Stop and Smell These Roses

By WR Jones

Red White and Blue

Red, White, and Blue
oil on linen
11″ x 14″

I need to do the figurative stop and smell the roses routine to get my blood pressure back down to below “Blow Out” range.    Yesterday I tried to install a new shower fixture.   It would not thread into the wall coupling.   I thought of calling a plumber but then thought what if I pay him $100 and he tells me this new shower arm is defective. Instead I called the shower stuff dealer and asked for an exchange.   She emailed me a return shipping label.

When I tried to print the label  I got a message that I couldn’t print until I installed a new ink cartridge.   It said I needed a Cyan cartridge and wouldn’t print black and white until I replaced it.   First off I never print in color so where did the Cyan go? Secondly, you bastards, why can’t I print black and white?   I drove 20 miles to Walmart to get ink.  They wanted $50 for ink for the Epson I had.   I have bitched about ink cost of the Epson for years.  It is a model you can’t refill at Costco for $10.   Holding the $50 worth of ink in my hands I noticed there was a new printer with ink on sale for $39.   Are you shitting me?   I ended up getting a new HP wireless printer for $100 after verifying I could get ink refill at Costco.

Took it home, installed software, installed ink, performed set up of date, time, country, etc, loaded paper.   Print you little brand new beauty – nope.   Got a message something was wrong with ink cartridge(s). NOOooooo!@#    Spent an hour looking on net, manual, under the bed, garage for an answer.   Gave up and took it back to Walmart.   I asked if they wanted to see the error message.   No.   Why don’t you give me a new ink cartridge and I will try it here.  No.  Ok give me a new printer.

Took new printer home and did the install, setup routine all over again.  This model does, copy, print, scan, fax.   On the top the paper feeder has an icon showing paper feed direction.   I put in a sheet and made a copy.  Great.  Then tried to print.  Paper wouldn’t feed.   Spent 30 minutes on net, manual, under bed, garage.   Finally I was directed to a YouTube video on a similar model that showed for printing you put a small stack of paper in the bottom (exit looking) tray, push tray in then print comes out the bottom on top of the stack you just put in.   Nice design you people.

This problem has aged me.   Which started me thinking that all my body components are billions of years old.   I don’t remember having that many birthdays.  Someone has shorted me a LOT of gifts over the eons.   With that many opportunities it is a wonder no one ever gave me some ink cartridges, or a least a printer.

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By WR Jones

Horse sculpture

This is a sculpture started in a workshop with sculptor Ken Rowe and his assistant, sculptress Adryanna Ciera.

For those family and friends that know me, yes, since this sort of looks like a horse I had some minimal help from the instructors. By minimal I mean I personally did one of the ears. Not the good ear mind you, the raggedy looking one. But it is not all my fault that it only loosely resembles a horse ear. When I asked for advice, Adryanna demonstrated the creation of an ear. She said, “first you make a small triangleish piece then stick your finger in it”. Her piece resembled an ameboa (what my horse would look like without help). When I questioned her “triangle” she told me the “ish” on the end covered the shape accuracy issue. That alone was worth the cost of the workshop. I will polish that knowledge with practice and make it my own. Examples: “yes dear, I cleanished the garage.” “I will be on timeish for dinner with your family”.

A painter friend suggested I call the exposed wire leg and tail as prostheses and call the work complete.   Given my ever diminishing work habits that advice is under serious consideration.

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Corporations That Care

By WR Jones

Mother 1936
Mother 1936   20″ x 16″ Oil on linen

Watching the morning news the other day there was an on the street reporter with a small segment in a McDonalds. She started with saying it had been established that children did much better in school with a nutritious breakfast. The McD manager was standing by with a smile on his face nodding his agreement. The reporter went on to say that McDonalds was supporting better education with a program to help children get their healthy preschool breakfast. (Manager again nodding) Reporter: “Could you tell our viewers what McDonalds is doing today to help our students start out the day with a hearty breakfast?” “Yes I’d be happy to. For today only, the first 100 customers who purchase an egg mcmuffin will get a free kids meal, on the NEXT visit to McDonalds.”

Good Lord, I was gobsmacked. After all the negativity against McDonalds here was a corporation that cared about kids. Who can calculate the enormous profit loss due to this unprecedented generosity. This could potentially cost each store hundreds of dollars. No wait, the customer has to return and buy something else. Ok, ok, still it could cost tens of dollars.

I was riding high on the wave of corporate humanity until I was brought back to earth by the report of a man in Kansas dying from a new virus he contracted while doing yard work. Holy crap I was about to go outside to pull weeds. Or at least note their location so I could point them out to my wife.

With a gesture every bit as magnanimous as Mickey’s school breakfast program I have set up an isolation ward in the garage in case my wife gets ill out in the yard.

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Anger Management

By W R Jones

Mango Shock
Mango – waiting in his car seat

I got so irritated with Mango’s demanding angry tyrant behavior (he screams when he thinks we might be going somewhere without him), that I decided to try shock therapy. Here he is waiting in his car seat after I threw the switch. It didn’t work as expected. All that happened was his hair stood up and his memory failed. Now he has forgotten not to bite the hand that feeds him.

On reflection he may be picking up his anger issues from me. I recently tried to slam a revolving door. This is a pretty good example of an ill advised outburst. The door, instead of slamming behind me, slammed from the front breaking a tooth. The event will cost me $4K and leave me whistling as I speak for 6 months. I had a brief hope it might make me look younger as in a 7 year old. I did a trial grin in the mirror. Too many wrinkles to pull it off. I look like an 85 year old who forgot his dentures.

I went to the pharmacist for some stuffy nose medicine yesterday. The kind you have to show ID to purchase. She got the pills and was ringing me up when someone nearby said something funny. I giggled showing my missing tooth to the pharmacist. She looked at me and grabbed the pills. She thought I was a long time meth user. When I told her how I lost my tooth she gave me back the meds saying I did look dumber than 40 water buffalo so the story made sense, sort of.

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State of the Union Interest Level

A video by Lisa Towers

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Tear Here

By WR Jones

Blue Plate Special
Blue Plate Special     9″ x 11″
Oil on linen

I needed to add salt to the water softener the other night. We had a 25 lb bag of salt. Across one corner there was a dashed line and the words “Tear Here”. Some miserable sadistic son of Satan wrote that bullshit. I tried to pull it open with my hands. Then I tried hands and teeth. Then both feet, hands, and teeth. Finally I gave up and stalked into the house spewing rough language that Mango is sure to pick up to embarrass me when the deacon rings the bell.

I had to resort to scissors – Jesus! Who came up with that spelling? I had to walk to the neighbors to get help. I tried sizzers, the useless spell corrector gave me sizzlers. Certain it would help me, I then tried siccors, knowing it was wrong but should be close enough. Nope, I got succors for that one. I’m going to have to confine myself to writing Dick and Jane stories.

As I’m cutting the salt bag open I notice the very clever (tear at the dashed line) area has a label stating, “Patent Pending”. Are you shitting me? A patent for a dashed line that doesn’t work?

l can imagine the court challenge. Your honor, we are not infringing the patent. Our bag actually tears at the dashed line with the bare hands of a two year old. The patented version needs a backhoe to open.

This is a case where the word plethora can be used as a gross understatement – there is a plethora of idiots in the world.

The concept of infinity may have come from someone trying to count the idiots around him. A historical re-enactment:

“Earl, how many idiots do you reckon there are?” “Hmm, I counted 8 so far and that’s just your wife and kids. I could have got your other two kids if you hadn’t chopped off two of my fingers with your Hey let’s get a free Christmas tree, you hold and I’ll chop.”

“8’s all I got – let’s tip it over and use it to represent all the idiots we can think of.” “Good idea what do we call that funny looking symbol?” “How about, ‘More idiots than we can count’?”

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Watercoloring – Waterboarding

By W R Jones

I’m mostly posting on FaceBook now – you can find me there as William R Jones, I think. You may need to add UCLA to the search.  I do still like blogging but have limited time.   I know the rest of you have unlimited time or at least that 40 hours you should be working.  Trust me, once you retire that free time evaporates.

Watercolor Studies
Watercolor Studies – an excellent way to pass a day in anguish

I was on a three week trip recently and didn’t have space for oil paints. I decided to take along a small set of watercolors.

Watercoloring – Waterboarding

Both a form of torture. That damn water runs all over the place making puddles and splotches as it goes. Still, it is cheaper than oil which is a big plus.

Say, did you ever use enhanced interrogation on your spouse? Really? Well, maybe you weren’t CERTAIN she was lying. Let me explain before you get all up on your high horse.

I had a 1/4 roll of masking tape in my hand. Then after a very brief distraction – going to fetch the mail before my wife saw the latest crap I bought on Amazon – the tape was gone. There was only myself, Mango, and my wife in the house. The roll was too big for Mango to handle. He does sometimes tear off a little piece to mark the spot on the floor where he wants his water bowl placed.

I certainly didn’t misplace it. That left my wife. She denied, denied, denied having seen it.

I told her if she didn’t admit the theft I was going to waterboard her. She said I didn’t need to use any water, I bored her enough with my yakking. That was enough to make anyone sing like a canary.

Later I stumbled across the roll hanging on the handlebar of my bike. I may have stopped by the bike on the way to the mail box, don’t recall.

Well, just kiss my patootie, I’m not apologizing; a simple mistake, could happen to anybody.

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