Happy New Year Phone Calls

Without a doubt, this was the coldest day thus far this winter, and it looks like another day of it is in store for us tomorrow. It’s no wonder our City had the appearance of a ghost town while driving out and checking on two vacant properties this morning. All was well with them, which gives me great relief whenever stepping my first foot in their front doors and feeling their warmth within.

I had to go out and check on a property this morning which was fully vacated after yesterday’s last hour, and from the moment I walked in, my furies were resurrected once again, and mostly due to the amount of blatant disregard that tenant had for another’s property. Fortunately I had my camera with me, just so I could take enough photos of the damages done, along with the dirt, grease and grime. Fortunately I have in my possession, the photos of what it looked like before they moved in, so after the likely weeks it’s going to take to get it back in shape, there’ll be an accounting of the many hours of labor and a stack of bills that’ll get sent to that exited tenant, and if it’s not paid, there will be small claims action taken.

While on the phone this morning with a relative who lives out of State, I asked if he’d ever seen the 2006 movie, “Idiocracy” which was strongly recommended by an old friend of mine years ago. Truth be told, I’ve watched it twice, and only because I’m finding our world slowly becoming more like that movie. After sharing what I found at that residence today, I strongly recommended that movie to be found and watched. It’s a comedy which has some very strong points which is likely why it’s still being viewed. Truth be told, every time I see someone doing or saying something really stupid, I think of that movie, so if you have a few hours free, find it online and have a look.

I couldn’t help noticing a letter to the editor in our local rag which spoke about Terry Branstad mentioning in a recent speech, something about encouraging Iowans to invest in China. Boy did that guy give him a well-deserved bashing, and especially now when China is flexing its economic and military muscle around the world, and to have our ex-Governor encouraging us to invest in their country. I think it best we stay closer to home and think about investing in our own State and Country’s future. I’m still in disbelief he said that. It makes a person wonder if he’s on some sort of public relations retainer.

After getting my two out of State “Happy New Year” phone calls made, I barricaded myself in office and began my first of the year house cleaning. As the hours passed and the number of garbage bags grew, I began seeing some marked improvements. It’s amazing how much clutter a person can unknowingly accumulate until there’s so much, it’s finally noticed. Apart from wanting my office back to normal, I’m needing a freed-up work area for my yearly accounting which is always a daunting task.

As with every year, it’s going to take a few weeks before I get used to writing “2022” on documents, and especially whenever writing out checks. I also got all the old calendars removed and new ones hung. Much of today’s mindset was, “Out with the old and in with the new.” I also managed to find time to get my office journal pages changed out for this new year, along with updating my personal phone directory which I create at the beginning of each new year. It’s amazing how often names get added and deleted, along with their phone numbers. I’m very thankful for having started that a number of years ago because it often come in very handy.

As much as I wanted to get a new cell phone purchased, along with getting rid of my AT & T Wireless account before the end of the year, it’ll be another chore to be done in the coming days. No matter how much these National carriers insist on having Nationwide coverage, what they’re insisting, isn’t a fact, but this time around, I’ve done my research, and the only two that have the best over-all coverage for our area, is US Cellular and Verizon, so it’ll end up being one or the other of them.

While working in my conference room, as well as the back kitchenette area, I had to laugh at myself when finding little bits of black walnut shells in places I never would’ve expected, but then remembering how those nuts would sometimes explode when being hit. I’m sure I’ll be finding all the more of them before I’m finished. My how sharp those pieces of shells end up being after they’re cracked. I sure wouldn’t want to step on any of them when bare-footed because they’re certainly sharp enough to draw blood.

While visiting on the phone with one of my calls out of State, I was asked if we still had very many walnut trees in our area. Without having to think, my answer was, “Oh yeah. We’ve got all the many of them growing in North Iowa.” I did mention my having found three distinct cultivars while cracking those 1,200+ nuts.

Oh by the way, I did get that divinity made last evening, and since I couldn’t find my family’s recipe, I had to go online and find one that was supposed to be the best. Well, I followed that recipe’s every direction, and when finished, I found it very tasty, but a bit too stiff when I went to spoon it out on wax paper, so I’ll be looking for another recipe to try. After my first bite of the end result, I was sent sailing back to my mother’s and grandmother’s “old days”. Just remember, taste and smell which works together, is part of our brain which has the most acute memory. Just for an example, you’ll always remember what a skunk’s spray smells like, just as a dead mouse, a rotten potato, brewing coffee, a rotten egg, onions, garlic, fresh-baked bread, cigarette smoke, and the list goes on and on.

Tonight’s One-liner is: I’m most fond of pigs, and only because dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs treat us as their equals.

Joe Chodur

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