Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Hick FLOORS Us With His Usage of the Word "Done"

You're welcome. I interrogate Hick so YOU don't have to! 

Tuesday night, I asked why he sent me pictures of his Railroad Car shed that showed the floor, but not the good stuff. I get it that Hick was proud of his handiwork laying the used laminate. One picture of that would suffice. I think I speak for most of you when I say that the INTERESTING stuff in the Railroad Car shed are the collectible contents. Not the FLOOR!

Turns out Hick DID take other pictures. He just didn't bother to share them with me.

According to the time stamps on Hick's photos, he hung the pictures about 90 minutes after he was DONE with his Railroad Car shed.

Not such good lighting, but you can see the little train track set up on the shelf. There's my pinball game. Shh... don't tell my sister the ex ex mayor's wife. The set of 3 black-and-white train drawings used to be on the wall of Genius's room. He really liked his Thomas the Tank Engine when he was a young 'un, and anything trainish.

So now you've seen the REALLY DONE project of Hick's Railroad Car shed over on Shackytown Boulevard.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

All Aboard the Shackytown Express

When we last left Hick working on his Railroad Car shed, he was putting in laminate flooring that he'd gotten for free from Back Creek Neighbor Bev. HE'S DONE!

I guess the Railroad Car shed is also kind of a toy palace. I see more than train memorabilia in there.

You gotta admit, that floor turned out well! I guess this is one end of the Railroad Car shed. And then there's the other end:

NOW I see some train toys. Too bad Hick was so intent on showing off his floor that the didn't tilt the phone up to let us see the train track on the shelf.

Of course every Railroad Car needs a spittoon...
Here's the finished project, hot off the phone of Hick:

 I hope there wasn't a snarling groundhog gnawing on his leg when he took the pic!

Monday, May 10, 2021

Pony Tales From the PO

The Pony officially started work today! Sure, he's been on two weeks of paid training, but today he will begin the first of three days deliverinig mail on a route with a handler. Then they will turn The Pony loose!

When he got back from his four days of training in Springfield, The Pony said he really likes the first part of the day when he sorts the mail for his route.

"We were all doing it while the instructor timed us. Me and a middle-aged lady were the fastest. Actually, she beat me by about 20 seconds. We were done in four minutes. The other trainees took almost twice that long. The instructor said, 'You realize you did 5 minutes worth of work in 4 minutes.'"

"You don't want to do that on the job! There goes your overtime pay, heh, heh! But seriously. It will make the other workers mad. Because they might be doing it on the time that's allotted. Nobody likes a showboat. And if they really CAN'T do it any faster, they'll resent you for that."

"The first lady I trained with on a route was sorting some new carrier's mail. She did two trays. The other new lady in our office said during HER training, this one did FOUR trays of other people's mail. I think if they do that, they can get a shorter route for actual delivery."

"I figured you'd like that sorting part. It's exact. No gray areas."

"The only part I know I won't like is driving the truck and parking on a lot. I don't mind parking on the street, but in a lot, we're supposed to BACK IN to the parking spaces. Because it's easier to back into a space than back out, when you don't know what might be going on in the lot behind you."

"Well. They trained you on the truck, and you passed."

"I know. But a car is not the same as a cone!"

"Did you hit a cone?"

"Not a one!"

The Pony went to Walmart yesterday, and bought a two-piece rainsuit. He has ordered shoes from the USPS approved vendor. Not because he HAS to, but because other workers said he will need a good pair of shoes, for comfort, and because they'll wear out so fast. I think he doesn't get a uniform allowance until after his 90 days probabtion. But he got a free USPS hat!

In fact, The Pony brought in his kit to show me and Hick. I swear, it was the cutest frickin' thing every! Like a comp giveaway at a casino! The Pony had the following items:

- nylon mail pouch for carrying the mail
- mail cap
- strap-on headlamp
- medium pump bottle of Purell hand sanitizer 
- bright orange reflective vest for wear after dark
- bottle of pepper spray in case of dog attack
- gallon water jug (blue) with handle (not insulated, about the thickness of a Solo cup)

The Pony was supposed to report for work at 8:00 a.m. It's about a 20-minute drive at speed limit. He plans to get there about 30 minutes early. I doubt that will last long. As for now, The Pony is chomping at the bit to hit the streets and earn money.

I'm pretty sure that when he gets home, he'll be one tired Pony.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

If the USPS Lets You Down, Call AT&T

If it's not one thing it's another. Friday night around 3:00 a.m. I was balancing my checkbook. Yes. I'm that old. I record my expenditures, and call the bank's automated number to check them off. I do this at least every two weeks. Hick is notorious for using the debit card and not give me receipts.
Doop de dope da doo, doo! Doop de dope da doo, doo!
Oh, excuse me. I was just singing the intro (at 19 seconds) of Prince's DELIRIOUS. And thinking NOTORIOUS.

Anyhoo... there's a check that Hick has been wanting me to check on, a payment for a business venture he's pursing. IT cleared on May 5. But in looking up when I'd written and mailed it (April 21), I noticed that my AT&T check had not been processed.
Welp! That's a fine kettle of fish. It's due on May 11th. You'd think 20 days would be enough time to get it there. But then again, the USPS just hired my little Pony to deliver mail. My phone bill is only going to Illinois, by cracky! That's a neighboring state! I could probably walk it there in 20 days.
Oh my gosh! There is so much info I want to weave into this rich tapestry of my bill-paying life!

Anyhoo... I figured I should probably call, and see if I could pay by phone, and then get a credit if the original check ever arrives. I don't have an online account, and don't want automatic billing.

I called the number listed on the statement, and got a recording asking what I wanted, and then a message that all reps were busy, and my call should be answered within one minute. It was. I had the clearest connection EVER! My rep, Shonda, gave me her name several times over the course of our 15-minute conversation. She answered my questions, but said she was working from home, and didn't have the means of taking a payment by phone.

Shonda must have been using AT&T service, on a landline. I could understand her urban accent loud and clear, as she could comprehend my rural twang. No "can you hear me now" issues at all, like when I call other entities for missing bill/payment issues, when they must be using Walmart Tracphones to do business. I swear, for a conscientious never-past-due bill-payer, I've never had so many problems receiving and sending statements as I have in the past year!

Shonda tried to convince me to switch my cell service to AT&T. And internet. And sell me Direct TV. I can't fault her for that. I'm sure it's their policy. She made it conversational, almost as if she was not reading from a script. She couldn't believe I didn't want Direct TV. 
"What to you use for TV? Why don't you want Direct TV?" 
Not confrontational. All about helping me! I didn't make her go through the whole spiel. Just said it wasn't convenient for me to switch at this time. Heck, I have stock in AT&T. My dad retired from AT&T. It's not like I'm boycotting them!

Anyhoo... Shonda was conversing while waiting for access to one of her cronies who would call to take my payment information. She also informed me that there would be a $5 fee.  
"I bring this up because we have elderly people on fixed incomes who can't afford that charge. It will be on your next bill. It won't apply if you pay online."

What in the NOT-HEAVEN? It's a PHONE COMPANY, for cryin' out loud, wanting to CHARGE people to USE A PHONE to make a payment on their PHONE BILL! I'm pretty sure that's some twisted kind of irony.

Anyhoo... Shonda got my information through, and said that IVY would be calling me to take my payment information.

Ivy must have been swamped with rich old people needing to pay their bill by phone. I waited 45 minutes. I played Candy Crush Saga until I ran out of lives. Then I looked up the AT&T online payment info. 


No logging in. Just put in the phone number, zip code, and your card number! I was done in less than a minute! Easy peasy! 

I took the phone with me into the master bathroom for my shower. You may remember that it has a phone but no ringer. Of course I had just gotten off the throne and flushed, when the phone rang. I tried to wait two rings, and move to the other end of the bathroom.

"Hello? HELLO?"

"Oh. Mrs. Thevictorian... I am so sorry! I didn't mean to call you back... I was going to hang up." [Ivy sounded like a pharmaceutical rep, the type who may have had a liaison with Dr. Doug Ross in the early seasons of ER.]

"You didn't call me, except for now. Anyway, I just made payment online. It was easy!"

"Oh. I looked at your account, and saw that it was current. So I am sorry for calling."

"No! THANK YOU for calling! Now I know it's taken care of. Shonda answered my questions about the payment not being received, and getting a future credit. So I went ahead and paid."

"All right. You enjoy the rest of your day."

"And you too."

Excellent customer service. So rare these days. Jake With State Farm... watch your back!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

This Week's Penny Goblet Is the New Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

Nothing! Nada! Zip, zilch, bupkis! A big ol' goose egg! There was no joy in Pennyillionaireville. The ample-rumpused Val has not lucked out. 

I can just hear the sentiments of a former sitcom star, a guy with a big head and flared nostrils; a horse face, big teeth, and a pointed nose: "That's a shame."

Yes! It IS a shame! How can I become a Future Pennyillionaire without a steady income of PENNIES? It's not for lack of trying. I'm out there beating the streets. Or at least beating the parking lots of convenience stores. I go to two a day. Minimum! Sometimes three. Plus a grocery store or two every week. And this week, I was also at the hospital to visit the upstairs clinic for my routine [drug-seeking] six-month appointment. Surely people in a hospital have money. At least when they go in...

Oh, well. I guess I'll just chomp on a dirty old carrot. After all, tomorrow is another week.

That's 0 COINS this week, for 0 CENTS.


Penny       still at 44.
Dime         still at 3.
Nickel       still at 1.
Quarter    still at 2.

Penny     134
Dime        25
Nickel      10
Quarter      1

Friday, May 7, 2021


Thursday had a split personality. Probably off his meds...

I had a doctor appointment at 8:00 a.m. Hick drove me there in T-Hoe, to drop me off at the door. On the way, rain started. I remember, because I had to tell Hick to turn on the windshield wipers. Funny thing about T-Hoe. Sometimes he starts those wipers automatically, with only a couple random drops hitting the windshield. Other times, rain pounds down and sluices across the glass, and you have to manually activate the wipers.

Anyhoo... my doctor (NURSE PRACTITIONER) said the oddest thing: "I won't keep you. Let's get you back out in the sunshine."

"Um. There wasn't any sunshine when I came in."

"Oh. Well, there was when I came in. We had to feed the cows this morning, and it looked like rain. But it was bright and sunny on the way here."

Yep. On the drive home, I even needed my sunglasses. But when I went back to town around noon for my magical elixir, the skies had clouded. I got sprinkled on. Then the sun came out. Then I saw purplish black clouds handing over Backroads as I proceeded there from my errands in Sis-Town. Lightning, too!

Coming down mailbox hill, a couple drops of rain hit T-Hoe's windshield. I parked in the road (because I can), and took a few steps to pull the mail out of EmBee. The downpour started. I was speckled with water as if somebody shook an old-timey water thingy on me before starting the ironing. Or maybe that's a current thing, and it just shows how long since I've even watched anybody do the ironing...

Anyhoo... I pulled T-Hoe into the garage, and immediately heard pounding on the metal roof. I could see hail blowing across the sidewalk to the side porch! It's under roof! No way was I going out there to get pelted with ice balls! I went to the people door, and took a picture.

Let the record show that those are NOT real flip-flops! They are part of Hick's collection of ceramic stuff along the garage.

Nary a dog in sight to greet me. Unless you count that fake one Hick got at the auction. And there's Juno's rope toy that she usually hoards in her house. Jack came running from under the Gator under the carport when the hail had almost stopped. He ran in the garage and didn't want to come out, but I sweet-talked him with promise of a TREAT. Which was a BBQ pork rind. Jack turn up his nose in disgust, and trotted around the porch to the water bowl.

You can see the size of the hailstones, here by Hick's porch churn. I wish I had picked some up to inspect. I could see the layering that forms as they are jostled in the updrafts of the storm.

I asked Hick later where he was during the hail, and he said, "There weren't no hail." I showed him the pictures, and he went out to inspect the roof for damage. It was okay.

"I saw spots of water around my churn when I came home. That would explain where they came from."

I'm sure he was ready to blame my little Jackster for peeing drops all around the churn...

Thursday, May 6, 2021

I'd Like to Thank You, Hick, For This Delicious Treat From Uranus

I'm not even saying that in my sarcastic Julia Sugarbaker voice, like thanking RAY DON. I am truly thanking Hick for the gift he brought me from his 3-day mini vacation to Springfield. 
He got home the same time I was pulling into the garage after procuring my magical elixir. You might think he would have waited a minute to talk, but all I saw was the back of Hick as he pulled his suitcase across the garage threshold. As I climbed out of T-Hoe, he reappeared momentarily.

"I'm going to mow grass. I left you something. It's in a white sack on the table."

Of course I was elated. A PRESENT? I hope Hick wasn't feverish with the VIRUS!

It's FUDGE! Looks like chocolate mint. Hick knows my flavor profile preferences. It it looks HUGE... that's because it IS.

There's a side view, sitting on my laptop, HIPPIE. It's about a 3-inch by 3-inch square. I assume it will be delicious. I haven't tried it yet, because I have a fasting doctor's appointment at 8:00 a.m., and I was just carrying in lunch when Hick gifted me with this fudge.

I'm pretty sure that fudge came from URANUS! Because Hick sent me a picture at 10:00 a.m.

Yes, as with all Hick pictures, it has the subject in the center, surrounded by a whole lot of nothin'. I think we could have done without so much sky. It's not like he's going to make a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle out of it. Though I think that might be a best-seller at the store in Uranus. Here's a 3-minute video of an interview with a Uranus fudge-packer from three years ago.

That Hick! He just can't resist poking his nose in Uranus. Every time he's on a trip down I-44 without Val, he has to visit Uranus. He soaks up the ambience of Uranus. You might say Hick fully immerses himself in Uranus. He revels in the thrill that only 20 minutes in Uranus can give him.

Florida might have Jupiter, but Missouri has URANUS!

I checked. The white bag has a slogan: "The Best Fudge Comes From Uranus"