The Big Chill

I was happy to return home last night after a quick business trip involving driving 600+ miles and staying overnight in a place where someone hung themselves. More on that tomorrow. I was eager to jump into our little pool and cool off a bit. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. Instead, I jumped onto our couch for some TV watching.

But this morning, oh, that was going to be a different story. I was up early and ready to swim. I love those cool late summer mornings when steam rises from warmer lakes, ponds, and pools.

pool steam

The air was a crisp 62F (16.7C) this morning, so I found it odd that I didn’t see that steam rising from our little pool. I wasn’t sure why … until I got in.

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My Pool, Me, & OCD

I am of the belief that we all have some mental illness of some sort. Think about it. What mental illness affects you? Depression? Mood swings? An unhealthy obsession with the lady next door that looks like a young Audrey Hepburn?

For me, it’s OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’ve never blogged about it. I am only starting to discuss it with family and friends, because it turns out they find it charming, quirky, and fascinating. Okay, so they also find it somewhat disturbing. But I can live with that as long as it makes me appear more interesting. Hmm, I may need to add narcissism to my list.

My OCD really came into focus when I messed up my pool liner order, and had to reduce my pool from 16 feet across to 15.

Pool 15 foot

I guess the picture doesn’t really help you understand my OCD. I’ll try to explain.

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Hard Water

I retired our pool liner last year. It had gotten brittle over several seasons of use (I can relate) and had started springing leaks (I can also relate) that I was patching. I figured there would be no problem purchasing a replacement liner for a 4 year old pool. Boy, was I wrong (I relate too often).

Apparently, my old pool liner was a death trap because of only 1 filter intake line. That design was deemed unsafe for some reason, discontinued, and replaced with a dual filter intake line. So, I couldn’t get the replacement liner I needed. The simple solution seemed to be to just buy a complete new pool. Nope, that was also not an option.

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, pools are in short supply. And when I found one like my old $350 pool, they were priced over $1000. A discount grocery store near us advertised a reasonably-priced pool, and people were lined-up at 6AM waiting for the store to open at 9AM to get a pool. Back to the replacement liner option for me.

By studying replacement part lists for the various styles of pools from the manufacturer, I decided that by enlarging holes using the precision of a brain surgeon (I cannot relate) and slapping a patch on another hole, I could make a current model pool liner fit the hardware from our old pool and make the filter system a death trap again. Except … pool liners are in short supply. I calculated that by adding cable ties and duct tape, I may be able to make a random liner from another model of pool fit the hardware from our old pool. That was a sketchy plan at best, especially when I accidentally ordered a 15 foot liner rather than the 16 footer that I needed.

I could sense something was wrong as I was assembling the pool. It didn’t seem quite right (I can relate). I got to almost the end, there were leftover parts, and the pool hardware wouldn’t fit. I cut down and drilled one of the metal parts, and voilà …

Pool 15 foot

Not only do I have a 15 foot pool, but it seems sturdier than the original 16 footer. As a bonus, I did not have to use duct tape and now have a couple spare metal parts.

It looked great. I was ready to enjoy it and get some exercise. Only 352 laps to a mile! But then, the weather got chilly. Oh, and I got cancer. I’ll explain … about the cancer part. You should be able to figure out the chilly weather part yourself.

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Best Hotel Ever?

I was on the road again this week, and may have discovered the best hotel ever. Okay, so maybe some Trump Hotel properties are nicer, am I right?

vomit baby

Agreed.

I walked into my hotel behind a business dude all dressed up in a fancy suit. I saw him look at me with a bit of disdain. In fairness to him, the jeans I had on were super-faded, threadbare, and frayed. I am sure the biz guy was wondering who the homeless guy behind him stole the nice luggage from that I was rolling behind me.

The biz exec checked in as a Gold member. I saw the welcome sign in the lobby with his name on it under the Gold Member column … right next to my name as a freakin’ Platinum member. The hotel counter worker greeted the biz dude with “Thank you for being a Gold member.” I wanted to somehow, someway keep the businessman in the lobby as I bellied up to the counter to check in just so he would hear the counter guy greet me with, “Thank you for being a Platinum member.” Yes, I can be that petty. However, I let him exit the lobby and I had to be satisified with my Platinum member bonus points.

I was a little bummed until I saw this on my hotel room door …

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Microtel All

I had never stayed at a Microtel hotel before. I had always been leery of the ‘micro’ part. Was it a very small hotel, or was it a hotel that catered to very small people? I wasn’t sure, but I booked a night at a Microtel in Springfield, IL due to the very small nightly cost.

I was ready for anything, even this.

hotel pod

It looked nicely normal as I walked into the lobby to check in. The indoor pool is always of interest to me, and it was right off the lobby, so I took a peek at the pool. Uh-oh. This sign poolside explained a lot.

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Summer Planning in Winter

The weather is cold. There are patches of snow and ice on the ground. More snow is on the way. The coldest part of winter is still to come in January. However, I am so happy to see our neighborhood already planning for next summer. Looks like our neighbors across the street are putting in a pool and changing cabana.

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Is Cheese a Breakfast?

Every month I visit the same company in St. Louis, and have never stayed in the hotel  just down the street from the company, until this trip. I think the reason I have avoided this hotel is because it has no pool and I wasn’t aware that this hotel chain was part of my travel rewards program. It still has no pool, but it turns out that it has been part of my travel rewards program only for the last 13 years. Huh. Oh, and no free breakfast is offered. Free breakfasts are an important part of my hotel stays since I tend to take enough food to stretch it well past breakfast in order to cover snacks throughout the day and even lunch.

At check-in, I was pleased to have been offered bonus travel program points, and then settled into my room. Imagine my delight upon seeing this …

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The Future of my Dad Bod

My dad bod was on full display at the hotel pool while on vacation last week. Fortunately, every time I hit the hotel pool, there was nobody else there. Maybe the reason the pool was empty was because I hit the hotel pool with my dad bod. Regardless, nobody got to see my dad bod except for my wife, my daughter and my niece, although I swear I caught them averting their eyes.

averting eyes

The dad bod discussion was back on the radio recently as the radio personalities reminded me that 2/3 of women are supposed to prefer the dad bod to a rock hard man bod. This survey was offered as proof …

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36 (it’s a play on the title of the TV show called 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland which I never watched but hear was a very good show, although don’t expect that kind of writing quality in this blog post, the title of which numerically implies it should be 50% better than the TV show, but it is definitely not)

Here was what was going to be the plan as I understood it for the past 36 hours. My youngest daughter was having some school friends over to the house for a birthday sleepover as she celebrates turning ten years old. The plan was for my wife and the girls to watch a movie in a tent outside and then fall sleep there. I envisioned myself sitting inside, sipping an ice cold adult beverage, watching whatever movie I wanted to watch (a rare treat) and maybe creating a special Father’s Day Mite Be Funny cartoon that would keep me amused and chortling to myself all evening as I fall asleep with a wry smile on my face.

These last 36 hours have not gone according to plan.

Friday 6AM – I started working from home early Friday morning at 6AM which means I checked Facebook, the news feeds, weather, etc. for a couple hours. I was able to book not one, but two orders from a customer in Mauritius. Ten points will be awarded if you can point where that tiny island nation is located on this map.

world-map-clickable

Give up? OK, here’s the answer …

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I Survived The Pool of Infectious Diseases

My wife made plans for us and our youngest daughter to enjoy a quick Spring Break getaway at a resort in my hometown. Although being over 50 years old and huge, the resort is still kept in pretty nice condition. I wish I could say the same about myself. There are many attractions the resort offers including a golf course, spa, comedy club, etc. But what the kids love are the 2 pools, especially the huge indoor/outdoor pool that is warm and inviting year round.

Here’s a look inside …

Pheasant-Run-Resort-St-Charles-Indoor-outdoor-pool

And outside …

pheasant-run-resort-activities-st-charles-outdoor

This pool draws a lot of kids as they run like maniacs all over the outdoor deck even in sub-zero blizzard conditions and then cannonball into the pool. Save me a spot at the other 100% indoor pool, please. Oh wait, a pipe broke and it is out of service during our visit? Uh-oh. What that means is the indoor/outdoor pool will look something like this …

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