Four Score and Four

Today is the day on this planet that my odometer turns to four score and four. Yesterday, when I started this post I awoke early to get a jump on the day because Lovely left me a honey-do list which I promised to take care of: Vacuum the carpets, and thin the native perennials from the more civilized flower beds. My plan was to get up early (8:00 a.m. is early) to get the coffee started, and to then hop into the car to ACE Hardware. I tried to get this done last evening but the store was closed when I arrived. Like a fool, I jumped into the vacuuming last night, but decided to change the dirt bag first. I trashed the very full old bag and went to the drawer in the laundry room where such things are kept. Guess what? No bags, thus the need for an early run to the ACE.

Being an engineer, and having used a vacuum cleaner many times before, I did not seek information on how to install a new bag, how hard could that be? I went for it, and then powered up the machine to test it; it had no suck power at all. WHAT? I went to my trusty PC and opened Youtube for a seminar. A pretty young lady in short-shorts and a tight-tee instructed me on how to remove blockages that kill sucking ability. I wound up disassembling the entire Hoover sucking system. There were a number of blockages at various bends in the tubing. The lady in short-shorts also mentioned something about changing the drive belt. I looked in the same drawer that normally holds Hoover parts, but there was no drive belt. Since the old belt was about twice as long as a new one, and the beater-bar brush could be spun easily by hand I decided to take another run to ACE for a belt. While at it, I made the mistake of mentioning to Lovely where I was going, and she gave me a list of things she needed from the grocery store which is opposite the ACE. Not a problem. While at the grocery, my stomach began to send me pangs of hunger, so I added a really neat Italian sub sandwich to the basket.

After eating half of a foot long sandwich, I resumed working on the vacuum. Installing the new belt was a little laborious, but I managed. I began a test by vacuuming, and after awhile decided to check how the bag was performing, and found a giant mess. Evidently, I botched the oh-so easy bag install procedure and got it in wrong. As I did that I also managed to tear the bag. The result was a pile of raw dirt and fine dust all around the bag but nothing in it. GRRRR! Once again I disassembled the entire plumbing system to find the problem. I did, by shoving a broom handle down the entire length of the flexible hose. To my surprise, a plug resembling a birds nest squirted out the end. What baffled me though was that the entire inside of the machine was packed with new dust and the bag was clean, but torn.

I went back to Youtube school and found another video on how to install a fresh bag. I froze the screen looking for the knack that I had missed. I kept trying and on the third try realized that the card board collar around the bag-opening slides into a special track. I was trying to slide it over the top of the slide thus missing the crucial track and kept getting it wrong. One, two, buckle my shoe a new bag slipped into place with great ease.

The vacuum job took forty minutes, but it was five p.m. when I finished; “Wine Time.” I put off the attack on the native perennials (weeds) till another time. Meanwhile, I just completed the first of my posts for August after a July hiatus. July is a separate story which may or not be told depending upon which side of the bed I get out on.

Old People In Their Underwear

This week I spent an enjoyable evening with my Tuesday night wine group. Ten of us meet weekly to imbibe on the delicacies of grapes fermented and allowed to become what we fondly refer to as wine. The youngest among us is fifty-seven a mere child, and the oldest I am proud to proclaim was me at eighty-three. We started out slowly as usual, but as we began tasting the various bottles like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, our psyches began to open up and we began to brainstorm. One among us told of his son who wanted to find himself with a career on Youtube. We all looked rather stunned and questioned how in the hell is someone going to make a career out of Youtube?

I turned to Kay who a few meetings back had told me about her grandson and his girlfriend who were making money on their Youtube channel. “Look up Mariah and Bill” on Facebook and you will see their antics. I did. They are a cute couple who specialize in video taping themselves doing various dumb pranks none of which are more than a few minutes long. I thought to myself they have a following that nets them a five figure income every month. It is hard to imagine for an old goat like myself as to how someone can make money on Youtube, but it turns out to be rather simple. If you were to create a Youtube channel for your videos and get people to watch it you could indeed make money at it. I’d say that maybe twenty percent of the people who try this are successful and eighty percent are not. It is a matter of building audience. Every time I watch a video on Youtube the presenter asks me to like his channel and to follow him. When a presenter’s following reaches a certain number, Youtube begins earning money from advertisers, and that is when you begin to get fraction of the advertising income from Youtube. So the simple steps to success are to 1. create content, and 2. build a following.

Getting back to my wine club meeting. I interrupted the conversation to ask Kay to tell us about her grandson’s experience with Youtube. She proceeded to amaze us with the story of Mariah and Bill on Youtube. Bill is now twenty years old, but he began this endeavor when he was eighteen. Today, she said he makes sixty thousand dollars a month doing these stupid funny videos. Then it happened. the focus of the meeting was a discussion on how we could do the same as a group of seniors making money of Youtube. Our friend John piped up, “we could start filming old people in their underwear.” we all laughed hilariously, then began to offer ideas for clips like wearing thongs and speedos, or vintage versus modern, etc. I piped up that I’d like to see the women in the group in their thongs, they all moaned. Then I said “I have a vision of us all wearing TENA diapers.” another longer and louder moan.

The night went on for several minutes of new ideas and lots of laughter. Although it began as a stupid idea, I thought why not? Instead of “Mariah and Bill” about two twenty year olds we could film “Kay and Joe” about two eighty year olds mimicking their grandchildren’s antics and posting them on Youtube and TicTok. Maybe we could supplement our meager retirement income with a shot of new money. If nothing else we would offer the viewing audience some serious laughter. At worst we would have a lot of fun doing something out of the ordinary for senior citizens.

Take a look at the linked videos and tell me if you think Kay and Joe have a chance to be stars of Youtube and TikTok

Day 62-SIP-Stupid Fun Makes Dollars

This stay in place business has made me light headed. very morning is a hangover. I must be enjoying the wine by consuming more than usual. The hangover gets me going much later in the day. It seems like I drag my sorry ass behind me like an anchor.

Yesterday, I finally accomplished a new goal, I cooked another one of Mom’s favorite dishes, toltutt kaposta with umlauts over the o’s and an accent over the a. In our language it is simply stuffed cabbage. I watched my mother roll these beauties out in the kitchen too many times, but when it came time to remember what she did, I drew a blank.

As usual, I watched videos of my favorite cook Oma making stuffed cabbage. Oma is currently ninety-two years old and reminds me of my mother. She concentrates on Hungarian and German recipes. What a piece of cake this is, I thought. Wrong! I never handled a cabbage before and got into serious trouble with blanching. The pot I used for this gimongous head of cabbage was just a tad too small. Blanching is a pretty simple process, but since this was the first time I was doing it I made it hard to do.

Mixing the meat with rice, and spices was easy, but when it came to handling the cabbage leaves I was all thumbs. Mom’s recipes leave out all the basic stuff you need to know when cooking. Like how to trim the main rib of a cabbage leave to make it more pliable. The next thing she left out was stuffing the leave and closing it around the meat. That is a practice thing. Mom had been stuffing cabbage leaves since she was twelve, and for her it was an automatic process. Here hands and fingers were so well conditioned from repetition that it was automatic. For me it was a comedy of errors, I was all thumbs. I managed to make about twenty rolls and learned my next mistake was also my first mistake, the pot was a tad too small. I had cabbage rolls stacked to within a half inch of the rim.

Miraculously, I completed the job and ate stuffed cabbage for supper last night. It is not 100% KETO, but it is close. The only non-KETO ingredient is rice. The whole process got my mind off the COVID-19 b-s for a few minutes while I struggled with stuffing and wrapping the rolls.

The kitchen was a mess after I finished as it always is after making something for the first time. Lucky me, the dishwasher was broken and the repair man didn’t come until today so I had to wash all the stuff by hand.

At my Tuesday Night At The Stray Bar Club Zoom meeting yesterday I learned about two things:

1. CD&Me a local entertainment venue is going to open under strict guidelines the first week of June. It will be a parking lot event limited to one hundred cars spaced one car apart. There will be a live band entertaining and a roll out bar for food by the Dancing Marlin. Adult beverages will not be sold but will be permitted (bring your own). Admission is by ticket bought online.

2. One of our group told us a story about her great grandson who is making a ton of money off videos on Youtube and Tik-Tok. I searched Youtube for him and found his videos. They are stupid of course, but he is a very energetic and out-going personality and pulls off his stunts with his girlfriend Mariah. As an example the video I watched had 39,000 likes. As another example this blog GrumpaJoesPlace is lucky if a post gets ten likes. I guess I’ll have to start doing dumb stuff if I want to make some money doing this. The funny thing is I feel like I am doing dumb stuff when I write these posts. Another example is my own grand daughter who writes for a blog called Fan Fiction and gets 5-10 thousand views per post. While my daughter-in-law in Michigan has a blog about her horse hobby and will get hundreds of views for a post. On my best day if I get fifty views and two likes I feel I’ve reached the pinnacle of success.

Making money in the digital world is for the very young. We old folks will only shake our heads in wonderment as to how it can be. I see it happening, I believe it is happening, but I’ll be damned if I can make it happen.

Secret Places Where Features Hide

Each year I try to make my garden different. Even though there are elements that cannot change easily like a pond, hard-scaping, and all the perennials. There is however, plenty of opportunity to paint a picture in the blank spaces using different colors and plant materials. This year one of my goals was to plant a garden that would deter rabbits. I think I succeeded, that is the rabbits have given me the impression that I have succeeded. The episodes of Wabbit Wars have been sparse because the Wabbits have not been able to get to me as often.

My color palette is yellow and orange. I elected different varieties of Marigolds and sought out other species of yellow flowers to mix in like the gold Celosia, Lysimachia, Lantana, Marguerite Daisy, and Orange Joy Asiatic lily.  Close planting and weekly foliar fertilization helped the plants spread out and finally fill in the canvas. A seven minute video of the same plants would be terribly boring, so I decided to add some interest with winter scenes and an escape to the desert while I waited for Spring to arrive.

Yesterday, I posted a trailer using a new version of iMovie. It was my training session on how to use this new version of a program I was very comfortable with. The new version made posting on YouTube easier, but I felt it harder to compose the movie. There are so many short cuts built into this version that I had trouble doing things that make a movie a movie. The older version is more oriented to real movie makers. This new version targets a person interested in speed. I am sure all the features of the old version are in this new one, but I’m too old to want to spend all that time looking for the drop downs and secret places where features hide. In that regard, iMovie is a lot like Windows, it is the same stuff reorganized to make it look new and to make you work to find things. In a way, iMovie 10.0.4 is like my garden, it has many exciting things to see, but one must explore to find them.

Personal guided tours of the garden are available upon request. My favorite time to give a tour is between January and March, I spend less time touring and more time imbibing.

Please enjoy my garden called “The 2014-Monet Vision, Golden Glow”

A

 

Educational Video

Thank you Rich for sending this informative and somber video about the state of our Leadership.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=dde_1374573750