A Little Bit Tipsy

What do you do when you are a little bit tipsy and you want to post for your blog? You write whatever comes to mind of course. That is where I am at this moment. In a few seconds the tipsy will wear off and I’ll begin to make some sense. Tipsy is a condition one feels immediately after a glass of wine with a pizza. The feeling can only be described as light headed, happy, whimsical. I will continue after returning from a two mile walk and a break with another glass of wine, that is if I get lucky with my drinking partner.

Well I’m unhappy to report that the drinking partner fizzed out and the walk took a direction away from wine and turned into three miles, not two. Returning home exhausted I watched my favorite series Heartland for a couple hours and then turned to Tin Star. I finished the first season of Tin Star and was totally surprised at how it ended. The writer of this program solves all problems with alcohol and murder.

I retired for the evening and slept hard waking only to relieve the pain of an over full bladder. I am so sick of eggs for breakfast that this morning I had some left over chili. The carbs in the chili have left me very sleepy. All I want to do is to rest my head on the keyboard and sleep.

This evening I meet with my Lions club; half of us will be in person and the other half will be with us on ZOOM. Our speaker for the night is also on ZOOM. That should make things very interesting. Think of twenty five people spaced apart for social distancing all straining to see a postage stamp size image on a computer screen to hear a speaker. If this works, I’ll proclaim it a miracle.

I anticipated the problem last week and have made arrangements with the Park District to borrow their fifty-inch TV for our zoom presentation. One of our members is an IT man and he has promised to hook the TV into the laptop and to connect our microphone and speaker. I’m hoping this will set a new trend for zoom-in-person meetings.

My job tonight is to recruit Lions for three service projects: the first being a paint party to coat Fort Frankfort with a clear coat of sealant. The second is to recruit Lions to plant a few trees in a newly rehabbed park. Lastly, I must form a committee to plan and run an eightieth anniversary celebration/fund raiser. The Frankfort Lions celebrate eighty-years of continuous service to the community in February, 2021. What better way to celebrate than by having fun while raising money to keep serving. The whole plan will be dependent upon us meeting State of Illinois guidelines for COVID-19. I’m thinking that by then Illinois or at least Will County will be totally free to do as it pleases.

I mentioned Fort Frankfort above. Let me explain what it is. Twenty years ago a group of citizens formed an organization to build a playground for the kids. This playground is huge and unlike any other in neighboring communities. It was funded and built by the hands of Frankfort residents. Fort Frankfort resides in the center of a very large tract of land which has since become a mecca of outdoor recreation with lighted ball fields, soccer fields, a splash park, a dog park, tennis ball courts, pickle ball courts, volley ball courts, basketball courts, frisbee golf, walking paths and more. All because a group residents wanted to give the kids a safe and adventurous place to play. The Park District developed a showcase facility around Fort Frankfort.

Day 36-Quarantine-Car Doctor

Today was doctor day for the Deathstar. I took my Toyota Avalon to the dealer for service. For the very first time since 2005 I overran the recommended oil change mileage. Since this car has given me the best reliability and service of any other that I have owned I wanted to continue adhering to the maintenance practices I began when I bought it.

2005 Toyota Avalon, I fondly named it the Deathstar.
1983 Mercury Sable, I got Christmas cards from the tow company every year
1992 Oldsmobile Intrigue-I really loved this car

At the beginning I had the oil changed every three thousand miles which was the recommended practice of all the American auto makers for many years. After four years of this, Toyota came out with new mileage guidelines and set the marker at five thousand miles. I have driven this car for more miles than any other car I have owned by a large margin. I have owned two previous cars a Mercury Sable which made it to 110,000 miles and followed by an Oldsmobile Intrigue which I sold at 120,000 miles. My Avalon is currently at 158,000 miles and might be the final car in my life.

I am not afraid to push this car hard, I have driven it at 100 mph for extended miles when traveling the western states on very good roads. I have loaded it with all types of equipment and materials as one would use a truck for. I have driven it in the extremes, 110 degrees F through the desert of Arizona and -30 degrees F in the Chicago area. Most of the miles were racked up while traveling the USA and Canada on interstate highways, but many miles were driven on the gravel pothole filled back roads of the country. One thing I have never done is to race with the car. I learned my lesson once when as a much younger man I accepted a challenge to drag race a youngster while driving my GMC van. The van had a very big motor and was notorious for it’s ability to haul ass. The light turned green and I floored the accelerator. Much to my surprise my opponent streaked out ahead of me. My van went clunk and coasted across the intersection. I blew the transmission. I was lucky to get home by driving slowly in low-low gear.

When I reserved my spot with the dealer I asked what kind of protective gear I should wear. The attendant told me they practiced social distancing and wiped down all the chairs between customers. When I arrived, much to my surprise the waiting area was set up so every other lounge chair was removed and the ones that were there were six feet apart. I bought my computer so I could continue to read my book, and as I sat in the bar area I witnessed an employee come through and wipe down all the seats with disinfectant.

2020 Camry TRD

2020 World’s Ugliest Car

I resisted any impulse to buy a new car, although I spotted a special sport model Camry which I liked. If the Avalon model looked as good as that Camry, I would have driven home in a new car. Unfortunately for the dealer I happen to think the 2020 Avalon is the ugliest car every made by anyone. The entire time I was waiting I never came in close contact with anyone except the service advisor and I stayed six feet away from her. She handed me my credit card holding it by the edges.

On my drive home I took the interstate highway and found traffic to be just a tad less than normal for the time of day. Going to the dealer, I took a state hwy that passes through Frankfort, and traffic was non-existent. Gasoline prices vary from $1.99/ gallon in Frankfort, to $1. 35/ gallon in Bourbonnais where the dealer is located. As usual, I had just filled my tank in Frankfort yesterday so I didn’t need gas.

Yesterday in a Zoom meeting with my Tuesday night Stray Bar Club friends, I promised to stop and visit Bob and Carol from Manteno a town next to the dealer. In the interest of staying COVID-19 free, I opted out of the visit. I also skipped my usual stop at the Farm and Fleet store where I load up on bird seed when I am in the neighborhood. Instead, I rushed home to the solitude of my castle where I have not seen, nor heard a single soul except for the news broadcaster on TV. This too shall pass.

A Feel Good Day

Ice Angel

The temperature outside is minus six, the wind chill brings it to a cozy minus thirty three. I drove six miles through open farm country with a thirty five mile wind blowing powder snow across the road making  it slippery as heck. Why then was it such a feel good day?  I joined  twenty of my fellow  Frankfort  Lions  at Lion Al’s wilderness place south of Frankfort to pick up food baskets. We then delivered them to needy families. This is a primary project of the Frankfort Lions every year at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  What made today special was the way it was done, and the brutal weather of course.  In the past, we met at a grocery store to pick up the baskets(actually bags.) The  grocer picked the food and packed the bags, The Lions paid the bill and then delivered. We’ve done it the same way for over twenty years. This year we changed the process. We eliminated the middle man, the grocer. Three of our members did the shopping then packed the bags. The rest of us delivered. 

 Why was it necessary to make this change?  We’re not going to waste time by analyzing what went wrong, it is water over the dam. All that is important is to know that by doing the work ourselves we tripled the amount of food we were able to give to families in need.

For what ever reason, the times have changed, and we were running along complacently accepting the norm. Eventually, we began asking questions about the quantity and quality of food being delivered. An inventory of the basket contents and a pricing revealed that we could probably do better on our  own. We did.  This striking improvement has made me re-aware of the necessity to challenge a process even when it is deemed not broken.

In spite of the bone chilling minus thirty three, there was camaraderie, and a spirit of service this morning that warmed our souls.  After ranting during the election for so many days, and speaking against the evil of the government redistributing our wealth, I witnessed a redistribution of wealth performed by the Lions as they have been doing all around the world for many years. Truly an inspiring and warm feeling in spite of the cold.

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