Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Making My Life Easier

Several years ago in my first blog I wrote a post about my favorite inventions. I mentioned ice makers, air conditioning, motion detector outdoor lights, and televisions with remote controls.

I have one more item to add to the list that makes my life easier and a little more pleasant--parchment paper. So it’s been around for years and years, so it’s a bit expensive for its intended use--I love it! My grandmother, who was a great southern cook, used brown paper bags instead of parchment paper for lining her cake pans to prevent sticking. Somehow I just can’t bring myself to do that. I don’t know where that bag has been. Eeww!

Today I had some pecans left over from the holiday; I decided to make spiced pecans. I usually only make them once a year because of the carb content and because I really hate washing the cookie sheet. The sugar leaves a baked-on syrupy mess. I had a bit of parchment paper left and used it. The nuts were quite tasty, and the pan was practically clean. Who could ask for more?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Way Back Machine

Before I became a child of the television age, I loved radio. As I have said before, I can remember when I was about three or four years old sitting in my high chair next to the icebox where the radio sat to listen to kids’ programs like "Let's Pretend," "Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch," and one which featured the song, “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic.” I can’t remember that the name of the show, but I loved that song. In the evening even at the tender age of three or four, my favorite shows were "Mr. Keene, Tracer of Lost Persons," "Mr. and Mrs. North," "The Shadow," and "Gang Busters." "Gunsmoke" was another favorite. My mom listened to her soaps during the day when she could, and my dad liked a few comedies, too.

A few years ago, I discovered a few sites on the Internet that had many of the old radio shows. It seemed that I had stepped back in time to a more innocent time. I listened to a few shows almost every day, but for some reason, I drifted away.

Over the holiday, when I couldn’t take another day long marathon of "A Christmas Story" or "It’s a Wonderful Life," I decided to return to “those wonderful days of yesteryear” for a little dose of nostalgia.

I was surprised to see that now you may download many of the shows. Most are in the MP3 format; others are in various other formats. When I told Mr. Fixit I needed to get some CD’s (I don’t have an MP3 player) to burn some shows to listen to them while in the car, he asked, “You aren’t going to be arrested or cause Interpol to come knocking at our door, are you?” I explained that the shows are now in the public domain and can be downloaded without fear of arrest and/or fines.

And now back to my time machine--the year is 1950 and Philip Marlowe awaits!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And Now, Back to Our Regular Programming

We received our kitchen television from the Target affiliated repair service a couple of days ago. It only took a little over a month. I wasn't expecting to hear anything for at least 60 days. That was a surprise. Also, the television we sent for repair was not the set that was returned. They replaced the old one with a brand new digital set at no cost. That really shocked me. We are extremely pleased with the service that was covered under the extended warranty we purchased at the time the bought the set. The only problem was with the survey call they made before the we had received the television.

The moral to the story is, if you purchase an off-brand under-the-cabinet television, be sure to buy the warranty because the sets don't last long.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

No Way to Start My Day

It’s 4:30 am. Since I have read every book in the house, I turned on the television. It’s another world on television at 4:30 am, an x-rated world. I’m not talking about HBO, the Playboy Channel, or any of the other pay channels. I’m talking about Oxygen, a channel that specializes in women’s movies and, at one time, all things Oprah. I understand that Oprah has distanced herself from the network. Now I know why.

Oxygen has a home shopping program that features sex toys. It was a two minute education for me. There were things I had never seen before. The variety in the product being sold at the time was mind boggling. I had no idea! I guess I have lead a sheltered life, but it was, to me, just too icky, gross, and creepy. Eeewww!

I have to wonder--when the young women selling these products are asked about their jobs, what do they say?

On the Fox Reality Channel, there is a show called “Sexy Cam.” It was sort of an adult Candid Camera. I just skipped right on by that one when I saw all the patrons in a restaurant dressed only in thong underwear.

My next question is, who watches this stuff?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Asking the Right Question

Last evening I received an automated telephone call from Target asking for my rating of our recent experience with its extended warranty that we purchased when we bought the under-the-cabinet television for the kitchen.

The voice asked me questions I couldn't answer. We haven’t received the TV from the repair service yet. I was in a quandary when asked if the product was received unbroken. I was also at a loss when asked to rate various aspects of the service. Silly me thought that if I give the lowest rating available it might be possible to talk to a real person explaining that we have not received the repaired set so it was impossible for me to answer the questions fully and honestly.

At the end of the survey, I was told that I could leave a message to add any further comments. “Good!” I thought. “I’ll explain that I couldn't answer the questions since the survey was made too early.” After I was prompted to begin my message, I started to explain only to be interrupted by a recorded voice telling me that the message thingy was experiencing technical problems and I would be unable to leave a message. Irony? Perhaps they didn’t like all my negative feedback and didn’t want to hear anymore. Honest, Target, I was just trying to explain.

I received an email this morning telling me the TV would be delivered on the 18th. I wonder if they will call again. My first suggestion will be to change their first question on the survey to “Have you received your product from the repair service?”

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Feline Comfort

Our day started early yesterday. When Mr. Fixit came in from work about 8:30 am, we went to breakfast before starting our Christmas shopping. We came home about 3:30 pm. As soon as I walked into the living room, I noticed that the barrier between the living room and dining room was open. Uh-oh! The thing weighs a ton. I have trouble moving it sometimes even though its on casters. Had I left it open? I don't think so.

Mr. Fixit has made the barrier to keep the two male outdoor cats out of the rest of the house. Even though they are both neutered, they spray marking their territory. That’s unacceptable behavior when most of the house is carpeted. They are allowed in the dining room and kitchen because the floors are easily cleaned if they engage in their smelly behavior. The little black and white one was in his box in the dining room. (It was cold yesterday so they both decided to spend most of the day indoors.) I didn’t see the white one; I thought he must be outside. (There is a cat door for easy access.) I put down my packages and went upstairs. Just has I passed the bathroom, something moved and caught my attention. The white cat was snoozing in the bathroom sink. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be there because he jumped down and headed for the dining room before I could even begin scolding him.

It puzzling to me that he was in the bathroom sink. True, when he had the run of the house, he made the sink his own. That meant I had to disinfect it every time we wanted to use the sink. That got old with me very quickly. Anyway, why was he in the cold ceramic sink when he could have been snuggly warm in either one of the bedrooms on the beds, or in my office chair (his other favorite spot before he was banished to the kitchen and dining room) or on the couch.

Of course, I’m glad that he and his fleas weren’t on the furniture, but I really don’t think he is the brightest bulb on the tree. He may not be the smartest cat in the world, but he's sweet (unless he bringing me disgusting gifts.) Although now that I think about it, it may be smarter than I think; after all he did move that heavy barrier.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let Me Look That Up for You

Since my memory is so undependable, I have decided to start a household journal of sorts.

Our kitchen television broke and luckily we had purchased a warranty when we bought it. The first one we had broke within a year or so. In this case, I'm glad we have the warranty because this one lasted about a year and a half. Mr. Fixit asked me when we sent it back for repair. I had no idea. That's when I realized that I had to have some record of things we do, places we go, where some things are stored, when items are purchased, etc.

I frequently use my blog to refresh my memory, but I don't record the minutiae of daily life that I some times need to remember. I've tried keeping a journal several times but have never kept it up. This time I must so when Mr. Fixit asks me when we bought ________, I can tell him when, where, and how much it cost. When he asked me where I put ______________, I can tell him the exact location.

Maybe it will make our lives a little more peaceful and a little less frustrating.


The last few days we have been receiving some mysterious phone calls. The number calling is an 877 toll free number (today it was an 888 number). The first one was went to the answering machine because we weren't home. The message was for a name that we have never heard of and stated that several civil matters had been brought to their attention and they requested a call back. The party calling identified herself as an agent for some investigative agency. The weird thing was that the message sounded recorded. I didn't call back because the whole thing sounded "not right" to me. The next day an identical call was received and I let it go to the answsering machine. Same message word for word; it must have been recorded. Curiouser and curiouser. The phone rang just a minute ago and I answered telling the caller (a real person,not a recording)that no one at this number was named S.J. The caller was a little huffy; I was a lot huffy.

I gave her no information at all except that I had never heard of the person she was calling. If she is an investigator why didn't she check the phone number in a reverse directory which is free on the internet? (Incidentally, I did try to check her number on the reverse directory but couldn't find anything. That also made me suspicious.)

I hope this isn't some sort of scam in which we will be charged thousands of dollars for phone calls to Outer Mongolia or some other ploy to bilk the public.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Personal Goal Attained!

I have been solving crossword puzzles since I was a child and it has been my goal to work the puzzle using only either the across or down clues. Today working on the Cape Cod Times puzzle I solved it using only the across clues. Okay, it was an easy one, I'll admit.

Next on my list of personal goals is recording just one show using the DVDR with little or no swearing. This goal may never be realized.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tip of the Day

Hair spray does NOT refresh the air in your house as well as Febreze air refresher.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas and The Salvation Army

Paducah, Kentucky, my hometown, is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio rivers. In January, 1937, there was a great flood that caused a major evacuation. My dad was a young man, and he and his family were advised to leave their home.

During the evacuation, the Red Cross was one of the organizations tasked with caring for the temporarily homeless population. Dad told the story of the Red Cross selling knit caps. He wanted one because the weather was cold and miserable but didn't have the money to buy one. He said later the same day the Salvation Army arrived and was giving away the same knit caps to anyone that wanted one that the Red Cross was selling earlier in the day. My dad would never contribute to the Red Cross, but he contributed to the Salvation Army whenever he could afford it.

Unlike the Red Cross that was rocked by scandal a few years ago, I have never heard of any scandal associated with the Salvation Army. Indeed, they feed and shelter the homeless and the abused, and we have all contributed, I'm sure, to their Christmas Red Kettle appeals. This year they have even updated some their kettles to accept credit cards.

According to the Houston Chronicle, some Houston charities are requiring children who was being considered as recipients of toy give-aways show proof of citizenship before receiving their Christmas gifts. The Salvation Army is one of those charities requiring proof of citizenship. Dad would have been so disappointed that the organization has become political instead of charitable.

How heartless and stingy have we become that we are unwilling to give a needy child a toy! This is not a drain on taxpayer dollar. It's not cash, food stamps, or even medical care. It's a toy, for Heaven sake, bought with donated dollars. If you don't wish to give a toy to a needy child who may not be a citizen, don't contribute. It's as simple as that. I just don't feel that my donated dollars should be given to an organization that would turn away a needy child because of his or her immigration status.

I'm rethinking my contribution to the Salvation Army. I'm going to give to local programs that do not require proof of citizenship or perhaps I should check with our local SA as to their requirements for gift recipients. Just being a needy kid should be the only criterion for receiving a little fun at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Which End Is Up?

Every garbage pick-up day, I get up a little early to empty all the waste paper cans in the house and to put the receptacle on the street. The trucks on our route come any time between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. This morning as I was pulling the container to the street, I noticed that there only a few other containers ready for pick-up. “Hmmm,” I said to myself. “Is today a holiday? Do I have the wrong day? No, I distinctly remember thinking last night that I forgot to watch NCIS.” I also took note of the fact that the only cans on the street were those that are there all the time.

When I turned on the TV, I noticed in the program information that today is Tuesday, not Wednesday, our garbage day. Another lo-o-ong senior moment that began yesterday.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Our son is 43 years old today! That 43 years slipped by in the blink of an eye. This is another one of those things that never occurred to me when I was young. He is such a good guy, too. That's a wonderful bonus!

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Boom-de-yah-da Public Service Announcement

Discovery Channel has a new "Boom-de-yah-da" promotion airing. It's shown several times during the morning "Cash Cab" programs, 9am til 11am. It a catchy little tune which sticks in your head for days and days.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spoonerisms - I Love 'em!

I heard this one this morning on the radio. The announcer at a northern Georgia station (they aren't playing Christmas music yet) was doing a commercial for a local business. He said, "You can find plenty of stuffing stockers." He never missed a beat and finished the commercial.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Personal Christmas Tradition

Last year I think I missed my yearly rant about Christmas music being played on the radio much too early. I will continue the tradition this year with this post.

Last weekend Mr. Fixit and I were in the car, and he turned on the radio. Christmas music was already being played. It wasn't every second or third selection; it was every song. I like Christmas music, but how many times must we be subjected to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" or "Santa Baby?" I even get sick of hearing the traditional carols by Christmas.

Please, Messrs. Program Manager, please, please, hold off on the seasonal music until after Thanksgiving and allow us a break every now then by tossing in you usual fare. By Christmas I'm even willing to listen to Rod Stewart.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Wizard's Lesson in Humility

This past week our wireless network decided that it wouldn't allow the laptop to connect to the internet. It seems that it didn't recognize the security key. I have no idea why. One minute I was connected to the world; the next minute I was confined to the programs of the laptop. Even though Mr. Fixit and I were careful to write down any information that the set-up process suggested, we had no notes, or even a clue, as to the laptop's security key. After several days of frustration, I found the problem and corrected it. To be perfectly honest, I don't know exactly what the heck I did to correct the problem, but once again I was able to travel the internet highway on all three computers. I was so proud of myself; I truly believed that I deserved my self-proclaimed title of “Computer Wizard.” But as has been said, pride goeth before the fall.

Yesterday I found a movie that I wanted to record on the DVD recorder. The only problem was that I found it about 10 minutes into the movie. I checked the Directv program guide and found that instead of showing this feature eleventeen times during the month, there was only one other showing scheduled and it was for 11:30 pm to 1:20am last night. I asked Mr. Fixit if he could find the instruction book for the DVD recorder and set the timer to record it.

After about 45 minutes, he yells to me upstairs that he couldn't get it to work. Thinking pridefully of my success with the computer, I went down to lend a hand. After about an hour or so, we finally programmed the timer for 11:30. Success!

About 11:00 pm I put the satellite receiver on the right channel and put a blank DVD in the little disc drawer (that's a technical term). I noticed a strange entry on the digital thingy. It said "-2:00:00." Hmmm. Very curious. As Mr. Fixit and I waited for 11:30 to come and to see the little red “recording” light come on, I had a bad feeling. My precognition was working quite well; 11:30, 11:35--that little red light never came on!

As I admitted defeat and trudged upstairs to bed with my head hanging, I realized that my status as Wizard has not yet been earned. I know that I will only deserve that title when I master the DVD recorder. I'm a bit disheartened. I never learned how to set the clock on the old VCR.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Mystery Inside a Mystery

Most of my reading material comes from the public library. I read mostly mysteries and thrillers and maybe a few romances in the mix. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I read romances, but they are my guilty pleasure once in a while.

There is another patron of our local branch whose reading preferences seem much like mine. For some reason, I am assuming that the person is a woman, but I have very little evidence of that. This person always seems to get the good books before me. I know this because he/she has a little habit that drives me bonkers. (I think I'll call the reader “she” so I don't have to type “he/she” every time I mention her.)

She circles words using a ballpoint pen in the books. At first she was circling “God” when it was used as a curse word. I thought maybe she objected to taking the Lord's name in vain. Then she started circling other socially unacceptable words. It seems to me that if she were offended by some words she should forgo reading the books written by authors who use such words. Then she began to circle mistakes that sometimes are missed by spell check like homonyms used incorrectly. She apparently doesn't like dangling participles either. Personally, I hate seeing sentences ending with prepositions, but I don't circle them in ballpoint pen. Now she is circling random, ordinary words. I can't figure out her criteria for picking these seemingly random words and that's what driving me crazy. It's a mystery to me. There is also the fact that she defaces the books by using ink. If she's going to continue this practice, I wish she would use a pencil.

I hope she doesn't start to dog-ear the pages. That would be totally unacceptable. I know, I know. I need to get a life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ida's Aftermath

Ida is passing. She brought a few inches of rain during the past 36 hours and a bit of wind. More showers are forecast for this evening and tomorrow.

The trees in our yard are not dropping their leaves as they ususally do. One maple tree is completely bare; the other one still has most of it's leaves that have turned yellow. The oak in the front yard still most of its leaves and very few have changed color. Before the rain began the leaves on the pecan tree had just begun to turn and very few had fallen. This is how it looked this morning after Ida.

The leaves that were on the tree now carpet the driveway.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Three-Year-Old with All the Answers

Levi’s Aunt Suzy came to visit over the weekend. Ben and Dena had a party to attend so it fell to Suzy to get the children ready for bed. When she started to wash Levi’s hair, he refused, adamantly. She said, “Levi, we must wash your hair. It’s very dirty. Your mother washes your hair, right?”

“No,” he stated firmly. “Mommy doesn’t wash my hair.” (He wasn’t fibbing; his daddy washes his hair.)

She said, “Levi, if we don’t wash your hair it will get dirty, greasy, and smelly. Flies and bugs might start flying around your head.”

“No, they won’t. I use bug spray.”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mr. Microsoft Does It Again

Note: I wrote this post last night. This morning Yahoo! tech news had an article saying that the Japanese L-O-V-E Windows 7. Maybe I'm the one person in the world who finds it less than satisfactory.

The year before Mr. Fixit retired, we bought a new computer. It is now 7 years old. It came equipped with Windows XP. I had no problems going from Windows ME to XP. They were both user-friendly even for this old codgerette who is not exactly the computer wizard she pretends to be.

For the last year or so, little things began to go wrong with the old computer. Sometimes it wouldn’t boot necessitating a start-up in safe mode and restoring. Many times I had to restore several times in order to boot normally. I eventually opted to leave the computer on all the time, just turning off the monitor.

I tried to keep the computer maintained by defragmenting*, deleting the temporary internet files, deleting as much stuff (that’s a technical term), and performing the security scans on a regular basis. It came to the point that we had to wait forever for Outlook Express to open. Everything slowed down dramatically. We decided it was time for the old computer to be replaced. We decided on a laptop with Vista installed. I don’t really care for Vista, but I can get used to it.

Mr. Fixit hates the laptop. He decided to get a new tower and use the old monitor to hold down costs. The new computer came with Windows 7 operating system. Maybe after I get used to it and learn to use it properly I will find it easier to use, but at this point, I HATE it.

Our biggest problem is that Seven doesn’t have an email program. It suggests that a web mail program be used. For several reasons that is unacceptable to me. Ben, our son and personal IT guy, found a barely acceptable program compatible with Seven. There are several problems with it, but it’s better than the web mail program.

Our old printer and the old scanner were not compatible with the new computer. I tried to download the drivers to make it compatible, but HP said that the drivers needed were not available. We spent another $100+ for a new all-in-one printer.

It was suggested that we purchase an “Easy Transfer Cable” to facilitate transferring files and folder from the old computer to the one. I was not willing to pay $40 for cable that possibly would be used once. I experienced “sticker shock” when I saw the price.

Most of the problems that I see will probably correct themselves after I learn the system. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I hate that when I minimize a window there is only a barely noticeable indicator on the task bar. As a result, it’s possible to have several pages open without realizing it. The solution has something to do with the tabs, I think.

There is no dictionary button on the tool bar. I used that button all the time. I miss it.

There are programs such as XPS Viewer that are completely alien to me. What the heck is it used for? Only Mr. Microsoft (and the Japenese) knows.

The Windows Works (the cheap version of Windows Office) word processor doesn’t work as well as the one on XP. It is so aggravating!

I have yet to use the “Search Programs and Files” facility with any success. “Help and Support” is neither helpful or supportive.

The mail program was part of a larger program called Windows Live that loaded up my computer with junk I neither want or need.

I can’t find the “delete temporary internet files” thingy. It’s probably there; I just can’t find it.

There are lots of other little things that I will have to get used to, but I think Mr. Fixit has the right idea. Someone gave him an old monitor. He put the old computer on the network, and he sits and waits for a little while for it to do its thing. Maybe by the time it suffers its fatal crash I will have this new crap figured out. If I say it often enough, maybe I’ll start believing it.

I did discover how to delete the temporary internet files today. I found it accidentally.

*When I was typing this on the Windows Works word processor, I typed the word "defragmenting." The program decided arbitrarily that the word should be "decrementing" and wouldn't let me use "defragmenting."If I had wanted to say "decrementing," I would have used it right after looking it up in the dictionary. I changed it here and Blogger accepted "defragmenting" with no problem.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cursive Handwriting

I found out something last night that shocked me right down to my toes. Schools, at least in our area, don’t teach cursive writing any longer. The teachers teach the basic cursive skills for about two weeks in third grade. They are taught to sign their names. Any written work to be handed in is printed. The reasoning is that most writing will be done on keyboards so they don’t need to learn cursive.

When I was a student many years ago, printing was frowned upon and good handwriting was considered an art.

What next, no more basic math because everyone will be using calculators or computers?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


When I was young, I didn’t worry too much about getting old. Longevity doesn’t run in my family. My dad died at 42; my mother at 57. Both my brothers died far too young. The older one was 60; the younger one was 50. I only had one grandparent who lived to be over 70. That was my dad’s father. My mother always said he was too mean to die.

Last month I had my 64th birthday. I never expected to reach this age. There are several things about it that I don’t like. I don’t like that my skin is so wrinkled. I should have stopped smoking earlier I suppose. My hair has thinned on top. It is said that some of the medication I take causes that problem. It’s probably just because my hormones aren’t doing whatever it is that hormones are meant to do. I don’t mind having it turn gray but I dislike the different texture of the gray.

When I was young I could put on my jeans standing up. If I try that now, I lose my balance. Now I have to sit down, put my feet in the legs, and then stand to pull them up. When I was young I could get into the car with one fluid motion. Now I get one leg and one hip in and then have to pull the other leg in after. It’s not a pretty sight I’m sure. My lips have thinned, my eyelashes are stubby, and I buy ugly shoes that are comfortable.

The absolute worst thing for me is my unreliable memory. I seem to spend several hours a day looking for things. I have trouble remembering what day it is. I have to think about what I saw on television the night before. I lose words. Names flee my mind hiding in the deepest recesses of my brain. I can never remember if I closed the garage door. Many times I have had to return home to check only to find that I had closed it. I don’t think I have ever left it open; it’s something I do automatically so I don’t remember doing it.

Today I made beef stew and we ate about 3:00 in the afternoon. We had to leave by 3:45 to stay with the grandchildren while their parents went to a parent-teacher conference. We then went to Owen’s last baseball game. About half way into the game, it occurred to me that I didn’t remember turning off the pot of stew. I couldn’t just leave the game to check. The park is 20 to 25 minutes away from our house. Mr. Fixit said he would have noticed if it was on because he had turned off the light over the stove. He wasn’t 100% sure. I worried myself silly until I turned the corner near our house and saw that it was still standing and there was no sign that the fire department had been there.

Yes, there are things I detest about getting old, but, as it has been said, it beats the alternative.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Great Blimp Chase

We were out yesterday morning and saw a blimp over Clemson. The chase was on. I wanted a picture. Taking pictures with a digital camera and driving is not easy. I couldn't see the display to frame the shot because the sun was actually shining for the first time in days, and I forgot to use the "zoom." Mr. Fixit didn't have much better luck even though he wasn't driving. This is the best shot of the lot, and you will have to click on it to enlarge to see what little there is to see.

I don't know why the Goodyear Blimp was flying over Clemson unless it had something to do with an upcoming football game. The leaves look pretty even if the blimp is difficult to see.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mr. Microsoft Strikes Out!

This is applicable to the last few days in the Fixit household. Has anyone heard the sighs of frustration and raised voices emanating from this part of the country? If you haven't, it because you haven't been listening.

Mr. Fixit bought himself a new computer (tower only), and we have been trying to get the @#$#%^& thing set up. Everyone complained about Vista, well, let me tell you--Windows 7 is crap! More to come on that subject when my blood pressure goes down.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adventures in Dentistry - A Rerun

Today I had an appointment with the dentist to get a filling. While I was lying in the chair with my eyes closed, I smelled a smell that reminded me of an exchange between my late, younger brother and me. Even with the run-on sentences, it makes me laugh. Thinking about it eased the discomfort and reminded me of his quick, macabre wit which I miss terribly.

From: Lucy
To: Kevin

I went to the dentist again today. He did more impressions for my new partials. He had a tool like a Drimmel with which he cut notches in some of my teeth to hold the new partials in place.
I usually close my eyes so that I don't see what he is doing, but once I opened my eyes, and there was smoke rising from my mouth! Thank goodness, they had a fine spray of water going at the same time or my remaining teeth could have gone up in flame. It smelled like bacon that has been burned in the microwave oven.

From: Kevin
To: Lucy

Yes, you are VERY lucky that the water mist was working, and you're right about the bacon smell. During my last extraction (we old hands at this, refer to teeth pulling by the technical name, extraction), the dental micro-hydrator (more technical terminology) in the next cubicle became plugged with enamel debris, and a little old woman's mouth burst into flame. Needless to say, the dentist and hygenist were shocked into stunned inaction. All they could do was watch in horror. The little old lady, with teeth and tongue ablaze, jumped up from the chair and ran down the hall past the entrance to my cubicle. It was quite a sight. Bright yellow flames licking at the old dear's blue-toned coif. Her screams still haunt my slumber. As I am on the safety committee at work, I had noted the placement and type of fire extinguishers in the building. Knowing that there was a Type ABC extinguisher located on the wall at the end of the hall for which she was headed, I ripped my bib off and ran after her. I knew that the flames would obscure her vision and chances were that she would run into the wall, bounce back a few feet, and probably fall to the floor in a blazing heap. I made my way through the smoke filled corridor, and as I predicted, I found her in the floor right in front of the extinguisher. My safety training took over at this point, and I grabbed the extinguisher and used the fire safety acronym, P.A.S.S. Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle toward the fire, Squeeze the trigger, Sweep the area of the fire. Just as I got the fire out, the stunned dentist arrived and began resuscitation. She was transferred to the burn unit at the University of Louisville where she underwent many painful skin graft procedures to her cheeks, lips, and the tip of her nose. There wasn't much they could for her tongue though. She was left with a stump. The poor thing will never again know the joy of a Basking-Robbins double scoop rocky-road waffle cone. As for me, my stomach still lurches at the smell of certain microwaved pork products.

I thought I told you about that. Didn't I tell you about that?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Misc Photos

These are a few of the pictures I downloaded from my camera that were taken during the last week or so.

The Halloween candy makers have outdone themselves this year when it comes to making really yucky stuff. Aside from the dismembered foot shown above, they also had some edible "Bat Droppings."

A South Carolina sunset. The colors are a little off. The yellowish clouds were actually neon pink. Georgous!

Levi warming up with Cole's team before an early morning game in this weekend's tournament.

Levi found a special seat in the baseball bucket in the dugout to watch the game.

Cole (in the catcher's gear) after receiving his trophy. His team won the tournament.

(Click on each photo for more detail.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Woe Is Me!

There are few things that are more frustrating to me than my computers. Having problems with them changes me into someone I wouldn’t want to be around. I found something yesterday that affected me in the same way.

Some time ago the children gave me a Verizon gift certificate for a new phone because I complained about my cute pink Razr so much. I hated that phone! I decided to hang on to the gift card until our two year contract was up so Mr. Fixit and I could both get new phones if we renewed our contract and they gave us a deal on new phones. I held that card for a year and a half.

Yesterday we shopped for new phones. All I wanted was a phone with a larger keypad and Bluetooth technology. Are all phones Bluetooth now? I don’t know. We don’t need texting, to get on line, to play games, or watch tv on our phones. We just want phones to make phone calls.

After finding ones that we wanted, I came home and took the instruction book out of the box. In the scan below, the top manual is the one for the Razr. It has 100 English language pages. It answers almost any question relative to the use of the phone. It’s all beaten up because I carry it with me at all times. The one little manual is for the new phone. It is half the width of the old one and has 79 English language pages. It had very little information in it to help me set up the phone properly for my use. I haven’t been able to set up the voice mail; I have to take it back to the store and ask for their assistance.

The Bluetooth wireless headset is junk. It has no indicators that I can find to show if it is on or off or if the battery needs to be charged. I couldn’t get it to work at all. The only instruction with this item told how to synchronize it with the phone. The young woman at the phone store did that for us.

I know that I am not technologically gifted, but we have had wireless phones for a long time. Our first one was a big “bag” phone. We usually change phones every two years or so when their expensive rechargeable batteries become useless. I have never been unable to set up my voice mail or to use my headsets. I went on line for assistance and looking for a more detailed manual and couldn’t find one to help me. I am so p.o.ed!!!

And now there is a double whammy. I can’t figure out how to share files on the old computer with my new computer. The printer is shared; apparently the flatbed scanner cannot be shared. I can’t even figure out how to share folders. I tried for two and a half hours to figure it out. I’m using the old computer to post this because I can’t find the scan of the manuals on the new computer.

To add insult to injury—while I was proof-reading, my cat who has taken complete leave of her senses in the last few weeks lay down on the mouse and half of my post disappeared. I had to rewrite it.

All in all, with broken arms, new phones, lack of knowledge, and a CRAZY cat, it hasn’t been such a good weekend. There are only a few hours of the weekend left; I wonder what will happen next.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Third Time Is NOT the Charm!

For the third time in Noah’s young life (he’s 9 yrs.old), he has broken his arm. The first time was at daycare where he fell off the monkey bars (left arm). The second time was two years ago when he fell off the monkey bars while he was at the after-school care program at school (right arm). Yesterday he was playing at recess and fell (left arm). I might also mention that Owen, his younger brother, also broke his arm at daycare.

The first two times the caregivers simply called Jason and he picked him up and took him to the hospital. Yesterday an ambulance was called and the principal rode with him to the hospital while Alisa and Jason (Mom & Dad) were en route.

He is such a little trooper. The nurse said, “On a scale from one to ten with one being a paper cut and ten being the worst pain you have ever felt, what number would say describes how much you hurt?” After he thought about it for a few seconds, he said, “Nine and three quarters.” I guess he remembered how much his arms had hurt when previously broken. He had also already been given morphine by the EMT's and that accounts for the missing quarter.

The way the community reacted was unbelievable! Of course, the news spread throughout the school with the speed of light. Jason and Alisa are very nice, sociable people who have lot of friends and have many acquaintances. Owen had a baseball game last night and Noah’s Recreation League team also had a game at the same time. After his arm was put in a temporary splint (the hard cast will be put on in a few days), he wanted to come to the park to watch his team play. He was so upset because he thought he was letting his team down. That’s the kind of kid he is. He was still glassy-eyed from the pain killers he had been given when they arrived. I would say that more than half the people in the park came over to see how he was and to wish him well.

Jason just called and said he was doing okay this morning. Noah’s traveling team has a tournament this weekend, and he wants to go watch them play this afternoon.

Jason said that if he had to break his arm three times, he was glad it happened when he was with people other than family. If not, he and/or Alisa could have probably been reported for child abuse.

When at the hospital, they asked the doctor if there is a physical reason why he seems to break bones as often as he has. The doctor had he couldn’t see anything that would cause it. Maybe when he goes to the orthopedist he will check him out just to be sure.

Jason has put the orthopedist on speed dial.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It Must Be in the Genes

When Mr. Fixit had his hearing aids “installed,” I sent our sons, Ben and Jason, an email telling them about Mr. Fixit’s reaction. I mentioned that he hadn’t said “Huh?” once. Ben’s answering message said, “Huh?” That's all, just "Huh?"

He also signed me up to receive Dog the Bounty Hunter’s news letter by email. I threatened to enroll him and Jason in Barry Manilow’s fan club. (I haven’t received anything from Dog except the acknowledgement of my inclusion on his list. Thank Goodness!)

Today when I explained why I think the insurance company is going to deny my claim for the damages to my car, he sent me an email with the link to Judge Judy to submit my case for her consideration. There was no further message.

His sense of humor is as dry as the Sahara. I wonder where both my boys get it. I couldn’t be from. . . Nah!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Learning from My Mistakes

Sunday afternoon when pulling out of my parking place in the Wal-Mart parking lot, the man parked directly behind me backed into my car after I had backed out of the slot but before I could put the car into Drive and move away. He put a small dent (Maybe six inches wide) on the side of my car above the wheel well. It seems I made several mistakes so these are the things I would do differently:

1. I will call the police. Mr. Fixit will never let me live it down that I didn’t call the police even though my insurance company said that it wasn’t necessary since the accident happened on private property.

2. I will take a deep breath and calm down before I get out of the car. I was so shaken and angry, I had trouble finding my proof of insurance. (I did eventually find it.)

3. I will have a pencil and paper handy. I had to write the other driver’s info on the car manual front cover. If there is a next time I will write every minute piece of information the other driver offers. I didn’t do it Sunday.

4. I always have a camera in my purse, but I made a major mistake by not making pictures of both cars immediately after the accident. I was concerned about impeding traffic so I moved my car out of the traffic lane. I did take pictures of the damage to both cars. I had a dent; he had three or four scratches on his bumper. He was driving a big pickup truck; I was driving a little-bitty car.

5. I should have spoken up when I heard his saying it was both our faults. He was already trying to cover his butt.

6. I will also be sure to ask for the names and addresses of witnesses.

The jerk that hit my brand new little car with his big pickup is filing a claim with my insurance company even though he backed into my car while I was at a dead stop. If I shared responsibility for the accident I have the integrity to say so. When I called my insurance company this afternoon to relay that he was filing a claim, the rep said, “You did say that he hit the side of your car, right?” I said yes. She said, “Then I’ll deny his claim.” I hate to think that my insurance rates will go up because of an accident that wasn’t my fault.

I detest dealing with patronizing, un-co-operative company respresentatives (when Southern men say “I’m not trying to be ugly,” they are) and people with so little honor that they would shade the truth. Man-up, for gosh sake! Admit your fault! All I want is the little dent on my new car repaired.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Don't Judge All of Us by These Examples

First it was “Luv Guv” Sandford, an apt sobriquet in my opinion, declaring on national television that a woman other than his wife is his soul mate. Then came Rep. Joe Wilson’s rudeness and disrespect to the President of the United States and to his fellow legislators. We have learned that Mrs. Luv Guv is writing a "memoir" to twist the knife perhaps. Now we have the candidate for the office of State Adjutant General holding a “machine gun social” to kick off his campaign. The festivities were held at an indoor shooting range. For $25 participants received a barbecue lunch, ammo for target practice, and a chance to win an AK-47.

I have no ending remark; I am at a loss for words.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's All Relative

Did you ever wonder what is the most expensive liquid in the world? I think I found it today. It isn’t a sophisticated brandy; it isn’t a glamorous perfume; it isn’t liquid gold. Dollar for dollar, it has to be Frontline Plus, a treatment for the control of fleas and ticks on pets. I paid $17.95 for one application. It amounts to about two drops.

However, it works and works quickly, and that’s (should I say it? Yeah, why not.) PRICELESS!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Behind the Times

Since I didn’t watch the Emmy awards show, the next morning I checked the news to see the winners. I realized that I have never seen any of the winning shows. I very rarely watch the four “big” networks. I watch a “CSI,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS,“ and “Bones” regularly, but that’s about it.

When “Dancing with the Stars” first came on, I really enjoyed it. Somehow about the fourth year I didn’t find it much fun to watch anymore. I watched the first show this week and found that watching Tom Delay made me very uncomfortable. I have never heard of some of the young women who are participating. I really like “Antiques Roadshow” which airs on Monday evenings much more than “DWTS.”

I noticed that Showtime has been available to us for about three weeks. I looked on the Directv site to see if it was free to drum up new customers, but there was no explanation. We received a letter this week explaining that since we had been customers for such a long time they were giving us three months free viewing of those premium channels. I saw an episode of “Dexter” and the movie “Manhunter” (the first movie version of the book, “Red Dragon.” I haven’t been able to find anything else that looks interesting. I watch old movies rented from Netflix and an occasional new one.

I have never watched “American Idol,” “Lost,” or “Survivor.” I guess the bottom line is that I have become an old codgerette who is definitely behind the times. Does that bother me? Not in the least!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Isn't Technology Wonderful?

Today was a big day in the Fixit household. At least, it was a big day for me. Mr. Fixit had his new hearing aids fitted. They cost a fortune, but I think they are worth every penny and more.(FYI--Medicare does not cover any part of the cost.) He hasn’t said, “Huh?” one time since we came home from the doctor’s office. To be perfectly honest, having to repeat every single thing I said to him was very annoying to me even though I know that he couldn‘t help it. There have been occasions when I said something totally innocuous to him and he misunderstood. We have had more than one rather loud “discussion” about things he thought I said but I had said nothing close to what he thought I said. I was also worried about the safety factor driving and at work.

Mr. Fixit worked for years in the textile industry. Even though he was meticulous about wearing ear protection and insisting that his employees do the same, he experienced what I consider a large hearing loss because of the horrendous noise in the mill. Of course, age is also a factor.

He was a little afraid that they would work too well--hearing the echo of his own voice, background sounds being too loud, the devices being too noticeable. I think he was pleasantly surprised. The only sound that was a little disconcerting to him was the rustling of a paper bag. He said it was grating. When I turned on the kitchen TV, the volume was on No. 4. That’s the volume I use unless the appliances are running. He said it was a bit loud. The devices are very, very small and barely visible. The part that fits behind his ear is almost the same color as his hair, and the part that fits into his hear is not visible. The wire going from the ear canal to the piece behind the ear is clear. You have to look very closely to see it.

I don’t think he realized how bad his hearing is until the doctor put them in his ears. He had a smile on his face like a kid on Christmas morning. I guess I will have to watch what I say or we may have some more loud “discussions.” I am thrilled for him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Good (Bella & Baseball), the Bad (My Computer), and the Ugly (Spandex)

This past weekend the boys had tournaments in the same city--even in the same park! And it was at what could be considered our home field. We didn’t have far to drive. The only problem was that they played games at the same time, but we saw each of them play in two games. It is still very hot. I’ll be so glad when it cools off a little. When I’m complaining about sitting in the cold, I’m going to try to remember how miserable I was in the heat and humidity.

And now this old codgerette has some complaints.

As I was driving to the post office, I passed a bicyclist riding not in the bike lane but about a foot from the line in the roadway. In case he’s not bright enough to figure it out, the highway department painted those white lines for the bike lanes for a reason. It's so the cyclists won’t get knocked out of their skin-tight bike costumes and those aerodynamic helmets they wear. That’s another thing. I never see those people on bikes flying down the road. They seem to ride at a rather comfortable speed. If they aren’t riding against the clock, why do they wear Spandex. I know it’s to cut down on wind resistance, but they don’t seem to be riding as if they are racing. If they are simply riding for exercise, it seems that they would want to wear some clothing that would give as much as resistance as possible in order to get the most from this form of exercise. It would be like riding up and down hills instead of riding on flat ground. I think they really just like wearing bright colored spandex and helmets. I do wish they would stay in their own lanes.

That same morning I saw an older lady step off the sidewalk into the street to avoid an adult male riding his bike on the sidewalk. He should know better. There are signs posted saying no bikes on the sidewalks. Some people think the rules don’t apply to them.

When I turned on the old computer Tuesday morning the darned thing wouldn’t boot up. I started it in safe mode to try to “restore” three times. It didn’t help. I was so irritated.

Bella had invited Mr. Fixit and me to have lunch with her at school, so after trying to fix the computer I was running a few minutes late. I rushed to get my clothes ready and to take a shower. Just as I was getting ready to dry my hair, the telephone rang. I couldn’t check the caller id because I didn’t have my glasses on.

“Hello,” I said. There was no response. I said quite a bit louder, “H-E-L-L-O!” I was getting ready to hang up when I hear someone say, “Mrs. Fixit? How are you this morning?” I could hear him chewing and swallowing. He must have been having breakfast at his desk. I replied, “I’m very busy. How about you?” Again while chewing and swallowing, he told me he was calling from our bank to explain the merits of our platinum charge card. (I guess they think I’m no using it enough. In fact, I’ve only used it once.) I explained that I was in a rush and asked that he call back at a more convenient time. Of course, he said he would; he was still eating.

Hint to Bank of America: Tell your telemarketers to stop eating and drinking while they are making sales calls. You can be sure I will ignore the next call that comes from BofA.

After we had lunch with Bella, which is always nice, we came home and I tried to get the computer going again. Ben tried to help me over the phone, but nothing was helping. I feel funny asking him to help me when he’s in his office working. He said, “It sounds like something is definitely frozen up.” I told Mr. Fixit what he said and Mr. Fixit said that when he is working and the hand-held computers freeze, they simply disconnect them for a minute or so and that solves the problem. It’s the same thing you do when your phones go out. Mr. Fixit unplugged the tower from the wall outlet and then reconnected it. Presto! It booted up perfectly. Mr. Fixit now has a new title. He’s now the Wizard’s apprentice.

Then I was looking for an installation CD to install an old program on the new laptop, and I couldn’t find it.I looked everywhere. I never throw those things away but it wasn't with all the others. I was so frustrated. All in all, with the exception of having lunch with Bella, Tuesday was a hellish day.

Today didn’t begin much better. I had an appointment with the dentist. She said I need two fillings. Just Peachy! I put that off until later next month.

We did some errands before we came home. I took a nap and then cooked lunch. The fettuccini was tasty, and the rest of the afternoon was uneventful. I hope tomorrow is boring and routine. I like boring and routine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How I Spent My Labor Day Weekend

When I go to the library, I sometimes come home with books I have already ready and maybe a dud or two. Last Friday I hit the jackpot.

From the “New Shelves,” I picked Blue Heaven by C. J. Box, The Lovers by John Connolly, and Nightwalkers by P. T. Deutermann. From the stacks I chose three Kate Shugak mysteries by Dana Stabenow.

Blue Heaven is a stand-alone book by Mr. Box. I always like his Joe Pickett books, and this one was as good if not better than that series. It kept me on edge until the final pages. Nightwalkers is in the Cam Richter series by Mr. Deutermann. I confess that I have only read this series. His other titles don’t appeal to me. This series never fails to keep me entertained. While I found Mr. Connolly’s latest offering interesting, I can’t say that I “enjoyed” it. His books in the Charlie Parker series always have that Twilight Zone-ish quality, but this one went even further into that supernatural realm. I like the older work better, but I don’t feel as if I wasted my time on this one.

Dana Stabenow writes one series featuring Kate Shugak, a PI, and the action takes place in Alaska. Her books are interesting and entertaining. This one I’ve finished today, Breakup, begins with the onset of the spring thaw, or the breakup. Things go a little crazy for Kate and the rest of the quirky inhabitants of Kate's little corner of Alaska. A 747’s engine falls from the sky, lands on her truck, and damages her house and outbuildings. She is attacked by grizzlies who have just roused from their hibernation and are hungry and grumpy. She finds a body that has been nibbled on by the bears. She involved in two shoot-outs. Everyone goes a little nuts after having made it through the long winter without going crazy. This book was hilarious—a bit of a departure for Ms. Stabenow. I loved it!

Tonight I’m going to start another Stabenow. In fact, I think I’ll go to bed right now and get started.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This morning Mr. Fixit and I did a little exploring. We have never seen this view of Lake Hartwell. It's on the border of South Carolina and Georgia. The bright blue sky made the water look so blue. If the walkway along the top of the dam had been open to the public we could have walked about a half mile or less crossing into Georgia.
It is simply beautiful.

(Click on each photo to see more detail)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Odds and Ends

When I was growing up in Kentucky and Tennessee, little girls were taught wearing white shoes after Labor Day was a no-no. Every “lady” had to have at least one pair of white pumps because “white goes with everything.” I was also advised not to wear sandals after Labor Day. There are some things that become ingrained no matter how times change. Today I was going to the library so I changed into unfaded jeans, a pink short-sleeved blouse, and my pink thong sandals. The temperature was in the high 80’s. I looked at my feet and thought, “Well, I still have a few days until Labor Day.” Here in South Carolina we have temperatures in the 80’s sometimes in October, but I can’t bring myself to wear sandals in October.

When we pulled into the parking lot at the post office, there were two UPS trucks unloading packages. I said to Mr. Fixit, “Isn’t that a little weird having UPS delivering to the post office?”

I sometimes go the library in a neighboring town. It’s much larger than ours, and they have books on their “New Books” shelves that are less than two years old. It is the noisiest library I have ever visited. Every time I go there, people are holding long, loud cell phone conversations. There is a small coffee area and the person who mans it makes no effort to keep his voice down. He isn’t a teenager; he should know better. They should at least put a little notice at the entrance asking people to turn off their phones. There is a sign in my dentist’s office that says if your phone rings during the appointment, the visit will end immediately and another appointment must be made. He’s tough, but I’ve never heard a cell phone ring there.

Our area has been declared in a drought situation again. We have had a lovely green spring and summer, but with very little rain lately, the lake levels are falling again. The weather has been a little cooler during the past week. I don’t think it hit 90 degrees more than one or two days. It was cool enough one morning for us to have breakfast on the deck.

My email could be very unusual in the near future. This morning I was watching a detective movie in “The Falcon” series made in the 1940’s. There were two Falcon’s—George Sanders was in the first three movies. His character’s name was Gay Lawrence. Tom Conway, Sanders’ older brother, then took over the character, but they changed the name. Netflix offers none of the movies in the series, so I checked with Amazon. I typed in “The Gay Falcon,” the name of the second movie in the series, and the search offered me several pornographic movies instead of the comedic mystery I was searching for. Of course, back in the ‘40’s the connotation of the word “gay” was completely different than it is today. Since Amazon inundates me with email ads after I buy browse their site, I will probably be on their porn list. Darn!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Mistaken Judgment

For the last couple of years, we have been members of Netflix. Almost all the movies I rent were made before 1980. Since Mr. Fixit and I have completely different tastes, I try to balance the orders between classic movies and British TV mysteries for me, and old westerns and some action movies for him.

Today when I decided to add to my queue, I noticed that the first category of THEIR suggestions for me based on my rental history was “Violent TV Shows”. These included “The Shield,” “Shaka Zulu,” “Heroes,” “Forever Knight,” “24,” “Rome,” and “Roar.”

How could the good folks at Netflix come to the conclusion that I like “violent” TV shows? Most recently I have been viewing a few Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple’s, a few Hamish Macbeth’s, several Inspector Lynley’s, three or four Charlie Chan’s, and several of the Morse spin-off, “Inspector Lewis.” Granted, these are murder mysteries, but they are decidedly unviolent. In most of them, you may see a few unrealistically “clean” corpses (no bullet holes, no stab wounds, no bulging tongues from strangulation, etc. TMI?). You sometimes see a discrete puddle of blood.

When “The Shield” first aired, I watched it twice. It was too violent for me and seeing the corruption made me feel. . .icky. I didn’t watch it again. I have never seen “Shaka Zulu,” “Rome,” or “Roar.” I watched one or two episodes of “Heroes” on the “Watch Now” option offered by Netflix. I didn’t care for it. I thought it was a bit of a bore. I have never seen “24.” I’m not in to political thrillers any longer. I was in that phase about 30 years ago reading Leon Uris, Allan Drury, and others of that genre. I have to admit I have watched a few episodes of “Forever Knight.” When we first had the satellite service installed, there was a network called “Trio.” They aired a lot of programming originating on the BBC, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting), and a few shows from Australia. That’s where I saw “Forever Knight.” I have no idea if it was on American networks. Incidentally, it wasn’t that violent. Knight was a vampire police officer—a good guy.

So, you see, I’m not into violence, just “tasteful” murder. I wonder if I have to start renting “chick flix” to remove this stain from my viewing reputation. Please, please, tell me I don’t have to start watching Julia Roberts and Diane Lane. PLEASE!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

An Open Letter to Our Local PBS Station

If you wouldn’t replace “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and “Masterpiece Mystery” with “Celtic Woman” and “Motown Sounds” that I’ve seen eleventy-seven times during your fund raising, I would be more likely to send a donation.

This and That

Our weather has finally taken a turn for the better. It was hot today, but it’s pleasant outside this evening. I even sat on the deck for a little while. I hope this means that fall is just around the corner. The leaves have begun to turn and fall very early this year; it doesn’t have anything to do with the drought like it has the last few years.

Last weekend Noah had a tournament in a town about an hour and twenty minutes away from us. They were the hottest days of the baseball season yet. Those poor kids had to play back-to-back games both Saturday and Sunday. One little boy couldn’t play Sunday because he was so badly sunburned. Noah did quite well as usual.

Not much else is happening around the Fixit household. Mr. Fixit is quite happy that he's back on his normal four hours a day at work. He hasn’t worked his normal schedule for a long time. He has been working six hours a day for quite a long time, and he worked one week 40 hours.

We have some new student neighbors. Every night someone comes in about 1:00 am with the car radio blasting, and almost every night there are as many as seven or eight cars parked in the yard. They also have a dog. I can take a little noise, but I hope the dog doesn’t start chasing my cats.

There is nothing as frustrating to me as my computers. I wanted to "share" the printer connected to the old PC with the new laptop. Jason tried to help me over the phone, but it’s difficult when he can’t see what is going on. We worked until 11:30 pm one night and couldn’t get the darned thing working. The problem, I think, is the old computer uses Windows XP, and the laptop uses Vista. (I’m not too thrilled with Vista.) The next day I did a search on the error message and found that lots of people have had the same problem sharing the printer that I was having. Thank goodness, I found an easy-to-understand instruction for the solution to the problem, and I am now able to print material on the laptop. Now if I could fix the glitch in the scanner I would truly be worthy of being called The Wizard. Mind you, I’m the only one who calls me The Wizard. I uninstalled and reinstalled the scanner software, but I think I should have also included the scanner itself and started from scratch. I suppose I will just have to live with the little glitch.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where Do They Get This Stuff?

Noah and Owen stayed with us today because their summer daycare ended Friday and school doesn't start until tomorrow.

"Spongebob" doesn't come on TV until 11:00 am. I said, "Are you guys ready for 'Spongebob'?" Owen, who begins first grade tomorrow, said without missing a beat, "I was born ready."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

At Loose Ends

Here it is Saturday morning. I feel like a sailor without a ship, a cook without a stove, a teenager without his cell phone. I feel like a grandmother with no little guy baseball games to attend. What to do, what to do?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Open Letter to Coca-Cola

Dear Mr. Cola:

May I call you Coca, or even Coke? You and I have a very long acquaintance, but perhaps you are unaware of it. I remember when I was three years old I would wait for the Coca-Cola delivery man to make his stop at the corner grocery my mom and dad managed. After he unloaded Dad’s order, he would give me a Coke and sit me on top of the chest-type cooler in the store. I was too shy to say much, but I remember looking forward to his visits.

Now that I think about it I realize that I have known you longer than anyone unless we want to talk about some relatives that I haven’t seen in fifty years. Some people are best forgotten even if they are relatives.

You have been a constant in my life since I was three. You were there when I walked home from school and stopped at the drugstore for a cherry Coke that cost a nickel. You have been my drink of choice for most of my life. I wouldn’t trade you for the finest wine. There have been very few days when I haven’t had a Coke.

Coke, I would like to tell you how much I like your new packaging on the two liter bottles of caffeine free Coke. It evokes memories of those curvy little eight-ounce bottles of my youth.

I do have one little problem with you, Coke. Why in the world is the bottom of your bottles designed to be so unstable? Can’t you just make them flat so that they don’t fall over in shopping cart and in the trunk of the car for the trip home? Please, please, please! Give us a flat bottom!

My New Philosophy


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eccentric or Just Plain Goofy?

Mr. Fixit and I crossed the line between quaint eccentricity and just being two old loonies. We have always spoiled our pets a bit, but we never treated them as people. In fact, we have never even given them “people” names like Sam, Max, or Emily. We have had Dandy, Sarge, Cutie, and Vicious (Vishy, for short). I decided not to name the cats we have now, but their descriptions have become their names. We have Big Boy, Little Boy, Little Girl, and Mother.

Since the cats are feral, they spend most of their time outdoors; however, when the weather is bad they come inside, but they are restricted to the kitchen and dining room. They also come in every night to have a nightcap while I do my medicine routine.

Yesterday when Mr. Fixit came home from work I told him that the Big Boy wanted to stay indoors the previous night. I explained that I thought it was because the skunk had paid us a visit. About 12:30 am the cat started meowing. (He is a very loud meower. I think he may have a little Siamese in him.) I thought maybe he wanted to go out. When I came down to let him out, I discovered that he didn’t want to go out, he just wanted some company. I sat with him for a few minutes and then went back upstairs to continue my book after turning on a nightlight for him.

Mr. Fixit said, “He barely lifted his head when I came down to have coffee. He didn’t want to go out. I thought maybe he would start meowing so I thought about turning on the television so he wouldn’t be lonely.”

I said, “Did you listen to our conversation? We were talking about nightlights and television for the cat. We are now officially goofy.”

Note: We had a cat who actually watched television. She enjoyed cartoons, wildlife programs, and westerns. Mr. Fixit made her a padded bench so she could sit comfortably in front of the set. Maybe we crossed that “goofy” line a long time ago now that I think about it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"What Do Retirees Do All Day?"

This morning in Yahoo! News I saw an article that appeared in “U.S. News” entitled, “What Do Retirees Do All Day?” According to the article, retirees (between the ages of 65 and 74) spend 9.51 hours on personal care activities. The personal activities included sleeping. I suppose that it could also include personal hygiene and related activities. Personally, I spend about 5 or 6 hours sleeping on a good night. Mr. Fixit sleeps a bit more even though he gets up at 2:00 am five days out of seven. He can fall asleep anywhere. He is a champion napper. Oh, I nap, too. Mostly it’s when my glucose levels go up. I spend about 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Perhaps it would be more honest to say I should spend 30 minutes on the treadmill.

According to the article, retirees spend 2.26 hours on household activities. Yeah, right! There is cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, and financial management (known in our house as bill paying). Mr. Fixit does the yard work, household repairs, car repairs, and he shares the shopping chores. I think we are doing more than 2.26 hours.

I noticed that there was no time allotted for Wal-Mart activities. If Mr. Fixit and I miss two days in a row, the manager of our local store asks the police to do a welfare check on us. Okay, that’s a joke! She does notice a drop in her sales for those two days though.

The article also reports that Americans in the same 65 to 74 age bracket watch about 4 hours of television a day. How can that be possible? I can watch 5 hours of “NCIS” each and every weekday. That doesn’t include the Wednesday marathon. Doesn’t everyone watch reruns of “NCIS”? Then we have 2 hours of “Bones,” and “Law and Order” is on around the clock.

Reading accounts for only 45 minutes a day for most elders. What do they think I’m doing from 2:00 am to 5:00 am when Mr. Sandman hasn’t done his job properly?

Then comes computer time. I spend about an hour and a half every day catching up on the news: local, national, and world. My day can’t begin until I read “Dear Abby” and do the crossword. I have to check my blog list to see who has some interesting and fun to say. Then every few days I spend a an hour or so posting to my blog. In the afternoons I hit my game mode. I have several sites to play computer games.

A lot of my activities overlap. I listen to more television than I watch. Most of the time I am on the computer at the same time as Gibbs is keeping me company via the TV. Or I can read and watch TV at the same time. I usually have a movie running in the kitchen while cooking and cleaning.

Then there are usually a few days a week when Mr. Fixit and I go exploring those backroads that we’ve never driven before.

We seem to be busier at this time of our lives than we were when we were both working full time and raising a family. I do enjoy the freedom though. We have choices we never had before. We can explore or Mr. Fixit can mow the yard. I can read a book or load the dishwasher. If we decide to explore or read a book, the grass will only be a little taller tomorrow and those dishes aren’t going to run away from home.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


From the time I turn on the television and check my email in the morning, I am assailed by Hate. I am sick of it!

The most virulent Hate doesn’t seem to be coming from enemies outside our borders but from inside our own country. I listen to the news and see stories of our President being maligned for trying to bring our country back from horrendous mistakes that were made by others, not him. I hear him verbally assaulted for trying to correct inequities in the health care system. I see silly stories from the so-called “birthers” who claim that he wasn’t born in the US. I have even seen the silliest story yet criticizing his birthday cake. When will those spewing Hate stop? Why do they do it?

I have my own theory that the Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, Palin’s and Coulter’s of this world have less than altruistic reasons. Let’s face it, Hate, like sex, sells. They make big bucks spreading venomous stories. If they ever tried using intelligent argument instead of Hate and Fear and offering viable solutions for this country’s problems, they would no longer have an audience. Instead they rely on Hate and Fear to garner wealth and power which in turn feeds and perpetuates their enormous egos.

I am not saying that there is no room for argument and differences of opinion. As a nation, we support debate. We are a nation that was built from toil of different races. We offer the freedom to worship as each individual sees fit. These are the some of the reasons that we are the greatest nation in the world; will this internal Hate bring us to our knees?

The general public seems to be thriving on a steady diet of Hate. What is really surprising to me is that the people who listen to the hatemongers and spread the vileness claim to be good Christians. Why are they ready to believe everything these people say? Maybe it because it plays into the Hate that’s deep in their souls for anyone different that they are. They try to hide their bigotry by invoking the name of God at every turn while spreading their malignant feelings. What happened to the slogan that was everywhere a few years ago—WWJD? Do they think that Jesus could harbor such vile Hatred in his heart for all his children? Maybe they should take a good look into their own hearts. How will they be judged by Jesus who taught love, forgiveness, charity, tolerance, and peace?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dusting Off My Soapbox - Kids & Cell Phones

A few days ago in a local newspaper an article appeared reporting a controversy in a Georgia school system. The school board is contemplating implementing a new rule concerning use of cell phones in the classroom by students. The penalties seemed quite mild to me—confiscation of the phone for a period of three days for the first offense and requires parents to collect the phones. The holding period the next offense is a bit longer; the next, even longer. The article stated that most parents support the rule and the confiscations. Of course, most of the students are against the measure. These are some of the cogent, intelligent remarks made by the students. One young Einstein offered, “That’s stupid.” Another said, “We need the phones in case of emergency.” Uh-huh. Perhaps the emergency necessitating a text message could be “Dude, what’s the answer to No. 11?” or “Whassup?” Or perhaps a little emergency sexting?

What I found most interesting in the article was the support of most parents. It seems to me that they have given over one more facet of parenting to the school system. If they don’t want their children distracted from their educations, why don’t they make and enforce that rule themselves? Why does a kid need a phone in the classroom? If you can convince yourself that your child needs a phone at school, give it with the condition that the phone is to be left in the locker. If the child doesn’t obey the rule, take the phone away. More than likely, the parent is paying for the phone and its service; therefore, it belongs to parent and should be given to the kid with that understanding. Don’t wimp out—enforce your rules. Don’t cede your parental authority to a beleaguered educational system that has been given more than it can handle. Let the teachers educate; don’t make them surrogate parents. As parents, it’s our job to teach ethics, morals, etiquette, and good citizenship.

And if your child has his phone confiscated in school, support the school. Not all rules are made to be broken.

Monday, August 3, 2009


It seems we spend a lot of our time at baseball tournaments, but I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend.

Cole's team who played in the Charleston World Series was ranked 5th in the 13 and under division and 2nd in the State of South Carolina. Would it be too grandmotherly to say that Mr. Fixit and I are very proud of Cole and his teammates? Maybe I should just skip that part, huh?

Noah and his team had a tournament this past Saturday and Sunday. They won two games and lost two games. We don't know yet how they were ranked.

Saturday Mr. Fixit and I drove across the state to see some of his relatives who were camping near Myrtle Beach. It was a long round-trip drive, but he enjoyed seeing his nieces again. We only had one day because we wanted to see Noah play ball at least one day.

Mr. Fixit in his "Dirt Devils" team tee shirt, front view.

Mr. Fixit, back view.

Noah, our little "Dirt Devil."

As usual, click to enlarge.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Ricky Ricardo and Little Ricky Moment

Today when Levi came to visit, Mr. Fixit was acting silly while playing with him. Levi said to me, “I think Boopah is ‘sneezing’ me.”

I said to Mr. Fixit, “He not only says ‘Huh?’ every time someone speaks to him just like you do, but he also speaks English like you do."

Note: I think he was telling me that Boopah was “teasing” him.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Happenings

Cole’s baseball team took part in their league’s World Series Championship in Charleston. I was surprised by the number of teams attending and the geographic area covered. There were teams from as far away as Louisiana and Illinois. There could have been some from even more distant places, but we only saw the games for the 13 and under division.

Our team didn’t do very well. Out of the six games they played they only won 1 game. During the games we saw, no one seemed to be playing as well as they usually do. We had several incidents that could have hurt them, too. One little guy scraped his knee at a water park and developed a terrible infection. Friday, our first day there, he was complaining of a terrible headache and chills. His parents took him to an emergency care facility the next morning when they noticed a red streak running up his leg from the scrape. I guess water parks are notorious as the source of infections. The wife of the head coach became ill, and he pulled his child from the tournament to bring his wife home so the boys were playing without their usual coach and one team member. The weather was incredibly hot and humid. That could have been a factor in their lack of enthusiasm. It didn’t do much for me either.

We went down on Friday in time to see two games. We had to come home because we didn’t take our meds with us, and, of course, someone had to feed the cats. I got 3 hours of sleep Friday night. We weren’t able to stay for the games on Sunday, because Mr. Fixit had to go to work this morning at 4 am, and I was exhausted. By the time we could have arrived, the game would have been half over. We were spending about 7 hours a day traveling between here and Charleston.

I had never been to Charleston, and I finally was able to see live oaks with Spanish moss that I’ve about read about for years. I was thrilled! It was just as described in Southern romantic novels.

Last Thursday Mr. Fixit bought me a laptop. He said he was tired of hearing me complain about the old one. While he seldom uses the computer, he, too, would get mad at the weird error messages and the slowness when he tried to use the old. I haven’t had time to become acquainted with the new one yet. We did install a wireless network that night, and I was wondered if failure to install is a legal cause for divorce. We couldn’t get the first one to install so Mr. Fixit returned the first unit and picked out another brand. We had no problem with the second one. Well, perhaps I should say we had fewer problems and we did get it installed.
I using it now, and I’m having a little problem with the word processor. It keep scrolling while I’m trying to type. I’ll read the tutorial later to see what I’m doing to cause this little problem. In fact, I have a lot of tutorials to read. I may install my old, old Office program just for the word processor.

It’s nice to set up in the kitchen and "compute" while waiting for lunch to cook.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nobody's Business

I very seldom buy anything on the internet, but I “shop” and compare prices for specific items sometimes. An advertisement drew my eye for retro-styled shoes; as a “shoe” person, I browsed through their on-line stock. When I wanted to look for a red handbag locally, I again “shopped” on line to see what was available. After looking for both items, I immediately received email from Amazon advertising shoes and handbags. How far do the tentacles of Amazon reach? I think I resent the fact that my information had been shared with Amazon. Thank heaven I wasn’t shopping for anything for I wouldn’t discuss in this forum.

Amazon, stay out of my business! If I wanted to buy shoes and handbags from you, I would have checked out your site. I didn’t, so butt out! Incidentally, I will not buy shoes, not matter how cute they are, from the site I was browsing because apparently they share my information without my permission.

Grouse, grouse, grouse! Grumble, grumble, grumble!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Savage Run by C. J. Box

Several months ago, I discovered the novels of C. J. Box and have read several. I finished one this morning that was everything a good adventure novel should be—a real page turner.

Savage Run is, I believe, the second novel in Mr. Box’s Joe Pickett series. Mr. Box puts us, his readers, in the middle of a conflict able to see both sides of the problem. Joe Pickett is a game warden in Wyoming. He is drawn into a murderous situation between the Stockman’s Trust, with its roots going back to the infamous Tom Horn, and modern environmental terrorists.

Mr. Box also allows us to see the conflict between the killers hired by the Trust. (This is not a spoiler moment; you know almost from the beginning who’s doing what to whom.) One, who fancies himself a modern day Tom Horn, seems to enjoy the act of killing while the other sees himself as a righteous man trying to stop the environmentalists destroying his and others ranchers’ way of life.

One of the environmentalists rhapsodizes about the beauty of a herd of elk stampeding through the forest. She sees beauty in the wolf pack following behind the elk maybe not realizing that the wolves are following to cull the herd for their next meal. When she sees the savagery of the wolf kill, she is unprepared for the reality of Nature. Perhaps it forces her to see her cause in a different light.

There is a murder by an exploding cow, a harrowing chase through the mountains, and a canyon crossing that made my fear of heights to kick in big time. It left me a little queasy; it is written that well. (Nausea is my criteria for well-written, descriptive material? I never said I wasn’t a little strange.)

Joe Pickett is a nice, if not stubborn, guy with a loving family who is thrust into situations as a result of his wanting to do the right thing. I can hardly wait to get to the library to share another of Joe’s adventures and to get Mr. Box’s stand-alone, Blue Heaven.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baseball and Conversation

Today was Noah’s first baseball tournament for his traveling team. He did really well. They lost the first game and won the second. They played the games back to back. Tomorrow’s games are also back to back. I think it’s a little hard for those little guys in the heat with only a 15 minute break between games.

I actually talked to real people a little bit today, too. Mr. Fixit has been gone for eight days. I have talked to him once a day, and Jason called a couple of times. Other than that, I haven’t talked to anyone. While I was at the supermarket, I was hoping that the lady behind me in the check-out line would tell me about her gall bladder surgery. I had decided that if she did start a conversation I would invite her to lunch so that she could tell me about her cousin Myrtie Mae’s attack of shingles that pert near kilt her.

It's been a little lonely.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Smacked in the Face by Reality Yet Again

(No one would ever guess that Mr. Fixit is still at the beach. This is my fifth post in two days.)

This morning I had my hair cut to correct the unfortunate poofy results of the perm I put in a couple of days ago. A very nice young lady did a good job of fixing the problem. When I paid, she said, “That will be $9.00.” Having not lost all of my mental acuity, I thought, “Hmm, that’s less than I usually pay.” I glanced up at their posted prices. “Haircut - $11.00, Children and Seniors Haircuts - $9.00.” What?! She assumed I am a senior citizen?! She must not have a magic mirror as I do that firms my droopy jowls, brings back my naturally blond locks, and smooths away my “character lines.” She’s lucky I tipped her. Harroomph! And stay off of my lawn!

A Slow News Day

This morning on the Yahoo! News, there was an AP video of an interview with Levi Johnson. Remember him? He is the father of Bristol Palin’s baby. Remember her? She’s the daughter of Sarah Palin. Remember her? Oh, forget it. You know know who I’m talking about, right?

Anyway, the thrust of the interview concerned the reason for Gov. Palin’s decision to leave office before her term is completed. He was then asked if he would vote for her if she ran for President in the future.

Am I supposed to care what this young man has to offer on the controversial decision made by the Governor? Do I care whether he would vote for her or not? Pul-leese! This interview was about as newsworthy as the story in the Houston Chronicle today about the woman who accidentally shot her lover during a game of “dirty cowboy” while engaging in foreplay. I have no idea what “dirty cowboy” is, and guess what—I DON’T want to know.

You may be thinking, “Why did she read these two news items in the first place?” In my own defense, like everyone, I occasionally slow down and gawk at car accidents. The same principle applies.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Plagiarism - Part II

I noticed on Site Meter I had a visitor from Nebraska. Imagine my surprise when I checked HER site and discovered that the plagiarized post had been removed. I wonder how she knew I had posted about her. I thought when I checked her profile this morning that there was the option to email her. I didn't chose to do that, and I may be wrong about the email, but it is interesting that the option is no longer there.

I only wish she had the integrity and character to at least apologize to me. I guess if you steal someone's writing you're a little short on integrity and character.

I also wonder what would happen if some of her readers found out that she copied my post.


The strangest thing just happened. I found that one of my posts has been plagiarized! I am simply astounded. First of all, I’m surprised that anyone found my thoughts were worth stealing, and second of all, I totally surprised at my reaction. I feel angry and violated.

I found it completely by accident by checking my Site Meter details. I found saw this person’s post listed three or four items below the search results for my post of Feburary 1, 2009. I noticed it because her name is the same as my daughter-in-law’s and the summary of her post was almost word for word as mine. I opened her March 6, 2009, post that saw most of it was copied from my post. She even copied the illustration of the djinn’s shoe I had posted. She did say “elf shoe” instead of “djinn’s shoe.”

I wonder if all the rest of her posts have been stolen.

Dena, in case you’re reading this now searching for new material, you should be ashamed!

If anyone would care to make the comparison you can find the this person's post by doing a Google Blog search using the term “leg cramps elf shoe.” Make the comparison and judge for yourself.

While the Cat's Away

The mouse. . .

Read 5 books – 3 by Margaret Maron, 1 by C. J. Box, and a 1 by Anne Perry,

Washed dishes once (she loves paper plates),

Completed very little housework,

Spent uncounted hours playing games on the computer,

Watched several Inspector Lynley DVD’s,

Worked a bit on her quilt,

Bought that red handbag that she had been drooling over,

Ate at Sonic once,

Ignored the treadmill,

Made a big mistake perming her hair (she now looks like a time traveler from 1964)

Planned to attend Noah’s first traveling team baseball tournament this weekend, and

Counted the days until the cat returns.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Seeing Through a Seven-Year-Old's Eyes

Most of the baseball fields where Cole plays are of the same wagon wheel design—four fields surrounding the concession area hub. As I was coming in, Bella and her mom were walking toward the concession area. Dena asked, “Did you see a restroom on the side where you came in?” I told her that I saw a sign, but that I didn’t know whether it was for men or women. I meant that I didn’t really pay attention to the sign other than to notice it was there.

Bella said, “Mimi, the women on the signs have on clothes, and the men are naked.”

She’s right.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Madison Avenue, What Were You Thinking?

Is it just me or has Advertising sunk to heretofore unknown levels just to make a buck?

The “$5.00 foot-long” spots are almost as annoying as Dr. Scholl’s “gelling” series of commercials. I hate them! The young woman who appears in the Progressive Insurance (I think it’s Progressive—I mute every time she appears on the screen) ads grates on my nerves. The cave men have become so-o-o annoying. I just don’t understand most of their new ads. It’s time to come up with something new.

The most tasteless commercials are those for male-enhancement products, the K-Y products, and the ones for impotence. TMI, people, TMI! Those giggling women actually embarrass me. Then we have the Go Daddy girls. Those ads are just . . . icky!

And speaking of . . . icky, most of the evening programming on Spike TV is distasteful.

This has nothing to do with today’s minor rant, but when did the Sci-Fi Channel become the Syfy Channel? Is Syfy more hip than Sci-fi? I wonder how much it cost for the change. It just seems goofy to me.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

Mr. Fixit is at the beach for nine days, and I'm at home. I don't really care for the beach and someone has to feed the cats. I plan to do a lot of nothin'.

My parents were married July 4, 1940.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


We have lived in this house for almost 27 years. During those 27 years I have parked the car in the garage maybe five times. The garage is used as Mr. Fixit’s workshop, my laundry room, and his storage facility for tools and his irreplaceable treasures like old, broken thermostats from almost all the cars we have owned during the 43 years we’ve been married. This week something different has been added.

Monday morning I discovered that my CAR was in the garage. I never asked to have my car parked in the garage; it seemed the impossible dream. Confidentially, I don’t think Mr. Fixit cleared the space just for me; the sap from the pecan tree was making a mess of his truck. He cleared the space so he could park in the driveway where I usually park away from the pecan tree.

Whatever the reason, I’m so glad he did. I didn’t realize what I had been missing. When I get in the car, I don’t have to bake until the AC begins cooling, and I don’t have to use a towel in order to touch the steering wheel.

Can it last? I don’t think so. I’m sure that I will again be parking in the driveway when Mr. Fixit begins a new project. Until then, I’m going to enjoy it for as long as I can and try not to moan and groan about getting inside my car when the temperature tops 145 degrees in it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

By Hook or CROOKS

Last Friday Mr. Fixit and I decided to do a bit of exploring. When we began our little trip, we had no idea where we were going. I wanted to be home by 6:00 pm so we decided to head down to Columbia, SC.

On the way back, I stopped to get gas. We have been checking our mileage since we bought the car, and I thought we should be getting very good mileage on the highway. When I stopped, I had an eighth of a tank. When it gauge gets down that low, it usually takes about 10 to 10 ½ gallons to fill it up. When Mr. Fixit told me it took a little over 12 gallons to fill it up, I didn’t think too much about. Mr. Fixit figured out the mpg, it was a little over 24 miles to the gallon. I told him that must be an error because when driving around town, I get about 30 mpg. Half of the gas had been used for stop-and-go driving while the other half had been used on the highway to Columbia. He checked his figures, and there was no error.

Then it hit me. I have never put 12 gallons of gas in that car. I always fill it up when the gauge shows there is an l/8 tank left, and it always takes about 10 ½ gallons. Mr. Fixit checked the little book where I figure the mileage and saw that it usually takes 10 or 10 ½ gallons.

I suggested he figure the mileage using 10.1 gallons instead of the 12.1 gallons indicated on the pump. Using those numbers, my mileage would have been about 31 mpg. That seems more likely.

The only explanation is the pump was wrong. What I don’t know is whether the pump had been tampered with or if there was some malfunction. All I know is that the gas was $2.46 a gallon. If that pump had been deliberately tampered it, someone stole almost $5.00 from us. I wonder how many people use that pump in one day. The service station was a major chain station with about 10 pumps on a major interstate highway. Someone could be making a small fortune on the side.

Things like this make me so angry! Even if I could discover the right agency to report these people to, I know I have no way to prove what I suspect happened.