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Friday, February 24, 2012

Birthday Blog Break

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

I have no idea as to any specific plans for this weekend of my 60th birthday.

But I know that Mr. AOW has been planning something and enlisting the assistance of some others. I've seen the log on his cell phone.


  1. A Very Happy Birthday to you AOW and may you and Mr. AOW enjoy many, many more together!

    God Bless and enjoy!

  2. Happy damn B-Day AOW! Enjoy every minute.

  3. Birthday weekends are the best! Have a good one!

  4. AOW,

    May you enjoy a memorably magnificent marathon marking of this most important milestone,


    And may all surprises for you and Mr. AOW be pleasant from now on.

    ~ FreeThinke

  5. Ten Variations on Happy Birthday each in the style of a different composer:


    CRITICISM: This is brilliantly conceived, and wonderfully well written, but it suffers from performance on a synthesizer with no discernible variation in orchestration, tone color or dynamics. Performed by a live orchestra it would be a smashing success.

    Hope you enjoy it, despite it's faults.

    ~ FreeThinke

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY as arranged by Igor Stravinsky to commemorate the 80th birthday of Pierre Monteux

    Conducted by Leonard Bernstein for one of his Young People's Concerts back in the halcyon fifties.

    ~ FT

    CRITICISM: This IS a smashing success in my never humble opinion.

  7. I've saved The BEST for LAST:

    Victor Borge at his most delightful:


    CRITICAL VERDICT: Borge at his brilliant best is beyond criticism. ;-)

    ~ FT

  8. Stop spying on him as he does his birthday miracles.

    Happy Birthday Young Lady!

  9. Happy Birthday, AOW. Have a wonderful day.

  10. Have a happy one, AOW! Forget about the miserable muslims for one whole day and enjoy everything that is uniquely yours. Including Mr. AOW.

  11. Happy Birthday, AOW. Hope you and Mr. AOW have a wonderful time!

  12. Enjoy the blogging break and have a happy birthday!

  13. Happy Birthday, you wonderful blogger and friend you!! :-)

  14. Happy Birthday! Here's to another 60 years!

  15. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

    Yesterday was a real bummer, though!

    10 years to the day after I bought my Mustang GT convertible, a midlife crisis if there ever was one, I found out that the engine is burning coolant. I'll probably be saying goodbye to the one car that I have truly loved.

    I've really got the blues right now.

  16. Beamish,
    My 1996 Crown Vic is still going strong with less than $1500 of repair over a period of 11 years. **crosses fingers**

    But that Mustang has been a real money pit. Now that Mr. AOW can no longer work on cars, I'm finding myself constantly frustrated with maintaining older vehicles.

  17. FT,
    I love that Victor Borge video!

    Years ago, Mr. AOW and I saw Borge in concert. Talk about an outstanding musician AND a brilliant entertainer!

    As I think back, we saw this same Borge bit of variations on "Happy Birthday!" when we went to that concert.

  18. So sorry to hear that car trouble marred your birthday celebration, AOW.

    Don't know how many miles you drive per year on average, but if it's not much, may I suggest you look into LEASING a new car?

    Not wanting to plunk down twenty-five to thirty-five-thousand dollars on a new hunk of junk, I decided to try leasing when my last car bit the dust. It's worked out splendidly for me, but I drive less than ten-thousand miles a year.

    Just a thought; There are all kinds of deals out there, so it might pay you to do some serious research.

    I truly loved my last car -- a 2006 Scion XB --, but it was destroyed when someone ran through a red light at top speed and tore the front end off the car. Six or eight inches closer to the steering wheel and I might have been totalled right along with it.

    Funny! The driver who hit me was much more upset than I. I have to say I'm "good," when a real crisis hits. I wound up taking the poor fellow to breakfast after we'd dealt with the police and all the rest of it.

    He just wasn't thinking. It could happen to anybody.

    Best of luck dealing with yet-another adverse situation.

    ~ FreeThinke

  19. FT,
    I've never leased a car before.

    And, yes, I drive much less than 10,000 miles a year.

    BTW, Mr. AOW and I are thinking of renting a handicapped van to see if that configuration works for him and for me. My back is giving me fits. Mr. AOW isn't quite double my weight, and pushing him in a transport chair up an incline is grueling. If we had a handicapped van, he could use his scooter more often.

    It's our own fault that our Mustang is in such trouble. We did a lot of after-market stuff to get more power. Why, I don't know. Some kind of midlife crisis, I guess.

    If the Mustang's body were in better shape, I'd replace the engine. I was planning to get the body work done this summer, so at least I didn't pour money into the body work and THEN have the engine go kaput.

  20. I used to have a 1987 Mercury Gran Marquis (the Grandma Car, as I called it affectionately) that had the same 5.0L motor as your Lego plastic car, I mean "Mustang."

    [You do know Ford stopped making Mustangs in 1965, right? Accept no substitutes, heh]

    Ended up scrapping Grandma Car when the electrical system went out in it again (Ford still hasn't figured out electrical engineering). Got a much nicer price for it because of the motor being transplantable into the new Mustangs.

    My current all-around-town car is a 1995 Buick Park Avenue I bought out in the country from a old man that only put around 6,000 miles a year on it. Aside from some sun damage on it, the car's practically brand new.

    Leasing is a good option as well, and you can have a brand new car every year :)

  21. Happy birthday to you Mrs AOW. 39th is it?

  22. FT,

    My sister drove a '06 Scion XB before she moved to Egypt and sold the car to my parents.

    Your wreck sounds horrendous... there's not much "front end" to knock off of one of those little cars...

  23. Beamish,
    Actually, this Mustang I have is a 4.6 liter.

    Just sayin'.

    As for "old lady cars," they do hold up well.

  24. I was very lucky, Beamish. As I said, if I'd been six or eight inches farther out into the intersection, I'd probably either be dead or a quadriplegic.

    Don't know why He should, but God has always taken very good care of me. I try not to be stupid enough to take it for granted. ;-)

    I'll dare give this much advice: NEVER assume that other cars will do the right thing. NEVER. "Everyone" is a maniac who has deliberately set out to get you.

    Horrible thought, I now, but I think we're safer if we're suspicious of other drivers.

    ~ FT

  25. AOW, leasing would probably be a good option for you, I think.

    It costs me a little under three-hundred a month, and there was no down payment, because I have a good credit rating. I imagine you do too.

    A car payment is about the same, I think. I took a three-year lease with an option to buy at the end, which I won't do.

    I doubt if I'll ever buy a car again.

    If I did a lot of traveling, as I used to do, it would be different story.

    ~ FT

  26. Oh wow, you're still just a teenager. Compared to me anyway. Happy Birthday and lots more.

  27. FT,
    It's not as if I NEED a muscle car. In fact, the great pleasure I had is no more: Mr. AOW at the wheel and I in the passenger's seat as we took road trips -- convertible top down, of course. I like driving the car, too, but I just don't enjoy that Mustang as much as I used to. Losses! So many came with that terrible stroke that my husband had!

    I do have my 2009 Hyundai Elantra (about 13,000 miles on it) and my "old lady" Crown Vic -- both paid for as I typically buy outright instead of having a car payment. The Crown Vic is in great shape, but it has a lot of age on it --- almost 17 years.

    What I actually NEED is a minivan with a handicapped ramp so that Mr. AOW can access the vehicle with his scooter.

    Well, we'll see what the master mechanic says about the Mustang on Monday. I might luck out and have only an intake-manifold gasket to deal with.

    I am concerned that Mr. AOW will sink into a terrible depression if we don't have that Mustang sitting in the carport. One of his rehab goals has been getting strong enough to get into that car as a passenger. And, of course, he's always hoped that, one day, he'd drive it again -- if only in an empty parking lot.

  28. Happy Birthday AOW ! You have a "good Un " ya hear !

  29. Hello again, AOW. I'm glad you are not in danger of going without transportation. I was afraid at the first that might be the case.

    I can certainly relate to your husband's longing to drive again. While I still can, my driving is pitifully limited to a radius of no more than three-to-five miles. It's been that way for seven years.

    I too once enjoyed taking "motor trips" to see the sights and to visit old friends in far off places. It sure would be nice if that became possible again. It may. Who knows? Hope springs eternal.

    As for the handicapped-accessible van -- presumably with a chair-life platform -- I imagine there are all kinds of tax breaks you could get since that has become a necessity. Might be worth looking into.

    ALSO, it may be possible to RENT such an item. I know we rented a motorized hospital bed for my aunt after she got to the point where she literally had to be picked up and carried whenever she changed positions. Medicare also paid for her lift chair -- a handy item with a motorized seat. They cost about $700.00 as I recall -- probably more now, of course.

    Even though I disapprove of the fundamental concept that gave us Medicare, I'm not so foolish as to refuse to take advantage of it. One way or another we've PAID for it most of our lives.

    I hope you can manage to keep the Mustang, since it has so much 'romance' attached to it. That makes it very special, I know.

    I also hope you did get to CELEBRATE your birthday. Heaven knows you deserve it.

    ~ FreeThinke

  30. Actually, this Mustang I have is a 4.6 liter.

    oh man... the 5.0 L engine is so much more powerful ;)

    As for "old lady cars," they do hold up well.

    Indeed, the bigger the better. Pretty much every car I've owned has been a big steel gas guzzling land yacht. Running out of options for those, of course, with "fuel efficiency" standards cutting down on the amount of fuel used by killing people in wrecks that shatter their Lego cars rather than just dent them.

    Oh well, there's always my 1-ton work truck or my dump truck ;)

  31. Happy Birthday! I hope you're having a great time!

  32. I wish I lived nearby, AOW. I'd gladly jack up and climb under your 'stang and check that intake manifold gasket for ya, for free.

    (or for your birthday!)

  33. Beamish,
    Both of Fords that I have needed those intake manifolds replaced. Poor design, and Ford wouldn't stand behind fixing the problem. So, both have relatively new intake manifolds.

    If only you lived nearby!

    We may pass along the Mustang to my USMC cousin, who is stateside for the rest of his tour of duty. He wants a project car. As a pre-teen, he used to ride around with us in our Mustang and loves the car. He can have it on the cheap -- four good tires still with tits and custom chrome wheels. Mr. AOW is okay with this possible solution. We've sent word to my cousin to see what he says.

  34. FT,
    I did get to celebrate my birthday. We put aside our grief over the Mustang and splurged at Red Lobster. It's been ages since we've spent that much money on one meal!

    When Mr. AOW had his stroke, we had four cars, only one of them running properly. Mr. AOW was working on the SUV and was about to finish up when he was stricken. I sold that SUV the following spring. I had to BEG the county no to cite me for having a non-working vehicle on my parking pad on my back lot. The county tyrants did give me the waiver -- from September through June.

    So, for nearly two years now, I've had three vehicles. I mostly drive that Hyundai, the only new car I ever bought in my life; I traded in my Cash for Clunkers pickup truck to $4500, and Hyundai sold me the Elantra for $10,000 out the door. A real deal! We were going to have to junk that 1985 pickup truck anyway. The truck had been my father's and had only 50,000 miles on it, but was a lemon from the start.

    I may divest myself of the Crown Vic and get a minivan with handicapped-access features. Yet another decision to make!

  35. A very happy birthday to you AOW. Something to celebrate for sure, to reach a certain age these days, to still be basically healthy and able to enjoy life, and to have Mr. AOW with you, I know it is special.

    As to cars, we don't trade a car in unless it gets to a point where we cannot depend on it to get us where we want to go and back.

    My Dodge Durango, the first year they came out with Durangos, 1998, is 14 years old, still looks almost new and still runs like a charm.

    Hubby's Dodge Ram pickup is 15 years old, still runs great and looks good too. We have never leased a vehicle either.

    Right Truth

  36. FT,
    There was a small birthday party here on the 23rd. My cousin came over and gave me a new outfit: slacks, a jacket, a blouse.

    Mr. AOW gave me a rice maker, which my cousin picked up for him.

    Warren, my tech guy, and his wife sent Shari's Berries.

    My students brought treats every day on Tuesday through Thursday.

  37. Red Lobster can be lots of fun, AOW. I hope you ran into one their All-You-Can-Eat Crab or Shrimp Feasts.

    Lobsters, themselves, are just TOO DARNED EXPENSIVE!!! I used to have a lobster to celebrate my birthday -- a tradition started on my ninth birthday by my parents who spoiled the heck out of me -- but I haven't eaten a lobster in ten or more years.

    Sounds like you were pretty well feted by family and friends. I'm glad.

    ~ FT

  38. By the way, how did you like Shari's Berries? Did they live up to the reputation Rush has tried to give them?

    Frankly, I prefer berries plain with just a little sugar -- and may some heavy cream. Doesn't chocolate overpower the berry taste?

    Not trying to be wet blanket -- just curious.

    ~ FT

  39. Tracking the log on Mr. AOW's cell phone?

    Do you have your own personal version of the Patriot Act?


    60 can't be much worse than 50!

  40. FT,
    Shari's Berries are wonderful! I particularly like the ones covered in white chocolate that is swirled with dark chocolate.

    The berries are so large that the chocolate doesn't overwhelm the flavor the fruit.

    Calorie content = 100-120 calories. Not too bad for the waist line.

    One is supposed to consume them within 48 hours of arrival. However, I've managed to stretch that deadline a bit. Eat the leaking ones first!

  41. Mike,
    Yep, I'm tracking the log. So often, Mr. AOW is sound asleep and misses calls.

    Not that he gets many calls. His good friend Steve phones quite often, though, to arrange trips to the VFW.

  42. FT,
    Forgot to respond to your comment about the lift chair....

    I got one for Mr. AOW back in 2010, long before Medicare kicks in (March 1, 2012). I chose a Lazy Boy, and the cost was about $1700. On sale! This particular model has vibration and heat. I've spent a few nights in that chair -- when Mr. AOW needed that kind of care.

    At least the lift chair was a tax deduction under the category "supplies for home care."

    At first, Mr. AOW couldn't use the chair. Now he can! When the elderly cat makes room, that is.

    Medicare will pay something on the next mobility device that he needs, whatever that mobility device happens to be.

  43. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Birthday surprises are the best--hope yours is awesome!

  44. Happy Birthday to you -- and many more to come. :)

  45. Oops sorry I missed it! Hope you had a wonderful time AOW!

  46. Happy belated birthday Always, hope you had a wonderful weekend.


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