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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vacation after 2.5 days

My vacation for this year started at 10 AM Thursday.  (Our biggest customer) is going through their annual shutdown, and the other work we lined up (making stuff for a customer of another plant) we have stuffed their warehouse, so most everyone was sent home then, and told that this coming week would be much like it.  Fortunately, I had already planned for my vacation this week (by asking the plant manager when the best time would be, which he nailed a month and a half in advance), which means I started 11 and a half days of non productive activities when I clocked out.

The first of those things was an hour or so of lay plans for what we'll do in the coming days. Laurie, being a "part-time" Wal-Mart minion, doesn't get a paid vacation, but could take the week off without pay, and her "vacation starts Monday.  What will we do?  Just wait, this is a "what we did" post!

First off, we went to Gordmans, where Laurie got a t-shirt that makes her look like a big can of Mountain Dew (lol), and I got more of my cool shirts you'll be seeing as we go along.

As I said on FB, "What the well-dressed Timelord is wearing."  It may not be a fez, or a bow tie, or even camo, but I'm not that Doctor, and this Doctor deems it cool.

After this, we ate at Tavern at Coventry, and then went to the complex office to sign a new lease.  Now the per month is really starting to creep up (though from what I can tell, is still just the high side of Fort Wayne median), and we made a point to pray about our decision, and a commitment to start early praying about the next lease.  And at the end of signing everything, the lady told us they were knocking $15 a month off for us being here so long (7 or 8 years), so that was a not-so-subtle blessing.  God is good!

Then Laurie had to work so I dropped her off and waited for things to cool down before Scrappy got a walk.  That took until after we got back, and when we went out into the starry night, I saw the double chain of Andromeda dangling from the half moon.  So I decided to test out my camera against the night sky.  At first, my results seemed mixed...



But when I got home and started playing with them, I discovered that "autocorrect" does an amazing thing... gives you the entire starfield around them!  So I happily went about collecting more...



If you know about the middle star in the handle of the Big Dipper being a double, this is Mizar (right) and little Alcor

Vega, a little more blown up
Friday, we started with an early morning walk- but it was already hot, and Scrappy wore out quickly...

One ground hog, warming on the rocks

They finally cleared out the tree that fell on north loop

And much of the rest of the day was spent watching NCIS and reading.  Although, I do have a baseball story for you- how to lose a game in the stupidest way possible, or why the Reds need to fire their manager.

Situation:  The Reds had taken a 3-0 lead on Colorado, but by the 7th inning had pissed it away, the final blow a home run by Carlos Gonzales that tied things at 3.  In the 8th, Skip Schumaker, the very definition of unlikely hero, hit an rbi double to put us back up 4-3, but with him at second and another guy at third, Billy Hamilton- a major force speedwise who's been to busy being a star to learn how to hit Major League pitching, tried a squeeze bunt, missed completely, getting the runner at third thrown out at home.  He followed that up with a weak bouncer to shortstop that got HIM out and ended the inning.  But we were still up 4-3, right?

Well, then manager Bryan Price sent in reliever JJ Hoover, which, if you have seen the Buffalo Wild Wings commercial, is the equivalent of sending in Mahoney.

(Mahoney is the guy you send in to give up runs and send you to extra innings, BTW)

Mahoney, er, Hoover, quickly gave up a second game tying HR to Gonzales, followed by a triple off the wall to Nolan Arenado, and then, facing Curtis Dickerson, a batter he SHOULD get out, a man who just innings before had fell down not once, but twice trying to go from second home on a double (thrown out)...

Dickerson hit a miserable little roller towards first base.  All Hoover had to do was pick it up, run to first, and the man's out.

He missed the ball.

Moments later, a sacrifice fly put Colorado up 5-4, and we went to the ninth.  Joey Votto, the Red's hero, hits a home run to tie the game.  Bottom of the ninth, Ryan Matheus comes in.  Mahoney number two walks a guy, gives up a stolen base, a ground ball out moves the runner to third... and Matheus then throws a wild pitch.  Run scores, game over.


Saturday was much better.  We began the morning sitting outside, me reading and Scrappy sniffing.  At one point, he climbs up on my lap for attention, just as two sparrows get into a knock-down, drag-out brawl in the grass.  Scrappy swiftly went over to break it up, then checked to see if he could find out what they were fighting about.  Soon after, a big dog that looked a lot like our old neighbor Daisy (apparently some kind of poodle mix) came over and visited.  Scrappy was thrilled, the dog's owner not so much.  She came over telling "Ernie" to come back.  Ernie was busy.  "Come on Ernie, we have to catch up with Burt."  No lie.  They ignored her, and continued to play until she finally (after allowing them some fun) grabbed Ernie by the collar and away they went.

Shortly thereafter, Laurie went to work and my son KC came over.  Bored, we took a walk (Scrappy again wilted early), listened to some music (which you will no doubt hear on later upcoming shuffle tens), and decided to go out to eat.  KC informed me that it was "Ft Wayne Pride" day, and I had no interested in coming up against that, but he made us brave downtown anyway.  While I must admit there were a lot of women wearing tie-dyed rainbow ts, and KC swears he saw two guys in Daisy Dukes, I was not overly bothered... except by the protesters in front of the downtown park.  I have said this before and will again- WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO PROVE?  If you are a Christian, you are supposed to be leading sinners to Christ and pointing out sins to your brethren.  Instead, you're out there telling sinners that they are sinners.  And obnoxiously, too.  WHY ARE YOU BOTHERING?  Have we not come a long way from conquistadors converting redskins (oh, I'm sorry, native Americans) at swordpoint?  Put down your placards, pray for these people, look to your own homes and your own lives for sin to protest.  As Paul said, "And yet, I will show you a better way."

And it came sooner than I thought.  But first, pizza and pop at a hole-in-the-wall called Pint and Slice, followed by meeting up with his friend Jessica and her kids at Shoaff Park.  The kids played catch with their hero KC for a bit, then retreated back to the water park.  I wandered off to examine a great tree that had fallen in the recent storms, when a gentleman came up to me.  After a moment or two of intro and small talk, Duane said he was a member of "a group of Churches"  that had gotten together to go around the city and ask people if they could pray for them for whatever.  He asked if I had anything to have him pray for; and while I do, I looked around and saw something more important.

"I look at these kids, and I am scared for them.  The world they have to live in.  Gay "pride", atheists attacking, the world situation.  Predators.  I want prayer for them to be safe, to find a way in this evil world."  He asked if I had kids (I pointed out KC in the distance), and told me he had twelve grand kids.

"Then you understand what I mean," I said.

He did, and we prayed for the children.  Then we talked about the tree, and he went off to find someone else to pray with.  You tell me, who served Jesus as He asked us to that day?

So home we went as Laurie got off, and fell asleep watching baseball.  Unfortunately for KC, I woke up first.

Posted on FB with the message, "Kc Martin likes to sleep with my dirty socks."

My niece replied, "Seriously?"  I answered, "My feet are sweet."  She told me I was "Full of poo".

When KC left that night, I thought I would step out and see if the overcast had lifted enough for more backyard astronomy.  Instead, we found this:

What you are seeing is a big white-backed skunk digging for nightcrawlers in the middle of our back yard.  This kind of skunk, according to the "experts", doesn't come north of Texas or Mexico.  Looks like Holli sent us some illegal immigrants.

"Don't look at me, I just fowl up astronomy."

Anyway, we watched him intently dig about 50 feet away from us for quite a while- even a bark only made him look up for a couple of seconds.  But at 11:25 PM, it started raining.  And he retreated to the woods.  And then, as I like to say, the cow stepped up on the flat rock for about half an hour.

And at exactly 11:55, the rain died off, and the skunk re-emerged to continue his digging.

And he dug a lot of holes...

And that is our story, except I thought you might like my latest acquisition...

Not just the new cool shirt!  Look closer...

...that's it, a clip for my sonic!  Now I can open-carry!


  1. Now I'm just kinda curious what kind of shirt makes a person look like a can of Mountain Dew. And I don't think I have to tell you I dig the Doctor Who shirt.

    Also... just let the Rockies have that win. We never win anything. I can't even remember the last time we had a winning season. Let us feel good about ourselves, at least for a day or two until we invariably lose another game.

    1. Okay, the Rocks just scored ten runs in an inning today. TEN RUNS. Hopefully they are doing us a great favor and getting our manager fired. I had sympathy for Price last year, but he WAS a pitching coach under Dusty and should have some clue on how to ryn a pitching staff. He has proven he doesn't. I'm beginning to think he's what got Dusty fired, too.

      Basically, it's a shirt that looks like the front of a Mountain Dew can.... It's all in how you wear it...

  2. Chris:
    ---So, GORDMANS has Doctor Who shirt, eh?
    Might have to check that out.
    (beats that 10 ft SCARF I've got(that catches on foliage and is hotter than an exploding Dalek mothership).
    So, where you get the AVENGERS gear?

    ---Those are some really GOOD starfield photos...that auto-correct is worth having.
    (so is a copy of Patrick Moore's Color Star Atlas...)

    ---There are a couple HOUSES (for rent, no doubt) down here REAL close to the "Fortress"...if you don't kind buying a gun (and driving to take Scrappy for a walk at Foster Pk).

    ---Heh, they clear the tree in the WOODS, but NOT along a city street (like OURS)...hmm.

    ---baseball (pass, please)

    ---I was thinking the SAME thing about those protesters. The only thin worse than a HEATHEN ramming ideology down your a CHRISTIAN doing the same thing (and acting the fool).
    That's NOT preachin', folks.

    ---Well, THAT critter is a new on for me - a WHITE-BACKED skunk (too small to be Bigfoot, anyway).
    (betcha they SMELL the same)
    "ILLEGALS"...ROFLMAO! (who knew?)

    ---A CLIP for the THAT is news!

    Very well done. Glad you're enjoying the (well-deserved) time off.
    And remember, if the TARDIS wanders off track, you're having a GOOD day.
    Stay safe up there, brother.

    1. No, no, no, the flower shirts are from Gordmans. The Doctor Who shirt was ordered by Laurie from Amazon on my birthday. I'm just stylin' the new "Music Doctor" style.

      And no, this is simply no incarnation for a long heavy scarf.

      I got a star guide back in my youth called "The Stars and how to see them" by H A Rey that I have used for 40 years. Has a by date set of star maps, with and without constellation lines, that just can't be beat.

      Ideology, not theology. Good catch.

      The stinker almost has to be a hognosed or hooded skunk, neither of whom has a range anywhere near here. But I've seen this guy the last three years. I think he's lost.

      Yeah, the clip is COOL! $4 at Lowes.

  3. Holidays are bloody great good thing yours was planned for a down time at work, only a month to go till Tim and I fly out for a weeks holiday to a bloody cold place but this isn't about me it is about you and that cool blue shirt

    1. A bloody cold place? But it's cold where you are... Aren't you doing that wrong?

  4. Vacation time! Yay!

    If you find out how to keep the skunk at bay, share that information. Every single night, the skunks are squirtin' fools around here. The day will come when I let Coco out and they hose her. Odds are not in my favor; she loves to chase things in the yard.

    Loved the star pictures - what kind of camera?

    1. All I can tell you on skunks is STAY AWAY. We've been lucky to get closer than I wanted on a few occasions and not get gifted.

      Camera is a Sony 16X optical zoom that downloads through playMemories, which gives me additional tools like the autocorrect.

  5. Love the star pictures!! How cool to find out the sweet surprise of what auto correct does .
    Love the shirts!
    Dangit! You're on to me. I snuck up there and released the fancy squirrel to have something to antagonize Scrappy. LOL!
    I love that the stranger came up to you wanting to pray over anything on your heart. God is so Good!!

    1. "Fancy squirrel"... it don't SMELL like no squirrel...

  6. Oh that's a sonic clip? I thought you were excited to see me, CW. I like that you prayed for the children - that warmed my heart.

    And thank you SO MUCH, Chris, for ordering my book. You're awesome like that.

    1. Always excited to see you. But at my age, a sonic comes in handy.