Monday, December 15, 2014

What a Waste

At least 5 years after removing the old, old 4 jet hot tub (OK, maybe it had 5 jets), yesterday I finally got around to disconnecting the pump, filter and heater that have all been sitting, collecting dust in the basement.

Any guesses how much it costs to throw out a hot tub these days? Me neither; but I can tell you it cost 75 bucks 5 years ago.

It was a pretty cool setup: hot tub embedded in the deck with no visible or audible pump or heater. The pipes ran into the basement where the whole operation kept us sweating.  Oh yeah, not exactly inaudible.  It needed a powered vent to meet code, so whenever the heat kicked on, the vent would crank up and cause the conversations to grow louder.

Pictured is not our exact hot tub, but you can see the setup here is exactly the same.  This one even looks just like our's did.:

One time we had 12 people in that little hot tub.  Some were kids, so the adults all kept their suits on.  Well, all except Justin; but hey; at least he didn't drown!

Eventually it needed repairs, and after being told that the life expectancy of a hot tub is 10, maybe 15 years, the decision to trash it was easy.  OK, not easy, but a no-brainer.  It surely was difficult to lose the old hot tub! But I'm sure the neighbors weren't sorry to see it go, with all those late night, loud conversations, streaked with the occasional nude jumps into the pool.

It must have been an amusing site, to see this decrepit, antique hot tub, overhanging the sides of my Dodge Dakota pickup, cruising down the freeway. I should have had a couple people sitting in it to add to the mirth.

Anyway, most, if not all modern hot tubs are self-contained, with the heater and other necessary parts tucked in just under the bathers.

So what to do with 20 year old, yet still operational hot tub infrastructure? Scrap it I guess.  I hope to get by without a $75 dumping fee.

Craiglist free listings? Maybe I should try to sell it first. Anyone want to buy a pool heater? It comes with a lot of memories!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let Us Pray

I'm not a religious person. Was raised Catholic, but it never really took. The rest of the family goes to church like . . . church-goers. But now I find I need to believe in all this and in a hurry.

And I need your help.

Oh Father, my good friend's mother has had a terribly massive stroke and has not regained consciousness. Please join me Internet – in sending Carol all the healing energy and prayers that we can muster. I hope our combined prayers can help Carol recover to enjoy another Christmas with her family and give Justin faith and even more strength to hold his family together. All glory and honor are your's almighty Father, forever and ever. Amen.

Hypocrite? Maybe, but my friend is in need and he may not know it, but I would do anything for him.

Would I do anything for Him? Only time will tell. Amen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steampunk Gala

I love music. Not too much into watching dance. With the 'stars'? Forget about it. I've never seen it. It's in the news; how can you miss it: "Chastity is an eWok". Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes, your parents choose your name.

Anyway, somehow I find myself on the mailing list of the Madison Ballet. I love the description from their latest offering: "Victorian-Industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans". This coming February they are holding a fund raiser: a Steampunk Gala.

Maybe I can become a ballet fan afterall! I receive these emails on a regular basis. Fit young women in tights, may have something to do with the fact that I've never acted to unsubscribe . . .

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer of '11 Already?

Look another post!

How not to make this blog into one of those dreadful Christmas letters? Little Timmy just lost his front teeth and mom caught him beating off in the bathtub? That would certainly be different. . . Christmas letter writers: no offense intended. I do appreciate catching up on the latest family news. Maybe I just get too many of them and of course, all at Christmas.

When my Marine daughter, now a Lance Corporal, was in boot camp she, like all armed forces members in basic training, needed encouragement. Or maybe it is the parents who need encouragement? Write to them all you can, so you can continue your feelings of being needed and having some purpose? Well write I did, and nearly everyday. And I did feel needed and I did have a purpose. Humm . . . But I did take Sundays off. My twisted logic was that there is no mail delivery on Sundays, so why write a letter? Of course, any letter send on Sunday, would probably start it's journey on Monday, albeit early, and would certainly make it's way there eventually. But writing everyday is not as easy as it may sound. The cat coughed up another fur ball? How exciting. Oh and the dog died. Tragically, our dog did die, but for obvious reasons, I didn't tell her until she had graduated from boot camp. Supposed to be upbeat, happy letters after all. Unlike this blog.

But it is really hard to write upbeat letters everyday. So I improvised. I found comics on the web, and told her how great we were doing. I scanned old (and new) family photos, and surrounded them with news of the incredible progress of my latest home remodeling project. And I tried not to think about a discussion I had with a friend. He attempted to explain to me what boot camp is like. He said, every time you think of her, know that she is being yelled at that very moment. On the head? Getting yelled at. Trying to sleep? Not for long.

At her basic training graduation, the then USMC Private, told us the story of one of her rack-mates who was caught looking at herself in the mirror by a drill instructor. The poor girl spent the next couple of hours, staring in the mirror, brushing her hair with her scus brush (which I think is a cleaning brush), and reciting "this recruit is so pretty, drill instructor", over and over again. Quite a sense of humor, on those drill instructors, no?

Anyway, the cat coughed up another fur ball and oh, the dog did in fact die. No American formula here!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

12 Days 'til Boot Camp, One Day 'til Grown Up

Hello my many fans! Quiet down all 3 of you now, while I get my thoughts together.

What's that title about? My lovely daughter. Although you'll find my blog is filled with much sarcasm (which you can think of as the big S); don't read any here. She is lovely. And tomorrow she turns 19 (where did the time go, whoa is me) and in 12 days she leaves for Parris Island, i.e. the only female Marine Boot Camp.
As you might imagine, we've had some trouble adjusting to this new world order. After all on 12/26/2009 we were discussing what would fit in her dorm room up at UW Oshkosh. And 3 days later, we were told she was joining the Marines. Lovely. Now that's a big S-lovely.

Ironically, Oshkosh Truck won the bulk of the work on the Army's and USMC's JLTV FoV - what must be at least a hundred dollar contract; but don't quote me on that - I might be off by 10^9 or so. They might pump out as many as 10,000 of these things over the life of the program. And maybe my little girl will end up appreciating Oshkosh afterall.

Speaking of the life of the party, my Marine poolie, whose shoes will be covering one of many yellow sets of footprints in the not too distant future, turns 19 tomorrow, as I've already written - or maybe that's today or last week for you. See posting date and don't bother me, kid.

Unfortunately, like many parents of 19 year olds, I probably won't be seeing my 19yo tomorrow. But not for the reasons you may have on your Jump to Conclusion Mat. You see, as I wrote earlier, we've had some trouble adjusting to our new roles as Proud-Military-Parents. We spent so much time thinking we were Proud-College-Student-Parents, that we were surprised by the Proud-X-College-Student-Parent reality. And Proud-College-Student-Parents don't seem to worry so much about whether their Proud-X-Child, will become an X-Child draped in old glory; at least not as much as those military types. Just ask the UW LaCross student's parents, whose children seem to have repeated, land versus river-ice, misinterpretations. I think it's 9 drowned in 10 years walking across the mighty Mississippi? Pretty mighty.

Anyway, I'll admit it to all 3 of you here and now: I blew it, literally. See if you can find this on your conslusion mat: She had one of her less lovely days and I had had enough of it, and I blew my top. I forcefully kicked her out. Thought about calling her Army, or Coast-Guard, and that would have had a then-wanted, and probably relatively short termed affect, but instead I shoved her toward the door and told my little girl to get out. Yes, whoa is me - now.

There's more to tell, but none as riveting as . . . . hey, are you awake?

And when that phone call comes:

I don't think it'll be ringing at my house. Her mom owns a phone too, I think, and it's been a couple years since she kicked the 'girl' out, so that pain has had more time to heal.

Maybe I can be forgiven too, someday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkeys on the Lookout

If I were a turkey (no comments please), I'd post a lookout. Someone to let the rest of us know when the axeman cometh.

In that way, those in the know could start performing practiced disgusting acts, like eating feces and flopping around like . . . turkeys with mad cow or something, or whooping up a storm and maybe humping his leg. Nothing would turn the executioner away faster than his target laying one into him, no? The end result: the hooded meanie would move onto the next sucker, simply glad to get away before you 'finished'.

I think I can predict what the next big agricultural disease will be after this post is widely read: Mad Turkey disease. 1st symptom: humping your farmer's leg.

Look outs are always a good thing. Unless you pick an idiot.

Moral: don't pick a turkey for a lookout - they're idiots, or are they?

Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your steak, and keep the shiny side up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Elizabeth in My Dreams

I wanted to begin with some humorous anecdote, using clever phraseology, extreme wit, and severe sarcasm. A start that would forever mark the tone and pace of my entry into blog-dome. But I opted for the true story of the inspiration for my favorite poem, because it was one of the most deeply moving, albeit tragic, experiences of my life.

In 2005, when a good friend flipped out over a failed marriage, a tragedy ensued. I am forever haunted by these questions: What would have happened if I rode to Tomahawk with him that weekend prior? Would I have been part of his suicide dance, or would I have sensed his deeply troubled mind and been able to help, reduced his torment and maybe stopped the tragedy? I will never know. I had to attend a rally up in Lake George; the Americade Rally, so I went to work and I let my friend down.

That Monday morning at 4AM, on her birthday, my friend shot his daughter in the head, then sprinkled gasoline around her bedroom, started the fire and shot himself.

Elizabeth in My Dreams

Elizabeth lives in my world at night,
Haunting smile and laughter there.
Sorrow dawns in the morning light
When I wake and become aware,

That heaven is brighter today for she
Surely dazzles St Peter with smile.
Though our world is darker for we
Who loved, she will dazzle us too in awhile.

Let us celebrate life and remember how
Sweet she was and will always be.
For life is the journey we take now,
And a good journey ends heavenly.

Elizabeth lives in our dreams tonight,
Pray our dreams are not too fleeting.
We will hold hands and all will be right,
And we’ll laugh at our secret cheating.

Willard, you are missed. She is not forgotten. Elizabeth and William, R.I.P.