Thursday, July 16, 2009

And The Winner Is...

I thought the squirrel call from Pascagoula, Mississippi was pretty funny. But there has to be some kind of prize for the call we got this morning...

Right away, like I always do when the phone rings, I noticed the caller ID: "NC call." In this day of cell phones, sometimes the guy down the street is calling from another state, so I didn't really think a whole lot about that. And then the caller identified himself as a soldier in North Carolina. Hmmm.... well, perhaps a little unusual, but we do occasionally get phone calls from all over the country, so still not unheard of. But the conversation that followed.... Definitely one of a kind!

After establishing that he had indeed reached the chimney sweep, he informed me that his fiancee lived in an apartment complex in Copperas Cove and was plagued with a cat problem. ????? Surely I didn't hear him say cats??? Surely it was just our bad dreadful connection. I turned up the volume on the phone. I plugged my other ear with my finger. I concentrated on his voice and listened intently. And sure enough, he kept talking about cats...?!

I still thought I must be "mishearing," and after awhile of this I tentatively asked, "Are we talking about...CATS?" I wanted to ask him if they were coming down her chimney, but the customer is always right, so I refrained. Finally I said firmly, "This is the chimney sweep." I thought that might jar something loose, but no. He pleasantly agreed and let me know that he had seen "Animal Removal" on our website. AHA! Now we're getting somewhere.

I took the opening and just as I began to point out that "Animal Removal" refers to animals, usually dead, that are captive inside of chimneys, I heard him drawl, "Oooooohhhh, I'm reading on down the page and I see that. I'm sorry I wasted your time." Whew! That was easy.

But instead of hanging up, he continued, "Do you have any idea what she could do about the cats? There are five strays forever wandering around her parking lot, and she is deathly afraid of them, and she can't go to work, because they are out there just waiting to pounce on her."

All I could think of was the obvious: How about calling Animal Control? His reply, "I've already done that. They said she could come and get a cage, and after the cat is caught they will come and pick it up." It may take awhile, with one trap, to catch five cats, but good, bad, or indifferent, that's the way it works around here. I can personally vouch for that. Do-It-Yourself animal control at its finest. Not a good solution in this case, though; she doesn't actually seem to want to do anything herself. Her involvement seems to be limited to calling him, wherever he may be, and he is a little too far removed to participate in any significant sort of way.

My next suggestion was the other obvious: Didn't you tell me she lives in an apartment complex? Tell her to call the manager and let them deal with Animal Control. His answer to that was, "Yes, I guess I am going to have to call the manager."

I replied, "Yes, I guess you are, and good luck to you!" That's what I said.

What I wanted to say was: So...I'm catching on to a problem here, and it isn't the cats. Are you sure you want to marry this woman? There you are, doing your duty, halfway across the country, and she is calling you to deal with some stray CATS?! What is she going to do when you are halfway across the world in Iraq? She may have to make her own phone calls then, and do ya think she can handle the stress? You want my advice? Perhaps you should reconsider and find yourself a girl that's not scared of cats.

For my part, I may consider changing my phone number. :-P

As I relayed this little story to C the next day, she offered one more idea: Take a can of tuna a few houses down the road, and leave it on the porch. All in all, that sounds about as good a solution as any.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A(nother) Random Weather Report

Here we go again. Another "cool" day in the hottest summer of the century. This morning is cloudy ~ no promise whatever of rain though (more like an empty threat) ~ and coooool. Well, I suppose it's cool. It feels cool. But it's all relative, isn't it. It could be 98 degrees, and at this point we would find even that cool.

By late morning, we have reached a whopping 86 degrees, with a heat index of 89! But not to worry. There is plenty more where that came from, and long before the end of the day we should be well beyond our usual 100-degree mark.

In the words of our local weatherman, our area averages 21 days of 100 (or higher)-degree days in a year, so, going as we are, into our 23rd day of 100+ temperatures in a summer that is less than 23 days old, those days are behind us, and we are well due for some Hope and Change in the weather department. In fact, according to the non-prophets of The Weather Channel, this weekend will have "an almost fall-like feel," and the highs in August will fluctuate between 92 and 95. It's hard to place any confidence in their predictions, but...I want to believe them!

Well, regardless, in the meantime, it's a welcome relief for the chimney sweep, who has curtailed his $-making activities to early morning and late evening hours until further notice.

This perfectly pleasant morning doesn't fool me, though. It may masquerade as spring, or fall, but I know that it's really only the mask of a hotter-than-Phoenix summer in disguise.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


...I creep myself out just a little.

Like last Friday. I had gotten up a little after 5 to get my Man off to work. Usually I just stay up, but that day I decided to go back to bed, and the next thing I knew I was sleeping and dreaming away...

In my dream, I and some family members, one of which was D, were in a room in a house I didn't recognize. Notably absent was the Princess, which is about as strange as it gets. She is four years old and doesn't go places without her mom.

But even stranger, M, who was still at West Point, had gone to pick her up from wherever she was, and we were just sorta milling around and waiting for them. Finally I asked D when they were coming back, and she replied, "Any second."

So I went over and looked out the window, and sure enough, there was M, Princess in tow, coming up the walk. They came through the door, and I was just as excited as if I had really been awake, and M and the Princess were really walking through the door!

The waiting and killing time were over, and the best part of the dream was coming! Only just then the beeping of the phone woke me up. It was a text message from M. :-D

Summer Morning

It's a cool cool summer morning. Every cool morning is cool in Texas, especially in the summertime. But today... :-D

  • The air is pleasantly cool and clean.
  • The sun is peeping up over the horizon. That is, the house across the horizon, huh? But, for better or for worse, it's my horizon...
  • My windows are open wide, and there is a cool breeze blowing in!
  • The birds are still happily chirping out there. Later in the day comes only silence.
  • Today, unbelievably, I have been a grandmother for ten years! Happy Birthday, BB1!
  • I get to stay home today. That is a cherished rarity. Could only be better if the phone would stop ringing.
  • No updates on MJ's funeral yet this morning! That's a biggie.
  • Temperature-wise, this morning was so cool, my Man put on a jacket when he went off to work at 5:30. I know it isn't going to last, but for right now...can't beat it. Well, I take that back, because
  • I hear the phone beeping now. It's a text message from M, off in the wilds of Camp Buckner, with the latest land nav report.
Can't get any better now. This morning is maxed out. Cool on so many levels!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Comeback Tour!

CBS Evening News and Katic Couric (and probably all the rest of them, but this is the one I saw), Be ashamed!

The CBS Evening News led off with Katie Couric, live at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, hours after Michael Jackson's funeral had come and gone. What could there possibly be to say? I can't think of a thing, but then 'nothing to say' has never stopped the new breed of "journalist" from saying it.

Twenty minutes into the 30-minute broadcast, they finally moved past the funeral on to President Obama. First things first, he offered his solemn presidential 2 cents' worth on Michael Jackson, and then, almost as an afterthought, he went on to comment on the current threat posed by Kim Jong-il: There is nothing to fear from North Korea. They are not going to do anything nuclear, because if they do, they know the international community will frown on it.

Whew! What a relief! It's good to know that is all settled. No more worries about being nuked in our sleep. But I'm glad I don't live in Hawaii.

And then back to the Things that Matter: Katie Couric with the post-game analysis and commentary on the Event of the Century.

My observations:

  • MJ's family was out in full force, which is as it should be. But was it necessary for them to be decked out in ridiculous MJ fashion, complete with glittery gloves (one each) and dark glasses in a place that was already dark?
  • One of his celebrity entertainer friends got up to remark on MJ's diaphanous presence, shining blessings down on this idolatrous gathering, from his perch high up on a crescent moon. Well, I admit, the point of a crescent moon would not be too strange a place to find Michael Jackson.
  • Then there were the religious figures, the caricatures of godliness, one of whom declared to Michael Jackson's purported children: "Your daddy was not strange. Strange things happened to your daddy, but there was nothing strange about him." HUH?! Strange things may have happened to MJ, but being strange and having strange things happen are not mutually exclusive, and I guaran-dang-tee, Michael Jackson was STRANGE.
  • And can the politicians ever be far behind? One of them carried on at length, praising MJ's tireless efforts on behalf of the black man, while making the point that the color of one's skin doesn't matter. Well, we all know that race doesn't matter. So why do the lefties keep differentiating among the races? It's almost as if they don't believe their own words. And why did MJ spend half of his life trying to be white and the other half trying to be a woman? Just wondering...
On a related note, has anyone heard about the condition of the economy lately? Particularly the economy in California? I'm not sure where Los Angeles stacks up relative to California in general, but the state is currently paying its bills with IOU's, and now the City of the Angels has been saddled with the $3.8 million bill for this ostentation. I understand the city presently has its hand out via a website, where one may make donations to cover the cost of this extravaganza. Add California to the list of Places I'm Glad I Don't Live.

So whaddya know. Michael Jackson had his Comeback Tour after all. Is there anything beyond obscene? If there is, clue me in. And sign this up at the top of the list.