Friday, November 8, 2013

Staying Inside

It's one of those days you get here in the mountains in Fall.  Clear outside,  the wind is blowing, and it's cold. Having sallied forth yesterday and accomplished exactly nothing, I'm going to just stay in today.  I'm not walking down the mountain to check the mail, partially because of the cold and partially because there's nothing coming in the mail that can't wait until tomorrow. Or the day after if need be.

I'm not even fiddling with a fire today.   The propane heater in the basement can easily heat the whole house, and that's what I'm using .  A fireplace and a wood stove are nice when you feel like putting wood in them all day, but you can't beat propane heat for just turning it on and forgetting about it.

Yesterday was an exercise in futility.   I went to Walmart, was there for half an hour in sporting goods, and couldn't ever find anyone to open the ammo cabinet.  When I looked for the manager he was not to be found. I called them and they put me on hold and forgot about me.  Today I sent a real zinger to their corporate headquarters and was careful to identify the store number and managers name. I hope I caused someone a lot of trouble, but I expect some minimum wage worker up in Arkansas hit the delete button.

When I bought gas, I was supposed to be paying $3.13 a gallon.  But I paid $20.00 and got 6.2 gallons, which comes out to $3.22 a gallon.  I went inside and told the clerk the pumps were off.  She said they weren't. I said they were. She said nobody else had complained.  I got out my calculator and showed her how to calculate the price per gallon. She ran something on her cash register and she got the same numbers. She said she was sorry.  I asked her what she was going to do about it and she said nothing, it would have to wait until "Andrea" came in on the next shift. I left.   I called the station this morning and told them what had happened. They said the clerk just pushed the wrong buttons.  I suggested maybe someone might want to explain to her how to push the right buttons. The person I was talking to was unimpressed. That's a nice way of saying she could not have cared less if I'd been paying her to.

At least dinner was ok. I went to the Chinese place. They know I always sit in the back, in a corner, so that's where they put my silverware and drink.  The food was good, and nobody else was in the restaurant. The two people who run the place speak virtually no english so I didn't have to make small talk.

A lot of people I used to read have just quit blogging, or they only post maybe once a week now. I think it is part of the general malaise that has settled over the country.  Fall is over, and winter is here, regardless of the dates. The insurance mess is beyond repair,  unemployment is up, job creation is down, food prices are going up fast. 

As I was typing this, there was a  tremendous furor outside. I went out to see what was going on.  A big hawk was swooping down over the meadow, chickens were scattering for dear life, and my dogs were chasing the hawk, jumping up in the air trying to grab it as it came rocketing by just over their heads. I wish I  had the camera with me, what a photo that would have made. I was surprised the dogs could leap as high as they did.  At least it's never dull here.

The rest of the day is for reading I suppose.  That and taking a long nap.     I've found a new smooth jazz artist I really like.  Seems unlikely, but Keiko Matsui has been playing smooth jazz since 1986, and I have only just started listening to her music.  It's good smooth jazz, and doesn't have vocals in it.  I don't care much for vocals, I prefer instrumentals.


  1. Harry, the wife and I have a local Mexican place like that. It doesn't exactly have corners in the back of the sitting area, but we have a place where I can watch who comes in and out, and where I can watch 99% of the rest of the sitting area. Plus it is quieter in that spot. I hate noisy eating places.

    I think many folks are settling in for the long haul. Not much else they are willing to do about it.

    Good for those dogs, they probably saved you a chicken for being hauled away.

    I know it seems silly, but I am listening to Christmas music today. The music is what I like best about the holiday anyway. So since at least one station has switched over for the duration, I try to take advantage of it. It is very relaxing for me.

    1. It doesn't sound silly. Christmas is the only holiday I feel much connection with, other than Veterans Day and Memorial Day. When my kids were home, it was a really big thing for us. I like Christmas Music from the 1940's.

      I don't get along well in crowds. There's always someone talking loudly, or somebody with kids acting out, something like that. When I go somewhere to have dinner I want a quiet, peaceful place and I want my exact table, always in a corner and always in the back.

  2. Matt, I adore Christmas music. I am driving everyone made! lol

    Harry - I love the wood burner in our lounge. it heats the whole of the house if we open the door the heat sweeps up through the house. we were very lucky to have been given it by OH's father. When I left for work this AM it was 5 oC. Nice and crisp.

    The picture of the woods is lovely. I wish we had enough money to live out in the middle of no where. with our own woods or even enough land to plant willow to heat the house.

    Customer Service is top of my list. Where the heck was everyone in the shop? Waiting for 30 mins to get some one to open a cabinet is unacceptable. I would have stalked the aisles look for a shelf stacking person. we may be crap at many things over here, but there are always people stacking shelves.

    I would have asked for a credit note for the extra you paid, for the fuel. That would have miffed me off

    there is only one restaurant here that I will go to as I cant cook Indian food for the life of me. So we eat there on date night if we have a coupon.

    Dogs are cool arent they. I would like one but we are out all day.

    I listen to a lot of Jazz, OH plays it and he is alway practising his sax or clarinet. I prefer it when he plays the violin. Some times the sax is just too much. I can play chop stix on the piano. LOL He is with me for my cultural side, can you tell! LOL

    1. I like the wood burning stove or the fireplace most of the time, but when I am the only one home it is a lot of work to build a fire and keep it going. I don't mind doing it when my wife is here but when it's just me the propane heater works pretty well.

      The woods are nice this time of year. Soon I'll be posting pictures of snow and ice, and while I enjoy that as well it can be tough sometimes not being able to get in and out of the place. My vehicle trail goes down a steep, winding course with a cliff on one side and a sheer drop into a gulley on the other.

      I don't think I have ever eaten Indian food. As far as I know there's no Indian restaurant in all the Northern part of my state. Maybe in the capitol though.

      Jazz is a real asset for me. I can listen to it for hours and do nothing but relax. I don't really like the old 1930's stuff but I enjoy smooth jazz very much.

      I tried to learn to play the clarinet but just couldn't make a go of it.
      :- )

    2. G,day Harry,
      I could use a bit of cool weather at the moment, I am in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and it is .......... hot and about 110% humidity to boot! I am actually looking forward to getting back to Australia for some dry summer heat without the humidity.

    3. Sgt, isn't there a terrific typhoon headed for Cambodia and Viet Nam right now? Don't get caught up in a disaster there now.

    4. Should be ok, the typhoon is hitting Northen Vietnam now but we are flying out of Cambodia for Singapore tomorrow morning. We will have outrun it by the time we head out for Aussie, typhoons never come down that far. Thanks for the good wishes.

    5. I'm glad you aren't going to the Philippine islands, they are apparently trashed.

  3. I have had something similar happen at the gas station. But in my case, the pump charged me for the expensive gas when I picked the cheap. I KNOW I chose the cheap gas, but when I went inside about it, they claimed I pushed the wrong button. Sigh.

    1. Well, next time I'll just make sure that they set it up right before I go out to the pump. I figure I lost about 36 cents, but I went to that gas station and not another one to save the 36 cents. It was very aggravating.

      You should have bought 50 cents worth of the expensive gas, then gone back in and had them reset the pump! I seriously doubt you hit the wrong button, they may have been running a scam.

  4. You just can't find great service anymore. People seem to not care that much about the customer. And everyone want's to pass the buck.

    What gets me are these kids that have a "tip jar" next to the cash register. What did they do to earn that tip? What a wonderful entitlement culture we have now.

    1. Troy, it does seem like there has been a big degradation in how people related to customers. I know for a fact at Walmart, the workers are angry and dissatisfied, and they take it out on the customers because it seems a safe and secret way to get back at the company. However, it just keeps them from getting their departmental bonuses, Walmart is so big that this kind of behavior is just a pin prick on an elephants behind.

  5. Those sort of run ins can leave you feeling annoyed and frustrated especially when people flatly refuse to do anything to help sort out the issue. If someone at least tries to help you leave feeling happier even if you didn't get what you wanted. I like shopping in the small family owned stores around here as the customer service is much better when it is their own responsibility and not part of some national chain.
    I'll bet your dogs had a hoot chasing off the bird, pity you didn't get any photo's. We often get buzzards after our chickens but so far they haven't captured any, the cockerel usually sets off the alarm and they run for cover under the hedges.
    Winter has definitely arrived here too, I'll be lighting fires and the stove to get the place toasty as soon as Ian gets home. I'm not here long enough just now to bother with the hassle of it all. There is a chance he might get home Monday :)

    1. Hey, Dreamer. I almost never go to small stores because I have a bigger selection and lower prices at the big box stores. But obviously, it comes at a big price in terms of the quality of service.

      The dogs were hot after that hawk, but he wasn't much afraid of them, he just kept swooping down over the meadow, then wheeling up and coming in for another run. The chickens all fled under the shrubs along the jeep trail.
      I sure hope you get the husband home and you can fix him up a place on the couch, near the fire and both of you can rest some. Got my fingers crossed for you both.