Monthly Archives: March 2011

Plumber’s Half-Moon


Everybody always loves to hear a good Mr. Fix-It plumbing story, or perhaps has one to tell of their own. I have one to tell. As the title of my blog post indicates, this is a story of a plumber’s half-moon, although not exactly the same kind of a half-moon that is stereotypically associated with a plumber.

Lying in bed last night, almost asleep, I overheard my daughters talking in the kitchen. I thought one of them said something about the kitchen sink not draining. I get up, get dressed, and go to investigate. Yup, sink’s backed up, better get the plunger.

I plunge and I plunge and I plunge some more. It’s still plugged. I decide it’s time to pour in the hazardous chemicals, but I look in the garage and can’t find any. My wife gets out of bed and brings me a flashlight. I get that CSI crime scene investigation thing going with the flashlight, but I still don’t find any chemicals. I decide I must be out. Time for a Wally World run.

I stock up on plumbing supplies at Wally World because it is already past midnight and I don’t feel like making another trip later tonight. I’m getting stressed. Plus, you never know when you’ll need a fresh supply of dangerous plumbing chemicals on hand; tonight being a prime example of just that. I buy 5 jugs of various chemicals and a 25 foot plumber’s snake. I am ready for battle.

I pick my poison. The destructions [sic] say this stuff works on standing water, pour in ¼ of contents, wait at least 15 minutes, flush with hot water, repeat as necessary. I pour in the entire bottle and wait 20 minutes just to make sure, and then proceed to “flush” the sink full of hot water. Looks like I need to repeat, but the sink is now full of scalding hot water laced with commercial grade flesh-eating acid, with no signs of draining anytime soon. Not good. More stress.

I break open the big guns, the snake, but my kitchen sink has tiny little holes where the drainer sits, too small for the snake to fit through. I’m seriously stressed out now. Really not good, but I will NOT be defeated.

I drag out the ladder from behind the shed, the neighborhood dogs are barking like crazy. I try to be as quiet as I can be, climbing around on my roof at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Carefully I run the snake down the kitchen vent pipe about 18 to 20 feet, and then it stops. I start turning the handle on the back of the snake-holder to rotate the steel snake, faster and faster and faster and finally I break through and I am able to put all 25 feet of the snake down the vent pipe. That had to do it. Something was stuck there. I reel the snake back up and just sit there, thinking.

There is a gentle, cool breeze blowing. It feels nice and is drying off the perspiration I’d worked up spinning the snake. It’s quiet now too, 1:30 a.m. The dogs have stopped barking. Surely my sink is unclogged now, it must be, it has to be. I notice there’s a big Oklahoma half-moon breaking through the branches that are just a few feet above my head, and I realize that what I’ve just accomplished totally embodies the true meaning of moonlighting as a plumber. An indescribable feeling of peace and tranquility falls over my entire tired body. I am one with the night, one with the unclogged drain. I am so relaxed now, my thoughts are clear and complete, and it is then that I realize…

I’m just one pair of low-rise Levi’s and a monkey wrench short of being a full-fledged plumber.

Golly! Shazam!


13 down, and more to go…

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Oklahoma District 1 DA Mike Boring’s Task Force (DATF) arrested 13 suspects in the culmination of a 4-month long undercover drug investigation. The dirty baker’s-dozen were allegedly engaged in the sale and distribution of controlled dangerous substances, AKA selling and distributing marijuana, cocaine and prescription medications.

“Operation Surprise” began in the fall of last year with an undercover agent buying drugs. On Monday, arrest warrants were issued for 12 Texas County suspects. While making these 12 arrests, cops busted a lucky 13th suspect when he was found to have drugs in his possession.


Guymon’s Chief of Police Eddie Adamson is quoted in the local media as saying, “We are glad to get these drug dealers off the streets here in Guymon and intend for this operation to be only the first in many joint operations to attack the local trafficking of drugs to our population, especially the students in our city. Removing these drug dealers from the streets will make a dent in drug distribution in our area.” Authorities have also indicated that the investigation will be ongoing.

Congratulations to the 31 law enforcement officers from the AFT, the Cimarron, Harper, Texas and Beaver County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Guymon, Goodwell, Texhoma, Boise City and Keys Police Departments for a job well done!

I would have to believe that as these unlucky 13 begin spilling their guts, more arrests can be expected.

Let’s Talk About It


“Let’s talk about it,” I said to myself as I sat down at a recent Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma! book & discussion program.

Since taking up reading this year, I have found that the hardest part of reading for me is deciding which book to read next, so I am always thinking about and looking for a next good book to read. So when I read a press release online at KGYN Radio News about the Journey Stories, Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma! I was ready to start ready and talking about it.

Four Oklahoma Panhandle State University staff, faculty and former faculty will be guest scholars for the Spring 2011 Journey Stories book discussion programs. Journeys and stories about them have gone together since people first got the idea of telling stories. Books to be read and discussed include the grandfather of western literary tradition journey stories, The Odyssey by Homer. Americans in particular have been lured by the siren song of the open road and journeys in search of adventure. On the Road, Travels with Charley, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance all describe journeys of that kind. With The Life of Pi, we return again to the realm of myth and fantasy.

Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma! Reading and Discussion Programs in Oklahoma Communities is a project of the Oklahoma Humanities Council and sponsored locally by Guymon Public Library. The program is free.

I was unable to attend the first scheduled discussion group on The Odyssey by Homer because I was out of town traveling on business, but I read On the Road by Jack Kerouac and anxiously looked forward to MY first discussion group.

When I arrived at the meeting room, there were only two others in attendance. In fact, besides me, only the presenter and the public library program coordinator were there. After waiting a few minutes, the presenter proceeded with the discussion.

The presenter had prepared a lot of material that I found interesting and instructive in understanding the literary significance of what I had read. We talked about the book in general, its impact on literature, and we discussed the author and his objective. Remember this is a free program and yet much time and effort went into the presentation and preparation to lead a group discussion, and nobody else showed up.

I finished reading John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley yesterday and started in on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

I sure hope to see more folks attend the next book discussion.


Here is a link to the KGYN Radio News story with book titles, dates, time and location of the meetings: Journey Stories — Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma! spring 2011 book discussions slated


Suite Rates


It doesn’t get much better than this…

Special Rooms at an extra Special Rate; free.

Saw this today and it hit my funny bone.

I thought about stopping into the Days Inn & Suites Sweets in Guymon, Oklahoma, to see if they had any of these 1 person rooms left at the low, low special price of $.00 +tax.

“Forget about that AARP discount. No thanks! I’ll skip the AAA discount too. Free high-speed internet? Free indoor pool, spa, continental breakfast? Don’t care! Just give me that SPECIAL ALL ROOMS 1 PERSON rate. Thanks for asking anyway.”