email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

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Thursday, January 29, 2015


I haven't been on the computer much lately.  Oh, I post on the cat blog, but I haven't been visiting cat blog fiends much, and not posting here.  Why?  Well, I'm trying to stop smoking.

That may seem odd.  But there are reasons.  I don't smoke because I'm chemically addicted.  I can go without cigs just fine most days.  I don't wake up wanting one, I don't want one just sitting around.  Days go by and it bothers me not.

I am, however, situationally habituated.  It used to be just when I was out on the deck watching the birds and squirrels, mowing the lawn on a riding mower, driving the car, and on the computer.  I have eliminated smoking while mowing, standing on the deck, and driving the car on local errands.

But I can't not smoke when sitting at the computer...  I don't type or post fast.  I like to think about what I'm saying.  And when I stop and think at the computer, I NEED a cigarette. 

I got through 8 days without a cigarette.  The same days I didn't help the Mews visit their friends, and the same days I didn't post here.  I'm smoking now.  I just CAN'T sit at a keyboard and not smoke.  I've gotten it down to "just" then, but I can't seem to stop that "then".

I feel guilty when I don't help the Mews visit their friends every day.  Its the "handling" of the cigs I need.  And the fake ones are SO heavy that those dont help.

As I struggle through this, I may not seem to be as active in helping the Mews visit their friends.  We love you all.  I just have this last habituation of the keyboard to eliminate.  It will take time.  Hang in there for me... 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Donations Thwarted

I have collected a lot of really good stuff to donate to charity.  And I can't seem to get anyone to take it.  Goodwill won't return my calls from their collection site way off in Washington DC.  Salvation Army says everything must be in boxes or bags "for the convenience of their pickup drivers".  Have they never heard that beggers can't be choosers?

Here's a list of the stuff I want to give away.

1.  Dining table with 4 chairs  A bit dinged, but I BOUGHT it from the Salvation Army store that way intending to refinish it (which I will never do).
2.  Riccar upright vacuum cleaner. Works great but I don't have many carpets and I have a newer vacuum.
3.  4" lens  Refractor telescope ( I have a better one now)
4.  Binoculars (have 2 the same, stupid purchase)
5.  HDTV wall mount (liked the HDTV better on a stand)
6.  Hanging wine racks (2)
7.  Ceramic Turkey Platter (I have 2 and don't need 1)
8.  Christmas decorations of many types.
9.  4 wood craft kits.
10.  2 Alton Brown measuring cups (plunge type)
11.  Oxo Good Grips Turkey Forks.
12.  1 postal scale (good for weighing food, too)
13.  10 wolf thank you cards, blank inside.
14.  36 rolls crepe paper in assorted colors
15.  One bike with heavy tread tires
16.  Hand-painted lampshade  WITH a suited lamp
17.  2 stacking plastic chairs

And there is more to the list.

How do you put an upright vacuum cleaner in a box?  Or a bicycle?

This is just too bizarre.  How can the donation services not want these things?

Looks like I have to go to Craigs List to sell the major items and just trash the rest.

Any ideas? 

Friday, January 16, 2015


Wow, after all the warmish days, it really got cold here a few nights ago.  6F, which is seriously unusual for here.  Last time I saw that,  we had a foot of snow on the ground several years ago.  And before that, was 26 years ago and the incoming water pipe froze.  It had to be thawed out with a propane blow-torch .  The idiot who built this house had covered the basement pipe with insulation against the cement blocks, which kept it cold, LOL!  Pulling off the insulation solved the problem in the long term.

It wasn't that funny at the time.  But it WAS nice to finally hear some ice cubes in the pipe break up and move to the water heater finally.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I don't want to mention money much, but I do have investments.

But oh man was I ever pissed at my bank today!  I had moved some money from a money market account (savings) to a stock index fund.  The index fund sends a test amount of some few cents to make sure the transaction works and I needed to confirm the amount with them as a security measure.  When I looked at my bank account online, later I found $165 "excess withdrawal fee". 

Happily, the bank was just about to open, so I printed out the transaction, highlighted them (there were actually 2 fees, $180 total) and drove straight there.

"Hi, how can we help you" as I walked in (they ARE friendly).  I said "I'm pissed and you better help me.  These fees are going away or I am."

Got me straight to an assistant bank manager...  I was told that withdrawals from the money market account can generate fees.  I pointed out that I could have just moved them to my checking account and out from there at no fee, and I wanted the fees reversed.  And if that wasn't the case, there were plenty of other local banks who wanted my account.  

Lo and Behold, the fees vanished!  Kind of them to do that.  It didn't actually cost them anything to move my money, so it didn't cost them anything to make the fees disappear either.  Actually, it probably cost them more to pay the person to undo the fees. 

But the moral of the story is that if you get charged fees by your bank that don't make sense, it is worth confronting them about it...

They CAN and WILL give in.  If you go in pissed and determined...  And I really was pissed.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome 2015.

Dear 2015...  May you be better than 2014.  2014 kinna sucked.  Politicians were stupider than usual, there were seriously bad plane crashes, the Russians are acting stupid again, too many white policemen killed too many black guys under questionable situations,  there are too many people unemployed, the world economy is not all that great, and the food supply is not all that safe. 

It your job to fix all that stuff right?  So get at it.