Cox Road Barn

I’ve seen this tumbledown barn several times over the past three months.  Took its picture Sunday.  Took my mom to the hospital Sunday (she’s back at home, now).  Took KvK to Arrington Sunday.  This barn is on Cox Road in I forget which county.  Cox road intersects with Hwy 96 at Arrington.  Here are two views:



Back From Chattanooga

We drove down to Chattanooga Sunday afternoon/evening, and didn’t get too lost in town looking for the hotel.  It helps that we’ve been there a couple of times before.  After checking in, we walked across the street from the hotel to The City Cafe and overate.  Seventy-Six danced in his high-chair as he observed a group of teenagers dancing in line by the jukebox to a rap or hip-hop selection.  Somebody once explained to me the difference between rap and hip-hop, but the nicer distinctions were lost on me.  I guess as ‘music‘ it amuses at least the infant who inhabits our home.

First snapshot from one of our hotel room windows

First snapshot from one of our hotel room windows

I walked past that dome building on my way back to the cube-farm after lunch Monday

I walked past that dome building on my way back to the cube-farm after lunch Monday

Third snapshot from yet another of our hotel room's windows

Third snapshot from yet another of our hotel room's windows

That's The City Cafe down there mid-frame

That's The City Cafe down there mid-frame

Fifth view from one of the windows of our room

Fifth view from one of the windows of our room

Monday, my work activities fell out as scheduled, and parts of both reports are complete.  What a beautiful, warm, sunny, breezy day.

Surprisingly enough, I had time for lunch.  I don’t, usually, when I work away from the office.  I walked a few blocks down MLK to a an open plaza and ate a vegetable sandwich from Subway near and in line of sight with the shiny tall building that bears the big red “Krystal” logo.  For those of you who don’t know, Krystal is a fast food company that franchise-store sells a variety of small, square hamburger like unto a very bland White Castle hamburger.  Both types of burger are detestable, and it is an abomination to eat one.

The Subway in which I spent about four bucks for a sandwich (I forgot and left in the hotel room the lunch I’d prepared beforehand) was crowded at about 11:45 am Eastern Standard Time, which is how Chattanoogans reckon time.  Most of the those behind whom I stood in line, and those who stood in line behind me as I moved forward, looked overweight, ill-complected, unhealthy.  It was about five degrees Fahrenheit warmer in the sandwich shop than it was outside, and not well enough ventilated  to suit me.  A miasma of sweat stinking softly, bearing aloft spice molecules from poorly cooked dishes hastily consumed on some prior occasion arose from those around me mixed with the aroma of scented soaps, laundry detergent, sour breath, and the restaurant’s own bake oven, sandwich fixings, and cleaning solutions.  My fellow diners all wore garments that fit them badly in some particular.  I suppose I was no exception, although I felt better in my clothes than any of them looked to me.

I was glad to finally get my sandwich, get my cup of ice-water, and get out the door.  I ate in the fresh air sitting on a park bench.  I got a speck of yellow mustard on my blue oxford-cloth shirt no bigger than a tiny stitched polo player’s noggin.  While not beside myself, I was annoyed.

I walked back a different way to the soulless looking cube-farm on a hillside.  I say soulless-looking deliberately, even though my hyphenation is inconsistent, because some of those laboring within do seem to have souls.  Souls grown in or inhabiting a small urban setting in the American South.

I met a woman who wept.  Tall, graceful though many years stricken the result a choice that one-time made sense to her.  Beautiful in her way, and lonely.  I could not comfort her.

I thought of my own wife and my own son and the small child full of potential I once was on sunny, warm, breezy days like the one in which I then found myself.  I thought of choices that made sense to me, of choices that may make sense to me in the future.  I thought of my wife and of women, and how they begin life as babies, are loved; how they are little girls, and loved; how they are loved for their beauty, grace, and the light of their smiles as they mature; how some of them marry and are loved by their husbands.  I thought of those women who are alive only when they are loved, and I thought about what is left over when love is gone.

As you might imagine, I had trouble keeping my own emotion at arm’s length, which is where it assuredly belongs.

I thought about the course of our lives as humans on earth in time, and the when-where constant motion of our existence.

I cannot write more about my thoughts about my son and wife and the woman I met only that once and keep my own emotion out of electronic type.  It’s proper place is somewhere in my own life finding some expression with the two people I love most lived out here in our home.

Some days feeling is unavoidable.

Something awful we saw while walking to the riverfront Monday evening - horrible-looking tiny MB car

Something awful we saw while walking to the riverfront Monday evening - horrible-looking tiny MB car

Monday evening after I got back to the hotel, I ate four pieces of what I’d consider a relatively small pizza my wife had saved for me from her lunch.  She, our son, a friend of ours and two small children of her own, had lunch in another part of downtown Chattanooga while I was working or walking or eating.  After eating the cold pizza – with an alfredo, as opposed to tomato, topping, chicken, artichoke hearts, and spinach – we put the little boy in his stroller.  I listened to my wife talk.  Together we walked down to the riverfront where we ate ice-cream and frozen yogurt.   and walked back to the hotel as the earth moved and shadows lengthened.

Tower on the Children's Museum - I'd like to live in a house that has a tower like that one

Tower on the Children's Museum - I'd like to live in a house that has a tower like that one

We didn't, not here at least - Playtime-esque bistro sign near Aquarium

We didn't, not here at least - Playtime-esque bistro sign near Aquarium




Witching For Water

I spent yesterday at the office working-up the case histories of three people I’m scheduled to evaluate next week.

And while I was hammering away at the keys, the fellow across the hall asked me whether I had a coat-hangar in my office.   I did not.  A little later he and the husband of one of the secretaries walked back in from the building’s side-exit, and I asked the husband, “Did you get your keys locked in the car?”

“No.  Ron was showing us  how he witches for water,” the man said.

Thats not Ron Smith, its just an image Ive cadged from

That's not Ron, it's just an image I've cadged from

“No way,” I said, “You’re kidding, right?”  I mean, water witching is something you see on television reruns of Bonanza or Republic Pictures two-reelers when you’re a kid staying home sick from school and you’ve got a TV that gets UHF.

But Ron said, “That’s how we find water lines around houses.  It’s how we find where the lines go in to the house.”  Ron has purchased, rebuilt, built, and sold dozens of houses over the years, so I thought that if he wasn’t pulling my leg, he might really make use of this occult art.

“Okay, show me,” I said.

So we walked back out the side door and across the parking lot to Ron’s pickup truck.  As we neared the pickup truck’s bed, Ron said, “Ordinarily, a coat-hangar’s best.  You open it up and make an ‘L’ shape to hold out.”  Ron got a length of roughly L-shaped metal tubing, held it loosely in his right hand with his arm outstretched and the long end forward.  As he walked slowly across the parking lot thus holding the instrument, I observed the long end turn to the left as he walked over the asphalt near a drainage grate.

“It (the dowsing rod) will always turn in the direction the water’s flowing,” Ron said.  “There’s a drain-pipe that runs from there (the grate) to that pond out back, and the  water flows this way (pointing to the pond).”

“So, Ron,” I said, “do you think this is some weird, demonic phenomenon?”

“No, I think it has something to do with magnetic fields,” he said.

“Well let me try this out,” I said.  Ron showed me how to hold the pipe, instructed me not to grasp it too tightly,  (is ‘tightly’ correct? It’s not euphonious) and to walk forward slowly.  No joy.  “Maybe my charge is reversed, let me try it with my left hand walking back the other direction.”  This time, as I walked back toward where I’d started from the first time, I observed the rod to turn in my hand sharply to my left of its own volition.  As if  it had met with some resistance and had to pivot in my hand.  I felt no resistance whatsoever.  I was interested to note that the rod, pivoting, turned in the opposite direction, toward the street to my left, as opposed to back toward the drainage pond behind our building.

Ron tried it, then, left-handed, and it turned for him in the direction of the pond.  Then, walking back to our original starting point, he held the pipe in his right hand, and  it  turned in the direction of the  street.  He said that seemed odd to him, but I opined that maybe the water was not flowing, but maybe  standing shallow in the pipe below.  Heaven knows the building’s architect and contractors did some shoddy work, and there is no reason to suppose they managed to lay the drainage pipe with adequate slope to prevent standing water.

Big Weekend Planned

Scary diagnostic medical image - bad feeling to look at

Scary diagnostic medical image - bad feeling to look at

I spent much of yesterday at Franklin again – my orthopedic specialist told me he didn’t think I will need surgery. He did say that if I find myself in the same kind of pain I had previously, he’ll want to “scope it and clean it out,” referring to the bone spurring on the acromium. He also said he wouldn’t re-inject the shoulder with cortisone because a) if the pain returns, cortisone would clearly not be the step to take in addressing the problem, and b) my reaction to the cortisone injection earlier this month contraindicates the substance’s further use. The doctor prescribed a muscle relaxant and physical therapy for residual trapezius (sp?) pain. Hopefully I won’t get addicted. “Don’t drive after you’ve taken (the medication),” the doctor said, “It will either make you goofy or somnolent.” I was glad I had the sense to take snacks, because my 10:00 am appointment got me seen by around noon, and then a long drive home.

Back home, I folded laundry, ate a sandwich.

Caution-Lady’s parents arrived while I was folding towels. When CL and Seventy-Six arrived, we left the little baboon with his grandparents and went to our appointment with the tax accountant.

After that, out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. I ate too much. Way too much. Then tried to comment about it on Facebook and erred typographically, finally gave up and went to bed.

He wont be a hungry baby after eating some of this cake

He won't be a hungry baby after eating some of this cake

Today it’s back to the happy place, then, after work, back home to clean and decorate for tomorrow’s big party with invited guests to celebrate Seventy-Six’s first year out of the womb. He’ll be thrilled. He already knows, because he’s a baby, that everything that happens is all about him, anyway.

The other thing we’re doing this evening is going back with my father-in-law to have another look at the house we walked through Tuesday. Will look at utility bills, run the faucets, flush the toilets, try to open windows, and so forth. Caution-Lady, who’s not impressed with anything, described this house as her “dream house.” Of course, it has a dream house price tag, and it remains to be seen whether that can be negotiated.

Sunday? Probably to church. I like our church.

Power Mac G5 Organ Transplant

In a previous post I mentioned that Cathi Davis, customer service rep at Mac of All Trades, said she was going to send me another optical drive to replace the balky Pioneer device that shipped with the computer.

Remember, I never asked for a replacement, simply followed up a telephone call in which I discussed with her problems I’d been having with the drive’s apparent inability to burn or play through DVDs or CDs.  Followed up with an email telling her that the drive actually worked after I’d run a cheesy Maxell disc cleaner in the drive, and attached screen-shots of Toast 7 and Toast 8.

The replacement, a Sony DVD RW DW-Q28A, arrived in today’s mail.  I’d been planning to take a three or four mile walk, but was unable or unwilling to defer gratification.  I immediately set to work on replacing the Pioneer with the Sony.

Ms. Davis had already assured me that breaking the seal on the computer’s access panel to do the work would not void the remainder of my 30-day hardware warranty.

Feng shui clean Jacques Tati Playtime interior

Feng shui clean Jacques Tati Playtime interior - replacement drive on top of the box

Unlike the two older G4s I’ve had (GigaBit Ethernet dual 450 & Dual 1.0 Ghz Mirror Drive Door), the Power Mac G5 access panel is not hinged.  Pull the lever on the back of the box, and the panel is freed for removal.  The G5’s somewhat unprepossessing, jumbo-sized exterior (it dwarfs my MDD G4) belies the box’s feng shui clean interior.   All modular and easy.   Like something from a childhood field-trip to a modern milk processing plant, or possibly an office-building in Jacques Tati’s Playtime.

Industrial Art - Step by Step

Industrial Art - Step by Step

To my surprise, I found hieroglyphics on the inside of the access panel once I’d taken it off the computer and set it on the floor.  Nice industrial artwork.

Not much space to work in there

Not much space to work in there

As I’d been warned to expect, there wasn’t much space to work back of the Pioneer drive.  Used an antique pair of barber scissors (closed, of course) to pry the data cable’s far edge loose – beyond my longest finger’s reach.  That loose, it was a simple matter to open the release catches, slide the drive out toward me, and remove the power cable.

The data cable’d been stuck to the top of the Pioneer drive, and pulled loose from its attachment point on the motherboard, if that’s what they’re still called, during the removal process.

The Pioneer had been jumpered Cable Select, and that’s how the Sony shipped.

Sony and Pioneer optical drives, side by side - note data cable stuck to the Pioneer

Sony and Pioneer optical drives, side by side - note data cable stuck to the Pioneer

Because the Sony is shorter than the Pioneer, it was easy to get it installed and hooked up.  Sticking the data cable to the top of the Sony mis-matched the cable’s crease and the drive’s edge, again because of the Sony’s different dimensions.  Attaching the cable to the motherboard was not a problem, as I’d attached it first to the drive, and had already pushed it through it’s slot into position.

Put the clear plastic cover in place, then the access panel, hooked up peripherals, plugged it in, and fired the computer up.  No problems.  The machine and OS (10.4.11) recognized the Sony.  I’ll try it out burning a video DVD in a few days.

Restaurant Dining & Housework

Today is a big day as someone with a strong interest in buying our house is scheduled to view it at about 11 of the clock, Stepford time. Of course, instead of spending the evening cleaning so that we could goof-off this morning, we went out and had supper at The Flatiron Cafe.

Practice Day

After many months of planning and preparation, Key and Cindy Adcock served breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 6:00 am until closing. Key looked exhausted when we saw him, maybe around 5:15 or 5:30 pm. Said he’d been 10 minutes late his first day on the job. He said Cindy had arrived on time. Key said they didn’t have quite as big a breakfast crowd as they expected, but were very busy during lunch, from about 11:00 to 2:00. Cindy, when we saw her, said she was tired, too, but didn’t look it.

Caution-Lady and I didn’t expect to get in, thinking the cafe would be packed to capacity, but at the time we arrived, we had our choice of seating. The place did fill up pretty quickly thereafter. We fed on fried green tomatoes, Philly cheesesteak steamer sandwich, onion rings, fried catfish and hushpuppies.

Seventy-Six ate a baby food concoction of green beans and rice washed down with a few ounces of milky-milk. He did well, and didn’t squall until it was time to leave. Then he voiced his discontent the entire drive home, which normally lulls him to sleep.

I must get busy now. Sweep the floors, scrub things, and tidy up.