Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Blast from the Past...

Middle of Feb 2005, home a few days.
When I first awakened in a brightly lit hustling room, my eyes wouldn't focus. There were people there and everyone was doing something and seemingly very busy. My son Brad was there and said to me, "Do you know how long you've been sleeping"? I did not! I didn't even know WHERE I'd been sleeping. My son lived in California, what was he doing here? I tried to speak, but nothing would come out. Was this why I was in this strange place? I was in a hospital and couldn't speak and I'm not sure anyone knows. Was I in an accident? The most predominant thing that I remember now is the vast confusion of everything. I motioned that I wanted a pen and paper to write a few questions upon and was given them. I couldn't coordinate enough to write out a message. My depth perception wouldn't allow me to get the pen to touch the paper. The first thing I needed to convey was that I had to pee and I mean it was serious. After trying to form an upper case P for about 5 minutes, Brad finally said, "You have to pee"? I shook my head up and down. The nurse advised me that I had a catheter in and I should just relax and let it out. OHHHHHH..... what a relief... The next bit of business was to find out why I couldn't speak. Over the years I'd become rather used to it and it seemed a shame to lose that ability. I was told that I was on a respirator and that I'd had heart surgery and suddenly everything started coming back. The things that I had hoped were just a bad dream. I found out that I was in a medically induced coma and had been asleep for about 10 or 12 days. I looked down and there was a large gaping scar on my chest that had already begun to heal and the staples had already been removed. Where were my dogs??? Were they okay, I remember asking as soon as they removed the long tube from my throat. It reminded me of a serpent coming out. It must have been 3 feet long too. I was immediately given a vacuum to spit into. I gave the nurse my confused look because speaking was difficult. She explained that I haven't been able to cough or clear my throat for 2 weeks and I'd need to get rid of the phlegm. HUH??? A mass the size of a football came up and was sucked into the vacuum tube as soon as I coughed, ugh!!! I was now good to go. I started talking and haven't stopped yet. Eventually they removed my catheter and I'll never understand where they found the room to hide that thing.

Now it was time to try to recreate the past 2 weeks...

If I recall correctly, I had been suffering from a congestion problem. A month before that, my right leg had swelled up and I never did find out why. I went to a vascular specialist and he said it wasn't a vein problem. My doctor, a friend of mine, put me on a diuretic for the swelling and it seemed to go down. He also gave me thyroid pills after a blood test. So, it's 1/23/05 and I'm pretty congested and I'm thinking that if this congestion gets any worse, I might not be able to breathe at all. I got kind of scared and called my friend, the doctor in the middle of the night, about 3:30 AM. He didn't answer, but called me right back. He asked me if I could drive, but I didn't have anywhere to go. He came right over and literally threw me into his car. We went to Paradise Valley Hospital, a BIG mistake! He dropped me off and went to park the car. They totally ignored me. When Sam got there he asked if anyone had talked to me and I said no. He disappeared into the break room and came out with about 5 people in uniforms and scrubs. I think he told them I was a rock star!

Within seconds they had me on a gurney and had wires hooked up to me and they were telling me I was in cardiac arrest. I told them they were mistaken, I felt fine, just a little congestion. They shot me full of nitro-glycerin, hey what do I know? For the next hour they prodded and poked and finally they were sending me to a place called the Cath Lab.

The Cath Lab was a hospital operating room setting with everyone wearing masks. Pretty soon a maniac came prancing in screaming at everyone, myself included. I remember him telling me that from now on he's my doctor and I'm not to listen to anyone else but him. Do I understand? What would you say? I said, yes! I was asked if I were allergic to iodine and I asked for a better definition of what he wanted to know. He said, are you allergic to shrimp? I thought he was ordering out! I told him no, I love shrimp. He told me to sign there, then! I signed what turned out to be a permission slip for him to kill me.

The next thing I knew they were stripping my clothes off and shaving me. Then it was a needle that went into my groin and that was not the worst of my problems. The needle was to go tracing through my body and it had a camera on it. Geez! I was watching the whole thing on a monitor and it was better than the Discovery Channel. Suddenly everything clouded up and we lost our picture. At home I would have called the cable company, but here I just asked whathappened. He said he tore my heart! What? He tore my heart, just matter of factly. I tried to compute the ramifications of that. I asked if I were going to die and he calmly said, "I don't know" with his Indian accent! I was getting pretty concerned about now as the blood that was supposed to be going to one place was now not getting there, but instead was flooding into my chest cavity as I had a hole in my descending artery of my heart. I started to get some pretty serious pain in my chest and now I know what a heart attack feels like in case anyone wants to know ahead of time, just ask. Why wait? Now I asked this asshole doctor what his next plan was. He said they were going to air-o-vac me to another hospital, as they do not have a cardiac department there. WHAT? No cardiac department and they do this sort of procedure here?

The next thing I know they're boarding me onto my very first helicopter ride and the sun is now coming up over Phoenix and it's beautiful and I'm on my way to open heart surgery and I've never had anything worse than a root canal. I still enjoyed the sunrise and was truly hoping it was not my last..

Evidently the staff on board the helicopter were related to the doctor that poked a hole in my heart, as they proceeded to close the door on my foot at least 3 times before they would listen to me as I was screaming, it's hitting my foot! I had so much morphine in me that I couldn't even feel the pain any longer. My $17,000 ride to the next hospital was slow as we hovered over John C. Lincoln Hospital awaiting permission to land.

The staff at J. C. Lincoln was polite, attentive and good listeners. As soon as I spotted someone with an authoritative look, I asked if I could have whatever it is that will put me out of my misery. The next thing I knew, a nurse was shooting something into my IV and 10 or 12 days had gone by! That was some shot!

It wasn't until I was already discharged from the third hospital and was already researching things for my first lawyer that I found out some of the things thathappened to me from the hospital reports. I went to John C. Lincoln Hospital and secured them. I learned that my kidneys had failed and I had been on dialysis for 3 weeks. I also learned that my son was told that I was going to die and to be prepared for that, as my blood pressure could not be stabilized. I learned that I had several surgical procedures after the heart surgery to remedy some of the after effects of the botched initial surgery. I learned that my heart surgeon was about 30 years old and had not even made it onto his Medical firms stationary at that point.

According to the hospital reports, they botched the attempt to put the balloon pump that supplied much needed oxygen to the vital organs after heart surgery. It states in the report that the unruly patient pulled it out and it had to be reinstalled at a later time. That time was about 3 hours later when they realized my kidneys had failed. Subsequently they sewed the pump to my leg. Yes, youread that right. I have a scar on the inside of my right knee to prove it. I then formed a blood clot in my right lung that had to excised to enable me to breathe and of course the 2 surgical procedures to drain the accumulated fluid from my lung cavities. All of this was done while I slept. I'm glad I missed it. I'm really quite glad to have survived all of this, but I am amazed that all of this went on and I was never ever told.

Let's discuss the reason that all of this happened. If you recall back at the beginning of this story, I was told I was in cardiac arrest and I doubted that it was the correct diagnosis. It seemed that my heart was only infected. It was enlarged from infection. No one caught it until they opened me up and drained a liter and one half of fluid from my peradiem, the sack around my heart. I was then administered an anti-biotic directly into my heart and all was soon to be well. They repaired the hole in my heart with a tire patch kit from Wal-Mart, did a triple bypass while they were in there and closed me up, leaving a 10 inch scar down the front of my chest that isn't even straight. (It wanders to the right.)

I'm missing an important body part!

I thought that might get your attention. You know that bump that is on the inside tip of your clavicle? You have 2 of them directly down from your neck. My left one is missing, just gone! What did they do with that thing. It doesn't even have a name and it's missing just the same. Did it break off while they were drilling or sawing? Did some big goon snap it off with his thumb? And what did they do with it? Was there some guy waiting in the wings for a clavicle tip transplant? If you see it, please send it home. I miss it.

You're probably thinking that this guy really made out with the law suit, right? Well, there wasn't one. It turns out in Arizona, the courts LOVE their doctors, even the bad ones. 7 out of 8 malpractice law suits go in the way of the doctors here. In order for me to sue anyone, they wanted me to cough up with about $150,000 in expert witness fees to bring in a doctor from out of state to testify that I did not get a minimum of care, and it was more likely than not that I was going to lose, too. Seven separate lawyers all told me the same thing. There is a 2 year statue of limitation that was up almost a year ago. Not only did I not benefit 10 cents from this, but it chewed up a large portion of my savings, as well. Getting sick ain't cheap!

At some point in my stay at John C. Lincoln Hospital, they determined that I was no longer a candidate for the IC Unit and they were going to transfer me to a regular room, however the computer would not allow it. It turned out that my insurance wasn't good there for anything but Intensive Care, so at about 2 or 3 AM they called an ambulance and offered me a ride to Good Samaritan Hospital where my Cigna Insurance is accepted. I begged to wait until morning so that my son wouldn't come in to see an empty bed and think it was okay to drive my red Corvette! Not only that, but the attending nurse told the guys that were driving the ambulance that I was a bed wetter. That really pissed me off.

So I arrive at Good Sam's with all new faces and little tiny TVs, no wonder it's cheaper. At this point, I was no longer on Morphine and I was no longer hallucinating. Suddenly the drugs washed out of my system and I was included in a room full of people that apparently had been there the day before, but I was seeing them for the first time. My ex-sister-n-law Patty was there and I hadn't seen her for years. Business acquaintances showed up and they had been there the day before too. As my head cleared, I looked in the mirror and saw an old man that looked frail with almost 3 weeks of beard and almost a half inch of hair growing out of his ears! I asked for a razor, shaving cream and a brush...

I think I was discharged on about Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th, 2005. Aunt Pat was gracious enough to come home with me and care for me. I couldn't have done it on my own and I will forever be grateful to her. I had to go to doctor's appointments, get blood drawn on a regular basis, get that damned catheter removed from my jugular vein as I no longer needed dialysis, thank God. I had to go to the lung guy 3 times a week to get my lungs drained, it was no picnic. They put in a permanent drain into my side and all they had to do when I came in was hook me up to the pump. I was good until one day they wanted to remove the plastic line. Did that ever hurt?

I recall one day that I decided to take a bath, shortly after I got home from the hospital. I ran the water and got into the tub, but when I was finished, I wasn't strong enough to lift myself out of the tub and I didn't feel I knew Aunt Pat well enough to call for help! After sitting there for who knows how long, the water was getting cold. I finally figured out a way to slither like a snake out of the tub and onto the bathroom floor. That may have been my most humiliating moment.

After about a week, Aunt Pat went home and my son Brad came to care for me for a week. It was a long week for him, I'll bet. Then Patty returned from Chicago and took back over the task. I think when she finally left a week later she had had enough of me. My friend Randi then came and took care of me for a while and then I was recovered enough to handle myself. To these people I will always be grateful, particularly Patty that let me drive her crazy...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Huge Wisdom Tooth Extraction...

After putting up with a touchy wisdom tooth for several months, calming it with an occasional Vicodin, I finally went through my Medicare book looking for a dentist. Finding one with a name that I could pronounce, I called and got no answer, twice, but the message on the answering machine gave an emergency number that I dialed. After the phone ringing 3 times, it was answered with a hello! It sounded like the gentleman answering was on about the 5th hole of a Scottsdale golf course. I explained who I was and how I got his number. He replied that they should have answered, me replying, that's what I thought! He said, let me try it and have them call you back and I guarantee that we'll get you in today! I did. About 7 or 8 minutes went by and my phone rang and it was the receptionist at the dentist's office explaining that the storm knocked out their line (coffee break). She scheduled me for 2 PM and told me that she'd email me the fill out information. I explained that I didn't have a printer and she told me to be there at 1:15 in that case. Shit, 45 extra minutes of describing my sore foot from 2007! I hate this part!

I arrive right on time with my sore tooth in tow. The receptionist is cold and unaccommodating and I try to fill out the 1/4 inch think papers of questions that I know don't matter. After a long time, I'm still not finished and the dentist's assistant comes to get me and I hand over my paperwork with her reminding me to sign it eleven times for HIPPA. The dental assistant is determined to use words that are way bigger than she needs to to convince me of her intelligence and I try to keep up using words that I actually make up! She just nods and I smile internally. At some point the receptionist comes in and announces that my insurance only agrees to pay for ex-rays and an initial exam, which pisses me off because my tooth hurts and according to this lady, it's not going to be addressed. I'm wondering why I'm even there, when miss Big Words starts explaining what ex-rays are. With my mouth agape, she shoots away. Miss Big Words assures me that the dentist has petite hands and will be as gentile as humanly possible. 

In comes the dentist, a woman about 22 to 25 wearing a scull cap and scrubs, with a mask and the only thing I can see is this really huge pimple just under her eye and wonder if she can see over that thing. She says nothing, gives me an injection of numbing agent and we wait for this magic drug to take effect. I'm always afraid during an extraction that the Novocaine with not fully work that the dentist will have climb on top of me to hold me down, while I scream, but that's never happened. The following is the dentist's entire dialogue with me: "Open wide." I do and Miss Big Words announces the tooth is out! I feel absolutely nothing! My dentist vacates the room, probably to put hot compresses on that horrid pimple and I never see her again. A little confused, I show Miss Big Words the texting that I've been doing with Brad, my son and Karen, my friend. It says, "here it comes, she's got a pliers in her hand!" Brad replies, "You and your crazy weight loss ideas." I go to the desk, settle up and leave... No pain prescription or instructions besides a piece of paper saying not to smoke or spit tobacco for a week.

I'm only 10 minutes from home with a half frozen face and all I can think of is Kramer on Seinfeld and the episode of him going to the dentist, then trying to drink water and the water dripping all over his chin and chest! I burst out laughing, all alone. When I get home, I sit back in my reclining chair and fall asleep for about an hour and when I awaken the numbing agent has worn off and my face feels like I've just been shot with a 357 Magnum. Holy Shit! I take a Vicodin and thank my lucky stars I have them, then another and assume the stoned position for the rest of the evening, that can be verified my the people I spoke with, but guess what? No more wisdom tooth!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ashley Madison Cheating Service...

With all of the hoopla about the Ashley Madison Cheating Service that's been publicized lately, it kind of reminds me of a story that happened to me personally about 8 years ago. I was totally enamoured with a woman that I'd met on She was quite a bit younger than me and according to the information offered on the site, divorced, but that turned out to be an exaggeration, she was separated. We chatted on the phone for months before actually meeting, as she was currently occupied in that area and wanted to see what happened with her current love, that turned out to be married cowboy that lived in Wyoming. Turned out it was merely a fantasy love. Didn't really have the wings to fly. So I came rushing in like a customer in a bakery with my number in my hand, NEXT... 

I wined her and dined her and slowly was falling for her and she, I, or so I thought. We spent hours, then days together, only coming up for air when one of our respective dogs needed something. I had the Dynamic Duo and she had an old, old lab that lived her her walk-in closet. Also, it turned out that she was still going through a heart breaking divorce because she supposedly discovered her beloved husband was cheating on her and a member of Ashley Madison's. I felt sorry for her and comforted her and listened to her stories of woe. 

One day while bored, I received a piece of spam mail from the cheaters service and just out of curiosity I opened it and it advertised a dating service for the discreet. Having heard of this site only from my girlfriend, I was even more curious. I opened it and learned that the only way that I could see the members was to become one! So my plan was to join the service, then resign after I got a chance to look at slutty ladies with no character. Frankly, I didn't know what I was going to see. I signed up and now I thought I'd be required to supply a picture, so I supplied a bad picture with the intention of removing it almost immediately. Voila! I was in! I looked at members, some fat, some not, some pretty average while others were just pretty when suddenly without warning, my next click was my wonderful girlfriend! I cannot tell you the emotions that I went through, scared, jolted, shocked, sad, disappointed and disillusioned were only some of them. With a tear in my eye, I deleted all of my information I had supplied and was sorry I ever inquired about this site. At some point I casually confronted my girl about it, you knew I would! She claimed that she only filled out that stuff because she wanted to check on her husband and meant to delete it but must have forgotten. My girlfriend had a lot of trouble with telling the truth, as it turned out. Kind of like everything she ever told me was one sort of a lie or another. I learned and it only took me about 5 years!

On a brighter note, something happened last week that reinforces why I love the people of Arizona. I bought some new batteries at The Home Depot for my key fob, the gizmo you use for unlocking your car doors. As I get older, I get blinder and never bring reading glasses anywhere almost ever. So I look at the selection and decide that the 2032's are perfect in size after opened my fob and looking. I buy them for less than $6 and take them home. To my surprise and only after using my glasses, I see that the one that came out of my fob has a groove around the edge of it and my new 2032's won't fit even a little! Damn! They really didn't cost enough to bother to return them, but since I have to go back to get the right ones, 2016's, I may as well get credit for the wrong ones, but they've been opened! I felt awful. The following day, I tape the old battery's package closed again and hope no one notices. I go to the return desk and the gentleman is the most helpful he can possibly be. I gave him a full 10 stars. He wants to go with me to the battery counter to help me, but the people lined up behind me would probably frown on that. I leave him and walk towards the battery section where another helpful employee asks if I'm finding everything I need. I ask him if he knows anything about the batteries and he accepts my challenge. We walk and I briefly tell him my problem. He asks for my fob and I give it to him thankfully (This guy has young eyes). He squints and says it calls for a 2016 and he grabs one off the rack and opens it and puts it inside my compromised fob. I thank him and he says, let's go see if it works, where are you parked? I point to my car that is pretty close and we approach my vehicle. He tries it and my doors open and my lights flash. I thank him emphatically and then say, it would be easy for my to get into my car now and thank you, but under the circumstances we have to go inside because I've never paid you for these batteries and smiled. (Get ready) He says, there's no charge for these, we're sorry for all the trouble you've had and the batteries are a present from Home Depot! A tiny tear forms in my eye, just a little one and I cannot believe my ears as I thank him for his excellent service. Can you believe it??? He turns and leaves and I'm NOT arrested in the parking lot!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

End of an Era and almost a Finger...

Today I had allowed for the dismantling of my not so trusty leaf blower that has aged right along with it's owner of over 23 years. I remember purchasing it at Home Depot before they were the mega giant of today. When the employees stayed there long enough for you to get to know them a little. The year was 1992 and I had just purchased my dream house in North Scottsdale and spent a small fortune on landscaping. I was obligated to maintain that landscaping, thus the purchase of my leaf blower. It was an electric one, so naturally I bought a 100 foot electric cord to go along with it and a spool for the cord. So, for 23 plus years the blower was part of the Fisher family and was used at least once a week for that period. 

At some point retirement raised it's smiling head and the leaf blower was badly in need of a rest, along with the operator. We retired to a rental house in the same general area, with way less landscaping to maintain however the backyard is loaded with fruit and nut trees that shed with every breeze. The problem was that the old leaf blower was enjoying retirement and didn't want to go back to work, even when prompted. So I took her apart and talked to her in a gentle understanding fashion and explained that it was just temporary. I'd say that this happened about 4 or 5 different times in the last 3 or 4 years. In the interim period, in order to perform my renters obligation, I borrowed my son's leaf blower, one of those gas motored fancy new jobs that I never was able to get started. He came over and started it for me and showed me how. You have to pull the cord about 20 to 30 times while adjusting the choke to the required position that has never been determined and recite a variety of swear words, all simultaneously. I suggested he take his blower home, that mine is a G rated yard.

So after all that, I decided to rake up my leaves and don't misunderstand me, there was a huge volume of leaves. Enough to completely fill the huge dumpster, so far 4 times! Plus, I'm raking leaves off of rocks and stones, so along with the leaves come the stones and today I decided to try to blow the stones back where they belong, so the project of dismantling the leaf blower became imminent.

Although I've had this puppy apart several times, this time she was pretty stubborn, like asking a debutante to go camping. She must have fused herself together. (The blower, not the debutante) Now I'm pretty handy, all things considered. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being a Chimpanzee and 10 being an accomplished handyman/plumber,I'm about a 2! I even tried prying her open after verifying that I had removed all of the 10 screws, but she snapped back and took the tip of my pinky along with her. Now I'm bleeding like a butchered hog and my priorities have changed. Clean up the blood and try to stop the bleeding, all the while thinking that the leaf blower's time has come and the very dumpster that she helped me fill with leaves, will be her final resting place. May she rest in pieces...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Rough Day at the Doctor's Office...

I seldom get into trouble with people, but sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself. I was in a bad mood to begin with. I had a 4 PM appointment with my cardiologist that I was sure, was just revenue builder for the medical organization as I had just been there 3 weeks earlier. After a 20 minute ride on the 101 in rush hour traffic, my exit at Indian School Road was closed for construction and I had to take Thomas Rd as an alternative route and the drivers on Thomas are a whole other thing. Rude cutter offers and cell phone talkers. I was literally taken aback watching some woman in a BMW cut off as many people as she could. This all builds an anxiety level to a peak. Arriving right on time, I check in and sit down. The office is almost empty with the exception of what appears to be a new patient filling out a lengthy questionnaire with his wife assisting him. Suddenly this fat woman about 60 plus years old, with bright yellow hair looks up from her work and says, Mel. Sitting about 8 feet in front of her I reply, yes. She holds up a 2 inch thick packet of papers that she wants me to fill out. I say to her, I'm not filling that out because I've been a patient here for 8 years and was just here 3 weeks ago and nothing has changed since then. She replies, "Everyone fills this out"! Again, I tell her, no, I'm not a new patient. Then she asks me who my primary care physician is. By this time I've walked over to her complaining that I had to get up for nothing. (See, she's pissed me off) I explain that I don't have a primary care physician and my insurance company doesn't require one, that I called a few weeks ago for another provider and it was verified. Then I said, apologetically, "Am I giving you a hard time?" She now yells, YES, and she doesn't appreciate it this late in the day! At the same volume I reply, ME TOO! 

Now it's been my experience that people that hold the job of receptionist are not required to hold any degrees or display a very high IQ, as displayed by my first wife, as that was her career for the 3 months after we got married until she got pregnant, then immediately retired to expectant mother, but I digress.

Just then, one of the girls from the inner office came out and motioned to me with a giant smile. I know and love this girl, she always plays with me when I'm there and legitimately seems to enjoy me, as I do her. I ask her if she can fire fat lady for me and she laughs and asks what happened. I briefly tell her, while she laughs and says I need to talk to the doctor to accomplish that. I think that by the time I left, I'd explained that I wanted fat yellow haired lady fired to everyone that worked there and they all agreed she had a bad attitude, but I'm sure nothing will be done about it because lets face it, everyone has a bad day! She's been there a long time and if I recall, she's the same lady that took care of my when I first started going there 8 years ago. I walked in and tried to check in. She asked me my name and after a couple of minutes, she looked up and said she has no record of me, do I go by another name? I said, yes, Madonna! Evidently, intelligence doesn't display itself in her family.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Does a Recliner have 9 Lives?

                                            She's Baaaack...

Some time has now gone by since my psychopathic recliner tried to take my life. It sat around my living room in it's compromised condition until Monday, when I decided to take it down to the road for trash pick up. First it was the frame that took it's last walk down the driveway to oblivion, then I returned for the leather insert. As I lifted this expensive piece of leather that has been with me since 1992 when I purchased it at an upscale Scottsdale furniture store. The price of $500 comes to mind because remembering numbers is my game. In today's money market that would equal about $900 for this lovely piece of craftsmanship. I started thinking. This beautiful chair that I'm really very fond of and I have been together for 23 years and cruised through life together for many, many, emotional miles. I've had it welded on 2 different occasions. First for $50 and then soon after for $100. Why not give it one more reprieve? Putting down my hunk of burning love (the chair), I ask Siri if she knows of a welder here in Scottsdale and she immediately blurts out an answer. Paul's Mobile Welding and then she asked me if I wanted her to dial the number for me. I said, yes! Paul answered with a casual, hello and I got the impression that he was at home watching the Dr. Phil Show. I told him of my predicament and he told me that he gets $150 minimum for coming out. Laughing I told him that in that case, Old Bessie, the recliner is going to the curb! Paul then told me of a friend of his that has a shop at 25th St. and Bell that if I'm willing to go there, he'll do it while I wait. He even gave me the phone number, 602 867-2729. I called and Tex answered, Allstate Steel with an old country boy accent. He said his minimum was $32.50 and he gets $65 an hour. I thought how much could it be to weld a 1" pipe that broke?

For me it was a straight shot up the 101, about 15 minutes total time. He was located behind the pawn shop that an old friend of mine formerly owned. I pulled in with no difficulty and Tex was just like his name suggests. Tall guy, about 6' 1" with a ten gallon hat and an accent from somewhere in Texas, maybe New Mexico. He was the owner and worked everyday of his life, or so it seemed. He operated out of an old trailer and was as friendly and warm as anyone I've ever met. He walked me outside to look for Ernesto, the welder. Only Ernesto was nowhere to be found. Tex said he must have gone home, can I leave it with him? Naturally I agreed and left him with my name and phone number. It was about 110 degrees and I was ready to get back into my air conditioned car. I left.

That night I couldn't sleep. One of the many things on my mind was the fact that I never asked Tex, how much. I pictured him telling me that it took a lot longer than he figured and it was be a full $65. Then as the clock ticked away I thought, what if he claimed it took 2 full hours and he wanted $130. I should have asked him to commit to a price, what is wrong with me? I've been around long enough to know that you just don't trust a total stranger to be honest with you. What is this 1955? I finally fell asleep with the aid of a sleeping pill. The next day I waited for them to call and tell me it was ready but that never happened and I kind of forgot about it. I already had decided that if it was more than $65 I was going to tell him to just keep it or charge me a fair price.

Now it's Wednesday afternoon when I finally call. His assistant, probably his wife answers and I tell her my name and ask if my chair is ready. She says, yes! I take a deep breath and ask how much the damage is. She says, hold on while I look. My mind is going wild now. I'm preparing my dissertation for when she tells me it is $400! She comes back to the phone and says, $15. A tear forms in my eye, as it is while I write this and all I can say is, why? She replies, it didn't take very long. I begin to argue (stupid, stupid, stupid). I was told that there was a minimum of $32.50 for any work at all. She says, you'll have to talk to Tex. Embarrassed and ashamed I drive over there to pick up my old friend, Bessie. When I get there Tex is behind the counter along with the lady. She takes out an invoice and says, $15. I give her $20 and ask her to please keep the change. Tex hears this and hands me a $5 bill and asks me to go out back and please give the money to Ernesto. I do. When I return, they have already put the chair into my car and said goodbye. I immediately called my son Brad and asked him if he had anything that needed welding. He thought for a second and said, no. I told him to go break something!

It is so refreshing in this society to find someone in business who is still honest and old school. Tex explained it to me this way. He said, I've been in business a long time, I live a good lifestyle and I have everything I need and I do it by operating like this...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Suicide by Recliner...


Friday seemed like it was programmed against me. It started with a trip to the grocery story, one of my most hated tasks. I got married 3 different times, just so that I wouldn't have to do this hateful task, yet where do I wind up, just to eat? When I arrive home, I put one rack of ribs (on sale) in the freezer and leave the second one out to put on the grill. I light the grill and turn it to low and proceed to put my mouth watering rack in place and make a mental note to turn them in about 15 minutes. I remember and do it.

About 10 minutes later the phone rings and it's my friend in Chicago calling for a little FaceTime. After talking for about 30 minutes and me completely forgetting that I have ribs on the grill, the door bell rings and it's 2 pretty young girls that want to sell me Century-Link. I introduce them both to Karen on the phone and they chat briefly, when I ask if they could possibly come back later while I finish my chat with Karen. The 21 year old girls leave. Karen and I complete our conversation and about a minute later, my son Brad calls. We laugh, we cry and we talk for about 25 minutes when I realize my ribs are on the grill, (I hope). I hang up and run outside to open my grill but see an unusual light glowing in the dark and it looks like there is a small fire inside of my grill. Yep, it is a fire and it's still ablaze! My ribs are wholly engulfed in flames!!! It turns out that my ribs left this planet a long time ago, this was just the memory of the ribs aflame. All carbon. I'm thinking maybe tuna for dinner...

I wrestle up a tuna sandwich and eat it while relaxing in my trusty old reclining chair, when suddenly I find my self laying backwards on the floor, wedged into the corner of the room with my chair blocking my escape route! I immediately think of Life Alert! "I've fallen and I can't get up." I think of calling 911 but I'm laughing too hard, I've never been kidnapped by a chair before and don't have a clue about protocol.

 Somehow, while laughing like a baboon with my feet in the air, me on my back with the chair or what's left of it, blocking me into the corner, I somehow crawl out and get up to investigate how this happened. It seems that the base that the chair sits on snapped off and just dumped me in the direction of the least resistance, which was backwards. Just then there was a ding on my phone to indicate a message and it's some woman in Florida that wants to know how my day was going, Grrrr.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

She Should have Taken the Bus...

The image in my mind is as if it were yesterday. The year was 1999 and if anyone knew of the area in Phoenix, AZ referred to as Van Buren Street, you recognized it as the area for prostitution, where drugs were available 24 hours a day, in addition to the ''buy here pay here" automobile cortex. I was in the automobile business and in order for me to maintain my business license, I was required to maintain an address within certain C-3 properties in this specified area. Therefore, I introduce to you, AIRPORT ENTERPRISES. Yours truly was the president and CEO. My property included an office along with a 3 car garage that I referred to as the compound. To remain within the law, I had to maintain at least 3 cars at the location, which I did. Right down the street from me was Maaco, that was owned and operated by a friend of mine, where I also had a lot cars repainted, if they needed it? One day while waiting to pull out into traffic from Maaco, I was forced to respond to a street walker that approached me and plainly asked me if she she could perform oral sex on me? I mean I was waiting to make a left! Not knowing what to respond, I simply and briefly answered that, "No sorry, I just had some!" With a confused look on her face, I pulled away, glad to have a break in traffic.

So one day around 5 PM, I'm leaving my office, that by the way, was in a gated parking lot and I pull out past the gate into the driveway and wait to make a left turn. Now to my left is a public bus stop along with an overhang covering a bench and lots of people waiting to go home . In order to see past these people to see if traffic is coming, I'm inching forward to catch a glimpse. Just a little more and I'll be able to see. As soon as I can actually see, there is a break in traffic and I hit the gas to execute my left turn, but as soon as I hit the gas, I feel something as if I've hit something and  sure enough a lady walked in front of my car and I knocked her clear into the second lane of traffic! Fortunately, there was no one coming and she got up off of the ground, walked up to my red 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee and started pounding her 2 fists onto my hood! After doing that, she looked at me and yelled, "You should be more careful, that was close!" Meanwhile, I thinking, "CLOSE", that was a direct hit! I was already picturing her in my 3500 Square foot home in North Scottsdale and floating in my pool, with my red Corvette in the garage that she only uses on weekends, "CLOSE?" As soon as I looked into her eyes, I realized what I was dealing with. Her eyes were glazed and she was threadbare, like a homeless person. She was so thin that her legs looked like sticks coming out of the leg holes of her shorts. She was stoned out of her gourd! She continued walking down the street and exited the scene. I gave her the obligatory 10 count, 2-4-6-8-10 and split! That was  CLOSE alright! I was still shaking when I got home...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

As the World Turns...

Well it turns out that what I've believed most of my life is true. I am part American Indian. Here is how I've determined that. I've never grown a beard before. I've always wondered how I'd look with one, but for one reason or another it's just never been opportune to grow one until now. I cleared my schedule just for the growing period, a very delicate time. So I just went about 2 weeks without shaving and learned that I not only don't look good with a full beard, but cannot even grow a decent beard, similar to the American Indians. What did grow was tacky, patchy, and different colors running between silver, gray, and white in places with a dark brown memory of my more youthful days. Days left behind, I'm afraid. So my theory is to do what you know how to do, so I left a mustache and goatee that I knew I could handle well. After 2 weeks of being accused of being homeless, not to mention the constant itching, I finally abandoned my hairy face and accepted my destiny as an American Indian. Chief Harry Chin.

A strange thing happened a few nights ago. I was leisurely lying in bed reading a horrible book, when I received notice from a dating service that I had a message from a potential mate. Rather excitedly, I opened my mail to see it was from a woman that I had communicated with about a year ago and for one reason or another we just stopped chatting. Actually I remembered her well. She's attractive, the same religion as I, Jewish and resides in France. After exchanging a few emails, we spoke on the phone for 2 and 1/2 hours and she turned out to be quite nice and we're supposed to speak again. She has a package with her phone company that allows her to call the states for free, so I kind of feel like the fat chick waiting for the phone to ring, a week before prom. She's in charge of scheduling. Here's something even stranger, her mother's maiden name is the same as my last name, Fisher, so we may be cousins! Don't worry, we're not planning on having children, not yet anyway...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Why I Despise Online Dating...

I haven't posted anything for a really long time. What, with making smart Alec remarks on Facebook and keeping myself alive, who's got time? When I say, "Keeping myself alive", don't misunderstand, as currently I have no health issues, but I refer to the dreaded grocery shopping and making sure my underwear don't have holes in them. You know, just everyday living. I haven't done much of the online dating thing, because I just figure, what for? I recently found a cute 50 year old, shapely lady with a quick wit, that I thought was going to be a relationship, when on our first date disclosed to me that she had slept with over a hundred men while in her 20's, sometimes 2 and 3 in a night. That's what you call a boner killer!

I got weak one evening and wrote a note to a woman that lives in Scottsdale and although she is 66, she looked youthful and very much 21st century. I've recently been speaking with a woman in Chicago that is 67 and looks and acts very youthful, so why should I limit myself to only women in their 50's? So late Friday night, at about 1 AM, I wrote to this lady and said, Would you be interested in meeting an old man like me? When I awakened on Saturday, there was a reply that said, Absolutely and offered me her phone number. I held onto the number until about 7:30 Saturday night and called. This is how it went:

Her name is Susan,

Me: Hello, is this Susan from the dating service?

Susan: No!

Me: (Not accepting that answer because cell phones don't dial incorrectly when you enter the number correctly ), This is Mel from Plenty of Fish!

Susan: This is a really bad time, try me again, and clicked off... ending my call.

This is another reason that I truly miss the old cradle phones, because I used to love to slam the phone down eliminating a lot of anxiety. With the iPhone, you're not afforded that luxury. All you have is the "end" button. I think there should be an app that offers the sound of a slamming phone, (but that's another post...)

I took my phone away from my face and verbally said a WTF? I think I let about 3 minutes go by when I realized I needed revenge, so I texted her, "THAT WAS JUST RUDE!" and her reply was, "WELL I'M ON A DATE, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? I replied my last and very final communication, "MORE THAN THAT!''

Here is my thinking, if I'm on a date and I receive a call from a number that I don't recognize, I simply let the call go to voicemail. If I do answer it, which is rude on a date, if it's not one of your children calling, I am polite and explain the situation and offer to return the call at a more opportune time. This whole thing told me a lot about Susan. That she's too dumb to rock and roll and do I want someone that inept in my life at any level? Current rant over!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Peeing in the Sink...

I found this old email I sent to a friend in 2006 and I laughed a few times reading it...

Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2006 5:54 PM
Subject: Toilet Shopping is a Lot of CRAP! aka Peeing in the Sink...

This is extremely loooog, so if you don't read it all, I'll understand..
Do wealthy, well to do people, shop for their own toilets? Somehow I can't picture it that way. The Bentley pulls up in front of Home Depot and the chauffeur gets out, walks around and opens the door for a gentleman that is dressed in a black business suit, dark with pinstripes, a crisp Derby and spats. The remote doors of the giant hardware store swing open and the gentleman walks to the commode department, politely asking directions from a guy named Bubba. Once there, he makes a selection and has his chauffeur put the brand new toilet into a shopping cart and he wheels it to the cashier where he stands in line and is insulted and assaulted by other shoppers. He goes home in his Bentley after checking his supply of Grey Poupon and has Heathcliff carry the toilet into the shitter where he tells Heathcliff to install it or he calls a plumber..
It didn't go that well for me! I was sitting there on the throne, thinking about my day's activities and I reached back and gave old Clyde a flush. Clyde's flusher was a little stiff for some reason so I pushed it a little harder and heard an unfamiliar noise from the flushing device. That noise, as I so delicately described it, was more of a click, kind of like the noise a porcelain tank might make if it was cracking. The first clue was the water on the floor.. I cracked him good! That little flush was one flush too many for old Clyde, he quit on me, right there, it was over! We had been partners for almost 14 years and he's gone! I now knew what I was going to do today. I was going to shop for and install a toilet, but not just any toilet, Clyde's replacement.
I decided to take a shower and head to Home Depot, then I remembered what my plans were for the day and decided a tooth brushing was all I'd need. I think it's wasteful to shower and then devote your day to being elbow deep in a toilet. I figured the shower could wait until afterwards.
When I got to Home Depot, I was a little disappointed to see how proud they were of their toilets. Those things are from about a hundred bucks all the way up to about $500 and they all do the same thing. I don't think anyones gonna leave my house thinking gee, that Mel Fisher sure has a nice toilet, right? Perhaps a mid line product would be best. I approached the first employee, but evidently he was deaf, because the louder I'd yell "Excuse me, sir" the faster he would walk in the other direction towards the break-room. I almost took off my shoe and threw it at him, but decided not to. The next guy I talked to was about 5' 2" and the reason that I mentioned his height was because he must have had a complex over it, because he decided it was his job to make me feel like the dumbest weekend plumber in captivity. First he asked me what brand of toilet I was looking for. I WAS going to tell me TopShit, but decided to play it cool. I told him I had a Koeler or something like it. He said, then all you need is the top tank? I said, yes. I really didn't know you could buy just the top tank, but again, I'm stupid. He told me that if he gives me this adjustment kit, they will all fit. Oh, I was pleased. I took my new top tank and my little kit to the cashier and they told me that the salesman is not allowed to give away adjustment kits and I had to pay for it. I insisted he give it to me, because that's what the salesman said. The cashier finally agreed to wave to $2 charge.
So, I lugged this top tank into the house and take a look and I don't have a Koeler toilet at all, it's a Crane Miser. So, I was starved and had to eat something before I could go on. I take the top tank back to the return desk and stand in line for about 20 minutes. I finally get my card credited and go back to Shorty and tell him I didn't have a Koeler toilet, afterall, it's a Crane. Shorty makes a "you are dumber than dog shit" face and says, that's why I GAVE you that adjustment kit. It works on a Crane too! I tried to tell Shorty that the cashiers tried to sell it to me, but he was mad already and I was afraid he'd yell at me. I went back to the return desk and got back in line and repurchased my Koeler top tank. The credit card company is going to look at this month's statement twice, lemme tell ya. I lug the tank home again, Bogie starts asking questions, but I give him the cold shoulder. I now extract the top tank from it's packaging, which takes an engineer to do and I take one look at this thing and there is NO FUCKING WAY it's ever gonna fit my toilet bottom. It was like putting a square into a circle. The top had 3 screws and the bottom had 2 holes. If I removed the wall between the living room and the bathroom, I might have been able to make it work...
Now, it's back to Home Depot, get back in line, by now the returns lady was making faces at me, she knew what was coming. By now we were old friends and she asked me what happened, but I didn't feel like talking. I told her I was going to Lowe's and headed over there! Screw Shorty! He was compensating for his height by acting like he knew what he was doing,,,,,,, he didn't!
I drove the 3 miles to Lowe's and was unpleasantly surprised to see it was a shabby, not as well lit, Home Depot. The layout was more difficult to navigate and they kept their toilets fairly well hidden. I interrupted 3 or 4 employees that were having a social moment to ask for directions to the shitters. They politely offered me an, "End of the isle, turn right" and went back to discussing the Sun's game. Now I know where the employees from Home Depot go when they get out on parole... The general atmosphere was one of a sleazy bar on the wrong side of town, but was missing the pool table.
Lowe's does carry Crane Toilets, so I WAS in the right place. Now, I needed an employee to help me. Here's a problem that nobody ever thinks about. Their selection of toilets is about 5 to 15 feet above the ground. They're displayed on the actual shelves that go as high as 30 feet in the air. How does a guy test drive one, if you will? I just spent 14 years of my life sitting on Clyde and all of that is well and good, but before I drop about $300 for a new toilet I want to sit on it and see that it's comfortable. I could see that wasn't going to happen.
I saw a salesman that was dutifully waiting on a woman in the bathroom fixture department and I waited politely for him to become available, when I realized there was another man waiting to see him too. I decided to look for my own sales person. I found a tattooed cover little guy with two front teeth missing and asked if he knew anything about the toilets. Without answering, he walked away and I followed him. He stood looking high into the air and I couldn't see what he was looking at. I approached a little closer and as I came around the corner, I could see he was politely waiting to talk to a man that was about 30 feet in the air on the business end of a scissor lift. I waited about 30 seconds too and finally asked if they had another one of those lifts available, so I could go up and ask him about the toilet. No response! Now the toothless guy started talking, finally. He told me there were only 2 people that knew anything about toilets, the guy that was 30 feet up and the guy that was busy with the lady. He asked if I had tried up there and he pointed to the front of the store? I was losing patience quickly and told him I didn't want to make a career out of finding someone to talk to there about toilets and left... Dejected and rejected, I left and went home to a bathroom with no toilet and a future of peeing in the sink!
I was literally bushed! Four visits to Home depot and Lowe's wiped me out. I went home and napped on the sofa and tried to figure out a plan for today.. I decided to start with a shower and go from there. There is still Ace and Lowe's again, now that I know that they carry Crane toilets!
Peeing in the sink, day 2....
Today I opted for the shower, why not? I must have been exhausted yesterday because I literally slept like a baby. Zoie came to me at about 3:30 AM and I just told her to go back to bed and she did. Whew! I had a busy night last night. I knew I HAD to see the finale' of LOST and it was a 2 hour LOST, but I wanted to see the grand winner of American Idol too, not to mention the Suns were playing the Dallas Mavs in game one of a 7 game series for the finals. I accomplished it all, but not without a lot of finger action on my remote. Remind me to change the batteries, I'm sure I wore them out. All 3 shows were GREAT, if you didn't see American Idol, you really missed a good show? Same thing with LOST and the Suns won by 3 points, all in the last 4.5 seconds, a real nail biter.
Back to business. I'm the guy with a hole in the floor where there is supposed to be a toilet. Today, I let my fingers do the walking. I called Lowe's and asked for the toilet department and girl answered the phone and I asked for someone that knew a lot about toilets and she hung up on me, literally. I called back and spoke with a guy named Bob. Bob asked me what the serial number was on my toilet, the one I already threw into the trash and the truck had already picked up. Things were not going well for me. I did keep the tank lid, though and luck went in my favor, because that's where the serial number that he needed was. Whoops, bad luck again. Bob called me back after calling the Crane factory to tell me that my toilet isn't made anymore, booooo... Then he asked me what size my roughin was. Huh? What's a roughin? It's the distance from the bolts that hold your toilet down, to the wall behind it. All they carry is a 12' roughin, for a 10' roughin, I need to call the Depot. That's what they call Home Depot at Lowe's, THE DEPOT!
I went to the Depot and went right to the toilet department and was glad to see that Shorty wasn't there. I might have punched him right in the eye.. that bastard! Instead I found an African woman there that was VERY helpful and she didn't intimidate me. She said, look! You want you a toilet that does the job in one flush, right? I gots teenage boys and here's the one that we use at home and it don't leave nuthin in the bowl when you is done. That's for me, I said. I'll take it! I muscled it off the shelve and it was no easy feat. Those things must weigh a hundred pounds and that's just the base. she said here's 2 packages of Bee's wax and this way you don't have to worry about leaks! That's for me too, I HATE leaks! I asked her if it cam equipped with seat belts for beer drinkers, she didn't laugh. I carried this stuff to the cashier and she rang me up and I went home with my new toilet and to begin my installation.
First I had to take out the old base, that went pretty well, even the part where I had to clean up the old bee's wax. They actually use bee's wax to seal the toilet to the floor.. Barry called and told me I was an idiot for even trying this and we talked for about 30 minutes. I went back to the job and sweat and worked and shoved things where they needed to go and I was just about finished when I realized I would be able to fit the new toilet under the counter where it goes, but not the LID. The toilet I bought was about an inch too high to fit in the space where it has to go. I washed my hands real good and made lunch, it was almost 2 PM and I was starved and still needed to remove my recently installed toilet. Oh, woe is me..
Stay tuned for Day three of peeing in the sink...
Good morning. This is day three and after a night of interrupted sleep, I awakened rather early for me, as I have the illegals coming this morning. Just 2 weeks ago they were the cleaning ladies and with the influx of the press, Taylor Hicks winning the American Idol, they quickly became the "illegals".. In my mind, I toyed with the idea of asking them if they had green cards and doing what the law suggests and firing them, but then who would clean the house? On that topic, let me ask you this. If you were really thirsty and there was no water to drink where you were and someone drew an imaginary line and across that line there was lots of water for the taking, would you cross that line? I know how the illegals are taking out lettuce picking jobs and how the American tax payer is being raped for supporting illegals with our taxes, but would you rather your money went to a group of people wanting to work, or to the war effort in Iraq? Besides, Bogie and Zoie love them and want to spend all of their time with them. I think Bogie is learning Spanish.
I'm trying to get psyched up to make my 383736 trip the the Depot for my farcockda toilet. Wait until my illegals get to the downstairs bathroom and there is no toilet to clean. I'm going to ask for a discount!
I just got back from the Depot where we had a big meeting. I started asking this older guy, my age, for some help and he made the mistake of asking a younger guy a question about some detail and everything went up for grabs. The two of them got into a heated argument over who was right on some detail, a SKU number of all things. I got frustrated and just left. No toilet, no hopes of a toilet, but  a tip that the store at Cave Creek and Bell has 2 of the ones I want. I asked if they could just transfer one to this store, but was told the Depot frowns on that. So, I just paid the illegals and am off the new Depot for my throne!
I arrived at this new Depot with bells on. I noticed that because this is NOT as good a neighborhood as mine, the prices were a little higher. I approached a recent parolee and asked if he knew anything about toilets and he answered, "Just using them", and then busted out laughing like he had just thought of a great joke. I can't tell you how irritating it was. I moved on and found the toilet department by myself. An elderly African American man, about 65 was the guy to get a hold of, I was told and got lucky, because just then he walked by and I tackled him. He was very polite and knowledgable. Just one thing. The first thing out of his mouth was that he just finished looking for that toilet for another customer and there weren't any. It turns out that there is ONLY one toilet in the world that I can use at my house and wouldn't you know it, I wasn't the first guy there? Otis checked the inventory and said he should have had 2 units in stock and can't imagine why that is, when there are clearly none around here, but the store at Cave Creek and Cactus has 18 of them! Without a word I ran out the front door, to my toilet ready GREEN van and hopped in and buckled up for my trip to Store 346, Cave Creek and Cactus!  The GREEN van actually peeled rubber as I took off on my mission. I arrived at my destination, only after putting on my diguise, a mustache and plumber's beard and nonchalantly walked to the toilet section whistling, not wanting to bring any unwanted attention to myself. Oddly, my body semi-floated to the toilet section, like it knew where to go. When I got there, there was an aura around a pile of toilets and they were the pile of 6276-0's, the elongated white bowl that goes with the 3324-0 super saver tanks! Not saying a word about the price being $40 more at this store, than the one in my neighborhood, I muscled the 100 LB devil into my cart and made my way to the cashier.
My cashier was smoking! She actually had a cigarette lit, but don't worry, she had her hand pointed in the direction of the front door that was closed and at least 30 feet away from her. She looked at me and explained that she's supposed to be on break now, but they're short on help because Mary called in. I smiled and said, no problem... Biting my lip, I paid the inflated price, even though I knew if I'd said something, they may have brought the manager in on the deal to screw things up. Afterall, I had my 6276-0 and was ready for installation!
By the time I got home, I was exhausted and waited a couple of hours before I even unloaded the unit from my GREEN van. About 5 PM, after feeding the dogs, I began the installation and by now it went pretty smoothly, afterall, I've done this before.
Guess what? I was to the part where I connect the top tank to the bottom bowl and realize that there wasn't a parts bag in my toilet bowl. I didn't have any of the hardware necessary to complete the job. After all of the toilets that I've opened and conscientiously put all of the parts back into before returning them, mine was missing the parts! Tomorrow, day 5 ofpeeing in the sink, I'll go back to the Depot where I'm friends with all of the guys and beg for a parts bag!
Peeing in the Sink, Day 5...
I slept well, after going to bed early. I was just beat. Installing toilets can leave you wiped, aye? I went down to make some coffee and while I waited for the coffee to brew, I fell back to sleep for 90 minutes, what's up with that? The coffee not only brewed, but cool down and shut itself off. Oh well, such is the life of a bum. I leaped up the 19 stairs to the shower, full of energy and showered for my trip to the Depot. I was really starting to miss those guys over there. When I got there, there was the old guy from yesterday and he not only remembered me, but seemed glad to see me and find out the outcome of my adventure. He quickly remedied everything by giving me a package of parts and walked me out the door so the alarm wouldn't go off on me, as I hadn't paid for the parts. I went home and quickly installed the toilet and turned on the water supply. Holy shit, it was flooding, indicating I hadn't tightened down the screws hard enough. You don't want to tighten them too much, breaking the porcelin parts. The trick is to do it just right. A few more turns of my wrench and I accomplished that. Second test drive and it was dry as a bone. Mission accomplished... Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?
Total time doing the replacement, 5 minutes. Total time running around and looking for the correct toilet and parts, 5 days..
Mongo the wrench...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Walking the Costco Mile...

After procrastination about doing a Costco run for about 3 weeks, I finally broke down and went to the Paradise Valley location, which is farther, but has the good Rye bread. In addition, it doesn't offer the crowds of aggressive pushy people that frequent the Scottsdale location. I think you know what I refer to. High dollar cars using 2 parking places, people running into your heels from behind, looking at you as if you've inconvenienced them. We used to call them jerks but I choose a more aggressive word ending in "hole".

Proud of my parking place I enter the big box giant and smile at the cute girl that is supposed to be checking membership cards but is just using her smile to welcome customers. I prefer it that way. My goal is to purchase things to eat, because last week I bought 4 T-shirts at Target to get me through the summer, completing my summer 2015 wardrobe selections. I start throwing things into my cart like breakfast sausage, chopped lettuce that I'll throw away in 10 days unopened, eggs in the 18 packs, (I didn't throw them) some kind of frozen Chinese chicken, asparagus, grapes, sliced roast beef, ice cream and a bunch of other stuff that escapes me currently. 

After doing my share of people watching, always a favorite at Costco, I head to the cashier's section that by chance was not busy. It was 3:30 in the afternoon on a Monday (mark that down). I carefully unload my cart and placed everything on the conveyor belt when the young girls asks me for my Costco card. With a smile I reach into my back pocket and unexpectedly feel my ass! What? Where is my wallet? A personal panic strikes me and it shows on my face, when the girls says, no card? I-I-I left my wallet at home, I changed into these shorts at the last minute and remember leaving my wallet on the table next to my bed.

Always the salesman, I tell the girl that I've been a member since 1985 when it was Price Club and can't she just look up my membership number. The young girl panics and calls a supervisor, (I switch to my supervisor hat) She approaches and the cashier tells her that I don't have my Costco card, can we just look up his ID number? The supervisor says yes, sure, then looks at me and asks, how will you be paying for your purchase? GAME OVER!

The boss lady, ever sympathetic, explains that she can save my accumulated items for me until I return with my wallet, while sounding like a little kid that just got told no more playing, you've had enough for today, I ask, what about my ice cream? She assures me that they'll put it in the freezer for me if I promise to come right back. Feeling like a 10 year old that just got scolded, I left the store mumbling stuff, empty handed. 

Aware of the traffic that has gotten heavy on the way home, I decide to wait until after rush hour to go back. At about 7 PM, I try it once again, travelling in cool breezy 80 degree temperatures. I enter and explain to the friendly greeter that I just had my first senior moment today and briefly explained my dilemma. She yells in the opposite direction, GET THE BAND! I crack up with her and she calls Sara to investigate as to whether or not they still have my things put away. I enter and look for Sara. In my estimation, Sara is a big chunky girl with a very serious attitude. All she says to me is to wait over there and points to a shopping cart blocking the next cashier's position. After about 10 minutes of feeling like a penny waiting for change, a little girl comes up to Sara and whispers something into her ear. I'm sure she's the abandoned shopping cart girl, yet no one says anything to me. I leave my assigned position and approach Sara again and this time she wears her chastising face and explains that I did wait an awfully long time to come back and everything was returned to stock. I just stared at Sara for a time and explained that this entire thing was my fault and I appreciate all of the trouble everyone has gone to, to accommodate me, (just to replenish Sara's faith in humanity) Way down deep I was really thinking SHIT!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I Want to be 39!

While strumming along on Facebook today, I couldn't help but notice it was "Sibling's Day", who knew? I really don't have any siblings anymore, aside from a an older brother in a Chicago suburb that I haven't spoken to in over 40 years and a deceased younger brother that passed away in 1989, rendering me an only child, but who ever heard of a 69 year old child? Now all of this gibberish brings to the topic of my story tonight. Two of the girls that I went to high school with were twins and they posted a picture of themselves and about age 18. I clicked on one's profile and noticed that she was friends with an old friend and neighbor of mine, Jeff Stein. Jeff's family lived directly behind our house and he was my same age. I recall when we were about 10 years old, a bunch of us built a fort in the vacant lot next door to his house and his father helped us. I even remember his address of 8424, mine was 8423 on the street behind his. 

The thing that stands out the most in our relationship was, while walking back to school one day after our lunch hour, I made a remark about something my mother told me and he replied that my mother was a liar! Whoa! That's one thing that's not allowed insulting a 7th grader's mother out loud and in front of other kids. Doing so would earn you a punch in the jaw, which without even thinking about it, I supplied! He retaliated and we were off into a brawl. I don't think our friendship withstood that insult and I don't think we ever spoke again after that day.

So I clicked on his name and there he was with a picture that all I had to do was add about 58 years to and sure enough there were his eyes, that don't really change and a receding hairline, which is to be expected. I remember that he was an avid sports fan and he made the basketball team in freshman year. Upon investigation, I saw that he had written a book about or relating to sports and strategies. That's when I saw it and wondered if I had the right guy, because it said his birthday was April 26th, exactly one month after mine but the year he was born said 1961. I was born in 1946 and I knew we were the same age! I must say, he looked great for 69 and I figured it out. He used an old picture to advertise his book, probably thinking it would be more marketable with a younger author. I know that you can legally change your name and certainly your religion, but your age too?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Great News came Today by Special Courier

I haven't written very much of late, mostly because nothing worthy has really happened, however today was a little different. I happen to have the distinction of having been kicked off of twice now and neither time was really my fault. I'll describe the situations to the best of my ability. 

First was several years ago, when some woman from Texas kept drunk writing to me. First, I have no interest in anyone who is living in Texas, period. I ignored the first time and then I politely asked her to cease as I wasn't interested in a long distance relationship. I didn't explain this part to her, but she was also butt ugly! That didn't seem to deter her so after the 5th email, I wrote to her that I thought when viewing her picture, that I spotted some leftover make up in her wrinkles from 1959! Well, that's all it took and I was quickly relieved of my paid membership from Match, with a letter from them that the purpose of Match was to be nice to other members and my email was surely not nice. My membership was about over anyway, so I didn't contest it. Being a member of such a website is almost like a full time job and I was about ready to retire anyhow.

Fast forward about 5 years and while under the influence of Ambien, as outlined in a previous post, I couldn't sleep one night and fell victim to my desires and joined up again. Included in the many emails I received from the 60 to 80 group (I was considered "young stuff"), I had several emails that were kind of rude, when I didn't reply to their initial email attempts, but remembering their policy, just chose to delete them and move on. For your convenience, I'm going to post my profile on this posting so you can appreciate what I'm referring to:

"I'm looking for someone to share the good and the not so good. Someone to share with, someone to call when something great happens. Someone of comparable IQ. Because frankly, aside from chemistry, intelligence is paramount. Oh and honesty. That's all...

I find that I'm able to achieve a more youthful look by using older pictures... 
Let me start by saying that I spend most of my time, just trying to look like my pictures! 
I'm originally from the Chicago area, but have been here in the valley for 40 years. It doesn't take much to make me happy. I'm relaxed and easy going, always seeing the brighter side of things. Maybe you can answer a question for me? Why is it that I keep making dates with Kate Hudson and winding up with Betty White? I'm looking for the last love of my life, someone who is cute, thin to average in weight and attractive to me. Honesty is paramount for my relationship. My favorite part of a woman's anatomy is her mind. I enjoy quick-witted, energetic exchanges with a bright woman. I believe in practicing the manners I was taught as a child in everyday living. I believe that women should have doors opened for them as well as their chair pulled out. It's all about respect. I'm in search of a partner in life, not just a date. I read and enjoy writing on occasion, nothing professional, just for personal satisfaction. I'm family oriented and would rather play with grandchildren than hang out in a bar. I retired about 8 years ago from a career in business and was a fairly well known Notary Public, having witnessed a lot of unusual things!I used to dance, but have recently been told I look like Elaine from Seinfeld, when I try. When I first signed up on this site, it asked me what body type I was. Aren't there really only 2 body types male and female??? 
It seems that the longer people are on this venue, the longer their profiles get. If you're into NASCAR, buy Gizmos off of TV for $19.95 plus shipping and handling, we probably are not a match. 
Personal Pet Peeve: People who dance on their way to the dance floor."

With that listed, I received an email from some woman and it was just plain rude. I'm currently 68 years old and with God willing I'll turn 69 this month. So the woman writes something to the effect that, what would Kate Hudson want with an old man like me? There were other insulting things, too. I tried to access their website to list the exact email,  but I'm blocked. So instead of arguing with her and telling her what I really thought, I went to a website that listed remedies for menopausal symptoms and sent them to her!

I then received another insulting email and she talked about how now I was insulting all women and humanity. I replied with a simple email that read, "Just P--- off"! That's all it took, she reported me to management and I was again ousted. This all happened in October and my membership was to expire the first of December and I wasn't going to rejoin. On the third of December, I received a notice from that my membership is being canceled AND that they have charged my credit card for another 6 months to the tune of $108.00. I went mini-ballistic! My first reaction was to contact them and explain how unjust this was, but in their email it said that they would not discuss their decision unless by subpoena of a court. So I contacted my credit card company and listened while some woman giggled while I told her the whole story. Today in the mail (and I lied about special courier), their decision came and they decided in my favor! Hooray!!! I won't be joining again!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dr. Donald G. Cunningham of Scottsdale Needs to Retire!

In need of a primary care physician, I contacted my insurance company and asked for them to refer me one of their participating doctors, if only to prescribe Ambien, as at my age sleep is sometimes unattainable. I was given the good doctors contact information and I called to make an appointment which took place in early February this year. I arrived a little early as I knew that I'd have to fill out all of the paperwork and spent about 45 minutes doing so. I was weighed, measured and escorted into a private examination room where I waited another 30 minutes or so. Finally, and I was actually thinking about leaving, this guy enters and introduces himself and that was the only time we made physical contact. He shook my hand. He seated himself about 10 feet away and read through my application asking me to confirm the information. I told him about my heart and kidney situation and he asked if I needed any prescriptions refilled. I told him, just Ambien and he said okay, to wait here. I waited another 15 minutes and again was about to leave and ask WTF, when a man came in and escorted me to the blood letting room, where I was again asked to patiently wait They drew blood and I was asked to pee in a cup and as I was about to leave, I was taken by the arm to another desk where I was to schedule yet another appointment, which is a lot of care for a guy feeling great. I asked why I needed to make another appointment and was told, so that I could get the results of the blood work, like they could be bothered to call me, right? That's when I stopped arguing, realizing it was just to generate more revenue for the doctor. I was fully planning on canceling that appointment, but would only be asked to reschedule, so today was that appointment, whew!

I was speaking with an old friend and listening to a rather interesting story when I looked up at the clock and realized I was running late. Begging my exit, I quickly changed clothes and jumped into the car to reach the doctor's office about 5 minutes late. There was not another soul in the waiting room when I sat on their rather worn out chairs, purposely sitting towards the front of the chair to avoid sitting square on the stained part. I was texting with a friend when I was immediately called by the nurse or whoever she was and asked to climb on the scale. That's when she told me I was not allowed to use my phone in their office. I only laughed and continued. I was taken to my private room that was literally freezing by the way and the doctor entered with his head down and looking at what I assumed was my personal file. He looked up and without saying hello, blurted out that I was non-compliant! "Non-compliant, non-compliant, non-complaint"! I asked what he was talking about, naturally and he then screamed at me, yellow slip, yellow slip, yellow slip! As if that meant something to me. About 10 days after my first appointment, when I awakened, there was a voice mail from one of his employees giving me the names of a nephrologist, a cardiologist and a dermatologist. I'm completely satisfied with my current nephrologist and my cardilogist and the dermatologist that he referred me to was a 2 star doctor in the area of patient satisfaction, with many listed complaints! Why would I choose a dermotologist that was 76 years old, that was a proven loser? (I neglected to mention that I had a small cyst in my earlobe that's been there for 40 years or more).So this guy is literally screaming at me that if I'm not going to try to take care of myself and follow up with his doctors, then he's not going to treat me! I yell back that I have an appointment with my cardiologist for 3/14 and I'm in touch with my nephrologist (kidney specialist) on a regular basis. That's when he told me that my BUN was 36 and I'm dying from kidney failure and that since 1/1/15 my insurance company will not allow my current doctors. For some reason, all of my life I was under the impression that doctors are honest and will not lie to a patient, but this monkey changed my opinion on that. That's when he point toward the door and said to get out! I yelled after him that he was an idiot and left. Frankly, he didn't look like much of a fighter! Tomorrow my intention is to report to at least the insurance company. Why should anyone else suffer his wrath?