Friday, June 5, 2015

Catching up...

 Den of the Beastly Bear

Hello Folks!
Contrary to popular belief I have NOT, as may have been reported...
In fact dropped off the face of the earth.

Or as my mother would say "I'm not stinkin' yet!"

As I have been castigated by no small number of readers to "Get off your lazy ass and write a new blog", I shall endeavor to comply.

It has been a busy and event-filled couple of months since I last regaled you with my limited talents. Here's a brief update.

I finally have in my possession the Smith & Wesson revolver stolen from my Mother's boyfriend (who was more like a step-father to me) several years before his death. It's recovery and subsequent return took way longer than necessary, directly due to the now outgoing Chief of Waterford PD. I detailed the beginnings of this saga earlier in the life of this blog. Once we told them that we did not want it destroyed but, in fact, wanted it back that the games began. First we had to produce a copy of the will, "That should be enough". Then after a few weeks I called back, "Well, can we get a copy of the death certificate?", that was supplied. Now the Evidence Officer, Mike was a pleasure to deal with! It was the Chief making these demands. Next they wanted a copy of my Mother's Drivers license as she was the executor of the estate. Again weeks go by. Finally, Mike tells me that "The Chief would feel better if you filed the will in Probate Court, that way there'd be no way someone else could show up and lay claim to it."
"Well," I told him "we are not hiring a lawyer and filing in Probate, just to get back a thousand dollar revolver! It'd be cheaper to just go buy a new one...we're NOT doing that." 
"See if your Mom can get the lawyer that did the will to call the Chief and talk to him, maybe that will work.", it didn't.
So it was that I bided my time...and low and behold the Chief becomes embroiled in a political scandal such that he is placed on leave and eventually forced to retire. Awwwwwwww.
So I called Mike back up, it's been almost a year at this point since he initially contacted us. And asked him to run the whole thing by the acting Chief, and get his take. 

Long story short (I know, too late right?) two days later we had it back, and it's now registered in my name and has become my "go to" everyday carry gun. At 14 oz. loaded it is nearly a half pound lighter than my Kahr PM9.

Next adventure, after 20 some odd years I am once again a motorcyclist! I bought myself a used 2010 Triumph Rocket III!
Been wanting one of them since they were introduced in 2004, and finally made that happen. The fellow that had it before me took immaculate care of her and added all the extras I would have. 

She's 2300 cc's, sports 146 hp. and 163 ft. lbs. of torque...and even with my grizzled old butt on her, she moves right along!

I did have to make one change, the stock mirrors were woefully inadequate, and not very stylish so I had to change them out to these...

So a portion of my time and energies were devoted to finding, trying and buying those things I no longer had. Leather jacket, new helmet, gloves, and boots. Added a Blu Tooth com/entertainment system to my helmet so I can listen to music, books on tape, and take and make calls should I feel the need.

Next thing occupying my mind/time was some home improvements. For the last few years, we've wanted a couple trees removed and the trim on the house wrapped. After getting a quote from a guy Mama Bear used to know during her time working for a builder, we decided to get the siding and gutters replaced as well.


Trees Down
I don't yet have final pictures yet. We also had the center two columns removed from the porch, which really opened it up.

The work was done and I was getting ready to take pictures when I got up one morning, hit the restroom, and as I was washing my hands I noticed the water pressure was really low.

"No problem," I thought. "I think they're flushing the fire hydrants this week, must be that."

As I went downstairs to let the dog out, I passed the door to the basement..."That's funny...the water softener shouldn't be running until 3 AM." But we'd lost power recently and I thought perhaps the timer was off and I'd have to reset it. When I walk back by the door, it didn't sound quite right so I opened it, looked down the stairs to see a couple inches of water, WHERE NO WATER SHOULD BE!!!

I flew down the stairs and saw there was a geyser of water coming from the water softener. I made my way to it as quickly as I could and tried to turn off the water, but my hands were wet and I couldn't get a grip. Putting a hand up to shield my face I noticed one of the couplers after the bypass had let loose. I yanked the bypass lever, and the geyser stopped.

Now I don't know about your basement, but our basement was FULL of almost 30 yrs. worth of accumulated crap, most in cardboard boxes. 

Sooooo, a 20 yd. roll-off dumpster, an industrial strength dehumidifier were procured and the clean-up began. 

Now, being allergic to mold and mildew...I was instantly in dire straights when we started cleaning up...well not instantly, I made it a whole day before my sinuses went ballistic and the asthma kicked in. Let me tell you, being a couple hundred pounds overweight and toting shit upstairs over and over is not helped by an inability to breathe. 

After all the wet and ruined was pitched, it seemed like as good a time as any to go through the detritus of our lives...
If we haven't seen it or used it in the last 2 years it got chucked.

This is not an easy, or a simple thing. It brought up many memories...some good, some not. It made us re-evaluate those treasures we just HAD to have that now sat forgotten in the basement.

Amid this madness, one of my FAVORITE authors was once again quasi-near us. I took a day off from my toils to drive down to Dayton, OH. Yes, it was Craig Johnson...

No Camaro this year and Mama Bear had to work so it was just me running down to listen to him give a talk, a reading from his new book and to get some signed. As usual he was warm and personable, greeting every reader like a long lost friend! A rare commodity among NYT Bestselling Authors. The only other author anything like that, in my experience, is George R.R. Martin. After the book signing, I headed to one of my favorite places for a burger (Hardee's Mushroom and Swiss thickburger, nothing else comes close!)

Once we had the basement behind us, I started on the garage.
At which time Mama Bear suggested that, perhaps, we should get rid of the 15-year-old half fridge and put a full sized one in the garage instead. This would just require removing some cabinets...

Finally, yesterday morning the dumpster was removed.
The majority of my inside work is complete, now I have to put my efforts towards removing the surface roots that were not included in the stump grinding. Then there is the trimming of the hedges, and the removal of some upstart little (well not so little anymore) elm tree that is attempting to kill my Rose of Sharon with his head!!!

That about catches us up, gentle readers...all the news from the Den.

I realize my excuses for not writing are lame at best and hope that you will deem to forgive me.

Be Well Folks,

Beastly Bear