Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, December 06, 2004


I just got an Alpha Industries CWU 45/P for TWO BUCKS!

The Guy Who Can’t Figure Out Tables in MSWord (aka The Guy Who Tells Stupid Jokes and Gets His Feelings Hurt When No One Laughs) was having a garage sale this weekend and his wife had decided to get rid of it since he had outgrown it. I have an MA-1 I wear all the time, so he had asked last week if I would like to have his jacket. You betcha! I figure Boy will enjoy it for years to come, and yes, I DID offer to pay the jacket’s owner more money, both last week and today, so don’t say I was taking advantage of Poor Old GWCFOTIMSW. Even though I am.

Weekend? Well, we came in Friday and had supper and sat down and watched Three Coins in the Fountain. I saw it a long time ago on TV when I was a kid, and hadn’t seen it since. I have to say it didn’t seem near as good as I had remembered. Still, for a sixty-year-old movie, it’s pretty good.

Saturday, up early so I could take the van to get the oil changed--the 60,000 mile service light has been on for about 2,000 miles now so it was about time. BUT FIRST, I had to stop by the post office, because we hadn’t gotten any mail the day before and had been expecting something. SO, before the oil, it was the post. Walked in and as I mentioned earlier, there was a big tall girl in there who looked a bit like this version of Bette Midler, with curly red hair pulled back just so and a physique like Zena the Warrior Princess. I say the United States Post Office has finally wised up. Anyway, I told her about my lack of junk mail delivery, and she let me speak to Melvin the supervisor. Melvin the Mailman was very stern and businesslike, with a narrow blue tie and a job to do. He told me to wait a minute, which I was glad to do because it meant I could gawk some more at Bette.

Melvin came back exactly 53 seconds later with my stack of mail. Seems the box was blocked and the carrier couldn’t get to it. Hmm. That’s very odd, seeing as how there was nothing there. “IneedsomeIDplease. Can’tturnoverthemailwithoutID.” I reached back and, D’OH! No billfold. I had walked out without it, because I am either a moron or very forgetful. Or a very forgetful moron.

BACK up to the top of the hill after apologizing profusely to Melvin for having wasted time, burst through the door, got my billfold, and was told to go back and get the mail and bring it to the house for inspection. ::sigh:: Not ever going to get to the oil-changing-place.

Back down the hill, rang the doorbell, and a completely different guy answered. Let’s call him Antimelvin (not his real name). Antimelvin looked to have just woken up and come to work in what he slept in. I explained my need for my mail and he said, “Oh.” He looked around and spied something on a cardboard box and picked it up. Carefully and methodically he looked through it all, and satisfying himself that it was all mine, he looked at my driver’s license, and then back through the mail. I would insert a gratuitous joke here about him then tearing the corner off of everything with his teeth, but one mustn’t josh about such things. I’d rather not find my mail cut off forever due to phantom box blockages. Nor would I care for nice Bette to show up on my doorstep and fling some sort of edged weapon my way. SO, I thanked Antimelvin and went BACK to the house, then BACK down the hill and over across yon way to the always-painful Credit Union Service Center.

Talk about your ineffectual bureaucracies. The CU Service Center is a joint effort by all the credit unions to have a one-stop place where anyone can deposit or withdraw, without having to go to the actual branch, which might be closed on Saturdays. There are usually about six employees “working,” and an equivalent number of brain cells. In the past, I have had to fill out one of their deposit slips, even when I had one of my own. Other times, not. So I always fill out two just in case and hand them both to the teller.

“What this?”

“It’s one of your deposit slips and one of mine. I’ve been in here before when they wanted both.”

“Naw, we don’ need that.”

She started depositing the money, and…

“Who this?”

“Who is whom?”

“This here, it say Reb-uh?”

“That would be my wife.”

“She not on the checkin account.”

WTF!? I said to myself, because it’s very bad manners to spell out loud to people.

“Uh, no ma’am, she’s on the checking account.”

“Naw, she not on the checkin count. She on the savin but not the checkin.”

In this time, I had fished the checkbook out of my other back pocket and held it up to the two-inch thick bulletproof glass. “No, she’s on the account--see?”

She didn’t care, “I can deposit it in the savin and transfer it over to the checkin. You wan me to do that?”

“Why, yes ma’am! That would be just fine!”

Apparently the glass was sarcasm-proof, too. Good thing, or else she would have been be sprawled on the floor in a pool of invective.

No matter--off back toward the house to the Oil Changing Place! Hooray! And I got the oil changed with a minimum of fuss, other than trying to navigate around the bunch of people who were having a fund-raising car wash directly behind the building. I shook my fist at them for being so inconsiderate.

Back to the house, laundered stuff, did some other things that I can’t remember now, and then almost as if by magic it was time for the Christmas parade! Wheeeee! I had thought that since we were toting a band member that we might be able to get relatively close to the drop-off/staging area. Because, you know, being dumb and all. No such luck--the local carabinieri had all the roads blocked leading to the junior high, so we just pulled into one of the blocked roads and dumped Oldest out with the instruction to high-tail it to where she was supposed to be. The next task was trying to find a parking spot. We wound up going the LONG way around everything through the park, and wound up parking at the senior citizen’s center. (Alright--no jokes, or I’ll thwack you with my walker!)

We hiked back around to the front of the middle school and found a portable toilet so SOMEone could go pee, and after Catherine got done, we took up our position by the tennis courts. Things started up right on time at 3:05, and it was very nice. Lots of Shriners--Dune Buggy Shriners, Convertible Parade Unit Shriners, Three Wheeler Shriners, Hillbilly Shriners, Scottish Rite Shriners. And, of course, the band was in full song. I think I got a picture of Ashley, or at least some girl with a clarinet. It lasted about an hour, which is a pretty good-sized parade. And as I mentioned, lots and lots of candy, including one piece that was hurled by a small boy intent on causing maximum damage. I caught him winding up out of the corner of my eye, and before I could react he had nailed me on my left index finger knuckle with what felt like a rock from a slingshot. Turns out it was a Jolly Rancher. Let me tell you, they hurt. He cackled with great glee at his strike, but, I don’t blame the little dear--I’m sure it must be difficult going through life the illegitimate son of a prostitute. And an ugly prostitute, at that.

Afterwards, we gathered up our woodwindist and headed over to get some supper. About which, and about the rest of the weekend, you’re just going to have to wait until tomorrow for. It’s about time to hit the road, you know. SO, tune in later and you’ll hear all about Irish Soda Bread, and the time that I got to stand next to TWO Nobel Prize winners!

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