is He?

I guess it was Thursday night that Ron started feeling punk. Friday he was much worse and by Saturday he was down for the count. I came into it on Sunday and now today on Monday I am feeling like he was Friday. I just know from watching him all the good things coming to me in the next few days.

I guess I didn't realize just how down he was until I started to think about it today.

Let's back up. We all know I'm addicted to TV, especially reality TV. And, there is nothing better for me than a marathon TV day especially when it's a reality show marathon! You know those days when a channel will play an entire season of a show all in one day, back to back to back.

First, Ron doesn't care for TV. And, aside from American Idol which he tolerates, he really hates reality TV even more than regular TV! Oh, the things he has to put up with for me!

Yesterday with both of us feeling punk, Ron was laid out on the couch and I was kicked back in the recliner. What did we watch all day? A marathon of Beauty and the Geek! We are really hitting low to watch like 10 hours of that all day long! I of course was jiggy with it. I think the remote control was just out of reach for him. Then again, I don't know if he'd have had the strength to push a button on the remote even if I'd have gotten up for it.

So, that's how sick our house is right now. Stay away for your own good! Luckily I did make a huge pot of chicken noodle soup on Saturday which has been sustaining us. Other than that, we're downing the Tylenol and chicken soup and hope to be back in the land of the living by the end of the week.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I Fixed It!!

Yes, that's right! ME! I fixed it!

Let me back up a bit by saying that one heck of a blizzard started Friday afternoon. This blizzard is expected to be blowing and bringing misery to this area until Sunday. Here we are Saturday afternoon and boy, they weren't lying. We are snowed in and not going anywhere.

Friday after dinner, Ron remembered a battery charger in the garage that needed to be shut off. He was going to get dressed and go out and do it. Well, unfortunately Ron has also come down with a case of the creeping cruds. Since he was sick, I thought it better that I go outside and turn off whatever needed turned off.

I put my sneakers back on (bad idea - should have been boots) and trudged back to the garage, about 15 feet behind the house. The snow was up over my ankles so I figured that we were indeed in for a bad night. I went into the garage and did what needed done. There is a switch on the inside wall of the garage next to the bay door. I usually hit that switch on my way out of the garage and the garage door goes down. Last night, I hit that switch and started to walk back to the house. As I got to the door, I turned to look at the garage and lo and behold the door was on its way back up again! What's up with that? I hit the switch inside of my back door and watched the garage door go back down. Hmm.

The garage door has safety sensors that are low and next to the track of the garage door. If anything is in front of the sensors while the door is coming down, the door will go right back up. My first thought was that a small animal or one of the neighborhood cats had maybe run into the garage while the door was coming down, causing the door to go back up again. This actually happened once before, but the cat came shooting back out once I hit the button from inside the house to shut the door again. Since I didn't see anything come shooting out of the garage when I hit the button again, I assumed it was just snow blowing in the garage as it was very windy last night.

I didn't think much about it until about 11:00 last night. You know my OCD and my looking out of the windows. This is one of the reasons I MUST look out of the windows! I looked out our bedroom window and the dang garage door was open again! Hey, in this neighborhood, even in a blizzard, I would not leave that door or any door open.

My first response was to go downstairs to the mudroom where we have a numeric keypad that will also open and close the garage door. I punched in the code, watched the door come down and go right back up again. Now I'm on a mission.

With Ron feeling like poop, I said I'm going to fix this problem. Ron in turn, said he'd stand in the window which faces the garage and offer advice from inside. I put my boots on and zipped up my coat and out I went into the elements.

I grabbed the shovel in the garage thinking my problem is the snow on the ground where the door comes down. I shoveled out quite a bit of snow from the entrance and tried to shut the door. Down and right back up again. I shoveled more. Same result. My gloved hands pushed all of the show and ice out and took it right down to the pavement. Still no good. Ron is telling me to check the sensors. With a gloved finger, I just rubbed each of the two sensors, sort of like cleaning the lens. I hit the button one more time and it stayed down! Blizzard or no blizzard, I was doing a happy dance in my driveway! I DID IT! ME! I don't usually do anything right! No Ron, no brother, ME! It may sound silly, but it was damn empowering. I walked into the house to find Ron sitting in the dining room putting his boots on. HA! Take 'em back off, buddy. I DID IT!
That was my excitement for Friday night. Now it's Saturday and it's much worse than it was last night.

Below is a picture of the two foot high snow drift sitting on our front porch. I hope you don't need either of us this weekend because we aren't going anywhere.

Friday, March 07, 2008

My Voice Was Heard

Tuesday, as most of you know, was election day here in Ohio.

Election Day. Wow. Look at the ballots, people! One way or another, whoever gets voted in, we are all part of history in the making here! I don't want to hear you can't get excited about any of the candidates. You need to GET excited because one of them will be leading our country very soon. And, yes, that affects you and me and every one else in the country and in this world. Choices will be made on the budgets, on health care, on the economy, and in war. You should have a say in who is going to squander your money and fight wars no one wants.

Since I vote, I have every right to bitch when things don't go my way. My vote counts; my opinion matters. As a home owner, suddenly I'm aware of tax levies and how they affect me personally. It's really quite a responsibility to walk into a voting booth and vote on what you believe to be right and good for the community. It's a responsibility, an honor, a privilege. So, if you haven't had voting in your state yet, make sure you get out and VOTE when your day comes.

Ok, off of my soapbox.

The only downside to voting is the pollsters. I just don't know about them. I resent them running after me to tell me to vote for Joe Smith or Sally Jones or whomever. If I don't know who I'm voting for when I pull up to the polling facility then shame on me. They yell and shout and try to give you handouts that you're not allowed to walk into the polls with anyway! You need to get a tag team going - Ron goes one way to try to draw the crowd of pollsters away while I have a breakaway to the door! Then I need to sneak back in to distract the mob while Ron makes a getaway. We almost have it down to a science!

Anyway, this election, Ron was smart and went to vote earlier in the day when the lines were down and the weather hadn't gotten too bad yet. By the time I got off of work, the ice storm had hit and hit hard.

I had to break the ice that was covering my car to just get in the car. Brother Jim experienced the same ice storm the next morning. The pictures are courtesy of Jim, of him trying to get into his vehicle! This one is how his entire vehicle was sheathed in ice. You sometimes have to break your way into the car!

And below, once you get in, you turn on your front and rear defrosters full blast to help melt some of the ice from the inside of the windshield. That will loosen all of the ice on the windshield and in a perfect day, you can "break" the ice and it will come off in big sheets. On not so perfect days, you will scrape and scrape and scrape to get that crap off. It's ugly.

So that is what I was faced with when I left my office. Follow that with a harrowing drive home due to the slick roads and the freezing rain and hail and high winds. My poor little Honda was getting blown all over the place. It was really hard to keep the car on the road.

In spite of that, I went directly to the polls. I took my umbrella (which in hindsight was not so good of an idea) and tried to walk across a parking lot of sheer ice to get into the building. Picture me, inside out umbrella acting like a sail, and literally being blown across the icy lot. That is some dedication to go vote! The up side to all of this is that for the first time in my voting life, there was not ONE pollster standing out there! Wimps!

So, my voice was heard. I was soaked, I was cold and I was tired. But at least someone heard my voice.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Vote For Me!

I have a more important story about voting today, but this story is on my mind right now.

While I was at the booth casting my votes today, I came across the position of coroner. According to the website, the definition of coroner is: "an officer, as of a county or municipality, whose chief function is to investigate by inquest, as before a jury, any death not clearly resulting from natural causes". Gee, call me silly but it sounds to me like there should be some kind of training or qualifications needed in order to be a coroner. It shouldn't be someone who wants to run for office and doesn't know what they're doing, albeit like most politicians. But I digress.

While I came across the position for coroner, I saw the note by the voting blocks that stated there are no candidates for this position. All of a sudden, my mind went into overdrive! I am going to write my OWN name in that spot and vote for ME! Yes the notoriety, the accolades, the money, the TV show (cue Quincy theme music here) yes, all for me! The hell with auditing! My next career is coroner! I was out of my mind!

Then reality hit.

My nephew had quite a scare from writing his name into a position for Crawford County Assessor last year. Luckily, I remembered his story just in the nick of time.

Whew. Thanks, Michael! You just saved my life! Besides, I wouldn't make a good coroner. I hate the sight of blood.

Did You Hear That Beep?

Well, neither did I!

I woke up the other night to see Ron standing on my side of the bed using his cell phone as a light looking for something.

"What in the hell are you doing" or words to the effect came outta my half asleep mouth. Ron stated that he kept hearing this beeping sound and he's looking for where the beep is coming from. Unfortunately, the beep only happened about every minute or so, making it difficult to follow the sound to the source.

Finally, he decided that the beep sounded like a cell phone beeping that the battery is low. And, since he had both of his cell phones in his hands, I was looking like the guilty party.

I know I was a bad girl that night getting ready for bed. My slacks ended up in a pile on the floor in the corner of the bedroom with my cell phone in my left pocket. Since that is not a place you usually find my slacks or my phone, he was aiming the light from his cell phone at my night table, thinking of course, that would be the obvious place to find my phone. However, three in the morning or not, I had to join him out of bed and look for my phone.

Sure enough, it was me! I woke Ron up at three in the morning because MY phone was running out of battery on the floor of the bedroom. Sorry honey!

My bad.