So, somebody tried to run a scam on me today.
I received a phone call on my cell as I was leaving a job site, and while I normally check the incoming number, I don’t do that while driving. I just hit the “hands-free” button and answered. A young woman who sounded remarkably like my daughter does in hysterics (I’ve heard her in hysterics before) said she’d been in an accident, didn’t know where she was and a guy “wouldn’t let her go.”
I informed him I was two hours out of Tucson in the freaking middle of nowhere. Took a while to convince him, but he finally instructed me that he wanted me to drive to the town of Superior and wire him some money from a check-cashing place there. I told him that I was on an AT&T cell phone, and that service out there sucked, and the call would probably be dropped before I got to Superior. He informed me that if the call dropped, my daughter would be dead. He did everything he could think of to keep me on the line.
Sure enough, the call dropped just outside of Superior. The phone number was Mexican (+52 country code). I called 911 as soon as cell service was restored. I checked and my daughter was at work, and so was my grandaughter.
Got my adrenaline dump for the month.
Beware scammers. This guy had done this before, and was very smooth. I wanted to rip his spleen out through his mouth.
Remember my 3/4-life crisis when I sold my Mustang and bought an MG?
Almost a year later, I’m rid of the MG. Took a pretty big loss on the deal, but my garage now has a hole in it, thank you jeebus. The new owner seems pleased. I’m pleased. My wife is pleased.
Now I need to clean up the garage so she can park her car inside.
I just ran across something at Reddit most of you probably already have read, but I’m going to copy it here with attribution because I want to archive it myself. It’s titled In the final minutes of his life, Calvin has one last talk with Hobbes, by Redditor “Samuraitiger19.”
“Calvin? Calvin, sweetheart?”
In the darkness Calvin heard the sound of Susie, his wife of fifty-three years. Calvin struggled to open his eyes. God, he was so tired and it took so much strength. Slowly, light replaced the darkness, and soon vision followed. At the foot of his bed stood his wife. Calvin wet his dry lips and spoke hoarsely, “Did… did you…. find him?”
“Yes dear,” Susie said smiling sadly, “He was in the attic.”
Susie reached into her big purse and brought out a soft, old, orange tiger doll. Calvin could not help but laugh. It had been so long. Too long.
“I washed him for you,” Susie said, her voice cracking a little as she laid the stuffed tiger next to her husband.
“Thank you, Susie.” Calvin said.
A few moments passed as Calvin just laid on his hospital bed, his head turned to the side, staring at the old toy with nostalgia.
“Dear,” Calvin said finally. “Would you mind leaving me alone with Hobbes for a while? I would like to catch up with him.”
“All right,” Susie said. “I’ll get something to eat in the cafeteria. I’ll be back soon.”
Susie kissed her huband on the forehead and turned to leave. With sudden but gentle strength Calvin stopped her. Lovingly he pulled his wife in and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips. “I love you,” he said.
“And I love you,” said Susie.
Susie turned and left. Calvin saw tears streaming from her face as she went out the door.
Calvin then turned to face his oldest and dearest friend. “Hello Hobbes. It’s been a long time hasn’t it old pal?”
Hobbes was no longer a stuffed doll but the big furry old tiger Calvin had always remembered. “It sure has, Calvin.” said Hobbes.
“You… haven’t changed a bit.” Calvin smiled.
“You’ve changed a lot.” Hobbes said sadly.
Calvin laughed, “Really? I haven’t noticed at all.”
There was a long pause. The sound of a clock ticking away the seconds rang throughout the sterile hospital room.
“So… you married Susie Derkins.” Hobbes said, finally smiling. “I knew you always like her.”
“Shut up!” Calvin said, his smile bigger than ever.
“Tell me everything I missed. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!” Hobbes said, excited. And so Calvin told him everything. He told him about how he and Susie fell in love in high school and had married after graduating from college, about his three kids and four grandkids, how he turned Spaceman Spiff into one of the most popular sci-fi novels of the decade, and so on. After he told Hobbes all this there was another pregnant pause.
“You know… I visited you in the attic a bunch of times.” Calvin said.
“But I couldn’t see you. All I saw was a stuffed animal.” Calvin voice was breaking and tears of regret started welling up in his eyes.
“You grew up old buddy.” said Hobbes.
Calvin broke down and sobbed, hugging his best friend. “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry I broke my promise! I promised I wouldn’t grow up and that we’d be together forever!!”
Hobbes stroke the Calvin’s hair, or what little was left of it. “But you didn’t.”
“What do you mean?”
“We were always together… in our dreams.”
“Yeah, old buddy?”
“I’m so glad I got to see you like this… one last time…”
“Me too, Calvin. Me too.”
“Sweetheart?” Susie voice came from outside the door.
“Yes dear?” Calvin replied.
“Can I come in?” Susie asked.
“Just a minute.” Calvin turned to face Hobbes one last time. “Goodbye Hobbes. Thanks… for everything…”
“No, thank you Calvin.” Hobbes said.
Calvin turned back to the door and said, “You can come in now.”
Susie came in and said, “Look who’s come to visit you.”
Calvin’s children and grandchildren followed Susie into Calvin’s room. The youngest grandchild ran past the rest of them and hugged Calvin in a hard, excited hug. “Grandpa!!” screamed the child in delight.
“Francis!” cried Calvin’s daughter, “Be gentle with your grandfather.”
Calvin’s daughter turned to her dad. “I’m sorry, Daddy. Francis never seems to behave these days. He just runs around making a mess and coming up with strange stories.”
Calvin laughed and said, “Well now! That sound just like me when I was his age.”
Calvin and his family chatted some more until a nurse said, “Sorry, but visiting hours are almost up.” Calvin’s beloved family said good bye and promised to visit tomorrow. As they turned to leave Calvin said, “Francis. Come here for a second.”
Francis came over to his grandfather’s side, “What is it Gramps?”
Calvin reached over to the stuffed tiger on his bedside and and held him out shakily to his grandson, who looked exactly as he did so many years ago. “This is Hobbes. He was my best friend when I was your age. I want you to have him.”
“He’s just a stuffed tiger.” Francis said, eyebrows raised.
Calvin laughed, “Well, let me tell you a secret.” Francis leaned closer to Calvin. Calvin whispered, “If you catch him in a tiger trap using a tuna sandwich as bait he will turn into a real tiger.”
Francis gasped in delighted awe. Calvin continued, “Not only that he will be your best friend forever.”
“Wow! Thanks grandpa!” Francis said, hugging his grandpa tightly again.
“Francis! We need to go now!” Calvin’s daughter called.
“Okay!” Francis shouted back.
“Take good care of him.” Calvin said.
“I will.” Francis said before running off after the rest of the family.
Calvin laid on his back and stared at the ceiling. The time to go was close. He could feel it in his soul. Calvin tried to remember a quote he read in a book once. It said something about death being the next great adventure or something like that. He eyelids grew heavy and his breathing slowed. As he went deeper into his final sleep he heard Hobbes, as if he was right next to him at his bedside. “I’ll take care of him, Calvin…”
Calvin took his first step toward one more adventure and breathed his last with a grin on his face.
Meet the Cajun Navy:
“They can handle their boats better than the average fireman, who handles a boat once a year during annual training,” says Lt. General (ret.) Russel Honore, who estimates outdoorsmen saved 10,000 from floodwaters in New Orleans while he was in command there after Hurricane Katrina. “They use their boats all the time and know their waters, and know their capacity. It’s an old professional pride. It’s like good food: Some people didn’t go to the Cordon Bleu, but they can cook like hell. That’s these fishermen and their boats.”
Buster Stoker, 21, is a heavy equipment operator for R&R Construction in Sulphur, La., and spends the rest of his time in his 17-foot aluminum Pro Drive marsh boat, fishing for alligator-gar in the heat of summer and chasing fowl through water-thickets in the winter.
“The best day on the water is every day on the water,” he said.
He and several other construction colleagues met in the company parking lot Monday morning at 5 a.m., loaded up with gas and supplies, and headed toward Houston. They launched their little fleet of 14 craft from the intersection of Highway 90 and 526, and over the next several hours they pulled hundreds of people out of their flooded homes in subdivisions, hauling them aboard like gasping bass.
This Cajun Navy is a nebulous, informal thing. It has no real corps or officers. It’s “an intensely informal and unorganized operation,” says Academy Award-winning filmmaker Allan Durand, a Lafayette, La., native., who did a documentary on the “Cajun Navy” volunteer-boats following Katrina.
It’s a movement basically founded on the realization that large government agencies aren’t quick-moving.
According to Honore, they have become utterly essential.
“The first-responders aren’t big enough to do this,” he said. “You might have a police force of 3,000, and maybe 200 know how to handle a boat.”
And that’s a citizen militia.
ETA: Watch this.
Further update: Read this.
When I got up yesterday morning I had an ache in my groin area (I know, TMI! TMI!) on the left side. Didn’t know what it was, but it was only slightly annoying. Last night when I went to bed it was worse, but I noticed that my left leg was a bit swollen. Still, the discomfort was minimal. This morning the skin on my left leg was tighter than a bloated tick. Pain still wasn’t bad, but it had reached the level of annoying.
I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I do read a LOT, and most of it sticks. “Kevin,” my brain said, “I think you’ve got a blood clot in your leg.”
So I did what every good digital denizen does when confronted with a possible life-threatening medical condition, I asked the internet whether I should go to Urgent Care or not. Consensus was “Yes.” So I called my regular doctor (before normal business hours) and left a message asking them. Got a return call almost immediately: Emergency room. Urgent care doesn’t do ultrasound tests.
So bright and early this morning I was in an ER getting an ultrasound of my leg. Diagnosis: a healthy bouncing baby blood clot, very high up in my thigh.
This shit can kill you.
But I told the ER doctor the reason I came in wasn’t the possibility of sudden death by heart attack or pulmonary embolism, it was an old joke that kept running through my head:
A guy’s mother collapses, and she’s rushed by ambulance to the hospital. After hours in the ER waiting room the Doctor comes out. “I have good news and bad news,” he says. “What’s the bad news?” the son asks.
“Well, your mother has suffered a severe stroke. Her entire left side is paralyzed, but that doesn’t really matter because her brain function is severely degraded. She can’t talk, in fact about all she can do is make this really annoying screeching sound. You’ll have to feed her, bathe her, change her diapers, basically care for her like she’s an infant for the rest of her life. And she may live another twenty years.”
“Jesus,” the son says, “What’s the good news?”
The doctor replies, “She died. I’m just fucking with you.”
Got both the doctor and the nurse to laugh.
Anyway, as I said, Deep Vein Thrombosis can fuck you up. I’m pretty sure that’s what killed Acidman and Captain Phil Harris from Deadliest Catch.
Pay attention to the symptoms.
And if it gets real quiet around here, well…..
Today was the annual Fords on Fourth car show here in Tucson, or as I like to call it, “twenty acres of Mustangs and some other Fords.”
I’m detecting a trend in action movies this year: Lots and lots and LOTS of dead bad guys. (John Wick 2, Logan….)
Hit-Girl has some serious competition.
The preview for Deadpool 2 is hysterical.
The reason, I think, that DC comic-book movies are not as commercially successful as Marvel comic-book movies is because they’re not as fun or as funny. The reason the X-Men movies haven’t been as commercially successful as, say, Iron Man or the Avengers series is, they’re not as fun or as funny. It wasn’t the R-Rating that made Deadpool wildly commercially successful, it was the humor. This was not a fun/funny film. It ain’t for kiddies. The R-Rating was earned. It was pretty serious. And pretty predictable. But damned well acted.
If you like Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine, it’s worth your money to go see it.
Oh, and the kid can ACT. You’ll be seeing more of her in the movies, I think. (Why couldn’t George Lucas cast a kid who could ACT?!?)