Saturday, September 19, 2020

19 CENTS on the 19th, for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!

Three late-week additions ruined my original title this week, but that's okay! We never turn away any coins that turn up after the title, or even after the Saturday CENTSus goes to press.
SUNDAY, September 13, I was thrilled to see a dirty spot on the floor of the Gas Station Chicken Store. They usually run a clean shop. The place is small and old, but you don't find unswept messes on their tile. I couldn't quite tell what I was looking at. For a spot of dirt, it was quite symmetrical. So I put my toe on it to see if I could move it, and I COULD!

Lucky for me, but more lucky for THEM, nobody was behind me to view my ample rumpus as I bent over to take possession of my rightful nickel!

It was a face-down 1984 nickel, patiently waiting to come home with me.

Back at the Gas Station Chicken Store on MONDAY, September 14, I left my phone in T-Hoe. SamGalA needed an android update. Apparently, I'd been ignoring the requests. I would be subjected to a FORCED UPDATE on the 15th, at 1:30. No thank you. Nobody FORCES Val to do anything. So I okayed the update, and left SamGalA to soak up the signal that's better in town than in my kitchen.

Of course you know what happened. Walking from the soda fountain to the register, I spied a DIME on the floor by the chicken counter. No chicken since the VIRUS, so I set my 44 oz Diet Coke on the counter, and waved my ample rumpus for the mirrors above the beer coolers. I'm pretty sure I was caught on the surveillance video. If they caught a sunglasses thief in that very spot, I'm sure my ample rumpus made the highlight reel.

Anyhoo... because my phone was out in T-Hoe, I lost a little joy in my discovery. Once outside, I couldn't even get a picture with the Gas Station Chicken Store surroundings, because my android update was only 62% complete.

Back home in the driveway, I got my picture of this 2000 dime, which was face-down in the store.

WEDNESDAY, September 16, I had business at the bank over in Sis-Town, so I stopped by the Casey's for T-Hoe's weekly gas. While waiting to pay, I spied a penny meant just for me. I gladly vacated my next-in-lineness, and waved my ample rumpus like the checkered flag at Daytona taking a victory lap, so I could get a picture.

Maybe OTHER people are also plastic Christmas mooses, dropping money out of THEIR butts, as they walk out the door.

It was a heads-up 1999 penny, with a floor-detritus arrow pointing right at it! I didn't party like it was 1999. I can only draw so much attention to myself.
THURSDAY, September 17, I pulled out the chair to sit down at the slot machine where I won my $8,600, and found a little gift waiting for me.

It's all paper money or printed tickets these days. The only place to get pennies, nickels, or quarters is at a cash machine (none near this slot), or the cashier's counter (on the other side of the casino).

It was a heads-up 1965 penny, waiting by a slot that doesn't take any coins whatsoever. Oh, and on the way home, I heard my special "Mom" song Holes in the Floor of Heaven, and when I woke up in my OPC (Old People Chair) later that night, I saw an infomercial with a LADYBUG nap-time sleeping bag for kids. I guess my mom went gambling with me that day, since The Pony was a bit under the weather and did not accompany us!

FRIDAY, September 18, was Save A Lot shopping day. I parked in not-my-regular spot, because that was the only one open in the front row. I was actually closer to the Dollar Store end of the lot. There was a gray Tahoe parked on my left, as I opened T-Hoe's large black door. Plenty of room to get out. I was hoping nothing would park closer if that Tahoe left while I was shopping. I even looked out the front window to check, as I was boxing up my groceries. Empty. So far...

I had already climbed in, and was reaching to close the door when I saw a PENNY waiting just for me! I suppose it had been under the gray Tahoe, patiently waiting to reveal itself to me.

It was a heads-up 2017 penny, shiny on the asphalt. Of course I didn't mind climbing back down to fetch him. I had already seated myself again, and reached for the door, when ANOTHER irregularity caught my eye. YES! It was a second penny that I almost missed! 

You'll never see it if you don't zoom in. It's at about the 10 o'clock position compared to the first one. Over by the donut-looking white trash, to the left of the white trash below the donut. It was dirty, and blended in with the dark blacktop.

At least I got a close-up on T-Hoe's console. It was a 2005 heads-up penny. I was planning to photograph it in the field (LOT), but a car was coming, and I thought it might want to park there. So I just grabbed it and climbed into T-Hoe for the third time.

That makes 6 COINS, and 19 CENTS that have thrown themselves at Val this week!

Penny       # 107, 108, 109, 110.
Dime         # 19.
Nickel       # 10.
Quarter    still at 1.

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Schemer Asks Val To Provide a Schematic

As if Hick eating my hour-and-forty-minute supper in six minutes were not enough of a red flag waved in front of ready-to-charge Val... he dared to pass off a personal request after sating himself with the fruits of my labor.

"If I email you a picture of a schematic, can you print it for me?"

"Where did you get it?"

"Off my phone."

"I KNOW that! Where did it come from?"

"Off the internet."

"I know that."

"Well I don't know how much more you want me to say. Can you print it?"

"Last time I printed one, you said it was too small. I can't blow it up."

"Well I can blow it up on my phone. But it's hard to hold my phone while I'm working over in the BARn. Can't you print a whole page? Doesn't it fill the page?"

"Maybe, depends on the size of it. When do you need it?"

"Not soon. Just by tomorrow."

"It's already 7:40 p.m.!"

Hick had no response to that. So I tried. Dowloaded his picture of the schematic showing 38 parts of a shotgun, numbered in the order to take them apart, maybe? Or put back together? I don't read schematics.

The top half was in big bold print: Harrington and Richardson Shotguns. It had a model number. The schematic was the bottom half of the page. I opened it in PAINT, and cropped just the parts, mainly.

I tried to print, but my printer was dead. Oh, it had the green flashing light. But it made no noise like it was limbering up for a print job. It has been doing this since I replaced the ink cartridge. I went into TROUBLESHOOTING, but it just showed the job was pending. Not failed, or whatever that message is.

I looked over my printer. Pushed the OKAY button. The green light went from flashing to solid. No sound of printing. I went back to the DEVICES and the TROUBLESHOOTING. Wait a minute! The job was trying to print to the WORKSHOP PRINTER. The color printer that Genius brought home and gave to me. I switched to my LaserJet, and it worked!
I got a good copy, but with a logo in the background that barely showed on my computer monitor. I lightened the quality to DRAFT, which lightened the background logo, but also the numbered parts 1-38. Hick DID send me a text the next day, saying that it came out good. So he can rebuild his gun and make a tidy profit. 

All for free, I might add. No profit for Val. Used up some of my new recycled ink, too!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Gone in 360 Seconds

You might sense that I garner no joy in cooking for Hick. I do it. But I don't have to enjoy it. No matter how much or how little effort I put in, the meal is hoovered up like the blueberry pies by Davy Lard-Ass Hogan in the story told by Gordy LaChance in the movie Stand By Me

Tuesday evening, I made deep dish pizza for Hick and The Pony. They both love it. Nothing elaborate. It's from the box mix by Chef Boyardee. You mix the packaged dough, let it rise, pour on the canned sauce, and shove it in the oven. Easy peasy, but time-consuming. Oh, and while The Pony likes his pizza right out of the box, Hick must have MEAT on his portion. So I fry hamburger to add on top.

I'd already devoted 50 minutes to the endeavor. The Pony had just slid the puffy creation into the oven. I was washing up some of the dishes when Hick traipsed through the kitchen, and said,

"Now don't take this wrong. But what do you say... it's going to be... maybe 20 minutes until it's done?"

"Yes. Twenty minutes."

"Okay. Because my buddy just called, and wants some numbers off a gun that I have up at my store, so I'm going to run up there and get it. I should be back when it's ready."

"I can warm it up."
"I'll set yours on the stove. I want to get the pan washed."

The trip to town is 10 minutes. The trip back is 10 minutes. I KNEW Hick wouldn't be home when the pizza came out of the oven. In fact, The Pony had finished eating his portion, and was already soaking in the big triangle tub as per his nightly ritual, and I'd washed up all the dishes involved.

Hick was gone for 50 minutes. 

He picked up his deep dish pizza from the stove, and headed for the living room. By the time I wrapped up The Pony's tomorrow-supper and went to sit on the short couch, Hick WAS DONE!

I had devoted an hour and forty minutes to that meal, and Hick ate it in six minutes. I'm glad I didn't whip up a gourmet feast.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hick Spots a Black Panther

Last week, Hick got a call from HOS (Hick's Oldest Son). They've both been busy with their own lives lately, and haven't been in communication. I only have Hick's side of the tale.

"HOS called me and asked if I still collect things. Well, yeah. He said he knew a lady that had a black panther for sale. In a glass case."

"WHAT? Where would she get that? I don't think you're supposed to have that stuff. It's an exotic animal."

"Apparently, it belonged to her father-in-law, and he died, and she's trying to sell off some stuff. I want you to look up and see if it's legal to own in Missouri."

"Because I have all the time in the world, and you don't have a phone with unlimited data..."

"I TRIED to look it up on my phone, Val, but I couldn't find anything."

"Here. I'll do it right now, while I've still got my laptop on."

Huh. It's really hard to find that information. I couldn't find anything definite. Just a little on the Missouri Department of Conservation website.

"Was it roadkill? Did somebody shoot it? Did that guy buy it? Who stuffed it? The main thing here looks like you need a letter saying it's legal to own. But that depends on how it was killed, and where."

"I had one of my buddies looking, too, and he found that same thing you have there. I don't know if she has a letter. I'm supposed to go look at it this afternoon."

"You're going to her HOUSE?"

"How else am I going to look at it?"

"You're not going to BUY it, are you? What would you do with something like that?"

"I'd put it up at my locker! And probably sell it."

"That's all you need, an illegal stuffed exotic animal at your Storage Unit Store. Where somebody will see it, and report you!"

"It may not be illegal!"

"Don't buy it! You're not going to buy it today, are you? How much is it?"

"Not today. I have to look at it. And find out if it's legal. HOS says she wants two for it. That's cheap! I know I could sell it for more than that! Maybe I'll call the game warden. He should know the laws about exotic animals."

"Yes! That's the best idea. If anyone could tell you Missouri's laws on exotic animals, it should be the game warden."
So off went Hick, to see a black panther in a glass case. When he came home, he showed me a picture that he took with his phone. Not a very good picture, but we'll get to that lower in the page.
"I went in there and seen it. She had all kinds of stuff like that! She didn't have a letter for the panther. The guy's wife is an old lady, and she didn't know anything about any paperwork for it. But she said he used to hunt a lot. He bought this one though. It's been studied, and it's from South America."
"Then you'll definitely need a letter! What did the game warden say?"
"I didn't talk to the game warden. This panther must be okay, because otherwise, how could the guy have brought it into the country? He must have a letter somewhere."
"That is NOT a picture of a black panther. A panther doesn't have spots like that!"
"She said the name of it, but I can't remember.  I think some panthers have spots."

"Is it a jaguar? Or a civet cat? A leopard? I don't know what their spots look like, or where they live, but those are the only big spotted cats I can think of right now."

"I don't remember what kind she said. Anyway, I said, 'So how much do you want for it?' Even though HOS told me she wanted two, I figured I should hear it from her. That glass case it's in is one-inch-thick plate glass. I knew I could get more than two hundred just by selling the glass."

"That would be stupid, to buy a black panther with spots in a glass case, and then sell the case for the glass."

"I don't think I'll be buying it. When I asked the price, she said, 'Two THOUSAND!' I had no idea she's want THAT much! I thought HOS meant two HUNDRED! This lady said the guy had paid five thousand for it way back when he got it. I need to tell my one friend up in Iowa, who built that house with the fancy carved staircase. This is just the kind of thing that would interest him."

Yes. Hick still collects things. But not a two-thousand-dollar, (non-black) black panther, with spots, in a glass case.

As with most things Hick, the end result is often quite different from the original concept.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Moose Pooping Money Butt

Do you ever feel like a Christmas stocking-stuffer plastic moose that poops out jellybeans? Probably not. Because my readers are all sophisticated cool cats who never poop. Not even jellybeans! 
You are a starched collar on a tuxedo shirt, while I am the madras shirt from the bottom of the hamper. 
You are a newly-completed section of the Oklahoma Turnpike, and I am a long and winding road littered with fast food wrappers, that turns to gravel, and then becomes a pig trail through the underbrush. 
You are a shiny scalpel fresh from the autoclave, and I am a rusty razor blade found in an upside-down coffee can nailed to the floor of a ramshackle shanty undergoing demolition.

Yet still, I feel like a Christmas stocking-stuffer moose lately. The Universe pats me on the head, and money falls out of my butt! Forget about jellybeans!

Monday, I got an envelope out of EmBee. It looked like junk mail to me. I was about ready to throw it away with the catalog from Uncommon Goods, and the AARP Bulletin. But since it was addressed to ME, and had the word INSURANCE in the return address, I ripped it open while sitting in T-Hoe.


It was a CHECK, by cracky! A check for $54.50. Val was not born yesterday. She has gotten many a fake check in her day. Checks that look like checks, but are only applicable to specific merchandise that you purchase from the entity who sent out the check. Not a REAL check. So I started reading what came along with this check, which was from a supplemental insurance company we shall call PISSY. I had not had any PISSY dealings for at least two years. Maybe three.


Dear valued PISSY policyholder:

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many members have had to delay things like routine dental care. It's why Untied CordCONia D-Mental is issuing the enclosed premium refund. Throughout the pandemic, PISSY has partnered with Untied CordCONia to remain focused on supporting our customers while delivering a safe and remarkable dental health experience. This refund is another way we can assist our customers during these unprecedented times.

Attached you will find your refund check, which is 50% of one month's dental premium.

Thank you for the continued opportunity to serve you.

Here's the problem. I am not currently a PISSY policyholder. We tried it for one year, for optical and dental insurance for Hick, me, and The Pony. I think Genius was included, since once you put one kid on, it was a family thing. A year of coverage was somewhere between $1100 and $1800. Not bad if all four of us used it to the hilt. But we found that we did not. So I did not renew the policy when it came due. 

The policy year ended. A renewal letter came, stating that if you did not pay within 30 days, the policy became void, and you could not re-join until 3 years had passed. Fine with me. I had no intention of buying the service again.

Well. Several times a year, I would get an offical-looking statement from PISSY, telling me that I needed to pay my premium for this insurance. No. I did not. I had let it lapse months ago, and was not able to rejoin for 3 years. STILL, they would send letters saying I still had time to re-join. A less suspicious oldster might have fallen for this tactic. Not Val.

SO... since I have not had this coverage for over two years now, I don't think I am entitled (well, I DO think I'm ENTITLED, but not to this) to reap the benefits of a refund check for a premium for which I do not pay!
Hick thinks checks got sent to all customers of PISSY, and that they'd have no way of knowing if a lapsed person got the refund check and cashed it. I say they DO know. The check is written by PISSY, according to the front of the check itself. In the "notes" it says: PISSY Dental Covid Refund.

I think this is a trick by PISSY to get people to cash the check. Then they will claim that it was a refund for a part of the PREMIUM, and demand that you pay the entire premium.

Not gonna do it. That $54.50 check is not worth a tussle with PISSY over paying a $1100 to $1800 premium for a service which I no longer want. Don't you worry about Val missing out on $54.50. In town, I bought two scratchers. One of them won $50. 

The other scratcher?

A $100 winner. Better than a PISSY partial refund for an insurance premium I didn't pay for.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Val Translates Hicklish

I was sitting on the parking lot of Country Mart, writing in the checkbook, when I got a text from Hick, who I assumed was at his Storage Unit Store, where I'd seen his truck as I passed by around 1:30 on Sunday. Of course I read Hick's text! I wouldn't ignore something like that. Reading it is one thing. Understanding it is another.

"What is on his way out there Val Buddy is on his way out he's going to look at the side beside sitting over by the barn so if you see a silver truck over there as he is"

"Makes no sense, but a silver truck. Ok."

I presumed (it doesn't pay to ASSume with Hick) that somebody in a silver truck might be waiting for Hick by the BARn. And he was tipping me off not to go all vigilante and do something crazy like take a picture of his license plate. By the time I got to Dairy Queen, Hick had clarified a bit more, with a second text.

"He's looking at the old side by side ill be there pretty soon."

Okay. That made sense. Now I wouldn't accuse a Friend of Hick of casing the joint to come back later and steal our superfluous side-by-side. Which is like the Gator, only red, and an off-brand.

Had I been sending that text myself, I would have worded it differently.

"Buddy is on his way to our homestead. He's going to look at the Scout to see if he wants to purchase it as-is with the dead battery and carburetor problem. He will be traveling in a silver pickup truck, which you may see parked near the BARn, having left tracks through the field. Should you observe a strange fellow of whom you are not familiar, it is he."

Nah. I wouldn't text that. I hate to text.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

More Easy Money, Hick and Val Versions

Hick continues to accumulate wealth without doing much of anything. Friday he got an offer he couldn't refuse. Not from Back Creek Neighbor Bev, and not the meat of a Ponytail Guy. This offer was from my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel. 

Mabel is making plans for new garage doors. THREE new garage doors. And what better way to dispose of the OLD garage doors than to offer them to Hick? It sure beats paying the installers to haul them away. So Hick is in line to acquire, free of charge, three 8x10 garage doors, insulated, with a wood finish, slightly faded.

I know Hick can make money on these garage doors by advertising them for free on Buy/Sell/Trade. Something tells me he will likely keep at least one for himself. He hasn't said as much, but I've become a pretty good judge of charHICKter. It will be 4 or 5 weeks until Hick can take possession of his new used garage doors. He's in no hurry.

I also came upon some easy money on Friday.

That's another $100 winner on a $30 ticket. So it won back double-and-a-third of what it cost me. I will invest in another one this week. The payoff lately is better than that of the $5 scratchers, which were giving me NOTHING back! I'm sure the worm will turn, and I'll go back to the $5 tickets soon enough. Meaning as soon as I use up the bankroll I've accumulated on the winnings from the $30 tickets. Except for the $500 winner. That's put away, no playing back. No streak lasts forever, be it winning or losing.