--Last night, we drove my mother and my newly-minted 14 year-old to dinner last night for their respective birthdays. We went to a French bakery and cafe that, while a chain, still puts out some really great food. Mom got a Sacher torte, and moaned: "This is as good as the one that I had in Brussels." Mom had gone on a tour of Europe after graduating from SMU in the mid-'60s.
My brother's eyes shone. "My mother has been waiting over 40 years for just the right opportunity to say that!" he proclaimed. I laughed so hard the excellent coffee that I was drinking almost came out my nostrils.
--While checking out some city property on duty last weekend, I got stung in the right earlobe by a wasp. After finishing what I was doing, I found some Windex to spray on my ear, the ammonia in which actually did quell the pain somewhat. For the next several hours, my ear lobe was bright red and swollen, but it went down within the day. But for the next several days, there was a seriously sore nagging kind of itch behind my jawbone in the neck, ranging up to the ear. The venom must have managed to get to the mandibular nerve, and sat there.
Back in police academy, they taught us how to use the mandibular nerve as an effective pressure point for pain compliance techniques. One technique was to place the thumb into the notch behind the jaw to activate the mandibular nerve, and the stiff blade of the hand rolled firmly into and across the philtrum to activate the infra-orbital nerve. This is called the "C-Clamp," and is pretty effective at getting an uncooperative person (especially if they are sitting, as in an automobile) to move where you want them to go, without causing injury. We practiced it on each other repeatedly in class, and the soreness behind my jaw felt a lot like it did after those pressure point classes, but with an extra kick. Today it finally feels better.
--The Subaru Outback that we bought had a lot of road noise in the rear. The salesman that demo'd the car to me assured me that it was a tire that needed replacing, with a broken belt in it. I didn't think so, and took it by my mechanic. He rode in the back seat, and pronounced the problem to be the right rear wheel bearing. He then got out his laptop, and I bought a new bearing for $79 and had it sent to him. I took the car to him yesterday. He chatted with me as he swapped out the bearing over a leisurely hour in his driveway. We hopped in the car to road test it, and it was silent. Success. I picked up some cash from the bank to pay the guy. This was undoubtedly why no one else had bid even $7k on a car that was about $30k six years ago. Success! The wife is happy (it's her car), which means that I'm happy.
-- The Outback has heated front seats, with a rheostat for each seat. This will be really useful for that weekend when the temperature drops below 30 degrees.
--I've signed up for a Public Administration graduate class this semester. Three hours. $1370. Good gawd.
--My old roommate Bill needs a gun to shoot his CHL class with. I'm borrowing Dad's Glock Kit, which is a .30 cal ammo can stuffed with a Glock 19, a loaded magazine, two spare magazines in a carrier, a Fobus paddle holster, a box of 9mm, and usually an oily rag to keep everything from rattling around. Dad keeps it as a quick and easy loaner kit, and frankly, I think that it's a great idea. It also would make a great car gun set, in its almost indestructible O-ring-sealed steel box. I need to set up something modular like that, myself.
--My 14-year-old daughter doesn't much want her picture taken. She's okay with her Dad, but she's aloof. Hugs are rare. The 10-year-old still loves to come hug Daddy. But I know that the time is coming when she'll be too cool for that, too. I expect these things. But it still makes my heart ache a bit when they come to pass.
--This weekend, I have to do some work on a state grant, and get a hunter's license, and get my text book, and install a new porch door for my mom, and get Bill his loaner gun, and speak to my university adviser, and... I better get moving.