I should be long gone, in to the office, by now. I haven't even taken a shower yet, and I must take a shower before subjecting the general public to my presence.
But, I digress. You know how they say that bad things come in three? Yeah, well, #s 1 and 3 are more inconveniences than bad things, but the superstition still stands true.
After getting gas last night and before I'd even cleared a mile out of town, a cop drove past me and then turned around immediately, putting on the flashing lights. Sh********t. I knew exactly why: I have a low-beam bulb out (high-beams are just fine). As the cop walked up to the truck, I thought, "Dang, I wonder if he's gonna rip me out of the truck and throw me on to the ground when he sees me opening the door instead of rolling down the window?" (The driver's window is broken, and, yes, it's on my To Do list once the settlement check comes through.)
Fortunately, SHE (female cop, very pleasant) didn't care a whit about that, but then, much to my surprise, I was busy yelling at the dogs to STAND DOWN, both of them straining from the backseat to rip her trooper's hat off! Wow! I was impressed! I've always wondered if they'd actually defend me should I ever be unlucky enough to have to send out distress signals . . . and, apparently, they would! (Previous to last night, I'd always thought they'd simply lick a bad guy to death, if anything!)
I'd already pulled out my license, and she asked for my proof of insurance. No problem, I'd seen the square little form in one of two places. I pulled it from the visor. Oh. April of '08. No problem, there's one here on the dashboard! October of '09. Well, we were making progress. I lean over to the glove compartment: a-ha! Year 2010 . . . but April, not October. Doh! Fortunately, she believed me that I DID have insurance and just went back to run my license. I sat in the truck, marveling at how bright and annoying those red and blue flashing lights are in one's rear view mirror and thinking about how all the folks at home with scanners (yours truly included) were deciphering her message to the dispatcher of Tango, Bravo, Alpha, Charlie (insert proper representations for my name). But, I knew that as soon as they figured out that Chicken Mama had been pulled over, the dispatcher would also return with the good message, "No hits on a 2000 Chevy 1-Ton, Silver in color."
So, after the delay, I drove away with a warning to get the headlight fixed, a reminder that anything hanging from the rear view mirror (in my case, a small, wooden chicken!) was illegal (it IS?!), and the notation 'No Proof of Ins.' on the warning ticket. Maybe it helped that, when looking for the insurance card, I did show her the bulb I'd bought for the headlight! And, she said, too, that the only reason she'd pulled me over just for that was because there'd been SO many deer/car collisions lately. Fair enough. Besides, I KNEW I was playing the Game of Chance 'cause that headlight's been out since last winter. Again, one of those things waiting on the To Do list. Guess it just moved up to the top.
Anyway, that was (not really) Bad Thing #1.
Bad Thing #2 WAS a bad thing.
When I went out to do chores this morning, I finally saw (after that VERY brief partial sighting a couple of weeks ago), my poultry predator. I watched it soar out to the massive pine on the driveway. "NOW's my chance!", I thought.
I grabbed my .410, made sure it was loaded and grabbed an extra cartridge, and the dogs and I set off down the driveway.
As I got nearer, I thought, "Geez, that thing IS big!" It had what looked like a HUGE body but a tiny head. Could it be a turkey vulture? But, don't they only eat carrion - they don't actually KILL anything?
I got close enough to get a good bead on it . . . and then realized why it's head had appeared small against the bright sky. It was a glorious, massive, brilliantly white-headed . . . bald eagle. In the words of my late mother-in-law, I spewed, "Gaaaaaaahd DAMMIT!" A freakin' bald eagle. Are you KIDDING me? That's like finding out that a polar bear is what ate your cat. Are you going to kill it? Of course not. Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. Instead, I said, "HEY, you beautiful bird! Stop eating my chickens!"
Walking back to the chicken yard, I looked in disgust at the faux owl I'd mounted on top of the chicken house as protection. Fat lot of good "Barnie" had done.
Was he going to protect any more of the birds from A BALD EAGLE?! Probably not. And, in fact, definitely not. Why? Because when I continued on with the chores I began noticing clumps of feathers here . . . and there . . . and a lot of s-i-l-e-n-c-e.
The ducks and geese were milling around as usual, but that was it.
There weren't even any carcasses. Just those few clumps of feathers and one beautiful tail feather from my rooster Big Boy who I'd had for YEARS (he was at least 5 or 6).
So. More of my thoughts on all of this later when I've had time to process it.
Meanwhile, on to #3. I've had a slow leaker in one of the tires on the Yaris, and, since I'm finally getting it in to the shop on Monday, I needed to take it off and drop the tire off at a local fellow's informal shop this AM to fix it.
Think that damn thing will come off? Nope.
The lug nuts are off, but the wheel will NOT come off. I've whacked it with the 3# sledge. Repeatedly. I've soaked it with anti-corrosion juice. I've whacked it some more. Finally, I gave up and came in here to do this.
Now, I'll head back out to see if the fluid has done any good, preferring to load it into the back of the pickup while I'm still in my work clothes. Wish me luck.
(Have I ever mentioned that my life is N-E-V-E-R boring????)
P.S. I finally figured out that I had to be smarter than the wheel. I slipped underneath the back of the car and whacked from the INSIDE!