Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lousy, no good, rotten, friend

This past Sunday, a childhood friend came to visit me (we live in two different States, both far away from our childhood State), and he wanted to play tennis with me. I knew it wouldn't be a contest, because I play 2-3 times a week, am a 4.0 NTRP player, and have played for nearly 30 years, pretty much non-stop! (someday, I hope to become good at the game!) On the other hand, he hadn't played since the last time we got together, 20 years ago!!! Worse, he was playing right after a long and delayed flight, and he was a little dehydrated (he wouldn't even take the cup of ice water I gave him), plus his racquet had no grip! All it had was a nearly completely deteriorated overgrip! (he thought that an overgrip was a "grip", so he did it himself, when his grip had become ragged)

Fortunately, we played indoors, with air conditioning, at my club. Needless to say, I was beating him 5-0, when he decided he had had enough. I was hoping to gloat or at least hear him say, "Gosh, Steve, you're WAY better than I!" Instead, he took me to dinner, and presented me with a gift: a "giant" size Hershey chocolate bar with almonds, which had melted in the 90 degree heat, but, I knew I could make do once I got it in my 'fridge! (hey, I have no problem with melted chocolate, especially Hershey's!)

What kind of friend not only goes out of his way to be so nice, but also doesn't give his friend a chance to rub the victory in his face???? I mean, seriously! Some people!  ;)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memories in a vacuum

A social network friend showed a photo of her grandfather's 1918 military commission. It doesn't have the then-President's, Woodrow Wilson's, signature, but it does have a relative of current Senator John McCain's signature. She also has a collection of other war/military memorabilia, including leave cards, dance cards (with the decorative rope and pencil still attached!), etc. Though none of it is probably worth much, but I was very impressed that her family held onto it for over 90 years!

And then there's the tale of the vacuum cleaner! Finishing up my Memorial Day weekend, I went to my apartment complex's communal trash bin to dump my weekly worth of garbage. I noticed what seemed to be a relatively new upright vacuum cleaner lying on its side next to the dumpster. It seemed to be in pretty good shape, except that it was caked, in and out, with drywall dust, and the floor brush drive belt was obviously broken. I guessed that the landlord's maintenance crew had finished renovating an apartment, and was cleaning up when the belt broke (probably from the stress of sucking up such fine material). Having nothing better to do (I had already done the laundry, worked on the car and bicycle a bit, and other sundry stuff), I brought it back to my apartment, cleaned it thoroughly (15 minutes), and switched it on. It worked! Now all it needs is a $4 belt, and it's good to go! The only thing missing was one of the attachments, which I would probably never use, anyway. The only problem is that I already have an upright vacuum cleaner (though the found one is bagless, but, personally, I find that annoying, as I wouldn't want to breathe or touch the stuff as I dump it) and a canister vac (for corners, ceilings, car, etc), so what the heck do I do with the "new" one??? Should I return it to the landlord for a small fee, and risk being accused of stealing it? Should I sell it locally? Give it to a local charity? Must be a "guy" thing! ;)