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FAN MAIL!

Don’t let anyone fool you. Writers LOVE fan mail. Doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, or an novelist, or you write Hallmark greeting cards. If you put words on paper, it’s great to hear from those who read them.

One of the biggest reasons is because, especially in an online situation, it’s nice to know there are real people on the end of the WIFI link.

To this day I still remember the first time someone came and asked me to autograph a book.

Would you mind signing a copy of your book?

I tried to act cook about it, but I probably looked at giddy as I felt!

I like to write. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I’ve written books, magazine articles, training manuals, and the scribbles on this site for the past seven years or so. I took pride in not missing a day. I was inspired by my friend Howard Tayler. He created his online comic Schlock Mercenary on June 12, 2000. He never missed a day during the entire twenty year run of the comic.

So, it was surprising to me when I missed not just a day, not just a week, but several weeks.

My sister died, unexpectedly in September. I lost my interest in writing. I lost interest in a lot of things. I was very close to my sister.

I kept thinking I was goign to start writing. . .tomorrow. Well, tomorrow never actually arrives. All we have is today. Obviously I’ve started writing again. The difference? Fan mail.

I don’t get a lot of fan mail for this site. I get some comments on articles that strike a chord. And if I paste the link on Facebook, I get a lot of responses.

But, true fan mail? Not so much.

That’s what made William Henderson’s email such a nice surpise.

From: William Henderson (xxxxxxx.xxxxxxx@gmail.com)
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2020 7:44 AM
To: rbliss@msn.com (rbliss@msn.com)
Subject: Best wishes

Hi Rodney,

I’m missing your blog posts!

But that’s a rather selfish view, and not the reason I’m writing. If you’ve just had enough of the blogging and hung up your keyboard, then fair enough – I thank you for the enjoyment and insight I’ve had from reading your posts these last few years. But given the lack of explanation in your blog or on your website – and the nature of your second-last post – I wonder whether at least part of the reason you’ve stopped is that life has thrown you another curve ball. If that’s the case, then I want to send my best wishes for you and your family. Be safe. Be healthy. Be happy. At least, as much as is possible under the circumstances.

Cheers,
William

William didn’t have to reach out. He had no way of knowing what I’d been going through. But, his email was the perfect inspiration at the perfect time.

I have responded to William privately and explained how much his email meant to me. And, of course, got his permission to share his words.

Thank you again, William, and thanks to all of you who spend a few minutes of your day reading the scribbles I put down. Hopefully it’s entertaining. But, whatever enjoyment you get, realize that I’m getting even more.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

Ingratitude And Poor Relief Pitching

The seven deadly sins are

  • Lust
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Wrath
  • Envy
  • Pride

I saw an old cartoon once that also induced included a manager talking to his baseball team who included

  • No relief pitching

The team reminded him that was eight sins.

“Scratch PRIDE”

If I were to add an additional sin, it wouldn’t be “no relief pitching.” Although my woeful Mariners have suffered that sin often enough. No, my choice would be ingratitude.

The seven sins, in my opinion, are personal. You might envy someone else. You might express wrath at someone else. But, your envy, your wrath, your lust? They don’t affect the object of your sins. In fact, you might not even know if you were the object of someone’s sins.

But ingratitude, like bad relief pitching, is obvious to those around you. And you can’t be ungrateful unless you first have something to be grateful for. Gratitude costs nothing. It only requires awareness, an understanding that someone or something helped you when they or it didn’t have to.

Ingratitude also takes something positive and turns it negative. Apathy, is much preferred to ingratitude. Apathy just means you don’t notice, or you don’t care. But, to choose ingratitude is to acknowledge the benefit and choose to set it at naught.

So, don’t practice any of the seven deadly sins. But, also remember to avoid ingratitude.

Oh, and hopefully next season the Mariners will repent of the sin of no relief pitching as well.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

Quarantine – Week 1

You wouldn’t think that quarantine would be that different from your typical work from home schedule. Maybe it was a trick of the schedule. Maybe it was coincidence. But, our week was unlike previous weeks.

First, of course, was my daughter’s Jesica’s wedding. She married Julian Sanchez last Friday at 5:00pm in Payson, Utah. Payson is about 20 minutes from Pleasant Grove. We didn’t go.

Of course we had a few pictures.

And it was a small wedding anyway. But, we won’t be in those pictures. I love my kids. And I love my sons-in-law. And especially the new one. But, Quarantine took some of our memories.

My lovely wife got tested early. She was feeling poorly and went to get tested after only a few days. Her and my son who drove her. On the way back, she passed out. We had to help her into the house. She retreated to her room, quarantined inside our quarantine. Seventy-two hours for results.

Fortunately both she and my son tested negative. But, of course, she was still sick.

The rest of the kids are doing okay. They are trying to not fall over one another. It’s a big house, nearly 4,000 square feet. And the weather has been beautiful. Just the way you expect in the Fall. We’ve been limited to our own property.

I spent part of my free time last week working on my son’s car. I replaced the power steering pump. During a test drive (still quarantined if we never get out of the car!) we realized it needed a new serpentine belt. I ordered one from the O’Reilley’s web site. They had it at the store. My friend offered to pick it up and leave it on the hood of the car it was intended for.

Touch-less.

Sunday marked the 7th day. . .since we had been exposed. The virus is most contagious at 7 days. So, the kids and I loaded up the car and headed for American Fork Hospital and their testing center.

There were over 18 cars in line. The kids managed to spit into a test tube enough. Me? Nope. Couldn’t even spit correctly. I got the brain scrape. Now we wait. We should know the results in 72 hours. Wednesday or so.

And that was it for the week, or so we thought.

Sunday morning I got a call just before 3:00AM from my daughter at college. She is COVID positive. And she was miserable. In severed discomfort.

Do you have any Benadryl?

No.

How about hydrocortisone cream?

No, I don’t have that either.

What about oatmeal?

Why?

Well, you can dump some into a bath and it helps relieve itching.

No, I don’t have any oatmeal either. What am I going to do?

Don’t worry. I’ll bring you some.

And that’s how I ended up driving through deserted streets of Provo at three o’clock in the morning.

I felt like a drug dealer. I left a grocery bag full of drugs hanging on fire hydrant in front of her apartment complex.

And that’s how we spent our first week of quarantine. One down. One more to go.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

What Has COVID Cost You?

I have no right to complain. I haven’t lost anyone to COVID. No one died. No one is even in the hospital. I have one daughter who tested positive last week. She’s isolating at school. But, not really having anything except mild symptoms.

The rest of our family is in day 5 of a 14 day quarantine. And stuff isn’t bad. I work from home. Our at home kids are doing college or high school remotely.

Tonight was the last home football varsity game for my son’s team. He wasn’t playing. He’s in quarantine. He won’t be at next week’s game either. My kids order door dash. My lovely wife orders WalMart. Everyone delivers.

So, who am I to complain?

(I’m gonna complain.)

I have 13 children, five sons and 8 daughters. I also have three sons-in-law. Well, I did until today. Now I have four. Today at 5:00 pm my beautiful daughter Jesica married Julian Sanchez. We knew with COVID it couldn’t be a big wedding. Julian is headed off the Marine boot camp in a couple of months. After that they want to have a big reception in the Spring.

But, the wedding was today. It was only 25 miles away at the home of a mutual family friend.

I will never get to walk her down the aisle. I won’t get to watch the start of her life with her new husband.

Sure, me and mine are mostly healthy. I really don’t have a right to complain.

Congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Julian Sanchez. May their union be blessed with happiness, love and children.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

Don’t Say That Here

I love politics. Well, maybe less this year. But, I enjoy it.

However, not everyone can discuss politics. Many people think they can discuss politics. Very few can.

What happens is that someone starts on a political discussion. Then, someone takes offense. So, they respond with something offensive. And then it escalates from there and soon people are throwing around terms like libTARD and ReDUMBlicans. And the politics get lost in the ad hominem attacks and insults.

Some people enjoy the insults. They feel like “winning” if they insult someone else. Why? I have no idea.

But, what do you do about it? Can you talk politics?

Yes. But, it takes effort. It takes humility. Mostly it takes a willingness to honestly look at things from someone else’s point of view.

Do you think people are smart? I think people are mostly smart. I think most people in the world, and especially America are intelligent, passionate people.

We have roughly an even split in this country. There’s slightly more registered Democrats than Republicans. About 40% to 35%. The rest are a collection of fringe parties, but mostly independents.

I’m a Conservative and a registered Republican. that means that 65% of the people don’t think like I do. That’s more than 60,000,000 people. Among that group are smart people and dumb people. Funny people. Interesting people.

But, the idea that based on politics, I could suggest that sixty million people are not smart? Not at all.

And here’s the thing: if people who disagree with me are smart (and they are) they must have good reasons for what they think. Why would I not find that interesting?

Interesting? It’s fascinating. Because, I think carefully about my opinions. And if I can talk to people who will challenge my beliefs why wouldn’t I want that?

If my belief in my beliefs is so fragile that it cannot withstand someone challenging it on the internet, they can’t be very strong beliefs, can they?

So, yes, it’s possible to have political discussions. And they are valuable. But, you have to be willing to think outside of your box. And be willing to honor those with whom you disagree.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

Quarantine

Renee got her results back.

And?

Positive.

Not what you want to hear after you just went on a weekend camping trip with Renee, your college aged daughter, five of your other kids, a son-in-law, your lovely wife and three grandkids.

We found out on Sunday that one of Renee’s roommates tested positive for COVID. Renee left immediately to go get tested. We weren’t too worried because she wasn’t too worried.

I don’t share a bathroom with her. And the only time I’ve seen in the past week was when I walked past her in the hallway.

Still we anxiously waited for the results. I have a daughter getting married on Friday.

But, we weren’t worried. . .much.

And then today, the results came back. So, what happens now?

First off, a two week quarantine. Not a simple, “wear a mask and social distance.” Nope. More of a “lock the doors and use the WalMart delivery service” quarantine.

And we went to get tested, right?

Nope.

Turns out if you don’t have symptoms, they want you to wait until seven days after your exposure. Okay, we just sit around for a week. Wedding on Friday? Yeah, good luck. Not going to happen with us there. Well, it will happen. We just won’t be there.

And I have three daughters who are pregnant. One of them might be induced on Saturday. New grandchild? Not with us there.

But, it’s cool. Sure, we all work from home. . .except my son who works at Burger King, and my daughter who volunteers at a discount clothing store. She’s now at home.

But, I work from home. And my son does his college schooling remotely. But, my high schooler is now stuck at home. Oh, and no football practice.

Varsity football games are by invitation only. We have five tickets set aside for us. My friend, whose son is also on the team texted me before he found out about our quarantine.

Do you have any tickets available for this Friday’s game?

Funny you should ask.

I haven’t been to a Mason’s meeting since February. We finally got permission to go back to lodge. . .this Thursday. Nope, not with me.

I have one son who is waiting to serve a mission. He spends a lot of time playing Call of Duty online. He’s going to be okay you’d think. We don’t let him play when his siter the missionary is home. Oops.

The family meeting was fun. . .in a “let’s disappoint everyone at the same time” kind of way.

We have a big house. We’ll see over the next to weeks if it’s big enough.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

When Your Kid Things, “My Dad Can Fix Anything”

I finished replacing the power steering pump on my son’s 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix. The pump went in much easier than it came out. Coming out required a literal 2×4 to pry the engine a fraction of an inch away from the firewall.

I still have some follow up work to do. I think I need to flush the power steering system and then bleed it.

Do you want to know a secret? I’ve never replaced the power steering pump on a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix. I’ve also never flushed a power steering system, nor bled one.

My kids think I can fix anything.

When I was about 13 my brother, who was 15 had a remote control airplane. This was about 1978. Remote control airplanes weren’t controlled by a radio. At least not the ones that we could afford. Instead they were sort of fly-by-wire. You plane had two wires that came out of the left wingtip. These wires connected to a simple controller, like you’d use for a kite. You flew the plane by starting the gasoline engine, letting it get up to speed and then spinning around in a circle until the gas ran out, or you or it crashed. Three or four revolutions and the pilot was pretty loopy.

But, it had a real gas engine. The problem was it didn’t actually work. My brother’s plane. Try as he might, he couldn’t get the engine to start. If you’ve ever unsuccessfully tried to start a chainsaw, or lawnmower, or weedeater, or pretty much anything with a motor, you know how frustrating it can be.

My brother was going to throw it away. I convinced him to give it to me.

I didn’t know anything about airplane engines, large or small. But, I had a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. I disassembled the engine and laid it out on my bedroom floor. I didn’t notice anything obviously broken. So, after thoroughly cleaning each part, I put the entire thing back together and put it into the plane.

No one was more surprised than me when the engine started up. I had no idea what I did, but apparently I did it correctly. Ironically, the first time I flew it, I nosedived it into the pavement and cracked the fuselage. It never flew again.

The point though, was that one flight was enough. It worked.

That’s been my experience with cars. I don’t know how to do a lot of things. But, apparently it’s enough to know about things. Of course, we have the Internet now. I watched several Youtube videos on how to replace the power steering pump in a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix. I watched a couple showing how to flush the power steering system and bleed it.

But, do you know what a Youtube video won’t show you? When the guy on the video says, “You have to twist the pump around, but eventually you can remove it.” Or when you are trying to replace the two bolts that hold the power steering pump to the engine and you have to thread them through the access holes in the power steering pulley and then blindly line them up with the bolt holes tucked away under the alternator.

Every time I look at a new car repair I remember that 13 year old boy staring at a disassembled airplane engine on my bedroom floor. And every time I complete a repair, I remember the excitement of that first flight.

That might be why I am always really nervous on that first test drive.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

If Someone Left You An Anonymous Gift. . .Would You Check The Security Cameras?

It’s strange that I don’t have to ask if you have a security system. I mean, doesn’t everyone?

Here’s the setup. You get up in the morning and find a present outside your garage door. No, not that kind of present. One that you might actually like. No note.

You made these contributions anonymously. Why?

I wanted them to be anonymous.
-Absence of Malice

Would you check the security cameras? I mean, the person obviously wanted to remain anonymous. Otherwise he (or she) would leave a note, right?

I asked my friends on Facebook. There responses spanned the gammit. Some didn’t want to know. Some wanted someone else to check for them. Others were admit that “Of course!” they would check. Some even suggested they would check the cameras even before checking the package.

I hadn’t even thought of that. The idea that it might be dangerous. We have a sign on door identifying that we have people who are auto-immune compromised in our house. So, UPS and FedEx just leave packages on the porch. We don’t even think twice about checking a package.

Maybe we should.

But, this time “the package” didn’t seem dangerous at all. In fact, a close friend could not have picked a more appropriate gift for me. It was two gifts, actually. A brand new black Stanley rolling toolchest and a used red Snap-on toolchest.

Snap-on tools are considered some of the finest tools available. In fact, if you had offered me my choice of a used Snap-on or a new Stanley, I would probably take the Snap-on. But, I didn’t need to choose. I had both.

And it was obvious that the boxes weren’t there by accident. They were practically hidden behind the car that I’m replacing the power steering pump on.

This wasn’t the first time we had found something in our yard. The first was a baby stroller. But, we live at the bottom of our cul-de-sac and we assumed that it must have rolled into our yard. None of our neighbors claimed to have seen it before. We posted in the neighborhood Facebook groups and no one claimed it.

I now think that it was probably the same benefactor as the tool chests. (I never did think the stroller could have rolled that far into our yard.)

The toolchests will be put to use immediately. No mechanic ever has too many tools or too many chests to hold them in.

The cameras hold 3-4 months worth of recordings. I can choose to go back and check in teh future. Or I can choose to never check.

I think I have an idea of where they came from. And yet, by not checking, I can assume they are from any of my neighbors. If I check the cameras, I limit it to a single person. A person who apparently doesn’t want to be known.

What would you do? Would you remove the doubt? Would you remain in the dark?

I think a little mystery is good from time to time.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

You Have All The Time In The World. . .But Limited Space

Some of my friends own bug-out bags. A bug-out bag is a bag that is fully stocked and ready to grab-and-go in an emergency.

We created one when when we were going to have a baby. We had it stocked and ready to grab. . And we did. Three times. My friends’ bug-out bags are more for the end of the world emergency. Regardless, of the purpose, the contents of a bug-out bag are carefully chosen.

The point of a bug-out bag is to have what you need ready to go at a moments notice. But, what about the other situation. Suppose you have plenty of time, but limited space? What would you choose to take?

Several years ago, I found myself, and worse, my family, in a terrible situation. I had to move my family from Athlestane, Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I was broke, unemployed and nearly $100,000 in debt. Oh, and I had a wife and 12 kids.

I managed to scrape up a little money. Enough rent a u-haul trailer to pull behind our Suburban. We had a tent trailer we pulled behind the van.

Remember the 12 kids? That’s a lot of stuff. We had to decide what to take and what to leave. We told each kid they were limited to one bin for clothes and one bin for toys. Nothing else.

That was 24 bins. A lot of space. We took some food, dishes and household stuff. But, again, just the bare minimum. And that left precious room for anything else.

What would you take? More toys for the kids? Furniture? Books? (We had tons of books.)

We ended up taking my lovely wife’s sewing machines, and fabric. She’s a wonderful seamstress. If needed she could make clothes for our kids.

We took my tools. Nearly all of them. We sold the chainsaw and the scroll saw. Those were luxury tools. But, the mechanic tools? I could use them to fix my cars. The shop tools? I could use those to make beds or partitions to make smaller rooms out of bigger ones.

When it came down to it, we prioritized functionality. We had no idea when our situation would improve. And space was at a premium. It was a scary time. For me, for my lovely wife and for my children who were the real innocent victims.

We did have one concession to beauty in the ocean of our ugliness. My lovely wife’s piano. It’s not an expensive piano. Not hugely. It was the first major purchase I made when we had first been married years earlier. Did we have room to take it?

We didn’t have room not to.

What would you take, if you only had room for your most precious or valuable items?

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

Raccoons And Power Steering Pumps

My neighbor had chickens. Not just normal chickens. He had $600 special chickens from Romania and places like that. He also had an obnoxious rooster. But, this story really isn’t about the rooster, unfortunately.

The chickens would roost in the trees behind our house. And the rooster would too. The chickens we didn’t mind. But, the rooster was noisy. If you think that roosters only crow when the sun comes up, you’ve never been around roosters much. The noise came right into our bedroom every time that stupid rooster saw the light from a car, or a flashlight or even the moon.

But, like I said, the story is really about the hens. One day my neighbor mentioned that he was starting to lose hens. He’d find a clump of feathers the next day beneath the tree. He asked me to keep an eye out.

One night around midnight, I heard his hens cackling. They were making a terrible racket. Whatever was getting my neighbor’s chickens was getting them right now.

I put on my slippers and robe and headed out to the backyard with a flashlight. I liked my neighbor and was anxious to help him idenitfy whatever was killing his chickens. And then I had a thought.

Cougars.

Cougars like chickens and they hunt at night. It might be a cougar. I didn’t want to meet a cougar in my backyard. Slightly less brave, but still determined, I left my backdoor open with the light on. I carefully counted the steps it would take me to get back to the door.

My son has a car. It’s a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix. It used to be my car. I’ve done plenty of work on it in the past. I sold it to my son a couple years ago. After selling it, I stopped doing doing maintenance on it. Part of being an adult with a car is taking care of your car.

My son is ready to head out on a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He “gifted” the car to his younger brother who is 17 years old. That means the car is back to being mine. . .sort of.

My younger son enjoyes having a car to drive to school. But, like most kids who are specifically “car” guys, he isn’t much for maintenance. The car started to develop some issues. Finally, he declared,

I can’t drive the Pontiac anymore.

Why not?

It won’t turn at all!

My son had never driven a car without power steering. They are really hard to turn. The car was out of power steering fluid. I added power steering fluid and the car was (almost) working again.

So, anything else wrong with it?

Yeah, it makes a weird clicking noise when it turns to the right.

Is that it?

Oh, and the air conditioning doesn’t work any more.

I taught my kids better than this. Really I did. The AC issue is an easy one. I started working on the clicking noise. We’d recently replaced the outer tie rods and I thought that might be the issue. One of them had a blown seal. I replaed it, but the noise didn’t go away.

I put the car up on blocks and pulled the front wheels. I then put the car in drive and tried turning the steering wheel back and forth. No weird clicking noise.

Was it a bad half axle? Bearings? Tie rods? Transmission?

Until I knew what the problem was, I couldn’t fix it. My neighbor came to help. We put the wheels back on the car and took it for a test drive. Sure enough, turning right, we got a weird noise. He stood in the parking lot while I literally drove circles around him.

Power steering pump.

Are you sure?

Yeah. Even when you stopped I could hear the pump cycling. That’s what’s making the noise.

That was actually all I had time for today. But, now I know I need a new power steering pump and a couple hours to install it.

That’s the Power Steering pump down at the bottom

Once I know the problem, I can fix it.

As I made my way into my dark back yard, the vision of cougars came to mind again. I climbed up on my kids’ play fort and aimed my flashlight across my back fence to the trees where the chickens were still squawking.

My lights flashed across the Western Washington foliage. Finally outlining an animal with a familiar bandit mask. It was a raccoon. And he had a mouth full of chicken. (Unfortunately not that stupid rooster.)

I let my neighbor know about my late night safari.

Thanks. Now that I know what it is I can trap it.

And that’s what he did. He set a live trap and baited it with chicken, of all things. Two days later he had his raccoon.

Do you mind if I bring the kids over to see the raccoon. I know it’s wild, but I’d like them to see it.

Sorry, they can’t.

Why not?

The raccoon is dead.

I thought you didn’t want to kill it?

Well, I didn’t. But, I was trying to figure out what to do with it and then it growled at me.

My neighbor was not a patient man. That was the end of the raccoon problem.

I’m still disappointed they never did get that stupid rooster.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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