Saturday, January 9, 2016

Friday, January 8, through Thursday, January 14, 2016: Another Week in the Snow Belt:

After two days of no TV reception, panic set in and we tackled the problem for real on Friday.  After clearing our driveway again with the snow blower (Becky really enjoys doing that),

Becky got up on our ladder and was able to rinse the snow off the dish with a different hose setup.  Yea!  We have TV again.  Otherwise, Friday was not memorable---except that the nearly 12 inches of accumulated snow is truly beautiful.

The "check engine" light on our truck came on Saturday.  According to the gizmo Becky gave me a couple of years ago, the problem was in the transmission.  It was too late in the day to talk to a dealer, so I tabled the matter until Monday.  The transmission was not acting up, so I felt fairly safe in not going into a panic mode. 

Saturday and Sunday was the first playoff weekend for the NFL, and there were some terrific games.  The Bengals lost a heartbreaker to the Steelers, but it was caused by a total breakdown of discipline on the part of the Bengals. They had the game won in the last minute, then gave it away with some stupid penalties. 

Then the Vikings lost to the Packers on a missed last-second field goal.  The Vikings kicker had already made three of them in the game and the last one was the shortest of the four. 

Monday was, of course, the national championship game between Alabama and Clemson.  I so dislike Alabama that I rooted for Clemson for no other reason.  Naturally, Alabama won, but it was a terrific game nonetheless.

Becky has also now signed up for Netflix to mail us DVDs every few days, so she is taken care of in that regard.  We don't have a land-based phone line so we can't sign up for any of the state-of-the-art methods of getting the latest films.

Over the weekend, we had a total of nearly two feet of snow.  Just beautiful.

Tuesday morning I finally finished Once In/Never Out, by Dan Mahoney.  It's a long, complicated novel involving the IRA, Iceland, and the NYPD.  Maybe it's too complicated;  I didn't like it much, except for the incredible amount of detail the author put into it.  Very informative.

Tuesday afternoon, we went to Flagstaff for my weekly follow-up with my surgeon.  He thinks the skin grafts are now doing very well, thanks in large part to the magic cream we've been applying for the past few weeks. 

Tuesday night we avoided watching the State of the Union address by watching Pawn Sacrifice, a docudrama about the life of Bobby Fisher, the chess phenom.  Sad but very interesting.

Wednesday morning, we dropped off the dogs at the GC Railway kennel and went to Flagstaff for two reasons.  First was my periodic meeting with Dr. Mathern to plot my next steps regarding my melanoma situation. 

For technical reasons, we decided to pass on another immediate PET scan and instead have a CT scan---probably next week---followed by starting the new shot therapy we had discussed a few weeks ago. 

After seeing Dr. Mathern, we dropped off the truck at Flagstaff GMC/Buick to work on the transmission problem.  In the past few days, the transmission had started doing strange things and we could no longer avoid the issue.  (We had to drive to Flagstaff on Wednesday in a lower gear than optimal, which limited our speed and ruined our fuel mileage. Wednesday was the earliest we could get an appointment with the dealer.) 

After sitting for several hours killing time, we received the news: There were three electrical components that needed to be replaced, only two of which were available locally, so the truck could not be fixed until Thursday.  And, while the quoted repair cost was not cheap by any means, it was only a fraction of what transmission repairs can run to.  Apparently, the great reputation of the Allison transmission is well-deserved.  We rented the last car Enterprise Rent-A-Car had available---a Camaro convertible. 

Becky was very dashing driving it.  But she said it felt weird being in such a small car after driving the truck for 13 years.  She stopped at the kennel so she could walk the dogs home, while I took the car home.  It's so low I could barely climb out of it.  I want our truck back.

Early Thursday afternoon, we returned to Flagstaff to pick up the truck and return the Camaro.  All is well.  After returning home, Becky sneaked off to Kicks on Route 66 and picked up a great dinner for us---a combination of a la carte items:  French Dip sandwiches, Jalapeno poppers, Onion rings, and a Lettuce "wedge" (with Romaine lettuce for a variation).  Just delicious.  

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