Monday, January 25, 2016

Old CD's, Cassette tapes, Vinyls, and the 8-Track

I have them all....or I did have them all. I gave the vinyl records, along with the turntable to a niece who was into oldies. I should have kept them because I'm now hearing they are on their way back as the preferred method of listening to music you can't afford to pay to listen to live.

I got rid of all my 8-track tapes years ago. However, I had to keep one to use with my 8-track player. I couldn't make myself toss the player. It was a gift from my mom. I kept the cartridge in order to show my grandkids how the thing worked. So far they haven't asked.

I threw out all my remaining cassettes, save one, a year or so ago. When my old pickup truck radio decided to eat one of my cassettes I figured it was time to step into the next century. I threw away all the cassettes except for the Kingston Trio Three Album Collection. Don't really know why....can't play it.

I may have mentioned on Facebook my plan to go through my mountain of old CD's during the next couple of weeks. My plan is to keep those I still enjoy and throw out the rest. I'm going to workout on my rowing machine while CD for one workout session. I did learn very quickly to check the old CD player to make sure it wasn't set for "replay". The first day I listened to the Dixie Chicks. I used to really like the Dixie Chicks until they insulted President Bush during a concert. I overlooked their action in order to fully research the collection I have on hand. They were really great. I don't know if they are still around or not but they used to be really talented. The second day started off kind of rough. I was already on the rower ready to go. I grabbed the next CD off the top....Christmas music....I didn't want to work out to Christmas music. I grabbed the next....and the next...and once again....all Christmas CD's. I moved them all to the bottom finally and went for the CD now on top. It was Pachelbel. I like Pachelbel...when I'm reading or relaxing. Not sure it would work for rowing. I grabbed the next one....hmm, it was the Dixie Chicks again. I decided to go ahead with it before my resolve to workout faded. It was a good CD and a good  workout. I kind of feel sorry for Earl. According to the song, he had to die. I know I have some really good CD's in my collection. I have some smoking rock from the late 60's and early 70's. I also have Neil Diamond, John Denver, the Beach Boys, and more. On the country side I have the Statler Brothers, Oakridge Boys, Vince Gill. My bluegrass collection would make you swoon. So WHERE ARE THESE CD'S??!!

I may have to cull my collection visually before I proceed with the workout plan. The problem is, I bought all these CD's at one time or another because I liked the music recorded. Oh sure, I may have been immature and I know I was always about a decade behind the current trend...but I liked it at one time or I wouldn't have bought it. I may not be able to throw any of them away....don't tell Debbie.

I've created my own personal favorites on Pandora so I'm sure that method is out of date now. Let me know what I need to use in order to be 1) up to date and current, and 2) entertained. I'll let you get back to your day now....."get your motor runnin', headed down the highway..." dunt ta dunt ta da da da da dunt....

Thursday, January 21, 2016

So how's it goin'?

Already 21 days into the new year and already 21 days behind with those noble resolutions I made. The start of 2016 is especially important to me because it's the first year I've entered into the fully retired portion of life. Because of my newfound freedom and empty calendars I felt it important to plan some really worthy improvements. I won't bore you all with my list of resolutions...especially since I'm failing with them daily but I am curious if others have the same problem.

I have come to the conclusion that along with my wonderful talents, darn good looks and overall congeniality I am also very lazy. I bought a new fountain pen and classy journal to record my daily actions and thoughts beginning January 1 of this year. I have yet to put ink in the pen and I have no idea where I placed the journal.

I vowed to post on this page every Monday morning. It's Thursday if you've not noticed and I missed Monday the two previous weeks as well.

The spreadsheet to record daily caloric intake and burned calories has not been opened on my computer since the day I built it in November of last year. I started out the year with a "couple of extra pounds to lose" and this morning weighed in thirteen pounds heavier than I weighed in November.

On the plus side, I have made it a point to sleep in longer and make sure I don't miss any meals. I feel it's important to keep a strict schedule. I have also placed my rowing machine in the "play room" so it's more accessible. I hope to use it soon. I have set my study up as a peaceful place to create and write. It kind of wore me out moving the furniture around so I haven't actually written anything yet but I love the ambiance of the room.

I hope you have been at least as successful as I've been so far this year. I have a suggestion to give you. This is a resolution I made years ago and it has remained a part of my life. Promise to do a random act of kindness every day. It is a simple thing, maybe nothing more than a genuine smile to an overworked clerk, but it will make the recipient feel good and it will make you feel great. I have tons of suggestions but since I tend to ignore my own good advice I'll stop there. Besides, its time for me to get started on another short story....after I stop for a cup of coffee and visit with Debbie.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm Done!!

I've always been a DIY guy. For those in the listening audience who don't recognize the initials, it means "do it yourself"....and that's what I've always been. My dad taught me from an early age the value of taking care of things so they wouldn't wear out or break and the value of repairing things myself when they did wear out or break. It's been a pretty good exercise and one I'm proud of but I think I may be at the end of my DIY days.

I had to be with my dad when he was working on something, whether it be the car, the refrigerator, or even the toaster. He taught me how to go about the process and I slowly began to actually be a help rather than a hindrance. I fondly remember him instructing, "Hand me the 5/8ths box end.". I had no idea what he was talking about but rather than ask for clarification I handed him a pair of pliers. In his loving way he explained, "Does that look like a 5/8th box end? What part of this pair of pliers looks like a box end wrench?". After that day I knew a box end and lovingly passed this knowledge on to my sons later in life. I never captured his talent of looking at a nut or bolt and immediately knowing what size box end was required. My own instructions to my boys went like this: "Hand me a 5/8ths box end. Oh, this isn't right. Just bring me all of the box ends."

After Deb and I were married I continued to ask my dad for help with repairs and he seemed to enjoy being needed. After a while though he took me aside and told me it was time to flex my wings and do my own repairs without his guidance. He said it something like, "Ok boy, this is the last time....from now on fix it yourself and let me enjoy my retirement!".  A year or two later Deb complained about the washer not working properly. I had planned to work on my car anyway and since the washer was located in the garage I told her I would take a look at it before starting on the car. As I disassembled the washer looking for something needing repair, I spread the parts out on the garage floor. After a near complete disassembly I was frustrated and decided to stop and fix the little problem I had noticed on our car. I raised the lid and checked the carburetor linkage (impressed aren't you?!). It was fine so I set the air cleaner aside and worked my way through the other suspected parts. As I worked I laid out the car parts on the garage floor. After an hour or two I still hadn't located the problem so I stopped for lunch. During lunch Deb informed me she HAD to get some wash done so please let her know as soon as the washer was ready. In my own mind I knew it was Saturday and the only way for us to get to church on Sunday was in our only car which was laying in pieces on the garage floor. I ate a quick lunch then got back out to reassemble the washer. Hmmm, I don't recall this piece...where does it go?? Could it be a part for the car instead?....hmmm...I had a mess on my hands. I couldn't remember how to put the washer back together so I did the only thing a father and husband can do in an emergency...I called my dad. After reminding me of our earlier conversation he agreed to come over and help me with the washer. I failed to mention the car situation. When he arrived I opened the garage door and was amazed at his sympathy for me...."WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE YOU DONE???".  He got to work though and by seven that night he had the washer and car both up and running. I love that man and sure do miss him. There are days I miss him more than others. For example...

Our dishwasher went out a few months ago. We found a nice replacement at Home Depot. While checking out, the clerk asked if we wanted to pay $65 for installation. My response was, "Absolutely not. I've installed dishwashers before and it only takes a few minutes.". It took me seven hours and I'm still worried about leaks. While shopping for the dishwasher Deb found a kitchen sink she liked and a couple of weeks later we went back to Home Depot to purchase it. Again, "No, we don't want to pay for an installation.".  Because the new sink was laid out differently from our current sink our disposal wouldn't fit. I rationalized that we were spoiled and didn't really need a disposal. After another trip to Home Depot for supplies, I reworked the plumbing and finished the install. It took four hours. Just last week Deb told me she had to have the disposal back so we made  another trip to Home Depot for another sink. When asked if we wanted to pay for installation I replied, with some hesitancy, that I thought I could handle it myself. It took nine hours....yes, that's right. I said NINE STINKING HOURS. Nothing matched up. I made three more trips to Home Depot before the nightmare was over. On my last trip I stopped the clerk and told him, "Look at this face. If you EVER hear me say I don't want to pay for installation again, slap me right up the side of my head.".

I'm done.....