Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Everybody Toots

Hick had a routine screening test scheduled on Monday. A colonoscopy. Though he can't ever remember the name, and calls it a colonostomy, which is another thing entirely. Anyhoo, he had to drink the prep liquid, and stop eating on Sunday. The Veteran volunteered to take him. Hick drove to The Veteran's house. They took SilverRedO to the hospital. Then returned to The Veteran's house afterward, for Hick to drive himself back home. No. That was NOT what Hick was instructed to do. 

Hick knew that the hospital would not release him to drive himself home after the anesthesia. So he added that extra step with The Veteran. So he could then drive himself about the county, namely to eat lunch at the Senior Center, since he was STARVING after his pre-test fast.

Hick had fish for lunch. With broccoli, potato salad, fried corn, and banana pudding as dessert. The corn he described as kernels in a batter, formed in balls like hush puppies. Anyhoo... quite a bit of roughage for one who had just undergone an invasive procedure of the colon.

"The nurse told me I could fart if I had to. I did a little bit. But when I left, I went to the flip house, and sat on the toilet while I was calling the city about the water bill and extending it since I was still working on the house. I farted the whole time I sat there!"

Again, not something a normal person would do, but this is our Hick, the bargain-scamming, cook's pet, soft-hearted and soft-headed denizen of Backroads, not overly-endowed with couth. 

Hick said the doctor was not concerned with the polyps he sent out for testing, and recommended a follow-up test in three years. As for Hick, he's back on his regular tooting schedule.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Miss Scarlett Is Etiquettely Challenged

Perhaps you remember our adopted dog Scarlett, the Australian shepherd we took in from a former student who works in law enforcement, and had to keep her crated for 12 hours at a time.

Scarlett has been with us for six months now. She has the run of the property, and has learned not to dash off and sit on strangers' front porches until they post on Facebook for someone to come get her. She seems to be enjoying life, and has learned to be a dog. She only walks behind me, and now pokes my calves with her nose as if she is the one deciding where I will go. She particularly enjoys barking her fool head off in the wee hours of the morning on the front porch, and ADORING Hick from near and far when he's outside on the grounds.

Scarlett has learned not to run into the house, and not to jump up and grab food off the kitchen counter when I leave the door open while setting down my purse, before doling out the daily treats when I return from town. She also does not run in and out of the garage, making the door stop closing when I'm trying to make my getaway, or park inside.

The most recent treat for the dogs is a tasty one. Bread dipped in the drippings from the roasted vegetables I cooked with bacon on top. Sunday was the last day for the leftovers. In getting the pans ready for washing, I had the dipped bread on a plate, and scraped the remaining baby carrots on top. I had a plate for each dog. I can't just toss the bread and carrots out on the porch like the regular treats, because we don't want greasy wood outside the kitchen door.

Those plates were fit for a queen and king! Not quite as fancy as the cat food served in a crystal dish on that commercial, but exquisite enough for an outdoor canine. The nutty oat bread soaked from crust to crust in the bacon juice, and just the right amount of carrots on top. Jack is a smaller dog, so he got a few less carrots, all on a small paper plate. Scarlett had more, on a larger paper plate.

Hick came home early, around noon, and I saw Scarlett pacing outside the kitchen windows. I figured that was a good time to set out their treats, to get them off the kitchen counter before my town trip a few hours later. When I opened the kitchen door, Scarlett was RIGHTTHERE! I'm sure she though Hick might be coming out for her ADORATION. Jack heard me talking to her, and quickly appeared.

I picked up the treat plates, and stepped out the door. Jack waits like a true gentleman, but Scarlett is more excitable. As in, jumping up and down as if on springs, though careful not to put her paws on me, as that was the source of her one and only whacking. With a stern talking-to, she stood still. I always serve Scarlett's treat first, or she will dash in and steal from Jack. Who lets her do it without a growl, bark, or snap, because he is besotted with her.

As I bent to set down Scarlett's plate, she jolted forward and hit that plate with her nose, flipping it upside down.

"You stupid idiot!" I am not shy about calling an idiot an idiot. 

Scarlett cringed as if I was going to beat her with a 2 x 4. AS IF! I clearly had my hands full, and have never touched her other than that one whack on her shoulder with my hand and a stern NO when she bounced off my belly as if it was a trampoline. Even though I laid in wait for her to invade the kitchen again, a rolled-up magazine at the ready, and was never given an incident to use it.

Anyhoo... Scarlett slunk around while I set down Jack's plate, as if I was deliberately favoring him! Any other dog might have scooted that plate off the treat. But no. I had to lift if up for dainty Miss Scarlett to enjoy her bacon-dripping bread and carrots. For her naughtiness, she was left to lick the wooden porch deck, and root her treat out from the dried leaves that have assembled over the past two days.

That dog is more unmannerly than Hick himself!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

My Helicopter Can Remain Up On Blocks

The Pony sent me a picture on Friday at 4:02, near the end of his route:

You may recall that I associate ladybugs with my mom. She had them in the ceiling of her family room, and refused to call an exterminator, preferring to vacuum them up at the end of the day with her DustBuster, and set them free outside. She said it was no problem, because they went back up into the ceiling at night. We teased her a lot for that. After she died, I saw ladybugs a couple times a month, even when there shouldn't have been ladybugs in February, or inside the school on Open House night. I haven't seen a ladybug in a long time.

"Awwww! I so miss seeing them. Protecting YOU now! Not that I begrudge you protection..."

"She thinks I need it more!"

"You DO! Out working!"

I think The Pony will be okay.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Val Is at Odds With Even Steven Over This COINcidence

What are the odds that a seasoned coin-hound like Val would not see any change for three weeks straight? I'd say slim to none. Something is amiss. For the third week in a row, not a single coin was harvested for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune! Not only was no coin nabbed, but there was not even a sighting, nor a reason to leave one behind.

How likely is it that Val can be in the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time, for three entire weeks? Twenty-one days of no coinage! I'm pretty sure that's a new record. And NOT one that I've ever aspired to set.

I'll never surpass last year's totals at this rate!

That's 0 COINS this week, for 0 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny           still at 79
Dime             still at 16
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        still at 4


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, October 27, 2023

No Bingo Price for Hick, But a New Food Discovered

Hick didn't send me a picture of the Grand "Price" from bingo Wednesday night.

"The price tonight is an iPad but they don't have it out yet."

He said they were a few games into bingo when the iPad appeared, but it was just in a white box, so Hick couldn't see the point of taking a picture. He DID send his food:

"Buffalo wantons"

"That looks good. Chicken inside?"

"Just grab rangers with some Buffalo sauce"

I'm pretty sure Hick meant it was like Crab Rangoon with buffalo sauce."

"It's normally $5.00 but $2.50 during happy hour."

So once again, Hick got a bargain!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

All Decked Out

Hick has been working on the deck of the Double Hovel flip house. First he had to tear off the falling-down boards from the old deck. It's off the kitchen, on the side of the house. Hick didn't want to leave a door to nowhere. Or take out the door and try to patch up the wall and siding. Or rebuild the full-size deck, because lumber is expensive these days. So he's putting on a new, smaller version.

Here's what it looked like when we bought the house last October:

Not the most attractive deck in the world, but it looked okay to me. Not to Hick, who thought it was a death trap.

That's the old deck, after Hick and Old Buddy removed the decking. Hick says he has no idea how it was still clinging to the house. That whoever built it didn't really know what they were doing.

There's Old Buddy, with the framing of the new deck.

And here he is putting on the new decking. NO, those are NOT the steps for the new deck. I told Hick I hoped they weren't going up and down those steps. He said they were not. But the purpose of them escapes me.

In true Hickography form, Hick has isolated the subject of his picture in the middle of a vast sea of uninteresting clutter. I will try to give you a zoomed-in photo...

Hick says he's going to paint the deck, but he doesn't know what color. He has some black paint, but I don't think a black deck would look good. Maybe gray or brown. He says he will be painting, not just staining. I suppose he'll look at some other decks before he decides.

So, it's a smaller deck, but still a deck. Suitable for a couple chairs and a grill. The sides are meant to keep people from stepping off the edge. Not to contain small children or pets, who should be supervised anyway, since there was never a gate at the steps.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The City Graciously Allows The Pony Access To His Own Property

I was headed to The Pony's house on Tuesday, his day off, to deliver two large jars of minced garlic, and pick up some payments for his half of the Double Hovel flip house expenditures. The Pony texted me to warn that the city employees were working on his side street. You know, the one where the water main broke, and left a big hole back in August.

"You'll want to park out front, or by the senior apartments street row. They're working on the side street today."

Duly noted. I planned to park in front of The Pony's house. Except when I arrived, there was a city truck attached to a trailer there. And a dump truck across the street by the parking at the senior apartments. I managed to squeeze T-Hoe in by The Pony's neighbors' driveway. Right in front of his mailbox.

"Why is your neighbors' driveway full of yellow flowers?"

"I don't know. They DO still live there. I've seen them a couple times. And there was a light on last night."

"So how are you parking with all this work going on?"

"In my back yard. I can drive over the curb on the side street, and get past the trailer and lumber Dad left here. The good news is, they picked up my trash today! I guess the city vehicles were just enough out of the way that they could get to it this time."

While we were sitting in T-Hoe, a backhoe came up the street, maneuvered just in front of T-Hoe, and then dumped a lot of gravelly dirt into the back of the dump truck. I'm pretty sure the driver was cursing me for being in his way. Too bad, so sad.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Finally Open

I am relieved that the local Country Mart has finally reopened after remodeling! I've had to resort to shopping at Save A Lot, which is not a problem except for the limited parking where people drive the wrong way down the aisles, and close-parkers block T-Hoe's large doors. Or the other Country Mart over in Sis-Town when I'm doing my errands on Thursdays. Not really convenient, considering that I need to buy bananas ever four days.

Anyhoo... after a shut-down of 11 weeks, I now have the option of shopping at the new version, called 10 Box Cost +. The prices on the shelves are the cost it takes to get the item in the store, and at the register, they add 10 percent. That's not an issue for me. I can add in my head. I know what I'll be paying, so no trickery for me!

The store smells delicious! Like a newly constructed home! Even the floor is different. The deli has been removed, so there is more shelving, and a wider variety of items. They still sell alcohol, with Hick's favorite Wild Turkey. They still have a service desk, for cashing in scratchers over $100 up to $500. And best of all, they still have LOTTERY MACHINES!

The inside cart corral has been moved farther from the door. So they have lost my free cart returning on my way in to buy scratchers. I will still push them close to the front door, and leave them on the sidewalk. But I'm not going out of my way to bring in a single cart and walk it partway across the store. Unfortunately, some people think they're doing a good deed, and return their cart just inside the double doors. Which creates a blockage for people trying to go in and out.

Another negative is the bagging procedure. You have to bag your own groceries. Normally not a problem, like in Save A Lot, or Aldi's, where they shove your items down and put them back in your cart, or on the end where you put them in your cart, and proceed to a counter on the front wall to bag them. Not so here. You are expected to bag them right there at the end of the register.

Here's the problem: you can't start bagging until you pay, since the card scanner is by the register, not the end of the checkout. Then you have to pull the bags off the rack. The bags are stuck! The checker even gave me a little round container of wax to dip my thumb in to assist in getting the bags loose, but it didn't help at all. So I was holding up the line trying to get bags for my groceries. Oh, and they have a divider thingy they flip, so two customers can be bagging at once, on separate sides of the aisle. 

I don't see how this saves them any time, unless they get bags that will separate without a struggle. The next customer can't proceed until there's room to shove their items down for bagging. I have a plan to take my own bags next time. The very bags I used last time, or Country Mart bags. Just to they're loose and ready to fill. I actually like bagging my own groceries, because I can group them so they don't get smashed, and aren't too heavy.

Overall, I like the "new" store, except for the location of the carts, and the bagging stations. My receipt showed that they didn't actually add the 10 percent on a couple of items. That's on them! Not going back in to rectify a problem not my fault.

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Pony Has a Wardrobe Malfunction

The Pony did not have a great Saturday. By John Denver standards, this day was a stone. Or as Charlie Brown might have said, "He got a rock."

"Guess what happened as I was unloading my truck today."

"Not a dog bite!"

"Garlic butter and red sauce from Little Caesars. Dumped all over my side and my seat!"

Poor Pony! I guess his leftover pizza was kind of dry. At least this happened at the end of the day. And did NOT involve dog teeth.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Hick, the Universal Pet

Hick is not just the pet of the cooks at the Senior Center. He's the pet at the new storage units where he spends Friday-Sunday at his SUS2.

Hick left a little early on Friday.

"Why are you going already?"

"Because I told [the woman who runs the storage units] that I would open the gate to the Port-A-Potties for her."

Such a good egg, our Hick. Entrusted with portable toilets!

Hick's pride wenteth before his fall. Friday evening, he went over to the BARn as soon as he got home.

"A guy came in who collects beer stuff. I know I have what he wants over in the BARn. I'm going to get it so I'll have it in the morning to take to my SUS2."

When Hick came back, he reported an accident.

"I was coming down the steps from my BAR, and on the very last step, I caught my toe in the crack between the steps. I fell."

"On the floor???"

"Yeah. Right down on the concrete."

"You need to be more careful! I never would have known if you were hurt. If you weren't back over here by 8:00, I might have driven over to look for you. But otherwise, I would have assumed you got carried away with looking at all your stuff."

"I hurt my knee again, like when I fell at the football game. I'm going to take a shower, and see how bad it it."

"It'll hurt more tomorrow!"

Saturday morning, Hick reported that his big toe on his left foot was black. And that he had a scrape on his knee a couple inches long.

He doesn't think his toe is broken. He can move it. Painfully. Anyhoo... there's really nothing that can be done for a broken toe. I feel bad for him, but I'm glad he didn't knock himself out.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

No CHANGE For Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune This Week

Such a shocking development. NO COINS again this week! That's 14 days without a coin for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune. I must have been in the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time. Still, I can't complain, because my scratcher experience has been rewarding.

No losing streak lasts forever... so I am confident that the pennies will be waiting for me next week. Really. How long can they hide? 

That's 0 COINS this week, for 0 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny           still at 79
Dime             still at 16
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        still at 4


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, October 20, 2023

Val Drives Herself Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

The road to town has been undergoing sidewalk installation for a couple months now. They don't work on it every day. I think maybe the supervisor flips a coin in the morning to decide. When construction is actually in progress, there are extra signs besides the big electronic one flashing the message. Orange diamond-shaped signs, tens of feet apart. MEN WORKING. FLAGMAN AHEAD. BE PREPARED TO STOP.

I can avoid this by making a left turn just before those signs, driving past Mick the Mechanic's shop, then taking a right to go past the bowling alley, through a couple roundabouts, and into town on the road beside the Gas Station Chicken Store. 

On Tuesday, I did not detour. Sometimes the road isn't blocked, and men are just smoothing out the fresh concrete, finishing up, by the time I venture to town. Welp! There WAS a flagman. Not a problem. I was PREPARED TO STOP.

Thing is, there was only ONE flagman. He was past the big yellow backhoe thingy that was backing into the road. I couldn't tell if his sign said STOP or SLOW. They're similar, you know. And orange is not a good contrast to red. I'm not an idiot. I stopped to let the backhoe clear the pavement. Crept forward a little. Saw that the sign indeed said SLOW. A truck coming over the hill toward me must have had the same problem in perception. He screeched to a halt. I was concerned for the flagman.

Because I don't like taking chances with my safety, even in sturdy T-Hoe, I decided to take the other route on the way home. You never know when somebody will slam into you because they are not PREPARED TO STOP. That's just Val. Safety is her middle name. Val Safety Thevictorian.

I left by the back alley of the Gas Station Chicken Store. Turned right, and proceeded to the main roundabout, which was busy at that time, since the high school had just dismissed. 

There are four roads connected to that roundabout. If you think of it as a clock, I was coming in from the 6 o'clock position, turning right to go counterclockwise. At 3:00 is the high school road, at 12:00 is the entrance/exit long ramp to the interstate highway, and at 9:00 is the road I needed, that proceeds to a less busy roundabout that will take me past the bowling alley.

I waited for my chance to enter, as is proper etiquette (and probably the law) at a roundabout. Cruised around past the 3:00 high school road, past the 12:00 highway entrance ramp, and THEN IT HAPPENED!

A small gray sedan came hurtling down the highway exit ramp at about 50 mph, and shot in front of T-Hoe into the roundabout. I jammed on the brakes and hit the horn. The driver, a 30-something dude in a flannel shirt, baseball cap, and black wraparound sunglasses, did not give any sign of remorse. That's a long ramp. He could see the roundabout from 50 yards away. He knew there was a roundabout. He could see cars going around it. I guess he was just entitled.

I would have felt bad if maybe he was headed to the emergency hospital that is located on the road to the Gas Station Chicken Store. If perhaps he had somebody with a severed pinky-toe, or a woman in labor, or hunter with an arrow through his head. But in that case, he would have had on his emergency flashers, because, DUH, emergency! Nope. This guy had his elbow on the rolled-down window, alone in the car, just not wanting to wait his turn. It's amazing the details you notice when your life is in danger...

It behooves one to be aware of all the moving parts in a roundabout. You can't trust anybody to use common sense.

So much for avoiding the potential danger of the MEN WORKING flagman.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

It Will Be a Cold Day at Bingo Before Hick Brings Home a "Price"

If you're on the edge of your seat, waiting to hear about Hick's big bingo win on Wednesday night... you can sit back and relax. Hick did not win a thing. As usual. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! I don't know if Hick plays bingo at the Senior Center lunches lately. He hasn't bragged about mentioned any "prices" there for quite a while.

Anyhoo... here was the Grand Price at Wednesday night bingo:

A chest freezer. I'm pretty sure the one we have in our laundry room is just like that. Twenty years older, sure. But the same thing. 

Hick had the Potato Bombs again. And again, he almost forgot to send me a picture. I'm not sure who's acting as his Carol Merrill, but I suspect it's his bingo girlfriend. She's getting awfully familiar with Hick's fork! Perhaps she was fork-feeding him. I don't see his bingo husband in that shot. Some interrogation might be in order...

One thing for sure, that's not Hick's margarita. He said his bingo girlfriend encouraged one of the old ladies there from the Senior Center to try a margarita. "They're half price between 3:30 and 5:00!" Hick said she was still sipping on it at 6:30, and was a bit tipsy, usually only imbibing soda or water. He also said his bingo girlfriend won TWO prices! A gift card, and something else. Back to back.

You'd think she could let her "pet" win something...

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Another Bargain Says GOTCHA!

The bargains stalk Hick. He went to an auction Monday night, and returned home with a box of Frito bags of assorted flavors. 50 bags, to be exact. For which he paid the grand total of $10. That's 20 cents per bag. Yes, they were the small bags, like you'd get in a multipack for lunches. But still. I think it was a good deal. Hick said a bunch of people were buying them to give out for Halloween. We don't get any trick-or-treaters here. So we'll eat them ourselves!


He has regular Fritos, and Barbecue, Chili Cheese, and Honey Barbecue. Mmm. That's a good snack. Just the right size. 

Thanks, Hick, for having a nose for bargains.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Hick Is Safe Nowhere... There's Always a Bargain Waiting to Pounce

Monday, Hick went to Lowe's to get flooring for the Double Hovel flip house kitchen. While he was there, he saw a stack of treated lumber that was marked down. You may recall that Hick is in need of such lumber to rebuild the deck off the kitchen.

"It was about $500 worth of lumber. Marked on sale at $320. I asked the girl if I could pay for it, then come back and get it later, since I didn't have my trailer. She said NO! That I had to take it right then! That's the stupidest thing I ever heard of. I was kind of mad."

"What difference does it make? They would have the money for it. If you never came back to get it, they could sell it again!"

"I know! So me and Old Buddy came out and got my trailer, and went back. They hadn't sold it yet, so I bought it. Cost me about $344 with the tax. Still, it's cheaper than paying full price."

I don't know how he does it. Hick might as well meander across the county, just browsing at various lumber yards and hardware stores. He might find enough stuff to build an entire house at a bargain price.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Another Day, Another Bargain for Hick

Hick got home around 5:00 on Sunday from his SUS2 (Storage Unit Store 2).

"Well. I've been to the home of a convicted felon."

"Huh. I see you survived."

"He was a really nice guy. Him and his wife came to my store, with some knives and stuff to sell. I said I'd go see what they had. He said he'd been sentenced to 28 years, and he was done with all that. Had turned his life around. He has a young son now. He inherited his grandpa's 400 acre farm. They had a yard sale, but since they live so far out, not many people showed up. I got a bunch of knives, Case knives and Buck knives. About $500-$600 worth, for $200."

"I hope you didn't take advantage of them."

"Nope. When they were in the shop, the wife was showing me some pictures of the knives. I looked them up. I showed her what they were worth, and told her that I still had to make a profit. That she could sell them herself for more. And she said they didn't want to deal with that. Anyway, I also bought three gun cabinets from them for more than I should have. I can get my money back for them if I sell all three." 

"He can't have guns, or buy or sell them, as a convicted felon."

"I know that. He didn't have any guns. Just those three cabinets. He seems to be a really nice guy. He didn't have to tell me any of that."

Hick has a way with people. And bargains.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Is Lay-a-Way the Way?

I just found out Saturday that Hick is allowing LAY-A-WAY service at his SUS2 (Storage Unit Store 2). He mentioned how a lady came in, and he asked if she was there to make a payment, and she said no, that she was there to tell him she couldn't make the payment.

"Wait! You have LAY-A-WAY?"

"Yeah. They can make payments, and get their item when it's paid off."

"So what if they don't make the payments? You give their money back?"

"No. I keep it."

"That doesn't seem fair! They can't afford to make the payment, which means they don't have enough money. So they obviously need the money they have paid you."

"Not my fault. They have 90 days to pay it off. If they don't, they know they forfeit the money they have paid in."

"I don't like that. I mean, I know you are holding their item, which prevents you from selling it to a buyer who has the money right there. But if they don't pay, you still have your item. And they need their money. I'd give it back."

"They know when they put it on lay-a-way that they have 90 days to pay it off. Or they forfeit the money they have paid on it."

I guess that's how lay-a-way works. I've never used it. But it seems like taking advantage of people with a limited income. I'm kind of disappointed in Hick for using this tactic. I guess that's how business works. You can't let feelings get in the way of profits.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

None and Done, a CENTSless Week for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune

I'll never make Pennyillionaire at this rate! Not even a close call this week. No coins spotted and neglected. Nowhere to go but up for next week!

That's 0 COINS this week, for 0 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny           still at 79
Dime             still at 16
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        still at 4


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, October 13, 2023

Hickvictimization at Wednesday Night Bingo

Hick did not win a "price" at Wednesday night bingo, but you already knew that! The grand "price" was a TV console with an electric fireplace in it. Hick originally told me that it included a TV. I doubted that. When he sent me the picture, I knew I was right.

Nowhere on the package does it list a TV. They just show it, misleadingly, in the picture. Doesn't matter anyway. Hick didn't win it. We already have an electric fireplace. And a separate TV stand console.

Here's Hick's meal:

"Potato bits."

"Looks like you almost forgot! Is the prize just the console? I don't see a TV mentioned."

"Yes just the console and yes I almost forgot."

"See how easy it is to tell the truth?"

Thursday night, I asked about the Potato Bits.

"Was it potato skins? Or twice-baked potatoes?"

"They serve potato skins. This was the stuff they take out of the potato. No skins. I had three of them."

"Wait! So if there are no skins, how did you have three?"

"Three scoops! Of the potato stuff. They add bacon and cheese and green onions."

Hick also became a victim of a close-parker!

"Some idiot parked next to me, in a space that wasn't a parking space, and I could only get my door open a couple of inches! I had to get in on the passenger side, and crawl over the console."

Idiots gonna idiot. At least Hick could get in the other side and crawl over.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Hickster Needs an Umbrella to Protect His Noggin From the Rain of Bargains

The day after Hick bemoaned his insouciance at not bidding on that half-full box of drawer/cabinet knobs for $9 at the auction... he found a suitable deal online.

"I seen on Amazon that there's 30 knobs for $15. I only need 22. And they're already black. I thought I was going to have to paint some black. You can order them for me."

"I can. When you're here to tell me exactly what you want. Telling me to Google it does not mean I will find the same items that came up for you."

"Yeah. Okay. Then I'll have my knobs."

In other Double Hovel flip house developments, Hick plumbed himself into a new bargain while alleviating the poop pipe problems of his buddy. He had neglected to mention it until we got to the discussion of Double Hovel expenses.

"My buddy has some lumber I need for rebuilding the deck off the kitchen. He's had it for a while. Got it for his nephew to fix his roof, but the nephew said those boards are too heavy to put on a roof. But they're just what I need for the deck. My buddy said I could have them for $100. It's probably $300 worth of lumber. It will give me about a third of what I need for the deck."

"I don't know how you always find these deals."

"You just gotta keep your eyes open, and know what things are worth."

Not sure what Hick will come home with next... 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

No Good Deed Goes Unconfused

Here we go again with the 45-degree sewer pipes! Just when I thought I had gotten to the bottom of the sewer issue that Hick's buddy was having-under his house, Hick re-opened that can of worms on Tuesday evening.

"Well, I did my good deed for the day."

"Um... are you going to explain?"

"I fixed my buddy's sewer pipes. He had sewage running out under his house. I told him I was worried about him and his wife breathing in that stuff."

"So you replaced the 90-degree angles with 135-degree angles using the 45 elbows?"

"No. I took out the 90-degree angles."

"How did you do that? Just run the pipes straight?"

"No. You don't understand nothin' about how water flows!"

"How could you take out the 90-degree angles?"

"Val. There was six of the 90-degree angles. I took out four of them."

"So you didn't need those 45 elbows you were carrying on about?"

"Yes. I used them."

"You just said you didn't!"

"I put them in last week. They're not under the house. They run off the back of the house."

"The 135-degree angles made with the 45 elbows?"

"Whatever. Nobody ever calls them that."

"Yet I am technically correct."

"Let me draw you a picture--"

"NOOO! I don't care! I don't need a picture. Just saying that your mistake was in calling the elbows 45-degree angles. That's it! Done!"

"You never can understand a drawing."

"No. Not from you. WAIT! Why are you walking around the kitchen? Weren't you crawling around in poop under the house?"

"We put a tarp down. So I wasn't actually in the poop. And I sent Old Buddy under the house. But I AM on my way to take a shower."

Good to know.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

HIck's Foresight and Hindsight

Hick has been working on the kitchen of the Double Hovel flip house. Within the past week, he has put in the cabinets and countertop and backsplash. Not done with the flooring yet. He thinks he will do that last, after painting. 

Monday, Hick went to get closet doors for the laundry room he added off the kitchen. As he was picking them out, at a price of $119, he saw one marked $60. He took it to the front with the other one, hoping that the gal would ring them both up at $60. Nope. She rang them both up at $119. Of course Hick questioned that transaction, pointing out that the one door was clearly marked $60. The gal had to call a manager, who agreed with Hick, and voided the transaction to give Hick that one door for the marked price of $60. Fair is fair.

Meanwhile, Hick was kicking himself for pooh-poohing an auction bargain last week. He needs 22 knobs for the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Said he could have bought a box (half full, the length and width of my laptop) of knobs for the low, low price of $9.

"That doesn't mean they would have all been the same kind. You might not have had enough that matched for the rooms you need."

"Yeah, that's right. But I'm sure I could have got enough for one room that would have matched. $9 is pretty cheap."

Oh, well. Hick DID save money on a closet door. He looked it over several times and couldn't find anything wrong with it. He thinks somebody probably bought it and found out it wasn't the right size, so brought it back. 

Monday, October 9, 2023

Hick and the Not-Quite Freebies

Well, he's at it again. Not quite getting freebies, but getting an incredible deal.

Hick came home from his SUS2 (Storage Unit Store 2) on Saturday evening, with four white polo shirts. Three were in clear plastic packaging.

"My buddy had some of these shirts he sold me for a dollar apiece. This 2XL fits me great. I don't know about the others. They're XL. I didn't open them to try one one. He's going to see if he can get me some more 2XL."

In fact, Hick went off Sunday morning wearing that white 2XL polo. It looked sharp. When he came home, he said he bought three more of the XL.

"I can sell them for $5. It's a good deal. He's going to look for more 2XL."

Hick proceeded to warm up his supper of leftover pepperoni pizza. As he was peeling the top off a container of garlic dipping sauce, and another of marinara sauce, I said,

"Are you sure you don't want to take off your shirt? Or put on another one? You're just asking for trouble with that sauce."

"Nah. I'll be fine."

As far as I know, there was no unfortunate accident with the shirt. I guess wasting a dollar is the worst that could happen.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Such an Indignity for The Pony to Endure

Poor Pony! He's got a 4-day weekend ahead of him. He stopped by the local Country Mart that's across the street from the main post office. To lay in some fortifications for his time off. He was SHOCKED to look at the receipt:

 "I've been attacked at Country Mart! *61*"

"Heh, heh! You certainly have! I think they just pick an age to use all day, so they don't have to think."

I'm pretty sure The Pony will forget about this indignity soon enough...

Saturday, October 7, 2023

One and Done, to COIN This Week's Phrase

This was a week of missed opportunities for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune. Two Lincolns left behind! Sorry, Abe. 

I saw a penny in the Liquor Store on Sunday, as I was waiting for my scratchers to be ripped from their respective rolls. But it was too far under the counter. My toe could not have dragged it out on that questionable rug. I don't think I could have reached it by hand, standing on my head and ampling my rumpus.

On Wednesday, a penny was waiting for my tender touch on the floor inside the door at the School-Turn Casey's. Kind of slippery that day from the rain, and a rush of people coming in when I got there around school let-out time. So I figured I'd get it on the way out, so as not to disrupt traffic flow with my rumpus waving in the air just inside the door. Dang it! There's a penny-thief on the loose! Somebody else got it before I left.

Anyhoo... I was gifted with an 11th-hour cent on THURSDAY, October 5, at the Sis-Town Casey's when I returned to T-Hoe to pump my gas. My heart was beating a mile a minute upon this discovery, at the pump next to mine. Maybe it was just from the exertion of hauling my ample rumpus across the lot, fearing that my pump would shut off my payment before I got there in time.

It was almost GLOWING to get my attention. I put the nozzle into T-Hoe's tank, my scratchers on the seat, and stepped over to nab my rightful penny. A white small sedan started into that bay, but saw me and veered two over. So I was nearly thwarted, except for the fact they didn't want to ruin the front of their car by ramming into me.

It was a face-down 2023 penny, so shiny and new. A welcome change to the bedraggled Abes I usually find on parking lots.

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


Penny           # 79.
Dime             still at 16
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        still at 4


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, October 6, 2023

Hick Doesn't Know His Angle From His Elbow

When dealing with Hick, you have to let logic pack its bags, book a transatlantic flight, call an Uber, and fly out the window. Logic is Hick's kryptonite. It cannot be allowed to cohabit with the man who knows everything.

Blog Buddy Practical Parsimony raised a question about the efficiency of Hick's plumbing plan for his buddy's sewer pipes. The logic here being that a 45-degree angle would be more difficult for sewage to navigate than a 90-degree angle would. So by Hick's statements, it appears that he is making the problem worse.

For clarification, I went straight to the horse's mouth. That being Hick's none-too-shy, overly-confident, spoiled-cheesecake-eating orifice. The response could have replaced the Who's On First routine in the annals of comedy history, if only I had recorded it word-for-word. And the fact that I didn't find it at all funny at the time. I will try my best to recollect our exchange from 5:20 a.m. on Thursday, facing off from short couch to long couch, before Hick left for his clandestine Casey's donut(s).

"Hey, you said your buddy had 90-degree angles in his sewer plumbing? And you were going to replace them with 45-degree angles?"


"Wouldn't that make them sharper angles?"

"No. It makes the flow easier."

"But a 45-degree angle is half a 90-degree angle. So you're making it worse."

"No. That makes it better. So stuff can get around the bend easier."

"But it can't. It's like it has to flow partway backwards at 45 degrees."

"Noooo. Look. Here's a 90-degree angle." Hick made the shape with his hands and arms.

"Yes. And 45 is half of that. Like coming out from the middle of the corner, splitting it in half."

"No. You go past the corner, and then it comes out at 45 degrees."

"That would be a 135-degree angle. The 90 PLUS 45."

"No. You don't know what you're talking about. 45 is half of 90."

"I know geometry. I know angles. What you are describing is 135 degrees."

"Hahaha! You don't know nothin'! Give me my glasses. Here. I'll draw it out for you!"

"I know what you're saying, but that's not a 45-degree angle, is my point."

Hick proceeded to draw a picture of lines representing plumbing pipes, on the back of a manila envelope that had held his paperwork for his cataract surgery.

"SEE? It's like I'm driving along. Instead of making a right turn here at the corner, I go on and make a less-sharp turn past it."

"I know what you're telling me. My point is just that it's not a 45-degree angle. That's the part that confuses people. It's greater than 90 degrees. It's 90 PLUS 45. A 135-degree angle."

"How can you not understand! It's NOT! It's a 45-degree angle! You don't know anything about plumbing!"

"That's right. But I know angles. Google it! You'll see that I'm right."

"I have never, EVER, heard anyone ask for a 135!"

"So what do you do, walk into the store and say, 'I need a 45?'"


Hick dug out his phone, fiddled, then handed it to me. "SEE? There's a picture! It's smoother than a 90. That's a 45-degree elbow!"

"Wait! WAIT! You mean all this time, you were talking about an ELBOW??? And not the angle? Because that's all you had to do! Say that ONE WORD! Then the whole thing would have made sense."

"It's the same thing. Here--"

"No. You don't have to draw anything again! You have been talking about a 135-degree ANGLE, which you get by using a 45-degree ELBOW!"

"It's still a 45-degree angle!"

"Whatever you say! But the 45 you're talking about is that part called an elbow. Not the actual angle."

Hick threw up his hands, declaring that EVERYBODY knows that a 45-degree angle is easier for water (and other stuff) to flow through a pipe. Then left for town on schedule. The Casey's girl probably had his donut(s) laid out for him. He's convinced that I am unable to understand the basics of pipes and angles.

I am convinced that Hick doesn't know his angle from his elbow.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Val Deserves a Life-Saving Badge

Once again, I've saved Hick from an untimely end. It's like a full-time unpaid job.

Wednesday night, he got home from bingo at 9:00. He said the big price was a ROOMBA, but he didn't take a picture, because it was a ROOMBA. He came close to winning. All he needed was B-10. They called B-11 and B-12, but no B-10. So no ROOMBA for Hick. Also, he ate the same shrimp in chili sauce that he had two weeks ago, last time he was there. Well. Not the EXACT SAME shrimp in chili sauce, because those were already eaten. But it might as well have been the EXACT SAME shrimp, because...

Hick came to the living room where I was watching The Amazing Race, and said,

"I brought you some cheesecake."

"Cheesecake? From where?"

"From the Center."

"From lunch today??? Where has it been since lunch?"

"In the car." [Hick drove A-Cad today instead of SilverRedO]

"NO THANKS! I don't feel like dying."

"Oh, there's nothing wrong with it."

"You can't leave cheesecake in a car for 9 hours!"

"Okay. If you don't want it, I'll eat it."

Hick went to the kitchen, and came back with a little styrofoam container of cheesecake.

"See? It's not real cheesecake. It's this kind."

"Looks like cheesecake to me. Except that it's three squares, instead of a slice."

Hick sat down in his recliner, and started forking the cheesecake.

"I can't believe you're eating that! I hope you wake up in the morning."

"It's fine, Val."

"And now you're ruining my show, because I can't concentrate, thinking about how I'll have to plan your funeral."

Then the most amazing thing happened, and it wasn't on The Race. Hick got up from the recliner, and said, 

"Fine. I'll give it to the dogs."

"Set it by their snack bowl on the counter, and I'll give it to them tomorrow for their treat."

Yeah! I saved Hick from eating 9-hour-old cheesecake that had been sitting in a 72-degree car all day. Sometimes, he's like Homer Simpson and that big sandwich. [Youtube :59]

Or maybe he's just trying to kill me...

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Helpful Hick DOES Have His Limits

Hick sent a text Tuesday night, around the time I expected him home:

"I'm at my buddy's house, helping with his sewer."

Typical Hick, using his mechanical smarts to help somebody. Not a shock. No big deal. Just meant that I had more time for my scratchers before starting supper. When Hick got home 90 minutes later, he revealed more details.

"We got to looking under the house, and his plumbing is a mess. I bet he had five or six 90-degree angles. I said, 'You need to get rid of these connections, and switch them to 45-degree angles. Then it will flow better.' I asked his wife how much toilet paper she used, and she said, 'Enough to wipe a butt.' I think one of his main problems is the low-flush toilet he just put in. We have to go back and work on it some more."

"Why did he put in a low-flush toilet? Are they cheaper? Or does he think he's saving the world?"

"No, they're not cheaper. And he didn't do it on purpose. They're what's being pushed these days, so sometimes they're all you can find. I asked him why, and he said, 'That's just the one I bought.' So no telling why."

"Are you charging him anything?"

"Nah. But he ought to pay Old Buddy for helping us. He needs the money."

"Is it fixed now?"

"It's working. But I'll go back next week to change out the fittings so he won't keep having problems. After the ground dries out under the house. I don't mind crawling around in someone's dried poop and toilet paper, but I'm NOT going to crawl around in wet poop!"

Yes. Hick has standards, you know...

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Maybe They Just Can't Help Themselves

On the way to Save A Lot on Sunday afternoon, I passed a car that the police had pulled over on a side street leading to the elementary school. You don't see people pulled over here very often. The policewoman was standing beside the driver's door, gesturing like she was explaining something. A few yards up the road, I passed another city police car heading that way. Perhaps to assist.

I went into Save A Lot, and was startled to hear revving engines, and squealing tires, and a siren. It happened several times while I was shopping. That's unusual. Not something you normally hear while inside the building. Or much at all in town.

As I was leaving, I had to wait to pull out on the street that passes in front of Save A Lot. It was like a parade of classic cars. I suppose there had a been a car show farther down the road, at the sand flats where they hold drag races.

Even as I waited in the line of cars to pull out on the main road, there were the revving engines, and the squealing tires. The stoplight is only about 50 yards from the Save A Lot stop sign. Don't know what the great hurry was to rush out onto that road.

I suppose those classic car people just can't help showing off.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Parking Spaces, Like Center Lines on the Roadway, Are Merely Suggestions

What in the NOT-HEAVEN is wrong with people? I've gotten used to the people at the Liquor Store who pull up on my right side, and park where there is not parking space. They are entitled, you know! The spaces in front of the store are not good enough for them. And the remaining 4 of the 6 spaces where I park are not to their liking. So they park in the driving area of the parking lot.

Now the Gas Station Chicken Store has inherited these parkers. On Saturday, T-Hoe was safely ensconced in the handicap space. I was gathering my winners to take inside, when a pickup truck loaded with long boards pulled up beside me. I thought he was going to fit into the air hose space in front of me. But no. He got out of his truck, and proceeded to talk on his cell phone. Even as I disembarked and went inside. The driver eventually meandered into the store itself. To buy a fountain soda.

When I came out, I snapped some evidence.

He was too close. Not in a space. Parked in the driving area next to the diesel pumps, where dump trucks and fire engines regularly refuel. There's no reason for this. There are parking spaces along the moat for vehicles with trailers, or loaded with long boards like this guy.

There was also plenty of room for him to park in front of me, up past the air hose, leaving room for his long boards. IF a car had parked there while I was inside, I would have been trapped. He didn't know one wouldn't. He didn't have a crystal ball in his hand when he stepped out on his cell phone.

My only alternative would have been to back across the three pump lanes, so I could clear his long boards, and exit on the other side of the diesel pumps. No reason at all for him to park like this. He was perhaps mid-30s, with no discernable handicap.

When I came out, there was no car ahead of me. I took time to write on the back of my scratchers, as usual. And the Close-Parker walked out with his fountain soda and got in. Waited a few minutes. Then left by the back alley. As did I. 

Lucky for me, nobody had parked by the air hose anyway. It's just the principle of the matter.

What in the NOT-HEAVEN is wrong with people???

Sunday, October 1, 2023

No Dishpan Hands For Hick

In case you were concerned about Hick getting dishpan (I mean dishwasher) hands while loading loading and unloading the dishwasher at the Senior Center... you can relax. Hick's hands are as good as when he walked through the door Friday noon to eat fish. I must say, I was a bit disappointed.

It's not that I was wishing Hick's hard-working hands to become red and chapped. But a few puckery fingertips would have given me a certain satisfaction. Don't judge me! There's more to the story.

Friday morning, Hick sat on the long couch, waiting for time to leave for his SUS2 (Storage Unit Store 2). We were watching Leave It to Beaver. The episode where Wally had an invitation to the lake, but didn't tell Ward and June that his buddy's parents would not be there to supervise. Anyhoo... the Cleavers were sitting down to breakfast.

"Look at that. All June did all day was cook, wash dishes, cook, wash dishes, cook some more, and wash the dishes again. I'm surprised she had time for all her other chores."

"That's just how it is. You have some funny ideas."

"Typical. YOU don't even notice it, because you'd be getting everything handed to you. Look at the table. The boys have a juice glass, milk glass, and water glass. Ward and June have coffee cups and saucers, plus their juice glasses. The orange juice is in a carafe. You know they'll drink it all. The toast on a separate plate. All the silverware, the butter dish, the plates, the skillets where June cooked the eggs and sausage. And it's just the start of her day. You have no idea what it's like to constantly clean up after other people."

Hick didn't see anything wrong with it. Nor when they were sitting down in the evening with a cup and saucer for their after-dinner coffee. I guess he never gave any thought to where all that stuff came from, or went away to. Which is why he used to expect the same from me, despite me leaving and getting home at the same time as him, with 'homework' from teaching. As he always said if I dared complain: "I mow the yard!" Yeah. Four months a year, once a week.

Anyhoo... when Hick got home Friday night, I asked how he liked washing the dishes.

"Oh, I didn't wash any dishes."

"WHAT? How'd you get out of that? Did you make them feel sorry for you?"

"No. Benny did it."

"Who's Benny?"

"He's a volunteer who comes in to help."

So Hick got out of loading a dishwasher for 30 people's plates and glasses. He's a charmed one, our Hick.