Happy Saturday morning all:

A two-fer thought for a Saturday morning (which will tie together – I Promise):

“Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?” ~ Steven Wright

“Star Trek characters never go shopping” ~ Doug Coupland

Let me begin by saying that it all began last Tuesday, over a cup of coffee. Now let me sip my morning mug and I’ll get started by telling you how these two morning thoughts tie together.

Marcia was reading our little neighborhood monthly news-update letter over coffee. Waaaay in the back of the long PDF file is a smallish real-estate section listing recent purchases and new listings.

One caught our eye. It was a condo in a building we’d looked at previously. And so, unlike the Star Trek characters, we went shopping. It was sitting empty and it wasn’t difficult to get the lock-box combination. That allowed entry by just us [plus Adrianne for added input, strength, and comfort] – no distractions – no pressure from a hovering agent. We decided that if we did not jump on this property we’d regret it for a long, long time. Wednesday we made an offer and discovered that Fannie Mae holds the property. I just knew that this meant we’d hear something; maybe before the end of the year.

Times are different now. Yesterday we had a counter and by early afternoon our acceptance paperwork and check was in the system. Now what to do? Marcia envisions about a year before our home will make it to market. My thinking is a bit more accelerated. Anyway, little pressure, a great place to head for, and a whole lot of work ahead.

Now I understand why the Star War characters never go shopping – you always come home with more than you bargained for, like, just maybe, another home.

new condo

Pick-up – Own a pick-up truck in the city and you immediately become highly desirable. Not that people see you in a slow-drawling John Wayne kinda light, something they find novel. Not because they think you could look stunning in a Stetson. No, none of that.

You’re desirable simply because you own a truck and they have to move things. Yesterday Jason and his in-laws needed to play musical refrigerators – yup, the 21 cubic foot kind. One moved from Jason’s home to the in-laws, and the in-laws box back to Jason’s place. Actually fairly simple.

However, it’s best that when lifting these things you do it with your knees and legs, not so much with your back. Especially, do not lift with your back while simultaneously twisting to the side. I did feel the twinge. Then a bit more and even a bit more before I dove into the Aleve, Today it’s a bit of a continuation of my Aleve moment, starting by swallowing two as I poured my first coffee. A little later into the morning I’ll see if I can walk it off.

I took the step – Let me back up. Having just mentioned my backache made me think of the fact that I dutifully followed the advice of Marcia and my social service professional daughter, who shall remain unnamed, and hoofed it to the eye doctor. That was last spring and as I expected I walked out with a new eye prescription.

The trick these eye doctors use is they take a moment to put eye drops in and then suggest you head for the waiting area while your vision becomes more and more foggy. The waiting area also happens to be the eye glass store where you’re greeted by a smiling person oohing and ahhing over your ‘new’ look as you try on a frame or two.

No fool, I am, for I had watched the Sixty Minutes segment dealing with the fact that some little Italian, tucked into the mountains, business controls most of eye-glass frame trade world-wide. That also means they control the pricing of said frames. One of the few exceptions happens to be Costco. On the advice of my brothers, Costco it was to be.

A day after we closed up Northern Comfort for its winter hiatus I was at Costco. Same quality frames, reasonably (I think) priced, standard pricing for the lenses, and before I left my order had already been transferred to their Seattle based lab. By the weekend I stepped out proud in my new spectacles. Maybe, at that moment, to those around me at least, I was the spectacle. As Alfred E. Newman was fond to say; “what me worry?”

Fini – This is a major travel week for several family members. Paul is scheduled to close his north woods place. Pieter and Jeanne will jump back over the pond (actually I’ll be over the Pole) as they head home from Amsterdam. Cousin Karin comes back from Africa. And Art and Jolene from the east coast back to the west coast. Art has to be thrilled going home after having experienced a week-long sales meeting. I asked him if he was on the ‘beater’ or the ‘beetie’ side of the table. Let me just say, he might want to stand in the aisle as much as possible on the flight home.

Be safe everyone.

Make it a great week.

From the Archives
Saturday, October 22, 2005

Morning all:

This was a week of halves. Front half was summer with temperatures hovering around a sunny 80. Then came the switch. The skies turned grey and the cold rains came flying through. The daytime temperatures are barely able to cross the 50 mark. Why, this morning I even had to put a little extra heat under the coffee. You just wait. Anytime now Marcia will start whining about turning on the heat. The extra-hot coffee does taste good though.

My walk last night did provide me with some thought. The rains were with us and did not appear to slow down. Finally I realized that poor Shang was in pain and we had no choice but to head out. Twenty minutes later my rain-slicks were covering me from head to toe. Meantime Shang had just kept staring away at the spectacle of me adjusting Velcro fittings around ankles, wrists, and hood. Tail wagging happily we set off. I quickly realized that I was staying dry as a button. Since I was dry and my podcast provided some excellent listening I made the decision to do our regular 2-mile hike.

Skip forward to the homecoming. Marcia jumped into high gear with a large fluffy towel and went to work on Shang. He appreciated this attention so much that he gave a final massive body shake of appreciation, getting rid of any rain water that was still hanging on. Meantime I spent about ten minutes jumping around on one leg than the other trying to free myself of the wet rain gear. So here is my thinking, which was the smarter? Shang, sopping wet, getting a magnificent rub down, or me struggling for a half hour getting in and out of wet nylon. Should you read a Madison Wisconsin style newspaper article headlined: “nude man spotted walking dog”; I think you’ll understand completely. By the way, I mentioned Madison since most of these little nutty cuckoo news articles always seem to originate there. No offense Madisonites.

Remember a popular book from a decade or so ago called Passages? It delineated the various major life-passage points. Ours recent events were becoming empty nesters and then grandparents. Both of these Marcia and I handled exceedingly well. However, lately we’ve witnessed a spade of these crossing—60 birthdays.

With Wilma settled over Cancun I can only imagine what the place will look like, especially with fresh memories of what it was after just visiting there a few months ago. I talked with brother George a couple of days ago. He was just leaving his home in Naples, well ahead of Wilma, and was heading for New York City where he’d join Sandy for the weekend. One less concern for the rest of the family. For those of you who listen to his politically incorrect banter via streaming audio not to worry, today his radio show will originate from Washington DC rather than Naples—yes, you’ll still be able to listen to his talk about the “towel-head” neighbors.

Now, one more cup of coffee. By then Marcia will be up and the push to go to one of the big box club stores will be on. Every time she reads about another hurricane it’s a trek to one of these stores to stock the pantry with another six months supply of everything. By the way, exactly how do you lash one of those 50 rolls of toilet paper shrink wrapped bundles to the car trunk?

One last bit. Adrianne has made plans to spend Christmas at home and will be here December 13th. We are all thrilled!

Make it a great week.

10/22/2005 07:20:00 AM

One Response to “Shopping — something new and something old”
  1. Pieter Says:

    Great update