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!