Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No Happy Hour tonight

That's right---no Happy Hour!  Wot hoppened?  Well, Tuesday is Chess Night at Barnes & Noble.  Cain't have no Happy Hour and play chess!

Various players start rolling in around 6 pm and play until 9 pm.  We got there about 7 or so and I played 8 games, winning 2.  Hey, winning two games against the guys who play there is a Big Deal for me.  One guy is really good and I beat him.  He kept asking me, "How did you do that?"  I told him I really didn't know.  Well, he was darned consternated about it and kept muttering, "How did he do that?"  I wish I knew.  Susun really likes Chess Night, too.  She curls up in a comfy chair and reads books off the B&N shelf.  It's fun.  I miss it when we are away. There's a Starbucks right there.  The coffee aroma is awesome. We play on the tables that are normally crowded with caffeine junkies.  There's usually some young kids playing.  Tonight there was some kid who was maybe 9 or so and he was really holding his own.  He got bored before I could play him and ran off to the Children's Book section. I made some really bone-headed moves that doomed several of my games.  I have to pay more attention, scratch my chin, rest my jawbone on my knuckles, rub my eyes, you know the routine.  I sure need to play more computer chess, too.  That helps a lot.  I'd like to be able to win about half my games out there on Tuesdays.  Ah, Chess Night!  It's a great alternative to Happy Hour!

The rest of the day was pretty straight forward.  This morning, I swapped out two water valves in the basement.  They supply the washing machine with hot and cold water.  The old ones gave up their ghost when we fiddled with them upon our return from Arizona.  So, we had to buy new ones and do the R&R.  It wasn't bad--took about an hour and no problems developed.  Real straightforward.

 Susun and I went for a walk when she returned from buying beau coup bedding plants at Freddie.  We use the "don't ask, don't tell" policy when Susun goes shopping for flowers.  That's her business, I really don't want to know what it cost.  Anyway, we were merrily walking along the Greenbelt and one thing led to another and both of us got interviewed by the local TV station.  It was a hoot.  The reporter is fresh from Los Angeles and she was peeved that there was no drinking water fountains on the Greenbelt.  The Parks people told her the obvious--hey, it's too freaking cold each night and the pipes will freeze.  Duh, this is Idaho, Lady Reporter!  Well, anyway, she was fishing each one of us to try to get us to say bad things about Parks & Rec. and the Greenbelt.  We both said hugely positive things, of course.  She cut me off after my first sentence by saying, "Great, that's all I need."  Meanwhile, we watched her 6 pm segment of the evening news and we weren't shown.  She only showed people who fit her preconceived notions and so forth.  Ah, journalistic objectivity is alive and well, ain't it?

The rest of the day was one of dogged determination to put together our Camp Kitchen.  There is so much that goes into our kitchen, it's totally Type A.  Today I worked on four boxes, Utensils, Cookware, Food and Spices.  I have all four boxes close to being done after visits to two thrift stores, two Dollar stores and two grocery stores and a Wal-Mart.

Each year's Camp Kitchen is always different than any other year's version.  The Kitchen doesn't necessarily evolve, it simply comes together in a different permutation each year.  We never really know what to expect when we start to assemble the kitchen.  This year is a lot different because we left our 2009 Camp Kitchen down in Arizona.  We're starting from scratch this year.  Normally, we start with the skeleton of last year's Camp Kitchen.  (It gets badly cannibalized during the winter.)  This year, we had nothing to start with, only fuzzy memories of previous kitchen rigs.  It's coming together pretty good.  Sometimes it's a good thing to start all over from a blank slate.  When we get it all done, we will take some photos and do some description and so forth.

No photos today.  I really blew it.  I could have had a great photo of Susun getting interviewer by the Lady Reporter.  And Susun could have taken a shot of me getting the tar kicked out of me at the chess tables.  Nope, we fell asleep at the switch.

OK, I gotta tell ya a Boy Scout story.  So, I wuz out at Wally World and I got through the checkout line and took a look at my receipt and, much to my abject amazement, a $3 item didn't get rung up but somehow wound up in my plastic bags.  I sat down and pondered this unique event.  Should I simply walk out of Wally and chalk it up to "checker error?"  Or should I go back and say, "hey, I need to pay for this."  On the one hand, Wally is a giant corporation that handles untold billions of dollars.  What's three bucks?  On the other hand, there's my conscience and the whole concept of positive karma.  We help create positive karma when we do the right thing.  So, it didn't really take long to take the high road and I walked over and said, "Hey, you missed this item and I want to pay for it.'  The checker was very pleased and thankful and I felt real good paying for the item.  Afterall, that's the way this Boy Scout game is played!  Who knows?  Maybe I will get to help a little ol' lady cross the street soon or something like that.

Have a another great day and Cheers!  jp

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