Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, through Tuesday, September 29, 2015: Another Week In Williams:

Wednesday morning's end-of-the-first-week weigh-in was positive:  I've lost eight pounds so far.  We'll keep going on the diet.

We are now in escrow on Becky's dad's house for the fourth time.  Three prior escrows have collapsed because the buyers were apparently spooked by the huge number of items that needed to be fixed---none of them major.  (The house is 65 years old, after all.)  Over time, we have now fixed virtually all of them.  We hope this escrow holds. 

The Wednesday redbox movie was '71 which was a very graphic, tough film about what are apparently commonly referred to as the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland in the '60s and '70s.  Some of the dialog was hard to understand due to the accents, but it was an engrossing movie nonetheless. 

Thursday as a serene day.  I finished a James Patterson book I've been reading for a few days:  Miracle at Augusta, which is not one of his mysteries.  It's about golf .  I don't play golf, but I know enough about it to have thoroughly enjoyed this small book.
I also got a flu shot on Thursday.  It was a Chinese fire drill at Safeway.  I had to wait my turn at the pharmacy, then fill out paperwork, then wait again for the clerk to come free, then wait for her to input the information to Medicare (which didn't like some of the data, so I had to wait again for that to get cleared up), then got back in the original line to sign the terminal, then wait in line for the pharmacist to finish what he was doing.  Then I got the shot.  In all, I was there for an hour.   
Friday, was my day to attack our 2014 taxes. 
I finished up the calculations which I do and emailed our accountant (in Colorado) with the Readers Digest version.  (I send all the backup stuff independently.)  Immediately after sending the email, I realized I had made a big mistake in one of the calculations, and emailed him a replacement version.  By then it was too late to send him the backup stuff, so I did that on Saturday, which meant that the UPS package would not go out until Monday.  But we still have more than two weeks to get it all finished and filed, so I'm not worried.  Ken, the accountant, has been doing this for us for 16 years (always filing in October) and he is very accommodating.
My copy of Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan arrived on Thursday, but I couldn't get to it until Friday.  I got half way through it on Saturday.  
I noticed one mistake.  O'Reilly describes the weather at the 1981 inauguration as pleasant:  "The Reagans have brought California's weather with them.  Tens of thousands of people stand in shirtsleeves and light jackets on this fifty-six degree day."  I was there.  To my mind, 56 degrees is not California weather, and I'm not sure it was really 56 degrees.  It was verrrry cold.   
I also watched my share of football on Saturday.  UCLA beat Arizona fairly handily, though, in truth, Arizona helped with some dumb mistakes.  The big thrill was watching Utah pummel Oregon 62 to 20.  Both teams were ranked in the top 25, Oregon at 13 and Utah at 18, I believe.  For some reason, I dislike Oregon almost as much as Notre Dame.   
The Sunday redbox movie was Water Diviner, with Russell Crowe, who also directed it.  Interesting movie.
 Sunday night was the occasion of a lunar eclipse that was interesting, and Monday night we had a "blood moon" which occurs when a full moon is closest to the earth.  Both were interesting to see. 
Monday morning, we dropped the dogs off at the railway kennel and headed for Phoenix (362 miles, round trip) for our "interview" with the Global Access folks from Homeland Security.  We passed!  We now are Trusted Travelers, meaning we can avoid some of the hassles at "participating" airports. 
After a 3 1/2 hour drive, the interview took about three minutes.  It was 104 degrees when we got to Phoenix, and we couldn't wait to head back.  It's only in the 70s here in Williams these days.  Very nice. 
Monday evening, I finished Killing Reagan.  For some reason, I was a little disappointed in it.  I don't think it was because the man was portrayed as a real human with many faults instead of the hero many of us have created in our minds.  Anyway, it was well worth reading. 
Tuesday morning, the folks from Sutton Plumbing showed up to fix our leaking master-bath shower faucet and snake a slow drain in our laundry tub. 
On a guess, I had contacted Moen and wangled a free replacement part for the shower.  It turned out the faucet is a Price-Pfister.  Oops.  A frustrating trip by the plumbers to the hardware store ensued; the store no longer carries Price-Pfister parts.  The parts need to be ordered by the plumbers. 
During their midday walk, Becky and the dogs encountered two bears in the forest.  The mother took off but the younger bear approached Becky and her troupe.  It was scary, according to Becky's report.  She started to make noise and wave her arms, which is the suggested protocol under the circumstances.  Just then, a fellow approached in a car, got out to offer help, and Becky noticed he was armed.  That changed things.  Eventually, the bear wandered off.  Whew. 
Tuesday afternoon, we headed for Flagstaff to have an adult beverage with Bruce Bourne and Patrice Giordano at their very nice, remote home.  It's located on two acres, tucked inside the Coconino National Forest on a dirt road, with a remarkable view of Mount Humphreys across a wide meadow from their terrace.  
Patrice is the aunt of a fellow who used to work with Becky.  We met them last year.  They're very nice people, and we had a good time with them.  

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