Sunday, April 22, 2012

Excitement In da 'Hood!

Hmmm...apparently Blogger made good with their threat to switch over to their new format. For many of you, that happened long ago. But for me, I refuse to switch to a new format if the old one is working just fine. Unless they force it on me. We'll see if this is the final nail in my blogging coffin. When FB finally forces the new timeline on me, I might go offline altogether! (I suspect not, but I had to go for the dramatic!)

Excitement in the 'hood last week! At about 10:00 PM, the fire alarm right outside my door went off. As all good alarms do, it made a very nasty racket, but even more so, since it was right by my door. I've learned over the years that when the alarm goes off, there's something wrong, and it's usually not a fire or smoke. So I do nothing. After about 5 minutes, it dawns on me that there's no one in the building who's going to turn the thing off. The couple who managed the building moved out two months ago. So I head outside to see if anyone else made it out there, and to wait for the fire department. After another five minutes, I call 911 because if the fire department was going to come, they'd have been there by now. Sure enough, they knew nothing about the alarm. Apparently, it's not hooked up to their system (wth???). But everyone had to leave the building while we waited.

It's only events like this where I actually see who my neighbors are. And dear Lord, when did this place become White Trash Central??? With the exception of the guy next door (who's about 50), I don't think there was another person above the age of 30 around. In fact, in most cases, if you added the ages of everyone living in an apartment (man, woman, 2 kids), their ages wouldn't combine to even meet mine. And I use the terms "man" and "woman" loosely. I hate to stereotype (oh hell, who am I kidding?), but there wasn't a single male that looked like he had a job higher than asst. mgr at McD's. I don't think any of the mothers had a job (too young), and probably hadn't finished high school. There were at least two sets of parents/kids who looked like they didn't actually pay rent here, as they both came out with two suitcases each and high-tailed it to their cars. I remember the old days, when there weren't more than two or three kids in the entire building. Now they're all over the place!

Anyhoo...the fire department finally shows, and asks where the fire was... Someone in the basement level had apparently burned dinner. So the firemen get the alarm turned off, and the little girl who burned dinner looked like she thought she was going to be arrested or something, and we all finally got to get back into our own places. Still wondering how long all this would have gone on if I hadn't called though...

Finally had some bday beers with my high school buds. The three of us try to get together for each of our birthdays, drink beer, play keno, and catch up with each other. These are the same ladies I've posted about in the past.  And just like those times, I'm not the oldest of the three.  :-)

We sucked at keno, did well at the beer drinking, and pretty good with the catching up.  And I should probably note that both of them are squeezing my butt in this picture!

While I hear that the Northeast might be getting all sorts of snow tonight, we get to look forward to temps in at least the mid-80s. It's about time!

I had an interesting story about Rick Santorum to share, but now that he's out of the race, it seems irrelevant.

Do you ever get sucked into the SyFy Channel when they start showing the ultra-low budget disaster movies? "Alien Tornado". "Stonehenge Apocalypse". "Space Twister". Ad nauseum... Movies that appear to be made by film students working on their senior project. Special effects that, 30 years ago, might have looked pretty good. And the actors are either low-budget disaster movie regulars or someone who used to have a career, but hasn't worked in a decade and needs rent money. Ultimately, some major landmark or building gets destroyed by a rogue asteroid or nasty gust of wind. Last week it was the Space Needle. In general, I like SyFy's programming. But do they have to use this crap as filler??

I think this will be the last of my Pomplamoose video posts. If you've listened to/watched them, you know where to find the rest of them now. I am SO glad I found them! I leave you with a repost of my current favorite...

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm 55, and Still Alive!

So. I'm now 55 years old. Gotta tell doesn't feel a whole lot different! I spent the weekend doing a massive spring cleaning of my back room. It's actually the bigger of the two bedrooms here, but for years it's been the storage room. While I'm not what I'd consider a hoarder, there's just some things that I've hung on to for far too long. It was good to go through the junk and do some reminiscing, then junking most of it. I had every monthly phone bill since the fall of 1979. Don't ask me why. Years worth of bank statements. Various utility bills. Also tossed out a non-functioning electric piano, a broken executive chair, a large TV...and I still don't have room back there! It's still a work in progress, but it's far cleaner than it used to be!
Did the bday dinner with all the family that was in town. Spent about an hour watching a tape that was given to my sister to transfer to DVD. It was a transfer of a 16mm film taken in 1949-1951 of my grandfather and his friends. They started a golf tournament back then which was the first tournament of the season at the country club. Amazingly, it's still going today! Whoever transferred the film to tape added some tasty big band music, and my grandfather added typewritten comments (just like silent movies!). He was smart enough to include the names of the players as they were teeing off, and I was amazed to actually recognize some of them from my childhood memories. But the best part was watching my mom's face every time my grandfather appeared. My grandfather was an incredibly handsome man, and was in his late 30s in these shots--the height of his good looks.

What was the most fun was to watch this group of men as they had their swings saved for posterity. Because this group of guys knew how to party! Prior to heading to the golf course, they met at my grandfather's for breakfast and "Moose Milk". The recipe which is sort of secret--let's just say that it was more booze than milk! Then there was the constant drinking while on the course. Some of these guys obviously had more Moose Milk than others! There wasn't a female to be seen in any of the footage (other than the pin-up girl on the back of one guy's Hawaiian shirt...). Mom, who was a young teenager at the time, told us that on Moose Milk weekend, her mom and sister and herself were to find somewhere else to spend the weekend. All sorts of secrecy involved in the old days! It was good to see that my partying ways of my youth were inherited!
I promised last week to post a list of places that offer discounts for 55+ customers. Couldn't find the original list, but thanks to the power of Google, I found another one. I've whittled it down to the ones that start at 55 (some don't kick in until 60). Some of these aren't found around here, but it's nice to know about!
● Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
● Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
● Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
● Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
● Dunkin’ Donuts: 10% off or free coffee (55+)
● Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
● IHOP: 10% off (55+)
● Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
● KFC: free small drink with any meal (55+)
● Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
● Long John Silver’s: various discounts at participating locations (55+)
● McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
● Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
● Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
● TCBY: 10% off (55+)
● Wendy’s: 10% off (55+)

Retail and Apparel
● Banana Republic: 10% off (50+)
● Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month (50+)
● Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
● Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days (55+)
● Dress Barn: 10% off (55+)
● Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
● Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
● Modell’s Sporting Goods: 10% off
● Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
● Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
● The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off (55+)
● Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+)

● Albertson’s: 10% off first Wednesday of each month (55+)
● American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday (50+)
● Fry’s Supermarket: free Fry’s VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday (55+)
● Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
● Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
● The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday (50+)

● Alamo: up to 25% off for AARP members
●Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
● Best Western: 10% off (55+)
● Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
● Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
● Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
● Hampton Inns & Suites: 10% off when booked 72 hours in advance
● Hertz: up t0 25% off for AARP members
● Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler’s Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
● Myrtle Beach Resort: 10% off (55+)
● National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members
● Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50 and up

Activities & Entertainment
● AMC Theaters: up to 30% off (55+)
● Busch Gardens Tampa: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)
● Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
● Regal Cinemas: 30% off
● Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket (55+)
● SeaWorld Orlando: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)

Cell Phone Discounts
● Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service (50+)

Since many senior discounts are not advertised to the public, our advice to men and women over 55 is to ALWAYS ask a sales associate if that store provides a senior discount. Also, please note that some senior discounts vary by region. That way, you can be sure to get the most bang for your buck.
I'll let you know how this all pans out!
And to end this post, I continue on with more Pomplamoose! In French!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's been a year...

I couldn't really let the day go by without marking this...
Having all sorts of fun with symphony < /sarcasm>. In the span of 10 days, we've lost 3 major staff members without warning. Our executive director, the box office manager, and the money person for the summer concert. Where this most affects me is the summer concert. She and I split the position of project manager, where I took care of the logistical/production end of things, and she did the schmoozing/begging/fundraising/marketing end. I suspect that I'll end up picking up the marketing, but I have a proven record that I don't play well with living human beings. I'm fairly certain, however, that any free time I thought I might have has disappeared until the end of July...
I turn 55 on Sunday. I've had AARP (American Association of Retired Persons, for those not familiar) sending me stuff since I was 48, but I've pretty much ignored it. I think there's an ego thing involved. I wasn't retired. I wasn't old. I certainly don't act old! But now, things are different. When you hit that magic number of "55", all sorts of 'senior' discounts kick in. It was a magnificent list of hidden perks at a wide variety of retail places and restaurants. I'll try to find that list and post it. I think I'm going to embrace this age! At least until my arthritis starts acting up...
Enjoy your Friday the 13th tomorrow. Hope you avoid any bad luck!

Monday, April 09, 2012

It's Birthday Week!!

Not to toot my own horn, but yeah, my bday is coming up on Sunday. Feel free to use that information to my benefit in any way that you'd like!
What a great Masters tournament! After executing the rarest shot in golf (the double eagle) and showing nerves of steel on the greens, I thought Louis Oosthuizen was going to walk away with the win. But Bubba Watson came through on the back nine and forced a playoff, winning on the second hole. I suppose it's about time there was a "Bubba" on the winners trophy! Still, I was rooting for Fred Couples all weekend!

The most enjoyable part of the tournament though was to see Tiger's total and complete meltdown on Friday. He has become an undisputed embarrassment to himself and the PGA. I posted my thoughts in 2009 about Tiger and his place (or not) as a golf legend. His actions on Friday solidified those thoughts...

Keeping with the sports theme...updates on the two football stories with Montana angles (see the post below). Ryan Leaf is sitting in a Great Falls jail, waiting for Montana and Texas authorities to negotiate who gets first dibs on him. He was on probation in TX as he was ransacking medicine cabinets in MT. Then there's Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. Suspended from his duties last week when it came out that he was not alone during his motorcycle accident. A 25-y.o. hot blond was with him, and now his career is in jeopardy. All sorts of investigations going on now. Yeah, the state of Montana is certainly proud...
Thomas Kinkade died last week. I'll admit it. I had to Google him. Not sure why I'd never heard of him, or why everyone made note of it. I mean, geez. He was no Bob Ross!
Easter was spent with family all day, as the nieces were all in town. Only missed S1 and BIL1.2. Brunch at the country club. Watching the Easter egg hunt afterwards (even though we knew so very few of the moms/dads anymore). And finally the traditional Easter turkey dinner (?!?!?) that night. Yeah, N2 decreed that dinner should be a turkey dinner. We've never done that before. So instead of sitting around watching football, it was the Masters. It worked! With the passing of Easter, I spaced out going to the store today to look for half-priced candy. No Peeps for me, thank you. I'm only interested in the Cadbury eggs. Hopefully there's still some around in the morning. The good news...I did treat myself to one or two of them in the weeks beforehand. For something that's on my permanently-given-up-for-Lent list, they sure tasted mighty fine!
Finally, here's your weekly dose of Pomplamoose! Since I'm watching "Armageddon" at the moment, it seemed appropriate...

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Rise and Fall
of Blogging and Nekkidness...
...and other things

The final posting of "...the Other HNT" is up. And with it, ends the last vestiges of the official half-nekkid phenomenon. I say 'official', as there's those who still haven't heard that HNT is no more, or those who think they're continuing it. I know that many of you didn't participate over at OHNT. It started out as innocently (well, maybe not quite) as HNT did. It was a safe, anonymous place to post those "oops" shots that showed a little more than what would work on their own site. That developed into taking one extra shot while doing HNT, with OHNT very much in mind. And after awhile, it grew into an "anything goes" site. To a degree.

Which is why many of you either quit OHNT, or didn't visit anymore. Just a bit too much at times for some of you. And yet, it continued on. But, for many of the reasons that HNT had to retire, OHNT's time had come. Participation had come down to a few core people, and it just wasn't fair to place the burden on them. And as blogging has declined, so has the traffic. Don't get me wrong--there's still more traffic there than most of us have ever had! But the lack of feedback and lack of "new blood", as well as the time consumption on my part indicated the end was near.

And I'm remarkably OK with that. Go check out the last of the OHNTers. There's even one who participated in the very first week, too! Leave some well-deserved thanks while your there, too!
If he was still alive, my dad's father would be celebrating his ??? birthday today.

The Masters started today.
Lots of birthdays to celebrate this month!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Noise, Football, Masters, OHNT and Pomplamoose!

I'm not sure exactly how long I've lived in my apartment (I could look for the paperwork, but it's not important, and I digress...), but it's been at least 15 years. With the exception of the building managers, who live above me, I have the longest tenure here. I'd love to move, but I can't beat the rent. And so I stay. In those 15 plus years, I have enjoyed peace and quiet. Other than the post I wrote in 2005 describing the sounds I have enjoyed...

Well, about two months ago, we got word that the managers were moving out (he had a stroke a couple of years ago, and the stairs are just not manageable anymore). There's now a new family upstairs. With kids. Little kids. That run from one wall to the other. Repeatedly. Loudly. Then there's the one who doesn't run, but in a new level of hell, will cry uninterrupted at 3AM. Until about 4AM. In the crib in the room above my bedroom. Now added to the mix--a family who appears to be split into two different apartments. The kids (four of them, I believe) apparently sleep in the apartment next to mine, while the parents sleep in an apartment downstairs. I suppose some credit should be given that the kids' apartment is always locked. Which means that everytime one of the kids leaves and comes back, they have to knock on the door. But in this case, it's either pounding or kicking the door. Multiple times per hour. Any time of day or night.

At least the neighbors down the hall whose pot smoke permeated the hallways has moved out, and the neighbors who cook bacon almost every day have not, and the rent is cheap...
Lots of off-field football news coming from Montana this week. First, the president of the University of MT fired the head football coach and the athletic director last Thursday. Sending shockwaves throughout the state and country. There's all sorts of speculation as to the reason, because no explanation has been given. The consensus opinion is that leadership needed to be changed, due to the legal problems that the football players have found themselves in. Lots of possibilities, but again, no explanation. Regardless, a sad week for the Griz, and it's bound to affect things for a quite awhile.

Then on Friday, former NFL quarterback and Montana native Ryan Leaf was arrested on burglary charges and drug possession. Leaf was always a cocky kid, and couldn't wait to get out of MT. He went to Washington State and led the Cougars to their first Rose Bowl victory in decades. He then went as the second pick overall in the NFL draft, right behind this other quarterback named Peyton Manning. And then Leaf went downhill from there. Widely accepted as the biggest flop of all NFL drafts, he found himself addicted to prescription pain-killers. He had done OK with rehab. Or so everyone thought... As if things weren't bad enough with his arrest, he got arrested again on Sunday night! That's right. After posting bail on Friday, he promptly went out and got himself arrested again after being caught in someone's house on Sunday afternoon. Stealing their prescription meds. Montanans pretty much turned their back on the guy after he turned his on them, but one can't help but feel a little bit sorry for this waste of space...

On Sunday, the head coach from the University of Arkansas, Bobby Petrino, was involved in a motorcycle accident. No one else was involved, and the injuries aren't life-threatening, and alcohol wasn't a factor. So where does the MT connection come in? He's the little brother of the girl I dated at the end of my senior year in high school. He also dated my sister S2. The star quarterback dating the head cheerleader. Stuff that movies are made of. Anyhoo...
We're now in Holy Week. Maybe even's Masters Week!!! More Masters stuff later, I hope...
Thursday will be the last time OHNT will be posted. It's been a fun six years! We might even have one of the original contributors in this week, too! There's still time for you to join in, if you're interested. Your last chance to show off anonymously!
It's time for Pomplamoose!