Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A skiff of snow

Just a little bit of snow here this morning. It's the type of snow you sweep off the sidewalks with a push broom.

Updated the Food Shopping & Weather blogs this morning. Arizona is still on tap for a real hum-dinger between now and Friday.

We are in the final stages of preparing for our weekend trip to Challis. I have to prepare perhaps 30-40 customized certificates of appreciation today. I haven't yet begun to draft my speech for the event. I always wait until the last minute for that type of stuff. I'll betcha I'll be working on it right up to the deadline when the event begins at 2 pm Saturday in the Challis Senior Center. Click here to see the place where all this will occur.

As some of you know, Challis has a special place in our hearts. For four summers, it was our main contact with civilization when we were volunteering in the middle of nowhere at the Bowery Guard Station. It took over 3 hours round trip to drive back and forth to Challis. A typical Challis trip then would take 8-9 hours--burning a whole day. The last time we did an VRE (Volunteer Recognition Event) there was November 13, 2007. We never have actually recognized the volunteers at the Senior Center--they are clearly overdue to get some "atta boys & girls." You can click here to see photos of the 2007 event. Susun took those pix and she did a great job. I suspect she will take a lot of great photos again this weekend.

I think I said earlier on this blog that we have to play bingo that evening. Susun really thinks that's funny and she said she is going to get some shots of me playing bingo so she can tease me relentlessly forever afterwards. I'd almost rather walk the plank that play bingo.

It appears that the new water heater is feng shui now. Whew--we spent a chuck of each of the past 19 days messing with the situation. It turned out to cost far more than we projected. Luckily, the city is picking $425 of the cost and will spread that over 36 months with no interest on our utility bill. Our out-of-pocket will add up to a little over $200. It was touch and go last night as one of the pipes I installed was leaking and I had to redo the installation. I think we got it right but I've been reluctant to go into the basement this morning to check on it. "Out of sight, out of mind."

We watched another couple of Northern Exposures last night, too. Man, those script writers were SOOOO very far "out there" back in 1991. WOW! One of the episodes features Maggie developing a relationship with a Malamute that she is certain is Rick Reincarnated. Unfortunately for Maggie, the dog's owner comes along and takes the mutt-a-mute away.

Maggie's plane has to make an emergency landing in the wilderness and she and Joel are marooned together. She goes out hunting and bags a squirrel. The scene of them sitting around with that rodent on a spit over the fire is hilarious. Joel fixes her aircraft engine, much to Maggie's disgust, and they arrive safely back in civilization. (such as it is)

Meanwhile, Ed finally got a real movie together and screened it in Cicely's little dinky theater. It brought tears to the eyes of the make believe audience and, yes, it even misted the eyes of John & Susun. These episodes are a timeless piece of artwork and I suspect their fan base will grow larger as the years pass along.

Looks like health care reform went down in flames again. There really wasn't anything in that 2000-page bill that would have directly benefited either of us anyway so I guess I don't care. We still have only two choices: continue working until we turn 65 and get on Medicare or bite the bullet and pay thousands of dollars a year for Open Market coverage. Unless interest rates rise at least two percentage points, the latter option is out of the question. I think I've mentioned that my employer claims they are paying $12,800 (plus or minus) for coverage for both of us--$4800 of that amount if coming out of my take home pay. OUCH! What a rip off.

There are 7 candidates for the new Division Director. Get this--our employer won't let any of the members of our division participate in the interview process. Yesterday I was at least successful in getting the acting director to ask the Executive Director (our kinda, sorta Alpha Male) to include one question in the interviews. Here it is:

"What steps will you take to recognize, respect, enhance and celebrate the self-esteem of each unique individual on the Area VI Agency on Aging?"

Fat chance the question will ever get asked.

Well, have a great day and Cheers! jp

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