Saturday, July 4, 2020

I Went Out For a Beer and Came Home With a Cousin

Well, with her contact info. I'm still wandering around with my eyes as big as the full moon and my jaw scraping the ground. After a long walk with pup and getting some things done at the house, I gave in and went to Glory Days for a couple beers. It's hottern' hades and it's July 4th. Other regulars were there and we were chatting, talking history. And somewhere along the line I mentioned that my family is from Preston County, WV. And a woman at the table next to us asked "Where in Preston County?" It's not like there's a lot of options - Preston County is real West Virginia and is way more rural than where I live in Jefferson County. I told her that technically our address was Terra Alta, but we always say Whetsel Settlement. She knew the area and I asked what her name was. "Arnold." !!!!! "Who was your father? Grandfather?" "My grandfather was Ernest Arnold." OMG OMG OMG. Ernest was my great-uncle. He lived in Cleveland, OH, so we didn't have much contact with him or his family and things were weird and we lost contact with that branch decades ago but OMG OMG OMG. She's my cousin. She remembers the few Arnold reunions we had in the late 60s.

Friday, July 3, 2020

LOL! The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

I've set myself a goal of reading at least one biography of each of our presidents in order of their presidencies.  It's not like I'm charging through - I'm easily distracted.  Plus it's sometimes harder to find a good biography of some of our lesser known presidents than to find one of Elvis.  Which is annoying.  And sometimes the major issues of an administration just aren't that interesting:  I can stand about 2 pages of tariffs or monetary standards before I zone out.  The administrations of Cleveland, Harrison, and McKinley involve hundreds and hundreds of pages on those subjects. 

Currently, I'm reading In The Days of McKinley, written by Margaret Leech in 1959.  As she writes about the post-Spanish American War turmoil over what to do with the Philippines she comments:
"One resemblance between McKinley and Lincoln was not alleged.  Both reduced their political enemies to a jumble of inconsistent accusations that they were absurdly weak and dangerously strong.  The hostile press in 1899 endowed the occupant of the White House with a dual personality:  on the one hand, an amiable, ordinary politician, befuddled by adulation; and, on the other, a self-willed dictator whose policy in the Philippines forecast his benevolent assimilation of the functions of Congress."
 Sound familiar?  Trump is an incompetent, yet he lays waste to the country and the Constitution by every possible evil.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Gah. Dear Authors.

If you are going to have guns in your book, please be a little knowledgeable and specific.  My current book has the bad guys running around with a "machine gun."  I don't know what the author means by that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Good News And Ow!

The good news is that both the well pump issue and the HVAC issue were the result of fried components in control panels, not the complete death of systems.  The AC crapped out completely last night, but I have been fortunate in finding service folks who are honest and are as prompt as possible while not trying to up-sell me things.  I suspect that the power failure we had just before this started had something to do with it - when the power came back on the surge fried some older components.  But, anyway, this week cost me $900 as opposed to the thousands it might have been - the estimate for the well pump replacement alone was $4600.

The Ow! is from Petey, an adorable mixed pitty who is one of Copper's dog park friends.  He greeted us so happily yesterday and rocketed up to give me a doggie kiss.  He has a really hard head.

Saturday, June 20, 2020


My house is 17 years old.  I've started replacing things here and there and actually caught a huge break in having a hail storm (referred to as Hell Storm by my insurance agent) give me a new roof for the cost of the insurance deductable.  But yesterday I noticed something was going on with the heat pump.  And then the well pump kept kicking off.  The HVAC guy will be here next week.  The well guy came today.  The well pump is shot.  It's 750 feet down.  It will take a crane to pull it.  Which is going to cost more than the pump will.  Now is not a good time to be pulling from one's IRA...