Thursday, May 25, 2017

Our tree has bugs on it.

Yo, everybody. It’s 2:25 a.m., and I just woke up from a juicy extended nap and entertainment break in the family room that included an episode of “People’s Court,” Broadway Melody of 1940 starring Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell, and the first 45 minutes of The Eddy Duchin Story (1956) starring Tyrone Power and Kim Novak, because at that point I had to get up and pish already.

Incidentally, if you’ve never seen Broadway Melody of 1940 you’re missing the number one most breathtaking dance routine ever put on film … it’s Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing to Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine.” FUCKING INCREDIBLE.

It’s always something, isn’t it? Just when you think life as a retiree might be pleasantly routine, a bunch of weird shit pops up to throw a wrench into your plans. For your possible interest I’ll herd these various incidents into easy-to-read subtitled paragraphs.

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN AN ALIEN INVASION. On Tuesday after four consecutive power failures in our study — in less than an hour — that sent Sam galloping into the garage four times to re-set the circuit breaker, we decided we might have to hire an electrician to figure out what the hell is going on. But not right now because there weren’t any more power failures after that fourth one on Tuesday.

Yes, our study uses a lot of power. We run a pair of new iMacs, an AT&T cable modem, three lamps, a mini microwave oven, a mini refrigerator, an Epson printer, an iPhone charging station and a paper shredder. The point is, we’ve been running the same equipment in here for YEARS without a problem, so our sudden “power shortage” is a mystery!

Do you think aliens are sucking power out of our house?!

Another issue … every time I tried to reboot my iMac on Tuesday the power in the study would conk out before my software finished loading, so when I finally had a chance to get everything up and running I discovered that Adobe InDesign was conpletely fucked-up. It took almost two hours to reset my preferences, change all the defaults and reopen and arrange all the control panels. I NEVER WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

A TREE INFESTATION. Apparently the beautiful Texas ash in our front yard is infested with aphids, mealy worms and ladybugs (they eat the aphids). After a brief episode of hysterics Sam whacked off a small branch, sealed it in a large ziploc bag, and took it to a local nursery for a diagnosis. They wanted to sell him a bunch of chemicals to treat the tree but Sam decided to hire a professional arborist instead because he doesn’t have the equipment (or desire) to spray a 30-foot tree. Total charge: $150. I hope you’ll stay tuned for addtional developments.

CHIMNEY ROT. I don’t really know what this is so I can’t give the paragraph a better subtitle. For what it’s worth, Sam says a corner of the wood trim around our chimney is starting to look shitty so he’s researching various professionals to do the repair work. Again, please stay tuned for addtional developments.

MACY’S IS DELIVERING MY NEW CHAISE ON SATURDAY. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … THIS IS THE MOST COMFORTABLE CHAIR ON EARTH. When I lie down at night to sleep I’ll wake up seven hours later in exactly the same position because it’s the perfect contour for my stiff knees, lousy hips, an aching tailbone and feet that burn from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. I ordered a new chaise a couple of days ago because the old one is getting a little saggy.
I SCHEDULED A SALVATION ARMY PICKUP on Saturday, June 3, for our old chaise lounge chair. This means we’ll have TWO of them lying around here for a whole week, but it’s really no big deal whatsoever due to our having a huge foyer that’s big enough for extra temporary furniture. 

Sir Roger Moore, 89, the English hunk who was James Bond in seven films and appeared as Simon Templar on “The Saint” TV series, has died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer.

You may find it interesting that Moore appeared in more James Bond movies than his friend Sean Connery, and over a longer period of time. And although Connery’s fans were rabidly loyal, polls showed that most moviegoers favored Roger Moore’s lighter, more sarcastic portrayal of 007.

Moore began his career as a model and appeared in a variety of TV shows during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1973 he made his first James Bond movie — “Live and Let Die” — which ramped-up interest in the sagging 007 franchise. In 1977 “The Spy Who Loved Me” launched the series into the super-blockbuster category by raking in $185.4 million worldwide, followed by “Moonraker” (1979) at $202 million and “For Your Eyes Only” (1981) at $194 million.

Roger Moore is survived by his fourth wife and a bunch of children.

The Howdygram also wants to say adios to actress Dina Merrill, 93, who died on Tuesday. She was a rebellious heiress — the daughter of Marjorie Merriweather Post (breakfast cereals) and financier E. F. Hutton — who defied her super-rich parents to become a movie star, often portraying stylish wives or “the other woman.” Merrill was raised in her family home, which (ironically) was the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that’s owned now by Donald Trump.

Starting in the 1950s, Merrill appeared in more than 100 films and television programs, her break coming after Katharine Hepburn recommended her for the 1957 Tracy/Hepburn comedy Desk Set, which is a favorite here at Howdygram headquarters. She also starred with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis in Operation Petticoat (1959), with Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr in The Sundowners (1960) and with Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 (1960).

Merrill is survived by her husband, four rich children and a shitload of very beautiful old money.

Thank you for reading this and please do your best to remember the Alamo. (Once in a while I have a hard time with that.)

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