Sunday, August 16, 2020

LIFE IS CRAP, THEN YOU DIE (published 8-16-2020)

My usual hiking ball cap -- which a sister-in-law gave me, as a Christmas or birthday gift, several years ago -- has a sown-on image of a hiker being struck by lightning. The caption, beneath that unfortunate hiker, reads, “Life is Crap.” Photographs of that ball cap are in several previous articles, as it hangs on a tree branch, just above my canteen, on the west bluff of House Mountain. I’ve taken many photographs of that ball cap and canteen, sometimes with my outer layer in the image.

The first article today was “8/16/2020, Sunday, Corona Myopia Sidetrack.” Read it, if you want to take the time. Yes, this new cold virus is serious enough, especially to those who are at risk. I predict, at this entry, that the once great USA will never be great again. The decades of ongoing decline (since about the 1930s) had some improvements (e.g., after World War II, Ronald Reagan, etc.). The decline has sped up significantly, due to this new cold virus, the riots, and so forth. “This country is about gone, boys!” Corona Myopia is a gnat in my rear view mirror. I wish that it were for this once great nation.

Now, let’s return to “life is crap, then you die.”

What I Had Started to Write, on 8/9/2020

The following is what I had, as a draft, on Sunday, 8/9/2020. Y’all can read it now.

Howdy, y’all! My most recent article, of 7/26/2020, was two weeks ago. I hope that you have been getting along well enough, for the last two weeks, in the midst of the new cold virus insanity and so forth. We endure.

7/27-31/2020 & 8/3-7/2020: The week of 7/27-31/2020 was my normal work-at-office rotation, as usual lately. The next week (8/3-7/2020), however, I had to endure a second week of work at the office. That was not usual. The set pattern had been: work at home one week, work at office the next week, and switch back and forth. Well, a colleague, who had been doing the same pattern, was exposed to someone, who had tested positive for the new cold virus, with no symptoms. That colleague was tested. She had a positive result, with no symptoms. Her mistake was having to inform the office manager, who had her hands tied, by the state (insanity) guidelines. So, the colleague was in quarantine. That meant that I had to work at the office two weeks in a row. I can’t make this stuff up! It really happened.

7/27-29/2020: our “mansion” received a much-needed “bath.” The three-day pressure washing job was done! All the mold is off again.

8/1/2020, Saturday: Mrs. Appalachian Irishman must have been feeling her oats! She not only used our shop vacuum to clean out the basement, but she also, with my help, cleaned the master bedroom windows, inside and out!

On that same day, I filed a FTC website complaint, again Bill Hagerty. On 7/24/2020, 7/28/2020, and 8/1/2020, my cell phone received spam texts, from various invalid phone numbers, that wanted me to vote for Bill Hagerty for senate. (I tried to call each number. Each number reported invalid.) I have never given my cell phone number to Bill Hagerty or to his minions. I grew tired of the harassment. Bill Hagerty, the Republican Senate candidate, has a FTC complaint filed against him. I doubt anything will happen. Still yet, I stood my ground!

8/2/2020, Sunday: I had good phone conversations with my three younger brothers, in the context of my nieces' untimely passing (mentioned in the 7/26/2020 article). I also sent postal letters to the husband of my niece and to their youngest daughter, who attained age 14, on 7/31/2020.

Life is Crap

The following is “life is crap” by theme. Enjoy!

Deck: Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had hired a contractor (with his sub-contractor, with the sub, sub-contractors) to do fix-up work on our “mansion.” On 8/4/2020, the correct deck wood arrived (after the incorrect deck wood had arrived, on 7/31/2020, due to 84 Lumber’s mistake). From 8/5-14/2020, our deck is much improved! Our old deck lasted from 2003 to early 2020 – about 17 years. Our new deck is composite wood, which is guaranteed to last 25 years -- without the usual, annual touch up that I had been doing, until 3/29/2016 changed my plans. Hey! I’ll be age 80 in 25 years -- if I’m not Home before then.

Letters: on 8/8/2020, I placed four letters, flagged up, in our mailbox. Three were negative. One was positive.

The first negative letter was to our monopoly water provider. By online mistake, on 7/6/2020, I had paid our monopoly electric provider, instead of the water utility company. That company sent the next bill. I realized my error. I paid the full payment, correctly, online -- including the past due. The water shut off date was later this month. I had set up full payment, for the past due and the current due, well before the shut off date. The water utility company shut off our water, on 8/5/2020, before the shut off date, with no notice or warning! I had the full payment set to issue on 8/7/2020, two days later. Unknown to me at the time, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, who was at home on 8/5/2020, paid the full payment, to get our water back on. We have a credit balance now. My letter to the water utility folks indicated: our excellent payment record (from initial connection, in 2003), my profound displeasure, and my option to fire them! We could have a water-well drilled! Of course, I referenced Ferrell’s Well Drilling, which Papaw Ferrell had started in 1901 and which Dad had continued! I don’t have the reply yet. If I don’t get one, then I plan to drop by, to give them a face-to-face visit, to educate them.

The next negative letter was to Melania Trump. It seems that her husband and she do not have enough money to spend on his re-election campaign. She begged me for a donation. I had to have a little fun!

In July, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had one of her annual check ups. Her doctor's office never did send an initial bill. She never received an EOB from her health insurance. Her doctor's office sent their first letter, demanding $10.16 now, or my wife would be turned over to a collection agency. My pithy and third negative letter included a $20 bill, with the stipulation that her doctor's office send my wife $9.84 -- or I’d turn them over to a collection agency! The saga ended well, however. On 8/11/2020, a fine man, 15 years younger than me, called me. He had never seen a letter like mine, in his several years of doing his job. We talked for 45 minutes. He understood the point in my letter. He might be able to have those automated letters corrected, eventually. The main point was that he is a fine Christian man and a hiker. Who knows? We might hike House Mountain together!

The one positive letter was to our automobile and homeowners’ insurance company, which we've used for almost two decades. The company owner always sends handwritten birthday cards every year. I wrote him, to express my appreciation for his fine -- as folks call it nowadays -- “business model.” It's the old-school way of doing business correctly!

Tooth: on 8/10/2020, during my work-at-home lunch, I chipped the upper left molar, which is next to the upper left wisdom tooth. Don’t bite into the seed of a peach then chew! On 8/13/2020, our dentist patched that tooth. Next month, I should have a nice, new crown on that tooth. The only other crown that I have is on the upper right molar, next to the upper right wisdom tooth. Over 20 years ago, I’d bitten into a fast food hamburger that had a chunk of bone in it. That chipped the first molar. Well, two crowns in 20 plus years ain’t too bad!

By the way, 8/10-12/2020 was supposed to be my work-at-home days, followed by 8/13-14/2020 work-at-office -- a split work location week, for some strange reason. My chipped tooth granted me the right to work at home, on 8/13/2020!

School’s not out: Mrs. Appalachian Irishman’s last workday, at the school where she teaches, was on Friday, 3/13/2020. From 3/16/2020 to 6/1/2020, she taught online, from home, as well as she could. She worked a couple of hours or so each day. Her summer break started on 6/2/2020. On 8/11/2020, she had to start “hitting a lick,” by driving to work -- no online teaching. Of course, she endures all the new cold virus regulations and stipulations, which are insane.

Then You Die

Wednesday, 8/12/2020, marked the passing of Lula Frank Amos Wood (6/16/1901 - 8/12/1991). She was my maternal grandmother. I was honored to have performed Granny Wood’s funeral service and graveside.

Granny Wood passed on Home twenty-nine years ago. She enjoyed life, and she endured “crap” in life. (I’m sorry, Granny, for my choice of words!)

We each have joy and “crap” in life. Life has quite a bit of “crap” in it now. If, however, we each have taken up the Good Lord’s free gift offer, then, when we die, we go Home! That's “life is crap, then you die,” in an everlasting mindset. Death leads to everlasting joy, if we're ready.

Granny, I’ll see you at Home! I love and miss you! I’m still your “little Indian chief!” I remember!

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