Saturday, June 27, 2015

An 'assorted rants' post to prove I'm still alive

By popular demand (and by that I mean an email from OregonGuy ) I think I'll put up a post!

Seems that all the world's problems are solved, and the gov't busybodies need a little sumpthin' to do so they came up with the idea to name a local stream.
Pictured: Oak Creek near Corvallis.  Image jacked from 
Oak Creek is a pleasant enough little stream that passes through Corvallis.  The kind of place that as a kid I would have caught crawdads and done a Pearl Harbor reenactment with firecrackers in that stupid model battleship that didn't turn out quite right.  But they're not talking about renaming Oak Creek.  They're talking about naming an even less significant stream, a tributary of Oak Creek.  I mean, Hillary with her walker could probably step across Oak Creek without even wetting her orthopedic shoes and compression socks.  So you can imagine how tiny and trivial this yet unnamed stream might be.  I'd show you but I can't find that anybody has ever bothered to snap a pic of it.

Not to go too far afield, but "innominatus" is typically translated as "anonymous" but a better translation might be "not important enough to warrant a Proper Name."  Mt. Everest deserves a proper name.  That mound of dirt in the vacant lot?  Not so much.  moundus innominatus.

So.  The powers-that-be have formed a committee.  To name a commission.  To study this streamus innominatus.  And give it a proper name.  One proponent wants to name it Lamprey Creek.  Are you familiar with lampreys?  No?  OK.  Take a bloodsucking leech.  Make it really big, like an eel.  Give it a round mouth full of nasty, nasty teeth.  That's amoreThat's a moray.  That's a lamprey.

That's how it gets done in Oregon: form a committee to name a commission to consider whether to name a useless stream after a giant bloodsucking eel. 


Giant fangfaced bloodsucking eelmonster?  If you ask me we should call it El Rio de Hillary-o.


Life with animals:

Sadly, we had to put Chance the Wondermutt down (that's him in my avatar).  He got a tummy bloat (probably stomach inversion) which the vet said would be at least $3000 to fix.  He was almost 10 years old and really starting to show his age and money is tight.  That kind of expenditure would have been foolish not knowing how much longer he'd be around even if the surgery went well.  We had to make the hard choice to say goodbye.  Then Sunshine the Goofy Pooch got a BIG hematoma on her ear.  That was a more manageable expense, but geez, what next?  Oh, I'll tell ya what's next.  A bunch of @#$%^(*&^% mice crawled up the dryer vent hose and chewed their way through.  Took me a while to figure out where they were coming in.  Got one with a mousetrap and a couple with my pellet gun.  Yes, I shot my pellet gun indoors to kill some mice. [Insert "Redneck Power!" chant here]  After that, we didn't see any more mice, but we did continue to find evidence (and by that I mean "poop") of mice.  Found us a free cat on Craigslist.  She is sweet and affectionate but also obese and clumsy.  So much so that she can barely jump onto the couch!.  There's no more mouse sign, though, so I guess she's a keeper.


Grandbrat the Youngest has it violently coming out both ends.  Suddenly it's like the Deepwater Horizon binged on tainted day-old convenience store sushi or something.  I hope it ain't contagious.


Who am I kidding.  I'm sure it's contagious.


There's a reason I don't live in Phoenix or Redding or Riyadh.
Pictured:  The reason I don't live in Phoenix, Redding, or Riyadh.

Except, that right thar's a forecast for Corvallis.  Ugh.  The highest I can *ever* remember here was 106.  We've already had more than the usual number of 100+ degree days, and now they say we're gonna be breaking some records.  Yay for us.  With this heat onslaught in mind, we went out and bought the grandbrats a pool.  Just a cheapy kmart pool.  12' diam x 3' deep.  On sale for, like, $90.  But then ya need a ladder.  And a skimmer.  And chlorine.  And a chlorine dispenser.  And a cover.  We're into this stupid thing over $200 now.  And the odds of it actually making it through the summer without the grandbrats destroying at are asymptotically close to zero.  But Wife says if I don't buy it I am the biggest Big Meanie ever, so we buy the thing.

The pool says clearly right on the box:  "use only on a flat, level surface."


We set up the pool in the backyard, which has a *slight* slope.  It got about 3/4 full then FWOOSH it collapsed and the grass got an unscheduled watering.  Dang.

Guess I gotta level things out.  I could dig out the high side a little but that would be a ton of work and it's already too freekin' hot outside for that kind of labor.  But it wouldn't cost me any more cash.  The other option - build up some kind of platform - would be a bit less work but would hurt my wallet quite a bit worse and may not work.  My back-of-the-napkin calculations tell me that there's about 340 cubic feet of water in that stupid thing - which works out to about 2500 gallons, or about 20000 (!) pounds of water.  Gonna need to spend at least $100 on lumber to build a suitable platform.  (Cue OregonGuy to lecture me about "Sunk Costs!!" because, if a stupid kiddie pool isn't worth $300, it just isn't worth $300 - whether I've already spent $200 on it or not.)

I *should've* put the whole mess up for sale on Craigslist for $50 and cut my losses.  But no, it was Father's Day, and nobody bought me the [bleep]ing Sawzall** I wanted so this would be my justification for buying one!  So I buy the saw and a bunch of lumber and build that platform.  I built it 2' wider than the pool so no moron (by that, I mean "me") could chop a hole in the pool with the lawnmower.  I managed to get the platform within about 1/4" of being dead-nuts level, which, when one considers how wavy and lumpy that yard is, (think super-zoom close-up of Hillary's cellulite to get an idea of how lumpy) is pretty darned good.

Pictured:  The Impossible.  (Family enjoying inflatable pool outside of carefully controlled laboratory environment without it collaping)

Put empty pool on platform.  Cross fingers.  Refill pool.

Yay! It worked!  Grandbrats climb in and declare that I am the "Best Papa in the Whole World!" then promptly get out because it was too cold. 

Next morning:  wake up and look outside to see @#$%^ collapsed pool. Grrr.  OK, the pool had been setup just a bit off-center.  One edge of it was flirting with coming off the platform but wifey and I thought it would be OK.  It wasn't.  We reset the pool making sure that it was carefully centered.  Eying it attentively as it fills for the third time, we watch in horror as a bit of a breeze sets a tiny bit of sway in motion... Which forms a tiny little wave... which rebounds off the other side of the pool creating just a bit more sway...

In other words, the hydrodynamic equivalent of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

The steenkin' pool - full of about 20k pounds of water - just kind of crab-walked to the edge of the platform, right before our unbelieving eyes!  Then when the barest bit of pool ceased to be supported by the platform, FWOOSH! another unscheduled watering of the grass.

If we're ever gonna get to use this pool, I guess I just gotta throw all that lumber in the scrap pile and dig some kind of little pocket in the dirt for this thing to sit in.  That sucks.

At least I got a Sawzall out of the deal...


Been a long time since I've had any ideas for funny posts.  The way the whole country is crapping the mattress has that effect on me.  But I've had ideas for some funny posts lately so maybe I'll turn this blog back on.  In the meantime, the retelling of the pool story has me mad enough to curse you all with my Grandpa Raising His Grandbrats Curse: May you, when you're walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night to get some Pepto, be so lonely and unloved that when you step on a Lego there's nobody there to hear you scream.


**A circular saw would have made more sense, but would have been of no use to me when it comes time to prune the trees later this year.  'Cuz if there's anything that I am Absolutely Qualified to do, it is to monkey my way up a tree with a handful of power tools.  I'm sure that if I live through it, there'll be a future post telling you how well *that* goes.


  1. I'd tell you that your posts have been missed, but that might encourage you to post more.

    Oh, wait... I meant to say you post things I'd like to post, but say it so much better.

    I truly appreciate the weather report.
    It reminds me that north is not the direction I should go to seek respite.

  2. Good to see you back. I was worried that you had joined a hippie nudist commune and were eating oats and greens and strumming a guitar while wearing an "I love Obama" button (I won't speculate on WHERE you'd attach said button in a nudist colony}

    And congrats on the cat. Best and cheapest killer ever invented (except for Obama).

    1. That's my weekend gig. Mon-Fri I'm a respectable conservative.

  3. So sorry about your pup. It's so hard to let them go. I spent last Friday night (until about 2:00 in the morning) with our solid gold dog, Mysti, who had a 104.7 temperature. (Yes, we do now have a dedicated digital thermometer just for dogs. It lives in a labeled ziplock bag JUST IN CASE!!).

    The pool thing - *sigh*

    The temps -- we've had in excess of 100* heat indices for weeks. I'm too old for summer.

    Yes!! You must get back on the blog. Do it for our sanity.

  4. Pot has been legal in Oregon for a few days now. Notice any difference? I would guess not, as the influx of morons will take awhile to reach inland.

    Used to live in Eugene. No air conditioning back then (1960's), that was only available in Albertson's and Safeway. Approx. 1970 or 1971, it reached 112 degrees in the summer, and the winter before or after this record high was -12 degrees below zero for the record low. It's true, look it up. We just sucked it up, and blew a fan on us at night, we were fine, thought nothing of it.

    Buck up, Inno.

    1. You're always so encouraging. You're the "wind", oops, I mean "cinder blocks" beneath my wings.

  5. Eagerly awaiting your wisdom on this subject:

  6. Yay! Been missing your posts (although I was pretty sure you hadn't died or anything).

    Bummer about the wonder dog; that really sucks. Not to second-guess your vet or anything, but I have to wonder if Wondermutt's gastrointestinal distress wasn't simply a temporary reaction to having swallowed a chunk of obnoxious neighbor....

  7. Yay! Been missing your posts (although I was pretty sure you hadn't died or anything).

    Bummer about the wonder dog; that really sucks. Not to second-guess your vet or anything, but I have to wonder if Wondermutt's gastrointestinal distress wasn't simply a temporary reaction to having swallowed a chunk of obnoxious neighbor....

  8. As reported by Stanford Medical, It is really the one and ONLY reason women in this country get to live 10 years longer and weigh on average 19 KG lighter than we do.

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    P.S, I said "HOW", not "WHAT"...

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Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.

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