Thursday, September 17, 2015

Life is too short

Where to start? I have been busy for work, but for assorted reasons I've not been able to travel pretty on most of those trips. Yeah, I realize that I say that on more blogs than not these days, but hey; it is what it is.

I turned 50 years old a few days ago and I'm less than thrilled about it. My daughter asked me why I was unhappy that it was my birthday.
All ready.
Damn it, didn't I just have one of these?!
I tried to explain it as best as I could to a 12 year old.
"Well let's see. You look forward to turning thirteen because, hey, now you're a teenager. Girls look forward to their 16th birthday though I'm not entirely certain what that is all about. You look forward to 18 because you are now legally an adult. You look forward to 21 because you can now buy alcohol. After that, you don't look forward to your birthdays so much. At 30 you sort of lose the claim to being young, though you aren't considered old yet. At 40, all doubt is now removed; you are not young any more. This is when a lot of people have mid-life crises and do stupid things like buying little red mustangs when they have two children that can’t possibly ride in it comfortably. 50? Yeah, 50 sucks. You are no longer just 'not young'; you are now officially old."
So. Yeah, I just turned 50. Shit.

You saw the comment I made earlier about doing stupid things like buying a little mustang when you have a family that needs to fit into the car from time to time? Yeah, we fixed that a couple of weeks ago and went out and bought a lightly used Buick LaCrosse. Never had a Buick before but it is a darn fine car - probably the finest car we have ever owned. We once had a Chrysler 300M and loved the hell out of it, and I think that I would put this Buick into the same league with that car. I haven't had the chance to drive it much though, because I have been leaving it with my wife so that she can drive something nice while I'm on the road.

About a week ago, my daughter and her best friend had been out riding their bikes, and they came inside to cool off for a while. After about ten minutes, they went back outside, then came running right back in the door. In the brief period that they had been inside, someone walked through our yard and up alongside our house and stole both bikes. Broad daylight, people in the house, and they walked right up into our yard and broke the hearts of two little girls. I've had bikes stolen before and it has been my experience that you never get them back, so I didn't bother getting all worked up, or go running around the neighborhood looking for them. The other little girl’s father wasn't so fatalistic though, and he spent the next couple of days looking for the bikes. A few days later, we were all sitting around the table talking while we waited for pizza to be delivered, when there was a frantic knock on the door. It was my daughters best friend, and in between gasps for breath, she managed to explain that she and her father had been out looking for the bikes when someone rode right past them on hers. They followed the kid home where her father, a pretty big guy, confronted the kid with her bike. That's where I stopped her.
"Hold on. Your father is there right now by himself?!" I asked her. She gulped before replying.
"Ok, we can get the details later, but let's go. Show me the way!"
She took off in a flash, and I all but ran after her, relieved to see my father in law jump up and head out the door right behind me. I was active duty army for over a decade, but I was a technician and so don't know squat about self-defense. My father in law is over 70, but he does know how to take care of himself so I was happy to have him behind me. As we quickly walked up the block behind the girls, I found myself getting madder and madder and was fully prepared to make sure that the thief went to jail today. They had hurt two little girls, one of which is my little princess, and that is a no-no in my book. Much to my own surprise though, my anger all but vanished as I turned the corner and found four cop cars parked up and down the street and saw two scared little boys sitting in the curb, looking utterly terrified. I remember when my brother and I were about that age and we had broken into a community center and were running up and down the hallways sliding on the floor. We broke nothing, and we stole nothing, but there was no doubt that we were doing wrong. We went slamming though one door too many and suddenly had a sheriff grabbing us by the collar. Right then and there we could have entered the legal system and our lives could have been so different. No charges were pressed though, and we received a second chance. Don't get me wrong, we got our butts blistered by our parents, but we didn't have to tangle with the legal system.
Seeing these two boys sitting there on the curb, all I could see was my brother and I in the back of that sheriffs car. . .
While we waited for the two boys parents to arrive, I spoke at length with several of the officers there and confirmed that the boys had never been in trouble before. As I stood there, i found myself imagining the immediate future of the boys and their families. Getting the kids out of jail today. Tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers and legal fees. Possibly the start of a downhill slide for the kids and their families as these things have a way of snowballing. As mad as I was, I didn't want that, but I wasn't sure that letting the kids off with no consequences was going to be in their long term best interests either. If they learned nothing, then they might continue to do this sort of thing. Since I figured that he saw this sort of thing more often than I did, I asked the officer I was talking to what he thought was in the long term best interests of the boys. He just told me that he wasn't allowed to advise me on that, but he did repeat that the boys had never been in trouble before, so I considered that a hint.
"All right," I said with a deep sigh, "I don't feel the need to press charges. We'll let their parents take care of it, but I do want to see them both apologize to the young ladies that they hurt."
"Oh yeah, we can definitely make that happen!" The officer said with a huge grin that told me that he thought that I was doing the right thing.
I hope that I did the right thing but I'm not sure. With any luck, their parents handled the situation in such a way that the boys didn't get off Scott free. . .

So let's see. Last year my father in laws truck was stolen from my front yard while he and I were working in the back yard. Now my daughters bike was stolen from alongside our home, in broad daylight, and with us all in the house. Yeah, I bought a security camera system with 8 cameras that have night vision and I will be installing them this week.

So I finally got around to making a trip pretty. It had been so long that I'd have to admit that I was fairly nervous about it, but I did it anyway. I wore a pair of heels that I hadn't worn in probably three years or more. They have either 4 or 5 inch heels. I dunno because I've never bothered to measure them. They felt fine the entire day that I wore them, but I'll tell you what - my legs were killing me the next day! I don't recall ever having my legs hurt from wearing heels before, but there you have it. I started to think that maybe it was time to start wearing flats, but then the right answer occurred to me; clearly I need to wear my heels more often to get my legs in shape!

I was impressed when the Avis shuttle bus arrived to take me to the lot. These drivers rarely offer to help these days, but this gentleman insisted and wouldn't take no for an answer. When we arrived at the lot, he again insisted on getting my bags and even loading them into the car for me, despite my repeatedly telling him that I could take care of them myself. Cool!
There I was, riding high and feeling good when the lady at the hotel called me "sir" while I was checking in and almost ruined my good mood.

I was working at Ford on this trip, and almost felt guilty that I had sold my new mustang to buy a Buick. We will let that be our little secret while working at Ford though.

At lunch one afternoon, we got to talking about staying in shape while getting older. The man I was working with is ten years older than I am and looks ten years younger than I do. That just doesn't strike me as fair, but what can you do? Anyway, at some point in this conversation his colleague said something about how you could tell some actors had gotten face lifts, and then he almost spit his food out on the table from laughing at what he was about to say.
"Yeah, like Caitlyn Jenner. Now that's a hell of a face lift!" Hard to argue with that, so I let it slide, but this did move the conversation onto the category of transgender.
"Yeah, I actually know one or two transgender people." I told them, trying not to choke on the major understatement. "All I can say is that life is short, so if that is how you're happy, I'd say go for it!"
Much to my relief and surprise, both men nodded in agreement.
"I know a couple myself," replied Bob, the man I was working with there. "We had one guy that started living as a woman just a couple of months after graduation. I've seen him, well, her, several times since then and you would never know that she used to be a guy. I've got to say though, that I've heard some E.R. stories from my wife that make me shudder. They had a transgender in there just little while ago. She was just walking along when someone decided to get offended about her and just slugged her in the kidneys."
Awesome, just what I wanted to hear. NOT.

I rarely fly home pretty as it is a pain in the butt to change back into boy mode at the airport, but I decided I'd give it a whirl today. I’m writing this blog while flying from Detroit to Chicago where I have a three hour layover, and so far the worst thing that has happened is that a guy in first class kept glaring at me as I was walking past to get into the coach section. Like I said though, life is short. He can spend it glaring, and I'll spend it making the best of it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Keeping a low profile

Well, there is a tropical storm that is supposed to hit Austin this morning, so that made me sort of hesitate a bit to travel “pretty”. Getting stranded in an airport with the ticking time bomb of facial hair that is going to grow noticeable sooner or later is not a fun thing to do. Still, it didn't look like the worst of it was supposed to strike until well after my flight was scheduled to leave, so I went ahead and took the plunge.

As I was driving into the airport, I was passed by four different police cars that were all leaving the airport with their lights flashing and their sirens on, and so I had to wonder what the heck that was all about. I never did find out.

On my flight from Austin to DFW, there was an elderly man and woman seated directly in front of me. The gentleman was clearly in bad medical condition and couldn't make it to the back of the plane where his assigned seat was, so the flight attendant told them to just take two seats in the first row of coach. They took the aisle seat for him since they had to just about lift him into the seat, and she took the middle seat next to him. The boarding process was almost complete when a man I would guess to be in his mid 50's shows up with another flight attendant in tow. 

"Excuse me, but I think you have this gentleman's seat." She says to the old man.
"Would he mind taking the window seat so that we don't have to move my husband again?" Replied the man’s wife. She had a smile on her face, confident that her request was reasonable and that no one but a pure asshole would decline to sit two seats over from his assigned seat. Well, she was wrong, because after a brief conversation between the man who had been assigned that seat and the flight attendant, she turned back to the couple.
"I'm sorry, but he does mind, and he did pay a premium fee for this seat, so I'm afraid that I am going to have to ask you to move."  The poor flight attendant looked like she wanted to crawl under a rock and hide, but she didn't have much choice in the matter. You could clearly hear several people sitting in the area gasp with surprise as she conveyed the assholes wishes. We were all shocked that this guy would force a frail and sick old man to move. I sat there watching the poor flight attendant and the old mans wife literally pick him up, one on each side, and lift him over and into the next seat. I'm pretty sure that I wasn't the only one glaring at the asshole that had refused to change seats. It turns out that this couple was also going all of the way to Minneapolis, and so we sat in the gate area talking about the jerk while we waited for our connecting flight.

When I arrived in Minneapolis, I made my way to the baggage claim to get my huge suitcase and toolbox. Much to my surprise, a woman stepped out into the walk way directly into my path, forcing me to come to a stop.
“I just had to tell you that I think your outfit is adorable!” she said with a kind and sincere smile.
“Well thank you so much!” I replied, and gave her my best smile. To be honest, I consider this to be a bit of a back handed compliment. Women don’t step out and block each others paths just to complement their outfit. Now if you were standing around waiting in line or something, you might well make such a comment, but to step out and stop a complete stranger walking down a hallway just to complement their outfit is just not something that women do to each other. The unsaid and complete message she was giving was “Gee, you sure look pretty for a man!”  At this point, I know there are going to be half a dozen stories shared in the comments of this blog with people trying to tell me that I am wrong, but save your breath, because I never have and never will get in the habit of deluding myself. In the end it really doesn’t matter much to me, as she gave a kind compliment and gave me smile. Thank you lady, I appreciate that!

I guess that the angle of the baggage claim belt and the orientation of my box was just perfect to allow most of the weight of my tool box to rest on its wheels, because that puppy came rolling loudly down the ramp at flank speed, making a most impressive noise as it rolled over the metal belt material at high velocity. It was making so much racket, and going so fast down the ramp, that the people gathered around the bottom of the belt waiting for their own baggage all backed away in a near panic!
My fifty pound tool box hit the rubber padding at the bottom of the ramp and then momentarily threatened to flip over the side of the rail before falling back down with another fairly impressive “WHAM!”  I swear I am not exaggerating – at least three people gasped in alarm when it struck. While everyone else was laughing and talking about the rogue tool box, I was turning several shades of red while lifting the topic of their amusement up and off of the belt.
“Yep, there’s nothing like keeping a low profile!” I thought to myself . . .

You've come a long way baby!

I've not been making much money for my company, but at least I have been busy and presumably doing something to earn my paycheck!

I took a long drive a couple of weeks ago to Pryor Oklahoma to work with a customer at a huge cement plant there, and that drive turned into a bit of a nightmare. On the way up Interstate Highway 35, there was a large sign saying "incident ahead" followed by a sign about half a mile later saying "Freeway closed ahead!"
I figured that it must be complete bullshit as this was way out in the middle of nowhere, where there were no exits for miles, and no roads to get to even if you were willing to just make your own exit. There was literally no place to go, so how can they close the freeway?!  Well, I guess that the joke was on me, because they did close the thing, and in both directions too, and it stayed closed for over three hours! There we sat, for three hours; hundreds of cars and trucks with no possible way to get off of the freeway, and with no idea why it was closed. I'd already been driving for almost three hours when I got stranded there, so I've gotta admit that my eyeballs were seriously starting to float. If I hadn't been "dressed", I might have walked off a few yards and done my business in the bushes, but somehow that just didn't seem appropriate when wearing a skirt and heels! I found out later that night that a couple of guys had stolen a police car, and the freeway was closed so that they could investigate the crime scene.

On my drive back home a couple of days later, it wasn’t a whole lot better. I once again found myself at a virtual standstill for an hour and a half because a semi-truck and trailer had caught fire and burned just about all of the way to the pavement. I'd swear that I couldn't even recognize an engine in the burnt remains of the truck  when I finally got along side. Can a fire get hot enough to actually melt an engine?!

I got home from that trip on Friday night and then had to head right back out Sunday morning for a week in the Boston area. My company is headquartered just north of Boston, and I was there for training. Very little to share with you about that week that you might find interesting, but I did get the chance to go to dinner with Connie and Sally! After dinner, we sat and talked for the better part of four hours I think. I don't recall exactly what we yapped about - it was pretty much just your typical socializing. If you stop to think about that for a second, it's actually kind of remarkable in its own right. When I was a teenager, and even when I was a bit older and in my early twenties, I recall thinking that I would have to commit suicide if anyone ever "caught" me dressed as a woman, and here I am spending a casual night in a restaurant chatting with friends! You've come a long way baby!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

And my other brother Darrel . . .

My luck has been fairly poor the last couple of weeks and I’ve had just about enough of it. The previous owner of our house took out the windows on each side of our chimney and installed inset boxes. On one side are all of our electronics like the TV, DVD player, Xbox, etc, and on the other side are the CD’s, DVD’s, and the like. Well, to build these dandy little boxes they had to extend the roof out over them and here is where they went wrong – they failed to install any kind of flashing. For those of you that haven’t had to learn all of this construction crap, flashing is usually made out of metal, and is used to keep water from getting between joints and crevices where it can do harm over time. Yepper, much like my upstairs bathroom that still has not been rebuilt, the water has apparently been happily pouring inside of this wall for years, and the entire interior structure is the consistency of a sponge. My attention was brought to the matter because the exterior siding on this box was noticeably sagging, and I discovered the interior damage when I went out there to replace the siding. There was no way in hell that I can completely rebuild these boxes in one weekend and so I had to make the judgment call to leave it alone until the first week of July, when I am scheduled to have the entire week off.  Since the time that I discovered this damage, there has been heavy rain here in Central Texas almost every single day. Normally I love the rain and enjoy a good thunderstorm, but now I find myself looking at this window box with dread, wondering when it is going to simply fall off the wall, leaving a huge hole in my living room. Sigh . . .
You thought that was the end of the bad news? Uh huh. To get to that window box area, I had to clear a lot of vegetation out of the way, and some of it was poison Ivey. Now we knew it was poison ivy, but the stuff has never bothered me before and I’ve never reacted to it, so I dug right in and got the stuff out of my way. Well, apparently it bothers me now, because my entire face and left arm turned a great shade of red, and turned into an endless series of horribly red and itchy bumps. A week later, when I went to perform a service call at the University of Oklahoma, my face was still swollen, red and purple splotches in places, and the skin on my nose was peeling off in little tiny strips that couldn’t just be pulled off like you would with a sunburn. Talk about embarrassing. Yeah, the poison ivy was two weeks ago and it is still all I can do to not scratch my left arm raw.
So there I am driving home to Austin Texas from the service call in Oklahoma City when my pretty modern Mustang just sort of stutters and loses all power. I pulled to the side of the road and sat there for a few minutes while a rain storm of biblical proportions pummeled my car and I. I'm 300 miles from home, I know nothing of the area, and it's a Friday afternoon on the start of a three day holiday weekend. Despair really doesn't do justice to the way I felt as I sat there in the rain looking at all of the warning lights on my dash showing that the engine had died. . .  I let the car sit for a couple of minutes, thinking that maybe some water had made its way into somewhere it didn’t belong, and then I tried starting the car. To my great relief, it did indeed start. To my great disappointment, it ran super rough, was knocking and pinging loudly, and made it only a mile or two before dying again. This time I really didn’t wait at all – I pulled over, turned it off, and then immediately started it again. Once again she started, knocking and pinging, and with little to no power, she limped me about two miles down the freeway to a gas station where I stopped. Thinking that maybe I had gotten bad gas in OKC, I went ahead and put some injector cleaner in the tank, and refilled the car with premium gas, and then tried to start the car. Apparently happy that she had managed to get me to a gas station, my Mustang now flat refused to run. She would start, but had so little power that I couldn’t even pull away from the gas pump. With a disgusted sigh, I left my car and entered the gas station where I asked the lady behind the counter of she knew of an automotive garage anywhere nearby.
“Hold on a sec!”, she told me, and then started digging through her purse where she found a card, then she picked up her phone and made a call.
“Yeah, are you busy? Uh huh. There is someone here with a brand new car that won’t run. Uh huh. Ok – see you in a sec.” She hung up and looked at me. “He’ll be right here!” She then promptly ignored me and went back to taking care of her customers. I thanked her, but then started wondering who was going to be right here? A wrecker? A Mechanic? Her husband? I had no idea, but I didn’t have any better ideas so I waited about ten minutes before a huge Chevy pickup pulls up next to me, and a guy in a tank top gets out of it. I explained that I was doing 80 MPH when the car just lost all power, and that at least at first, it would start and run poorly if I let it sit a minute or two, and that now it just flat refused to run at all. We talked about where I had last gotten fuel, and ultimately he and I agreed that it sounded like a fuel problem. I watched him as he plugged in a little computer that reads the fault codes out of a car, and after a few minutes of watching him, I got the distinct impression that he really had no idea how to operate it.
“So what’s it telling you?” I asked him. While I waited for him to reply, I glanced at the huge grill of his truck where I saw the Chevy emblem. “And don’t tell me that it says ‘should have bought a Chevy’ either or you’re going to the top of my shit list. . . “ I added with a laugh.
“No, no”, he replied with an honest laugh, but still didn’t answer my question. “To be honest, my buddy has a better code reader. Hang on and I’ll be right back!”  As I watched his truck roaring away, black smoke billowing out of the diesel exhaust, I already knew that I was in trouble. You know that you are not in the right hands when he hasn’t got the right equipment, and his buddy has a better code reader. Yeah well, ten minutes later he is back inside of my car with another widget, pushing buttons, and trying to navigate the menu structure that he clearly is not familiar with.
“Well, the only thing that it says is that both banks are running too lean.” He tells me, then sits there for a minute. “Hey! I’ve got an idea!” he says, and then asks me to step back so that he can close the door. Once the door is closed, he takes the key out of the ignition and starts pressing buttons on the key FOB. I hear the door locks start to cycle.
“Clunk, click, clunk, click, clunk, click”
Then he opens and closes the door without ever getting out, puts the key in the ignition, and starts the car. It started perfectly and sounded almost normal as he revved the engine over and over.
“All right, it’s sharing time! How the hell did you do that?!” I asked him. Well, he tells me that there is some sort of security feature that can be reset by locking and unlocking the doors three times, then opening and closing the door. I would have thought it was complete bullshit if I hadn’t seen it just work! The car is running, but it is running really poorly, so clearly I am still not out of the woods.
“Keep the RPM’s up and follow me to my shop!’, he tells me, quickly gathering up the code reader that he didn’t know how to use, and running with it to his truck.
“OK, at least he has a shop!” I think to myself as I take the drivers seat and try to keep up with him on the wet roads as he speeds about a mile down the highway before he has to stop for traffic before taking a left turn. Naturally this is when the Mustang dies on me again, so I coasted as far off of the road as I dared to do considering that I’d be stuck in the mud if I left the pavement. As soon as I got the car stopped, I threw it into park and played his little game with the door locks – presto – the car started again, and we made it all of the way to his “shop” with me riding the brakes and keeping the RPMs up.
So his “shop” turns out to not be a repair shop. It is a salvage yard full of wrecked and half dismantled cars and trucks. There my car and I sit in the mud parking lot, me standing on the brakes and the gas pedal at the same time, rain roaring down on me, trying to see as he waves me up into the garage of a large tin building. In short order, I have four young men all standing around my car and staring at the engine as if they have never seen one before. One guy is taking photographs of the engine and using the flashlight app on his phone to peer into the darker sections. We all talk for a bit, and the general consensus is that it sounds like I either got a bad tank of gas, or the fuel filter is clogged.
“You know, I have no idea where the fuel filter is on this thing!” I admitted to the other gathered red necks.
“Me either, but that’s what the internet is for!” says the guy that had been at the gas station with me. “Look it up on the web and find out where the fuel filter is!” he says to the young man who was using his phone as a flashlight under my hood. He promptly turns off the flashlight app and starts surfing the web on his phone. “
“Oh shit. . . “ I thought, “They don’t even have a PC or laptop to use for researching the problem, and they are reduced to using the phone for a flashlight. This can’t be good.“
“OK, O’Reilly’s has the fuel filter and they are gonna deliver it right away.” He tells me a moment later and then he moves back to the front of the car.
So there we are in an open garage, under a tin roof, with the rain pounding down so hard that we can hardly hear each other talk, with the dream team staring at my poor car. It was pretty clear early on that the car was out of their league, but I figured that it would be hard to mess up changing a fuel filter, so I stuck around. They had four guys staring at my car and scratching their heads and their asses and throwing guesses out there while we waited two hours for the fuel filter that will "be right here". An 80 year old man (and yes, during our two hour scratch your ass fest, he did tell me his age) was clearly the only one who actually knew what he was talking about. He kept telling all of us that it wasn't going to be the fuel filter. He kept saying that it just didn't sound like that to him. The rest of the guys weren’t really interested in talking to me, so the old man and I talked a lot while I waited. He had been a mechanic his whole life. He had never wanted to be anything but a mechanic and had gone to every school on the subject that he could get to during his long career, but he also admitted that he hadn't worked on a car in twenty years. It became clear to me during my two hour wait and conversation that the old gentleman I was talking to was the only one in the bunch that was professionally trained, and he was certain that the fuel filter was not going to solve my problem. I figured I better start doing some of my own homework, so I pulled out my laptop, and started searching the web to find out where my fuel filter was located. This was when I found out that you CANT replace the fuel filter in a 2012 Mustang.

I'd been waiting for over two hours for a fuel filter that they weren't going to be able to replace anyway. . .

Yepper, THIS was when I pulled the plug and decided to try and either limp my car four hundred miles home, or at least to the nearest Ford Dealership. One thing was certain – these guys weren’t going to lay another finger on my car. I pulled the owner off to the side and told him that I’d be happy to pay for his time, but that I was going to take the car to a dealer. When I asked, he told me that he would be happy with $25, so I gave him $50 as long has he agreed to come get me if I didn’t make it far down the road. As I was closing the hood and getting into the car, the old man that I had been talking to all morning walked up alongside of me and quietly spoke to me.
“You’re doing the right thing!” He said with a knowing look and a nod. I shook his hand and thanked him for the conversation and for the advice that had probably just saved my rear end. I then pulled my car back out into the muddy lot, desperately trying to keep the RPM’s above 2000 so that the car wouldn’t die in the rain again.

Yeah, I made it all of five miles down the freeway before it started knocking and pinging super loud and then stalled out again. It started up immediately though, and I made it another three or four miles before it started sounding like the pistons were trying to work themselves out of the engine. With my heart in my throat, wondering what the hell I was going to do with no transportation and a car that won’t run, 300 miles from home, on a three day weekend,  I started to edge my way off of the road yet again. Here is where things started to look up though, because as I was pulling off of the road I saw something that made my heart soar and sing – a huge “FORD” dealership sign a mile or so down the freeway. With the sound of a heavenly choir ringing in my ears, I limped my car to the entrance of the Ford service garage, where it promptly stalled out and died. I knew that I might end up thousands of dollars in debt on my credit card, but at least I knew for certain that these guys would be capable of diagnosing and repairing my little pony.
It’s too late to try and make the long story short, but what it all boiled down to was that the air filter that had just been installed during my last oil change, had a torn seal on it. That allowed stuff, and probably just a touch of water from the super heavy rains, to get past it and short out the air flow sensor. It took them a few hours to look at my car, but once they got to it, it only took them half an hour and $400 to get it back up and running. Given the horrible knocking and pinging sounds it had been making, I had been terrified that it was going to cost me a LOT more than that, so I was actually fairly relieved at the bill. So, major thanks and a shout out to Glenn Polk Ford in Gainsville Texas – you guys rock!

That’s all of the time that I’ve got for writing. Now I gotta go outside and stare at the window box that is about to fall off of my house. Much like the rednecks that sat there scratching their heads and butts and looking at my car, I’m gonna stare at that window and scratch MY head and butt. Oh, and my arms. They STILL itch from the poison ivy . . .