Thursday, August 09, 2007

Festival Time

Well another Coast Guard Festival week has come and gone. It was a relatively quiet week from where I was standing….Wednesday night me and Mercury went for a walk and ended up walking downtown, hanging out on the steps of the power plant for awhile watching the parade of humanity and wheeled conveyances roll by before heading back home. Friday night me and the little lady went down to the carnival and ended up running into Tony and Gigi and hanging out with them for a bit.

Saturday arrived and I did what I’ve usually been doing in recent years passed…..hiked on down to the parade route, found myself a spot and watched the parade go by, all by my little ole self, no wife, no kids, no grandkids, no dogs….well, you get the point. By the time the parade was done it was almost 2 so I hiked back home and had some lunch, rested my eyes for a little while and then about 5 headed back downtown for the evenings festivities. After getting a hoagie from one of the booths downtown for supper I ended up hiking out to the end of the pier and sat out there for awhile just soaking up the cool air and the view. About 8 or so I headed back up towards town and found myself a spot on the government basin to watch the fireworks from and just hung out there for the remainder of the evening, watching the goings on around me. The firework display this year was about average compared to recent years passed….at least they didn’t burn half the hill down this year, even with it being as dry as it’s been around here. After the last burst of color faded away I pulled myself up and headed for home along with thousands of other folks. It’s quite a sight to see the wave of humanity all get up and flow off in all directions. It was midnight by the time I got home. I didn’t stay up long after arriving.

Sunday I got up and made us breakfast before Wanda took off for band camp for the week to act as a chaperone. After she’d left I wandered around the house for a bit and then decided I’d head up to camp, paint the cooking cabinet and kill some ferns and most of the day. Bailey and Mercury went along for the ride. We got there about noon and I set about putting the first of two coats of dark green paint on the cabinet. Once the first coat was on I got out the weed whacker and leveled another generations worth of them pesky, resilient plants. With the dryness we’ve had this summer the grass hadn’t grown an inch since we last mowed but them damn ferns just don’t know when to quit. By the time I finished putting on the second coat of paint and cleaning up my mess it was almost 5 so I locked things up, looked around once more and then headed for home.

So far this week it’s been real quiet. Work all day, come home and eat, walk dogs, watch a little TV or play on the computer and then go to bed. This coming weekend is the Coopersville Friday Cruise and Saturday car show. I’m planning on doing both as long as the weather cooperates. Wanda will be back home Saturday afternoon by the time I get back from the show.

That’s about it for now. Still can’t report on plans or things that may happen, looks like it’s gonna be awhile before I can say anything too so that’s the last word on it until it’s past tense. Time to call it a day.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

S**t Rolls Downhill & Everywhere I Look Is Up

Well. Last week for the most part was a continuation of the last several weeks before it, pissy mood and all and so far this week the ante has been upped another notch or two. I probably should be logging in a couple posts a day over in my Rants and Raves blog, but truth be told I just don’t have energy to waste on bitchin’ about all that’s wrong these days. Money is the issue and not having enough is the problem and that’s pretty much all there is to it. This week’s battle was with the gas company who decided to send a shut-off notice with a demand for an additional 199 bucks along with removing us from their “budget plan” service. The fact that we’ve been paying utilities before anything else made me wonder just where the hell they came up with this request for more money. My idea of a how a budget is supposed to work is that you pay the same amount every month, year round. So, after several hours on the phone, stretched out over 2 days they came to the determination that maybe they’d made a mistake (implied) and that I should just send my usual payment and once that’s been posted I can call back (Oh joy, another hour on hold) and they will reinstate us in the “Budget plan” once again, we’ll start a new year with a new budget amount (which I’d be willing to bet ya will be considerably higher than it was before this latest round of coercion) and life will be wonderful. I suspect, but can’t prove, that their accounting department is full of Spanish speaking illegals with a 3rd grade education……..why else would I have to send my Michigan Gas Utilities bill to San Antonio Texas??? The lady I talked to had a decided Texas Twang in her voice so I’m not sure who they think they’re kiddin’ with the name on the bill. Pirates are pirates no matter what flag they’re flying.

Guess I did have some energy for a rant eh? Anyhow, there are things in the works to maybe make things better or at least more manageable around here, but it’s not stuff that I’m at liberty (self-imposed) to talk about in here at this point in time. Once the details are all finalized then I can share, assuming my blood pressure from dealing with these bastards doesn’t kill me first.

Amid all the crap there has been a couple things happen that actually made me smile and I can share them now. First one is, I’m a granddaddy again! Jennette had boy # 3 last Friday afternoon, July 27th. His name is Ethan Thomas (NO E.T. jokes please) and I believe he was around 7lbs and 19” give or take a bit in either category. Regardless of the way the pic looks he is healthy and not suffering from some type of green malaise. Somebody, give them kids a camera that works! Actually I think it’s a federal law that if you’re not within a 3 hour driving distance window of your child’s grandparents than you’re required to send frequent, quality photographs so we can at least see what they look like from a distance…… I’m pretty sure Ethan ain’t green and blurry (NO E.T. jokes please). Hopefully I’ll get to see him before he’s up and walking……..can you say guilt trip? I knew you could. Good job Jennette, proud of ya….ya make good looking babies….now…..give it a rest for a couple years girl, or you’ll look like Auntie Em before you’re 30. You should have enough to keep you busy now for the next 20 years easy.

The only other thing I can recall that’s made me smile this past week happened during the Grand Haven Car show last Sunday. I got there fairly early and got a spot right in front of the old theater. Set up the display and then wandered around for awhile taking pics. I spent the show time talking with folks and sitting in my chair watching them stroll by. Doug Ransom stopped by to say hi…hadn’t seen him in several years and he just lives a mile away. The time went by quickly and before I knew it, it was time for the awards. So I strolled down to the registration booth to see who’d take home the hardware. This year they were giving out awards for the top 20 cars at the show and those cars were to be picked by Coast Guard folks, in keeping with the Coast Guard Festival theme no doubt. I was standing there, talking to another car guy when all of a sudden I heard my name called out and I’ll be doggoned if they hadn’t called off my name and car number! There were over 150 cars there and a lot of nice rides so I had no idea that I’d be a recipient of an award. It was a nice little boost nonetheless, especially after I'd skipped the Whitehall cruise Friday night and the Wayland show Saturday due to funding issues. I took my award and headed for home and spent the rest of what was mostly a crappy weekend at home, doing domestic stuff.

Guess that’s about enough for now. We’re in the middle of Coast Guard week and the town is packed with every nitwit from a dozen states with 3 bucks in their pocket. It’s pretty much like a combination of the circus and the zoo coming to town at the same time! We’ll be staying home again this weekend for the most part. Wanda leaves for band camp early Sunday and won’t be back until the next Saturday. I got plans for the week but we all know how that goes…….

More later,