Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Fishing

Have you ever watched someone fish? I'm really sorry for you if you answered "yes" to that question. Maybe you should consider getting a life or something. Fishing is bad enough by itself. Watching someone fish has to be on the top ten list of most boring things to do.

When I was thirteen I decided I had been severely deprived and mistreated by my dad because I had never gone on a fishing trip. I bemoaned my situation to my old pal Harry, and found out he went fishing with his dad at least once a month. Friend that he was, he asked his dad if I could tag along on the next trip. I was so excited I went straight to Gibson's Discount Store and spent every penny I had on new fishing equipment. One dollar and fifty cents bought a cane pole, 100 yards of line, a small package of hooks, and one bobber.

Harry and his dad pulled up on a beautiful Saturday morning in a 1951 Willys Aero. Harry had been kind enough to paint his dad's Willys with dark green house paint. Harry's dad was so cool. Harry had done that as a surprise for his dad and the guy not only didn't kill Harry, he actually continued to drive the old wreck.

Harry's mom had packed us a fine lunch to take along. I felt I had died and gone to heaven. Life was so good that day I nearly teared up. We reached the Brazos River in a short time and got our gear ready for a day of satisfying fishing. Harry's dad wandered up river to practice his casting. He said he would move away from us so he wouldn't disturb our fishing. What a swell guy! Harry and I tossed our lines in the water as soon as we got those lines untangled. I guess in just under two hours we were ready to fish. You might make a note when leaving for your fishing trip to not throw two cane poles with lines, hooks, and bobbers attached into the trunk of your 1951 Willys.

Our lines were just settling into the water when my bobber disappeared. I figured I must have bought a defective one since it wouldn't float. A few seconds later my pole was nearly pulled from my hands. I had something on the line that must have been as big as a small shark. I fought that fish until Harry was tired of yelling out instructions to me. I couldn't get the thing out of the water to save my life. When my bobber disintegrated from all the thrashing around Harry dropped his pole and ran over to help. We gave that line a jerk and the scariest thing I've ever seen came up out of the water. It was a two foot long alligator gar. Not only was it firmly attached to my hook, it was about as mad as I was excited. Unfortunately, neither Harry or I had ever seen an alligator gar so we tensed up pretty quick....especially when that monster landed right between us on the bank. I dropped my pole and ran screaming up the bank toward Mineral Wells. Harry made his way the other direction and stopped screaming about Waco. Since I was headed north toward Mineral Wells I was the one to pass Harry's dad. I must have given him a brief description of the monster that tried to attack and eat Harry and me as I ran past because he dropped his gear and ran to see for himself. When I finally realized there was no way I could run forever I slowed down and made my way back to find Harry's dad releasing that ugly old thing from my line. Harry came wandering up a few minutes later with "Hey dad, what's up?" as if he wasn't afraid at all.

Since my bobber was broken and Harry was afraid he might catch that gar himself, our fishing was over for the day. We ate lunch, skipped rocks on the water, and watched Harry's dad fish. I will never ever do two things again: 1) fish, and 2) watch someone else fish.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me...

When Debbie and I found this house twenty years ago we were looking for something with character. This house had it....lots of windows, lots of space, surrounded by mature oak and elm trees. It also had another feature I personally wanted, a lawn that wasn't just a flat postage stamp of a lot. There isn't a level place on our property except for where the house is sitting. I thought it was wonderful when we first moved in and it's been trying to kill me ever since.

Four years ago I spent a week in the hospital after Debbie found me trying to crawl from the bottom of the backyard up to the patio. I don't remember anything except getting dizzy while mowing. The backyard is especially cruel to me. My front yard is covered in shade all day and I have it pretty much whipped into shape but the back is a dispassionate and unforgiving yard. I try to avoid it as much as possible except for sitting on the patio watching the birds. I start feeling guilty though when Debbie is out tending her flowerbeds. I don't know how we can have a modest sized yard and she still has five acres of flowerbeds back there. During the growing months she is out there all day nearly every day making sure there isn't a rebellious weed or dried leaf messing with the perfectly manicured look. After watching her for a while I will stupidly go out and ask if she needs any help. She always needs help.

I used to be a scavenger for stones and used, or broken brick. This was before I tore up my leg but I had collected a decent amount of stones for use in the yard. I had them all "neatly" stacked under one of the oak trees close to my shed. Debbie decided she needed a new retaining wall in the lowest flowerbed because of some exposed roots on one of the lilac bushes. We've lived here twenty years and I'm still not through building retaining walls. Today while she worked that flowerbed she suggested I move all those stones downhill to where the new wall is needed. We worked out a schedule to make sure neither of us got too hot or dehydrated. I called it the Dr. Pepper schedule because it was 10-2-4....ten minute breaks, two hours working, quit at four in the afternoon. Now keep in mind, Debbie is sitting in a shaded flowerbed pulling weeds and working the soil. I am carrying twenty pound landscaping stones from the top of our yard (hill) down to the lowest part of the yard (hill). You would think going downhill would be easy but N-O-O-O....you have to maintain a slow, steady pace or by the time you reach the steps leading down to the bottom you are going too fast and wind up face first in Debbie's freshly manicured bed. As it turns out, the schedule for me all morning was ten minutes working, two hours resting, repeat twice, then sneak inside for a shower and nap. I'm up from my nap now and sitting in a cool, dark study writing this. Debbie is still out there. Don't bother trying to let her know by text because she left her phone sitting on the patio table....heh, heh, heh. I'm sure she hasn't noticed I'm missing. She gets in a flowerbed 'zone' and doesn't notice anything else. I've had to go out at 5:30 in the afternoon to tell her she needs to stop and come inside. After all, I don't know how to cook dinner. I drove to Fort Worth two days ago to do some shopping. I was gone two hours and she never knew. I love her flowerbeds.

After I broke my leg and hip my sons paid for a mowing crew for us. It lasted two years before I found out how much they were spending and fired the crew. I have good boys. I decided I could mow the lawn myself again and it worked out pretty well. At first, passing cars would slow down so the passengers could watch the cripple holding onto a mower with one hand and a cane in the other. In time I got strong enough to mow without the cane. The backyard still tries to get me occasionally but I laugh in the face of its efforts. I can mow the entire backyard now without a cane. I have to stop every once in a while but I can do it!! As a repercussion one day, the backyard got me back. I was walking along the lower portion of the yard admiring Debbie's largest flowerbed. I stepped onto a loose retaining wall stone and fell sideways off the wall and down into the flowerbed...with a short stop in one of the lilac bushes. I will swear if needed that the lawn laughed at me. I heard it and I'm sticking with my story.

I have suggested we sell our house and buy a townhouse or zero lot line house. I think this is a justifiable suggestion because of our age, my limited physical capacity, and my overall hatred of yard work. Debbie thinks we would get bored. I wouldn't get bored. If she got bored I'm sure our boys would love to have her work their flowerbeds.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Stained Glass...



I used to design and make stained glass windows. I gave it up because it caused my wrist and thumb to ache without mercy for days on end. I enjoyed it and still have all my tools and a large stock of unused materials. I've thought about trying it again and yesterday I was given the nudge to go ahead and try once more. A beautiful and sweet friend of ours, Penelope Elizabeth Goatsmith (we call her Peg), asked me if I would incorporate glass from the church where she grew up into two small stained glass windows. She gave me free rein on design and a long lead time....no rush, no worries. If she had added those magic words, "Money is no object" I would be planning a revised retirement plan right now but since she didn't I opted for an extra large bottle of Advil to handle the expected pain.

Peg is a wonderful friend and we love her to the moon and back. If I could I would gladly make these windows for her at no charge. Unfortunately, I will have to charge her for the cost of materials and materials are expensive. Stained glass work was the most expensive hobby I ever experienced. Of course I'm not into sailing like a couple of my distant relatives, in which case that hobby would have risen to the top of the expensive list, but still....the required materials are unique therefore expensive. Add the cost of that extra large Advil and the cost rises to a staggering upper two digits.

I've reviewed designs on the internet for minutes and minutes now and haven't found inspiration. I may have to find my old sketch book (aka yellow legal pad) and work something out. I thought about copying the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. His designs are beautiful but good grief that man must have love cutting glass! I can't really plan on a large pattern because Peg only stole...I mean, she was only given one panel of glass from the old church. What to do...what to do? I think I'll pull out my old stock of glass and use what I have, along with her panel, to create something right on the work table....oh man, that reminds me...I sold my old work table. I guess my first step will be to build a new work table. I'm thinking I better get busy. I'll keep you informed.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Creek

There was a creek running through our town of Hurst. I have no idea if it had a name but if it did it's been bulldozed and buried along with the creek and all the pristine land running along side of it. I wish I had known the creek's name because it occupies so much of my memory.

I've told the story of the park close to our house on Elm Street. I've mentioned the trouble Glenn and I tended to get into at this park. The biggest reason we were supposed to stay away from the park is because we had to cross the creek to get there. Actually the creek was our favorite attraction. We would swing out over the creek on grapevines hanging from the old oak trees. We fished for crawdads and sometimes actually caught one or two. We waded and skipped stones. It was a wonderful pastime.

When we moved to New Mexico my parents rented out our house on Elm Street. They knew we wouldn't make Roswell our permanent home and they wanted to keep the house. It was kind of like home to us. Go figure... Anyway, we moved back to Hurst and the lease hadn't run out for our tenants. My folks found a house in a bit more "upscale" neighborhood on the south end of town for us to rent while we waited out the lease. As luck would have it, the creek....same creek, ran less than a hundred yards from this house. It took no time at all for Glenn and me to reintroduce ourselves to those muddy waters.

The creek on the south end of town was much more rugged than where we were used to playing. There were drop-offs into the water, deep areas, and lots of trees hanging overhead. It was actually a fairly dangerous place for kids to play. We loved it. In a matter of days we had the entire length of it between Redbud Drive and Woodland Avenue memorized. Because of the depth of the water and the oncoming cold weather we were a bit slow in getting soaked to the bone. I think it was about a week before I convinced Glenn, with a gentle nudge to his back, to take a jump. Luckily, the spot we chose for his little fall was fairly shallow. He managed to walk out of it, slipping and going under only twice. He chased me good-naturedly all over the neighborhood with that little shrieking thing he used to do with his voice. He kept repeating something about killing me slowly if he caught me. He was so much fun.

We never found any crawdads in this part of the creek. It was too hard being patient with a piece of string tied around a bit of bacon when the banks were so steep and slippery. What we did find was a path along the creek beaten down by what we figured must have been early explorers or grizzly bears. The path ran right along the edge of the creek. If you weren't familiar with the area it would be really easy to fall off and into the water. Glenn and I could walk it blindfolded within a week.

As the winter wore on my cousin Mike came for a weekend visit. It was bitterly cold on that Saturday morning. Sleet was falling off and on and we naturally thought we better go check out the creek. If there was ice on it we wanted to test it out. There was a thin layer of ice forming, about as much as we ever see on a body of water in Texas, but there was no way we could get on it. We were at a loss as to what we would do for fun. I thought for a minute and then challenged Mike to a race. First one to reach the bridge on Woodland Ave would not be a loser. I took off with Mike right behind me and Glenn right behind Mike. About forty yards or so into the run we came to the first of many cutouts, or washouts, in the path. The water was amazingly deep in each one of these cutouts for some reason but the deep water was nothing compared to the distance you fell before hitting the water. This first cutout was only about four feet across and I easily cleared it. Mike didn't know about it so one minute he was hot on my heels and the next he vanished.

In my defense I did have a fleeting feeling of guilt as I flew over the cutout. There was the possibility Mike wouldn't notice it in time...especially since Glenn or I neither one had mentioned it....and in fact, somewhere deep in my sub-conscience I planned it to turn out that way, but I did regret it some. As I turned around and saw Glenn looking down into those freezing waters and reaching for Mike I felt downright remorseful. But, think about it. Mike was going at such a pace that his feet ran out of dirt before his body got the message to stop. He didn't free fall into the creek. He more or less ricocheted from one wall of dirt to another until he finally hit the water. Had he been a steel ball in a pinball machine it would have sounded like, PING PING PING PING SPLASH!

I have to say, mainly because Mike never will, that he was about as funny as I've ever seen him. Did you know that freezing mud is really hard? Mike must bruise easily too. With purple bruises and blue lips he was a sight to behold. It was so funny I laughed while Glenn and I fished him out. I laughed all the way through the wooded area back to our house and I laughed as we walked into the kitchen and told the story to Mama. I sensed I might be in trouble when she didn't laugh with me but I knew her spankings never hurt. However, my Dad had taken a rare Saturday off and was sitting in the den and thinking to himself, "Boy I sure feel like spanking somebody today. Maybe Rusty will screw up." I made his day...

Monday, April 2, 2018

656 Elm Street

We were so cotton-picking rich growing up we felt sorry for most of our friends. Our house had real brick on the front of it and it was the biggest house we could ever imagine. It had to be at least 900 square feet. It was huge I'm telling you! Friends and neighbors described our house as the one on the street with all the trees. My dad loved planting trees. Every time he saw a sale on trees another one was planted in our front yard. Of course no two trees were alike. That would have been boring. Mowing the lawn in our yard was a unique experience. We felt sorry for the poor neighbors around us who walked back and forth with their mowers cutting grass in the hot sun. I don't know how they didn't fall asleep behind the mower. We never went more than a few feet in a line before getting to go around another tree. The yard was always shady. We were so darn rich!

My dad worked up to three jobs to make sure we had everything we needed growing up. Oh sure, the other kids would show up at school with their P.F. Flyers but you could buy those anywhere. It took creativity and lots of shopping skill to find tennis shoes for under $2.00 a pair. We were spoiled I tell you. My dad was an electrician at the defense plant. He also sacked groceries at the Worth Food Store in Haltom City and as more and more kids needed $2.00 tennis shoes he cleaned floors and toilets at the Glenview Community Hospital. We felt sorry for our friends whose dads only had one job. We couldn't understand how grown men could be so lazy to quit working at five in the afternoon. If our dad got home before ten at night we worried he must be sick.

One day in June, I believe it was in 1956, my dad came home with the station wagon loaded down with something. We knew it was Glenn's birthday so we figured the favorite son had scored big time. As it turned out dad had been shopping for Glenn's birthday but the White's Auto Store wouldn't let him charge a toy wheelbarrow and shovel so he went ahead and bought new bicycles for Cindy and me. That way the wheelbarrow and shovel would be a high enough amount to warrant setting up an account. For years after that all our birthday and Christmas gifts came from White's Auto Store. We were glad they sold more than auto supplies.

Yep, we were so cotton-picking rich. We never knew most people measure wealth by how much money they have.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trouble on 281

I’ve always told stories based on facts and actual events. Debbie has commented I stretch the truth so much that someday it’s going to break and slap me right in the face. I don’t think that will ever happen but I will keep it in mind. If I didn’t make the stories more “colorful” they would be boring. To be honest, I don’t have enough imagination to actually make a story up from scratch so I’ve relied on the humorous memories of my past to keep the tale alive.

All that said, the following story is a complete work of fiction. I made it all up and it’s a step or two away from my norm. Oh sure, I did actually have a seafoam green 1967 Pontiac Tempest when I was in college and yes, it did give me all kinds of trouble with overheating. And, yes I’m sure I did make at least one trip down state Hwy 281 in order to watch a cousin get married in Llano but the rest of it…..total fiction.

Trouble on 281…

I had been driving since six in the morning and making great time. My absolutely beautiful seafoam green 1967 Pontiac Tempest with chrome-reverse wheels, baby-moon caps and Goodyear Widetrack red walls definitely made a statement. The statement was, “Man, I wish I could have afforded the GTO but this is a nice alternative!” I was proud of my new car and it had no problem getting on down the road. I was on Texas state Hwy 281 headed south. I had passed through Stephenville and was about four miles from the Hwy 6 intersection when I heard an unhealthy whine from under the hood. Being smarter than most nineteen year-olds I knew this whine was simply my imagination and would go away as soon as I turned up the 8-track player. After another couple of miles the car began to lurch….you know….LuRCh. You’ve had it happen, right? Your driving along and all of a sudden...LURCH. You look at the gas gauge and realize you should have filled up in Stephenville. Because you are a kind and considerate individual you are able to make the car lurch on down the road to a little, run-down but excellently located gas station. That’s what happens, right? Not so much for me either.

When the Pontiac started to lurch along, I pulled over to the side of the road. As soon as I stopped I realized the whine I had heard earlier was not my imagination. It was high pressure steam coming out of the radiator. The car wasn’t out of gas. It was out of water. Now I don’t know how many of you take the time to check all your fluids before heading out on a road trip but I do this religiously….unfortunately I didn’t start until after this trip. I was in trouble. If I didn’t make it to Llano for the rehearsal dinner on time my cousin Joe Bob would never ask me to be his best man again for any of his future weddings. But I wasn’t sitting on the interstate and there just wasn’t a whole lot of traffic out on 281 at this time of day. I started to walk down the road in the direction of Hico but I knew it was too far away. After a few minutes I walked back to my car and took a seat behind the wheel. There was no point in trying to figure out how to fix things. The radiator was empty and even if I could have found water I had noticed that most of the steam had been coming from a long crack along the bottom seam of the radiator. Nothing but a tow truck was going to help me. While I thought about what to do I turned on the radio to see if maybe I would get an idea how far away I was to civilization. You are probably thinking, “Poor old Russ. His trouble on 281 was a broken down Pontiac but it will make a good story someday”. Well, I didn’t know the real trouble on 281 hadn’t even started. As I found a local station on the radio I heard this public service announcement: “Please be advised! Two murders have been committed on state Hwy 281 between Stephenville and Hico. All travelers are advised to lock their doors and not pick up any hitchhikers. The suspect is approximately 20 years old, 145 pounds, 5’10”, with brown hair and long sideburns”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! They just described me! I was in some real trouble. If I had been one to use profanity I would have gone through my complete library of four-letter words. If I had been one to use good sense, I would have sat there in my car waiting to be arrested. Instead, I jumped out of my car and headed east across the rolling prairie toward...well, I had no idea where I was headed. And it was a good bet I wouldn’t get there fast since I was dressed for a wedding rehearsal dinner. As I ran I tried to answer my own question of “why am I running?” but all I could get to process through my brain was “ARRRGGHHHH”!

After about thirty minutes of running, throwing up, and running more I realized I was acting more guilty than I would have seemed just sitting in my car. I also realized it was summer in Texas. Summer in Texas means lots of water, stay out of the afternoon sun, and watch out for rattlesnakes. Okay, as soon as I thought of rattlesnakes I did use one four letter word familiar to most of us. I slowed down and took stock of my situation. I was already lost, I had on dress shoes instead of boots, I had no water, and oh yeah, I was wanted for two murders!

I decided to go back to the highway and wait for the police to arrive but when I looked around I had no idea what direction the highway might be. It was straight up noon so the sun was beating down on the top of my head with no hint of where it would eventually set. I needed to go west but all the terrain was identical and the sun was no help. All of my two hour survival training from Cub Scouts hadn’t prepared me for this. I wanted to cry but it’s true that real men, and especially those homegrown in Texas, never cry. I started to climb the nearest hill so maybe I could see where the highway was hiding.

As I started my climb I was reminded again to watch out for rattlesnakes. A rattlesnake ten feet away is what reminded me. Using that four letter word for the second time in my life I slid back down that hill as fast as I could. I guess it was too hot for the snake too. He just looked at me like I was an idiot. I agreed with his opinion. I found another nice hill a few hundred feet away and climbed it instead. As I reached the top of the hill I saw a glimmer of light about two miles away. It looked like an aluminum roof reflecting the sun. I headed for that roof.

It seems like I walked for hours to find that shiny roof. I was afraid I was probably going to find nothing but a barn but if there was water I could at least stay until dark and rest. But, as I came over a small rise I saw a large ranch style house sitting there as welcoming as can be. I walked straight for the house and crossed a well manicured lawn which told me they at least had plenty of water on hand. As I got closer to the house I saw a middle-aged man sitting on the porch with his legs stretched out in front of him. He didn’t move as I approached. I waved. I smiled. I “hello-d”. I waved some more. He never moved and if it weren’t for his piercing stare I would have thought he might be a mannequin. Just as I reached the steps to the porch he moved. He raised a shotgun and aimed it right at my head. I felt like I was dehydrated but I was able to pee my pants just the same. With my hands raised high over my head I told the man I hadn’t committed any murders but I wanted to turn myself in anyway. The gun never wavered from my head. I began to cry.

Standing at arm’s length, the rancher motioned for me to sit down on the porch. He looked me over from top to bottom and if the movie Deliverance had already come out I would have been even more nervous. His first words to me were simple. “What kind of fool wanders around the prairie in dress clothes and no hat?” I have to admit with two murders on the news I would have started with other questions, but he was the one holding the gun so I didn’t argue. I told him my story from my breakdown on 281 all the way to finding his house. I told about the news report and how I panicked and ran. I think I also cried some more….just for effect, you know. When I finished I asked for water which he gave me along with some cold roast beef from “last night’s dinner”. He put the gun down and asked me who I supposedly killed. I told him I had no idea. His argument was that someone turning himself in for murder should at least know who he killed. I couldn’t even tell him if they were men or women, adults or children. Least of all, I had no idea why I had done it….if I had. He told me to sit while he went inside the house. When he came out he was carrying the keys to his pickup. He motioned for me to get in.

As the rancher drove down the dusty road toward town I found out I was closer to Hico than I had thought. He was transporting me to the Hico police department. When we arrived he made me sit while he honked his horn for someone to come out. When the deputy wandered out I nearly choked because he said, “Hey there sheriff. What cha got there?” The rancher/sheriff told the deputy he had a suspected murderer give himself up and Hico PD should process him. I have to admit, I still couldn’t believe I was in this situation. It was like a bad dream. The deputy was puzzled and asked who it was I had killed. I told him I hadn’t killed anyone. The sheriff told me to “fess up” so I said I was suspected of murdering two people out on Hwy 281 earlier in the day. The deputy continued to look confused until the sheriff started laughing. It was then I found out the culprit had been caught in Stephenville thirty minutes after the warning was given over the radio. I kind of wish I had listened to the news longer than I had.

The Hico police had my car towed into town and after waiting two days for a replacement radiator I was back on the road. I headed north on 281 instead of south though. I had missed Joe Bob’s wedding but promised to catch the next one. I was going home.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Day The Internet Died

It was another quiet morning. I had gone to the gym already and was back home drinking coffee and waiting for Deb to wake up. I picked up my computer to check e-mail and couldn't access it. I did exactly what any red-blooded American computer nerd would do. I set the computer back down and went out to my wood shop. A while later I heard a heart rending scream come from inside the house. I ran in wishing I had carried my 9mm with me. I guess I could have wished it wasn't unloaded and locked in my safe while I was wishing but I just wished I had it as I ran in the house expecting no telling what. I found Debbie moaning on the couch. There was no internet access and she couldn't start her day with "Heartland" on Netflix.

I mentioned to Deb that I hadn't been able to go on line earlier. She looked at me like I was insane while asking me....in a quiet, relaxed way why I hadn't done something about it then? She jumped up, ran to the router in another room and started the reboot process. I poured another cup of coffee. She then ran back to the den saying she couldn't get the thing to reboot. Here were her exact words: "You try to access on your computer while I call AT&T. Turn the TV on and set it on Netflix just in case it comes back on by itself. Hurry! Hurry! We have to fix this!" After a few more minutes, actually just long enough for me to finish my coffee, she came back with a sigh. AT&T was having a problem and they had no idea when they would be back up and running.

Before I tell the rest of the story I'll sidetrack for a minute. Debbie and I can't share computers. She does all kinds of things on the computer to make it "more efficient" and I can never find anything as a result. I bought my computer for one reason....to write. My software lends itself to my writing, saves automatically because I tend to wander off without saving, and makes my documents 'publisher friendly'. That's all I wanted. Well, I also wanted a friendly publisher but only the really expensive computers come with that software. It did come with other stuff but I have never used most of those things. Debbie's computer died a few months ago and rather than shell out another $2000 for a replacement Mac I offered to let her share with me. Within one day...and I am not making this up...within one day I couldn't find anything on my computer. I still have trouble finding this site and even though Debbie offered to "fix it" I'm not letting her touch it. She bought a new Mac. Now, back to the adventure.

After another short stay in the shop I came in to find Debbie reading. This is a past time she used to really enjoy. She read books constantly. Anyway, I was happy to see her lying on the couch reading. The TV was still set to come on if the service came back but so far the dragon still slept quietly. After a while it reared its ugly head and announced "Daddy's home". Debbie was so excited she immediately grabbed the remote to find "Heartland". I have some concerns based on this reaction. She might just possibly be addicted to TV. Or maybe she's just addicted to "Heartland". After it was over she turned the TV off and grabbed her computer. She advised me to get mine out too. She started going through all her programs and files looking for lost information. She found plenty and spent the next couple of hours repairing and replacing. At one point I heard her mumbling to herself. It sounded like, "mumble mumble mumble carry the one mumble mumble save mumble create file mumble mumble mumble E=MC squared mumble mumble.

After a while she looked up and pronounced her computer back up to speed with a few new dazzling files to help with efficiency. I was happy for her. She asked if I had found any problems with mine. I told her I hadn't really looked but it seemed to be okay. She asked what I had been doing all that time she was working on hers. I said, "I've been playing Solitaire"....mumble mumble move the black queen mumble mumble....