Thursday, April 30, 2009

Didn't He Get The Memo??

The CDC has recently released this photo as part of their ongoing campaign to fight the 'SwineFlu'. It does state that the swine flu has originated from, well, swine and then it mutates and humans can become afflicted.
It can be contracted much like a cold or the regular ol' flu. By very close and/or intimate contact, for example touching something an infected person has recently handled, being sneezing on by an afflicted person or from french-kissing a pig.
Please wash your hands..and brush your teeth so's we can all get through this alive.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mother Nature You Vex Me

So yesterday and the days preceding yesterday were super nice here. We hit the 80's and yesterday the mercury crept up on 90. This morning I awoke to find that it had rained overnight (shocker, I know) and the mercury was back down around the 48 degree mark. A drastic drop if I do say so. It is good I guess. I got a lot of yard work done yesterday. Mowing, pulling those f*&%*# dandelions, and trimming up the hedges out front. I even got some outdoor time with CrazyDog once the sun went behind the trees and the temperature dropped. His massive double coat makes even temps in the 60's kinda unbearable for him. We will be having him groomed up soon and that seems to help. But for now, he awakens us every morning with his panting. It's like being awakened by an obscene phone call. He could sleep down in the kitchen where the tile floor is always cool, but he is a pack animal and wants to sleep with us, his pack. He guards us while we sleep and if we have to get up in the night for anything, he will follow us, watch us, and follow us back to bed.
Today there are a few errands to run. CrazyDog needs his nails trimmed. I have a trimmer but I guess I'm not taking enough off. So it will be off the the local PetSmart. A trip to the bank, dry cleaners and the mall for an emergency shoe repair for Mags.

On a different note, I happened to pass a business that was very close to the one I was formerly employed in and noticed they had a sign out front advertising help wanted. I popped in and filled out the application, which only had like 5 questions on it, which I thought was slightly odd, most apps. have more like a page and a half don't they? I started to ask the receptionist but she looked unhappy, like she may be sitting on a cactus, so I rethought my previous thought, filled out my app, gave her a copy of my resume, wished her a good day and left.

Okay, time to hit the road.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Hey there....I'm still amongst the living.  A lot of crazy crap has been going on here. The biggest news is that my father-in-law has had what appears to be a stroke. He spent some time in the hospital and has since been transferred to a rehab/nursing home type set-up. He is weak and sometimes gets very confused. He has aphasia which is when you get your words mixed up. You try to form sentences and the wrong words come out. He is a very smart man and the frustration shows on his face when this happens. He is pretty good about recognizing everyone, although when we first saw him in the hospital he called me "Willy Boy". Someone from way back in his past. Although when i went over Saturday, he recognized me right off. He needs help with his utensils and his right arm, weakened by the stroke, keeps falling by his side and smacking against the wheelchair. This has been very hard on everyone. It is so very hard to see someone you love suffer like this. I got a little shaken when I first saw him in the nursing home. I have only known him for 9 years but I know everything the man has done throughout his life and to see him like this is disheartening. It made me think of my own father when he was dying of cancer. My Dad was a many of many skills and a very hard worker. He enjoyed riding his bicycle and joind a club and did many 'century' rides and he even cycled through the wine country of France. He, like my father-in-law always worked very hard, sometimes working two jobs, to provide for his family and did almost every home-repair that needed doing himself. When the cancer hit him the hardest, he was bedridden and helpless. 
I'm hoping my FIL makes a quick recovery and come home to his own home soon. It will be good to see him back in his chair by the fireplace.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Sham Continues

Okay so I've written about the trouble Mags has been having getting Monumental Insurance to make good on their policy. They are simply refusing to honor their product. Our Doctors office sent all the information over via fax last week ( they actually sent it three times but Monumental, ahem, "never got it") and Mags thought she was all set. She came home from work last night and decided to call them to make sure they did indeed have all the info they needed. Again, her chained was jerked. The rep whom she got on the phone told her that now they are contacting doctors she saw over 5 years ago to make sure she had no pre-existing conditions which would enable them to get out of paying for this loan. Funny, though, the girl at Freehold Toyota who sold the policy told us they( the insurance company) only went back three years, and it is clearly written on the contract that they go back three years.
The insurance company told Mags that they will contact every doc she has seen for the past five years and when Mags told her what the contract said the rep only said "well it's five years now". Mags then asked for a supervisor and was disconnected. 
She then called Freehold Toyota and was told, again, basically, 'too bad for you'. We were told the financial manager will be calling us today. Right.....
Today I am filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and sending a letter to the local paper. Will anything be done? Hopefully, but I won't hold my breath.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Bits

So yesterday was a busy day here at the Leprechaun Inn. I accomplished even more painting planted a couple more, well..plants and got our 'summer' dishes out. Mags had an appointment and stopped by one of her favourite haunts, 'Home Goods'. Although I'm not a big fan of shopping, I have to say they have some pretty cool stuff sometimes. Mags got a house-warming gift for a coworker, some trivets for Bubs and two very cool bowls. Just ceramic cereal bowls but the color is spot on the the color of our kitchen...again..Marth Stewart junior here....
I cleaned up our patio table and we enjoyed our lunch al fresco, enjoying the beautiful weather. It was in the 70's with a nice breeze. freakin' perfect! Tomorrow it will, of course, rain. And Tuesday. Natch.

Mags went back to work after a long stay-at-home to get her meds straightened out. She was filled with anxiety because at her job they change the routine like who knows what and she would have some 'catching up' to do. I told her to relax as she is a very good employee and she is sharp as a tack (or as we who grew up in Rhode Island say "my girls wicked smaaahht"). Needless to say, her three days back included some training and it all went well. 

I'm still hoping to get something soon. I enjoyed the first couple of weeks off. The pets were exceptionally happy to have someone home during the day. Chainsaw would have preferred it be Mags I think but the dog was tickled because we spend a lot of time in the yard playing. He is my little shadow.Hopefully the job market picks up soon..

Today I think we'll both just relax. Maybe get a nice little lunch out.  Enjoy your day all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Home Cookin'....or Spank You Very Much

Home cooking is a sports euphemism used to describe a successful win on your home ice (field, pitch..whatever). Generally, used when a team is red hot and a butt-whooping is applied. On Wednesday, the Devils were all in the kitchen and the stove was cranked up. Way up. The boys in Red who had lost 6 of their last 10 in the regular season looked like the Devils of old. The Devs from late February...they were firing on all cylinders and opened up their playoff run with an impressive 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The 'Canes are no slouches and have a great team but looked out of place on the ice with the Devs. The boys played mostly seamless hockey. Controlling the puck for most of the game and were at one point peppering the Canes goalie for what seemed like fifteen minutes, but I have been known to exaggerate once in awhile.
The boys looked sharp and are back in action tonight. In just a few minutes actually.
Good luck guys!

Staying Busy

I woke up early yesterday with the intention of getting a lot done around here. I started the day by heading to the market for some groceries. The across the way to the bank. Then, I crossed route 9 and went to Lowes. Then I popped into Starbucks for one of their Artisan bacon breakfast sandwiches and a cup of tea. I had the intention of eating said sandwich once home, but the sandwich whispered to me....'eat me eeeaaatt meeee..' So I gave in and ate it. It was gone two miles form home. Yummy anyways.
It finally stopped raining and I was able to mow and trim the grass that I have remaining. I then filled the bird-feeder which those bastard squirrels keep emptying onto the ground, weeded the flower bed that runs along the length of our house and planted some bulbs in said garden. Whew. Oh and got some flowers planted in the shed window box.
Dinner last night was the final slow-cooker recipe of the year. Just threw some chicken thighs into the pot with some carrots and potatoes and some cream of mushroom soup and some spices. It wasn't bad but I was disappointed. It looked much tastier than it was.
We got caught up on the first two new episodes of Rescue Me. Good stuff. You should check it out.
Today will be more painting. Touching up the windowsills that CrazyDog has scuffed up by leaping up onto them so's he can see out the windows and bark at potential intruders.
Time to get crackin'.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

and now...the Guestroom

So the day before yesterday, when I did not get a job with Netflix, we had a nice lunch at our local Longhorn steak house. The lunch menu is pretty good and the prices are hard to beat for the quality of food you will get. We  then went to our local Wal-Mart and picked up a few things, including a gallon of paint, 95% was applied to our guestroom walls, the other 5% found it's way onto the drop cloth or myself. 
The paint was a very basic color. I think it was called Shea Butter. I took my time and worked somewhat productively until lunch, when Mags whipped up some chicken salad sandwiches. After lunch came the hard part. Moving the giant Armoir. It was loaded with clothes and various objects we had no room for anywhere else and it actually took both of us to get it moved three feet. Just enough that I could squeeze in and get the walls around it. More huffing and puffing and we got said object of furniture back into place and I was headed for the home-stretch. The final wall. I was really worried about not having enough paint, but I did just make it. I snapped this pic just so you could get an idea of the color. Mags did all the decorating so I cannot take any credit for that. If it were up to me to decorate a room, I would paint it a nice color of pale green or blue and it would contain exactly three things. A flat-screen TV to watch hockey on, a fridge containing beer and snacks-that-go-with-beer, cheese crackers and the such, and a very over sized chair.  So, there you have it.
It is raining again here in Joisey. I think it has been raining since, lets see...February. I generally like the rain. The whole thunder and lightning bit ( odd for a guy with two steel bars screwed to his spine, I know) but it is getting a bit monotonous. I did get out early during a 'break' in the rain and apply my 'weed & feed' to our 'lawn'. We used to have a lawn, a lovely lawn, until Scott's decided it would be a good idea to apply our fertilizer treatment on a day when the temp was near 104 degrees. It just hasn't been the same since. They have, of course, denied any wrong doing. Bastards!
Speaking of bastards, we have again been told by Monumental Insurance that they have not received required forms to process Mags' loan insurance. I think it's time to call the Better Business Bureau. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

So I posted, or I think I did that the movie giant Netflix had called me an wanted to talk to me about a position in their warehouse in a nearby town. I finally touched base with a nice young dude named Joshua and we spoke for about twenty minutes as he asked me about my time at Dumass Shipping Inc., what I had done, how were my interviewing skills. Alas, I had never interviewed anyone as we used temps a lot and they just showed up from the agency. He also asked me to tell him how an average day would be like for me. I ran through my routine and he asked me how I dealt with things like tardiness, problem employees. One thing I told him was that, as a super, I would just set the guys (or girls) up with their job and find other boss-type stuff to do. I'd occasionally pop in and check on the crew. Because really, nobody likes a boss who hangs over your shoulder. I had a few of those and they really make me nutso. He asked me some more stuff and he actually had me on the phone for over 20 minutes but he finally told me that I really didn't have the experience they were looking for for this position. I mean he was a nice guy about it and all and he did, however, tell me he would keep my resume on hand. So I guess that's good. Of course, for all I know he was folding it into a crane and giggling under his breath while he was saying that. I hope not...
So, disappointed, I screamed "mothermuffinberrybaskets!!" or something like that, threw my cell phone out the window and drove over a freshly planted azalea. ( I was trying for the squirrel)
Okay I really didn't do any of that. But I was disappointed. Mags tells me that he had to be somewhat interested to keep me on the phone for 20 minutes.
Today I also repainted our upstairs bathroom. That weird spot to the left is actually a reflection off of Mags Make-up mirror. I don't like that mirror because it shows all my grays in shocking clarity. Man I'm gettin' old fast...
Today the bathroom...tomorrow the guestroom.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Easter

Yes I know. It is supposed to say Hoppy's a play on's supposed to be funny. So today we ventured to church for the first time in some while. What a crowd. All the 'casual Cathos' were there. People were packed  in like sardines and it was literally standing room only. I'm also happy to report that the roof did not fall in on me but I did seem to 'sizzle' a bit when the Holy Water hit me. Ouchy. It was a nice service. Father Ed was on his best Sunday game but I do miss Father O'Connor. He was our priest for some time and he was right from the Sod. He was an older gent and whilst he was very serious about his duties, he was also a very smart and funny guy (Hey. He was Irish after all). Sadly he passed this last year. The church won't be the same without him.
So after being near trampled in our efforts to leave the service, we came home and Mags put together a very tasty dinner. A nice spiral ham (with glaze....yummy) a nice salad and some au gratin 'tatoes. Very nice. Tom, my step-son popped over for a bit to visit and then Dottie my SIL and her daughter Vicki stopped by. 
We just had a grilled-cheese with tomato sandwich for our 'dinner' and will probably veg in front of the TV for a couple of hours before hitting the sack. 
On Friday I received a call from a dude who works at NETFLIX and he found my resume online and was wondering if I was still looking for a job. I returned his call but I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to hear from him. Maybe something there will pan out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Beware Toyota Loan Insurance

Some time ago Mags got herself a new set of wheels. We did the paperwork, got all our info together and when we were in the loan office, she was offered 'loan insurance'. The young gal handling this told us the following...and I quote.... "the insurance will be good if you lose your job, get sick and have to go on disability or any other instance where you cannot pay your loan. The insurance will make your monthly payments for you. It even pays off the loan in case of you croak before you pay off the car loan."
It will be, after all is said and done about 800 bucks. A little bit is added to each months payment and really, what a deal right? Ummm think carefully before you decide to take this insurance. Here's why......
Mags is out of work and when she contacted the 'insurance' company, they told her they would send her the forms necessary and she would fill them out, her Doctor would fill some out and they would take care of it. She had 45 days to do this or they could refuse to pay said car payments. Well all the forms were filled out next day and faxed over. By her doctor. We receive a letter in the mail with a new set of the forms we already sent them and a note saying they never received said forms. So again, we have to drive over to the doctors office and have them fax them. A week or so later we get another set of the very same forms we have faxed. Twice. This is getting old.We have gotten this letter 4 times. It is obvious they are just trying to weasel out of paying this loan.
Mags is beside herself and places a call to the doctors office and we are assured that the forms were indeed sent two weeks ago. Our doctors office staff is very competent (thanks Lindy and co.) and are right on top of this situation. Mags has saved a copy of the forms and gets on the phone with Scammy McScammer over at Monumental (monumental pain in the arse more like it) Insurance and is told there is no sign of the form(s). Mags tells her she will fax them right now, as we have the three copies of the forms they have somewhere in the crack-den they call an office.
Now the best part.....
Mags asks the Customer Service Rep when she should expect a check. The CSR says "a check for what?"
Mags : "To pay my car loan.."
CRS: "Oh you don't get the money. We send it directly to Toyota and it is applied to the end of the car loan."
Mags: " But that's not what I was told. I was told the insurance would make the payments for me while I was out of work."
CSR: "We will send the money directly to Toyota towards your loan."
Mags: "So what about my monthly payments?"CSR: "That's your responsibility."
Mags: "But this is why I took the loan. I was told if I were out of work, you would make the payments for me."
CSR: "Well, that's not how it works."
Unbelievable right? Worse yet, Mags called the Toyota dealership where the car was purchased (and between her and her family, over 10 Toyota's have been purchased) and the head of the department told her basically "too bad for you" and we got zero results there. She told him that the insurance was sold under false pretenses but he really could not have cared less. So a warning if you plan to buy a car from these guys. They are on route 9 south in Freehold NJ. DO NOT take this 'insurance'. Unless of course you think you'd be fond of getting your chain pulled, ripped off, and developing a bleeding ulcer.
My Thyroid blood tests were normal but I still need to see a doc about the nodules on my thyroid. Next week I guess.
In my last entry I ranted about how I could more easily get a job and/or make more money if I spoke Spanish. Maybe I should not have said Spanish. The entry wasn't directed at Spanish folks . I like Spanish people. I liked the Asian folks, the Africans, the Chinese, etc etc. We hired lots of diverse peeps at my last job. What I should have said was simply ' if I spoke a foreign language'. I apologise if I hurt/offended anyone or gave them the wrong idea. My second favorite Southerner Jud commented asking me if I would feel the same if the job required me to speak German or French, and I'm sorry but yes I would. It vexes me that as an American, it is increasingly difficult to find a job in America because I speak the national language. The times they are a changin' I 'spose.....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

So due to nothing else but laziness and lack of excitement, I haven't posted in 6 days or so.
I have been doing a lot of work in the yard and reading at night. I went to our local library and picked up a book by my favorite author Howard Frank Mosher. The latest book I just read was called "On Kingdom Mountain." All Howards books are set in Northern Vermont in 'the Kingdom'.
He is a great writer, even often compared to Mark Twain. His books are fun to read as the characters are all real 'characters'. You should check him out. All of you. Now.
I also attended another 'job-fair' today. It was much closer to home than the last one, but much the same result. People looking to hire professionals. I am getting frustrated. I did get a call from a temp agency and offered me a job, but the hours were kinda wacky and I didn't ask the agent who called me any questions. I was at the hospital having an ultrasound when he called so I was on the road and I told him I'd call him back. When I got home I told Mags the good news. She said there were some things I should find out before jumping for the job. So I called his office and he was of course, not there. I left a message but he never called back. He did this morning and apparently, the job I wanted had been, in less than 24 hours, given to someone else. He did offer me another job, with slightly wackier hours, to be a 'lead person'. The pay was still less than what I was making at my other job and close to what I'm making on unemployment. Very frustrating. More frustrating is this. If I spoke Spanish, I could make more. 
Look, I'm not prejudice, I like everyone and this may sound harsh...forgive me..don't call the ACLU, but why should I, as an American, have to learn a foreign language to make more money or even get a job in my own country?
Apparently, above mentioned Ultrasound showed 'nodules' on my Thyroid. What this means yet is any ones guess. I have to have a blood test done and see an Endocrinologist. Hopefully there is nothing to get worked up about, but given family history I'll be cautious and do the tests.
Saddened by the shocking suicide of Dr Kutner on my fave TV show 'House'. Apparently Kal Penn is leaving the show to go work with 'B' in the White house. Pretty impressive, but we will miss you Kutner.
I guess that's all...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good News and Yard Work

First the good news. We  have received the results of Mags CT Scan and whatever was spotted on the x-ray is not showing on the CT Scan. So this has made us both very happy. Although she still has a nasty cough and is, still married to me. So keep her in your prayers. 

So last night I had one of my Restless Leg nights and apparently I really pummeled Mags in my sleep. I feel very bad when I do this but I really cannot control it and I'm (mostly) unaware of it.
She had been having a lot of pain in her chest/side and when she finally got into a comfortable position, I kicked her like a Mick kicks a Prot. Twice. On the third kick she leapt out of bed and told me that tonight I was going to be hog-tied. 
So I decided to take CrazyDog into the yard and entertain him so Mags could rest. This dog is a full-time job in himself I tell you. I stayed in the yard for about 45 minutes kicking his little soccer ball and when he started to conk out I headed out into the back of the property to try and clear some brush. See, my property abuts a Conservation easement. Awesome in all aspects including the fact that nobody can ever build behind us. Well, that's what we are told. New Jersey is so corrupt and sneaky that who knows? Up the road the government may just say "Screw the woodland creatures. Let's build!"
Behind my shed our property goes back about another 30 feet but it is overgrown with those sticker bushes and they are thick. So I spent the majority of the day hacking away at them with a pair of Fiskar shrub shears. Lots of work. Then I tried to rake the remnants into my growing compost heap. After about three hours I sat in my Zen Garden and watched the birds at the feeder. The little ones are pretty brave and come really close. This is an older pick of our Zen Garden. I've trimmed away quite a bit more of the stickers.
 I then drove to our local Home Depot for some top soil and filled in the dead spots created by a certain dog whose name will go unmentioned.
 Long story short, it will be a Vicodin night. Yeah me. At least I'll sleep...hopefully

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can The Woman Get A Break??

So Mags is still down and out and her doctor (at Mag's insistence) finally sent her for a chest xray. We drive to Freehold Radiology and we are taken in almost immediately. I am sitting waiting when the nurse comes out and calls my last name. I'm sitting for a second thinking 'that's weird another person with that name here at the same time.' She calls it again and I realize 'Duh! She's talking to you dummy.' I jump up and walk over "Is everything okay?" I ask. "Come with me," replies nurse Betty. I start to worry a bit. "What is wrong?" She points me into the room and says "she has a bad nosebleed." Okay. But if it were that bad, wouldn't you get a nurse and not her husband?..but that's just me making sense again.
I walk in and sure enough, Mags has blood flowing out of her nose. This was the third big nosebleed in as many days and it concerned both of us. Since she is on a blood-thinner, the blood flowed freely. Nose bleed contained we headed home and Mags crashed into the chair. She, at this point, is wiped out. I don't know where I was but the Radiology Office called just about 3 hours after we got home and told Mags that they found 'nodule' in her left lung and should have it Cat Scanned immediately. Super. Given Mags history of cancer she immediately thought the worse. I tried to tell her not to rush to any conclusions until we know the facts. We are going today for the CT Scan and we are both hoping for the best.
On top of all this she is dealing with a insurance company that is supposed to be paying her car payments while she is unemployed. That's a whole 'nother entry in itself, believe me. They have been dogging her every step of the way and still have yet to make a payment for her. 
On top of all that she is married to me...God help her.