Omphaloskepsis¹

Maltese Falcon?

Imagine my disappointment this morning, when I realized that today was only Thursday and not yet Friday. I was driving Anne to school at the time and she found my distress humorous. Why should I, the retired guy, care which day of the week it was, since for me every day is Saturday? Well, I have not been retired so long that I cannot remember the joy of anticipating the weekend. Besides, I still have a job of sorts. With only one car, I regularly drive Anne the couple of klicks to school and back. I’m like a school bus driver, carrying Anne and the school bus full of 1st graders in her head.

The other day she told me that I was lucky. She had planned to draft my help in assisting her with a classroom science project. I was lucky, because the great state of Missouri in its infinite wisdom now requires that all school volunteers must undergo a background check. Apparently, a child was abused by a volunteer, while the teacher was also in the classroom. This new law involves fingerprinting and also pertains to parents. I have undergone numerous background checks in my life, but none of them count, because this one has to be unclassified. I’m sure that having to troop on down to the police station and then wait who knows how long is going to encourage volunteerism. Like she said, I was lucky, but unfortunately the children were not so lucky.

¹ Navel gazing — Apparently, it was once a meditative discipline, before it devolved into the self-indulgent self contemplation that it is today.

Bombs Away!

Pelicans Approaching

Plop, plop, plop… Sondland sings. “Everyone knew.” “Trump ordered.” Pence denies. Pompeo planning to resign early, to save his reputation. Too bad that that ship has already sailed. Ken Starr floats President’s resignation on Fox. A Senate GOP trip to the White House might be in the offing. Trump says, “I WANT NOTHING” [to do with this anymore] “NO QUID PRO QUO” [time for me to go.] Bombshells were exploding all day long and President Pelosi was trending on Twitter. No one seems to like Rudy Guiliani and it looks like he is being teed up to take the fall, insurance policy or not. Except, how does an unpaid personal attorney halt $391 million in aid to Ukraine? Riddle me that Batman. Anyway according to Trump, the ambassador is “Not a man I know well.” And the week’s still not half over yet.

Flame On!

LG Gas Range

This is our new stove that was delivered yesterday. In preparation for this delivery, I slid the old stove away from the wall, leaving enough room to clean out the corner where it had sat for 35 years. It was not a pretty sight. I left the old stove’s flexible gas line connected. We had paid extra for the delivery men to disconnect the old stove, cart it away and install the new stove. When the delivery arrived, one man busied himself unpacking the new stove from the truck. The other man began disconnecting the old stove’s gas connection.

It soon became apparent that he was having difficulties. He couldn’t budge the gas shutoff valve lever. He soon gave up and offered me the choice of accepting delivery the new stove and not having it installed and not having the old stove removed or they could put the new stove back on the truck, not to return for two weeks. Neither choice was very appealing.

Our house is over eighty years old. The presence of a coal chute and an oil tank in the basement indicate that gas was not necessarily initially available. The problematic valve looked pretty ancient though and I know that it hadn’t been touched since we first moved into our home. The delivery man went back to the truck and I tried my hand with the valve. After some percussive adjustments, I got the valve unstuck. Don’t try this at home…

The delivery man came back and although he was now able to turn the shutoff valve, he still couldn’t turn off the gas. We went back out to the truck. I experimented with the valve. The delivery man had left the valve turned 180°. I turned on the gas at one of the old stove’s burners. Electricity was unplugged and the kitchen was well ventilated, with the backdoor wide open. When I quarter turned the old valve, the sound of gas flowing ceased. The delivery man came back again and seemed satisfied with these new developments. The old stove was finally disconnected and removed.

The new stove was brought in and soon connected. Once operational, the delivery man commenced a bake-in process that was intended to remove any factory oils from the range. It also stunk up the house. At this point he thanked me for my help and left shortly later. The cleaning process took about an hour and after its completion all smells had dissipated. For dinner last night, I boiled water on our new stove top, with pasta and we had leftover spaghetti. Not a very auspicious initial usage, but Thanksgiving is next week and were ready to go.