Nicky’s Moving to Florida

Nicky posted on his public FB page that he’s moving to Florida at the end of next month.  Considering that this was posted over a week ago, it seems like an awfully leisurely packing job he’s planning.  Most people can pack up the entire contents of a four or five bedroom house in half that time (or less), while putting in 40+ hour work weeks.  All it takes is good use of their evenings and weekends.

He’s said before that he hates hot weather.  Either he’s going to have to buy a pair of shorts to wear in the summer, or stay indoors in the air conditioning.  It’s not too wild an assumption to make that the decision to move in with Sheryl and Mark was a last resort, and that he was unable to find other accomodations in Chicagoland.  Stay tuned …

Willie Mosconi

I managed to find the two Mosconi books my husband had in one of our bazillions of bookcases.  The one from 1948, reprinted in 1959, is way too elementary.  The one from 1965 is much better.  They’re both about playing pool/pocket billiards.  I don’t aspire to that level of proficiency, but it’d be nice to not embarass myself too badly when playing.

On another topic, our neighbors let their chickens out again to forage this weekend.  I felt awful for them a couple of Tuesdays ago, when something got one of their hens in our side yard.  I didn’t hear any squawking at the time, but I saw the aftermath of feathers scattered around, mid-afternoon.  All three roosters are still alive, so it was one of the hens.  Given the time of day, the culprit probably was a hawk, instead of a fox.  I’m reasonably sure this isn’t the first time it’s happened, and it probably won’t be the last.  Still, I felt somehow guilty that it happened on my property, instead of theirs. I almost wanted to play Taps for the poor thing.

God, We’re Awful

Had to fire the first guy we hired to go to the seller’s house to disassemble the pool table, after he canceled on us twice, with rather lame excuses, considering that we and the seller rearranged our schedules twice to accomodate his.  He probably has figured out by now that we fired him, because we never returned his text to reschedule for a third time.  We hired someone else who showed up on time, got it disassembled in under an hour, made it over here, and did his thing with his buddy.  They got it placed, leveled, and reassembled, etc., in a little over an hour.  The felt was in fantastic shape, and the previous owner was the original one, so there was no issue regarding being able to reuse it.  I paid the seller, and the movers, in cash.

The pool table moving company owner, Ryan, even did me a favor on his way out that had absolutely nothing to do with the scope of the job for which I hired him, and loosened a screw on a door lock that I was trying to change.  I swapped out a similar one a few weeks ago, but couldn’t get the screw loose on this one to save my life, and didn’t want to strip it by using my variable speed reversible drill with a screwdriver bit.  It’s one of those euro locks, and I had the replacement hardware, but couldn’t get the machine screw loose to remove the old hardware.  He happened to have the necessary tools in his truck, because obviously my #2 phillips head wasn’t doing the trick.  Once that screw was out, it took me 30 seconds to slide out the old assembly, pop in the new one, and screw it in place.  No extra charge for the handyman work, but he didn’t mind, and I tipped both of them a $20 each.

The table’s great!  It’s not a freakin’ gorgeous Olhausen, but it is an AMF Playmaster, which is still a very good pool table.  It’s a little slow because the felt is in such great shape, but it will get faster as we play more on it.  Ryan said the felt should be good for another 10 years if we don’t have to have it moved again.  John, the seller, included the rack for the cue sticks, five regular length wooden ones, a semi-shorty, a shorty, and two really sweet graphite sticks.  I prefer the 20 oz. one, but the 19 oz. one is fine, too.  We also got the bridge, two brushes, a fistful of chalk cubes, a triangular rack and a 9-ball rack (both wood), an extra 8 ball, and the rasp to reshape the ends of the cue sticks as necessary.  Obviously, the seller had no further use for any of the accessories w/o the table.  John even offered us some sort of generic rack he was otherwise going to throw out; it’s perfect for my cowboy boots, so we took it.

We played 8-ball and 9-ball after dinner.  I won both games, but it was ugly.  The graphite stick I was using did a really good job of making the cue ball follow, stop, or reverse, upon contact with my target ball, depending on whether I hit it above, on, or below the equator.  But, I am seriously rusty for angle and bank shots.  Considering that I haven’t played pool since college, it could have been a lot worse.  My saving grace is that my husband is just as rusty as I am.

We’re awful!  At least we can practice in the privacy of our own basement rec room/(wo)man cave, instead of making fools of ourselves in some pool hall or dive bar.

Obsession

My mom obsesses over the dumbest shit.  Today’s version is which route to take to get her car into the dealer on Rte. 22 for service, so it crosses 22.  She’s not even going to drive the car there, so what skin is it off her back?  She’s going to be ferried there as if she were royalty.  I don’t see why Warnock on Rte. 10 won’t service it for her.  It takes an hour to get to her place, at highway speed, and then, to get her damn car to the dealer is probably only another 20 minutes. Well, give an extra 20 for her to get her kiester moving. She called at the crack of dawn to make sure that we could get her, and her car, into the dealer half an hour before her appointment.  She also had us drive all over god’s little green acre to find her some emery boards, “the shorter ones, by Revlon,” and 10″ x 13″ manila envelopes — just because she could.  It’s completely manipulative behavior on her part, but since dad’s no longer around to manipulate, I’m her target now.  So’s one of my cousins, who now lives in NC, but she doesn’t quite get it yet.

“You’re only an hour away, and I can’t drive 20 minutes, even on local roads!”  Credit for admitting that … but then why in the hell does she still own a car?  A couple of years ago, she damn near killed a biker, but avoided that collision when I yelled “Stop!” at her.

I don’t even give a shit that she told her home healthcare worker, who comes in twice a week for two hours at a time, that I was the one who drove her car through the front wall of her garage, even though I’ve never driven her car in my life.  We repaired that problem, and even vacuumed up the dust left from the sanding.  I’m sure I’m going to hear complaints about how the spackle doesn’t quite match the eggshell paint.

Whatever.  Let’s make that your problem, instead of mine.

Dar

Generally speaking, folk music isn’t my favorite listening, and I disagree with her leftie politics, but Ms. Williams has a good voice.  That is why I paid for tickets to see her live.  I’m reserving judgment on her live performances for now, but there’s a reason the Winery keeps booking for two nights in a row every year.  She’s sold out tomorrow night, but not tonight, which, hopefully means we’ll get a good table within 10′ of the stage.  Some tables are better than others, but none of them are bad.

Tomorrow night, we’re seeing Marshall Crenshaw, with The Bottle Rockets opening for him, and backing him, when it’s his turn.  Mr. Crenshaw is a really cool guy, and so are the guys from The Bottle Rockets.  You can’t possibly be from Detroit or St. Louis w/o having one helluva sense of humor.  Crenshaw is tame.  Bottle Rockets rock it.  Together, they make for an awesome tour.

She Did it Again

Bitch kitteh is gonna bitch.  Purr, purr, purr, pounce!  She missed my eye, but came close.  She’s on double secret probation.

Our other kitty would never dream of clawing either one of us.  This one is just kind of special, that way.  Dammit, girl, get with the program!

Pool Table

Getting a pool table for the basement rec room/bar/man cave isn’t as easy as you’d think.  By comparison, the kegerator was easy peasy.  A brand new 8′ slate pool table is expensive!  But, I wouldn’t want one that has some sort of wooden or composite table below the felt that would warp if the humidity changes down there.  It’s enough trouble keeping them level without having a table top that could warp, and really make shots wonky.  Slate’s heavy, but it never warps.

I grew up with a bumper pool table in my parents’ basement.  Bumper pool is no challenge.  My best friend had a real pool table in her parents’ basement.  That was much more fun.  We were warned “Don’t scatch the green!” but were allowed to use it.  My dad told me about the difference between snooker and pool, because he used to play both in college, but I’m not looking to play snooker.

Buy one new, or used, in really good shape?  I have several options.  One of them returned our email to say we could come over to see it in person tomorrow evening.  They’re only a couple of miles away from us.

The price is right, it appears to be in really good shape, and comes with all the accessories.  If we decide we like it, and buy it, we’ll have to hire a guy experienced in moving pool tables to get it out of their basement and into ours.  Add $200-250 (?) to the cost, for the mover.  Still, if we decide we want it, the combined cost is a shitload cheaper than buying a new one.  It’s an AMF Play Master, which is right up there with a Brunswick.

We’ll see what happens.  As of now, it looks like a really sweet candidate.  And, no, I wouldn’t jerk the owners around if I weren’t seriously interested.

Grr

Buying a big-ass trailer, used, from a guy ~ 25 miles away is a much bigger pain in the ass than you would think.  Getting the truck into the dealer to enable trailer braking is one matter.  Getting the registration and license plate for it is … not fun.  Two different states and regulations were involved.  The little trailer was no big deal; we bought it here, and it didn’t have its own set of brakes.  The big one does, we bought it out of state, and well, you can figure it out from there.  OMG, that is one big, beautiful trailer.

John & Kira’s

I must give these two people kudos.  I’d never heard of them before my financial advisor had them deliver a tower of their handmade, ecologically responsible, made mostly from local ingredients … chocolates.  It was probably a “thanks for not looting your account with us to pay for your new house, and having to make me expense account any more lunches with you in NYC” more than anything else.  Whatever the case, it was a nice gesture, which introduced me to John & Kira’s chocolates.

Mostly, I don’t like chocolate all that much.  I don’t hate it; I’m indifferent.  Even when I was a kid, I asked my mom to find some Betty Crocker spice cake mix for my birthday cake, instead of chocolate.  Mom never could cook anything good from scratch, except by accident, because she followed recipes as if they were gospel, instead of guides.  “The recipe called for one can of cream of chicken soup, so I don’t know what happened.” Spice is still my favorite cake flavor, although I have a much better recipe for baking one from scratch than the box cake mixes.

Anyway, moving along to the John & Kira’s chocolates … these are divine.  I don’t know anything about their assorted mix, but their honeybees and figs are to die for!  They cost a small fortune, but if you ration them to one per person for dessert, or order some for a special occasion, you can justify it.  OMG, these two people just might make me start to like chocolate.  They won’t make me embrace hippy-dippy living, but I really do like their chocolates, which is bizarre, but so be it.

Three Days Later

Whenever Ben sees a rabbit, goose, duck, fox, or deer, in the yard, he’s going to try to dislocate my shoulder to go run it down.  Last time, he didn’t succeed at that, but he did whip me around so that I whacked my elbow on the stone front of the house.  The end result has to be a bone bruise.  There’s no other reason it would continue to ache like this after three days, and not show a typical bruise.  At least it didn’t blow up to grapefruit size.

Ow, ow, ow, ouchy ow.