The USS Alabama is a BIG boat! It’s a bazillion levels tall (I looked it up) with lots of stairs. No, really – LOTS. OF. STAIRS. And narrow hallways and little cramped rooms.
There are three levels below deck, and at least eight levels above deck. I started with the bottom levels and then went to the upper levels, looking in each of the many little rooms. Normally, I can withstand small spaces and large crowds for short periods of time without any effects whatsoever, but I stopped after the fifth upper level because I was starting to get too claustrophobic and agoraphobic – I can only stay so long in small spaces and crowded places before my skin starts crawling and my anxiety level goes through the roof.
And people lived in these cramped quarters for years. I would’ve jumped ship.
The USS Alabama – too big to fit in the picture frame.
Bugzilla’s relative, made an appearance a few weeks ago, but quickly darted to safety behind a drawer. I’ve been cautiously opening drawers ever since. Until today.
Bug Killer Rating (BKR) reaches a new low.
Bug Killer Rating (BKR) definition: The BKR is assessed on a scale of 1 to 10, similarly to the PSR (Primitive Survival Rating) from Naked and Afraid. (Do I actually watch that cheezy show? I don’t know. Maybe. Sometimes. I’m not saying any more. Stop asking me questions.)
A few years ago, after she chattered to Bugzilla as if inviting it to play, I thought Checkers was of little help when it came to bug killing. She was given a BKR of 1.5 because, after about ten years of training, she would occasionally chase, slowly torture, and then eat a very small bug. But mostly she’d just pester them until they died.
However, I have reassessed her BKR, essentially doubling it, from a 1.5 to a 3. Why was Checker’s BKR raised when she’s not even here anymore? Because Pye lowered the bar… But, wait! There’s more…
It’s time to get out of Dodge. There’s a storm a brewin’ and I’m a goin’.
If you watch the Weather Channel at all you may have seen that central Texas is now marshland. The state is like a doughnut of land with a lake in place of the doughnut hole.
By a marvelous twist of fate I was not anywhere near Pizzaville for the worst of it. (I was actually in a galaxy far, far away. I had a great time, and that will be in a later story.) I was watching the Weather Channel while I was gone, and that was scary enough. You all know how I feel about these big wind and water storms. I’ll take a good ol’ west coast earthquake over that any day. By not being in Texas for the storm, I’m sure I’ve saved years of my life. Years that would’ve otherwise been lost to the stress and fear of being right there.
Tornadoes touched down around Pizzaville (none too close to the RV park). Many people were evacuated from homes and RV parks all around south central Texas. Cow-Chicken-Oil town is completely flooded. Dams broke, river banks overflowed, roads washed away. And so did some homes. Several people lost their lives and more are still missing.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled episode of the Online Dating Chronicles to bring you …this post. I don’t know what to call it. I can’t make this stuff up. Even if I could be that dishonest, I’m neither that creative nor bright.
In the latest episode of OMGOMGOMGOMGcrazy shit Pye doesThe Life of Pye, she stowed away in the chassis/undercarriage of my RV for almost 150 miles and 3.5 hours!
*blond lemming faints*
Friday morning, on my way to meet up with a group of other single RVers, I packed up the RV for the first time in awhile. I was excited to finally be taking the RV on the road after many months. But, like so many things, this packing-up made Bipolar Pye nervous. (Last time, when I moved from one side of the park to the other, she peed on the driver’s seat because she was so freaked out.)
This time, she took to her favorite sleeping and hiding spot behind the couch/hide-a-bed. It’s quite safe and secluded because the only way in is by diving down the small space between the back of the couch and the wall. And the only way I can retrieve her is by partially unfolding the couch/hide-a-bed, then crawling under and pulling her out. Knowing she was fairly well sequestered, I continued packing up the RV.
I didn’t think she would leave the comfort of her hard-to-get-out-of hiding spot, but much like my last choice of dates, I was wrong. After pulling in the RV slides, I went outside and checked everything. When I opened the door to come back in Pye leaped out! But, wait! There’s more…
First, I want to extend my great thanks to all of you for your thoughtful responses!
Your advice was taken to heart. Well, except maybe the ones that said I should just get out while the getting was good. To quote reader Axel, “Go away from the light. My wife says, ‘Is that a light at the end of the tunnel, or a train?'”
But, like any good lemming looking for a cliff, I am moving forward with the online dating. At least for now. You never know when that cliff might suddenly appear.
To that end, I have incorporated your suggestions from the comments section below, and from my Facebook page. You may recognize the first paragraph from the profile I used years ago. I had removed it, but when Kathy suggested including my sense of humor, I added that first paragraph back in. I also mentioned the “Bipolar Kitty Test”. Heh.
The river I’m parked on rose to over 40 feet in some areas – 9 feet over flood stage. Many RVers in other parks were evacuated. We were lucky here, no one had to relocate. But a few of us, myself included, were given the suggestion to “pack up and be ready to move, just in case.”
Unlike my usual “panic like a lemming” mode, I didn’t sit inside waiting for the water to rise. Instead, I went out and took a bunch of flood pictures from the water’s edge. For you, my dear Kernutties, for you I braved Mother Nature’s destruction, risking life and limb, to get y’all some photos. You’re welcome.
Before you say, “Hey, wait a minute. Your photos usually stink”, you should know these came out pretty good. (I know, I’m shocked, too.)
I’m going to let all you City Slickers in on a little secret. Unlike the natural disasters I witnessed when I lived in a big city, I had free access to all areas of this one. No one stood guard. No areas were blocked off. In northern California the authorities would have had all areas cordoned off, guarded by officers with a nasty demeanor, at the ready to shoo you away like a pesky fly.
Yet another thing I like about small towns; they just don’t seem to panic. But maybe it’s just Texans.
As you will see in the better-than-usual photos, it was a lovely sunny day when the water rose. Believe it or not, it didn’t rain all that much here, but it did rain a lot upstream a couple days before. So much so, the dams up river had to let out water. This means flooding to areas like my little ol’ cow/chicken/oil town. The good news is we all get a day or two advance notice of the impending doom.
Without further ado… The Flood Photos
All I had to do in this small cow/chicken/oil town was shove some fellow looky-loos out of the way so I could get this shot. For you, dear Kernutties, for you.
(If you don’t know about Bugzilla, this story won’t make sense. Go ahead and read the link above, then come back. We’ll wait.)
It’s been almost a year and a half since Bugzilla’s last appearance. He must have kept to himself all that time, coming out only when I wasn’t around. Until a couple nights ago…
Around 10 p.m. I was getting ready for bed, collecting my book and phone to bring into the bedroom with me. I got dressed for bed, which is to say I was scantily-clad. I returned to the kitchen to shut off the light, and there on my counter was Bugzilla!
Apparently, he couldn’t wait one second longer for me to leave the room and shut off the lights.
Bugzilla is no longer afraid of the light. Even worse, Bugzilla is no longer afraid of me.
He scurries back and forth across the front edge of the counter while staring at me, as if marking out his territory. Meanwhile, I stand stock still, trying to decide how to try and kill him this time. I’m standing there watching his every move, mentally recounting the many unsuccessful methods I’d previously employed to try end his scurrying life. I have a can of Deep Woods OFF (with the strong bug-killing chemical DEET, also toxic to humas) on the same counter he’s protecting. (I’ve been using it to kill sugar ants, but that’s another story!) Perhaps it will work better than the hair-spray.
I’m debating if I can get to the can of Deep Woods OFF with DEET before he does, when HE LAUNCHES AT ME. But, wait! There’s more…
I’m at the Sioux Falls airport checking in for my return flight to Austin (via snowy Denver).
At the security check point I put all my stuff on the conveyer belt and turn around to go through the metal detector. But there is no metal detector. In its place is something I’ve never seen…
It’s a big, cylindrical glass container, with the outline of a pair of foot prints on the small carpet at the bottom. It’s one of those new-fangled x-ray screening machines.
Oh. Hell. NO.
I stop dead in my tracks a few feet from the entrance and ask “What IS that?!” just as realization begins to dawn on me. Now I begin to back up, hands in the air, as the TSA agent calmly tries to explain how benign the monster device is.
I don’t hear a word she says other than “You don’t need to back up.”
The hell I don’t.
I’m looking again at the footprints on the small carpet inside the big, glass screening machine. I wonder to myself if those are what was left of the last guy’s ashes when the “screening” was over.
Perhaps not so oddly, the movie Soylent Green suddenly pops into my head.
Me, shaking my head: “Uh-uh. I know what that thing is. Can’t I just get wanded or something?”
‘Too Cold To Snow.’ I heard that phrase for the first time just before I left for the Frozen Tundra. (no, this is not about football – it’s about snow and ice)
I now know there must be such a thing as too cold to snow because yesterday I landed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, aka ‘The Frozen Tundra’, and am experiencing bone-chilling cold as I’ve never known.
Here are some pictures taken before I knew better than to stand outside.
The Frozen Tundra, aka South Dakota.
Ok, ok, so I took the photos from inside the rental car. It was still really cold out.
The temperature last night was 28 degrees. WTF? I don’t own clothes for 28 degrees! I own bikinis. (It was originally going to be 16 degrees but I panicked and changed my flight. Twice. I TOLD you people I’m not well.)
Do you know what temperature it was a couple nights before I left Texas? 73 degrees! SEVENTY-THREE degrees at night!
This is the current temperature in Sioux Falls. (Why, you ask, are my butt-cheeks turning blue in Sioux Falls? Another one of those “anniversaries of my 29th birthday” is rapidly approaching and I need to renew my driver’s license. Why South Dakota? Because South Dakota is one of the few states that caters to full-time RVers. SD is awesome!)
Can you guess where Chickenbone (my sister) is? She’s in HAWAII. Again. What is she doing in Hawaii? She’s posting pictures ‘from the lanai’ where she’s having breakfast. Bitch.
Chickenbone’s picture from ‘the lanai’ in Hawaii. Did you see where I am? Not there.
A park in Sioux Falls, SD. Not at all like Hawaii.
This is just so wrong. She likes to snowboard, she should be in Sioux Falls. I like the beach and have no plans to ever try skiing again. Once was enough.
Let’s review: My cat/RV copilot can’t read maps, and doesn’t deter rodents. This is just wrong.
In her defense, at the ripe old age of 18 she probably can’t hear the mouse chewing up the inside of my kitchen drawers.
How do I know there’s a mouse?
The other morning I opened the silverware drawer to see one of those crushed red pepper packets you get when you order pizza broken open, contents spilling out. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the packet wasn’t broken, but chewed open. Finely shredded bits of paper and of the drawer lining lay in a small pile.