Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Interior Design

In 1979 or 1980, I bought my freedom from a woman named Barbara with quite a few monthly payments, after an outrageous down payment. To say that I sympathized with the indentured servants from Europe in the 18th and 19th century would be fair. Being practically poor and needing about everything that it took to live, I bought my first 3 pieces of furniture, a bed, a table, and an oak entertainment center. The bed wore out, but I still have the oak table and entertainment center. I probably should have eliminated those items around 1992 when I first bought this house, but they matched the oak kitchen cabinets perfectly and who would have dreamed that anything as neutral as oak would ever go out of fashion. It's been told to me that by maintaining that oak look makes me look like a dinosaur of the 90's.

As life goes on and downsizing is mandatory, I find it useless to start redecorating now. So, making use of the furniture that I already have is practical and in an effort to look more modern, I took the liberty of losing my Mullet and shaving off my long sideburns. With the loss of the Dynamic Duo this month, I'm making every attempt to "de-dog" my house. Not an easy task after so many years with them. I eliminated the old big screen TV that had slobber on the lower portion of cloth covering the speakers and I pushed the old dog sofa out to the street for trash pick up, scrubbed the floor and vacuumed the hell out of every damn thing. That brings me to the topic of this story.

The old entertainment center weighs about 400 LB, naked. That means with nothing on it, not me without clothes. With the TV and the stereo system and all of the books and nik-naks and bottles, add another 200 LB. It is one heavy mother. Somehow, I needed to move it from point A, to point B. It's sitting on a tile floor and I tried giving it a push and to my surprise, I determined it doable alone. With the center of gravity where it was and factoring inertia into it, I found that it was easier to push than to pull, go figure. With my feet braced on the stairs, I found that I could not only move it, but push it in one continuous effort actually making serious progress. However, when I reached a certain point, with my feet up against the steps and my arms extended as far as they would go, it became more difficult. With an additional push of extra strength, I gave it one more enormous push and it moved, changing MY center of gravity and tearing both rotator cuffs in my shoulders as they over-extended. That was about a week ago and if when you see me, and I don't wave, I hope you'll understand...

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Starting...

The day started out with an early morning call from my insurance man, telling me he's running late and he'll be at my house in 30 minutes! My response was a long and very audible' "Ohhhh Shit". I completely forgot he was to be here at 9 AM and it was already 9:15 and I was still scratching out the night's itches off my butt. Not a pretty mental image, I'm sure. I had just enough time to jump into the shower and greet him with wet hair. We did our business, which was to deliver my dealer bond, get paid and leave. After, I went on clean up detail. We had some serious winds going on last night and a large portion of one of my palm trees was distributed throughout my yard. After completing that task, it was time for a well deserved nap. I rearranged some furniture, trying to make the family room more people friendly and laid down for a quick snooze, only to immediately be awakened by the ringing of my phone. It was a call from Peoria Kia, wanting a bid on a car. Jeez, I thought I was retired! They had a 2003 Toyota Echo with only 49,000 miles, so I gave them a strong bid and wound up making the deal for them. I can pick up my Toyota tomorrow some time.

The reason for my writing this tonight is that I completely forgot that portion of my day. It was only just now that I looked at my cell phone caller ID that recalled anything of the transaction. Alzheimer's begins at 63! Tonight I got a call from a lady that tells me that we've corresponded before, but I just seemed to fade away. I have no recollection of that either. Last night some friends took my out to celebrate my birthday. I found out when I awakened this morning and found the pizza in my fridge. I can see there's going to be a whole new way of remembering things now. I got invited to go someplace tomorrow. I wonder where it's going to be?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

STOP THIEF!!!.... no nevermind, take it...

I was on my way out to the garage this morning, contemplating cleaning up my Expedition for my coffee date tonight, when I caught the TV thief right in the act! As you know, if you read yesterday's post, that I was trying to give my old TV away. Now picture this. Here stands a large guy. I'm guessing 6' 2" and about 220 LB dressed in all black except for his white hat that cocked to one side. He's wearing a black T-shirt with a Harley Davidson emblem and black shorts that come to way below his knees and his ass is sticking out about 5 inches. Two pierced ears and tattoo covered arms. He was now back-stepping and saying, "that signs right, ain't it?" He was pointing to my sign that read, "FREE and it WORKS". I told him to relax and go ahead and continue taking it, but he's probably going to need some help from his buddies. Here's my tattooed friend trying to put this monster 61" console TV into the hatch of his black Scion 2 dr.. He reached into the car and turned off his rap music and said, "What"? Once again I told him he was fine taking it, but he was going to need some help and I couldn't provide it. He was very polite and asked if he could remain here guarding it and make some calls. I said sure, as I went about my business.

I'd say about 30 minutes went by, while my guarded TV just sat there. Suddenly a Dodge extra cab pulled up and a guy that could have been my guy's brother showed up. Now they both tried to move it and decided to wait for more help. Next was the Safelite Windshild van that pulled up and now there were 4. They chatted and punched each other in the shoulder and I knew from experience that some serious male bonding was taking place. Finally, last but not least came Baby-Face. A Ford diesel Super Cab pulled up and a kid that looked to be about 9 years old climbed out, only he was fed some pretty good food in his 9 years, as he was about 6' 6" and 400 LB. Bring on the muscle. To say that it looked almost too easy would be an understatement. The 5 of them lifted my huge TV up and into the pickup and quickly dispersed.

A tear gathered in my eye as I remembered the many hours the TV and I spent together, just the 2 of us, but I quickly got over it and waved goodbye to the oversized monster.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gettin' Me a New TV...

$3000 was the number that it took to purchase my first house. It was the down payment for the house, who's full price was $30,000 and that's the same price I paid in 1993 for my 61" HUGE, big screen TV. I swear that Charles Barkley stood at his full height in my family room, dunking 2 pointers for our Phoenix Suns, which is why I bought the pink elephant. That was the year that our beloved Suns went to the finals, only to lose to da Bulls in game 5 of the series.

That was 16 years since the Huge TV made it's entrance to the Fisher household and since then, as is the case with a lot of the Fishers as well, it's aged. The aging process doesn't go well for a projection TV. It loses it's brilliance and retains that OLD look. Time marches on and it was time today to say goodbye to my old friend. A few days ago, I placed an ad on Craig's list for my 61 incher, for a measly hundred bucks, but alas, no takers. I really didn't want the money, but I thought my old treasure still had some value. Wrong again. Today I made up a sign and taped it to the front of my TV and it read:

FREE and it WORKS!

Next, I had to get it outside into my driveway. The sucker has to weigh about 2 -3 hundred LBS. It was no easy task. Fortunately it was on wheels, but when I pushed it into the doorway to the garage, it got stuck there. Half way in and half way out. It wouldn't budge. What a predicament? Not only was the TV stuck in the doorway, but I had to go through the front door to get to the far side of the TV to try different methods to unstick it. I may have put on about a half a mile running up and back, too and fro... In my garage I have a floor jack that will lift a 5000 LB car, but I couldn't figure a way to get it under that TV. I found a tire iron and used my 7th grade science class for reference on how to use a lever. Thank you Mr. Garcia. Still, no luck. After about 30 minutes of this dilemma, I realized that I was eventually going to figure out a way to accomplish my goal and sure wished the bright idea would come to me soon. Suddenly, with no notice, I saw a light bulb light over my head and I caught view of a small hand truck that has been in the same spot in my garage for 16 years. I think it came from marriage number 2 when my second wife's first husband passed away, may he rest in peace. It's always been useless and so was she, too small for most jobs and too flimsy for others.

With my lever, I pried up the TV just enough to get the hand truck under it's end lip. Then I went into the house to attack it from that side. Pushing as hard as I could, I manipulated it onto the wheels and just rolled it out past the threshold! Whew... Why is life so difficult? Is it just me or do others have these problems too? I haven't looked outside in awhile, I hope it's gone by morning. It's taking up 1/3 of my driveway.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Swimming in Guilt, a Tribute to Zoie...

Sunday was probably one of the better days of Zoie's short 10 year life. In the morning she romped in the desert with a buddy and then we went home to host a second visitor, a 2 year old Great Dane named, Zowi. Although it was apparent that their age difference separated them, my little girl did everything she could to keep up. We went home Sunday evening from our jaunt at the park and Zoie slept well, after a light dinner of hamburger and rice..

Monday, Zoie got me up at the usual time, 8:15 and she seemed a little slow, but we still did our excursion to the local park and Zoie enjoyed the spring breeze. Around 4 PM, I made her Mac and Cheese, her favorite and sneaked a little kibble in, knowing full well that she HATES it now that she's so spoiled. Not unlike a lot of nights, she wasn't able to keep her dinner down. In the 10 years that she graced my life, her usual was to only eat about 6 times a week. She was always plagued by an over acid stomach, so her vomiting was typical. Monday night was exceptionally bad though. She was worse the day after Bogie passed away though. At about 10:30, I announced bedtime and she bound up the stairs to our bedroom, laying in her bed with her head up. I checked on her several times until I was satisfied that she was asleep and finally turned out the lights around midnight. I got up at 5 and used the restroom and she was sleeping. At 6 AM, she was wandering around the bedroom looking a little disoriented, I told her to go back to bed and she did. At 7, she wandered over to the side of my bed and stumbled and fell, trying so hard to get back up. I told her to just stay down and tried to sooth her, realizing that there was something seriously wrong. She layed next to my bed on her side breathing shallowly, while I soothed her, wondering what to do. I called a friend, realizing I had no idea. My friend offered no solutions and I hung up. By then she was gone. Her eyes remained open and her breathing ceased, as I wept, much like I'm doing now. Zoie, my baby girl was gone too. We just lost Bogie 58 days earlier and everyone said that she probably won't last long without her mate, but I disagreed. Zoie was healthy and vital and ran like a Thoroughbred. Poetry in motion, you could say...

Yesterday I spent alone, for the most part. While I got a haircut I received a call from the Great Dane Rescue lady, Linda. I had left her a message that Zoie had passed away and I had 2 beds, along with about 60 LB of kibble that I wanted to donate. She told me to come by anytime and since she lost her job last week, she's around full time. Today, I carried the Dynamic Duo's beds down to the Expedition and loaded up the dog things. Linda called me later to tell me of a male Harle, 4 years old that has his ears cropped, but is intact that she can't take because he's not neutered. As my heart broke, I had to tell her no, that I need a little time dogless. I drove to her house about 30 minutes away and when I rang her bell, that old familiar Great Dane bark announced my arrival. She opened the door and I was charged by about 600 LB of Dane flesh. Two sisters and a BEAUTIFUL male fawn, that stands about 40 inches at the shoulder, with cropped ears and an attitude. To say it was love at first sight is an understatement. She told me to be careful with him, because he doesn't like men and was abused and full of bruises when she got him. He ran to get his bone and brought it to me while doing his "hello dance". I told Linda that I'd take him in a heartbeat, but she said, no. She's keeping him.

It was time to carry in the mattresses and food. I said my goodbyes and only cried about 3 times on the ride home. Hey, what the hell happened to my testosterone?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Brain is Like a Really Slow Computer...

Dawn finally arrived at about 4 PM and I immediately thought she looked familiar. She pulled up in her shiny new Lexus with a 2 year old Great Dane in the back seat, named Zoie. Zoie hopped out and my Zoie immediately fell in love with her. I knew then they would be great friends, but now it was time to concentrate on the owners.

We went to our local park, but my Zoie was a little standoffish, as I think she was tired from our morning outing. Eventually, my girl started running and playing, but soon hurt her rear leg and I had to put a stopper on her fun. She was competing with a 2 year old at her advanced age of 10. We finally headed back to the house for some cold water and conversation. The young Zoie climbed up on the sofa and put her head on my lap, as I melted. NOT getting another Great Dane is going to be pretty difficult, I can see. Dawn stayed about an hour and we chatted, she gave me a hug and left. I continued my usual Sunday night watching 60 Minutes and a little other TV. Suddenly, I think it was about 9:45 when my brain finally gave me the answer I was looking for! I had dated Dawn before!

The year was 1993 and I had recently divorced my second wife and still thanking God for getting me out of that marriage with my sanity and not doing much else, when my former son Brad saw a commercial for Great Expectations on late night TV. He told me about the professional dating service and reminded me that the chance of me meeting a potential mate right here in my house was rather remote. I called the service and found out it would cost me almost as much as the down payment on my first house, but I caved and wrote the check. Loneliness is expensive.

I fell into their system and dated a few of the members, but quickly learned that this was not going to be the answer and slowly backed off. One day, minding my own business, I received a little pink card in the mail saying there was a woman that was interested in meeting me. I drove to their location in old Scottsdale and viewed a 32 year old attractive girl named Dawn. I agreed to meet with her and her phone number was offered. I called and made a date with her, in spite of the fact that I was 47, 15 years her senior. I picked her up and we drove to Harold's in Cave Creek and ate Mexican pizza and drank beer. I took her home and remember making out with her before leaving, but for some reason I decided she wasn't right for me and didn't call her again.

The next time I heard from Dawn was when I was home one night the following week and she called me from a bar just blocks from my house. She sounded drunk, but I was no slouch back then and could handle my share of the booze. When I walked in, she was drunker than 15 Indians and the bar tender approached me and asked me to get her out of there. I promised I'd try. Being the gallant gentleman, I offered to take her home to my house and give her some food to try to sober her up. She agreed wholeheartedly and collapsed into my arms, after which I carried her out and secured her at my home where I knew she'd be .....ahem..... safe! I recall heating up some leftover spaghetti and trying to get her to eat it, but she decided to try to go swimming instead. Eventually I carried her up the stairs to my bedroom where she could sleep it off. The rest of the night isn't too memorable, but she did have a world class hangover the following morning. I don't think I ever saw Dawn again after that, until today... Small town, huh?

The Great Dane Social Register of AZ.

Since Zoie has become the social butterfly, I find myself meeting a lot of new people, both at our local park as well as online. At our park there is Leslie, Bella's owner. Leslie doesn't wear a wedding ring and is extra friendly to both me and Zoie. Bella is a Chocolate Lab and is a submissive female. Whenever she sees Zoie, she comes up wagging her tail and immediately flips over onto her back. I just wish Leslie would follow her example.

This morning, bright and early a lady friend called me to see if Zoie and I wanted to go for a walk in the desert. We did! I quickly showered and drove over while Zoie felt she was ready to go sans the shower. We arrived and my friend lured me inside with coffee. After a few sips of heavenly brew, we readied the K-9 patrol to get into the Expedition. With a a flying leap, Bob was successful on his first attempt while Zoie needed a little assistance. After lifting Zoie into the car, bumping my head to where I believe I saw the North Star, I climbed into the driver's seat while Zoie whined her complaints about being forced to ride in the car again, not her favorite pastime. The desert is pretty close to Marsha's house, maybe 5 minutes or less. Parking, we let the dogs out and we were off. Marsha warned me that people aren't too friendly to unleashed dogs around there, but they are both so well behaved, I didn't see it as a problem. The four legged crew took off and were having a ball and it was only an elderly couple that seemed a little intimidated by the loose duo, but since the dogs completely ignored them it was fine. Most people grow big grins on their faces when they see a Standard White Poodle and a Mantle Great Dane as couple. When Zoie and Bob see another dog, they approach and sniff the other dog's nose and go about their business. It seems to be K-9 etiquette. As we walked along, we chatted and Zoie and Bob were happy as "two loose dogs in a desert". Suddenly, without warning, we approached a couple of women walking a dog on leash and our 2 approached the friendly female Golden Retriever, who immediately flipped over on her back to admit submission to the two larger dogs. That's when the "old bitch" lost control and screamed, this is all your fault! With that she jerked her leash and pulled the leash over the Golden's head and totally freaked!!! Now picture this. A woman in her 60's is bent over with her over sized ass shooting up towards the moon, wearing Kulots and a sun brim visor thing, with over sized sun glasses and an attitude, yelling at us, "if you'll just leave...."? Marsha obeyed the command, while I turned and told her in plain English that she ought to rethink her outfit! Exasperation is the only word that comes to mind, as she stared on, as we exited the scene.

I just got a call from Dawn, that I met last night online when I noticed that she owns a pet shop here in Scottsdale and was pretty attractive. We IMed for awhile and then when that got old, I gave her my phone number and it took about 3 1/2 seconds before my phone rang. Now catch this. She not only owns a pet shop, but is owned by a female Great Dane named Zowi! What were the chances? We were on the phone for a full 4 hours last night and we're meeting in about 30 minutes for a Great Dane play date, for she and I. We'll bring the dogs too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Sexy Bitch...

I was going to entitle this Dog Park Dynamics, but the problem is not isolated to the park.

As mentioned in previous posts, Zoie has become quite the social butterfly. We attend the park at least twice a day and Zoie, amazingly gets along with everyone from children to Yorkies. She gives everyone a sniff and if she likes them, she sticks around to play. However, the poor girl is the victim of attempted rape at least once a day. Her latest accosters were a tag-team match of Boxer brothers. We spotted them from across the park and they must have caught a whiff of Zoie, because it became a race to the death to "get" to her. The Alpha brother took the lead and got to the goods first. With a quick sniff and a little hoist up, that little guy was doing his best to reach poor Zoie, who was trying her best to get him off her hind side without hurting his feelings, while the little brother whispered "sweet nothings" in her ear.

What is polite in a situation like that? Should I have grabbed the Boxer and pulled him off of my little virgin or should I have waited for the slow walking owner to get there to do the honors? I went ahead and pulled the rather rambunctious Boxer off of her while his little brother cheered him on. Pretty soon, I could hear the owner, a tall man about my age yelling Woody, STOP! When the old guy finally got there, he assured me that his dog is only displaying his male dominance. I commented that he named him properly and that with a name like Woody he seems to be living up to his name and maybe he ought to rethink that choice. All the old guy could do was ask, huh?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

2006 Vespa for Sale, or Zoie Hooks Up...

Saturday started out like a lot of weekends lately, with empty hours. Marsha called and told me that Blossom wasn't doing too well and she had to go out of town on Sunday for 2 days on business. I'm just thrilled to know someone that's still in business! Blossom is her female Standard Poodle, her mate to Bob, her male. I've always been fond of all three of them. Marsha, recently divorced, has a 2006 Vespa, motor scooter for sale and she's been asking me to try to sell it for her, although me selling it isn't much more likely than her son selling it, who has really been trying. At least me having it will take it out of her daily view, where it represents poor to bad memories.

Back to Blossom.... Marsha called crying that Blossom is worse and she's just leaving the vet's office and he wanted to put her down right then and there, but Marsha just isn't ready to say goodbye. Having just gone through all of this with my baby boy-Bogie, I completely understood, but reminded her that it isn't about her, but Blossom's comfort. After receiving another call Marsha hung up to take it. It was from her Son Zak at ASU.

Our plan was for Marsha to pick me up and I'd drive the scooter home, but naturally the scooter was almost out of gas, she couldn't find the current registration and it's insurance had been cancelled. Not to mention, the title is in her ex-husband's name and before I will attempt to sell it, that has to transferred to a more friendly signer, if you catch my drift? Having not been even close to a motor scooter since I was 12, it was a real test of ability to determine where the gas tank even was. All we needed was Moe to look like the 3 Stooges trying to get the seat to lift up, where I was certain they had hidden the gas tank. After much confusion, suddenly the engine roared to a start, to my surprise. Now, I had to get it off it's kick stand which sounds easier than it was. Determine if it's standard or automatic transmission and how to stop the mother, once it was rolling down the street. Some 40 years earlier, I watched my wife climb on top of my Honda and take off, only to literally drive it into a wall, head on. As she sat on the ground with birds circling her head, she looked up at me with crossed eyes asking, "How do you stop it"? Shaking my head, I looked at my broken new motorcycle and by bruised new wife and said, "Not with a wall."

Marsha followed me to a gas station, where the remaining 2 Stooges tried to stand the bike up on it's kick-stand unsuccessfully and eventually she just held it while I pumped in the gas that we found access to under the seat. If someone was watching us, I'm sure we created some huge laughter. Having filled the 2 gallon gas tank, I was ready to take off.

It would have been nice to find some side streets to practice on, but no luck. I was forced onto a busy street with a 45 MPH limit, not to mention the weather was in the low 60's and rather cool. Because I believe in God, I made it home and called Marsha to deliver my success story.

A couple of hours later was when the phone rang and I answered it. It was Marsha telling me that Blossom was worse and she's cancelled her trip and has to put the poor dog down. I tried to explain to her that the only thing that really got worse was Marsha. She spent the day with Blossom and watched her go through her losing her continence and that she's been like that for weeks, according to Marsha and while Blossom seems to be enjoying life, a little poop to clean up is not a big inconvenience. I think it was then that Marsha invited me over to watch a movie. I replied, (wink) "only if I can bring the Widow Zoie". With Marsha agreeing, we hopped into the Expedition where Zoie whined for 12 minutes non-stop until we arrived. Zoie and I were greeted by Bob and Blossom and Marsha.

Zoie took an immediate liking to Bob, while Blossom just watched, not feeling up to company. Zoie took me aside and gave me her approval of her "fix-up" and wanted to know how he got his coat so curly and white. I just told her it was an Afro and she was good with it. Bob took Zoie to all of his secret spots and tried his best to make Poodle-Danes, but Zoie eventually learned when things get intense, to just sit on her assets, until a better time. A lot of people could learn this from Zoie.

I think that was when Marsha was hunkered down under the blanket and asking me to turn down the lights, that Zoie and I both bolted and went home. When we arrived home, I saw that Zoie was clutching something in her paw and when I inquired, she told me it was Bob's phone number. She's gonna give him a call next week some time and maybe get together. Who knew?