my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."


December 23rd

To all who celebrate this day I wish you a HAPPY FESTIVUS; a holiday for the rest of us, created by Frank Constanza. So, celebrate around the aluminum pole, enjoy the airing of grievances and participate in the feats of strength.

And on a somewhat related topic, if I haven't given anyone reading this a present for the holidays, this is for you.


Random Act of Kindness

Yesterday we witnessed an act of kindness between strangers. We were coming up the highway and I was in the extreme right hand exit lane for the jughandle to go across the highway. A car ahead of us pulled into the large island area of the jughandle, and I wondered aloud where did she think she was going. As we made the turn and waited for the light to cross, I saw her get out of her car and approach an elderly woman who had just crossed the highway pushing a shopping cart. It was obvious they were strangers because the elderly woman was pointing down the road in the direction she was walking. Then the driver took the woman's groceries to her car, and helped the woman over to her car so she could drive her the rest of the way home. What seems amazing to me is that it wasn't after the woman driver had stopped at the light that she made the decision, it was as she was driving and saw the woman crossing up ahead.



Many years ago, probably twenty (I could go back and look in my old check ledgers to find the payment, but because it was before computers it would take me a while), I had a problem with the sewer system in the house. There was a cleanout plug in the basement that was never sealed tightly and when the water began to back up in the main line it came into the cutout in the concrete floor. No damage to anything, but an alert that there was a clog of some sort. At first it would only back up if two toilets flushed at the same time, otherwise there was enough time for the water to trickle by the clog to the street line. But eventually a cleanout by RotoRooter was needed and a small amount of roots were found. Leap ahead twenty years. As I do on an irregular yearly basis, I checked the flow of the line a couple weeks ago by filling up the sinks, then running through the house flushing both toilets and pulling the drain on the sinks and running downstairs to check the flow. There was some backup but not that much, but I knew it would only be a matter of time that someone used too much paper and it clogged more, so I called RotoRooter again. He came out. I ran water for him. He listened. Then he said he didn't see any reason to clean it out because he could hear the water emptying into the main street line. I said, no, I would like it cleaned out anyway. So, he did. During the cleanout I stood there and he said it seemed clear as the motorized snake went in and didn't hesitate at all. I knew that I was doing it for my peace of mind so I didn't care. Then he pulled the snake all the way out and as the shearing end of the snake came out of the cleanout hole I tried to figure out when I had flushed a shirt down the toilet. What came out is what is in the accompanied picture. ROOTS. He was as amazed as I was. It was disgusting. But now I am worry free, at least for a few more years.


At least it wasn't The Tropic of Cancer

With Pat retiring next year it will become necessary to curtail some extravagant expenditures. One of those items will be the purchase of books. In the past I have read on average, about thirty books a year. With an average price of ten dollars a book that is three hundred dollars a year. The solution? Join the library; which I recently did and have just completed reading my first library book. I returned it on time so I wouldn't have to face Bookman.

"Let me tell you something, funny boy... You know that little stamp? The one that says New York Public Library? Well, that may not mean anything to you, but that means a lot to me. One whole helluva lot. Sure, go ahead, laugh if you want to. I've seen your type before -- flashy, making the scene, flaunting convention. Yeah, I know what you're thinking... Why's this guy making such a big stink about old library books? Let me give you a hint, junior. Maybe we can live without libraries, people like you and me.... Maybe. Sure, we're too old to change the world. What about that kid, sitting down, opening a book right now in a branch of the local library and finding pictures of pee-pees and wee-wees in The Cat in the Hat and The Five Chinese Brothers. Doesn't he deserve better? Look, if you think this is about overdue fines and missing books, you'd better think again. This is about that kid's right to read a book without getting his mind warped. Or maybe that turns you on, Seinfeld... Maybe that's how you get your kicks... You and your goodtime buddies... I've got a flash for you, joy boy. Partytime is over."