What a Winter We Had

This winter has been one of the hardest I have experienced in my lifetime. I don’t think many people in the United States didn’t get effected in some way. For me and my family it was quite stressful. Sadly it seems as if our stressful winter started with the rain we got in late November or December and continued thru til well into this week.

We rent a house and have a pretty good friendship with our landlords. Our landlords are an elderly couple my girlfriend has known for over 3o years now. Both of them are 74 yrs old. This house they purchased back in 2007 and we’ve lived here since then. Haven’t had a lot of problems with the house until lately it seems. Oh sure its a bit drafty and yeah it seems like the old hard wood floor never warms up. But its a good house made from old red brick back in 1922 or 1923. They have spoken a couple of times about wanting us to buy it from them. I’m willing but my girlfriend isn’t wanting to live her. Plus her health is an issue so she’s concerned about me affording it if something happens to her.

As I was saying this winter and the stress of it all started with the first freeze. We had a rain storm hit us one day and lasted til the next day. That rain turned to ice. As you can see from the picture

Icy roads and trees after a heavy rain and freeze winter of 2013

Icy roads and trees after a heavy rain and freeze winter of 2013

This icy condition lasted most of the next month and half. Thankfully I managed to avoid any accidents while driving to doctors appointments, the store and other places. Unfortunately, we ran out of ice salt quickly and so did all the stores in the area. Every store for 20 miles around was out. I wasn’t able to purchase any kind of salt to help thew the ice til mid-January.

About a week after the rain and ice we got snow and then more snow. Then if that wasn’t bad enough we got even more snow. I was so tired of the cold weather, snow and ice by the middle of December I wanted to move South West somewhere. It seemed like my neighbors and I were shoveling our driveways twice a day just to get in and out to go places.

Around the middle of December this area had a major power outage. Thankfully we never lost power nor did at least 5 other house across the street from us. But I would rather have lost power because the day after the power went out in this area our internet and cable went out. So we were stuck home with no internet or cable or for that matter a radio. Yeah, I know I could have gone out and purchases a radio but neither my girlfriend or I care for listening to the radio that much. It took six days before power was restored and another day before cable was back up and working. Consumer Power got power turned on December 25th around 9:30ish. We had family over celebrating Christmas here as always.

The following Friday after Christmas things really got interesting. I am an administrator for an online league and hosting tours that night until about 1:30am. It was then I noticed it was getting cold in the house and that I had not heard the furnace start for a while. Yep, you guessed it. Furnace went out. We called Consumer Energy to have them come out and check it. I had purchased the appliance protection plan so it wasn’t going to cost anything for them to come out. They told me on the phone the soonest they would be able to make it was after 8am. I wasn’t happy by this but what could I do.

After getting off the phone we made arrangements to get my girlfriend someplace to stay. She is on oxygen and has C.O.P.D. so she couldn’t stay here for sure. It was below zero outside and getting colder inside. She went to our landlords daughter’s house which is just around down the street four houses. I stayed in our house so I would be here when Consumers Power came out the next morning. Before my girlfriend could finish getting ready I noticed lights outside.

When I looked out it was Consumers Power company van. After the man finished inspecting the furnace he informed me it was shot and put a red tag on it. He also informed us we’re lucky to be alive because of the large cracks in the coils leaking carbon monoxide. I called our landlord right away waking him up. He said they had doctor appointments all day and wouldn’t be able to look into getting a new furnace until Monday. I said OK and left it at that. About 3 hours later (around 8:30am) my landlord called back and asked me to call around and get some pricing, etc. We found a good deal. Landlord showed up when the furnace company was here and they talked. By 6pm same day we had a new furnace.

OK, all good again and now I could go back to complaining about the cold weather, right? Nope! January rolled in with a blaze – literally a blaze when the neighbors house caught on fire. We were awoken by a phone call about 7:30am from our other neighbors informing us of the fire. The house that was on fire only sets about 6 feet away from where we store my girlfriend’s oxygen tanks. Needless to say I rushed out there and started bringing tanks into the house away from our back wall. Another neighbor came over to inform us of the fire also and noticed the oxygen tanks. She left and spoke with the fire department captain. The captain and a firemen came over to check things out. They assured us were we had the tanks was good for now and that they were aware of them if something happened. Again we made arrangements to get my girlfriend out of the house to a neighbors house. She finally returned home about 3pm when the fire was finally out.

neighbors house on fire in January

neighbors house on fire in January

Finally April comes and warmer weather. All is good again – until?

Last night (April 9th) my landlord came over with his son to cut a big branch out of the tree you see in that picture above. The problem was a combination of the ice, snow, and wind caused a lot of branches to brake off. You can see some of them laying on the ground in the picture. One branch was directly over my yard and barely hanging onto the tree. It was of major concern to my landlord and myself.

Landlords son set up the extension ladder to its full height and climbed into the tree just below the branch he needed to cut. My landlord was standing holding the ladder, which was outside our fence. When the branch came down it landed perfectly in the middle of my yard like it was suppose to do. However, it bounced back up almost 6 feet and up and over the fence heading to my landlord. Landlord started moving as soon as he could but not fast enough. The branch hit him square in the lower back and floored him and pinned him to the ground.

Right now my landlord is in the hospital with seven broken ribs and a punctured lung. The only good news to this is he’s alive and will heal. Because of his age, 74 years old, they say it will take longer for him to heal then others might.

It seems lately I keep saying I can’t wait until next year because things have got to get better. So far that isn’t the case. Right now I’m convinced things can’t get much worse then what we’ve experienced this winter. Praying summer is filled with joyful memories.

 

 

Game Of Thrones season 4

About a year ago I changed my cable package so I could get a cheaper monthly rate. With that package was HBO. Now I am not big on the premium channels. Personally, I feel like they are a waste of money. No better then regular television with all their reruns or older shows the broadcast over and over and over again.

Since I was stuck with HBO for a year I figured I would check out some of the stuff HBO had to offer. I went On Demand and found Game Of Thrones. I didn’t know much about the show but heard some good things about it on Facebook and other places. I grew up reading books like that also so that helps. Oddly I never got into the Harry Potter movies, though I did see all of them. They just didn’t excite me all that much. I have also spent hours and days watch and re-watching all three Lord of the Ring movies. Can’t get enough of those movies. So with that back ground of fantasy interest I noticed that all three past seasons of Game Of Thrones was available On Demand.

OMG! I started watching from the beginning. About stopped watching after the first two episodes because it was so little of anything exciting to me. But I didn’t stop. I watched all of the first season within three days. The ending on season one made me at least check out the first episode of season two. By this time I realized I was hooked. There was no way I could go without watching all three seasons. For the next week and half I watched all three seasons.

I watched in shock as Ned Stark was beheaded. Blown away to see Daenerys Targaryen watch as her husband had hot gold poured over her brothers drunken head, killing him. And lets not forget about the dragons she controls – or does she? I was in awe at the emotional strength of Arya Stark. Wanted so badly to watch Joffrey Baratheon get killed off by any number of other characters on the show. And is there any thing that Tyrion Lannister can’t get out of trouble from? It will be interesting to see what happens to Jon Snow on the great wall. Or Sansa Stark who last we saw became Tyrion Lannister’s wife. And finally what about the two Stark boys? What could all those visions that Bran is seeing mean and where does Rickon Stark fit into the whole thing?

What ever season four of Game Of Thrones has in store it is sure to leave all of its many fans wanting more. Right now I know I can’t wait to turn it on to see who things get going this season. It will take a lot to top the slaughter of the Robb Stark, his pregnant wife, mother and his army while they were celebrating a wedding but I’m sure the writers and its creator will keep us tuned in for each and every episode. 

 

Tempeststarz Euchre League

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Over the last 10 plus years I have been playing and hosting tournaments for different leagues that play on Pogo.com. This is something I have truly enjoyed doing and look forward to do as much as possible. Currently, I am hosting with Tempeststarz Euchre, known as Starz league, which plays in Blue Bonnett room in Pogo.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that leagues have been suffering from lack of daily players. Most of my tours seem to barely get more then four jumpers. Other host are getting between four to 6 regularly. On rare occasions we’ll see as many as ten to fifteen jumpers. But that seems largely during evening tours that are generally considered specials.

There are a lot of good reasons to join and play in leagues.

Being in a league you don’t have to look for or wait for a partner. Other members will gladly partner you. Also most leagues play none rated games. So if you’ve worked hard to get rating up you don’t have to worry about losing rating points because of bad partners. But the most important thing with leagues is you always can find a tour being played most of the day and in some cases well into the early morning hours.

Starz euchre league for example has tours running from as early as 7am until as late (or early) as 3am.

If you enjoy playing euchre and have some free time come check us out. Its free to join pogo and free to play in leagues.

http://www.myleague.com/tempeststarz/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SALE! Really, where?

I don’t know when it started. Maybe it has been going on for years and I just never noticed it before. All I know is it really rubs me the wrong way to see it happening. I have to wonder how many people get suckered into thinking they are getting a good deal.

OK, what I am rambling about you ask?

Sales! Doesn’t matter where you shop they all seem to do the same kind of sales promotion. But we’re not really talking about sales exactly. We are talking about fake sales – things that the store will have a “sales” sticker or tag. What this really boils down to is a gimmick to make you, the consumer, believe you are getting a bargain.

One example is at a local grocery store where I shop has Alfredo Noodle packages that cost $1.00. This store routinely adds a sales tag on the self for this product that states – 3 for $3.00.  DUH!! Now this wouldn’t bother me if it was on sale. But this is a none sales item and to me this is also false advertising. Not because the pricing isn’t correct. But rather its being displayed as a sales item. 

Something else I have found a lot recently are places like home improvement or repair stores. We have two of the top two competing across the street from us here where I live. The other day I happen to visit both of them on them. The first one I stopped at had lawnmowers on sale. When I drove across the street to the other store they had the exact same mower at the exact same price and it wasn’t on sale – it was their normal price. When I looked this mower up online it normally sales for the lower price anyway. Guess we know who had the highest mark-up this time.

 

 

 

New Home on WordPress

Well I don’t know if I am going to be able to get this thing working correctly. Going to give it a good try and see what happens. Never know I might actually get things right for a change.

Wondering what kind of blog you will be seeing from me?

That is a good question and one that is not going to be easy to answer. I have a wide interest in many things. One thing I can promise is humor. Sometimes dry, sometimes stupid and pointless. Other times I will make you laugh so hard your side will hurt. No matter what I will always include some humor somewhere, somehow.

There will be times when I will touch on the political. Not out of any great interest of the political arena. Rather more out of the distaste and dissatisfaction myself and many others I know have with our elected officials.

Sometimes I will talk about the mundane, boring, pointless and lacking of great interest to others. Yet, for me, I find value and quality in these things. Maybe its only because of my view on things.

Mostly you will find tidbits of my life. Things I feel or think about love, education, internet, sports, family, and many other wide array of interest I have or go thru daily.

Hope you enjoy what you read. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment and questions. Who knows maybe my answers will give us both something to think about.