Sunday, July 31, 2022

In Line At the Gas Station Chicken Store

Let the record show that I am never in a hurry when I stop by to get my scratchers. It's not like I have anywhere I need to be. That said, I DO find waiting in line to be tedious. Mind-numbingly boring. So I eavesdrop on the clientele.

Saturday, the line was taking forever. Not really any one person's fault. Just a series of time-consuming events. Four people were already in line when I entered. It's tight quarters in there. One gal was paying at the counter, and two men and a woman were lined up down the center of the three aisles. I know my place. I didn't see any need to walk all the way down the left aisle and come up behind the Suitcase of Budweiser Gal to stand in line. I stood at the end cap, waiting for that line to move forward. This made me privy (heh, heh, I said PRIVY) to conversations.

The Paying Gal had some issues picking up her change. I do applaud her for using actual CASH and not a card. Besides, she almost left me a coin for my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune. Almost...

"Oops! I'm about to lose a dime!" And she squatted to pick it up. Drat!

The next guy paid with plastic. The card-reader takes forever, even though it's fairly new. It's on an electrical leash. People pull it through the little hand-hole in the plexiglass to punch in their numbers. This guy was out-of-sync with my favorite cashier.

"Oh. It's not doing anything."

"Huh. I must have cut you off. I'm really sorry. Here. Try again." (!!!!!!)

"No need to be sorry. I'll get it."

Then there was the offering of the red tickets for the gas drawing. Which he declined, saying to give them to the next person who wanted them.

The line was moving up. I swear they had crept closer to each other, like I was some line-cutter. I don't know why Suitcase of Budweiser Gal didn't set down her burden. She continued to hold it on her hip while inching forward. Her payment was eventually uneventful. It's the guy who was in front of her who made my day.

"Sorry for your wait."

"No problem. I don't mind to wait. I sure don't want my picture on the wall!"

"Yeah, we have a few."

"I was in Tally-Ho Dairy Bar [a local eatery with carhop service as well] the other day, and saw a bunch of people I know. I wandered from table to table, talking to them. I forgot all about paying before I left! A mob tracked me down on Facebook. Well. They tracked down my wife! So I had to go back and pay. I'm not doing that again!"

Waiting might be a chore, but it's never a bore at the Gas Station Chicken Store.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

A Decent COIN Catch This Week

It's not shark week here in Backroads. No scary music playing in this land-locked burg. But I DID manage a decent catch this week for my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune. I am NOT going to need a bigger goblet. 

MONDAY, July 25, my casino luck continued.

As I cashed out my ticket at the Horses of Helios slot, and headed to the slot on my left that has some magical bags of coins that keep growing... I spied something on the floor!

It was a face-down 1990 NICKEL, waiting just for ME! You bet I stood on my head, ample-rumpusing any by-walkers, to retrieve my rightful coin.

But wait! The lucky day wasn't over yet! I headed for town later that evening, for my scratchers. I had a great success with more winners than losers, and a good little profit. I also picked up a little something extra at Country Mart.

I guess it had been waiting for me. I was only a couple hours later than usual.

It was a heads-up 1973 penny, waiting right where I was sure to see it! Mine, all mine.

FRIDAY, July 29, I spied another treat as I was leaving the Gas Station Chicken Store. I swear it wasn't there when I walked in.

So enticing, there on the brown carpet leading to the snack cakes.

It was also a 1973 version, but this time face down. I guess old Abe didn't want some kind of funky white-hair mustache making a laughingstock of him on my blog.

That's 3 COINS this week, for 7 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny          # 66, 67.
Dime            still at 12.
Nickel          # 5.
Quarter       still at 5.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, July 29, 2022

Val's Turn to Win (and Get a Little Weirdo Action)

Hick was not a winner this time, but it WAS a different casino. Maybe he's only lucky every 20 years in one certain casino. Val, on the other hand...

I wasn't doing very well when Hick dropped me off. I had instructions to play $40 for The Pony on Pompeii, one of his favorite slots. Wouldn't you know it, Pompeii was GONE! As if it had been buried and forgotten! So The Pony told me by text to play Buffalo Chief. He should have known better. I don't think I've ever won a cent, or even gotten a bad bonus on that slot. I played his $40, and after 50 spins at the minimum bet of 80 cents, per his instructions, he had $8.93 left. Oh, well. Easy come, easy go.

Several of my usual favorites were tighter than the shoes on Little Lotta! They ate up my money like Little Lotta running rampant at a buffet. Until I got to my favorite, Wonder 4 Tall Fortunes. I played all the games, getting the most back from Indian Dreaming. I gave Buffalo Gold a whirl. It let me play a while. Miss Kitty was being catty, but I kept switching back to her. Sometimes, you just have that feeling.

That's the final game of my 10-game bonus. As you can see, some of those kitties overlapped, and were 3x and 2x. That happened by game four of my bonus. So it set off the coins and winning music for the next six games. Not that I minded. You can see that I won $810.32! 

Of course there was a weirdo incident. This Wonder 4 Tall Fortunes was on the end of a row. Like an end cap in the grocery store. On my left was an aisle, and across it was a row of spinning wheel kind of games favored by The Pony, who wasn't with us this time.

The guy playing the spinning wheel slots didn't LOOK like a weirdo. At first. I was a little annoyed that he let the volume stay on high. That's adjustable, you know. I always turn mine down. So my winning doesn't annoy other people, heh, heh!

Anyhoo... I was happily playing Miss Kitty when that Weirdo turned around and said,

"I put money in here, and it's not doing anything."

Huh. His head was turned in my direction. Looking at me over his left shoulder. I turned and looked behind me, to see who he was talking to. 


Why was this Weirdo telling me about his machine problems? I'd never seen him before in my life. What in the actual Not-Heaven? Why do people think I'm some kind of employee wherever I am? I am an old lady with a graying unkempt not-so-lovely lady-mullet, wearing a pink plaid shirt, sitting at a slot machine feeding money into it, sipping on a free soda. What about that screams SLOT ATTENDANT?

Weirdo kept blathering, about putting a twenty in the slot, and the machine doing nothing. Did he think I was going to give him his money back? Whip a car-creeper thingy out of my shirt pocket and wheel under that slot machine and tinker with it? Whew! A REAL slot attendant appeared around the end of his row, and asked what was wrong. I guess he had pushed the CALL ATTENDANT button after all.

I shouldn't be too hard on that weirdo. His distraction changed the timing of my button-pushing ever so slightly, and resulted in my jackpot!

A newer game at this casino is the Horses of Helios:

The graphics aren't much to look at here, but it has a really fun bonus, if you can get it.

I was fiddling around, switching the denomination, and changed it from 1-cent to 5-cents. This bonus paid me $195, but that 75-cent bet was actually $3.75 at the 5-cent denomination. I only did it for a twenty, but this is the only denomination that paid me anything on Horses of Helios. I cashed out and moved on. No need to spend my whole Miss Kitty jackpot on it! I sure would have liked to win the GRAND!

Hick lost his standard amount, but wasn't too cranky about it. I'm giving The Pony back his original $40. I think I can spare it.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Who Wants To Have Lunch at the Casino?

Hick had business down south Monday, in the town of our favorite casino. He asked Sunday night if I wanted to ride along. OF COURSE! You know, to keep Hick company while he was sweaving down the back roads and the interstate. I'm selfless like that.
Anyhoo... Hick dropped me off, then went about his business, joining me at 1:15 to meet up for lunch. I mentioned last time we were there that they have a new menu. Higher prices, less food. Sheesh! You'd think they were trying to make money or something.
Last time I had the Smokehouse Burger, which was pulled pork and BBQ brisket, topped by two onion rings. I said I'd have it again, but... something else caught my eye.

First let's start with Hick's burger and onion rings. I guess he didn't like his Shrimp Po' Boy from last time. Or maybe he's just not very adventurous.

Sorry, I gave the burger short shrift in this photo, because you've seen Hick's burger multiple times. The onion rings were what captured my attention. SO MANY! Have you noticed that when Hick gets the combo, he always has his main item in a tray, and his side in another tray? And MINE are always combined in the same cardboard tray! If I didn't know better, I might think it was because Hick pays the bill and gives the tip when we order!

Anyhoo... Hick gave me a pity onion ring when he was done. Maybe he was full from his Cookies and Cream Pie, which he ate first, and I didn't have time to get a picture. He said it was a generous portion, and not like that tiny sliver of cheesecake he got one time.

I was quite satisfied with my new favorite meal, the BRISKET ON TOAST! 

Sorry! I couldn't wait to try it! I gave up on the over-fried old-oil tater tots, and went for the fries this time. They were better than the tots, though I would prefer them without whatever that seasoning is on them. Enough about the fries, let's get to that brisket! Look at the BBQ sauce dripping out the bottom. 

This was the most delicious sandwich EVER! Sure, it was only on regular white bread, but there was enough butter on that toasted edge to satisfy The Pony (who was working and unable to accompany us). The brisket itself was delectable. Just the right amount of fat and crispy edges and smokiness. YUM! I could eat one right now! I will definitely get that sandwich again next time.

Of course, I could have just been in a good mood from my slot exploits right before lunch...

That is a story for tomorrow. With pictures, and a possible weirdo encounter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Clueless Generation

Sometimes, a little life experience is needed to do a job well. Or even acceptably. There's a new cashier at Country Mart. He's been there a little over a month. A really nice young man, probably between 18-21. He was nervous the first few times I went through his line, but now he seems at home, and is just the right amount of chatty and personable.
He really tried to bag my groceries right. I had a frozen Freschetta rising crust pizza, which he laid on its side in the bag. And he put my package of mozzarella cheese sticks on top, after asking me if it was all right. I had to also suggest that my deli big salad in the flat square container could go with the pizza, too. He put Hick's antiperspirant, and the triple antibiotic ointment, and non-stick foil, and my orange citrus dish soap together. But then he put Hick's bottle of whiskey in a bag with a jar of cherry peppers.

"Careful! This one is all glass!" he said as he double-bagged them, together, letting the glass clink.

I had four potatoes in a bag. The sign by them in the produce department calls them Giant Baking Potatoes. They're really huge, and perfect for when I make Terrible Taters, and stuff them with pulled pork and cheese for a filling meal. Sometimes they're on sale, but today they were not. They were $1.29 each. I wanted those potatoes, so I put four in a bag.

New Guy got to my potatoes, and was baffled. "I'm not sure what these are." He picked up his glossy color chart of about 100 produce items.

"They're the Giant Baking Potatoes. The sign said $1.29 each. I remember that, because sometimes they're only 99 cents, and once they were 89 cents on the sale ad. But today, they're $1.29 each."

"I guess I would call them russets?"

"I don't know. They look like they could be russets."

"Yeah. I'm going to say they're russet tomatoes."

"I just know they were $1.29 each. In a bin. Labeled Giant Baking Potatoes."

"Oh. Here. $1.29 apiece. Yeah. They look like russet tomatoes to me."

Where to start? He was giving me the right price. But surely he knew the difference between POTATOES and TOMATOES!
That dear sweet boy. He just was not picking up what I was laying down. When I checked the receipt later to see if he'd charged me for "russet tomatoes," I saw that he had not. But he HAD overcharged me! 
There's a wrinkle in the receipt, but take my word for it. Instead of $1.29 each, he'd weighed them, and charged me for 4.12 pounds @ $1.29 per pound. So $5.31 instead of $5.16. No. I did not take them back.

Bless his heart! At least he didn't try to sear a steak in vegetable oil, and burn his hand...

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Pony Is an Oily Hipster (Part 3)

Two days after The Pony hurt his hip falling into the Metris (now not even mentionable) and burned his hand with hot oil while cooking a steak... he was still in pain, but thought the burn looked a little better.

"It actually looks a bit better. I'll probably be fine."

"Use your other hand. Carry the mail bag on your other side."

"It's not as easy to swap around as you might think. I could fall over from the unusual distribution, plus I'd have to have the mail right on the wrapping to carry it that way. I'm re-wrapping."

"Yeah, that looks way better than what the JANITOR did for you at urgent care."

"My day gets worse. My blue water jug popped open when I got in."

"Dang. Stay hydrated. Refill it later."

By noon, The Pony was not feeling his oats.

"Not feeling great! Burn keeps getting bumped into things. But someone left me a foil wrapped frozen water bottle."

"Some people are gems. Others are turds. You got a gem."

"Oh, yeah. today's manager had a suggestion: if I peel off the skin that's left from the blister it'll scab and harden up faster. OW. Just the thought of that! Honestly, this burn has hurt worse than the broken ankle. Here's what it looked like after work when I took off the bandage:"

"And then after I washed it:"

"Are you going to put ointment on it, to keep the scab soft so it won't get knocked off painfully?"

"I'm going to avoid even touching it! I'm going to leave it open until bed."

"You might even sleep with it open, then cover it for work tomorrow."

AND... the next morning, Sunday:

"Left it unwrapped overnight, feels drier now, like the blister skin is dying. The flap where it popped open got hard and keeps catching on things."

"Ointment and wrap, at least for work."

When The Pony got home from work, he sent what will be our final picture today:

"That sure is looking better. Like it has makeup on!"

"The big difference is the top skin dried out and isn't sweat soaked now. The blistered part is the darker red, and then the darker brown surrounding part looks dirty, but is just the burn."

Sooo.... it looks like The Pony is going to survive his steak dinner from Wednesday night.

Monday, July 25, 2022

The Pony Is an Oily Hipster (Part 2)

The day after hurting his hip falling INTO the Metro at work, and burning himself with hot oil while cooking a steak for supper... The Pony didn't mention his hip.

"It looks like my hand might be starting to blister a bit. Several little bump clusters."

"Like a sunburn before it peels. Clear fluid might leak out. Keep it clean."

"Gonna be hard with what I'm working in today."

"Oh crap. I'll start writing your obituary."

Two hours later, the sun was taking a toll on The Pony's hand burn.

"You should probably cover that at some point, and add some ointment, now that it's not a fresh burn."

"I might call out tomorrow and go to urgent care, since all that just popped up."

"The sun and heat aren't helping it. Maybe you could go to urgent care today if you get off in time. NOT the one that treated your ankle!"

Later, The Pony fumbled his package scanner thingy, and hit the thumb, and ripped open a blister. He was allowed to leave around 30 minutes before the urgent care closed, and rushed over there in 15 minutes.
"She said it should be to the scabby stage in about a week. Wrapped it up and put in a thing for a burn cream. I'm going to get it tomorrow, since I'm delivering to that pharmacy anyway. She gave me the end of the gauze and stretchy wrap rolls."

"That will protect it from the post office dirt. Are you sure an actual nurse practitioner wrapped that? And not the janitor who was getting ready to close the office?"

After work the next day, Thursday, The Pony sent an update.

"I don't think the gauze kept it clean."

"And urgent care either never called in the burn cream or sent it somewhere else than what I told them. It wasn't there. At this pint I'm too fed up to bother dealing with it. Google says this one isn't even recommended for burns anymore because it apparently doesn't do much and might even slow healing."

"None of the black was on the moist pink hole. I guess it could be from the cream she used. It's got silver in it and causes some discoloration. It still hurts. I cleaned it the best I could without disturbing the hole. Here's my one-hand wrapping."

"Probably not gonna put on the sticky stretchy stuff until work."

"It looks better than the wrap the urgent care JANITOR gave you!"
[No, that's not a horrific burn injury to The Pony's thumbnail. He needs to either keep polish on his nails, or get it off when it starts to chip!]

Tomorrow... at work with a thumb-lame Pony.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Pony Is an Oily Hipster (Part 1)

The Pony is proving himself to be an Accident Magnet. Wednesday, at 4:19 pm:
"Fell today getting into the Metris! Got a knot on my hip that's already starting to turn color."


The Pony was off a little early, and stopped by the grocery store across from the post office.

"I'm going to make steak and pasta tonight, I think."

"Mmm. I'm sure it will make your hip feel better."

At 5:51, The Pony was upset.
"Bottom of my steak was brown! This is deceptive packaging! Should be fine, though."

"They do that. As long as the date is good, and it smells okay, it should be fine."

By 5:56, The Pony's day had gotten worse.

"Agh. Steak splashed a lot of hot oil onto my hand."
"Hope you're okay, Bruised-Hip Burn Victim."

"Hope so too! Splashed all up the side of my thumb, and up my arm and on my hip."

"Run cold water over it. Good luck getting your hip into the sink!"

"Mmm. Isn't that steak a little more done than you like?"

"Yeah. I was kinda winging it, time wise, and was distracted by dealing with the burn. The biggest burn:"
"That's gonna hurt in the sun tomorrow! Maybe you should go back to the store for some gauze."
"That sounds painful on its own. Putting on the oven mitt to finish cooking hurt it! The steak splashed a lot of hot oil onto my hand when I first put it in the pan, because it fell off the spatula early."
"Is there any accident you HAVEN'T had? Besides slamming your own leg in the car door, I mean..."
"Remember, I DID that! It just didn't break the skin on my leg. I showed you when I came out for the casino the first time."
"Oh, yeah. I guess my PTSD from my leg-hole blocked it out."
"I run my hand under cold water every time I get up. It's mostly fine. I'll see how it is in the morning. That distinct dark line around it is a bit more recent. The thumb is the worst. The splotches on my arm, torso, and thigh aren't as bad."
"You're going to run out of parts to hurt. Stay away from that scratching cat's door slot tomorrow."
"I'm not gonna be on that route. I HOPE!" 

Tomorrow: The Pony's day gets a big thumbs-down...

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Val's COIN Quest Ramps Down This Week

Not much joy in Future Pennyillionaire Fortuneville, but at least Val didn't strike out.
MONDAY, July 18, was my lucky day. Guess where I found my minute thrill. On Liquor Store Hill! Or at least on the little concrete ramp that leads up to the door. I saw it on the way in, but some do-gooder had to hold the door open for me, so I could not in all politeness stop and take two pictures while making him wait!
Of course I took time to harvest that meager crop on my way out. Thankfully no other weirdo nobody else wanted a Liquor Store penny that day!

It was a heads-up 1974 penny, enticing the best out of my phone camera. I was quite optimistic after this find on Monday, but my luck dried up like a quick rain shower on our gravel road during these 100-degree days.

That's 1 COIN this week, for 1 CENT towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny          # 65.
Dime            still at 12.
Nickel          still at 4.
Quarter       still at 5.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, July 22, 2022

A Need For Earmuffs While Strapping On the Feedbag

We left the casino a little earlier this time, since we didn't have to wait for anybody's hand pay to be processed. Since there are no restaurants open at the casino that interest us, during the late morning/early afternoon times we are there, Hick decided we'd eat at the off-brand buffet in a town on our way home. Thevictorians love a buffet!

This time, we knew what foods were available, and loaded up with our favorites. No tasting menu for us! The Pony never shies away from strapping on the feedbag. He got a salad this time, and was thrilled that he knew where to find the butter prior to already eating two rolls.

"I still can't believe they have an actual TROWEL sitting there to dig out the butter!"
I'm pretty sure The Pony is the person who has most taken advantage of that trowel. Here you can see that he got two trowels worth of butter. To be fair, he DID say he would share all that butter with our table. Hick couldn't reach it, but I dipped my knife into it a couple times.
The Pony also had a pasta and pulled pork plate. I forgot all about getting a picture of Hick's food, with him sitting across from me this time. Let the record show that Hick did not leave there hungry. I had my favorites, which I spread over two plates, so as not to limit myself, heh, heh!
I had two chicken thighs. This place has delicious chicken, and the thigh is my favorite fowl appendage. I also had some pulled pork, and a pile of mashed potatoes with white gravy. Of course two rolls, because all The Pony's butter wasn't going to eat itself. The chicken thighs were actually normal size, but the rolls were pretty big. Nice fluffy yeast rolls.

I also forgot to get a picture of Hick and The Pony's desserts. I asked The Pony to bring me a little dish of chocolate soft-serve ice cream. It was just as not-good as the last time, when Hick gave me a bite of his. The Pony had some of his favorite sugar cookies with the sprinkles on top. But he said the chocolate chip cookie was not very tasty. He also had a little plastic ramekin thingy with a graham cracker crust, smooth light-colored main part, and whipped topping on top.

"What's that?"

"I don't really know. It's either cheesecake, or Key Lime Pie. The signs were just kind of general, and all of these looked alike." The Pony took a bite, and then said, "You can have the rest if you want."

With about 2 bites of it remaining, I gave it a try. Still don't know what it was, because it had no taste! Hick came back to the table with the same thing. After he ate it, we asked what it was.

"I'm not really sure. It didn't taste like nothin'. Maybe a little bit lemony."

"Oh. You must have got the Key Lime Pie, Dad. And we must have had the cheesecake."

Not that it mattered. When there's no taste, I don't see a need to name it. Anyhoo, we enjoyed our food, but not so much the conversation and antics at the table next to us. No. It did not involve children.

Here's the thing... the table we had last time was taken by some OLD PEOPLE! I know we're old, but they were older. In fact, one of the old ladies said they were there to celebrate her 87th birthday. Though it didn't seem to be very celebratory. 
There were 6 of them, and they were quite cantankerous and crotchety and condescending and sarcastic. The best-behaved was not old at all, but an early 30s grandson of the least offensive of the crew, who seemed to be somewhere on the spectrum. She said he helped her out every day, and had made her a pineapple upside down cake, so he was getting rewarded with a meal at the buffet with them.

Anyhoo... we were sitting at the table next to them, and couldn't help overhearing the conversation, even though we wished we could!

The old man was talking about his dog, and how much he loved it and treated it like a member of the family. And Birthday Girl announced, "I hate dogs." What a Debbie Downer!

"When I was a kid, I had four brothers. They were always picking on me. We had dogs, and they'd get ticks. Those great big white ticks. My brothers would smash them, and smear the blood around the doorknobs. So I hate dogs."

Such an appetizing conversation at mealtime! Weirdo talk. Just one more service Val provides for her readers.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Every Hick Has His Day

Last Thursday we went back to the casino. The Pony took his ID this time, and was of course rewarded with NO hand pay! In fact, The Pony was a loser. I was also a loser. Of my shirt! Not a good day for Val in the casino, but if you balance it out with the last visit, when I DID come out ahead, it wasn't too bad. I don't take what I'm not prepared to lose.
Anyhoo... Hick dropped us off at the north entrance again. This time, The Pony went straight to the ID-checker-guy at the podium. I went through the turnstile and was over halfway to the slot I sit at to wait for Hick when I realized The Pony was not trotting along behind me. I turned to look and that ID-checker-guy was interrogating The Pony like there was no tomorrow!

When The Pony was released into the casino, he had a little smirk on his face. Like he was proud to have been able to present his ID this time. The Pony sat down a few minutes beside me to play a gold-miner type slot we hadn't played before. He lost, and headed for his hand-pay slot, to play Brazil. I kept playing, and broke even on the gold miner thing. Probably the most successful I was for the whole day.

I noticed that I hadn't seen Hick go by. Usually, he'll stop and say where he's going. I moved a few rows to play Whales of Cash, and got a text from Hick.

"Just won $390.00"

"WHOA! On what?"

"Quick Hits"

Hick is a man of few words. And much money!

Hick said he was betting 60 cents, and was down to his LAST 60 cents when he hit that jackpot. He was thrilled to win $390. I think that's his biggest jackpot of all time. He took this picture while it was still counting up, but you can see the total under the screen:

He was in a really good mood, and didn't even rush us to leave! Also, he did a little bit of high-rolling with The Pony and me on the Wonder 4 Spinning Fortunes. 

We all had a good time, and Hick was the biggest winner. He was still in a congenial mood when we stopped at a buffet on the way home. More on that tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Every Now and Then, THE UNIVERSE Stops Conspiring Against Val, and Gives Her a Wink

Every day I buy a crossword scratcher. Most days, I'd say 90 percent of the time, I get my crossword at the Gas Station Chicken Store. Not everyplace has this $5 crossword, but even if they do, I'm pretty loyal to the GSCS for this ticket.
Tuesday was no exception. I got my crossword, and took it home for scratching. Oh, it was NOT a winner! I don't have a good win rate on this ticket. It's just fun to play, and takes about 15 minutes. There was something special about my ticket on Tuesday.
Do you notice what was special about my crossword scratcher? Probably not. Just an unremarkable loser, right? No.

The third line of the top puzzle has the word COLESLAW! Yes. Val likes coleslaw. But longtime readers know that there was one person who liked slaw even more than Val, and that was VAL'S MOM!

Okay. Does that seem a bit anticlimactic for you? Just seeing the word COLESLAW in a crossword? Let's continue.

The lower right corner of the bottom crossword has the word DOT. The name of Val's mom was Dorothy, but nobody called her that. She was just DOT, to family, friends, and co-workers.

Oh, yeah. I didn't notice until I took the picture, but this ticket was number 11 (out of 60 tickets per roll). Val's birthday, though not of the current month, is the 11th. All just crazy coincidences, right?

The only thing that could have excited me more is if there had been a ladybug crawling across my ticket. Or, you know... if it was a winner.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The North .40 Needs a Little John Deere

Genius has a bumper crop of peppers growing on his balcony! They're not all ready to pick yet, but it sounds like he's going to have peppers coming out his ears. Maybe peppers are the new zucchini. I got a picture from him Monday morning.
"The harvest grows."

"Wow. You might need a little tractor to harvest the North .40 if this continues."

"There are at least 100 peppers growing out there. So far only 6 have ripened but I think the next wave is coming soon."

"What did you cook the first habanero in?"

"We made tacos and I did a mango habanero salsa with them."

"Was the heat the right level in it?"

"Yeah. The pepper itself was super spicy but it was great in the salsa."

"What will you do with 100?"

"Great question lol. Gonna figure that one out as I go. I have a hot sauce recipe I want to make that I'll need about 30 of them for. Cooking with some. Pickling a bunch."

"Heh, heh. You could set up a pepper stand, with a lemonade stand next to it, for when the pepper heat from your samples hits your customers."

No reply on that. I guess Genius might need a license to sell peppers on the street, and his balcony is probably not zoned for business.

Maybe Hick should send Genius a picture of his Storage Unit 500 merchandise.

The North .40 needs a little John Deere and wagon.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Val Breaks Her HIPPIE

If I disappear for a few days, don't start to worry too soon. I'm having computer issues. 
Sunday nooned dark and late, with a rainstorm that persuaded me to lie abed longer than necessary. So it was around 1:00 when I tore myself away from watching Dazed and Confused, and made my way to the kitchen table to fire up my HP laptop, HIPPIE.

HIPPIE was having none of it! Not only not firing, but not even smoldering. Just a little spark, then nothing but the Spinny Blue Circle of Wait. Nothing would load. Even the troubleshooter was cantankerous, but eventually told me that SOME websites were reachable. Huh. I wonder which ones? I couldn't even get Firefox to open.

Funny thing, on Saturday night, HIPPIE slowed to a crawl, and as I went to do a re-start, I saw that an update was going to proceed, whether I wanted it to or not. So I did my re-start with the option of an update followed by an automatic re-start. Because I know it takes a long time to get going next time if I let HIPPIE shut down after an update.

You know what always happens, right? Everything can be working fine, and then that danged ol' update rears its head. I couldn't even get the 4-squared START button to work on Sunday. Due to that Spinny Blue Circle of Wait appearing every time I hovered over it. After more than an hour, I tried ESCAPE, which didn't work. So I held down the power button to extinguish HIPPIE. After a town trip, I tried again. I spent all afternoon and evening trying to get HIPPIE going. I wanted to try a System Restore. Nope. Spinny Blue Circle of Wait. THEN I lost the whole task bar at the bottom!

I figured HIPPIE had taken his last gasp. Hick said I could use The Pony's old old laptop, which he'd used maybe once, since The Pony said he updated Hick's photos on it. Of course you know what happened. NOBODY KNEW THE FREAKIN' PASSWORD! 
I bet I tried over 100 combinations of the two passwords and their variants used by The Pony, and the ONE password always used by Hick. Nothing worked. Strangely, four of them SEEMED to work. Which is just impossible! I'd get the WELCOME message and the spinning circle of dots, then it would revert to telling me the password was incorrect.

After 45 minutes of texting The Pony, and sending him a picture of the screen, we agreed that he could not help me. But he volunteered his newest old laptop, for Hick to pick up Monday afternoon. He promised to send a note with the password, heh, heh.

Anyhoo... at 8:00, I gave up and went to make my supper. Hick had already been fed. I then planned a trip down those 13 rail-less basement stairs to see if New Delly would still work. I've neglected him for months now, saving my knees by staying upstairs.

I sat down at the kitchen table, having returned The Pony's old old laptop back to the marred coffee table in the living room. I powered up HIPPIE one more time. On a lark, I plugged in the portable DVD player that I use for TurboTax, and had used last week to install my old Hoyle Casino & Word Games CD. I've been playing Texas Hold 'Em against fake people every night.

I signed in with my password, and HIPPIE showed the full task bar again! What in the Not-Heaven? I tentatively tried the START button, and the regular list popped up! Emboldened, I closed that list, and tried to open Firefox. SUCCESS!

This is very strange indeed. I'd been playing that Hold 'Em without the CD connected. It works either way, but without the CD, you can shut up those other players. They don't spout their canned responses. So obviously, HIPPIE worked five or six days just fine without that portable DVD player and the Hoyle CD connected. I don't know why that would send HIPPIE off the deep end, into the Spinny Circle of Wait. But for now, my HIPPIE is unbroken again.

I am still having Hick bring The Pony's old laptop out here, to use as a crutch.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

The Storage Unit 500 (Update)

Hick's $500 purchase of inventory for his Storage Unit Store continues to pay off. On Thursday, I showed you some items that he bought, all from one guy. He sent me a picture of a couple of those items that he has now placed on a shelf, rather than showing them stacked on the floor.

Hick says he'll sell the top John Deere, with the trailer, for $50. The smaller two he would sell for $25 each. There's a couple of those Millennium scale model cars I showed before, that Hick says will go for $30-$35 apiece. As always, Hick's prices are negotiable. We'll get to that in a minute...

Also in this photo are two Budweiser holiday tins. They are not from this purchase, but something Hick already had. Their price is $10 each. They once held two cans of beer apiece, but Hick can't sell alcohol. Not even old skunky alcohol. He CAN sell tins!

Anyhoo... Hick listed few of his items on Buy Sell Trade, which brought him a couple of customers. When I showed you Hick's purchases, I mentioned that he'd already sold the electric guitar and a remote control boat. Here is a list of what he's sold so far:

Electric Guitar - $600
RC Boat -------- $  30
Talking Fish --- $  40 for a set of 6
Bing Crosby --- $  30 in a combo with Ray Charles, who Hick forgot to mention!
Millenniums --- $  75 for a set of 3 cars
Gumball Mach -$200 for all 3

So you can see that Hick is willing to wheel and deal to move merchandise. That's a total of $975 that Hick has collected from his original purchase of $500. He's almost doubled his money, and still has items left to sell.

I don't know why somebody wanted so many talking fish, except maybe for resale. Hick doesn't mind customers making a profit, as long as he gets his up front. He'd rather sell 3 of those Millennium cars for $75 than sit on them and wait to get $35 each.

A lady saw the green gumball machine on Buy Sell Trade, and wanted it for $75. Then the next day her husband came to get it, and said he'd take all 3 gumball machines for $200. Hick was fine with that, moving his merchandise quickly. He didn't even have time to clean them up!

Anyhoo... Hick probably won't sell much until next weekend, since rain is forecast all day. But if he makes more sales on the Storage Unit 500, I'll give you an update.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

An Artsy-Fartsy COIN Reveal

SATURDAY, July 9, I braved the rain for my scratcher quest. Which turned into a penny expedition. At my reliable old supplier the Liquor Store, I came out to discover

A penny that I must have overlooked and overstepped when rounding T-Hoe to head inside. Surely nobody dropped it there while I was in the store, though it's hard to imagine I could have missed such a shiny treat on my way in.

It was a heads-up 1996 penny waiting in the rain. I hope Old Abe is a good breath-holder!

WEDNESDAY, July 13, I was doing my errands a day early because of plans for Thursday, and stopped at the School-Turn Casey's for scratchers. As I got out of T-Hoe in the extreme heat, I saw a glint. You may not...

It's there. Really. To the upper left of that dark mark that looks like an arrow. Here's a mid-distance view:

Around the 11:00 position from the point of that arrow, a flat shiny disturbance on blacktop. Maybe you will have a greater admiration for the tenacity of Val's near-sighted peepers!

It's a DIME, by cracky! A heads-up, upside-down, 1980 DIME!

From there, I mailed Genius-the-Pepper-Parent's weekly letter at the main post office, then proceeded to the Sis-Town Casey's for T-Hoe's weekly dose of molten gold--I mean low-grade gasoline. WooHoo! It was down to $3.99 per gallon. I got an extra 1/8 of a tank for the same money as last week! AND, on the way in to pay before pumping, I saw:

Right there where I walk across from the gas pumps to pre-pay, and go up the concrete ramp beside the handicap space. Almost as if it was left for me to find! Gotta say, I'm no arsy-fartsy photographer, but there's something about the angles and textures in this photo that I find appealing.

It was a face-down 1980 penny. What are the odds of THAT? Finding two coins on the same day, with the same date? I sure don't know, because there are two areas of mathematics where this ol' Val Thevictorian has a mental block, and that is calculating probability, and the slope of a line. Anyhoo... enough about my weaknesses!

That's 3 COINS this week, for 12 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny          # 63, 64.
Dime            # 12.
Nickel          still at 4.
Quarter       still at 5.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6