My, May already. Seems like just yesterday I was wearing a heavy coat. Wait, it was yesterday. So starts the Month of May in Indianapolis. Tomorrow is the Mini Marathon and it all just increases in frenzy from there. There will be no news except that which refers to racing. We take it very seriously although not as much as in years past.
I was just looking at some of the older new strips and called to mind a story my dad told of when he was young. My grandmother was just a tiny woman, less than 5 feet tall, even before she started shrinking in old age. They found this little kitten and taught it to jump up on my grandma’s shoulder to watch as she cooked. Everybody thought it was so cute. After several months, one day the cat jumped up when my grandma wasn’t expecting it and it knocked her flat on the kitchen floor. After that, it was kept outside. From my dad’s description, it apparently grew into one of those huge cats you see now and again that weighs about 20 pounds.
We have just started to remodel a house. It is a first time experience for me. I heard one time that you make your budget for the remodel and then double it. Good rule. It is sort of fun to see some of the creative carpentry that is done in a lot of houses. All in all it has been a fun experience so far.
Double whammy day. Just coming to close on a major remodel; both cats and I know where Arlo is coming from having suffered daily carpenter abuse. Was it really that lone ago that we watched Soviet May Day displays of might? Once more I feel like Jimmy Johnson has been spying on our household.
We just finished remodeling our kitchen and family room, and we ditched the island in favor of a peninsula. The old arrangement was very inefficient; we have more than doubled counter space. And it looks great! We also have new maple flooring in the FR and LR. And a gas stove! When we moved in 18 years ago, there was a nearly new top-of-the-line electric range, which I’ve cussed for 18 years. So now I’m cookin’ with gas.
Friends of ours, a retired couple, did the job, so there were no strangers stomping around. Since remodeling is a part time retirement business for them, it lasted over some months, but we were never without a working kitchen at the end of a day. And the slow pace meant we could tweak the design as we went.
The worst thing was the drywall dust!
May Day – no fair, JJ. It’s bad enough having you peer into the windows, but peering into my brain is too much. When I heard on the radio that most European stock markets were closed today for May Day, I had the same memories as Arlo, but I didn’t say anything out loud.
John in Richmond Texas on 01 May 2009 at 10:23 am #
The Soviet May Day thing for me, reminds me of my surreal dream-like earliest childhood memory I was 4 and 1/2 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. My Mother had me crouched in the bathroom, explaining that if and when the commies blew up the water tower (visible over rooftops two blocks from our house) that we could drink water from the toilet tank, the tank part, you know, not the bowl. and I went with my Dad to the panic inside a Montgomery Ward to buy flashlights and stuff, it seemed there was a certainty we would get hit, being in Houston, with the Port, chemical industries and all.
Ted in Fort Lauderdale on 01 May 2009 at 12:14 pm #
John in Richmond: I was 6-7 (my birthday was during the crisis), and lived in southern South Florida (about 10 or 12 miles from Homestead AFB), so there was no question for us. Every day in school we had “duck and cover” drills when we would hide under our desks – as if that was going to help…
I have been remodelling our house for the last six years or so. I started about a year after I retired. It has been “fun”, but on occasion, it got pretty dusty. I say it has been fun because we were picking and choosing right up to the time I actually did the work. We took one room at a time and put in the things that we always wanted. We took out a penisula counter and added an island, but I put it on wheels so that it could be moved around. I still have a few things left to do, but we are enjoying our redesigned home very much.
Enjoy A&J very much. Keep up the good work!
I have memories like Ted in Lauderdale. I grew up 70 miles south of Cape Canaveral. “Duck and Cover” drills were as regular as recess. To us every Russian was evil. We hadn’t realized yet that governments don’t always represent peoples attitudes. I used to joke that the May Day military parades were to celebrate my birthday. Actually, I preferred the May baskets my mom would make for the neighbors. And, it’s also Beltane, as Arlo was so kind to elaborate about a four years ago. Thank you JJ, it’s one of my favorite A&J strips.
And with all the coming and going, will Loodie be fleeing to the outdoors, or hiding in the basement? Either way (and I speak from bitter experience) A & J need to be sure they find him before locking up for the night! (Which reminds me – where is Gene while all this is going on?)
John in LACA late of PNS on 01 May 2009 at 4:20 pm #
Happy May Day everybody! Anybody dancing around the old Maypole today?
A friend who worked for a urologist told me the doctor had to rush to the ER one afternoon to treat a man for a traumatic injury…involving a circular saw. Needless to say, I did not inquire as to the details.
As for the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was in high school at the time and so had more important things to occupy my mind. I do remember reading about it later and thinking “$#!+, that was a close one.”
Ted, my teachers never explained the reasoning behind hiding under our desks, but it suddenly hit me years later: This wouldn’t protect us if our town were nuked, of course — but if a bomb hit, say, fifteen miles away (which happened to be Manhattan in our case), glass from the school’s windows would come flying it at like a zillion miles an hour. So hiding under the desk would keep us from being ripped to shreds.
John in LACA late of PNS on 01 May 2009 at 8:57 pm #
Oh yeah! One more reason to celebrate MAYDAY. Watching the news tonight I had completely forgotten that today was the 6th Anniversary of the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED SPEECH. Gee, 2003? How time flies!
It’s hard to forget May Day in our family, because it’s the birthday of one of my brothers. The other (who also happens to be named Mark, like “Mark, near Boston”) was born on May 9th, so he’s about a week late. May also brings the pollen attack which forces me to carry a bottle of eye drops in my pocket.
As for remodeling, I have been the cause of much sawdust, drywall dust, nail gun popping, etc, being a retired contractor. The hardest part of a job for me was always picking up to leave when the job was finished. You bring tools into the job a few at a time as you need them, but then you have to lug almost everything out at once at the end of the job.
Rick in Shermantown, Ohio on 02 May 2009 at 7:07 pm #
I empathize with Arlo.
My wife is committed to an extensive remodeling that will cost $50,000.
I’m committed to keeping $50,000.
Who will most likely win?
Here’s a short and true story about one of my friends:
A few years ago, Kevin and I were talking about how things were going with the construction of his new house.
He said, “Fine, fine. Except for one thing. Carol wants to add 20 more feet to it. Now, Rick, you can imagine that I just don’t want to do that. It’s already going to be a big house and costing me a ton of money, and I have two kids that I’ll have to put through college. Besides that, I like it the way it’s going to be. Want to know what I did?”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“Rick, I looked her right in the eye, I put my foot down, and I said, ‘Yes, Dear.’”
Being the old foggie in the crowd, I can actually remember when we had Maypoles at school for May Day. Of course that was abandoned after the Soviets claimed May Day as their national holiday, and the fact that Maypoles came from ancient (pre-Christian) religions.
The Soviets are gone, but so are the Maypoles.
John in LACA late of PNS on 03 May 2009 at 8:44 pm #
Sorry Bill but Mayday (worker-style) wasn’t exactly start as aa Soviet thing. I got this from Wiki:
“May Day can refer to various labour celebrations conducted on May 1 that commemorate the fight for the eight hour day. May Day in this regard is called International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day. The idea for a “workers holiday” began in Australia in 1856. With the idea having spread around the world, the choice of May 1st became a commemoration by the Second International for the people involved in the 1886 Haymarket affair . . .”
Kinda like Red Square in Moscow was known as Red Square about 1621. Just a ‘few’ years before communism had even been thought of. Also from Wiki.
Sunday’s cartoon was a nice portrayal of the ways things should be. Unfortunately, in the real world, my paper was delivered missing the “non-news” sections (including the comics). This on top of a less than 50% delivery rate of my Sunday papers over the past three months. The customer service reps are very nice when I call about it, but it keeps happening.
The deterioration of the customer service component of most businesses seems to continue its downward spiral…as I was telling myself just the other day when I was speaking to an insurance company’s computer and trying to make it understand why I was calling.