Sunday, May 31, 2009

1999 VW Cabrio Convertible, Red...

There's a subject that I wanted to talk about, but never knew how to work it in, so I'll just start talking. That usually works. About a year ago, I had a 99 VW Red Cabrio convertible for sale and it took about "forever" to get someone interested in it. I recall an engineer and his daughter came out and read the owner's manual for almost 3 hours and requested a lot of information that I didn't have, so I spent a lot of time researching for him and when I supplied him with the info, he told me he's been looking at about a dozen of them and mine isn't even near the top of his list and why am I calling him?

I finally sold the car, rather easily, to a young girl that was a single mother an her mom wanted her to have a nice car and was paying for it. After getting her the title and plates, she wouldn't return my calls or pick up the stuff, so eventually I just mailed it to her home address, always wondering why she acted so strangely.

The reason that I'm touching on the story is, ever since I believe it was June of 08 and I wrote the blog entry, I've been getting at least 2 or 3 hits a day on that story. The people reading about it are all over the world. Australia, England, China, Israel, and all across the Middle East, not to mention Florida and California primarily in this country, but a lot from Canada and Mexico. Why is it that a car that took me about 6 months to sell was and remains so poplular? So I'm going to entitle this entry, 99 VW Cabrio Convertible, Red. and see if it gets the same recognition and perhaps in the comment section, someone will explain why. Thanks...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Passing Another Ship in the Night...

Maria 48yrs.

As my continuing saga of searching for a mate continues, let me introduce you to Maria. Maria, not to be confused with the pot smoking Maria of the same name. That Maria got sent back to the 1970's where she belonged. The new Maria originates from Spain and is as exotic as you'd expect a European to be. She was raised in Spain, lived in Italy and came to the United States at 21 to be the wife of her military husband and remained with him for 25 plus years. She is recently divorced, past all of the animosity that comes with a broken marriage and was divorced for 1 year yesterday. Maria came to this country, not speaking our language, having no friends and couldn't even order a meal in a restaurant without the help of her husband, a local boy from Illinois. Since then, she's gotten her degree in school and has become a CPA, completely self supporting. Marie has the finest sense of humors I've seen in a very long time and her accent actually enhances her personality. She's sweet, wholesome and wears a size 2 dress, I checked. Marie and I have spent about 5 hours on the phone in the past few days and I'm starting to get attached to her. As I told her through a text message just a little while ago, "It's almost a shame that we have to meet and ruin everything, as I'm having a ton of fun with you". She offered to have just a cyber affair, but I declined when she said she likes spankings! I'm thinking tomorrow might be a good time to meet. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Experimenting with Drugs at 63...

I hope the title line didn't mislead you to think that at my age I've gotten into anything as ridiculous as heroin or cocaine. But in an attempt to regulate my constantly changing blood pressure, Dr. Harvey suggested a new drug that might be just what we're looking for. It's in the family along with some drugs that I already have tried, so there shouldn't be any reaction to it, but try just a small portion of one pill to start with and then eventually work my way up to 1 pill a day. Following his instructions to the T, I took a small dose of this new drug and went about my business. Out of nowhere, at about 2 PM I was out in the front yard cutting palm fronds, when after cutting 6 leaves, it hit me. I was so exhausted I could barely continue to stand. Well, this alone scared the crap out of me. I leaned against the palm tree for about 5 minutes, trying to gather enough strength to walk inside the house. I sat down and fell asleep within seconds. I rested, felt better and went to bed about midnight. When I awoke this morning, I felt pretty awful still. Just tired, even though I'd just slept for a full 8 hours. Eventually after showering, I came downstairs and took my blood pressure to see how high it would be and it read 97/44. I double and triple checked it and it was actually that low.

I called Dr. Harvey and he told me I must be having a reaction to that new drug and to get myblood pressure up as quickly as possible. I drank a bottle of Gatorade, knowing it is high in sodium, but what I really needed was chicken soup. You may think that funny, Jewish Penicillin, but that's what I needed. Not knowing what else to do, I called the Lovely Jules, remember her? I knew she had been sick lately and wasn't feeling too well herself, but she replied after hearing I may be in trouble, I'll be right over! About an 90 minutes later LJ showed up, using her key to open the door like she owned the place, carrying several bags, included in those bags were asparagus, chicken kabobs, brown rice, 3 different kinds of chicken soup, a pumas stone for my pool, the makings for cheesecake, salad stuff, avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, and dressing.

Without saying much more than hello, she asked which kind of chicken soup I liked, poured it into a pan, began the salad, whipped up the cheesecake and sat down. Then she debugged my computer, washed the dishes in my sink, swept my pool, put in chemicals that I'd been remiss in keeping up, asked for my keys and went to the mailbox and brought home 2 days of mail and flushed the filter on my pool. She was a one woman dynamo. All together she stayed about 3 hours and left about 5 PM to go home and feed her dog. She left as quickly as she arrived, but I had food, company when I was a little concerned and my house is back in shape. As she left through the garage, I yelled to her, "Will you marry me"? She yelled back, NO!

If she should happen to read this, I'd like it to be known that I truly appreciate her efforts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Story of my Life...

Since the beginning of my years on the Internet, I've been doing my share of forwarding clever jokes and little movies to a select few friends. A reader just explained to me how to link things that I want to share with people. It is with that knowledge that I offer you this little movie that I personally thought was the funniest thing I've seen in a very long time. The Story of My Life.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Four and a Half Years SOBER!

I was speaking with a friend tonight and went over a few things that have changed in the past few years. One thing that is pretty obvious is the fact that I've fallen love with the printed word again. What could have happened that made me give up reading? Oh, I remember! I was drunk. All of the years that I abused alcohol, I stopped reading. Who could focus on a story or history or science or anything, when you're seeing it in ddoouubbllee? Not me! Without realizing it, I'm celebrating 4 and 1/2 years sober and the stack of books that I've gone through in the past 6 months verifies my sobriety. Although you can't see me, I'm currently reaching around and patting myself on the back. Good job, old boy!

I'm still waiting to get stopped by a cop and have him ask me how much I've had to drink tonight, so I can give him my practiced belly laugh and reply, NOTHING!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Applicants

(foot growing out of head)
(accident victim)

I'm sitting here this gorgeous Sunday morning awaiting applicants. It seems that I've advertised for a mate and have had quite a few ladies apply. Frankly, it doesn't seem to mean much, as my ad has been running for about a month now and so far the applicants haven't qualified when their references are called. Most lie and scheme to make themselves more attractive, when honesty appeals to me more that the 5 to 8 years that they reduce their ages. Lacy turned out to be Laura when I complimented her on her name. A screen name is acceptable, since mine is Dutch Ovens.

Laura was very charming and supposed to be 57. She assured me that her age was accurate when I mentioned that my experience was 55 will get you 60! She laughed and once again reiterated that her's was 57 and she looks much younger. Laura/Lacy has a busy day today and had to hang up after about 30 minutes, promising to call this evening, as she was really enjoying our conversation. Lacy/Laura has 3 ex-husbands and they all cheated on her. After hanging up with this woman, I thought about it for a time and eventually made it to my friend the computer, that had an eyeful on Lacy/Laura. LL told me she was in commercial real estate and explained that she works for a developer and is really not feeling the declining economy yet. Although I didn't have her last name, her cell number gave me some ads she'd run of late and it gave her last name in her ads. Now having that important piece of info, I did a search on LL to find that she's 60 years old, not 57 and that would have been fine if she had told me that to begin with or at least when questioned. LL actually had the nerve to say to me, "How can a woman start a relationship with a lie"?

Next was Debbie. Debbie started our communication with declining my advance towards her, sighting that she has nothing to offer a man that's interested in women 20 years younger than him. In my profile I use 47 to 57 and I'm 63. I questioned her attitude and got a nice email back from her admitting she's getting to a stage in her life where she's easily irritated. Gee, just what I'm looking for. Now I knew she wasn't 54 as her profile claimed. I then bluffed her into admitting she was really 58 and did it show in her anger? Noooo... Not in the least. Somehow, this woman and I have become friends and we're into the same authors in our reading taste, which tells me that my tastes are similar to a 58 year old post menopausal woman. Great to hear! I'm still waiting for Debbie to return my call so she can explain why she is so irritated at men. (can hardly wait).

About a month ago, my friend Marsha tried to set me up with a woman that she met hiking one day. I blew her off thinking that a woman hardly knows what a man looks for in a mate. Marsha might like the way the woman puts her make up on, while I'm looking at deeper things, like shoe size. The name of this woman was a name I'd never heard of before and although I didn't remember it, I took notice of it. Let's call her Sheena.

I'm cruising along one day on my dating service looking for a wife, when this woman catches my eye. She's cute and waaaay short, about 5 feet tall and is pictured in an over-sized chair accenting her child-like appearance, in spite of her 58 years. I wrote a short introductory email and heard nothing for about 3 days. Then, I receive a reply that is the all time record breaking LONGEST email since the beginning of the Internet, back in 1996, when I got my first computer. Her email took time, concentration and was really good reading. When it was time to sign off, it read Sheena! O-M-G! No way. this cannot be the same woman. Well, it was. Marsha dun good!

Sheena and I are interested in meeting one another, but it will have to wait, as she's in Patagonia for the weekend.

Out of the blue, I get this really nice email from a woman named Franci. Franci is 56 and even I have to agree that she doesn't look it. I think she looks Jewish, but her profile says she's Agnostic. She's a take charge type and asked me for my phone number and if it would be okay to call today? I gave her the okay dokey and am waiting and as I told her. With this reversal of roles, I feel like a fat chick waiting for the phone to ring, 2 weeks before prom!

Last and I'm afraid least, is Janice. Janice is my Jewess choice from Jersey. Janices' greatest quality is the fact that she's recently divorced from a guy that she's been married to for 21 years. In other words, she hasn't yet developed that serial dater attitude that I'm finding in women that have been on the street for a long time. The longer they're alone and looking, the meaner they get! Debbie in my story is a good example of that. By this time you may be saying to yourself, "What makes him think he's such a bargain"? The answer: I'm NOT.

Wish me luck, I could be dead or wounded by bedtime!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Corvette Fiasco...

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I know a lot of you want to find out what happened to the Corvette and here's the end of the story. With all of the cards and letters coming in, and wanting to answer each and every one of them personally, I'm just now finding time to conclude this fiasco. I tried the engine again today and it fired up just fine and there was no lower end noise, indicating that it was just a stuck valve, NOT and I repeat, not a rod knock. The engine still has a miss in it, but that's probably a plug or a wire that's gotten fouled. All she really needed was a good night's sleep, which both the car and I got. Tomorrow I may drive her to said human slug mechanic Buster, for a minor tune up. Dutch Ovens (my screen name) out......
Side bar: I was just wondering if one of my many readers would mind writing me and explaining to me how to use a link, under either comments or at my email address?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mel was in Over His Head at the Auto Parts Store....

I have a story that needs telling. It happened today, while wandering the city looking for the best price on a fuel pump for my 85 Corvette. Just like John Hemingway had to write The Fisherman and the Sea, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote Evangeline, I offer you, Mel was in Over His Head at the Auto Parts Store, a classic..

Typically, I am in a stage where I have rid myself of all of the women in my life, so I've decided to just throw myself into my work. Then I remembered there was no work. I'd sold the only car I had for sale and until I purchase another, it's pretty quiet around here. I leaped from my bed this morning after a very pleasurable night's sleep and skipped to the shower, as outlined in my new Great habit, a few posts back.
So I finish the shower routine and head downstairs and decide to get an early start on my hunt for the fuel pump. I already know I'm heading to Van Buren to get my bargain pump, but realize that I don't know if 2401 West is east or west of our freeway. Here's the really cool part. I grab my cell phone while driving and dial Google 411. This is a service of Google's that offers you free directory assistance service and they connect you with the party you're calling. How cool is that? Here the number for that and again, it's FREE! 1-800-466-4411. If you don't try it you're wrong?

So I ask Google for the number of Penny Pincher Auto Parts and he recites it to me and says, shall I dial it for you? I tell the recording yes and within seconds a real voice answers and I ask my question. I'm driving along and I get off the freeway in "No Man's Land", really! All of the store signs are in Spanish and I'm a minority in this part of town. Guess what. That doesn't bother me in the least. For the first 9 years of my life, I was raised in the ghetto and was a minority in my school being white. I spent the majority of my career in the exact neighborhood that I was currently in and it was fine then, and it's fine now (I kept telling myself) However, this type of neighborhood only goes from bad to worse when the economy spirals downhill. These are the first people to get laid off and who wouldn't steal and rob to feed their family?

I saw the Penny Pincher sign and pulled in there. The first thing I noticed was that the parking lot looked like a wrecking yard. Hoods were up and quite a few people were working on their car and trucks right there. I pulled open the first door I saw and this is the scene presented to me. It's BIG inside and there are a LOT of people standing around. As I catch my bearings, I see a long counter and about 15 clerks working behind that long counter and a big sign that says, "Get in line here". I look at the line and there are a few people ahead of me and a lot of people just standing around. I realize as I stand there, that all of the people in line and standing around look like prison inmates. All had tattoos, most had shaved heads, few had teeth, none were clean with me rethinking my recent shower. There was a hum of conversation and it wasn't English. Spanish was the local language. Now catch the guy in front of me. He's about 6 feet tall, his shaved head has grown out. He has prison issue tattoos of spider webs on his elbows and a 2 year old girl, his daughter, standing in front of him. He turns to look at me and I see that his mouth had about 4 or 5 piercings with what looks like barbed wire through the holes and it was black wire. He nodded a hello. Then I looked at his size and he was over 500 LB. I nodded back. Guess what, 4 people walked in and got in line with him, stepping in front of me and believe me, it was okay. The first guy was the little brother of the others. They were all bigger and had the same haircuts and the same goatees that were about 6 inches long. I made a mental note to trim my beard. I'll bet the 5 of them were 3000 LB. I couldn't breathe because they were stealing all of the air. I was certainly glad when the clerk yelled next and all 3000 LB of them walked away, whew! I was kind of sorry, as I'd only studied about 1/2 of their tattoos.

About a minute later, I heard "next" again and looked back to see if anyone just wanted my turn. I approached the clerk and he greeted me in Spanish. I said, fuel pump for an 85 Corvette. He returned with the item I wanted and without arguing about the sales tax, I just walked to the cashier and paid. Leaving went without incident, except for the truck that had pulled in next to me and was at an angle so I had a hard time getting out. Guess who didn't complain.

From there I headed over to my mechanic's, so I could pick up my mail and listen to Buster for awhile. Then it was time for my iron infusion and left there with fuel pump in tow. I walked in and said I was here to see Becky. The new girl asked me my name and I said it was Madonna. She looked through the book and sadly lifted her head up and said she doesn't see anything for me. Her partner cracked up laughing and said, go right up. For 10 minutes I listened to Becky parrot remarks about our president under her breath. Like, "I wish he'd do half the things he promises". Suddenly I pictured her republican husband saying precisely that, as he peered over his redneck newspaper, with Becky making a mental note to repeat it. When I asked what he promised and hasn't delivered, she replied, "About everything", but couldn't think of anything off hand. I see Becky again on Friday, can't wait.

When I got home, after being literally poisoned at Burger King, I was anxious to install my new fuel pump. After about 20 minutes and 300 turns of the wrenches, I was done, was only bleeding on one knuckle and the job called for 2 and I was ready for the maiden firing of the engine. I turned the key and after about a minute, BINGO. She fired up! That's when I heard the engine knock, a bad one. Like a bad rod bearing, a lower end noise that certainly wasn't there before. This is serious and completely unrelated to the fuel pump and my human slug mechanic won't return my call. I know you're siting at the edge of your seat wondering how this is all going to end, but just be patient. Thanks..

To be continued.......

Turning Wrenches...

(The Bad-Boy Fuel Pump professionally removed)

I think the idea came to me when my lazy-ass mechanic never followed through with arranging to get my Corvette towed in. Here's the thing. The car needs some serious mechanical work that I've been putting off since I don't drive the car, but since it was going to be towed in, I figured I'd just go ahead and get it all done, maximizing the cost of the tow. When Buster didn't follow through, I heard this humming noise coming from the computer and the urge to look up, "Changing out fuel pump for 85 Corvette". Almost in a trance I found myself walking in a semi-conscious state punching in exactly that. When I read how simple it was, it had everything but a footnote saying, "MEL, YOU CAN DO THIS".

I wandered out to the garage and found the necessary tools and typically the simple stuff slowed me down. Like pulling of the fuel lines that had been happily in place for 24 years. With the aid of screw drivers, pliers, channel locks and WD-40, I finally got the third one off and removed the 8 bolts holding it in place. The article on the computer said 30 minutes, I personally accomplished it in 2 hours, with a conversation with a lady named Janice thrown in the middle of it for 1 hour. I mention the 1 hour conversation, as it gave the WD-40 time to loosen it's grip on my project.

Why is it that NOTHING is easy? I called the dealer and they wanted $127 for my pump. Then it was NAPA that quoted me $83, but since I had the good fortune of speaking with the store manager, he would personally okay my purchase for $60. Lucky me. I called Buster and asked him who he would use if it were his truck and he said, Penny Pincher Auto Parts on West Van Buren. I called them and it was a meager $44. I'm done with shopping and heading down to that horrible neighborhood for the savings. That's $83 less than my original quote.

If all goes right and it seldom does frankly when I'm turning the wrenches, I should be listening to the purr of the 24 year old engine by sundown, with a minimum of 2 bleeding knuckles! I'll keep you posted...

Monday, May 18, 2009

My New, Rather Personal, Great Habit...

I'm not exactly sure how I got to the point in life where I've become a slug, but I don't like it here and am doing something about it. Oh I remember, some renegade, under rested, inadequate doctor from India, stabbed me in the heart with a medical probe. That's what did it, now it's my job to pick up the pieces of what's left of me and make a person. It's over 4 years, but as time goes by I become more and more complacent and just settle into my current role as human slug. My old routine was to stay up late watching whatever movie or talk show or infomercial that still kept the TV lit up and sleep until whatever hour seemed comfortable, then make my way to the kitchen to plug in the coffee and doze off while it brews. I often didn't find myself showering for the day until noon or 2 PM. During those few hours until my shower, I'd sit in front of the computer reading tasteless jokes about repetitious subjects, forwarding them to people that were required to delete them. In other words, a computer junkie!

The new me ascends the stairs at a reasonable hour, somewhere between 10 and 11 and reads for a time and reaches up and flips off the light. Here is the new and improved Mel. I still don't set an alarm and still have no reason to awaken at 6:37, but get up around 7 AM and go immediately to the shower, where I let the hot water do my awakening. By the time I've shaved and washed my hair, I hop out, dry my hair and dance down the stairs ready for the day. Oddly I found myself at the DMV registering the car for the gentleman that bought it at 8 :30 AM, only to find out the entire world is up and ready at that hour. At 10:30 AM, I was in El Mirage returning a leftover pair of shoes to a friend. Good karma. In other words, no more luxury of sitting around the house. It seems the new me is just like the old me, out there getting it done.

My goal for this week is to get that old Corvette in my garage up and running. That's easier said than done, as my mechanic is a human slug.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Broken Hearted...

Thank God because I live alone, I can't bore anyone with how much I miss my 2 best friends, Bogie and Zoie. This morning, shortly after I came down the stairs and turned on my cell phone, I received a call from Linda, the Great Dane Rescue lady. She was panicked and rambling on. She said, let me get right to the point. There's a litter of Great Dane pups, not ready to be taken from their mother AND the mother that need fostering, can I take them? She's desperate and called everyone that normally helps her with such emergencies and without success.

My mind went reeling back to a time in 1979 when I first split up with my first wife and we had a pair of Great Danes ready to deliver a litter of pups. My wife split and left me to deal with the delivery and the puppies, plus work my business. That was a time when having an extra pair of hands would have come in handy, as well as an unlimited supply of paper towels! Somehow, with enlisting the help of the woman next door, I made it through that crisis situation mumbling, "Never again".

With regrets I had to decline Linda, as I refuse to get myself in that dependent situation at age 63 and still single. I'd need a vet, which I don't have any longer. Mine sucked. I thought of the sleepless nights with puppies howling and a new mother unfamiliar to her surroundings and all that dog shit. You folks out there in blog-land haven't any idea how many calories go through a Great Dane puppy in one week, times 8. I just sort off got my life back and the idea of being trapped in this house again depressed me.

While I was summing up with Linda, I received 2 incoming calls and one voicemail. It was from a gentleman named Frederick Hin Cho Plao trying to buy my car and the second was from, now get this name, Victoria Longoria telling me she was on her way to see the Echo that we'd talked about all week. I returned the appropriate calls and told Frederick to get his butt over here with the cash and told Victoria Longoria that it wasn't meant to be.

Breaking News...

Guess what! The Asian kid and what turned out to be his girlfriend, truly were telling each other how nice I was, because he just left with his new Toyota Echo at full price. I wanted you to be the first to know. It must be because of all the nice things I've been doing for people lately and good karma is coming my way. So the continuing saga of the Toyota Echo is over and we'll just have to wait to see what replaces it.

Mel, throwing $7000 in cash up in the air and yelling WHOOPEEEE

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Thursday...

Although I've never encountered a harder car to sell, when life gives you lemons, why not make lemonade? The type of buyer that purchases a Toyota Echo, possibly the ugliest car ever designed are very particular. I offer them gas mileage as opposed to style and to make them realize what a bargain this car is, is somewhat difficult as gas prices wobble around $2. If gas was $4, I'd be raising the price, but as it is, I'm getting practical people that are looking for savings, even in the price of the car they're buying. I told one young Asian couple today that I'm firm at my $7000 price and they ought to hurry up and buy it, so they can start recouping that money with great 50 MPG operating costs. It was a great theory, I just wish they understood English.

A rather notable phone came from a man that was angry at me from the start. His call started with, "Are you the guy that's trying to get $7000 for that Toyota"? I loved him immediately. He continued with, "You should be ashamed of yourself trying to get so much for that car". I was silent (for once) He then went ahead and told me the MSRP of that car just doesn't warrant that price! He was pissed! I just wished that I could go to the shoe store where he worked and tell him his laces are all screwed up. I was silent for about 5 seconds and just told him, "Thanks for calling" and hung up on him. I'll bet he's one of those guys that drives slow in the left lane and enjoys the traffic building up behind him, yeah!

I got a rather pleasant call from a woman in Nogales, AZ. whose husband is driving everyday from Nogales to Tucson and back, racking up 150 miles a day. She says they'll be here on Saturday. Charming woman with a good attitude. (Better than mine.)

My favorite is Vickie Longoria from Davenport, Iowa. She's here staying in Tempe with her son and we talked about my car for over 15 minutes. She was the most sensible person I've talked to. She just needs everything to make sense. I needed to represent my price to her and explain why I was asking that amount for the car. She had already run a Carfax report on the car and it sucked. She was nice enough to email me a copy so I could explain it to her. She called me again today and we chatted for 10 minutes or so. She's coming tomorrow, as her son has the day off. I like her. I actually Googled her and she's rather attractive. She had a picture on Classmates.

Last, but not least was the nice Asian couple that showed up today, after a call 2 hours earlier. I'd say they were about 22 years old and could hardly speak our language. I used my best car salesman stuff on them, fully aware that they didn't understand a word I was saying as they nodded their heads in unison. They left in their rental car speaking in their native tongue. I know they were probably telling each other how nice I was... Right?

I Don't Smoke POT!

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not too good to smoke a little weed, just have zero tolerance to it. I'd love to get stoned and enjoy myself, along with my dates and misc friends, but when I do, I can barely remember to breathe. The last time I tried a little pot was about 10 years ago and I was at a wedding in CN. My buddy from high school, it turned out still partook of the weed daily. I think I had about 2 or 3 hits off of a joint and stayed stoned for about 12 hours, wondering if I was going to stay stoned for the rest of my life. I remember waking up at about 4 AM and telling my wife, "I'm still stoned" She said to go back to sleep and it will be okay in the morning. She was right, thank God!

So along comes Marie, who for some reason has taken a liking to me and calls me 25 times a day and texts me 35 times a day and is stoned most of her "off" hours. I don't think she smokes when she's at work, nursing, but hey! After meeting for an interview lunch yesterday, at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Marie took a shortcut into Trails, a place that caters to pot smokers selling pipes and bongs n' shit. I almost rear ended another car watching her pull in there. My phone rang almost immediately with Marie boasting about the cool pipe she'd just bought.

So last night while awaiting Marie's visit to watch the elimination American Idol Show, I get as text message saying she's on my block, but lost. I walked outside and saw her car about 5 houses West of mine and Marie was getting back into her car. I called and asked why she texted instead of calling and she said, it's the first thing I thought of! Duh... Marie smoked a little pot before coming over. She eventually found me by me saying, do you see a man in the street waving his arms? She said, yes and we were on our way home. Marie gave me a welcome kiss and we went into the house. Standing in front of the staircase that leads where? To the second floor. She looks me right in the eye and asks of this house is one level or two. I said, where do you think those stairs lead, West? She said, oh yeah and walked her bottle of wine into the kitchen. If you know how my mind works? I was thinking, she's got pot and wine and the only thing she didn't bring to sedate herself was ethyr, but I've got some starting fluid out in the garage, that should work. We sat down on the sofa and watched American Idol for about 2 minutes when Marie said, "Do you mind if I smoke in the house"? My mind immediately thinks, that I've been in this house for 17 years and have never allowed anyone to smoke in it and just exactly where did that get me? I said sure, light her up! I got her an ash tray thinking she was going to whip out a joint, but she surprised me with her nifty little pipe. After 2 glasses of wine and 2 bowls full of weed, Marie said she was getting a little tired and was it okay for her to go up to bed? WAS IT EVER??? It was fine with me. I stayed downstairs closing up the house and when I got up to the bedroom Marie was already tucked into bed, holding this flat pancake pillow with a different colored pillow slip, asking where did this come from? I just laughed and said, I think it came with the house. For the rest of the night I heard things like, that light in the closet makes my hearing sharper and a great deal of incoherent mumbling. Who knows, I may try to get a little sometime. I mean weed!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm Programmed...

84 is my daytime temperature

About 8 years ago, I needed to replace my upstairs thermostat. At the time, I had Dave, the Narcotics Anonymous guy that would come and do work on the side for me. Dave worked for a big heating and air conditioning contractor whose office, it just so happened, was located across from mine. So, whenever I needed any AC or plumbing, or electrical work done, Dave was my man. For $50 Dave could do anything. Who wouldn't LOVE having a Dave around, instead of calling some expensive repair guy? Well, the drugs got too important once again and Dave couldn't handle the pressure of everyday life and committed suicide. Dave was truly missed.

Shortly after Dave installed my new thermostat, he gestured and said, you can program it yourself and took the fifty and split. But I couldn't! Eight years went by and every time I needed to get ready for bed, I had to remember to go upstairs and hand change the thermostat to cool down the bedroom and every morning I had to remember to raise the temp to 84 for the day, because who can afford to cool an upstairs all day that's going to be unoccupied? Every year I'd say, this is going to be the year that I attempt it, but never did. Until Sunday! First, let me say that I always knew exactly where the instructions were, but I also knew my ability level at such things. Sunday, I grabbed my glasses, intentionally left the air at 78 so I'd have a nice cool environment while cramming the rules of engineering into my pea sized brain. Opening the instruction booklet reminded me of what the engineers went through when the space shuttle needed to be constructed. My head started to hurt almost immediately. Press program, hold for 3 seconds being careful not to hold it for 5 seconds as that will clear the system, Holy SHIT!

Thirty minutes later, I found myself hitting resume, as that would activate my schedule. Although I was pretty sure I'd gotten it right, it wasn't until last night that I heard the friendly hum of my air conditioning come on all by itself. I ran upstairs to confirm it wasn't my imagination and there she was just-a-cooling away. I programmed it to go OFF at 9 AM, so when I awakened at 7, I went straight to the showers, knowing I wouldn't have all day to clean my dirty body. Cause I'M ON A SCHEDULE!

No Sale!

Michael sans Mom

So it's Monday morning and Michael and his Mom called to confirm their early morning appointment to pick up my Echo and take it to their mechanic. After me awaking at 7 and showering and shaving, I was completely ready for the Geek. He called about 8:30 and promised to be over in 30 minutes that turned out to be 1 hour. Mom and Mike rang the bell, but didn't want to come in. I suspect they we allergic to dust! I met them in the garage and offered the key and he told me that they'd take about 40 minutes to inspect it. He and Mom took off, not leaving their car here, which is a new first.

Two hours went by and I didn't get nervous because by now I had googled their phone numbers and found that the home phone belonged to M. Levine, probably Michael's step father. Michael's number generated this picture in an ad that read "Job Wanted". Forgive me for doing my assessment of the situation, but here is what I discovered.

An unemployed Mama's boy that was getting a gift of a car, so he could stop borrowing Mom's, who was silent, but clearly the brains of the duet. Michael was not a likable sort, offering no sense of humor and probably very smart if you could get past his horrible personality. I'd like to point out that this was NOT my first time at the rodeo. They offered me $6750 contingent upon their mechanic's inspection, then after they find things wrong that any car might have and want more money off the price, which was exactly Mike and Mom's game. Although we all lost, as no sale took place, it went something like this...

Two hours after leaving with my precious Echo, I saw him pull up in front of the house. He was alone. It appeared to me that Mom was going to let him go the rest of the way himself. I answered the door and invited Mikey in, but again was turned down. Mickey had a sheet in his hand and was intent on reading from it to me. It needs front brakes soon, he exclaimed! I told him that we both knew that up front as I had disclosed that to him upon leaving and also that I'd checked it out and it's under $100. Defensively, Mickey countered with it's gonna need rear shocks in the future and he's just not prepared to pay $6750 for it. My mind shot fast forward to: THAT'S ALL? To me that's a success story. A mechanic went through this car with a fine tooth comb (remember those) and all he could find wrong was future shocks and brakes? I was elated, and REALLY disliked Michael. That fake smile on his mug never made it to me. To me he was a snivelling weasel that brought his Mom with him everywhere at age 35, (I checked)

Michael stood there with the keys in his hand, with a weaselly look on his face, waiting for me to counter or ask what his new offer was in view of the fact that it needed ALL that work. Instead, I reached for the keys, smiled and said thanks, closing the door in his face. He stood there waiting for Mom in the sun and did I tell you we've broken the 100 degree mark 10 days ago?

This is by no means a success story, because it didn't end with Michael driving away with his new car. Just another frustrating day in the life of a car salesman.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

You Have to get up Pretty Early in the Morning, to Trick Me!

A successful businessman once told me, "All of the quibbling and arbitrating and chiseling, and negotiating on price, at the end of a lifetime, only comes to $10,000." That man was Maaco Mike, who is wanted now by the FBI for embezzlement of Federal funds. I believed him and stopped trying to negotiate with him on paint jobs. I was doing a pretty good volume of business and couldn't help but notice that I was quickly approaching that $10,000 mark after only 2 or 3 years. That's when I realized that creating slogans like that was not only effective, but better than using false statistics. Like 53 3/4% of all marriages, including interracial marriages, end in divorce. It causes the recipient to think you know what you're talking about, when in fact that number came off the top of my head.

My latest "fact" is this: "Ahem, the only day that you'll remember how much you paid for that car is today." After that, you'll only be concerned about how well the vehicle is treating you and if you're doing your best to maintain your new car"? So, along comes Michael, a short skinny guy with his mother, I think it was on Wednesday last week. He had written me a note on the Internet and asked questions about that awful Echo. I told him to call me, I love the Internet, but not for selling cars. About 2 hours later, Michael called and asked if he could come by the following day for a test drive. Certainly, I replied, I was looking forward to it. At precisely 10 AM, as prearranged, Michael pulled up driving a Toyota Corolla, just like the one that I drive. He was short and funny looking with his eyes a little too close together, wearing thick glasses and that geek look that we've all seen. He walked around and opened the door for his mother, an elderly woman in her late 70's. Michael was approximately 38. No wedding band, no girlfriend, just Mom. If they hadn't been so conservative looking, I'd have called the police to report the car stolen, because they were gone for almost an hour. In all of the years that I've been doing this, I've only had one vehicle gone longer and that was a truck that was returned the following day, with remnants of a move in the bed. Some blankets, an odd shoe and a belt that wouldn't fasten. It was left in front of my car lot with the keys in the ash tray. I had already called the police, but they said I couldn't report it stolen for 24 hours, since I had voluntarily given the test driver the keys.

When Michael and Mom returned, I made a comment about it being the longest test drive in history and he just giggled. Then he asked, what's the best price he could buy it for? I told him I'd have to be a fool or an idiot to negotiate price with someone that not ready to buy and was he ready to commit? His reply was, at the end of the day, when he's ready to commit, what's the best price I'd accept. I said, best for you or me? Frustrating he said, him. Again I reiterated, until you're ready to buy, I'm not ready to negotiate. If I did, I'd be in a bidding war with myself. I had already set the price at $7000, it was his turn to counter. He left. I've been doing this for a long time and it's never behooved me to talk price with a non-buyer. That evening I thought, gee it's the end of the day and no response from little Michael. Friday came around and Michael called and offered me $6750 for my Echo, contingent upon his mechanic inspecting it. I had no problem with that, as I started telling him that his offer was a little short and the only day that he'll even remember how much he paid for this car is today. After that........ He replied that today is the only day he's trying to buy this car and that's all he's willing to pay. I told him I'd have to let him know on Monday when he takes it to his mechanic. Hell, I'll sell it for that, I just refuse to give in too easily...

Here Comes Trouble...

This has been a very strange weekend, so far... Friday started out like any other day, but with a lot of early morning emails from potential dates and a couple of friends. I can't explain why, maybe the stars were aligned just right, or my "good karma" was finally responding, but I was contacted by 20 different women on the POF dating site and another 4 or 5 on and a certified offer on my awful Toyota, Echo. Well a man can take only so much. I'm not attached to anyone, I've been seeing Jan a couple of times, but we're certainly not exclusive, so the new one that I settled on is Marie.

Before I go forward with my description, I'd like to explain a little something about Jan. Although she's a very charming girl and pretty and quick and steady, I'm just not feeling it. You know that feeling that you get when you're dying to jump someones bones. It ain't happening. I've been with Jan twice now and she's been receptive and we've been alone at my house, without even dogs to interrupt, like they used to and I stay away because she just doesn't do it for me. Sadly, that's terminal. Jan left her shoes at my house, so I guess I'll be seeing her at least one more time, but that's it.

Now for Marie: She's 51 years old and contacted me. The first 2 things that I noticed about her slowed me down to almost a halt. First, the oldest man that she wants to meet is 55 and I'm still 63 and second, she's "separated". To me that's the kiss of death. Dating a woman that's still married can get you killed. Can you imagine being in a bedroom situation and her husband walking in claiming his wife? Well, unless he was really short and funny looking, you could really be in trouble. So before going forward with Marie, I asked for an explanation. It seems to me that I just went through that scenario with someone and would NEVER do it again. Can you imagine the 3 AM phone calls telling me she wanted to kill herself and waiting for another divorce date, like it was your own only to go through that anticlimactic event.

So Marie explained to me that her husband and she have been separated for 9 years, he lives and works in Taiwan and has had a girlfriend there for that entire 9 years. They have a family and 3 grown children. A 21 year old girl and twin 18 year old sons, one of which is severely autistic. Staying married provides for the children's insurance and frankly, it all makes sense. Marie is a nurse and is from England and I never knew an English accent turned me on until I spoke with her last night for 2 hours. Marie likes to swear a little in her general conversation and I didn't know that turned me on with an English accent either. I think we were about o have phone sex when suddenly I realized that was a bad way to start a relationship. That's when Marie laid the bad news on me. With a very serious low voice and her volume dropped to a lower level too. She said, "You know I have a very strong sexual appetite, is that going to be a problem for you?" That's around the time I told her I needed cold water, not to drink but to sprinkle on myself. Sarcastically, I explained it was a real "deal breaker". Marie lives about 10 minutes away and should provide some interesting stories. The thing I like about her best is, she sounds like trouble and I like that!
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Parking Lot Rage...

I hosted a dinner party tonight. Sounds pretty fancy, but it was just Jan and me. Jan lives in a town called El Mirage, at least a 45 minute ride across town, but she works about 20 minutes away. So she came straight from work, arriving about 5 PM. I prepared well in advance buying boneless chicken breasts and marinading them in my special lemon marinade that I create with lemon juice, olive oil and all of the spices on the lower shelf of the right side cabinet. When I move, I'll probably lose that recipe. After letting the chicken tits soak for about 36 hours, I knew they'd be plenty lemony, but I needed stuff to go with the chicken. I asked Jan what she liked and she just said any vegetable was fine, but she had ordered asparagus at dinner on Friday. Knowing this and trying to choose both a veggie she liked and one that wasn't too gassy, I went with the Jolly Green Giant's asparagus special.

Alas, today was Seniors Day at Fry's, so I waited until today to do my big shopping, accumulating a bill that towered towards $36, a new person record for me. I don't know what it is, I get to the grocery store and freeze up. I don't know what goes with what and the individual prices seem too high for a single item and I just walk away disgusted. I got married 3 times, just so I wouldn't have to grocery shop. As I mentioned, it was Seniors Day, so the parking lot was pretty full and the store moved rather slowly with people pushing friends and spouses in wheelchairs, an assortment of people with walkers and a plethora of caned folks. I learned in the past, it doesn't pay to be in a hurry. I was pretty proud of myself, able to fill 4 plastic bags with supplies for the month and approached my car. As soon as I got close to my 04 Toyota, I noticed a woman that was parked next to me in the largest Lexus I had ever seen, sitting in her car with her driver's door wide open and it was touching my car. Did she damage it, I don't think so and if she had, it wouldn't be the first ding on the Toyota? Although I took notice, I decided against making an issue of it. The woman was trying to dial a number on her cell phone and about 75 to 80 years old. I put my 4 bags into my trunk and pushed the cart to the front of my car where I had actually found it upon parking. It was equally between her car and mine, in the front by our bumpers. Without warning, and who would have guessed she'd had her Geritol, she leaped from her Lexus and pushed the cart into my car, immediately jumping back into her car and locking the door. I don't think I've ever come so close to wetting my pants from laughing.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What I Learned about Relationships from my Dogs...

Although my 2 friends have crossed the Bridge now, they have left behind their legacy imprinted in my mind forever more, on how to live harmoniously with a mate. Who dreamed that this would take a pair of wonderful Great Danes to teach their mentor the meaning of happiness.

When the Dynamic Duo joined my household, it was larger by one. They didn't arrive together, but in installments. First it was Bogie, who was discovered at 3 months and about a year later Zoie came on the scene, at 7 months. At first, like any couple, it was all play and no responsibility. They romped from morning till night playing tag, stealing toys from one another and generally just enjoying life. They played hard and crashed into a pile together to sleep the dark hours away.

Eventually, their relationship took on another flavor, responsibilities. Bogie declared himself the protector and whenever a confrontation erupted with a third party, a stray dog while on a walk or a new dog at the park, Bogie let Zoie know in no uncertain terms that his job was to represent the Dynamic Duo in war. He did this with a mild attack on Zoie, all verbal, when she tried to be the aggressor. Soon, everyone had their role. Bogie, almost 3 times Zoie's size could easily have overpowered her when it was time to eat, but knew his place when she softly growled and showed her teeth. He developed a respect for her, as primitive as it was. Although Bogie didn't like being touched by her, he let her come over and groom him, while turning the other way showing with body language his dislike of the process, but he never was aggressive towards her, ever! He displayed patience and that was the lesson I learned... They each had learned respectively that neither was perfect and they just endured those flaws.

In the middle of the night, when Bogie wanted to sleep at her side, she wouldn't complain, but would get up and sleep on the sofa, like any wife would. (Bogie snored) In their senior years there was a hidden bond, like any human couple, that they would be there for one another. One day, and Zoie didn't really ever understand, Bogie was gone and Zoie, in her grief could no longer find a reason to live and suddenly passed away, leaving behind a well taught lesson. Having known these two, I am a better person.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dating Guy: Back into the Swing of Things...


I just spent 2 years, in a variety of roles, with a person I had no business being with. To say that that person was troubled, sums up what anyone would diagnose, but not having a degree in anything but auto sales, it makes it kind of hard to get more specific. I do know that the person took pride in putting me down on a regular basis, repeatedly telling me I was old, out of style, an antique, unhealthy and slow. Although a lot of her claims were sadly true, who needs to hear it drilled into their head? So when that lack of a normal relationship ended rather abruptly about 2 weeks ago, I rethought things and in a fit of passion, joined, again.. With my self esteem horrible damaged, I humbly wrote a meager profile and tried to be cheerful, full knowing that I wasn't worthy of adoration from the masses. Boy, was I ever WRONG? I was bombarded with responses, creating a plethora of women to choose from. I'm not a complicated man and require only a minimum of encouragement from the right person to be really content. Here are my requirement. A pulse, no just kidding. She has to be attractive to me, clever, quick-witted, if you will. Ambitious, and not overweight. Frankly, I'm not specific about a lot of those qualities, but a woman's mind is really her best physical attribute. A good mind really turns me on.

I met a lot of women in the last 2 weeks that fit my meager requirements. One was disqualified when we were having what appeared to be a marathon phone conversation, when I mentioned that I went out with one lady and she was of the Jewish faith. My marathon talker blurted out interrupting me, as she was accustomed to doing: Jewish, that was your first mistake! Taken aback, I added to that her interpretation of Scottsdale women, that they all had fake boobs, lips and nails. That she said on 2 occasions, indicating it was a habit! After speaking with Jane for 2 hours and 37 minutes, I checked, I knew we'd never meet.

Although quite a few women responded to my ad on Match, there were truly only 5 that I was interested in. One in particular was Jan, not her real name. After writing to and fro a couple of times, I offered my home phone number. She said she couldn't call any sooner than on her way home from work the following day. I had forgotten about her, when the phone rang at about 5:05 PM the following day. She giggled her hello, "Is this Dutch Ovens, (my screen name)." Laughing, I replied, "I guess so!" And things only could get better from there. Jan was clever, seemed to have a great come back for anything I said and was charming. I already knew from her picture that she was feminine, cultured, bright it turned out, and otherwise pleasing with a positive attitude. Here was the draw back that I saw. Jan was married for 21 years to a gentleman that she spoke well of, no hostility, but hadn't met a man that she could identify with in the last 10 years that she'd been single. she did mention one guy directly after her divorce, but it didn't last long. In other words, she's pretty picky and me with my damaged self esteem had a long ride going forward. Jan called me everyday, either on her way home from work or in the evening. One day when it was almost 8 PM, she called up asking if I were ever going to call her??? I just laughed saying I was just about to. It became a joke with us. At the end of our conversation, I finally popped the question, "Do you want to meet me?" She said yes, I knew she would and we made a date to go out for dinner on Friday, last night.

Now Jan lives in a small town, really an area known as El Mirage, where she owns her own home, but is wanting to sell it to be closer to her 26 year old daughter that is with child and delivering soon. By the way, Jan just turned 51 in Feb. The good news is, I met her after Christmas, her birthday and even Easter for gifts, but sadly Mother's Day is just around the corner, but I digress. I needed to think of a restaurant that is between our two homes and for whatever reason, Tutti Santi's on the West side came to mind. I dialed for reservations. I gave the name Dutch Ovens and the youthful receptionist didn't think it unusual, whew!

I don't think I had been as nervous going on a date since I was 16 and had a pimple on my nose. I was worried that I was going to be too old for her, from my damaged self esteem. I talked to Paul my mechanic about my date and he suggested putting alcohol on my face to shrink the wrinklage. I agreed, remembering how alcohol was when you didn't drink it. All I got was a dry looking wrinkled face that burned like crazy. That's what happens when you get your beauty tips from your mechanic. Suddenly slamming my hand into my forehead, Crest White Strips! I forgot to whiten my teeth, running to the medicine cabinet where I kept the leftover strips from the last time I dated. As if one treatment wasn't going to help, it wasn't going to hurt. Suddenly I pictured my mother, up in heaven, laughing at me and relaxed. If it was meant to be, then it would be. I wore my low cut jeans that I always worry that my butt would stick out of and a dress shirt left out to cover any indiscretion that my fat belly offered. I looked in the mirror one last time and headed out...

I arrived at 7:25, five minutes early. I parked and walked to the restaurant to see if Jan had arrived early, but as I was walking back to my car to find a better parking place, Jan called to say she was about 10 minutes late. We chatted for a couple of minutes and hung up. I sat in my car and waited for her. Again my phone rang and she was having a hard time finding the place, I knew she would, it's well hidden. Finally, I told her to look for a big white Expedition with a lunatic waving behind it, that worked! Jan pulled up and she was out of a dream and a good dream. She was pleasant, perky, punctual, pleasing and if you can think of any other adjectives that start with P, let me know.

We hugged a hello and Jan looked up at me and said, you're very handsome! Bingo, I hit a homer. That one sentence took all of the pressure off of me and the night was wonderful. Although Jan was a little tired from working all day with little sleep the night before, out dinner date that started at 7:30 lasted until 10:30 and neither of us really wanted to leave. I walked Jan to her car and she encouraged a long passionate kiss goodnight and said she'd like to do this again. WOW, so would I!!!

When we both got home respectively, out emails must have passed one another in the cyberworld, saying how we both had a great time and would like to see more of one another. WOW, I was ready for a break....