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Happy birthday Val, hope you have a happy and relaxing day with family. Put the worry beads away, kick back and relax - what will be, will be (thanks Doris) - and - don't worry, be happy (thanks Bobby).



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Sorry, Jadeite, I tried to take pictures  but hardly any came out, my phone was acting very wonky. According to our waitress that's 'normal'. "It's almost like the building decides what you can shoot," she smiled. Might be so, because none of the 'people' pics I took came out.  

Jess and Jan (her boyfriend) took me to South Moon, housed inside historical Gray's Mill.  Built in 1853, its original purpose was as a water-powered turbine flour mill on the Fox River. It operated until 1916, when ice in the river destroyed the dam. Electricity allowed the mill a replacement power source until it shut down in 1922. For the next several decades, the mill stood empty. In 1945, Ernest Anfinsen purchased the building to manufacture automotive parts. The building was again abandoned following Anfinsen's death in 1971. It was acknowledged as a historic site and was renovated in 1976.

It's a weird combination of restaurant/beer garden, museum bits, and an arcade, right on the river.  Main floor, dining room (which was closed when we went), downstairs; bar (which also serves food), and one of the upper levels houses an old time arcade.  We got to sit by a cozy fireplace, and I was seriously in awe of their tres elegant table settings - 'napkins' were a roll of paper towels - seriously. Country dining at it's finest, that prides itself on it's sauces: you can purchase some to take home in pint mason jars. 

They had a fried potato salad (I didn't care for it) whose blurb read "Kick your mother in the teeth", and a sandwich billed as "only for the hungriest" called the Chuck Norris.  Jess and I ordered the ribs, and Jan got something called 'the Steve' which was a combo of pork and brat on the same bun. He used a lot of Nitro sauce on it (glutton for punishment?) We had Cajun fries and fried pickles, for our appetizers and sides. Which also struck me odd, no sides were included with the meal, everything was ala cart.  Both Jan and Jess have eaten there before an warned me the portions are HUGE, so we just ordered the appetizers for the table, and shared them.  'HUGE' was not the right word for the slab of ribs plunked down in front of me. Try HUMONGOUS!  I only managed to eat 5 of them (ribs not slabs lol). So, dinner's in the fridge. 

I was also given a bouquet of pink hydrangeas.  So all in all a very nice birthday.

o (3).jpgo (1).jpg



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What!! No little furry paws pinching your chips and ribs? omg.gif

I'll try and keep this a secret from the ATBU (Australian Teddy Bear Union) but the cheeky ones keep looking over my shoulder. wink.gif

Luckily, they can only read a few bear swear words. disbelief.gif



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Val, you've got to make another trip back just to explore that place. It sounds fascinating. I love historic places.

How strange that the people photos didn't turn out. Which reminds me: I must get T-Rex to download my photos from Singapore. I took lots of food shots. Haha - you can tell where my priorities were.

That's a huge slab of ribs. What was it from? It's like a T-Rex portion - side of brontosaurus! You got takeaway for dinner too - that's good.

Great to hear you enjoyed your birthday. It's about time you had good things happen to you. And flowers too - that's perfect.

BIG hug to you from T-Rex, me and the bears.

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I can tell you the ribs were pork. Some pigs get around 300 pounds, but as to breed...got me. Definitely HUGE , I got 3 meals from it.  (I refused to share with Jerome, as he had eaten an entire roasted chicken.)

I read the bear tale, very enjoyable. 

Dear me, the Jerome drama just will NOT stop, I'm afraid.  I came home from work to be informed the toilet needed 'worked on.' He claims he tried unstopping it all day.  It took me a while, but I finally got it all flushed. As I was working on that, I hear him swearing about the heat being on (it reached close to 75 yesterday). I frowned because it didn't feel on to me. Checked the radiator in my room - not on. First radiator in the living room, not on. He keeps screaming at me that the one behind the chair is on. I go over and touch it. "It's in cool down." "HOW? It hasn't been cold in WEEKS!"   (Umm yeah, over night it dipped to 34, has been like that. Yesterday was the first time we've broken 60 this year.) So I try explaining about the heat kicking in anytime the interior temp dips below a certain point, and because these are steam radiators they take a long time to cool completely off. That one sits by a window so the metal is naturally warmer  from the sun beating on it - and he starts Hulking his shirt, while screaming now he had NOTHING to wear. He then tried tearing the coat I'd bought him. I kept a safe distance, while he screamed at me about the shirt like it's my fault, and how now he was a prisoner because he can't go anywhere without a shirt.  He puts on his coat and stomps down to the basement. 

He comes up and tries playing the pity me card, which I was having none of, although I came close to smacking him a couple of times. Remember he has a tendency to take everything to the dark extreme. So, I say I'll look at the shirt and see if I can fix it.  Sarcastically he says, "I don't think it can be fixed. Can YOU make buttonholes?"  "Wouldn't need to make them, just repair them, and yeah, I can. I'm magical that way, and if YOU don't mind your manners, I won't try."   I fixed the shirt, wishing I still had a machine, but things are what they are.  I handed it to him and said, "That is the LAST time I'll fix it. " Idjit looks at me, "Why?" "Because when you act like a fool and tear things up, you are disrespecting the person who tried to help you. Did you buy this shirt? No. The elder at your church bought it for you out of his own pocket. You haven't had it a month and it looks like crap because YOU not only don't take care of it, you hurt it.  Same as if you spat in his face. People keep trying to help you, and instead of valuing that, you act as if it's owed you and show gratitude by destroying?  You think I just sat here, fixing this, just so you can be stupid again?  Don't think so. I keep fixing it, then I'm as stupid as you are for ruining it - just wasting my time. Do not disappoint me. Start appreciating what you DO have." 

He started to start towards me with this LOOK on his face, like maybe he was going to try and hurt me.  I felt my body shift, my core tighten - just in case, and I heard myself say, "Lit-tle man, are you SURE you want to tangle with me? You know you've already lost." Right away he's all "No no no. I was just going to get a drink."  Uh-huh...maybe so.  Sometimes, scary Val still speaks up, and I guess she's just had enough of his nonsense.

 



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Val,

I'm worried about you!

No, not eating the ribs all by yourself (that would feel like drawing out your birthday for an extra day). That's a good thing. smile.gif

These flashes of rage - are they getting more frequent and more confrontational or do you think they'll abate, once things start to settle down? Has Kirby's reaction to Jerome changed?

Sorry Val, only questions and no answers (frustrating).

One more question - Has his mental state deteriorated with a change in medication?

Of course, you don't have to answer this. Not here anyway.

Please take care.



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Pork ribs beat beef ribs any time. I like mine with smoky BBQ sauce. I do a delish Asian marinate with hoisin, soy and plum sauce.

The teddy bears are glad you enjoyed their zombie dust bunnies adventure. They're already clamouring for their next storytime.


Jerome, Jerome, Jerome. You know what they say: the bigger they are...

Well Val, all I want to say is that if he ever looks at you funny again - flatten him.

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I'm not a 100% sure, but I think I'm closer to solving what's wrong with Jerome.  To answer T-Rex, no Jerome has always had some anger/ paranoid issues, although usually not for days on end, just 'normal' (for lack of a better term) flare ups that you could say 'ok because of x happening he's frustrated', and it would ease up.  I think currently it's a culmination of things, and with his tendency to go to the dark side of the moon it's all amplified. Apparently, he's having issues with the girlfriend. Sounds like the makings of a break up that should have happened long ago.  I just have a hard time with a heroin drug addict, claiming to be getting clean while hanging out with their drug dealer ex-boyfriend, who thinks she is still his girlfriend.  Oh well, not my business. Unless he's in my face.

I'm really tired out from work. So I'm keeping this short.



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I understand.

I do hope that Jerome can get out of his situation unscathed.

A quote from the SAS is "Get your head down whenever you can". In other words - when sleep deprived, take every opportunity to have a nap.

So, don't look at this message until you've had a good sleep. Hmm, I think that's an oxymoron. 



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Well you know you're tired when you get offered a belated birthday dinner and you ask for a rain check.   confuse Jan wasn't looking too energetic either. 

I really should pay more attention to Jerome's 'conversations' with Kirby - he tells that cat all kinds of things.  That's how I found out about the gf  situation.  Don't get me wrong, I talk to Kirby too, but more in the vein of, "Get your furry butt -" and "What are you crying about?", not "here's my problem help me solve it." Still I guess it's a step up from talking to himself, which he does out loud, LOUDLY all the time. Whatever helps to work his issues out.

Not sure I'll survive til the end of the school year. Whomever is making up the menus obviously has no clue. Next week I need to make extra sub rolls every day (this week is knots) to the tune of 1,675 'extra' for the week.  I'm getting nether help nor extra time for it.  Their solution is make them up early (this week). Really when?  So I tried skipping breaks in order to get some done, and got in trouble for that. Oh pass the cheese to go with my whine.  Be glad when it's over.

 

 



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I knew Kirby had the answers. wink.gif If only that cat could talk "people" or you could speak "cat"... What secrets of the multiverse would you learn? omg.gif
My business analysis training tells me of a few strategies you could try at work:nerd.gif
1. Plot out a Time-in-Motion study of the time taken for each and every step required of all the tasks. This will show the scope and volume of work that is entailed.
2. Suggest ways to streamline, cut down on duplication or better alternatives to achieve your targets. Highlight the value-add benefits.
3. Put together a more realistic menu with achievable timelines that don't half-kill the staff at the end of the day.
4. Point out cost savings in materials, time saved, plus with more productive output in a cost-benefit analysis.
5. Pull it all together in a Performance Improvement Plan.
6. Present your PIP to the Big Bosses. twocents.gif
7. Run for the hills!

Val, after all the drama and trauma you've been through, a bit of actual wine won't go amiss. I'll pass you some double brie, foie gras, truffle salsa, cabonossi, quince jelly and crackers to go with it.
Well, on the bright side, sunnysideup.gif you still have another birthday dinner to look forward to!cake.gif



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Today was hard, and frustrating, and things were constantly being said to me about my work that makes me want to quit.  No matter what I said or tried to explain it didn't make a whit of difference. At one point, the acting manager actually said to me, "Quit acting like you've got something when you have nothing" this was about the 900 breads I did today, on top of my usual work.  I know, I didn't imagine  or misunderstand something because Trish ( a co-worker) came over to me and said, "Just ignore her. Just figure it's the way she talks. You've got a lot here."  I don't know what the heck she thought would happen with both proofers going down. She kept saying to me, "You need to STRETCH the dough before proofing", and I kept saying , "It's frozen. We've got it trayed, but it needs time to thaw." And then she's barking at poor R to  get them in the steamer (which can convert to proofer) like they magically thawed them, and asking every 5 minutes why aren't they in the ovens.  Good Lord in Heaven.  I've a good mind to not show up for work Monday.  Or to tender my resignation and name her as the cause. 

Of course I get 'it'. Next week is another dog and pony show. And because idiots created the menu, my bread is part of the main entree.  So bread that would be fine any other time is like an OMG event.   The 3 of us, Cook, ast. cook, and myself are being pushed to the limit.  And NO ONE is listening to us. No one is 'getting' where we are coming from.    Cook is probably the calmest of us 3, and her fuse is close to going off.   Be so glad when this is over.

Jerome took one look at me when I came in (mid-swear at his cell at that) and said, "You want a pop? I'll get it for you. You ok?"  I just sort of nodded and went to change.  Just been back here in my room half crying from frustration.  



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Oh no! You used that dreaded word!!

Acting Manager.

My company abolished the term 'Acting' as this was seen (by other Managers) as someone less than a Manager and only a temporary position - 'just ignore them and eventually they'll go away'. After long discussions in the boat (waiting for a fish to bite), my fishing buddy and me came up with three types of Acting Managers.

1. Achtung Manager: Flick any decision from above, straight to your people and if not carried out, you will all be pelted with rocks of dough at dawn. This is about Control. Big disaster.

2. Actual Manager: Pull your team together and ask them how to make the 'decision from above' work. The phrase 'can't be done' will not be used. Minimize risk of not delivering. 

3. At Sea Manager: Flick any decision from above straight to your people and when the rocks of dough are wheeled out, run away and hide. This is about Panic. Hope will not avoid disaster.

 

Seriously Val, don't make any decisions until you've had a good night's sleep. If worrying about work is stopping you from sleeping, then do a brain dump straight into your journal. It's sometimes amazing reading the brain dump next morning over a cup of coffee. Also, sounds like Trish and the Cook have already experienced this situation before.



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Stuff going on that makes me go, "Hmmm..."  Past couple of days, Jerome has 'found' at least 2 of his nonexistent shirts.  Which is good, don't get me wrong, but there is part of me that wonders if maybe he thought I'd buy him some, if I thought he had none.  Admittedly the ones he has worn are barely above rags, but until he starts treating things with some respect, the bank of Val is remaining closed (nothing in it anyway).

He decided to make fried chicken for dinner. The already made kind that you just stick in the oven for like an hour. He  knows I've been craving fried chicken for a spell, so he bought some special this week. He also found a scary movie for me to watch, Annabelle: the Creation.   So we're watching and the place begins to fill with smoke.  Not good.   I go and open some windows and flick on the vent. He always forgets to do that.  Mean while he's whining how his eyes are stinging, and the vent's not working - blah, blah.   I tell him to check on the chicken while I try to open some windows in his room, he says none of his windows will open, and I say I'll try anyway, because we need to get the air circulating to clear it.  

I walked into a wall of heat - His room was broiling! It was warm out, but not that hot. The base heater was on high, so I turned it off.  I cringe at the broken panes in 2 of the windows, that he had tried to hide from me, and I discovered when moving stuff for the exterminators.  At least they both have storm windows. I get a couple of others open (there's like 12 windows in that roomconfuse). Meanwhile Jerome is erupting in the kitchen something about the chicken being burnt and there's nothing for dinner. I hear things being slammed, and him storming into the living room. I go out and pull the chicken from the oven. A bit singed on the edges but not burnt, burnt. 

I deliver the good news and ask him why the heater was on high.  He tells me it was off. I say, I just turned it off. And he snaps, "Well then it's been that way for like 2 f***in' years."  Okkkayyyy....

I went to bed early. Figured best place for me, and I was almost asleep when I hear him swearing and tearing the livingroom apart, yelling that he can't find his keys (end of the world of course). I lay there until it escalated to the point it sounded like things were in danger of being destroyed.  I get up, and say, "Ok where did you have them last?"  In return I get, "Well I came in didn't I? In this f***in' apartment, you stupid b****." 

I'll admit, after the day I'd had, it was tempting to go 12 shades of psycho on him, to get in his face and tell him what's what. But, I grew up with the King of psychological warfare.  I also have a rather keen sense of observation.  "Alright...let's retrace your steps-" "I already looked!" "But you are not me - and do not possess my powers," how's that for dramatic? Crack myself up sometimes.  "Let's see, you probably rushed in , running for the bathroom. You were wearing your vest as a shirt. No?" He's looking at me, eyes wide.  "You changed in the bathroom..."  Now, I know that he usually flops down in my arm chair - the reason it's broken in the seat. Logic says they're probably there, but I think Jerome needs a bit of a show. Something to nag at his mind a bit, and make him reconsider his actions.  I stand in the middle of the room and extend my hands to better pick up vibrations, and tilt my head a bit as if listening. "Spirit, will you help me? Show me Jerome's keys, please." I walk over to the chair and pull his keys from between the arm and seat.  Jerome is googled eyed exclaiming he'd looked there as I dangle them from one finger. "Thank you, kind Spirit," I say outloud and add the twist, "What's that?" I **** my head and frown a tiny bit, as if listening. " He did what? He put a hole in the kitchen sink door!?" It's true, I had noticed it, during his fit he had kneed a small hole. I throw him a glare, and watch him gulp.  "Yeah, I suppose that would be ok. But don't really hurt him. Thank you." 

"What's he say?" Jerome's voice is actually subdued.

"He wanted to know if it was ok to smack you upside of the head now and then, when you deserve it."

"Oh my God, something unseen has been smacking me in the head when I walk to the bathroom, last couple of days!"  I already knew this, as he makes such a production of it.  

"Guess he's been showing disapproval of the way you've been acting."

"How do I make him stop?"

"That's easy. Stop ticking  him off." With that I returned to bed.  We'll see what that does.

 



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Bwahahahaha!!! Jerome will rue the day; morning, afternoon, evening and night. evileye

What a brilliant performance, Val! Make him sweat every now and then. It'll keep him on his toes.

While the Spirit "moves" him, you should get him to apologise for calling you names. Besides, he forgot your title: it's Her Majesty Queen B***h, you common plebeian. If he's going to resort to name-calling, he should at least get the details right. furious

BTW, tell him that the Spirit also wants him to get a referral to see a counsellor about anger management issues...or else! rage.gif



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Val, a spirit slapping Jerome in the back of the head? That's very scary! shocked.gif

OMG! We've got an American show on our TV called 'NCIS'. The character 'Gibbs' is always slapping 'DiNozzo' in the back of the head (for being stupid).

Maybe your spirit is an astral projection of 'Gibbs'. Now that's comforting and scary all at the same time.



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Oh, exciting news - T-Rex has finally downloaded all my photos from my little Canon. I've got over 400 pictures to go through. Some will have to be censored.gif as the camera is very harsh on my less-than-model-perfect figure. Yes, I was a fine figure of 2 women (put together) in some of the past ones.

I'll sort them out and put together a travel journey.

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

  


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Looking forwards to the pictures, Jadeite. I never think pictures of me, look like me.  Must be some sort of perception thing on my behalf. 

Last night I thought I'd take a bit of a lie down around 6. Wasn't feeling so great, as the day started out with Jerome having a meltdown because he couldn't find his IDs. He thought maybe they had slid down under the sofa. Without thinking I lifted the sofa end and moved it. Retrieved the ID, and shoved the sofa back a bit. No biggie, sofa's only about 200 pounds, and not like I lifted it over my head or something, still I should know better then to use cold muscles like that, and I had literally just rolled out of bed. (I was awake but being lazy.)  I want to say it was around 6 AM, because I was waiting for it to be a decent hour to create noise moving stuff about. (Place is still a wreck, and I'm just putting furniture back in place.)  

I went back to my room and decided to rehang the painting my dad did for some art contest. He was 80 and nearly blind, so it isn't nearly as good as some of his other works. I keep it in my room because it definitely makes a statement. It says, there is a freakishly large painting on my wall.  I'm going to say 4 feet x 3 feet canvas, in a heavy plaster frame.  It's a religious painting of Genesis 14:18 :  "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God."  I think it took 3rd place, but I'm not sure.  Anyway not so heavy as awkward for someone under 5 feet tall to handle alone. 

After I hung that, I decided to move the behemoth of a desk I have. Circa 1942, heavy oak with a slate top, 'teacher's ' desk.  Think I've mentioned it before, anyway it is freakin' heavy even empty. Move one side, runaround, move other side, run back and keep repeating until you've got it where you want it.  Only way to move large, heavy things by yourself, and not do yourself some serious mischief.   Then it was move the old dresser converted into a bookcase of sorts, and my ancient dresser back into place.   I love that old relic, even though I know once I go it will probably end up in the trash heap somewhere. Dovetail drawers, and standing on metal casters. All the drawers have locks, which if the key still existed would be useful. Dark cherry wood, I think.  Still has all the original hardware.  I'd date it back to the late 40's, early 50's.  

By early afternoon, my muscles are beginning to sing, even though I took breaks.  Jerome came home and we had a talk about how is he going to pay for repairs to things he's broken, and that he has to stop being so lazy and get some of this work done.  Of course this set him off (again), but I have had it.  I told him that it was all just too bad, so sad, and maybe he should talk to his guardian about some cash to pay for the broken stuff, and I do not care if he can't do a lot, he can bloody well do something, like quit being a slob at least, and making my life harder than it needs to be. He started trying to hulk his shirt again, and I said, "Stop it! You're being a stupid git! You think that bit of drama scares me? Think again." I kept my voice level, deadly serious. He froze for a second then started apologizing, which normally would be good enough, but not this time.  "I don't want your words, I want proof. I want to see by your actions that you are truly sorry. Sorry means you truly regret what you've done, and will try not to do it again. You understand that? You are NOT stupid and worthless, so quit acting like you are thinking it will get your way. What it will do is show you the door. Being a grown up means accepting the consequences for your actions.  You understand?" He nods."Alright then, let's move on." He went to the bathroom - guess I was scaring the piss out of him???  I hear him yelp that something just hit him in the head -again. I call back, "Be glad he doesn't kick you in the ash!"  

He comes out rubbing his head and saying, either 'my' ghost is smacking him or he has some kind of neurological problem. I shrug, "Sounds like something you need to mention to your doctor." 

So like I said, around 6ish I decided to have a bit of a lie down while some pain relievers took effect. About 7 (I guess Jerome went out) I hear Jerome at the door talking to himself, about forgetting his keys, and wondering if he should wake me up. So I get up and let him in, and laid back down.  Imagine my surprise that I slept until 2:30 this morning.  Must've been more tired than I thought. 



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Val, you really must take care of your lower back and other parts of you. worry.gif Listen to your body, especially when your muscles are starting to talk back to you. Whenever I've ignored my joints, they'll gleefully punish me for it. It's ok to have a lazy weekend to recover. Or even a restful evening. Just sit around and do some reading. reading.gif Do nothing more challenging than fixing yourself a pb&j sandwich or getting a bottle of soda pop from the fridge.

Is there some ghostie thingy bothering Jerome or is he accident-prone in the bathroom? Like astigmatism impacting on his spatial judgement? I know it's a bit wicked of me, but it makes me giggle at the thought of the timely-administered smacks. devilish.gif

Take care of yourself. Sending you my well-wishes that you will get through this week just fine.

 



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I've been going through my photos and thought I'll share a few of my favourite memories.

We visited some friends in 2016 who live near at the foot of the Dandenong Mountains in Victoria, Australia. The husband had a '92 Porsche that was his pride and joy for years. He took us out for a little spin on the freeway. It was such a thrill! biggrin.gif

That's probably the closest I'll ever get to the lifestyle of the Bold and the Beautiful...



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According to Jerome, there's nothing there to smack his head on. It seems to happen just before the bathroom door, while passing the kitchen bookcase.  Because of limited counter and cabinet space, the bookcase is used like a mini-pantry, and above it runs a long shelf. The only thing hanging that could possibly hit someone head height, are some pot holders, and I don't think that would carry much impact. 

Don't feel alone, I too get some satisfaction from it.  It's like karma in action.  Just like yesterday; remember how that manager was acting on Friday?  Telling me, "You CAN NOT run out of bread, it's part of the main meal," and stuff?  So what doesn't come in yesterday? No bread dough.  Apparently she did not order it.  I can not make what we don't have. So, if we do run out, totally so not my fault, it's her's. And, I have a couple of witnesses.  Usually just the thought of someone getting in trouble bothers me, but not this time.  Which worried me a bit, even though I know it's normal.

Oooh-la-la a porsche, eh?  Don't think I've ever ridden in one. Did a Corvette though.   These days the insurance on either, would probably make the rent/mortgage payment for a few months.   Sure is a beaute in the picture though.  



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The Porsche is certainly a work of engineering art. Well loved and maintained. The only drawback is trying to climb into the car, when you are over six feet and your joints threaten you with extreme amounts of pain.

Back in the 70's, my friend landed a job as a security guard. One of his jobs was to personally look after luxury cars while their owners were away. Every now and then, he would visit us down the beach in either a European Sports Car or American 'Muscle' Cars. I still have fond memories of being driven around in the king of cars - a Corvette Stingray! Sounded like an approaching thunder storm but was sublime to drive (except around corners). I still have nightmares about being driven around in a Porsche 911 Turbo. It's the only car I've been in that would throw you back into the seat and try to squash you when accelerating.

Val - Spot on with insurance. A lot of these cars could not be insured with an Australian Company and were referred to Lloyd's of London. Between cost of insurance and maintenance, you had to be rich, just to keep the car on the road.   



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We have quite the storm at the moment. Hail and hard rain, distant thunder.  It's having fun coming down hard for like 5 minutes, stopping completely, and then repeating itself. It's been like this all day, even causing a small power failure at work.  

Tomorrow is another 'visit', and I'll be glad when it's over.  If I hear, "It has to be PERFECT" one more time... *deep throat growl*.    All I can say is it better go over well, hate to think all this manjorial stressing was just paranoia.   

And here comes another downpour. Wind just knocked something over.  No idea what.  



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steaming.gif Storm was brewing at work too. I still don't understand the big hoo-ha I caused by jumping in and trying to help someone. I got accused of interfering and getting things wrong. Paranoia running amok or did someone have something to hide...?weirdface.gif

I won't be doing that again in a hurry. I hope this storm will blow over by tomorrow. It has been raging for a few days. Now the cold wind and cold shoulders are bringing winter early to my office space. Brrr. But all this fuss is causing my BS meter to tingle.  Perhaps I should keep my head down, looked suitably cowed < cowtwo.gif moo> and keep my eyes and ears open from now onwards.

Is the storm calmed down over your way, Val? Hope whatever got knocked over wasn't breakable.

I'm sure the 'visit' will go well, the bread will rise perfectly and you won't need to hurl rock buns at someone's head. mad.gif Not just yet anyway.



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I got a phone call today from an old boss. I actually enjoyed working for him, as I was allowed to be creative and we would both have fun pulling 'the old boys club' apart.

He was the only boss that visited me in intensive care and as he was leaving, asked if there was anything I needed. Thinking this was just a 'throw away line', I told him that I needed a TV to relieve the boredom. "No worries. Give me a few days and I'll be back." True to his word, he came back with a portable DVD player. I asked how much did I owe him but he said we could sort that out later (we never did).

Today, he told me where I was (health-wise) back in December and then asked how was I now? While giving him an update, I realized how far I'd traveled on the road to recovery. I laughed, recognizing one of his 'trick questions' which was designed to make me think for myself.

Gotta say that I always feel a bit better after recalling good times and having a laugh. Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough to go around.

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Another story with a happy ending this morning.

I was driving home after dropping Jadeite off at work. The radio's telling me that it is snowing in the mountains just to the west of Sydney but here I am cruising along the beach with clear blue skies and a little chill in the air - one of those autumn days when it feels good to be alive. I slowly drive around a blind corner in the road to be confronted by a lady chasing a Maltese Terrier off the road. She was driving in the opposite direction to me, and had stopped her car to in an attempt to save the dog from being run over. I decided to slowly come to a halt so the road was blocked in both directions.

The two drivers behind me got out of their cars to watch the spectacle which was fast getting out of hand with the lady joined by a pedestrian trying to round up the terrified ball of fluff. The little guy was determined not to get caught, so with little paws going 100 mph, it kept dodging their outstretched hands.

Eventually, they backed the dog into a corner and picked it up (getting an extended licking for their efforts). The lady waved us through but I felt guilty leaving the good Samaritan with her furry runaway. I drove a little further up the road and was passed by a police car, travelling towards the 'scene of the crime'. Somehow I knew that everything would be ok for all concerned and it is still a nice autumn day.

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It's 5:30 on a Saturday morning, and I'm enjoying the grey time.  The birds are just beginning to warm up their arias, and the noise of man is still.  Now and then I hear the rusty swing cry of a Blue Jay, and tiny chirpings of chicklings. Too young to know their type by their cries yet.  A couple of wrens flit past my window, catching my attention.  

My incredibly long To-DO list flashes in my mind, but I shove it aside. Not during the Grey Time. This is part of the most magical time of the day, when the night slowly peels back. This is when I feel as though, it's just me and God, enjoying a morning coffee and chatting things over.  No pressures of work casting its shadow across it. No convincing myself that I HAVE to go in, or feeling the gnawing of anxiety starting in my belly. Just me and God, gazing out over His creatures, as the nocturnals wander off to bed, and the early risers wake.   In my heart, I know this is the closest I'll get to being country again.  Most of the creatures are too smart to associate with man, so it isn't like it once was. Slim to no chance of catching a glimpse of fox or deer. Or the soft neigh of 'my' pony out in the pasture, calling me to come ride, or to at least bring him a treat. I miss those days. But they are from the long ago. Still the memory dances, and I am closer to nature here, then when I lived in the steel and concrete inner city, where even grass is rare, and you can look but mustn't walk on it, and bare feet just invite a tetanus shot. Here isn't so bad. At least I can lean out the window without my head poking into someone else's house.  

Awwe, glad to hear the puppy was saved, T-Rex.  

 



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Happy Mother's Day to all. Had a quick chat to my Mum in Singapore. It was good to catch up.

Here a tribute to all mothers, past, present, future. My favourite rendition of "Mama" by Il Divo (never fails to fill my eyes and warm my heart):

www.youtube.com/watch

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Such a sweet enduring song, Jadeite. However when my kids were small this one was more appropo...



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I don't whether to laugh, kiss, hug, throttle, or immediately disown this child! rofl.gif

It sounded suspiciously like one of the Bear Rebels, particularly when DJ wanted to do something beary special for Mummy Bear. Now we'll have to be on guard in case they get more bright ideas lightbulb.gif from their Aunty Val.

I'll definitely have to try that "vanilli" cake in the jaffle iron (sandwich maker) one of these days.

 

 



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Val - I've never heard this song before. Down to earth funny is my best way to describe it.

Back in the 60's, everybody would leave a note and money in their milk box. The milkman would deliver bottles of milk (according to the note) and take the money and previous night's empty bottles. Yep, it was a time when nobody locked up their house and left money in the milk boxes.

One night I woke up to find my brother climbing out of our bedroom window. I didn't say anything, just went back to sleep. I was woken again later with him climbing back in through the window. Again, I didn't say anything and went back to sleep.

I was woken early the next morning by three loud thumps on our front door (dad called it The Policeman's Knock). Dad answered the door sparking a muffled conversation ending in "That little bugger did WHAT". Our bedroom door burst open revealing dad and the two police officers. While I sat up, my brother pretended to still be asleep. This didn't last long as dad shook his bed so violently that he nearly bounced onto the floor. Dad growled at him "Where is it" but was answered by mum advising "All of you come out to the kitchen".

I followed them out to the kitchen to see a big pile of coins on the kitchen bench. All eyes turned on my brother who calmly admitted stealing the neighborhood's milk money to stop mum crying. Dad seemed to understand what had happened and gave my brother a short lecture on why stealing was wrong and the consequences, should it happen again. Mum gave him a big hug and then told him not to do it again. The policemen were happy as they got a cup of tea for their efforts. The milkman got his money (as he delivered the milk anyway) and I was left totally confused.

Oh, I almost forgot. How did the Policemen know it was my brother? He took dad's torch and shined the light around each property until he found the milk boxes. This woke quite a few people up who recognized him (even in the dark) because he kept the torch turned on.



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T-Rex, at least your brother's heart was in the right place. 

Because of the time zones, and you're so far ahead of me, I think it's Jadeite's birthday! 

So...let's sing the Happy birthday Song - Arrogant Worm style:



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Yep. It sure was Val.

All seemed to go very well - even singing the 'Birthday Song'.

Didn't know that Skippy the Bush Kangaroo had an older brother - Skippy the Big Kangaroo (with an American Accent??).



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Haha!!! Thanks for the Birthday song, Val.  Just the sort the teddy bears would sing too. You've obviously been spending time with them. Or have they been spending time with you? Hmmm...

Had a fantabulous birthday. The first one in a few years that T-Rex has been well enough to celebrate with me. cake.gif The best present ever - thank God and all the good people who helped make it so. We had a movie date in the morning, followed by flaky meat pie for lunch. Then dinner at a seafood restaurant at a beachfront hotel, spent the night there. I had lobster linguini in saffron oil with shiitake mushroom and fennel. T-Rex had braised pork belly with scallops - he gave me the scallops (yum). His chips were nice too.

Even squeezed in a late massage for my sore back after dinner. Had a bit of chiro work on my spine - scary little "crack" and I could suddenly move better. The woman was strong. Went all shiatsu on the knots in my lower back. My muscles complained, but I slept so well afterwards. sleep.gif

Nothing like watching the sunset over the water and with the soothing sound of the ocean as a lullaby... <sigh - bliss>

Then the alarm went off, time to wake up, pack up and off to work. But the experience kept a smile inside me all day.



-- Edited by Jadeite on Wednesday 16th of May 2018 08:19:47 AM

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Asking for prayers for my youngest brother. His cancer is back, this time in his stomach. From what he told me, it was kidney cancer, but when they removed his kidney, it moved to his stomach.  This is his third round with the big C. 

On the other hand, I just enjoyed a laugh (silently) at Jerome's expense. I'm in the bathroom and I hear him screaming, "What the hell? What the hell? Where is it!? Where is it!?"  Now, this wasn't his normal frustrated screaming, this was scared sounding.  I rush into the living room to find him in the doorway, fearfully looking around the floor, saying, "Where is it? Oh Gawwwwd.... Where IS it?"  

"Where's what?" I ask. 

"I was just crossing the rug and I heard a squeak! There must be a mouse under it!" I almost felt sorry for him being so terrified. I walk across the area rug - nothing. "I HEARD it. I know I did."

"Relax. I believe you." SQUEEEEAK...squeakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk... I turn my head towards the TV; where the guy is using a marker. 

With great relief, I hear Jerome say, "Ohhhh it was the TV!"   I'm sure it doesn't read as funny as it was.  Of course, meanie me, wonders if I could make that sound on purpose whenever he has me ticked.  SO not nice of me.

 



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Squeak-squeak. fear.gif (I'm bad - just couldn't help myself).

But I am truly sorry to hear about your brother, Val. My heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

Sending you all our love and best wishes for healing strength and positive energies.



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I swear today is like my brain is on the slowest train EVER.  I'm feeling alright, emotionally and physically, but...  *sigh*  I think my mind has wandered off somewhere.  

Trying to psych myself up to call my brother, Sean, and hear what the doctor had to say, but then I think I should wait until tomorrow as he might need time to absorb what is said.  But then I think, what if he needs that call now? I really should call my older sister, and let her know, but is she up for that sort of call?  What would it do but cause her worry?  They're pretty much estranged; but still...  we're family, and she does still care.  

Round and round my little mind runs, like a hamster on a lopsided wheel.  

Thanks for the prayers and energies, Jadeite. I've gotten a prayer chain started over on FB as well.   I think it'll do Sean good to see that. Folks from all over the globe sending good thoughts.  I'll be sure to tell him Australia is in the mix as well.  He's a funny bugger, as a Marine, he did get to see a fair piece of the world, yet he always seems amazed that I have contacts worldwide and have never left the states.  His argument against life on other planets? "If there were, you'd have friends there."  lol

 



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Val - all you need to do is ask. You were there for us too. aww

My brother-in-law is currently going through chemo for his myeloma, which is a type of cancer from plasma cells in the bone marrow. I went back recently to see him and Mum in Singapore. He's just undergone stem cell therapy to activate his white blood cells to boost his immune system. All cutting-edge technology. He's feeling the effects of the chemo at present but doing his best to stay positive.

Medical science can do marvellous things these days. God-willing. But knowing that others are sending kind thoughts and prayers helps too. Keeping our loved one positive and giving comfort is what we can do. The more prayers out there, the better.



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Val,

I'm wondering if your mind is sub-consciously weighing up the 'pros and cons' of what to do about making contact with your siblings. Every family is different and I'm sure you'll figure out what to do.

I've noticed that people react differently when coming face to face with mortality. Maybe their own or maybe someone close to them. For me, it was the loneliest time of my life. Jadeite knew me well enough to contact close friends, tell them of my situation and suggest they contact me. Receiving encouragement from somebody close, lifted me out of depression and did help in facing whatever was to come.

It's similar to a prize fight - you get knocked down and while you are on the canvas, you have the choice to get back up or stay down and concede defeat. I hope that Sean can get back up and knockout his opponent for a third time!



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You aren't far off, T-Rex, I do weigh the pros and cons.  Not just subconsciously either.  

I did call Sean, and then my sister last night.  The good news is that the cancer is in the very early stages, and they'll try to treat it with medication. Who knew there was a pill you could take for it???  Apparently it's just within the past year.  If your blood contains a certain enzyme then you're a candidate for it to work very well.  The bad news is it's metastasized from when it was his kidney, which means they'll never be 100% sure that it's actually gone, and it could show up anywhere.  But, for now we're going to ignore that, and hope that he gets to avoid the chemo and surgery. 

There was some good news from my sister's end as well. Her sight has improved a bit. Although still legally blind, she can now make out shapes and bright colors. She can't see texture or details and people are still just blobs, but it's improved a bit, making it safer for her to move around outside of her apartment. 

Today is going to be another long day of putting things back in the apartment. Jerome has a hard time understanding what is taking me so long to get it done, but like I told him, I'm now paranoid, and I will NOT go through this again, so each and every item has to be thoroughly examined before it can stay. Not as simple as just unpacking.  I know we having a city housing inspection coming up on the 12, so maybe that will keep me motivated.

 



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Val,

I'm so happy for Sean, your sister and you.

A wicked thought pops into my head when I hear about Jerome. It is the image of a kitten's toy (one of those rubber mice that squeaks when squashed) concealed in a lady's hand - poised to squeeeak - as the big guy goes wandering off to the bathroom.



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Keep the faith, keep strong and then just keep going...

Watch out for your back when moving stuff, Val. Do pay attention when your body starts talking back to you. Mine tells me all sorts of stuff like: hey, oh, ow, ouch, owie and then $%(*&)*%)% - meaning: don't do that again, stupid idiot!

Hey , how about hiding a squeaky toy under a bathmat and then waiting for Jerome to step on it? Sqeeeeeeeeeaaaeeakkk. Wonder how high can he jump?

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Lol you two are so funny!  

I seem to be making some headway today.  Which makes me feel a bit better.  It's a little bit funny, as by the tags on the bags, you can see how tired/frustrated I was getting. Example: 2 or 3 small bags marked "closet stuff", another couple marked "more closet stuff" (too bad I didn't mark which closet), and then you run across one marked, "Closet crap".   Well, at least I marked the bags, and I'm making sure I put things back and not just making another pile elsewhere. When I'm done, we'll see how much difference giving tons of stuff away made. 

I've also done a bit more work on Treasure of the Crimson Dread game.  It's slow going, but I hope you'll find it worth the effort. 



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Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, our rebel alliance made a valiant attempt to end the tyranny of Chaos in the Cupboard-Under-The-Stairs. It was doomed. The beary potters of Christmas past remain trapped within the murky depths of the Dagobah sector. We hope and pray that one day a powerful yoda bear might emerge, wise in the Force and help us tidy up and restore order in our multiverse.

That is my story and I'm sticking to it...

******************

p.s. BTW, the teddy bears have all piped up at the mention of "treasure".

'Pirates! Bucket-ears!' they chorus. 'Hooray for Aunty Val!!!'

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Hey guys, I was cruising through another site that we all know and came across another story about a ghostie disappearing into a cupboard. eyepopping.gif

Made me think of the problems associated with tagging and bagging any ghosts that may have snuck into your closet Val.

"Hey you, get your ghostly tuckus back in the bag - it's for your own good".

"Don't wail at me. You can slap Jerome in the head when everything's back to normal".

"If you don't behave yourself, I'll get the closet cleansed and blessed".

Have fun with those pirates, buccaneers and treasure.



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"Who knows what evil lurks under the stairs? Jadeite knows!Muhahahaha!" It's very true, things can reach a stage where we're just overwhelmed at even the thought of getting it started.

What truly amazes me is it seems impossible to really clean/organize without upsetting at least one other room.   I mean, seriously? 

You know what I found, T-Rex? My closet has a floor! Who knew!? If there were ghosties in it they hid well - probably afraid I'd put them to work, or launder them.

I told Peter about the broken windows in Jerome's room.   Idiot thought he could hide them from me, and he did at least for awhile, because I'm a big believer in respecting privacy. But, while prepping for the treatment I had to go in there, to move the furniture, etc.  I was shocked to find two of the windows shattered and 1 with a corner out. When or how he broke them, I do not know, but the fact that he tried to hide it - that burns me.  So, when Peter said Jerome had to pay to have them fixed, so maybe the idea of consequences seeps in, I agreed.  So last night I told Jerome he might want to give his guardian a heads up on he'd be asking for repair money.  That went over like a lead balloon. 

 He ranted on and on about how he has no money.  It wasn't working. Not this time.  I'm still a bit ticked he's paid nothing towards the treatment or even offered.  As Peter pointed out, Jerome has to learn about consequences and respecting others property, and this might help drive it home.  So while he ranted, I calmly ate my dinner.  I did not respond, I barely looked at him, except from my peripheral. If this went south, he wasn't going to get the jump on me. In the past, I would have tried to soothe him.  But, I know how that goes, money out of my pocket that he never pays back, unless I involve his guardian.  Then she makes sure it gets paid back, or that the bill is paid. I do realize he's thinking replace the window, and not replace the window pane, because he was saying it'd cost 1000s. But I didn't interject.  If the framing needs to be replaced as well, then I'll talk with Peter. Structural damage (wood rot) isn't our fault but ageing, and these are the old pulley windows.  But the glass part, yeah that should be on Jerome. 

He managed to work himself up to the point he was standing, looking like he was going into tantrum mode, but I still didn't look at him or say anything to give him an audience.   That seemed to work. He got the phone, sat back down and left a message for his guardian.  Minutes later he was laughing at something on TV back to normal.confuse

This makes me wonder how much of what he does is just a scare tactic trying to get his own way.   

 

 



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Hmmm...Interesting observation about Jerome. While you're at it, maybe you can remind him about the bed and the sofa -

[dodges as buttons go flying along with the sound of shredding fabric]

- plus all the shirts you've bought him. He can always pay you by instalment.

No rewarding bad behaviour!

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The installment plan. That only works if the person actually makes the payments. Jerome completely sucks at handling money, that's part of why he still has a state guardian, and gets an allowance. It's the only way to be sure that 'must' bills (like rent) gets paid.  

 



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Ah, those awesome morning experiences.

Again this morning, I was driving along the beach road heading home after I'd dropped Jadeite off at work. The traffic had stopped but I didn't care as I had a good view of the ocean and the big surf. Something caught my eye way out past the line of the breaking waves. It was something black, surrounded by white water; like a reef that should not be there. The reef then disappeared and was replaced by a whale jumping out of the water and landing back down with a huge splash - that explained the white water.

I watched the whale and her calf splashing around until I was tooted by the car behind me - the traffic in front had moved on. It struck me that a lot of people miss the simple pleasures in life when trying to cope with the stress of survival in this (somewhat) crazy world. 



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Drat, I was one of those people who missed out because I was trying to cope with the stress of suvivival in the jungle. Not fair!

Still, it is really nice living and working near the ocean. Coming home in the evening, we drive past the beach, check out the waves and admire the sunset firing up the sky out west.

Some years ago, I did see a mother and calf when we were down the south coast of New South Wales. We were on holiday, staying at a resort in Mollymook. Dave had gone out fishing when I heard people calling out. I looked out the window and saw what everyone was excited about: humpback whales. They were so beautiful.

Really wished we had our camera with the long-lens then. But our eyes are the best possible lens there are and it was a truly wonderful sight.

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