Monday, October 14, 2013

It Rained - All Night Long

I didn't want to leave you hanging if you read the last post.  So yea, it started raining around 11AM on Sunday and now, Monday morning it is still very wet.  Lots of flooding to the southwest of us.
 During our usual Sunday trip to HEB Plus in Lytle, two very entertaining things happened.  First off, we pulled into the parking lot to find this big truck parked conveniently in front of this sign.  In case you can't read it, it says "No 18 Wheeler Parking Permitted".  He only took up about 10 parking spots, so it's probably okay.
And then, this is the sort of nonsense I see all the time.  People simply do not care about anyone but themselves.  Now if you can do a really quick hand-off, sure, stop your cars and block the main parking aisle, but no, these people seemed like they were doing some sort of Chinese fire drill (I hope that isn't offensive to anyone) with several people from both vehicles running around to swap groceries or who knows what.   I guess the real question is, was this just a moment of opportunity where they decided they saw each other so they should trade stuff, or was this whole thing planned like some well executed drug deal?  In ether case, why not say, "Hey, there is a big 18 wheeler parked over there, let's meet there so we aren't blocking anyone from driving up and down the aisle."  I'll tell you why, because they do not care about anyone but themselves.

In other news, I watched the season opener to American Horror Story: The Coven.  Outstanding!  I didn't delete it from the DVR because I'm thinking it is less scary than last season, and perhaps Eva will give it a shot.  She literally has to cover her ears and leave the room when she hears the sound of the opening music, but I think you can fast forward through that.  Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett.  How can you go wrong?

In the middle of the Cowboys game last night, we also watched The Walking Dead season premiere and Homeland.  Lots of new people to get killed in TWD, but to be honest, I think they need to start winding this thing down.  I mean, sure, it is great to watch people kill zombies and such, but I think I'm losing interest.

Homeland on the other hand just got good last night.  I was worried about this season since it is mostly a Carrie Cry-Fest, but they finally showed us Brody and he has somehow ended up in Venezuela or some place equally scary and Latin.  If you have not watched Homeland, go to Netflix or Showtime and get it.  You will not be disappointed. No go back and click on that link for the Carrie Cry-Fest.  Do it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

We Never Turn Down Rain....

Supposedly, folks in San Antonio are getting hit with some serious rain this morning.  Out here near Natalia, we are under the threat of a flash flood watch, but aside from the sky looking a little gloomy, not a drop of water yet.
 But Little Kitty knows something is up.  She scared the crap out of Eva this morning while it was still dark outside.  As Eva sat at her desk playing Solitaire and sipping coffee, Little Kitty jumped up on the screen of the window as if to say, Let me in!

Good times.

Yesterday we sat through most of the less than thrilling UTSA Vs Rice game at the Alamodome.  I'm afraid our team was just crappy, mostly due to special teams errors.  The special teams (Kick-offs, punts etc) have been a real gem for the Roadrunners, but for whatever reason, they just had penalties and problems all game long.
This was interesting.  When the Rice team was announced, about half of the players ran down to the endzone and prayed.  I guess it worked for them because they sure beat the crap out of UTSA.
A really bright spot in the game was at half time when the Rice University "Mob" came out and did a very funny poke at San Antonio.  I wonder if they do this sort of thing for all the away games?
When they took the field, they had an announcer explain that if they were to make fun of the Alamo City, they would say something like this - then he rattled off a few jokes which resulted in a pretend referee throwing flags and penalizing them 10 yards.  The entire band moved down 10 yards and they started again.  They did this two or three times and it was really funny.  Of course, some people booed (which I really despise) but for the most part, I think the fans appreciated the humor.
When it was all over, the announcer ended it with something to the affect of, Hey, no matter who wins or loses today, at least we aren't in Dallas and we're both better than El Paso.  It was really good.
At the game sitting just a few rows in front of us was KENS5 sportscaster, Joe Reinagel.  I'm pretty sure his wife has some relevance to the UTSA Cheerleader squad because we've seen her more than a few times down chatting with the cheerleaders and such.    Anyway, When Joe got up to go do a promotion on the field, Eva started yelling and screaming for him to look at her.  He waved and started saying, Hey, hows it going and such.  She immediately wanted to go sit down with him.  I think it's the hair.
Friday night we ate at La Pasadita with our daughter.  I'm just going to say, it was good and we had a great time.  We had to leave a large tip because Roxanne felt like I was being a creeper with the young waitress.
You be the judge:  She was saying that she wanted to get another tattoo but didn't know where she should put it.  Without hesitation, I said, "On your butt."  How is that creepy in any way?  Okay, I think we'll have to stick to breakfast at La Pasadita.  Oh, notice the band-aid on my knee?  I had my second set of Euflexxa shots on Friday.  The second set hurt a lot more than the first set.

Getting windy here.  Let the rain come down!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Poor Parking Etiquette...

I'm a parking lot Nazi, I admit.  I absolutely despise when people drive the wrong direction and then pull into a parking spot requiring that they have to do all sorts of backing up and straitening out to fit between the lines, or worse, just park over the lines.  I hate when people take two spaces, not because they are trying to save their car from the door dings of other inconsiderate jerks, but because they are too lazy to take an extra second or two and park right.

On the other hand, I often find great humor in the idiots that park and shop at the same HEB Plus in Lytle that we go to.  Take this freak of nature.
Now, if I had to speculate, I say that when he arrived, some inconsiderate jerk had pulled way too far into the parking spot which caused the owner of this van to park where he did.  But when we got there, he was just parked all willy-nilly, six feet from the front line. The passenger side of the van was riding the line.

And this is what it looks like with the ass-end of the van parked completely out in the aisle.  This was around 10 in the morning so I think a breathalyzer would not be completely unwarranted.

In other news: We were disappointed to find that my DirecTV package could not get the Time Warner Sports Network channel that was carrying the UTSA vs Marshall game on Saturday.  Probably a good thing given the outcome.  But I did try to purchase it through Marshall's online network.  They are affiliated with CBS Sports.  So a while before the game, I log in to see that you can sign up for a month for $9.95.  I do, and when the game starts, the prompt for the video disappears and now all we get is the radio version.  WTF?  I can listen to the radio for free.

I ended up sending a nasty e-mail to CBS Sports and they apologized, blaming it on Marshall, and refunded my $9.95 immediately.  Truth is, my Internet is so dial-up-like slow that it is tough to watch something in HD unless it comes from Netflix or Hulu.  Even YouTube is a stretch.  I'm just glad CBS Sports was not a jerky about it.

According to the special weather app on my phone, it is a brisk 55 degrees in Natalia this morning and the fact that I just cleaned our hot tub tells me that it might be worth getting in this evening.  And if the news is right, I might even go back to work tomorrow.  If not, Eva promises that we will tackle the garage looking for items I can put on Craig's List or donate to the Devine Area Hospice Thrift Shop.  I keep telling Eva that I am not qualified to go on Hoarders because my piles of crap are organized on shelves, and you won't find any smashed-flat cats or years old soiled diapers. 

Anyway, we'll see what happens.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Removing the Junk Yard...

Just a word about the furlough:  I don't think of this as some sort of paid vacation.  Far from it.  There have been multiple statements made by politicians characterizing it as such.  To them, thanks for assuming that things will all work out and eventually, I'll get paid.  My mortgage company and the two banks I pay car loans to don't necessarily feel the same way.  This year, I've already lost 48 hours of pay due to furlough.  And during this congressional impasse, I'm going into day 4 which is another 32 hours.  I will be thankful if over the weekend there is some signal to return to work.   If we end up being paid anyway, why not just let us stay at work?  I'll tell you why.  Because it looks better when politicians from both sides can point to the terrorists on the other side as being the reason for shutting down the government.  Terrorists?  No.  Idiots?  Absolutely.

In the mean time, there is work at home to be done.  On Wednesday, I decided it was time to attack the junk yard that I have been slowly growing since we moved out here.  See, the thing is, we have a once a week trash pick-up that only takes bags of trash, and lightweight ones at that.  There isn't one of those big garbage trucks that comes around to compact everything and move to the next house.  Instead, a little old man tosses the plastic Hefty bags up into a tall trailer.  He pleads for people to keep the trash to about 20-25 pounds.
 With no organized recycling going on, we burn everything we can - any cardboard, paper, all the junk mail we get.  That reduces the trash a bit, but what about bulky items that can't be burnt?  Big plastic things that are too big to put in a trash bag or old pieces of metal?  The answer is, my own private junk yard behind the garage.
A while back I fenced in this small area so I could park the lawn trailer, the wheelbarrow and stack used lumber, but eventually, it just became a place to toss all items that didn't fit the garbage bag or the burn barrel.  With time on my hands and Eva safely off visiting her mother, I got to work.
The first step was to get everything out and separate it into categories.  Things that I needed to save (like lumber), things I needed to take to Ashley Steel (the metal), and things I needed to get rid of.
Before long I had a truckload of items for the salvage yard in Devine.  That little trip netted me a crisp $8.00.  The fact that they paid me versus me paying them is the key.
I also made a new lumber stack on the other side of our house behind a fence in part of the yard we never really use.
From there, it was a matter of removing the fence.  Since I used screws instead of nails, it was fairly easy (not so, say my knees) to unscrew the fence boards and take it all down.  I'll save all the boards for use in later projects.  The 4 X 4 posts are still in place.  I'll just need to get a shovel, dig around them, then break up the cement.  Sounds hard, but it really isn't that bad (not so, say my knees).

The area behind the garage is where we plan to install a new shed eventually.  Part of another longer term project we have.
 In knee news, today was my first in a series of Euflexxa shots.  I can say without hesitation that the shots did not hurt like you might expect when they stick a huge-ass needle into your knee.  In fact, for the left knee, I only felt a small stick, then it was over. 

 The right knee did offer a few seconds of slight discomfort, but unlike steroid shots I've had that seemed to take a full minute to inject, the Euflexxa was injected in seconds, and done.  I don't know why, but I was a little surprised by the blood, but that was also quickly swabbed up and contained with a friendly super hero Band-aid.  I walked out feeling pretty good, and I even commented to Eva that I felt like I could feel something like a coating between the bones, instead of that bone on bone grinding I've come to dislike. 
Unfortunately, I think I over did it by walking for an hour or so around the Alamodome at the Home and Garden Show (do not waste your money) and by the time we left there, I was in considerable pain, walking all stiff-legged like one of the zombies on The Walking Dead.  We'll see how it feels tomorrow.  Full disclosure:  I did not win a $10,000 energy make-over.  Then again, I did not sign up for it, either.  That character is supposed to be one of those new energy efficient light bulbs that, if you break it, you have to call a HazMat team to come clean your house.  He seemed like a nice guy.

Next project:  Clean the hot tub.  Then get in it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Cluttered Desk is the Sign...

So as expected, I went into work, wrapped up in a cool and efficient manner, all things necessary to efficiently shutdown my portion of the government.  Several people commented on my humorous automatic out-of-office reply which made reference to my preference of taking unpaid vacation days rather than cashing in on earned comp-time hours.  It doesn't matter, other than in principle.  My guess (based upon nothing other than guessing) is that this will be short lived.

But I won't waste this time speculating or being mad at elected officials.  I have lots to do.  This, I confess, is my desk at home.  My wife is horrified by the thought of someone coming to our home and seeing it.  One of my goals is to get all those CD's and deliver them to the donation place in Devine.  Surely, someone will pay a buck each for a good cause.  I also have just a bunch of paper to be filed or discarded and frankly, I couldn't even tell you what month the desktop calendar buried under my pile of crap is on.  Today, we find out.
My project to scan in all the pictures found in the top of my parent's closet has been ongoing but slow.  This box represents about 2% of what needs to be done.  If I can't get to scanning, that will be good news because it will mean I go back to work soon. 

And then there is the stuff that needs to be done outside.  Oh, if you only knew how much needs to be done, whether my knees want to or not.  The jacuzzi needs to be cleaned, I have a wood pile that needs to be sorted and moved, and I have a bunch of junk not suitable for donation that needs to be recycled or burned or discarded.  Plus, I think I'm going to move a fence.  My weedeater is loaded with string and the blades on my mower are only a few cuts old, so there is always that.

As Tone Loc might say, Let's do it!

And Another Furlough...So Let's Review the Game

Yes, the idea of getting through sequestration without a huge financial backlash seemed too good to be true.  And now a government shutdown.  I have to go into work this morning to put on my "out of office" message on my e-mail, mark out the time card with annotations that I've been furloughed, then come home and get ready for Eva's forthcoming to-do list.  What can ya do?

 In the mean time, we had a great time on Saturday seeing the UTSA Roadrunners get spanked by the University of Houston Cougars.  It was a great game with, in my opinion, UTSA really leading the way up until the end of the 3rd quarter when the 'runners just fell apart.
We went early so we could watch the parade as it was.  The team and the band and all the cheerleaders and dance squads take a nice stroll through Sunset Station on the way to the Alamodome so the fans can show appreciation.  This was a new character I had not seen before.  Orange Guy?
Those are some big flags.  They start off with the flags back and forth up and down the street, then the parade gets started.
First, a police escort with Rowdy and I am assuming some sort of ambassador student.
And then, incredible coach, Larry Coker and the staff.

Followed by the players in warm-up uniforms, most with iPods jammin' to their tunes. Or a big sledge hammer.
Can't have football without cheerleaders...
Or the dance team.  Actually, during half-time, the dance team had a really nice little 60's style number.  The thing was, it only worked because they all have long hair.
And then the flag team.  Lots of flags to give excitement to the band during half-time.
And finally, the band comes marching down the street through Sunset Station.
After the parade, we decided to take advantage of the food trucks parked along the street, and I had an awesome burger and tots from Cheesy Jane's.  By the way, these food trucks are quite the ticket as far as I'm concerned.  Eva and Roxanne got food from Jersey Mike's and from Augie's BBQ while us boys all had Cheesy Jane's.  Something from everyone.
Oh, and there was dessert too.  Yes, Roxanne finished an entire cotton candy, by herself with no help from anyone!

I love the openings to the games.  Everything about the music and the fog just adds to the excitement.
But what really got us was that Milton from Office Space turns out to be a huge Roadrunner fan.  I love that guy.

Okay, remeber I told about the situation with the drunk guy who stood for most of the first half during the first home game, causing distress for the fans behind him?  Well, he brought his sister this time.  Oh. My. God. (As the kids on the Internet say).  I did not take any pictures because, no matter how innocent it is, there is nothing good that comes from a guy my age taking pictures of a drunk college girl unless she happens to be my daughter and I'm just taking pictures for the family photo album.  I'm sure you can understand.

Anyway, we figured out pretty early that this chick was hammered.  When she stumbled out to get a beer, she came back and bypassed our row by about 10 rows.  I'm almost certain the only way she found her way back is that she made eye contact with my son and me as we were not so discreetly laughing at her.   This is in the first quarter.  Later, we looked back and she made the obvious moves of a person about to blow chunks all over the person in front of her.  She was helped by family members who took her out of the stands to assist her.  With another tray of nachos and another beer to wash it down.  Good times.  Can't wait to see what happens at the next game.

One other quick note.  Eva made fun of me for my flirtatious behavior with the nice lady seated next to me during the last game.  This time, my son took the seat where I was so I wouldn't be tempted to take happy snaps with strange ladies.  Turns out, an 85 year old grandmother was enjoying her first live football game, and she just LOVED sitting next to my son.  They got along famously.  It always helps to have a nice young man explain the finer points of the game to you.

And that's it - off to start my last day of work until the government can get its collective act together.