Friday, February 25, 2011

Not My Week

This has not been my week. Tuesday night our furnace decided to act up. It would try to ignite and we would get flame for a bit then die down. We got back from class and is was only 58 degrees in the house. First I had to find the papers for the furnace and air conditioner that we had installed about 4 years ago, then I called the number for the company that installed it. Our furnace is still under warranty for parts. I get a recording advising me that an after hours service call to a home is $175. Well we can wait until regular hours on Wednesday, just put an extra blanket on the bed.

Woke up Wednesday morning and the furnace is working just fine, heating up the house like it's supposed to. Still called the heating company anyway, wanted to have the furnace checked out before Thursday because we are supposed to get below zero temperatures. Sure didn't want to furnace to die then. Got ahold of the company and they would send a guy down in the afternoon. Worked for me because Jennifer was off anyway so she would be home to let the service guy in and I would be right home. He got to the house at 2:00. He called me on my phone to let me know that he was leaving Billings at 1:00 before the roads got too bad.

He checked out the furnace, did some cleaning, checked all the drains and the filter. Over time the flame sensor gets a carbon build up on it. Said all furnaces do, so he cleaned that and it was working fine. He stayed for a bit to make sure. Then he had to go out and get his paperwork. I had my checkbook ready.

My checkbook is $246 lighter. He charged me $74 for the 1 hour labor, the rest was mileage to and from Billings and that was $172. I got my receipt and off he went. He wasn't even there for a full hour, about 40 minutes. It still cost me an hour of vacation. We are toasty warm now.

Yesterday while we were at McDonald's during our lunch hour, my car was run into by a teenage driver. My car was legally parked and we were inside. The guy who was parked next to me came up to us and asked of the silver car was ours, because some girls just hit it. Sure enough, have a good sized dent on my back bumper. I went outside to talk to the girl, surprised that she didn't take off.

She was writing down all her information and was going to leave it on my windshield. She was looking for her insurance information by the time I got outside. She kept apologizing and said that she would pay for any damages. Her car started sliding and she couldn't stop. It was too cold to be standing outside writing all the information down, so we went inside. Nobody was hurt, it's only property damage. We got all the information down and she also gave us the name of her parents, since I will be dealing with them anyway.

I called her mother to see how they wanted to handle this. In Montana the person at fault on a private property accident has the option to pay out of their own pocket for damages. I gave her mother what had happened, that her daughter hit my legally parked car. I have to get some estimates on the repair, give them a call back. Once I give them the estimate they will decide if they want insurance to pay or out of their own pocket.

I did reassure the mom that we are not mad, it's just one of those things. She said that she realizes that parking lots do get slick when they are snow covered. I also wanted to commend her daughter for staying and doing the right thing. Most kids would have panicked and taken off. I did not tell her that I have a witness though.

We have seen how the kids drive around town during their lunch hour. We have witnessed numerous near accidents in the McDonald's parking lot. Quite frankly if the girl hit my car she was driving too fast for the conditions of the road, basic rule.

I dropped Gary off at work, pretty soon he called me and said that when he told a co-worker what had happened she said "That was you". The mother was just at the check out when she got the phone call from her daughter. The mother told her daughter "this is why your dad doesn't want you going over there for lunch and you were told not to go there today because of the slick roads. We will discuss this when you get home." Now I'm not responsible for what her parents do to her when she gets home.

I know if it was my kid, they would not be driving for at least a week. That would also depend on how much the damages were. Here are a couple photos of my injured car.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring is Around the Corner

Legend states that if the groundhog doesn't see his shadow on Feb. 2 then spring is around the corner. It just didn't state what corner. Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow but Montana Murry did.

Since then we have had two snow storms. One didn't last long and the snow melted in just a couple days. Our last storm we got 12 new inches over the weekend and below zero temperatures.

Mother Nature was playing a mean joke on us. Thursday we had temperatures in the 60's and it was very nice. Friday the wind was blowing and it was cold. I think we had wind chill factors of below zero. I know it felt like the wind was cutting you in half. It started to snow Saturday night and it snowed all night and day on Sunday.

We went to Billings Sunday for our HOG meeting. The roads were ok. Driving lane was clear, however the passing lane was snowpacked. When vehicles passed you especially the semi's we were in a total white out. But we got where we needed to be and back home safe and sound.

Monday morning the temperature was 10 below, at least we didn't have wind. The forecast doesn't sound appealing at all. More snow and cold temps are coming. We are supposed to have 20 below on Friday.

I really hope that this is the last snow storm of the year. Really tired of all the snow. This is the first time in a long time that we have had snow all winter long.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Class Reunion

This year marks the 30th class reunion for my graduating class of 1981. Doesn't seem like it has been that long, but it has. When I told mom this she said that it wasn't right. Yes it is right.

The dates have been set for July 1-3. I got a preliminary schedule in the mail and it is a survey of activities that we can chose from.

Boating on the Big Horn Lake on Friday not interested in because it would only be limited to the class members, they won't be able to accomodate families due to the boat limitations. I can do the social hour on Friday night, don't mind having to bring my own booze.

Saturday they have an open house scheduled for the morning with beverages and snacks included. The high school is going through a huge renovation and we would get a tour of the building and see the changes over the past 30 years. Not at all interested in the golf outing because I don't golf, but I am interested in an alternate event. Not sure what it would be, but no cost would be involved. I am definately interested in the cocktail hour, dinner and dance for Saturday night. Right now it is scheduled to be held at the golf course.

Sunday is the BBQ which I would be interested in. I don't mind in the least helping out making a salad or a dessert.

The schedule sheet states that the initial cost for everything will be around $25-$30 per person, this excludes the golf and boating. The cost will also depend on the response they get from the survey. The schedule will be finalized once they get a better fell of what item has the most interest.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vist With Linda and Kids

Last Saturday we went to Sheridan to visit with Linda and her kids. Linda is now living in Greeley CO and she drove up with her two daughters Alyssa and Randee so that she could visit with her son Andrew before he moves to California.

About three years ago Linda lost custody of Andrew to his father.This was the first time she has seen him in three years. Linda went through a very rough patch, but now she is in treatment and counseling and is doing well. We haven't seen nor heard from her in about five years, so at Christmas she started texting her Dad and we have been in touch ever since.

It was good to see her, and we are extremely pleased that our Linda is back. She has a long way to go, but she is getting there. Alyssa and Andrew have grown up so much. Alyssa is now 13, Andrew is 9 and Randee is 3.

We met Linda at their hotel and she had Andrew's other sisters with her. His dad let him spend the night with Linda and apparently the deal was that she had to take his two sisters also. She was not allowed to take Andrew out of Sheridan County so they couldn't come up to Hardin or Lodge Grass to visit, but Sheridan is not that far away that we and Linda's mom were able to see them in Sheridan.

Linda had 5 kids total. She said that she would do anything to have quality time with her son and she wasn't going to do anything to jeopardize the trust that she is building with him. She also said that with the two other girls they figured she wouldn't get the urge to just to take off. The kids went swimming in the hotel pool and hot tub so I was able to get alot of photos.

We visited for a couple hours and had a good time. Randee has hearing problems so she talks in sign language, now we have to learn how to sign. Linda taught us a few words, but not enough to talk to her. We left before Linda's mom got there, that probably would have been too much for Linda.

Linda's mom still blames Andrew's dad for taking Andrew away and there are some hard feelings there. Linda said she knows she made mistakes and now has to live with the consequences of her choices. She also said that Andrew is doing fine with his dad and she is happy because the lines of communication are opening. They are talking about making arrangements so that she can visit with Andrew more.

Linda's husband was not able to make the trip, he owns his own heating and plumbing company and with winter has been pretty busy.

I got my photos posted on Picasa and facebook.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Vacation Planning

It's that time of year to start planning our vacations. We went up to Billings on Friday and met our friends for dinner. This year we are planning a motorcycle trip to the Oregon coast. The original plan was to spend a day in Canada. Gary applied and received his passport. We had a hard time finding out where is parent's were born, but we got it.

We met at a Mexican restaurant for dinner, then over to the Breckenridge's house for planning. There are six of us going on this trip that have committed and we are all on trikes. Gary and Marty really want to see the redwoods and in order to do this we had to cut out the Canada leg. If we kept the Canada leg in, then we would have to cut out the redwoods. The whole idea of this trip was to see the redwoods.

The problem we ran in to was vacation time for us working stiffs. The Breckenridges are retired but the rest of us are still working. Gary only gets 10 days of vacation a year. I get five weeks of vacation a year, so an extra day wouldn't hurt me in the least. Our friend Vicky gets 15 days a year and her husband Marty can only take a limited number of days off for vacation. He is self employed in the dry wall business.

The consensus of the group was to save the Canada leg for another trip. We decided that we could take a four day weekend for the Canada trip.

Once we got the days figured out, then we had to figure out the route. Since we will be gone during Labor Day, we decided to hit the coast part after Labor Day. We figure it won't be so busy with people. Along the way we will be traveling through the Columbia River Gorge, along the Oregon coast and up at Oak Harbor we will be taking a ferry. Looking forward to it.

Gary and I are also taking a couple days to go to Deadwood South Dakota with the HOG Chapter for the Gambler's Run. Hoping this year we won't have the rain like last year.

In August, Mom, Jennifer and I are taking our annual girls road trip to Minnesota to visit with Bonnie and family. Kevin and Sam said they would take me to the zoo to see the bears. Jennifer and I would like to spend a day at the Mall of America for some shopping.

In between those times, we will be taking some weekend rides. I did receive an e-mail from Jason today and they are planning a road trip to Idaho, Wyoming and Montana in June. Jason said that they are leaving California on the 16th. Will keep in touch with him for those dates. Will be fun.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

Good news. Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow today. Means that we will have an early spring. However, Roundup Murry did see his shadow.

Roundup has their very own groundhog and this was his first year predicting the weather. I'm not counting Murry because he is just an apprentice groundhog, when Phil has been the official one for years.

Looking forward to an early spring.