Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Ultimate Bundle!

Crazy isn’t it how certain phrases come in and out of fashion.  One that’s driving me nuts right now, and it’s often expressed in corporate emails, someone wants to “reach out to you.”  That just feels creepy to me.  I feel like answering, “You reach out to me one more time and I’ll have you brought up on assault charges.”

Here’s another one that’s been sneaking up on me, but it hit the conscious mind this morning when I opened the Sunday paper.  In the gob of advertising flyers, at least three were trying to sell me a bundle.  There was Best Buy wanting to sell me not just one appliance, but a “MAJOR APPLIANCE BUNDLE.”  Verizon upped the ante by warning me not to miss out on Sony’s “AMAZING BUNDLE.”  But in an apparent effort not to be topped, Direct TV offered “THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE.”  What, are they selling babies?  Of course all of these folks are hoping you’ll forget about the old fashioned use of the word, example: This stuff is going to cost you a BUNDLE. (1)

Back in the 1950’s my dad probably invented the idea of bundling stuff.  But he practiced it from the buyers angle.  Dad was a big “garage sailor,”  and Saturday mornings he’d head out early, with the Classifieds section of the newspaper as his guide and hit as many garage sales as possible.  Wherever he could, he’d bring several items he was interested in to the sales table and ask the owner what kind of a deal he could get if he bought all of them.  We kids had seen this maneuver so often, that we called it “the package deal.”  It got to the point where we’d be extremely disappointed if we couldn’t come home and tell mom about the great deal dad got on that mangle, the side horse and the ping pong table by putting together a fabulous “package deal.” (3)

Getting back to things that feel creepy, how about all those perverts out there?  I think there has been a rather consistent percentage of perverts in the general population since, well, forever.  Case in point.  The Idiotic Brother (no, not him!) he just sent me an email asking if I could remember a pervy experience from our old caddying days.  Jeez man, which one!  The one he was thinking of occurred on “Ladies Day.”  He was caddying for in a foursome of women, when a truck driver pulled his rig over to the side of the road, walked out on the fairway, and exposed himself!  Hey, Jimbo, did one of the women say, “Oh for God’s sake man, you’re gonna need more club than that!”

Just a year or two before that, I had an incident while out on my early morning paper route.  I’d climbed off my bike to deliver a paper, and when I turned around there was a guy standing by my bike.  I walked over and he put his hand on my crotch and said, “Has anyone ever touched you like this before?”  Yeah, right, all the time.  I somehow disengaged myself from this nut, stood up on the pedals and took-off.

I never told my parents about this, but I did confide in the Idiotic Brother.  There had come a point, I’m not sure why, when we had split his old paper route between the two of us.  Anyway, when I told him about the guy who grabbed me he said, “Oh yeah, that guy grabbed me once too!”  Gee, I wonder why he gave me that half of the route.  Can you see why I don’t trust him?

Moving on.  I was having my blood pressure checked by a very personable young lady at the doctor’s office last week.  We were talking weather, and I lamented the long dry spell we had been going through.  She said, “You know, I’m just an old farm girl, but my grand daddy always says, when the leaves turn up, it’s going to rain.  And this morning I saw those leaves were all turned up.”  I thought yeah, uh huh.  It wasn’t more than a couple of hours later that a pretty good rain spread over the area.  But there’s better rain indicators.  The next day I finished waxing the Camry.  Oh yeah, it rained even bigger that afternoon.  But the absolute best rain maker, guaranteed to bring on a real gully washer is when we call Mr. Squeegee like I did today to come out and wash our windows.  This is just fair warning, no matter what the forecast says, it’s going to rain beavers and battleships this Thursday night, mark my words.

Pony News
Just briefly, I continue on the paint work, that left rear wheel and axle housing, nothing exciting.

left rear axle housing 2left rear wheel, inside.2

I did make a purchase, however, that has changed things a lot.  Some of you will remember that I once wrote that one of the places where time seems to stand still is Gene’s garage, where all the Pony work is done.  I said that, because in four years  I can never remember the old clock in there having the right time.  Hell, most of the time it didn’t even run.  Well, check this out.

new garage clock

I’m not so sure whether this was a good idea or not.  It was kind of nice before, not knowing how the hours were slipping by.  Until next time friends, thanks for reading.
(1)  One exception, you can still view “classic” (old) posts of That Idiotic Tractor, bundled FREE at the website:  Remember, even though they’re reruns, if you haven’t read them before, or if you’re over age 65, they’ll be new to you.  Hell, every now and then I read one and can’t even remember writing it!  Choose one, or a bundle by clicking on the highlighted dates on the home page calendar.  It’s a bundle of fun.(2)
(2)  Footnote to the footnote:  This offer good only until such time as the much anticipated book “Classic Posts from That Idiotic Tractor” is published, at which time this website function will be disabled.   Hey, even TIT has a mercenary streak.  Go read ’em, quick!
(3)  For you young folks, a mangle was a fancy, sit-down ironing device that housewives used for pressing shirts, slacks, etc.  Even in the 50’s they weren’t common, but by gum thanks to dad, our mom had one!

Whose Fault Was It?

Here in the good ol’ US of A it isn’t so much what happened anymore, it’s whose fault is it that it did happen.  So, it was in that frame of mind that I began the accident investigation into how the fourth toe on my right foot became broken on Sunday evening.

Here’s what happened.  At approximately 6:00 pm on Sunday I was walking from my chair in the living room into the kitchen.  As I rounded the corner of the kitchen counter I caught my foot on a leg of one of the counter stools, and hit it so hard that I fell to the floor clutching my foot in pain.  The next 24 hours were taken up by a fitful night’s sleep, doctor visits and x-rays.  But this morning, with only the pain to think about and facing 3-4 weeks off of the bicycle, I thought it appropriate to try to get to the bottom of how I got into this predicament.

Now you might be asking yourself, how does my clipping my foot on the leg of a stool become anyone’s fault but my own?  The easy assumption would be to say that the whole thing is due to my own damn clumsiness.  But finding that an unacceptable cause, like any good investigator I looked deeper.  I asked myself, “Why did I clip that stool leg.”  Then I remembered that earlier in the day the man from Anti-Pesto was at the house for his regular preventive bug spraying.  In preparation for his arrival I had pulled the stool out of its normal position, so that he could more easily spray along the base of the counter.  Now again, the easy call would be to blame me, because after the guy sprayed, I didn’t put the stool back in its proper position.  But once again, upon looking deeper, I had to lay the blame elsewhere, this time on Anti-Pesto.  If that guy hadn’t come out to spray in the first place, no broken toe.  Was that assessment fair?

I decided, no, there had to be something else involved.  I thought back on how I had just finished my cocktail before getting up from my chair to go into the kitchen.  Hmmm, could I be charged with a WWI, “walking while impaired?”  Then it dawned on me.   I had just finished a new cocktail I was “experimenting” with.  I’m not sure what it is called, but I made it by pouring Campari in a glass over ice (I didn’t measure).  Then I put in a shot of Beefeater’s gin, and finished it off with some soda water and (in keeping with my nutrition advice) a slice of orange (to make it a “balanced meal.”  I have to be fair and say that it is possible that pouring that amount of alcohol into a person of my size could impair judgement and other things, like depth perception.  So my fault, right?

Emphatically, no.  That outcome being unacceptable, I analyzed the cocktail thing further.  Until recently I’d never even tasted Campari.  What got me hooked on cocktails with Campari in them?  Well, that’s easy.  Campari is made in Italy, and I tasted it for the first time on my recent bike trip to Italy.  And why was I in Italy, BECAUSE THE PRINCESS SAID I SHOULD GO.  It’s all her fault.  And once again it has been shown that thorough, scientific investigation yields the correct result.

Now that that is settled we can move on.  Look at this.

cannon ball

I was struck with how happy that kid looks and thought, yeah, when  I was nine, I’d a been one proud, happy kid too if I’d a found a live cannonball.  Hell, at 67 I’d be tickled to find one.  Of course three-fourths of the article ranted on about how no one should mess with live, civil war munitions, kind of ruining the whole fun of the thing.  Funny, further on in the paper I came across this ad.


Uh huh, I was just “thinking” the other day, Cremation, wouldn’t that be great… right.  When my “time” is near, I think I’ll just go cannonball hunting.  I’m pretty sure that just messing with a live cannonball would take care of everything in one “swell foop,” both the ashes and the sprinkling thereof.  Moving on.

Tractor News
Holy cow, that’s right, temperatures dropped into the 80’s, so I got a few days of work in on the Pony.  Here are a few pictures.

You may think you’ve seen these photos before, but actually what you saw were photos of the other side of the tractor with the wheel off.  Even though the Pony may have looked fairly complete, I had never gotten around to doing the inside of the left rear wheel and that axle housing.  By the way, you’ll note that I am wearing safety glasses and a mask.  The mask is to protect your Idiotic author from the lead most likely lurking in the Pony’s 60-year-old paint.  The glasses are to protect against pieces of wire that fly off the wire brush attachment to the electric drill.  Interestingly, three days after that photo was taken I felt something like a sliver in my ankle.  I got a tweezers, pulled on the offending sliver and found it to be a 3/8 in piece of wire from the drill attachment neatly imbedded in my ankle.  Like my dad always used to say before any of his three sons left on a date, “Always wear protection.”

Finally, you know I have no compunction about writing of things scatological, but how about that third photo…of my stool!  After my stool in the garage kept disappearing (OK, it wasn’t really my stool) Lynne got a fancy one of her own just for doing yard work, and she designated this one for my use only.  I couldn’t be happier.  Thanks, Lynne!

Gads, 3 to 4 weeks off the bike!  I guess that’ll teach The Princess a lesson.  Just sitting around here on my keester, I’m gonna drive her nuts!  Thanks for reading.