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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Spaces in Between.

Be patient… there’s some formatting issues on this blog due to some wonky code somewhere that I need to fix cut cannot address until tomorrow.  It’s truly hosed but you should always be able to read the most recent post w/o hassle.

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We are solid in the middle of sorting through Cruel Wife’s mom’s stuff.

You might be able to imagine three very intelligent and opinionated sisters in a high-stress situation of sorting through their mother’s belongings after a very unexpected demise.  It has been… trying.  Not bad, not good – no judgment – but a situation requiring lots of latitude and patience.

The only thing we can figure is that she exhibited all the symptoms of heart problems, yet because the most commonly known symptoms of heart problems are the symptoms that apply to men.

Things like blue fingers and nose, one cold leg and one hot, tired for no reason… everyone thought she had the best health and ate healthier and exercised more than any of us.  But, sometimes this sort of thing doesn’t make any sense at all and a common theme here has been one of self-blame, and that is unfair to one but it is also understandable.

So three crazy-tense sisters and two of us husbands who could make it, and we’ve tried keeping kids sane or at the least out of their mothers’ hair.  It’s interesting.

On the way out here from the airport (about three hours of driving), we came across an interesting spot.

A single-wide trailer, its outhouse, and next to a truck car-wash.  Save your soul, empty your bladder, and drive away in a sparkling-clean truck.  Just down the road is the best part – a gas station that sells corndogs.  Since being back in the NW I have had five corndogs, which you don’t find in so many places in Michigan.  It has been a slice of heaven.  So not all about this vacation has been sad.  Hey, work with me here – it’s been a visit with many bittersweet moments as memories have been relived – but there have been chances for people to show strength, too.  Corndogs help.

More later…

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A Little Rain Must Fall.

The news just as I got up this morning wasn’t good.  Cruel Wife entered the hallway and said “Mom is dead.”

I shook my head and said “What?”

“Mom died last night”, she said, and lost it.

Apparently her mother had taken her regular scalding-hot we-can-peel-peaches-and-tomatoes-in-this-water bath and didn’t get out.  About all we can figure is that her heart may have given out.

And so, using blog nicknames as usual, here’s a nod of respect to Bat-Crap Crazy Food Nazi (BCCFN).  She drove me nuts while here at our house and about killed me with her preaching about the evils of salt while she was mentally measuring the amount I used with every shake, but it cannot be denied that she was at her core a kind and caring person.  I’m pretty darned sure that she didn’t suffer and that where BCCFN is right now is a wonderful place.

CW is doing well enough – it comes and goes in waves and as long as she keeps moving and focused on the details of small things she’s holding up.  I will keep the meals coming, the kitchen clean, and whatever is needed to keep things “normal” and let her and the kids deal with things as they wash over them.

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I have no idea where he got it.  But it would be a crime to not post it.  If this graphic is yours, please do claim it so you can get proper credit!

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If you’ve been following here and there you know about my blunder, not having proof of insurance and proof of my registration in my truck.  (To Detroit Death Comes Astride His Pale Horse)

And you know how I ultimately have been fined $700.

With cursory examination we saw the paperwork saying how much I owed and decided to wait a bit – I was feeling lazy, less than enthusiastic, and in my mind payday was coming up and it made more sense to do it then.

I got another letter and this time it made mention of the fact that I never showed up and my tickets defaulted before I sent the letter.

Okay… first, I sent that letter on the second day after being ticketed (Sept 15), with proof that I had both items up to date and had all along.

Second, the judgment was made on October 13.  And “YOUR TICKETS ALREADY DEFAULTED BEFORE YOU SENT THE LETTER” was in bold type.

Well, that was peculiar.

So I called up the Clerk, who I will call Roz (not her real name).  I said “Roz, my name is Lemur King and I talked to you on the 14th of September, the day after I received my tickets.”

Roz pulled up the file on her computer.

“Yes, no proof of insurance and no proof of registration.”

“I’m confused, Roz, because I sent a letter the day after I talked to you, to Magistrate Ecks as you instructed, with proof that I had always had that paperwork and policy up-to-date, just not with me.  I want to understand what is going on here because $700 is a lot of money to me.  When I got the first stubs I thought it was judged based on my letter.  Then I got another one yesterday that says you got a letter but too late.”

“Well, it says it wasn’t received until October 8.”

Hell and damnation.  What am I going to do at this point, unload on this gal who did nothing to me?  Nah.

“Rats.  Is it entirely too late to do anything about this?  I didn’t know that it got there too late to be of any good.”

“You can show up here M-Tu-W at 8:30am and ask to go before a judge and explain the case – a judge is the only one who can change anything now.”

“Ok, thanks for your time and assistance, Roz.”

I hung up and hung my head in resignation.

Had I sent it certified mail, this wouldn’t be a problem!  My bad.  But WAIT A MINUTE!

I called Roz back up.

“Roz, it’s me, Lemur King again, and I’m sorry to have spaced this out earlier, but do you have the postmarked envelope still… or is it (gulp) gone?”

“After we talked I was thinking and went and pulled your file.  Your letter was received in a timely manner.  I’m going to put a note on this and give it to a judge.  Likely what he’ll do is re-set the case and review your letter and paperwork again.  If I don’t get back to you tomorrow or Monday, call me back, ok?”

“Thank you, Roz – you are the best.”

I could tell that she doesn’t get that kind of treatment very often because of the way she said “Have a nice day.”  She said it with sincerity.

Here’s the kicker.  We were just going to pay it and not contest it since we figured I was hosed by a cranky judge the first time around.  Never would have known something was amiss until I dug around.

How many people just pay these things and get nailed for huge sums of money because they are resigned to having to fight the system for every dime or assumed that the system worked?  This is the exact same thing with insurance companies – they live on your sufference of their behavior.

Luckily I found one of the few clerks willing to exercise initiative and free-thought.

I may still get screwed but at least I have a shred of hope.

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I make no bones that I don’t like Juan Williams because of his very liberal attitudes.  I respect him, however, for having a brain.

But I totally support him with respect to NPR.  He was calling it as he sees it.

Surprising though, isn’t it, that totally apolitical and balanced NPR should take a politically-correct stance?

Juan also commented, “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I’ve got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

I find this humorous in a way because we’re seeing the same response that whites normally get when they say “Hey, I feel [some_situation] is just not right” and are branded racist.  It gets old to have the racial/bigot card played on you for voicing a valid/legitimate disagreement.

More power to him on this topic.

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Update:  Tenement Lobster(tm) art posted on Zazzle

And the bib is at first cut stage… where the inner cabal must offer their nominations for sacrifice on the part of the Lemur King – sweat, blood, tears.

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A while back if you remember I was in a Detroit suburb and managed to accidentally run a red light.  Didn’t have current proof of insurance with me and my registration card was way out of date.  The officer gave me a warning on the red light, for which I was thankful.

Two days after I got the ticket here is what went in the mail:

  • Proof of the insurance that I’ve always had since the day I started driving decades ago.
  • Proof of the registration which has always been kept up to date since the day I started driving decades ago.
  • The ticket, checked to signify that I did not contest the ticket itself.
  • A letter addressed to the magistrate, admitting culpability with a contrite (and sincere – they aren’t the same thing) letter of apology and written explanation.

Care to guess what the ultimate cost of that oversight was?  That is, the cost here in the State of Michigan?

Try $700.

That’s right… SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS.  Roughly.

Here’s the lesson – make a mistake and not only will you get fined till you bleed rectally by the local gov’t but then the state will jump in and add half that amount again to the top of that.  It doesn’t matter if you actually had all that stuff covered with the Sec. of State and your insurance company, it doesn’t matter if you admit to an honest error, and it certainly doesn’t matter that you took the time to write a letter signifying that you gave a rat’s ass – they are going after you.

Not to guilt you or anything, but if you want to buy a shirt or mug, this might be the time.  🙂

Yeah, I know, 10% of the folks out there would love to have a job and that ticket.  Doesn’t mean I gotta like it.

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Note:  I accidentally deleted this posting.  It had some great comments which I will reconstruct tomorrow.  So sorry.

In order to work out some stuff with insurance I had to drive way out – way way out on the other side of Detroit this morning.

Got lost.  Got really lost.  Well, actually I knew where I was every time except when I was where I needed to be.  I was very nearly late.

I’m looking at my map and trying to spot something that looked even close to my destination and when I look up there’s flashing lights in my rearview mirror.  It was Death, sitting astride his pale horse.

I pointed to the next side street and pulled in.

Death left his steed idling at the curb and floated up to my window.

I said “Geez, I sure hope you can help me find this place because I’m totally lost,” stabbing my finger at my map animatedly.  Now, as you already know that wasn’t quite true because I knew where I wasn’t supposed to be which was where I was – I just couldn’t get to where I wasn’t.  So technically I wasn’t lost.  Moving right along…

In his most professional Grim Reaper expression the officer, who we’ll call Officer Thanatos, said “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

I thought furiously for a moment and then said to myself “Nope, I got nuthin’.

“No sir, I don’t.”

Officer Thanatos then said “You blew through a red light.  That’s bad.”

Ruh-roh!  That IS bad!!!

“Geez, I’m really sorry, Sir – I am just totally lost.”

“Give me your license, proof of insurance, and registration, Sir.” said Thanatos in a chill yet sort of lifelike voice.

I fumbled for my glovebox and snatched up the documents, then threw my license into the pile, and handed it all to him.  “I call.”

No, I didn’t say that, but my brain did, inside where brain things happen inside my head.  Why would I think about poker at a time like this… hell, I don’t know.

“I’ll be right back.”

“Be right here, Sir!” I chirped.

Note:  This is exactly the sort of situation that always ended badly for me in high school – my brain would signal to my mouth to say something and because my mouth doesn’t actually have a brain it just went along with the suggestion, leading to visits with my pal, the principal, and later to some horrific form of dire punishment.

He came back a few minutes later, but meanwhile I called Cruel Wife who laughed evilly at my predicament.  I hung up, as there was no sympathy to be had there.  It was her first day on her new job and she wasn’t going to let anything take away that warm fuzzy feeling.

“Sir, I’m going to give you a warning on the moving violation but I’m going to have to…”

Ok, stop right there.  No utterance by a police officer ever went well when it contained “sorry” and “but” in the same sentence.  Never.  Not once.

“… write you up for no proof of insurance and no vehicle registration.”

“Uh, OK… What???

Thanatos grimaced, which is hard to imagine but a death’s head can actually grimace, and said “Your insurance card is expired and your registration doesn’t match your plate.”

RUH-ROH!

Well, there just isn’t much you can say to that.  Arguing with Death never amounted to much.

Soooooo… I thanked Death profusely for not giving me a moving violation and sat there numbly as he gave me directions to the place where I wasn’t but which I also desperately needed to be since where I was wasn’t doing me any good whatsoever.

As usual, many passers-by slowed down to watch Death administer the last rites, sealing me to my fate.  Which was OK because really my mind was already where I wasn’t but knew that I had to be.  I made it to my destination with one minute to spare.

And the morning went downhill from there.  But that’s another story which I probably won’t tell anyway.

It just occurred to me that perhaps I ought to make some phone calls tomorrow to rectify the documentation problem.

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A couple of chickens this determined to see to their own well-being deserve to live long and happy lives, then used to make chicken stock.  They certainly have more intestinal fortitude than a lot of people on the dole here in the US.

Thier reward for taking charge?  They should be allowed to live long and happy lives and then be made into chicken stock.

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Go Earth!  Crush Mars!  Olympics 2010! (snorgtees.com)

Why am I exclamationizing everything?!!  No idea!  Maybe too many Red Bulls!

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