Fixing What’s Wrong Around the House

I’m going to be unemployed as of the 21st of August. So I’ve started getting ready to rip the house apart.

Plan A was to replace the tub with a shower, but a realtor told me that a lot of people still want a tub. So, I’ve left the wallboard in place and I’m shopping for a new surround.
Getting ready for the new surround

That’s only if I can get the stains out of the tub. If not, I’ll replace it too.

After that, it’s back to the kitchen and a new counter, and so-on.

I figure I’ve got a good six weeks worth of work around the house before I need to start worrying about what to do with my time.

Humidity in Las Vegas

The humidity is at 28% here in Vegas, the temp’s 100°, and it’s taking its toll.

I got up -a bad start- and everything hurt. I figured it was just arthritis from beating myself up for all these years, but once I stood up, I swear the entire room shifted, and I found myself hoping my head would explode and relieve the pressure.

I’ve got perpetual sinus trouble, in fact, I can’t even scuba dive anymore, so I’m used to it. But seems that the current problem stems from my becoming so acclimated to our normally dry air that on my bad days it only takes a little humidity totally mess up my system. Which is weird, because I’ve been a lot of places where 28% was a dry spell and it never bothered me.

I figured out how to fix the problem:
First you take Pseudoephedrine with four aspirin
Pseudoephedrine and aspirin
and then you take a tall shot of vodka.
Jewel of Russia Ultra Vodka black label
Yup, a bad combination if ever there was one, and my doctor is probably yelling at the monitor because he’s not here to yell at me. But within a half an hour I started feeling better.

I’ll admit that my gut’s a bit of a mess, but on the whole, I’m feeling pretty good, so it’s a fair trade.

Heck, this morning I couldn’t even look at food, but now I’m drinking coffee and wondering what I have in the fridge.

So all’s as right with the world as it’s likely to get.

Remembering Santorini

I stayed for almost two months in a villa in Oia (Ia) on Santorini many years ago, and for some reason, I’ve found myself thinking about it a lot.

These photos aren’t mine, I found them on one of the free photo sites. Mine are in a box somewhere. (This is the trouble with slides -transparencies-, they take up physical space and need to be stored.)
white houses and windmills in Oia on Santorini

They hadn’t built the cable cars when I was there.

So if you came by ship, these donkeys were the easiest way to climb the 600+/- steps to Fira.

When I was there the steps were slippery, even when they were dry and I’m told they still are. So watch your step and keep an eye peeled for donkey shit and piss.

As you can see from the pictures Santorini is a beautiful place, but it’s arid and what running water there is comes from a desalination plant. So don’t plan on cooking with it.

The villa I stayed in had a cistern, but in June, July, and August they get less than an inch of rain. So any plants you see rely on the morning dew.

Speaking of water, things sure have changed since I was there, I’ve been told that there’s now a water park out on one end of the island.

My two-month stay was fun, but I was young and easily amused. Wine, ouzo, and naked women were the order of the day. Now staying drunk for days on end is more than I can handle. On the other hand, I could use a young naked woman in my life.

The bottom line is, everybody should make the trip at least once. But I don’t suggest staying for months because you can only stare at just so many beautiful sunsets before you go island happy.

Grocery Shopping Sticker Shock

I went grocery shopping this morning after a two-week abstention.

What makes today different, is that I was watching prices. Being a single guy, sales, coupons and everyday grocery pricing has always been some kind of exotic foreign language.

This is what I found in Albertson’s today, Hatch enchilada sauce is a clearance item at $1.60 ea.
hatch enchilada sauce
This means I was paying almost $4 a can and never noticed.

Eggs were .99 for eighteen I bought one, and one of the girls told me that I should have bought more. But I’m only feeding one person. So how many eggs can one person eat? And how long do they keep?

I suppose that canned goods last long enough that I should go back tomorrow and buy whatever’s left of the hatch green sauce.

Because I’ve never worried about price and I can no longer afford to waste money, I went online and found several ads, now I need to make a list with each store as a separate listing.

What it comes down to is that, as much as I hate to admit it, I need to learn how to plan meals, and shop accordingly. I never used to hate shopping but I’m beginning to.

So guys, you should listen to your wife and learn how to shop, just in case. But, whatever you do, don’t let her catch you or she’ll expect you to not only do some of the grocery shopping, she’ll expect you to only buy what she wants, but not to buy and random extras.
—Which begs the question, how do you shop without grabbing something extra, just because it tastes good?

This whole retirement thing is turning into an education with steep learning curve.

Cleaning Up After 40 Years

I’m cleaning up after myself.

I’m almost 66 and for the first 20 odd years, I wasn’t stationary long enough to accumulate much shit junk and crap. But by my mid-twenties I found myself hanging on to all the “good stuff” I inherited.

Even without a permanent residence, I found I could store “important” things with my parents, my friends, or in self-storage. Now I have about 1500 sq ft of storage, my friends call it a house, but all I use is one bedroom, a bathroom, the kitchen, and an office. The rest is just a place to store shit.

Because the few friends I have are comfortable enough to just kick the shit off the chair the system has been working pretty well, but now I seem to have developed the need to make the place more livable.

Talk about easier said than done. I opened the closet I use as a pantry and found stuff that I’d had for so long, that it’s probably older than you are.

I’ve been finding things like carpet shampoo when I haven’t had a carpet in over 20 years. And how about a big bottle of wood cleaner? It’s a shame that the only wood in my house is Formica.

Heck, I’ve got three crock pots; who needs three crock-pots?

The 2 or 3-quart unit that I paid ten bucks for at Walmart, is prone to burning the food if there isn’t enough liquid. Then there’s the one with the cracked plastic lid. It’s that lovely avocado green that was so popular in the seventies, and the one my grandmother bought, probably in the nineties, is ceramic with a heavy pyrex lid.

An odd thing about that last unit is that over the years it’s developed a unique beefy aroma. Fortunately, it doesn’t affect the taste of the food.

It’s definitely time to clean house.

I was up til 1 am. this morning sorting and tossing tons of old paperwork. One of the boxes even contained all the receipts from my machine shop.

I thought about it, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out what could possibly be so important that I needed to save a bunch of paper from the early eighties. Oh well, maybe the trash guys can figure it out.

I’ve also been cleaning up my websites. I’ve sent emails to the sites I admin asking permission to fix or delete broken links and to dump a lot of useless crap, and gotten responses from 3 people thanking me because they keep forgetting to do it themselves.

I’ve also deleted something like 45 posts from this site alone and moved my food articles over the “The Smoking Pan.

I’ve used The Smoking Pan domain before, but I didn’t keep up with it. Now that I’m planning on having time on my hands maybe, I’ll finally get all those recipes my mother, grandmother, and the one grandfather scribbled on the first available scrap of paper into a legible form.

And here I’ve been worried about what to do with all my free time.

Maybe I’ll even start posting pictures of my current mess to give myself the incentive to work harder at it.