Monday, November 24, 2014

Yes I Have Been, and I Still Am

It's weird how close the senses of smell and taste are. I swear that on many occasions things taste the same way that other things smell to me. For instance, last week I bought a new tube of toothpaste. It was a familiar brand, but a whole new formula that promises to fix every ill your teeth could possibly encounter. The minute I shoved the toothbrush into my mouth with the new toothpaste on it, I recognized the flavor. It was very familiar to me. The toothpaste tasted exactly the same way that Ben-Gay smells. I did a quick brush, rinse, and spit, but I couldn't get that taste out of my mouth. I have never had a mouthful of Ben-Gay, but I seem to know what it would taste like, and it tastes disgusting. This experience then reminded me of a chilly morning at my mom's house a few years ago. Mark and I spent the night at Mom's, and early the next morning Mark woke me up.
"What's that smell?"
"Humph, wha... huh?"
"That smell. Do you smell it? It's kind of minty but not minty at the same time."
"Smell, minty?"
I was now awake, and as my senses slowly came about, I did smell something.
"Oh yeah, now I smell it. Sniff, sniff, I think that's Ben-Gay."
Sure enough, I got up, put some clothes on, and when I walked out to the family room there was my mom with a giant tube of Ben-Gay, slathering it on every joint and muscle. Now, as I get older and every joint and muscle in my body has started to ache and hurt, I realize why my mom would go through that every day. This all made me curious. I wanted to know if Ben-Gay had an odorless product, so I went on the Ben-Gay web site and I learned two things. First, I've been spelling Ben-Gay wrong through this whole post. It's now spelled like this, BENGAY® , all caps and no dash. Secondly, they now have a product called Vanishing Scent BENGAY® . The stink is still there, but before you can figure out what the hell smells, it will vanish. Hmmm...  Mom's birthday is coming up in a few weeks.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ooooh Oooh That Smell...

I just got back from Abandoned Pet Rescue. I volunteered to do something that I've never done before. I'm filling in for APR employees who take care of the big dog kennel and need a day off. I will do the same thing on Sunday, and then on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The job description would be that you are cleaning the kennels, but there is so much more to it than just 'cleaning'. What it involves is putting all the dogs out in the big dog run, cleaning their cages while they are out there, putting food in their cages so that when they come back in they have something to look forward to, and then cleaning the big dog run when all the dogs have been put back inside. It sounded easy when I first volunteered to do it, and while it's not too hard, it also isn't that easy. There is one prevailing factor that you have to deal with more than any other thing the entire time you are there, and that is shit. The dog shit smell, and the dog shit that produces it. There is dog shit in the cages, dog shit on their bedding, dog shit on the walls, dog shit in the most unlikely places, shit, shit, shit, everywhere shit. Some of the dogs are fully house broken and will choose to explode before they make a mess in their cages. If you want to adopt one of those, I'll tell you who they are. But many of the dogs there poop at the drop of a squeaky toy. Food in one end, poop out the other in an never ending flow. Some of the dogs return to the cage that I just scooped out, scrubbed, and disinfected, and immediately poop as if they are trying to tell me something. When I finished today my clothes smelled like dog shit, my hair smelled of it, and I think I got some in my mouth because I'm sure I can taste it. I don't know how the paid employees of Abandoned Pet Rescue deal with this onslaught of dog shit day after day, but I do know that they are not paid enough to do it. In fact they couldn't pay me enough to do it. That said, I just did it for free and I plan to do it again on Sunday and Wednesday. But if I were doing it for money, there wouldn't be enough.
Hi, I'm Kobe and I'd rather explode than make a mess in my kennel.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Toasty, Comfy, Warm

Well the cold weather has arrived, lower sixties today, but the closet in the hallway is empty of coats. They are all still on the sofa in my office. I put them there when I had the big air conditioner mess so that the repair guy could get in that closet. Yes, we need coats down here in Florida. Sometimes it can get really cold. I remember the year I moved here, 1989, the temperature dropped to twenty nine degrees on Christmas eve that year. You need to be prepared for those once in a decade cold spells, so I have three cold weather coats/jackets. I have a hoodie sweatshirt, a suede jacket, and for those really cold mornings a pea coat. Mark on the other hand, has a whole bunch of jackets and coats, around twenty of them. Because you never know when that climate change thing will kick in really good and turn Florida into the arctic and palm trees will sprout in Minnesota. Just kidding, there is really no need to have that many coats when you live in Florida, or Chicago for that matter. I have asked Mark to go through the pile on the sofa and get rid of some of the excess coats so that the hall closet won't be so overstuffed, which explains why they are still on the sofa and why the dogs have turned the pile into a nice little dog bed.
Find the dog in this photo

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Here, It's Finally Here!

Before                               After
For days now I have seen on television and read in the newspaper about the sudden and unusual polar cold front that was moving through the country. Very odd to have temperatures in the teens in Chicago, in November. Some places dropped into single digits and measureable snow fell across the north. Meanwhile here in Florida, the temperatures remained in the mid eighties during the afternoon for the last week. Almost too warm. Yesterday I looked at the thermometer and saw that it was seventy four degrees outside, cool enough to do some painting. So I got out the green paint, the paint brushes, and all the other tools I would need to spruce up the house. I began by painting my front tenant's door. Halfway through painting that door, sweat started rolling down my face, and my pits began to moisten up. The thermometer had risen to seventy seven degrees. I forged on despite the heat. When I finished the tenant's door I worked on the front gate that was also to be painted green. Halfway through painting the front gate I noticed that the wind had picked up, and before I knew it the temperature was dropping rapidly. The big cold front had finally arrived in Florida. I quickly finished painting the gate, and packed it in for the day because the temperature had dropped to a bone chilling sixty six degrees. Brrr.... I'm still not completely sold on moving back north next year, and this isn't helping.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I'm a big guy, two hundred pounds. I pay the mortgage, I pay the electric bill, I pay for a lot of crap around here. Mark is big enough, over a hundred pounds of snarling, New Jersey attitude. And then there is Chandler, my big boy dog. You would think we would all be near the top of the food chain in this house. We are not.
 I was in the my office doing some serious business on the computer when I heard the plaintive whines of Chandler coming from the living room. I put the card game on hold and took a peek around the corner. There was my eighty pound mutt trembling in fear, and giving me his most desperate 'Come and save me' look. On the floor was eleven pounds of fury in a fur coat, and on the sofa was Chandler trying to get past her. Bette had Chandler trapped. This is nothing new, Bette rules this house. If Bette doesn't want Chandler to get on the bed, Chandler can't get on the bed. If Bette wants to play tug of war with a squeaky toy, Chandler has to play or he gets his ankles and ears chewed on. It's not just Chandler who is bossed around by little Bette, Mark is on her shit list too. If Chandler isn't available for play she attacks Mark, running up to him and nipping at his pant leg. As for me, I am her humble servant. I do not get nipped at, or attacked with a squeaky toy. I am there to feed her, walk her, and make sure her every need is met. I get to change the puppy pee pads in her personal bathroom, which we used to call the sun room. I pick the burrs out of her fur, and the ticks off her ass. I am also available to save Chandler from her, which is what I did. I picked her up and held her while Chandler managed to escape. I then carried her into the bedroom where Mark was, and told her to have at it.