A Few of My Favorite Things, and Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

favorite-things

 

Most of my favorite things, I’ve found, are in the absence of nasty things.

I like quiet as opposed to blather and noise.

I like being left alone. (usually)

I like it when my head is free of being clogged with snot. (this doesn’t happen often)

I like it when I am not drowning in the snot that constantly drains down the back of my throat. (also doesn’t happen often)

I must be a really simple person when a good day consists of being relatively quiet and snot-free.

Snot_Bubble_Boy

Why is there no cure for snot?

Today’s sort of good news is that I don’t have a fever (opposed to the last two days) but I still feel shitty and, as usual for me, am plagued by gallons of draining snot.  At least my throat is no longer on fire, which is a plus.  I could, however, do without the distinct sensation that someone is driving a rusty spike through my right eye-hole.  Even so, I was well enough to drag my sorry carcass back to work, even though another day of swilling hot tea and attempting to sleep probably would have been better for me.

Bailey’s and coffee would be even better, except I know how that would wreak havoc on my sugar.

baileys-and-hot-coffee

I wish I could….have a few of these!

I could also do without the pompous ass-pilots of the world, but if they were to suddenly disappear from the face of the earth, about half the population of the planet would be missing.

What would happen to all the Corvettes?

2014-corvette-stingray

Corvette owners have a reputation for being, uh, not-so-nice.  I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule.

I’ve never been a huge Corvette fan (I’d rather have a ’69 Karmann Ghia, or a ’69 FJ40 if I could afford collectible cars) but one has to admit, the new one is interesting to look at.  I wouldn’t want the car payment or the insurance premium, but I’m not evil enough to have the that kind of scratch, either.

Perhaps the week would be more interesting if we had “motivational days” that looked like this:

TheWeekNeedsBetterDays-44841

Overall, I’m thankful to be alive and vertical.  Sometimes I don’t sound like it, but overall, I am.  Even considering dealing with ass-pilots and endless snots and everything else annoying.

I've seen better days

Suffer the Old Cougar, Sheena’s Special Needs, and the Things on My Memory Card

I don’t have too many strange little pieces of kitsch lying around, but this is one of them.  I even know where it should have been at one time.

This is a ’69 Cougar.  The emblem, above, that I happened upon in some yard sale crap box, is the same as the one on the LF fender.

I never was a true believer in old Detroit iron.  I’m still a bit of a car snob- I love, but can’t afford and don’t want to deal with the high maintenance on the European stuff, so I am happy with a utilitarian Toyota that is easy to maintain, reliable and efficient and I leave it at that for now.  Unless I come into money and can buy that ’69 FJ40, the ’69 Karmann Ghia and the ’83 GTI I’d like to have to play with.

Even back in the ’80’s when all the other motorheads were into Camaros or Mustangs or (heaven forbid) anything Mopar, I was playing with VW Rabbits and air-cooled VW rail buggies.  However, if you are/were into old muscle cars, the ’69 and ’70 Mercury Cougars were somewhat rare, and are aesthetically very cool.  Mom actually had a ’70 Cougar, with a 351 Windsor no less- the one she sold way too cheap because my cat, LeRoy, decided to take a leak all over the back seat.  As part of the same eliminatory session, LeRoy also left a huge dump right on the driver’s seat.  That’s why you never leave the window down.  Leaving windows down on any unattended car in Ohio is a bad idea for a number of reasons.  First, it can get jacked that way.  Second, it can rain anytime, regardless of what the “forecast” indicates.  Third, outdoor cats may mistake your ride for an upholstered toilet.  No matter what she tried, the piss smell just wouldn’t come out.  LeRoy lived outside because he wasn’t neutered (I was only a little kid and couldn’t afford to get the poor cat’s nuts cut so he could live in the house) and now I know why neutering a tomcat is pretty important if you want him to live inside.  Male cat urine does not ever come out of upholstery.  “Little Trees” don’t help, either.  The dude who bought that old Cougar freely admitted to having no sense of smell. He smelled worse than the interior of the car to begin with, so I understand why he could have cared less. It was a good match.

LeRoy looked like Morris the 9Lives cat, but Dad hates cats, so LeRoy it was, since that’s Dad’s middle name.

LeRoy (in spite of having my Dad’s rather unfortunate middle name- Grandma sure had a sense of humor) was a really cool cat.  He was about Fanny sized- 16#-17#, and I could do anything with him, up to and including putting him in doll clothes and walking him around in a doll stroller.  He actually was a street cat, but he knew where the food was (I did bring him food) and he was one of those twisted big cats that liked little kids picking him up and playing with him.  Leave to me to attract the neighborhood misfits and strays.

Speaking of misfits and strays, we have discovered why Sheena is so difficult and seemingly incorrigible.  On top of all her other issues, Sheena is deaf.

No wonder she doesn’t listen.  She’s deaf as a post.

I don’t know why we didn’t figure it out before.  She follows the other dogs and will usually do what they do- but when there’s no other dog to watch and she can’t see a human, she’s lost. She does not respond to anyone if they’re behind her and she can’t see them. You can’t wake her from sleep unless you touch or shake her- sounds do not wake her up. I had thought she was just an incredibly sound sleeper, but that is not normal dog behavior.  A dog that can hear will be roused from sleep by a loud noise close by.  She is also much more intent on being able to see everything than a normal dog.  Jerry is having a dog trainer come out to evaluate her tonight to see if she might be able to learn sign language since she is so visually focused.  I have found some information that deaf dogs can learn commands in ASL, which would be a good learning experience for the other two dogs also.   In a way I feel bad because we simply thought she was mentally off, but for being deaf and having to navigate that way she compensates amazingly well.  Fortunately she already has some things working to her advantage.  She is able to follow the other dogs and work off their visual cues and body language, which is beneficial for a deaf dog, and in some instances (case in point) a deaf dog living with hearing dogs can cue in on their behavior and adapt so well that no one can tell they’re deaf.  Sheena has no fear of humans and she’s very trusting- probably because she knows that the humans have the food.  I am anxious to see what the trainer has to say when he works with her.

I took this pic whilst getting Jerry’s lottery tickets at the Speedway (gas station) last night.  Getting stoned in a Mom van.  Go figure.

I do find some funky things to photograph.  I wish there had been digital cameras back in the ’80’s.  Then again, maybe not.

The boy can sleep- and drool- anywhere.

Like father, like daughter- they were both napping.

Fanny, Fanny Fat Cat, Vintage VWs, and Pithy Remarks

Fanny’s attempt at making me stay home from work

Fanny has always been a large cat.  Even when I first found her as a kitten beside a rural road out in Fairfield County, Fanny was, shall we say, solid.  When I took her to the Vet to have her checked out and then spayed, the Vet’s comment was “That’s going to be a BIG cat.”  That’s sort of how she got her name- once the Vet had verified she was female.  It is somewhat difficult to discern the gender of young kittens- males don’t have their pee-pee half way up their bellies like dogs, and they don’t grow visible balls until they’re several months old.   I once had a female cat I originally thought was male so (before I was aware of her true gender) I named her “Bill.”   So now I don’t name a kitten until I have the Vet verify the gender.  I had been playing the song “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen, and once it had been determined she was female, the name Fanny just sort of fit.

Our Vet is very familiar with barn cats.  Usually those are the kind of cats that end up as her office cats.  In this area most barn cats are large, silver tabby cats.  One of her office cats- Fat Albert- is almost two of Fanny (male cats are generally larger than females) even though Fanny would be large compared to most male cats.  Apparently if a quasi-feral barn cat is spayed or neutered, taken inside, treated to a temperature controlled environment free of most predators, and fed a decent quality catfood, they grow very large.

The odd thing about Fanny’s size is that while she is over 15# which is too fat (and yes, I have to try to do something about that) she is also large-framed, so at least the fat is sort of spread out.  Fluffy-Butt (or FB as our tortoise-shell Angora is usually called) is about seven pounds and is a “normal sized” cat.  She eats more than Fanny.  Isabel, who is elderly, and has always been tiny (right around five pounds) eats more than either Fanny or FB, and I’ve been supplementing her with high-faluting old-cat food and wet food in the mornings to keep her from losing weight (the other cats just get plain old Cat Chow.)

Metabolism is a funky thing.  I wish I had Isabel’s.

I’ve also been somewhat neglectful in sharing pics from last Saturday’s VW show- there were indeed some tasty cars and I took a load of pics (if you are into classic VWs, the share site is here.)   There was one car there that was a dead ringer for the 83 GTI I had once.  I am still kicking myself in the ass for trading off that ride:

I had an ’83.  This is an ’84, which was the identical model.  Black car, blue interior.

Yes, it was for sale, but I don’t have five grand to blow on a car to play with. 😦

The name “Honda Killer” is very much deserved on the first generation GTI, because the cars were heavy (compared to most front wheel drive econoboxes) and geared low, and had the advantage over the Civics of that day because Civics still had carburetors and 1.6 engines.  The GTI had a crude form of electronic ignition- no more distributor points- yay!- as well as the Bosch CIS fuel injection (mechanical, and still required idle adjustments from time to time, but it was a port fuel injection) as well as a larger 1.8 engine with a higher compression ratio than any of the Japanese stuff.

I should have never sold that car.

Anyway, I was delighted at the number of old transporters and split windows at the show.  This particular show is one of the largest in the Midwest- but the Midwest is not particularly kind to the preservation of vintage cars of any type.

Got to love the old Transporters- but you should be a technician if you plan on owning one.

The ’47 was not only rare, but very tastefully restored.

This ’67 Ghia has a very sweet engine compartment.

I would like to have a Karmann Ghia myself. Dad has a very tasty ’69, but he took his ’77 Convertible to this show because the Ghia needs some touch ups on its restoration (it was restored almost 20 years ago.)

It’s pretty much straight stock, except for the paint colors.

Hopefully this weekend will be quiet and peaceful.  It would be nice, but probably won’t happen.   I know I’m already being railroaded into going with Jerry to the campground with two dogs tonight (though Sheena staying at home will be a reason for me to scoot out before he gets too drunk.)  Clara enjoys going to the campground, and she’s easy to handle.  Lilo is easy enough to handle too.  Sheena isn’t bad on a leash, but she doesn’t listen as well as the other two, and she’s not at all compliant with Jerry.  So Sheena will stay home tonight and I will make it to the car and escape, hopefully before he’s shitfaced.

It does bother me that here lately I’ve been at the point where human interaction is wearing on me really heavily.  That’s a warning signal that I need solitude and that I’d better arrange (somehow) to get it.  Last night poor Steve-o, who is rightfully excited about his upcoming opportunities, called to chat and was going on and on for almost an hour.  Usually I enjoy discussion on all things automotive, especially with other motorheads, but even he was wearing on my patience.   I was trying to finish laundry and was in the process of stewing tomatoes- stewing and freezing is how I preserve them so they don’t go to waste- and I’m just at the point where I need to get away from people for a little while.  I’m not nice when I’m crispy around the edges.  I have some new books I’d like to read without being interrupted and all that.

This world is not geared toward the introverted soul who needs a little contemplation and quiet now and again to stay sane.

I’d almost like to arrange a couple of days where I can stay at the campground- during the week when it’s quiet.  Jerry goes down there for the social factor on the weekends, to get wasted and hang out with his friends.  I would go down there so I could turn everything off and keep from interacting with anyone except maybe Clara.

Dogs have them too, but still.  Why can’t they put something in Mountain Dew that will clean the young punks’ teeth instead of rotting them?

A good argument for parallel universes?

It always cracks me up when I observe vegans who own cats.

Cats are obligatory carnivores.

So if you own a cat, you’re feeding it catfood, which has to contain at least some meat.