Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together...

That's me and Babe. We compliment each other in our strengths and weaknesses. We are two oars in this canoe called life. One oar isn't more important than the other and if we both tried to be on the same side we'd only go in circles.We are pretty equally yoked, he and I.

Except in how we build and/or repair the various and sundry things that need building and repairing in the course of life. I think I have chronicled before that he is a "directions reader." He unfolds the paper instructions, counts each of the pieces of hardware and makes sure he has the necessary tools before he begins a project. I, however, am a "reckless abandon," kind of character. I don't think it's necessary to read the directions for putting together a bookshelf. It's pretty straight forward. However, not every project is a bookcase so my aversion to reading directions is sometimes a problem. Always. It's always a problem.

And that, dear friends, is why he only has to do something once while I problem solve along the way and end up building things twice, if I'm lucky. I like to think of my style as "half-assed." For those of you with weak constitutions, "half-a***d." It also works well as a verb, as in "if it weren't for my constant half-assery, I'd have only had to build this bookcase once." Wait a sec, Babe tells me my use of half-assery in the last sentence made it a noun. I guess I half-assed that one. Verb! HA!

Here is a perfect example: The water pump in our toilet cracked last Sunday eve leaving us with one toilet for four girls and two boys. Well that's not completely true, we just had to turn the water off after flushing to avoid Niagara Falls in the bathroom. Anyway, Babe decided to take Monday off so he could fix said toilet. I coulda done it, but let me illustrate why it was better that I stand a respectful distance from the work site.

Babe's first order of business was to remove the towels from the shelf behind the toilet. Then he moved everything else including the shelf itself. Already he was ahead of where I would be. My plan would have been leave everything on the shelf. Once the towels had fallen into the toilet, and I had channeled my inner sailor, I would remove everything, but the shelf. I would only move the shelf after I was thoroughly vexed and over my potty word budget for the year.

Babe removed the water from the tank with a sponge and gloves. My answer would have been to shove whatever towels hadn't landed in the toilet into the tank. Then, after what was left of the water flooded out onto the floor, I would dip into next years potty word budget and probably start throwing things.

Lastly, Babe attempted to remove the pump. Here's where things get kinda iffy. The plastic ring wouldn't budge so he went to the garage and brought back a hacksaw. "Ima cut it off," he tells me and my heart swelled with pride! He has finally begun to embrace the Bad Idea plan! Every Bad Idea comes with a trip to the CareNow as well as one to the Home Depot for supplies to repair the mistake that inevitably follows on the heels of the Bad Idea.

The Bad Idea plan is the number one go-to plan for anyone from my blood line. I think we learned our poorly thought out decision making paradigm from our father. I will call him G. Prickett or perhaps George P. He was (and still is, I guess) the master half-asser. My brothers have followed his plan so closely that one of my sister's in law no longer runs to the garage when she hears an explosion. No joke. Her exact words were, "if he's dead I don't want to see that. If he's alive he'll find his way inside." This same brother is the exact cause of the stitches each one of us has ever gotten.

My other brother confines his own version of creative building to making play things for his children. Much less dangerous, and that sister in law has never worried about an explosion in the garage, that I know of. My last brother was very young when our dad left so I think he just missed the window of tomfoolery.

Anyway, because he's Babe and not a Prickett, he managed to saw that pipe off without breaking the tank or cutting off his hand. He has out Pricketted the Pricketts by showing us it can be done without damage to ourselves or the project. Dang! He's never gonna let that one go.

Babe wants the record to show that he only spent $12 and that was for the actual part. Good job, Babe!

Wag the Dog...

...is used in politics. It's when an item of minor importance dominates a situation. For example let's say a country (any country, just pick one) is on the verge of war, but the news is focused on the leader of that country (any leader, no fingers) and his dalliances with some kind of intern. This is an instance of the tail wagging the dog. There happens to be a movie called Wag the Dog. The phrase came before the movie not after, just FYI, and I thought it was about a dog named Wag. It is not.

Anyway, let me just reassure you this entry isn't about politics. It is about tails and the dogs they are attached to. At least until this afternoon.

I have mentioned my pup, Gus, in previous posts. In a world where I can't stand dogs, I love this dog. I am stupid for this dog. I have spent more time and money on him than on every pet that has ever passed though my door. Admittedly that wasn't much, but it is a chunk of change for him.

I took him to a puppy training class where he graduated and I took a picture of him wearing a graduation cap. It is the home screen on my phone. I buy him lots of treats. They are in a big tin in my room. I let him sleep in my room (until his snoring made it impossible to sleep), and I even take him for walks.

One of my favorite parts of Gus is his tail. It had, until Friday, this darling white tip. However Gus has a raging case of Happy Tail Syndrome. He wags that tail with reckless abandon, slamming it against walls, corners, doors, even his own side. He doesn't seem to feel the damage he does because he won't stop swinging it. We thought it had been resolved before he was neutered last month, but that surgery started him right back up.

We tried everything. I bandaged his tail in medical tape. When he chewed that off, I wrapped it in duck tape. I covered the bandaged end in Bitter No Chew. He loved it! I have this nasty nail polish I use on my own nails to keep me from biting them. It didn't stop him. I gave him a taste of Tabasco sauce. He lapped it up like it was lemonade. In the end (boo) I had to have the sweet white tip and another inch amputated from his tail.

That was Friday.

Saturday morning, I come out of my room to a scene from a bloody murder. There was blood everywhere. Not a little blood, a LOT of blood. I was beside myself. I hustled my dog back to the vet and it was decided it was in Guster's best interest that his tail be completely removed. I reluctantly gave the okay and that is why he now has a nubbin. It looks okay. I miss his white tipped tail but it's nice that I no longer worry about my home looking like a mass murder.

I wrote this post two years ago, but never published it. I publish it now at the request of my friend Laurie.

My Kingdom For A Pencil Sharpener...

I like to take little breaks, when writing, to contemplate the story arc or resolve some conflict or just to get out of my head (it gets crowded in there). I have various and sundry activities I like to do during these breaks, crocheting, knitting, staring into space, etc. Right now my activity of choice is coloring.

Yes, I like to color. In coloring books.

My favorite are the color by number because I don't have to worry about what colors to use, because I'm lazy like that. Right now I'm really into mosaic coloring books because the picture magically appears as I color and I am easily amused. I was so excited the day I saw Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox on my paper! It also made me realize that I've neglected to teach my youngest about Tall Tales.

My coloring tool is the colored pencil. There are lots of reasons to love the colored pencil, but I'll spare you the details. Anyway, colored pencils require sharpening and when you're using them to death, they require frequent sharpening. This is where the pencil sharpener comes in.

We live in an age where pencils as a whole have become nearly extinct, thus pencils that require sharpening are almost wholly unheard of. As a consequence, pencil sharpeners come in two forms only: expensive or crappy.

Expensive sharpeners give the pencil a nice sharp tip with the appropriate ratio of wood to lead. One knows one's pencil sharpener has ceased to fulfill its purpose when one's pencils come out of the sharpener more wood than lead. It is a sad day indeed. My own pencil sharpener went the way of all the world just last week.

I can't color without my pencils and I can't use my pencils when they are dull, so I went in search of a replacement sharpener. I found myself at Wal-Mart. I know stopping there was asking for trouble but that was where I chose to start, so I only had myself to blame when I ended back in the same place the next day to return the sharpener that came out of the package doing the same craptastic job my dead sharpener did.

My sweet husband, recognizing my plight, purchased a box shaped manual sharpener to tide me over. Here's the thing with the manual sharpener. No matter the brand every manual sharpener more breaks the wood than shaves it. This leaves a chunk of unsupported lead that then breaks off leaving one with far less pencil. I could gnaw the wood off and get better results, but I appreciated his effort.

The next day, I had my chauffeur, I mean, daughter, drive me to Hobby Lobby. Why did I ask her to drive? Because I can and it is frowned upon to play on the phone when one is driving. That is called having your cake and eating it, too! I digress.

At the Lobby, I chose two pencil sharpeners because if I had to come back it would be for more than one thing, dangit! I chose a battery powered sharpener and a manual sharpener just to test the theory that every  manual sharpener breaks the wood. Theory proven. Also, battery powered sharpeners are ridiculous. Why are they even a thing?

Displeased with both of my choices I tried once more. I was wandering forlornly through the aisles of Target when a lovely white electric sharpener caught my eye. I wondered if I was making a mistake and adding another disappointing sharpener to my growing collection, but I took a leap of faith and brought it home. It. Is. Magnificent! My sharpener woes have come to an end and now I can focus on other more pressing matters, like what to color next.

Peace Out!!!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Holy Cow!!!

It's been a long time since I blogged! Time sure flies when you're being unproductive. I was going to open this post with today's near death experience, but that's kinda where I left you. I'd like to say I've become more graceful in my advanced age, but that would be a lie. A dirty, dirty lie.

So what have I done with myself these last two years, you ask? I'd tell you, but frankly, I'm embarrassed. Also, I don't remember. It's been two years.

Anyways, if any one was still waiting around for the emerging of D.P. Davidson...I've emerged.

That's all I gots for right now.