Friday, April 24, 2020

Uh, NOT just one big heavy box?

So, I went online and ordered a kitchen "island" cabinet. I wanted to have some more new counter space to place things on when cooking.

And two new drawers to put things away but at my fingertips.

And, of course, more wide new storage spaces.

Hey, it's a BIG kitchen and there is plenty of room for this new handy addition.

Saw a good item at a good price at Lowe's and was told free delivery would be in three days.

On delivery day, I opened wide the gate to my back yard so the truck could be backed in to make lugging it the stairs would be easier ..for the Lowe's delivery people.

But, there was no truck and, as it got later in the day, the computer stated it had been delivered??

On my front porch, I found three large boxes.

I lugged, pushed, and pulled them into the kitchen.

Opening them I found the first of a thick set of papers and drawings showing the simple assembly I would be doing.

(I know I did not order this from IKEA, famous for "some assembly required.")

I now have a lifetime supply of foam packing materials. 

My efforts to sort and recycle various grades of plastic had not come across this mass of stuff before.

Obvious China has found a way to get a LOT of unwanted plastic out of their country!

Once I sorted out all of the pieces - clearly identified by all of the letters of the alphabet - they were scattered around my up-to-now spacious kitchen.

There was a mounting feeling of accomplishment as the pieces started coming together and an object very similar to the illustration on the boxes was taking shape as the afternoon slid into the evening of Day 1.

The "Island" stood proudly in my less-cluttered kitchen.

I was pleased as I looked around I did NOT spot any leftover, unused important pieces!

It sat level, not at all wobbly.

There were several times when I had to backtrack and take something apart, adjust
a piece I had reversed and then set it right.

But, now, I was proud of my accomplishment of assembling what I thought was going to come complete and ready-to-use.

As I tossed away the last of the packets of the nuts and bolts, I was pleased to see one, unopened, filled with a handful of familiar items, marked simply "Extra pieces."

Many years ago I had put together a study desk for my older daughter that had to be assembled and swore then "Never Again!"

Click on the photos and links for more details.

It WAS all done on DAY 1 and that was a great feeling.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 20, 2020

A Smoking Saturday

Oh, I just realized while watching WEST WING  - and wishing we had such a President now - that
it was President Bartlet I was pining for!  So smooth!

During the virus lockdown, there was plenty of free time to wander around Netflix.

I relaxed with cookies and milk flashing back to those fictional times.
I am SO into home cooking now going into week 6 of stay-at-home. 

I always ignored frozen pizzas before.

But, now that most Za places are closed, this is my second one. Half for dinner, 
the other half in the fridge because cold pizza is the best. IMHO.

Also I now make avocado toast, which I discovered was a thing when in Edinburgh, Scotland! 

Had it each of the 3 days I was there.  I cut-up tomatoes to put on top and sprinkle on some garlic. 

Uh, I forgot to toast the bread first one time so it was awkward to handle shoving it into my mouth.

Heard the sirens Saturday, breaking up a dull day of seeing years-ago sports episodes repeated on tv.

After the third fire truck rumbled past, I stepped out on the deck and saw dense smoke 
billowing across my back yard and down my dead-end street. 

Well, the fire was NOT 
on MY block but the next one over.

As the smoke turned whiter I knew water was on the flames so the firemen were attacking it.

I finished whatever mindless, boring thing I was doing, slipped on  my facemask and headed over to the next block.

A police car blocked entry to the street and the hydrant on the corner was plugged in to supplement the tankers on the scene.

Good to know it was in working order. I guess they check these often in advance?

My neighbor apparently was in the midst of having an outdoor kid's party in their yard.

Hmmm,  I saw no other masks in the small crowd that had gathered at the blocked intersection. I kept the social distance as I chatted.

The house further down the street being discussed was one that had been running generators for a while, apparently having no power to the house??

Head-nodding as this word was passed around. Somebody down on their luck now was having a TERRIBLE day!

I went home, planning to wander down the street to the scene later when the street was opened.

(Hey, a blog posting like mine NEEDS some photos.)

It was still blocked a few hours later so I shot from a distance after a police Sgt said I could go down the street.. but NOT past the truck. 

Another police officer strode up to stop me as I neared the truck to say  "Hey, get outta here, can't you see the street is blocked by the police cars?"

Behind my mask, I smiled and said "Yes, I did and I asked the Sgt if I could come 
down. He said OK but  NOT to go past the truck."

Oh, he shrugged and turned back to watch the firemen dousing embers.

Glad I had noticed the stripes on the sleeves of the officer I had asked.

So, back to boredom. Wish the best for the folks who have a severely-damaged home now.

Click on the photos for more details.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

On set filming OBX in Charleston

 Who woulda thought!?

The CoronaVirus (COVID-19) has caused major changes around the world.

Today's mandate to stay-at-home and social distancing has become the norm over the last several months....everywhere.

Even things like the release of new movies have been postponed until theaters can re-open.

And when the movie-going public could resume eating popcorn in a theater, looking up at the big screen.

I was not sure if - and when - the Netflix new streaming television series OBX would premiere.

I was glad to just see its trailer and hear the first season's first episode would air  tomorrow April 15.

Being home-bound, there now is a GREAT audience for Netflix to bring entertainment into our homes when we really can use  the diversion!

The trailer is interesting to me because the opening scene shows the Moris Island lighthouse at Folly Beach, SOUTH Carolina!

OBX is what they call the Outer Banks up in North Carolina...but Episode 4 was shot down here in our state!

I didn't realize any of this state-switching background was going on when I was picked to be an extra in the new show.

Wardrobe liked the outfit I wore to play the role of an older, shabby Barge Worker.

Well, they DID give me a different pair of shoes..tossed out my worn-out sneakers for a pair of scruffy steel-toed boots, and different pants from the khakis I was wearing.

It's safe to say my denim shirt was accepted

They also added a salty, rakish ball cap with a visor and logo. To complete the proper image, "Hollywood Dirt" was brushed over my pants and the front of my shirt.

That is a cool effect and it washes right out.
Not that I really cared...mostly weren't MY clothes!

I was the grizzled geezer among the young cast and crew gathered on Shem Creek by a local marina.

We were there all day and into the evening when a drone was piloted overhead to give an aerial view of the overall marina and its stacks of boats.

It was the first time I had been by the locally well-known seafood restaurant The Wreck.

I did not know the plot of the new show but I was surrounded by young actors and crew as we three wardrobed-extras waited to see what our role would be.

The Director for this episode, Valerie Weiss, gestured to me to join her and I quickly did. She startled me by asking my name!

Been doing this for more than 5 years and never had been asked my name before doing a scene.

"Two of the cast members are going to sneak aboard your barge and you will walk past a moment too late to catch them. The timing will be important," the Director added.

We all got in position and I got my signal to enter a hatch on the barge, walk across to the other side - like in search for a tool - and exit out the hatch on the other side.

The first time I DID see the two scamper down the ladder to the lower deck, the second one was better and we nailed the timing on the third take!

The Director gestured, I approached and she said "You timed it perfectly, Chuck. You made the scene work. Good job."

I joined the other two extras and when a PA walked by, I asked him to tell the Director that Chuck appreciated her asking his name. That had not happened before.

He came back and she had said to tell me it will be in Episode 4 of the new series so I could watch for it.

That's never happened before either!

Labels: , , , , , ,

So, I went for a drive....

 Wow, a month (so far) of staying at home. Alone. Well, there IS my cat.

The plan for this world-wide personal sacrifice is to slow the spread of the CoronaVirus, COVID-19.

 Keeping isolated lessens the chance of getting infected or infecting someone else.

There is no widespread test yet to see who has it before they spread it to others.

As we hunker down, it helps medical facilities be able to handle a huge influx of a very contagious disease.

I have been out just a few times and, each time,  I brought Purell with me and wore a non-surgical mask.

Grocery store to wait in line 6-feet apart until a person left and one was admitted to the nearly-deserted Food Lion.

Picked up my needed meds from the drive-up window at my nearby Walgreens.

In addition to filling my prescription, they also added some vitamins and other OTC (Over The Counter) items I had requested when I phoned.

It was basically a neighborhood drive but I did hop on the Interstate briefly.

There is no dreaded 5 o'clock traffic any time of the day.

Headed to my bank to deposit my tax refund check.
For some reason - unlike the past 12 years - the government check was NOT direct-deposited.

Hmm,  so I wonder if the promised relief $1200 check WILL be dropped in the mail too, adding weeks before I get it?

That sounds screwed up!

Next to my bank, I saw first-hand a desperate effort to keep food & beverage staff on salary.

My few trips to the grocery store - and having two freezers - makes dining "out" not a problem.

(Yesterday South Carolina was clobbered by a fierce storm and 70,000 electrical outages added to the grief. Hopefully, the power is quickly restored so precious home food supplies do not spoil!)

Not such a quick make-shift "Curbside" solution for retail stores - and staff - as barricades are in place to enter Tanger Outlets.

I assume the other shopping malls are likewise shut down, deserted and barricaded.

This get-outta-the-house for a break was becoming depressing... until I drove past a nearby The Blood Connection, Your Community Blood Center facility in North Charleston.

The parking lot was empty but I decided to see if they were open.

They were.... of course. That's what is needed at a time of need!

Lots of staff, one person in a lounger, all bundled up, keeping warm.

I said I was there to give blood. Smiles all around me as I Purelled my hands and sat down to do paperwork.

Because I respect privacy - and my interviewer (of course) was safely masked - I did not ask or jot down any names.

She was from the Greenville or Spartanburg office, here to help out.

She was away from home and family. I was glad to meet her and thanked her.

She found out I had not eaten anything so far today, so she took me to an array of snacks to make sure I was not working on an empty stomach.

I ate a few snacks and drank some water, turning down the available soft drinks.

I have not had any energy bars or mini-Oreos since the last time I was on set for The Righteous Gemstones and saw such an appealing array of "forbidden" treats!

We did about 15 minutes of paperwork, examining my current health and any "bad" past activities or meds that might make me not able to give a blood donation.

Oddly enough the list of suspects drugs sounded like the array of tv ads telling us to tell our doctor what to prescribe!

I passed the written exam and was led over to be seated on a comfortable lounge.

While I was getting settled, two young ladies came in and headed to similar lounges side-by-side.

It was obviously NOT their first time there and, later, they told me they come in together  - after the waiting period ends - and they could give another donation.

I was curious but did not ask how many times they had given this gift of love.

This was only my second time and it had been years since I had donated a pint before. I was not in their league, bless them!

As I was being hooked up, I asked how long would this take?

I remembered it was fairly brief but was told it varies from 8 minutes to 15 or so.

When I asked about the tv monitor, I realized I had all the tv watching at home I needed! I figured a time-out would be refreshing.

It seemed quick. The process stopped after a short painless time as I gently squeezed a foam device every 5 seconds or so to keep my blood flowing.

I asked about the lady who was bundled up when I first arrived. I was told she was giving either platelets or plasma and her blood was being replaced using a  saline solution, which takes an hour or an hour and a half so that is why she was given a blanket.

My experience had NO discomfort and I did NOT beat the record.

My time being hooked up was about 9 minutes I was told, as I was told to sit up for a few moments to make sure I was not light-headed.

Then I was walked back to the snacks - another packet of Oreos and water - before I drove home after being told to eat a BIG meal!

I follow directions well and learned if I had been drinking water, instead of two cups of coffee that day, My blood would have flowed faster.

Hey,  I MIGHT have set a new record of LESS than 8-minutes. Now,  I have to wait 6 weeks to see if I can be a record-breaker.

As I left and thanked the staff,  they reminded me that a pint of blood could save three lives.

It was a good day for a blood drive.

Labels: , , , , , , ,