Sunday, August 31, 2008
It's Sunday and a nice day for a ride in the truck.
We called the kids last night and asked them if they wanted to take a drive to the top of the mountain that is pictured here.
The elevation of Shasta Bally is 6,200 feet. Communication towers are located at the very apex of the mountain. And yes, there's a dirt road to the top that is straight up with only a few cut backs.
We've driven to the top once before. It takes a four wheel drive truck to do it. Boulders, rocks, gullies created by erosion down the middle and sides of the sandy road make for an interesting trip. The grade is so steep that it feels like the truck is going to tip over backwards.
It is soooo very fun.
On our first and last trip up Shasta Bally we reached the summit and felt a sense of achievement. It had been a tough drive up.
As we stepped out of the truck to enjoy the view at 6,200 feet the wife said:
Wifey: You have a flat tire.
Me: Get out of town! No way do I have a flat tire. How could that happen?
Wifey: You have a flat tire, passenger side, front wheel. Shit happens.
Me after coming around to look: Yow! A flat tire. How did that happen?
How it happened . . . there are several pieces of rebar sticking out of the ground at the summit. I managed to run over the one that was point in our direction. The passenger front tire hit it head on punching a major hole in the tire. There was no limping back down the hill on a halfway inflated tire. The tire was completely flat. There was no going anywhere on a tire like that.
AAA was definitely not going to drive up the mountain. I don't think they would have made it anyway. The truck was new and I had never had the opportunity to change a tire on it.
I went to the rear of the truck to lower the spare under the truck's bed. There was no bolt to unscrew to lower the tire. Shit. How do I get the spare down?
So here we are, the only people at the top of this mountain and no clue on how to change a dam tire!
Ah, ha! Light bulb goes on. Thank gawd for cell phones. I call the Ford dealership.
Me: Hello Gary? This is Bob. Do you remember me . . . I bought a truck from you last March.
Gary: Yeah, I remember. Hi Bob.
Me: You're not going to believe this. We're at the top of a 6,200 foot mountain with a flat tire and have no clue on how to lower the spare tire. I can't find any information on how to lower it in the owner's manual.
Gary: There's a long rod clamped in the engine compartment. Get the long rod, insert the end into the rear bumper and crank the spare down.
Me: That's all there is to it?
Gary: That's it, bud.
Me with a very red face and feeling less than macho: Thanks Gary.
I sold the Ford a while back and now I own a Dodge truck and have no clue on how to lower the spare. Deja Vu! But this time I will be watching for rebar sticking out of the ground.
Pictures and more on our climb up the mountain today will be posted tomorrow.
Hopefully there will not be pictures of Bob changing a tire on the truck.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Our town has a farmer's market on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
You've heard about slow food . . . eating what's grown locally. We've doing a lot of slow food which in the summer is easy when there's so many opportunities to to visit the farmer's market.
On Saturday the farmers bring their fruit and vegetables to the parking lot by City Hall. Two rows of tents, walk down the middle and buy-'em-up.
A bell brings at 7:30 a.m. which means it's time for the farmers to begin selling what they've brought to market. Any farmer selling before 7:30 a.m. gets in big trouble with the rest of the farmers.
The City Hal parking lot is also next to the town library and a communication tower with so much electronic communications stuff on it that you just know that you're being nuked while you shop. Kind of defeats the purpose of trying to be a healthy eater.
We're on a heritage or heirloom tomato kick. If you've not tried one of these tomatoes, one that's been grown right, you're missing out on what all tomatoes used to taste like back in the day. They are sooooo good.
They look kind of gnarly but don't let that stop you from buying them. Looks can be deceiving.
Apart from putting these tomatoes on salads and pizza here's what else we've been doing with them:
Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad Recipe
Heirloom tomatoes sliced
Fresh basil, leaves carefully chopped as not to bruise
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Assemble the salad with slices of tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella slices. Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil over the salad. Add a dash of Balsamic vinegar and a very light sprinkling of salt and pepper. For a completely different flavor, you can substitute the mozzarella with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.
Ohhhhhhhh so very good.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
A good friend in the teaching profession tutored Gracie for several weeks over the summer. The goal was to give Grace a "leg up" on starting first grade by refreshing reading skills that got a bit rusty.
Here's Grace with Miss Linda, her tutor.
Letter and vowel sounds, Dolch word lists, handwriting, letter & word games, reading short, reading three letter word stories, writing stories . . . that's what Miss Linda and Grace did together.
A November child, Grace is young for the grade she's assigned to. She's still five years of age when most of her peers are six. It's important to give her any help needed to keep up with the rest of the class.
Compare Grace to a boy born in November and you'll see why that developmentally the females are far more advanced that boys of the same age. It's interesting to observed. Socially, verbally, coordination . . . you'd never guess this girl was five. Now reading can be added to the list of what Grace does well all due to Miss Linda. It took that little jump start to get our girl headed in the first grade direction.
Wifey and Grace wanted to make something special for Miss Linda as their appreciation for a job well done.
Here you see what started out to be a stepping stone but ended up as as decoration for Miss Linda's garden. There were just too many objects set into concrete that would have broken if stepped on.
Miss Linda and Gracie are pictured celebrating the last day of summer tutoring. We're celebrating that our grandchild is off to a great educational beginning.
THANK YOU MISS LINDA!
We'll see you next summer for more tutoring.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Wife: You need to blow off some stress and learn how to relax. How about you sign up for a yoga class? It will do you wonders.
Me: What will do me wonders is a stronger dollar, a high volume stock market, a boost in our economy, and the election of a President who knows his ass from a hole in the ground.
Wife: In the meantime, think ommmmmm.... yoga is for you. Here's the address of a place who has yoga classes.
I took yoga in college for two semesters. It was an easy 6 units, began at 7 in the morning and started the day off right. So what the hell, I thought. Why not check this place out.
I walk in the door of the House of Yoga and was greeted by a nice guy. We chatted and then he asked if I'd like to check out the yoga room. I did. Here's what I found. All guys. Butt naked. Nary a woman to be seen.
Butt naked yoga with ladies would have been most appealing. Butt naked yoga with a mix of ladies and guys would have been just fine. Am I homophobic? Shit, how do I know. I just like to be around naked women more than naked guys.
Guy at the Door: How about a steam bath and a massage before you go?
Me: Gotta run. Bye!
P.S.: THIS IS POST 701. TWO YEARS OF BLOGGING BOB IS STILL AT IT!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The first Christmas tree of the holiday season was spotted last week in the Cow Town mall. Can you believe that? Damn, it's still August and already the retailers are thinking Christmas.
Did you know that some retailers haul in 2/3 of their gross income during the holiday season? Toys R Us is one of them.
There are some people (that would be you, Joanie), who would enjoy this season year 'round if they could get away from it and their spouses didn't divorce them. Twelve months of the year their homes would be lit with Christmas lights and displays. Christmas music would be the order of every day. On the 25th of each month there would be presents, Christmas dinner and midnight church services.
Christmas is a time for the celebration of the birth of Christ, peace on earth, goodwill towards all men (you too, ladies) and the spirit of giving.
I've always contended that the Christmas spirit is a state of mind which if practiced would give you - and others around you - the gift of love, peace and goodwill in your heart, mind, body and soul 365 days a year.
Ho! Ho! Ho!!!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
When I was a kid Sunday was the day that the "funnies" were in the newspaper. At the time I was a half way decent reader and could read most of of what printed in the little boxes.
What put the Sunday funny frosting on the cake was a radio program. It came on around 7 or 8 every Sunday morning. Someone would read each cartoon strip and comment on its contents. If you didn't get "it" he would make certain that you did via an explanation.
It was a good way to get kids to become interested in reading the news if only the comic strip every Sunday.
Dagwood, Dick Tracy, Superman, Donald Duck - all first loved comic strips. Later on I grew to like "Odd Bokins". Really loved the Far Side. There were several other off beat, one panel cartoon strips that were favorites that I read regularly whose names escape me.
One by one they were picked off and no longer a part of not only the newspaper but also no longer a part of my everyday life. Peanuts became reruns. Been there, saw most of "that". Doonesbury - - I started to hate his message and stopped reading it. They'll Do it Every time went somewhere . . . maybe into cartoon outer space. For Better or Worse - when the comic strip kids grew up I lost interest here - For Better or Worse got boring. When the last favorite comic strip went . . . it must have been the Far Side, I stopped reading the newspaper cartoons altogether.
I did purchase the Complete Far Side volume one and two for a pretty penny. They make for amusement on a rainy Sunday.
When I stopped reading the comic strips in the newspaper I I lost a little bit of my sense of humor. Hmm.
They say lots of laughs a day keeps the doctor away.
I think it is time to get back into reading the comics again.
The two pictures were taken at the local arboretum. They have several ponds that trickle water into them in interesting and varying ways.
It's relaxing to sit by one and listen to the water flow. Might be a good place to sit and read the Sunday comics.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
A man calling for change selects a man with plugs in his head who's a card carrying member of the good old boy club.
How does that work?
Does that make sense to you?
I am beginning to wonder about Obama's decision making skills and the ability to think on higher levels. Was this decision made with his constituents in mind or one to buy votes and the honor of the Democratic party?
I am dumbfounded.
I can hardly wait to watch Saturday Night Live tonight. They'll have a field day with this one.
Wifey: Either sing on key or quit singing. It's driving me nuts.
Me: But I like singing Shaft and Happiness is a Warm Gun (yes it is). They go with my mood. And I'm singing on key, thank you very much.
Wifey: Mood? You mean the crazy mood you always seem to be in when you're not working? Ahhh, the bulge under your t-shirt isn't the 40 cal, is it? If it is lose that damn thing to the gun safe.
Me: It is and I gotta protect the family from a home invasion. You never know about these things. Thugs kick in the door and by then it's too late to get the 40 out of the gun safe. Like a Boy Scout, it pays to be prepared.
Wifey: The only home invasion we'll have is from those pesky sugar ants that keep invading the kitchen. And the only thing you'll shoot is your Johnson off because you always fidget with that damn gun with the safety off. Go ahead, want to be without a pecker? Keep carrying that freaking gun around the house like you're Shaft or Dirty Harry and that's bound to happen before any home invasion will. You'll have to change the name of your blog to What About Peckerless Bob.
Me: I guess if I shot off my unit it would be the perfect time for that sex change. We could be girl friends.
Wifey: You are truly nuts, Bob. I don't know why I put up with this shit.
And that's how out this Saturday started out.
Next stop: Making pizza on Saturday night - PIZZA NIGHT! - twirling pizza in one hand, twirling the 40 caliber semi auto in the other. I love doing two things at a time: Exercising my Constitutional Right to bear arms and pissing the wife off.
It's always fun being Bob.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Every weekday the wife or I walk down the street and around the corner to meet Gracie at her bus stop. Like clockwork the bus arrives at 2:16 p.m., Gracie jumps off the bus and greets us with a smile and the story of the day.
Here's the around the corner thing with Gracie skipping to catch up to Grammy.
She's carrying her backpack with wheels on it. A simple backpack wasn't enough as it had to have wheels and Gracie just had to have it for the first day of school. Since we bought most if not all of her school clothes this year we figured what the hell, we might as well go all the way. Besides the wheels the backpack also had to have all of the Disney princesses on it and it does. If we don't spoil the kid who will? Somebody has to do it.
Now here's a picture. It reminds me of the geese I often see crossing the road. Head goose in front. Little goose takes up the rear.
I'm using the maximum zoom on the camera's telephoto lens to capture these moments. If they're a bit fuzzy you'll know why.
Wifey's dad used to tell her that she talked too much. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Here's Gracie bending the wife's ear on the day's events in first grade. Like her grammy, Gracie is a talker. Together the two can talk up a storm. And they usually do.
Gracie and the wife now see of me taking pictures. You'll need to click on this picture to catch their expression.
Meeting the grandchild at the bus stop is an everyday thing but oh how precious it is.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The summer Olympics have been great to watch. Did you see the USA kick major Chinese ass in beach volleyball last night? That was a righteous win especially since the Chinese tried to cheat a little bit there in the end . . . taking a fake medical time out as an attempt to slow down the American freight train that was coming right at 'em.
Olympic diving competition is just okay. It's like watching the grass grow. What Olympic diving competition lacks is the WHOA! factor which can only be had by a decent cannonball dive into a pool of water.
Big splash that goes all over the place.
Gets: WHOA! Whatta freaking dive!!!
You'll never get that response in your local tavern from what's currently being served up prissy Olympic style. It takes a well executed, decent cannonball to get the attention of those saddled up to the bar.
Cannonball diving competition would not take a lot of training. You either got it of you don't. Having a big ass helps. A big ass ass makes for a . . . let me see now, there's an Olympic term for this - - - oh yeah, it makes for a better entry into the water and gets everyone sitting on the sidelines soaking wet.
If we write the Olympic Committee and suggest a cannonball competition perhaps we'll see that at the next competition in four years.
Don't you think that would be soooo over the top?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Yesterday morning was perfect for a walk in the town's arboretum. Cool air, an exception for Cow Town in August. No other walkers in sight was a delight. All we had to be wary of were rattlesnakes. Yes, there's all around the arboretum.
Here's a display of flowers that decorate the entrance to the arboretum.
In the middle of our walk we encountered this display.
Betcha never heard of Penjing. Now you know.
There are about a dozen or so displays just like this as example of the art of Penjing.
It was a long walk. When we arrived home the dogs had to do what dogs do best: Crap out after a morning of walking and running.
As you can see Zoe completely crapped out.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Yesterday I needed sustenance, something that could not be found in the cupboards. Sushi I thought?
Get in the truck and drive to the market to get sushi. In the midst of the drive I thought, "Hey, it's Monday. Most likely I'll be served fish that have sat around since Thursday or Friday."
Sushi would wait until later this week so in its place it was Burger King - a Whopper without mayo, no fries (BK still uses transfats) and a diet coke.
I get the receipt and glance at it. Whopper, no mayo. Yup. Senior Coke? What the hell is a Senior Coke. I didn't order anything Mexican?
Me: I just ordered a diet Coke. You charged me for a Senior Coke. I just want my diet Coke and not a Mexican Coke.
Hussy at the Register: You're getting a diet Coke and there's nothing Mexican about it. I gave you a senior discount, Senor`.
DAM! I've been profiled again. You know about racially profiling. Now there's SENIOR PROFILING! There has to be a law!
I hate being categorized being a senior when I don't feel senior, don't really look senior, I don't senior fart in public, don't stink like a senior and I don't think that I act senior. Contrary to what I think evidently Bob fits one of the senior profiling traits.
There just has to be a law against Senior Profiling!
Yesterday was the first day of school. Wifey was at an eye appointment so I was given the charge of walking to the bus stop to pick up our Gracie after her first day in first grade.
Here she is getting off of the bus having been safely delivered by Mr. Cliff.
She's one happy camper. Grace has a great teacher, is in a class with a lot of her friends AND she's one of the three females in a class of 15 boys! No wonder Grace has that "got the world by the tail" grin as she gets off of the bus.
They learn early, don't they?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday night is always pizza night at our house. Need I say more?
Sometimes it's take out pizza. Then there's frozen pizza (yuck!). Make your own pizza can be had in two ways: Ready made crust or from scratch beat 'em up in the Kitchen Aide then roll 'em out.
Saturday seemed right to roll 'em out so I did. It was a Bob special: sauce, fresh basil, anchovies, pepperoni, sliced red/yellow/green peppers, sliced tomatoes and cheese.
Corn meal is used on the metal surface so that this baby slides off nice and easy.
When it's like 112 outside why heat the house up by cooking pizza in the oven? So it's outside on the barbecue right on the pizza stone. Corn meal is applied generously to the stone to help get off of it.
Obviously this damn thing wasn't centered on the barbecue. One side was crispy black and the other just right. Gotta work on that balance thing.
Wifey's pizza is always different. Allergic to gluten she goes with already made rice crusts. Unlike what Bob prepares, Wifey's pizza are close to looking like a work of art.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
This was the last week of summer vacation for Cow Town's kids. School begins on Monday.
Here's Grace on our back patio doing her end of summer dance. She's so very excited to be entering first grade. Grace, thanks to a little summer tutoring, is right on track to start school. For a five year old kid, she's a pretty good reader. My bet is that her first grade year will be an outstanding one.
Cow Town broke a temperature record yesterday with a high of 112 degrees. Why is it that it always gets hot right about the time when school starts?
Remember the sitcom Welcome Back Cotter? He referred to his students as Sweat Hogs. With Cow Towns end of summer heat that pretty much describes what our kids will be looking like come Monday afternoon.
P.S.: Why is it that YouTube posted all the videos all at one time that I had hoped to have posted over the last month? Some go way back to the middle of July or more? What's with you You Tube?
Friday, August 15, 2008
It was one of those Sunday nights - up late, hot outside, a/c running full blast, couldn't sleep, surfing the satellite channels in hopes of finding a film that would bore me to sleep. In the process I stumbled onto the 1990 film Wild at Heart (Nicholas Cage, Laura Dern) playing on one of the MGM/HDTV movie channel.
I like strange. Wild at Heart definitely has strange moments. I mean really strange moments. It was refreshingly strange, my friends.
Why is Elvis playing here? Cage sings this song complete with a really fine impersonation of Elvis during a night of frantic night club dancing. It's a good old Elvis tune, one worth listening to.
If you're bored tonight, check out Wild at Heart but only if you like crazy, sometimes stupid, strange and wild films.
If you read What About Bob regularly, you will probably want to see and will enjoy Wild at Heart.
And that's a fact, Jack!
Bob has opened a day care for kids. I can take up to 100 kids at a time. No problem with supervision. I have everything handled.
See, you get 100 cages like this. Stack 'em up in the garage. Put a few toys in each cage. Hang a big screen TV from the ceiling and tune it to all day cartoons. Charge 25 bucks a day per kid. Net $2,500 every day of the week. Start singing the Hall and Oats tune, "I'm a Rich man. . . . "
Problem with this stupid post is that there are people out there that would do something like this. Wouldn't I love to get my hands on them. You probably would love it, too. Biff! Sock! Vigilante justice needs to return to the Old West. In some ways we'd be better off for it.
In this case here's Gracie who wants to be in Dog Jail. She's locked herself in Zeenie's crate and loves it. It's only a good thing because Gracie did this herself.
No one in their right mind would ever do that to a child.
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