Saturday, October 12, 2013

Adventures in Volunteering (and other stuff)

Its 8:28 pm

Its dark outside,the house is quiet...Paladin is downstairs catching his breath from chasing his new laser pointer all over the house. He seems pretty happy the past two days after a rough night involving the window.  This morning was pretty cool as he hung out with me for over an hour curled up under a blanket purring away and making biscuits.
   Been a good week so far...I completed the first of 3 volunteer projects yesterday at my job.
What was originally was a team of six employees ended only being three and almost not even that as our store manager had to stay while 2 others simply never showed up. But it left us three heads and soon we were driving into Detroit. The ride was pretty quick as we chatted about business and various other items. When we left Canton,the sky was perfectly blue with a little chill to it but as we got closer to Detroit,we hit a fog bank that popped suddenly popped up...which led our driver to make a left turn on a one way street!

Lucky we had enough time to veer clear of becoming a headline new story and got safely back on the road.
10 minutes later we saw the project site,it was VFW Post 2233 and the crews from various stores were already working or just like us,just getting there and ready to work.

   We checked in,got a badge that showed we had worked on the project and headed for the landscape crew...well,almost for me. I got pulled aside and was asked to paint inside. Not a problem and I went inside to find a crew of 20 hard working fellow employees painting,scraping,cleaning,gathering fresh supplies and picking up trash.
  I got a roller and a wall and started painting. The mood was light,slightly chaotic but determined. The commanding staff of the Hall walked around smiling and thanking folks. The VFW,which means,Veterans of Foreign Wars,supports the men and women who served out of country during their service. Not everyone has fought an hostile action but many have stood post during the Cold War days with the Warsaw Pact,or in Japan and South Korea. They have served our country proudly and it was a honor to be able to give back in a small way.
  I spent a hour with the paint crew and painted a wall and a half with two other folks. It was pretty much like the Wayne project,paint what we can with the rollers and then have another person paint the hard to reach areas. It worked out great that way.
   Next,I helped clean up the coat room as it was being stripped and new wall base was being put in. The old was just beyond filthy with age and was had dead bugs all behind it. I stripped and trashed the old pieces while another man worked on removing the old baseboard. The room was small and we made quick work of it and then a paint crew started prepping it while I want back and painted a small hallway near an emergency exit door.
   My two co-workers came and got me so we could say hello to our district manager who was working on a landscape team. They were working to remove trees that were so old that they had grown into the chain link fence. They had removed two and were working on a third with the fourth one still one deck.
  We think we were the only crew from our district to show up and our DM thanked us for supporting the effort.
   Soon enough lunch came up and while we were being fed,the host store introduced us to the Post Commander who in turn introduced his staff and other leaders who had shown up to watch how the project would turn out. They thanked us and said how much our veterans hold our company up with respect because the service we do for them.
  Lunch was over and back at we went. My small team laid out a new Allure floor for women's bathroom,despite the fact we never had done one before!

We were making good progress when once again,the paint leader approached me for some support is laying new wall base down. Naturally I said yes and went with her...only to find that no one wanted to do such a tedious job and that entire activity room along with 3 other rooms needed it done. I had never laid wall base down myself but with the help of two other guys,we attacked it with gusto.
  40 minutes later and 20% percent done,one of my guys said we had to leave because he had to work a overnight at our home store. I said goodbye to my wall crew and grabbed my sweater and we left..the buzz was still strong and I saw some fresh people start showing up.
   The ride home went quickly and soon we were back at our store where I picked up the Rodger Young and headed to Target to get some cat treats and a couple of cans of catfood.
  As I was slowly walking around Target,I thought of the countless times Lori and I went to there together. We both loved the store and it was a trip always worth going on. Just walking around brings back those fond memories and how I wish she was here with me. Its so jarring to go inside alone. Most times when a person shops alone,you never really think about it,you just do it. But for me,its a source of pain and a reminder of the loss. But you have to push through it because Paladin needs to eat and so do you.
   After I made a lap around the pet section,I walked over to the DVD section where I saw a movie that I heard great things about from my fellow Jet Jaguar/Jaeger co-pilot,Chris Alexander,who also edits the only horror magazine worth talking about,Fangoria. (how is that for name dropping??)
  The movie is called "Frankenstein's Army" and its set in World War 2 when a lost Russian patrol stumbles across things almost as bad as the Nazis they are fighting. Fangoria said the movie was one of the best horror movies of the year and it was on sale,so I said "what the hell,splurge a little bit" and picked it up.

  I know,they do sort of look like the Koch Brothers,don't they? So that will join my small pile of DVDs that I have gathered to watch. I am now waiting for "Pacific Rim" to come out on BluRay next week.

I'm off tomorrow and I will be working in the backyard weeding and pruning. This is so far overdue and I am saying that despite the fact I was out there a month ago and completely weeded my yard. I am throwing away our old BBQ grill which is starting to rust out now. The weather has been  beyond nice and very unusually warm this year. But I have no real desire to grill at this point in life,maybe next year but for now...its now going into the trash. I know my neighbors are still grilling because I can smell it when I get home. It feel so much more like summer then Fall.

That is all I have for now....not very exciting I know but I am very happy you are still coming by and supporting my efforts here. I am glad I am back writing more now. It does a lot to release the stress.

And lastly....a quick note that the amazing Jane Monheit has a NEW album out now called "the heart of the matter". Jane is the best jazz vocalist in the world today in my opinion and you have if know if I am saying this,it has to be true,right? *LOL*

To find out more about Jane and where she is playing,please visit for more info.

"Love and only love,will endure" - Neil Young

Shout outs

Amy and Michael,what a week! A birthday,anniversary and a trip to Haiti! Be safe and God bless you both!
Kerri and Andrew- Congrats on your award for the film that you worked so hard on.
Scorpion - You look ghastly in that Choke Sox cap! Here is hoping the new man cave becomes a real life bat cave!
Sydney in Ohio - Sending you warm thoughts and yes,I have noticed you have been here often and I thank you!
Jimmy- After thinking about it,my Black Crowes comment was too flip and I apologize.
Jane - Why no Michigan dates?
Darryl and Justin- Had a blast,lets do it again soon
Kayla and Jeni- Miracles DO happen!
Craig - you know I just now figured Boo was a girl!
Shea- Thanks for the band tip....see above for mine!
Kwame Kilpatrick - 28 years and I hope you do every single day! You let so many down here in Detroit.

If you are Twitter,add me @Jinzo_2400

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