Monday, July 26, 2010

Strange Happenings

Quarters from Heaven?

I recall a song from long ago which I think was called "Pennies From Heaven."

This morning that song popped into my mind when I found a quarter. It is interesting where I found it - in the gutter.

Sure, you say, what's so unusual about that? Somebody's walking along by the house and pulls his handkerchief from his pocket, the quarter comes out too and he doesn't notice it drop into the gutter.

I was up this morning on the extension ladder cleaning the gutter - the RAIN gutter and lo - a quarter. The economy over the years has gone up quite a bit since pennies came from Heaven - thus QUARTERS.

YES, it was an unusual find but I have a good explanation for it. No doubt one of the roofers patching a leak in that 9-inch deluge on Saturday three weeks ago, pulled his handerchief from his pocket to dry his face and out came the quarter.


Just about the time I finished cleaning out the rain gutter, Lady B finished up fixing some wonderful cheese-flavored scalloped potatoes and announced dinner was ready.

"l'll leave it on your chair on the patio while I get your milk," she announced. So I climbed down from the roof and flopped down in my chair and found - a plastic bag of dog biscuits! It was an amusing, albeit puzzling moment.

Seconds later, Lady B emerged with my glass of milk, reached to the nearby table and placed my scalloped potatoes on the wide arm of my Highwayman-made Adirondack lawn chair. The dog biscuits had been there all the time - I just came to dinner too early.

BTW, the moniker Highwayman belongs to a son who lives about eight miles north of me. He's hobbying in woodworking and doing pretty nice things in his workshop.


Here's a funny one that falls into the strange things category. I don't think I wrote about this before but apologies if I did.

One early morning I was sitting in the shade of the pine trees on the busy side of the house where there's lots of traffic going to and from the junior high school down the road.

Often students and teachers heading for the school just a few blocks south are nearly late for school and speeding. A local policeman makes a habit of watching for them while parked on the side street in front of my house.

A nice looking car driven by an middle-aged woman suddenly was persuaded to stop just across the street from where I was sitting with my coffee.

The young and new policeman approached the car, politely asked for the lady's ID which she pro-offered, at which time the officer informed her of the existing speed limit.

Admitting that yes, she was going a little fast because she was late for school where she is a teacher, suddenly said rather loudly enough for me to hear "aren't you ______who was in my class a few years ago?"

Continuing writing a ticket, the officer, said "yes, maam, I am. I was one of the ones you kept after school so often."

There was some more conversation in tones I could not hear but as the ticket was handed to the teacher I heard " Here you are, I guess this is payback day Mrs.______."


If you ever travel up into Canada on a vacation, and manage to find your way into New Brunswick, you can experience a strange happening in a place called Moncton.

If you don't find it on your Canadian road map, ask someone to direct you to Magnetic Hill.

At the bottom of a rise in the road with that name, turn off the motor of your car and experience a ghostly ride to the top of the hill, pulled up by magnetic force.

Don't ask me how that happens, nobody ever explained it to me but I experienced it with my young kids once on a rockhounding trip and am still mystified by the happening.

Strange things happen to lots of people. Maybe someone will blog back at me with THEIR happenings.

- Old Newsie

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Senior Discount ? . . .

" You Don't Look Old . . .

(Drop head: " Ain't it a treat to get a compliment?)

Lately I've been wondering how some people judge other people's ages.

Thinking back over a number of incidents and conversations, I have determined that looks, the sound of one's voice, what he or she wears (or maybe doesn't) mannerisms and what he or she uses or drives has a lot to do with age judging.

Lady B and I often eat at Furr's here in our city and payment is rendered at a cashier's booth after we eat. Without fail and no matter who the cashier is or whether he or she knows us, we get an automatic senior citizen discount. We just look old.

Sometimes I get a great compliment. Take for instance the time I stopped at Ma Brown's in town for a couple takeout hamburgers. When it came time to pay, I questioned a seemingly high cost, glancing at a counter sign that says "ten per cent discount to seniors."

I think I was about 85 at the time. The elderly lady who'd filled my order and saw me glance at the sign questioned "oh, are you eligible?" Don't you think THAT made my day?

Geezerguy, who's Yarntangler's mate, tooled around for a couple of years a while back in my old 1979 Datsun which I had provided him for their interim transportation at times when they unhitched it from behind behind their motorhome in which they toured the western states.

He has a long white beard. My Datsun had a army veteran's number plate on the tail end. When it was parked in a rest stop or a campground, that plate often had just the opposite of my encounter at Ma Brown's.

Someone once shuffled up to him and said " I guess you were in World War Two," then asking "were you in combat?" No wonder the youngster now feels like an old man!

By the way, that 1979 Datsun has ended its days, towed away last year to the crusher after valiantly serving for over a half-million miles.

It had a final confrontation, BTW, with the New Mexico motor vehicle department. In the last year of registration, the MVD objected to my rendition of "current odometer" reading of 13,586 miles. I explained the gauge had turned over from its previous mileage during the prior registration year.

"What was the mileage before it turned over?" was the question and my answer of 499,999 miles was not believed but another clerk, who in past years remembered that old Datsun, verified the mileage from prior records. My insurance company also had questioned the mileage.


Would you believe that President Obama makes less each year than the chief adinistrator of a small town in California?

Well, it's so and two other top officials in Bell are / were getting big bucks as well. But no more.

The people have spoken, lots of them, calling for the firing of the three and the recall of most of the city council members!

The top man was getting $787,837 a year and the next two $378,288 and $457,000. Under pressure from a populace figuring this was downright outrageous the three resigned. Now the people are aiming at the yearly retirement pensions of the three, $640,000, $411,000 and $250,000.

With the resignations accepted, the townspeole turned their eyes on the council, with hundreds yelling "recall, recall." Four of the council are paid nearly $100,000 for part time work. I'd love to have a part time job in Bell!

Most of you know I have eye problems, glaucoma as well as macular degeneration. Treatment is eyedrops three times a day but there's a problem with that as well.

I can't see the spouts of the tiny bottles of stuff ($142 every month) well enough to aim into my eyes (I miss three out of five times) so I lay on my bed and Lady B administers the drops.

At this point, Lady B has supervison, not from a doctor or nurse but from Pinky, our fair-haired Chihuahua. When it appears time, Pinky hops on the bed and onto my chest to watch the eyedrop procedure.

Someime back Firefighter Mike from Tennessee, visiting here, noted that the boughs from a number of tall pines were laying on or near the roof of the house and in proper fire safety advice, noted they should be cut back.

Last week the Eight Clouds from San Antonio visited us. Big Cloudy, daddy in the group, climbed atop the house and with a black bow saw, trimmed all the offending limbs and hauled them into the back alley for the trash man to collect.

I intended to saw the limbs later to fit in the dumpster but the next morning Eddie arrived with Goliath,the monster collection truck. Eddie, seeing the piles, shook his head as he told us "I don't know about all this," not knowing I intended to saw all the limbs.

However, Eddie is a nice Joe to all the old folks. He loaded all the limbs into Goliath and they were summarily crushed . Big Cloudy, referring to something I'd earlier told him about Eddie, commented "Guess a cuppa hot coffee or a can of soda whenever he comes along, never hurts, does it."

Sometimes when Goliath and Eddie arrive early in the morning and I haven't heard him, Goliath seems to make a lot of extra noise banging the dumpster until I turn up with the coffee.

Back up a day to the limb cutting. The four Cloud girls in the family, just had to know their dad had done a good job so up the ladder they went, one by one, to the rooftop to inspect and approve the work that Big Cloudy accomplished.

Back to wondering - I've just read in the newspaper that up in Marysville, Montana, where in the 1880s the Drumlummon Mine produced millions in gold and silver, a re-opening is planned because a new vein has been discoverd which may be even richer than the yield way back then. I am wondering - should I head up thataway? The new find is called the CHARLIE vein.

- 30 -

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mary, Mary . . .

. . . How Could You ?

Recently a lady I know quite well (I'm calling her Mary to conceal her real identity) had a very embarassing incident while she was shopping in Sam's, a big place in Albuquerque where one can buy pretty much anything.

Embarrassing to her but to me, prety dawgone funny and I think you'll laugh with me once you read this yarn!

Up and down the many aisles Mary went, tossing in items she needed for a next few days' meals until in one aisle she stopped to read the instructions on some box of something (not very many women, in my mind, read instructions).

While she was reading, another customer may have moved Mary's shopping basket a bit in order to reach an item she wanted to purchase or maybe Mary forgot where her cart was parked.

Anyway, the other lady moved away from her basket, Mary stopped reading, turned quickly and took off with a basket of groceries. Aisles later Mary put a couple more things in the cart and then looked again, noting items she didn 't remember buying.

Continuing along, she pondered again "why did I put those things in the cart?" And then: "Oh Lord, this is not my basket."

She rushed back to the last aisle where she remembered reading those instructions, found her cart there, transfered the couple of items she had picked up into her own basket which was still there, and took off, leaving the other half -filled cart which she recognized as belonging to the other shopper.

If the other lady was still in the same aisle, Mary did not stop to ascertain. Mary is still wondering what the other shopper must have been thinking if she had returned to her basket and had not found it.

Mary, why aren't you laughing?

- 30 -