Friday, May 30, 2014

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? To Get Out of the Rain.

I awoke early yesterday morning to the jingle jangle of Bette's collar as she trod across my body. I looked over at the clock, it was nearly five in the morning.
            "Do you need to go out?" I asked.
Apparently she did because she leaped off of the bed, then bounded to the back door. She's very good about waking me up and going out to do her peeing now that she's over a year old. It took a lot of patience but it has paid off. Anyway, as I stood outside with her, shining the flashlight while she did her pee dance, I felt the slightest hint of rain. One little drop landed on my arm. I looked up into the sky and another hit me in the face, then another.
            "Hurry up girl, go pee, pee." I commanded.
Bette stopped her circling, looked back at me, and then squatted and peed. Before she could finish and run back to me, a full downpour commenced. That's the way it was all day yesterday from that point on, downpours, lightning, and thunder.
 You would think that our mailman would know how to deal with rain here in rainy Florida. You would think that after delivering mail in every type of rain storm he would understand that he needs to attempt to keep the mail dry. You would be wrong if you thought that. Our mailman believes that all he is required to do is get the mail relatively close to our house, and in one piece. Yesterday, in the height of one of our tropical downpours, I heard the barking and yelping that announce the arrival of the mail. So I put on my shoes and walked out to the front porch. There laying flat on the ground in the mud and rain was a package addressed to Mark. The mailman had simply tossed it over the fence. He could have opened the gate and walked five steps onto the porch where it could have been left high and dry, but he was in a hurry. It was probably time for his afternoon nap in the church parking lot. Inside the package were a number of Broadway posters. That is Mark's latest hobby, spending money on Ebay buying Broadway posters. The contents of the package that the mailman had tossed into the pouring rain were totally ruined. I picked up the package, brought it into the house, and handed it to Mark. Well Mark was madder than a wet hen. So I simply stepped aside as he stormed out of the house. Now I know that I should have gone with him because the scene at the post office was going to be bloody. After all, I knew he was angry, I knew he would scream at the people at the post office, and I knew it would be fun to watch. The only problem was, my video camera wasn't charged up. What would be the point?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jalousie Jealousy

I listened to everybody up north bitch for the last eight months about the weather, and it was awesome. Lots of facebook posts from you guys about snow and cold, because after all, what else is there to do when everything is frozen and the wolves are in your backyard? Well it's my turn now. Summer is upon us, in fact it hardly left this year. Even as you guys were shivering and wearing layers and layers of clothing, we never got chilly at all this past winter. But now the heat and unrelenting humidity here have built back up to full summer strength. It's the time of year when you step outside and are immediately drenched. It's so damn humid that you aren't even sure if it's rain or just very muggy. The most amazing thing about Florida and it's weather is that people lived here before air conditioning. My air conditioning burped the other day. The temperature soared to seventy seven degrees in my house, and I immediately started pounding on the door of my neighbor who repairs them. I cannot live without the A/C. Interestingly, across the street from me is an old man who lives alone. He never, ever turns on his air conditioner. I don't know how he does it. Every day of the year he has his windows open while the window/wall air conditioner sticking out of the front of his house sits silent. I'm thinking that maybe he has some kind of condition where his body doesn't feel heat. Kind of like Mr. Freeze from Batman, only in reverse. Either that or he's just very cheap and doesn't want to pay the electric bill. I can't blame him for that, the three hundred dollars a month that I pay is a bit steep. The only thing about my neighbor though, is what must that house smell like? The old guy used to have a dog. Imagine that, old man odors and old dog odors combined with heavy humid air, it makes me a bit queasy just thinking about it. I don't know what happened to his old dog. Suddenly one day he stopped walking it. I assume it died, probably of asphyxiation. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Alan the Cable Guy

Twenty years ago, when I first bought this building, I had my friend Garrett crawl through the rat infested attic with a length of coaxial cable. When he got over the bedroom closet of the front apartment we drilled a hole and Garrett dropped the cable through it. Ah, the good old days, when it was so easy to steal cable television. Just order one television to be hooked up and then like an octopus, send cable out to the whole place through the attic. Just a couple of years into that I cancelled cable and ordered Directv. Directv is a bit more complicated than standard cable, so I had to stop offering free cable television to my tenants. That was when the era of cable and satellite installers started. With each new tenant and each new television service provider, new cable had to be strung. So on the side of the house where the dogs poop I allowed the installers to string cable along the fascia and drill holes through the wall. The problem was that they never removed the old cable when switching over to something new. It looked awful with a dozen cables strung along the length of the house. All the nails, screws, and staples used to attach those cables were starting to cause the fascia to rot. So last week I pulled out a ladder, climbed up to the side of the roof, and started ripping down the cables. I cut them, I pulled on them, and in the end I had a few hundred feet of coaxial cable laying on the ground. The only problem with going at it with wire cutters and a crowbar is the fact that I could of accidentally ripped out one of my tenants cable service, or even worse mine. Luckily I did neither. Sometimes nothing goes wrong when I do a home project, which makes for a rather boring blog post. No smashed fingers, no electrocution, no falling off the ladder, everything went as planned. Sorry, I'll try harder next time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tick Tock

Doctors must hate it on that rare occasion when hypochondriacs get it right. My chance to be right was in 1987. Late that year I didn't feel very good and I knew that something was horribly wrong with me. After going to the doctor numerous times and being told that all I had was post nasal drip, I finally saw a different doctor who informed me that I did not have post nasal drip, I had cancer. Well, nana nana boo boo, stick your head in doo doo, I was right and the doctor was wrong. So now every time I get sick I begin my own diagnosis. In the past I have diagnosed myself with rabies because I got sick right after a dog bite. It turns out that the rabies symptom incubation period is from one to three months. There was no way I was going to get sick immediately after the dog bite. Then there was the time I thought I had brain cancer. I went to the doctor a few times before he finally gave in and ordered a MRI of my brain. When I was told after the MRI that there was nothing there, I didn't know if I should be happy or insulted.

            Last Thursday I found a tick on myself, a filthy, disgusting tick. I also found some kind of insect bite on my belly. So putting two and two together, I assumed tick bite. We've been having a lot of trouble here with ticks since I cut down the large tree next to the house and had all the shrubbery around the house cleaned up. I think we stirred them up. Twice Miss Bette has come around with a plump, live tick attached to herself. Even though I treat her with tick and flea poison they just can't seem to resist that young schnauzer meat. On the day after I found the tick on myself, I began having diarrhea, headaches, body aches, and a feverish feeling. Immediately I went to the internet. Sonofabitch if I don't have Lyme disease. According to every web site I went to, when I punched in the symptoms and the variable of being bitten by a tick, Lyme disease came up. So as soon as I can, I am going to make an appointment with my doctor. It's been twenty seven years since I was right and the doctor was wrong. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one. The only problem is that all those symptoms that I have are also the symptoms for hundreds of other illnesses. Come on Lyme disease, I need another winner.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Romancing the War

The Vietnam War Memorial contains the names of over fifty eight thousand dead U.S. Servicemen.

Something that has been bothering me the last few years is the re-writing of history of the Vietnam War. Unfortunately many people confuse supporting the troops who fought in the war, with supporting the war. You can totally support those who fought in Vietnam without thinking that they fought for a noble cause. The individual U.S. Serviceman may have thought he was fighting for his country and should be commended, rewarded, and thanked for that. But it doesn't mean that what somebody thought was happening, was really the truth. The government of the United States regularly lied about the facts in Vietnam. For instance, the Gulf of Tonkin 'incident' that Lyndon Johnson used to ramp up the war was mostly a fabrication. Then there was the Domino Theory, where it was stated that if Vietnam fell to the communists, the entirety of Southeast Asia would go communist. We lost that war, Vietnam went communist, and that's where it ended except for Cambodia. Which was possibly destabilized by our involvement, causing the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot to come to power.

            58,220 American servicemen died in Vietnam. Over a million Vietnamese, a third of them civilians, died. 303,704 U.S. servicemen were injured. 2,338 U.S. servicemen were/are missing in action. 12 million gallons of Agent Orange defoliant with dioxin (Manufactured by Monsanto and Dow. A lot of people were making a lot of money off the Vietnam War.) were sprayed on the country of Vietnam by the United States, almost half of that on food crops.

            So whether drafted into the Vietnam War, or volunteered, let's all remember the U.S. Servicemen who died in that conflict this weekend. They deserve no less. As for the war itself, I still think it was the most ill conceived, and murderous event perpetrated by our government since slavery. 

Read about the Vietnam War, click here.