Coffee heat rising

One thing after another…

Man! Has it ever been a busy few days! Where to start?

Dog Busting, Friend Busting, Weekend Busting

My good friends KJG and VickyC have been machinating a weekend junket to Payson, whither KJG and Mr. KJG recently moved. We were hugely looking forward to seeing the G’s in their new home, a Very Big Deal indeed.

Between the time I left  yesterday morning to drop Ruby the Corgi off at my son’s house for the day and the time I arrived at VickyC’s house in a historic downtown neighborhood, KJG had called, reached VickyC, and said the plans were off.

Mr. KJG had taken their beautiful and endlessly beloved pet greyhound for her morning walk, and while he was out a neighbor’s loose mutt attacked them. The greyhound was alarmingly injured. What the status is now, I do not know — no reply was forthcoming from my emailed inquiry, so in true Drama Queen mode, I assume the dog is dead or in extremis.

This greyhound is Mr. KJG’s baby. They both really love that hound. Should it be permanently hurt or dead, then that is a major tragedy in their household.*

The thing is, rural veterinaries are often not equipped to cope with this kind of emergency. When Charley had his self-induced heatstroke while on the road with M’hijito, the vet up in Nowhereseville said that if the dog was to survive at all — which he did not think would happen — he would have to be transported to a 24-hour emergency vet in the Valley. Additionally, greyhounds are not like normal dogs. One of their eccentricities is that they cannot tolerate the anaesthesia normally used in veterinary practices — they require a special anaesthetic, and they require a vet who a) knows this (good luck with that!), b) who has the stuff in stock, and c) knows how to use it. So you pretty much have to have already established a relationship with a vet before anything happens to such a dog. They’ve been there plenty of time to have done so, but I’m sure this esisode was not a grand way to launch the weekend.

Meanwhile, a new bishop for the diocese was consecrated. It was quite a chivaree and one that I wanted to attend and to sing at. However, my friends and I had made these plans many weeks ago, and trying to get three busy schedules to coordinate is quite a challenge. So I didn’t feel I could duck out of it…

*Some hours later: We’re told the dog is patched up and will be OK. Good news!

Planning for Good Works

VickyC and I punted by going to breakfast, then briefly browsing some antique stores, and plotting some schemes for volunteer work. She is a graduate of the Valley Leadership program that trains young executives, and so has all sorts of contacts and projects.

After many years at her current job with a regional water supplier, she recently applied for a position with a national nonprofit for which my ex- once served as state president and then as a national board member. Naturally, I was very interested in this development and suggested that I’d like to volunteer, assuming all his old cronies have now moved on. That appears to be the case, and so if she gets the job maybe I can sign back on.

Meanwhile, her employer encourages people to participate in community work, and so she already is much engaged. Among of her interests are the de-privatization of our prison system and initiatives to rehabilitate offenders back into society so they do not end up going back to jail. One of the groups she works with is looking for volunteers, so she may introduce me to those folks.

Sometimes I think it’s time to quit the editorial business — just shut it down, rather than continue wrestling with getting paid and ponying up cash to have the taxes done. WonderAccountant has already suggested we de-incorporate it, and we’re about to send in the paperwork to convert it to an LLC. This would much reduce the costs of tax preparation, and also much de-complicate the work she does for me and the bidness. But…given what I’m paid, I do wonder why I even bother: wouldn’t it be better to do something that helps folks for free?


All the edible contents of the pantry have been sitting in the freezer for a good three days now. That’s twice as long as is supposedly needed to kill off any infant moths and their eggs. Yay!

That cabinet is now mightily cleaned and very tidy. So today I retrieved the food and packed it back onto the shelves. Very nifty.

I’m almost certain that this infestation came from the dog kibble, an elegant variety of which I buy at an expensive gourmet grocery store. This stuff, I use as doggy treats and to spike the corgi’s custom-made chow. Although I threw out a bunch of aging products, the kibble was really the only thing that clearly was occupied.

WhatEVER. All the pantry goods are now secured inside jars with tight lids, even the pasta. That should discourage any further depredations. And it sure makes the shelves nice and neat.


Mattress Gambit

So I finally gave up and went to a MattressFirm outlet, the one next door to the Whole Foods at Town and Country. The general over-pricedness of this shopping center — well, with the exception of the Trader Joe’s, the upscale thrift store, and the Nordstrom’s Rack — does not inspire confidence. However, I did find a very comfortable inner-spring mattress, exactly what I had in mind, for well under a thousand dollars.

Can you imagine: $1,300 to $1,500+ for mattress from Penney’s????? Next door to the Costco in one of the grungiest shopping centers in the city???? A store that employs, far as anyone can tell, exactly ZERO sales people? Give. Me. A. Break.

This prize is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, and they will cart off the huge, unmoveable clunker that’s been occupying space in the bedroom for the past fifteen years.

Briefly, I considered having the delivery guys just tote it into the former TV room, which just now serves no purpose. A bed in there would turn it into a guest bedroom, eh?

But really, the room is too small for a queen-sized mattress. I’d have to buy some sort of platform for the thing or else just set it on the floor, neither of which I wanna do. Other furniture in there would have to go. And given that no one ever stays here overnight, the whole idea looked like a great deal more trouble than it’s worth. Really, it would make more sense to get an Ikea bed platform and toss a twin-size Tuft and Needle pad on it. Or a futon. So…

Vacuum Cleaner Fiasco

Now that did turn into a fiasco, when in a fit of frustration and exhaustion I abandoned the supposedly unfixable Shark vacuum at the 35th Avenue Sew’n’Vac, an outfit that in the past has cheerfully repaired the things.

Apparently staff there outright lied when they said parts could not be purchased (oddly, they’re readily available on Amazon) and the machines cannot be opened to work on them (oddly, Amazon customers report all kinds of repairs having been done on their older models).

By leaving the machine there and asking them to throw it out so I didn’t have to tote it home and figure out how to dispose of it, I essentially let the store steal it. And…they have in the past sold second-hand vacuums.

But…I have another old Shark vacuum, which runs fine but is just old and tired. I use it to vacuum the car and pick up the occasional mess of broken glass. After I realized that yea, verily, parts are easy to order and others report no problem with repair jobs, I called another vacuum repair store. The guy who answered said they could clean and refurbish that vacuum.

Since I truly hate the new Shark I bought at Costco the other day — it’s swiveling suction head threatens to yank your shoulder out of joint — I’m thinking I’ll have this other repair guy fix up the old one and then return the $150 number to Costco. So that will put a bundle of cash back in my checking account and relieve me, temporarily, of yet another source of annoyance.

Pool Fiasco

The newly (expensively) refurbished pool pump doesn’t seem to be working. Just now I’m too tired to be mad as a cat about that…but I surely should be. Yesterday I spent half the afternoon cleaning up the algae infestation that resulted from sending the damn pump to the shop for a week or ten days. WHAT a mess, and what a project!

The vacuum just simply does not run when plugged into the (expensive) new inlet on the side of the pool: hangs up on the accursed new hair-resistant drain covers and stops dead. And it is sucking air, causing the pump to cavitate.


So it’s now plugged into the strainer basket inlet. Again. This required reattaching three lengths of plastic hose. Still sucks air, still cavitates but now it runs like a bustard.

I’m thinking it’s possible one or more lengths of that hose is leaking. A couple of them are pretty old. But that stuff is ridiculously expensive . I really, truly do NOT want to go out and buy half a dozen lengths of it. They do have pool vacuum hoses at Amazon, but reviewers seem to hate them, and they come in 30- or 40-foot lengths. The shorter lengths — four or five feet — are preferable because you don’t have to replace the entire pricey length if one crack shows up, and because they’re easier to store.

At any rate, I’m getting very, very tired of paying Swimming Pool Service & Repair to get the damn job done right. They soak me for a service call every time they come over here to do something that should have been done as part of the refurbishing job.

The newly purchased hose bonnet gadget — used for picking up large debris that could damage Harvey the Hayward Pool cleaner — proved to be exceptionally annoying. The maker has added a new blandishment: lengths of nylon brush around the circumference. This stuff a) does not play well with the coarse new Pebble-sheen surface and b) pushes the debris out of the way instead of letting the device suck it up into the bonnet.

This afternoon I realized I could take a flat-head screwdriver to the frame and prize the stupid brushes out. By then Harvey had sucked up most of the BBs that had blown out of the damned palm trees into the pool, so haven’t yet tried to see how this “improvement” works. But, dammit, I see that I can get the old-fashioned no-cutesy-brush version from Amazon, for a lot less than I paid at Leslie’s. So I may try to snap those things back in, return it to Leslie’s, and order one that’s not so extortionately priced.

Doggy-Walk Fail

On the way back into the ’Hood from church, what should come galloping across the road but the BIGGEST, HEALTHIEST, HUSKIEST coyote I’ve ever seen in my life. He was gorgeous — in great health, full coat, and at least as big as a German shepherd. And on a dead run, presumably streaking away from something that spooked him.

One of the little girls on the corner of the road that leads toward La Maya and La Bethulia’s house started to putter after him on her bicycle. No grown-up being in evidence, I pulled a U-ie and cruised down the street after him. Didn’t see him in the alley, though that’s the most likely place for a coyote to take shelter. Stopped by La M’s neighbor’s house, where the family was puttering in the front yard, and told them to keep an eye out for the coyote-hunting kidlet. They hadn’t seen him come by, so he presumably shot up the alleyway.

At any rate, it’s now after dark. Ruby the Corgi has not had her daily doggy-walk, but with that big fella in the offing, I think I’d just as soon not take her out in prime coyote-prowling hours. So…she’ll be unhappy with me all evening.

So. Yeah:

One damfool thing after another!