Here’s a scene from this year’s Trier Carnival. As I probably mentioned before, the streets were covered with paper and junk by the time it was over. The street cleaners worked all night – we saw them on our way back from dinner – and the place was spotless as usual by morning. Typical German efficiency. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Well, another week has begun. As usual, the weekend was pretty much a blur. The pool is officially up and running, and we haven’t yet had our first problem. If you don’t count the crack in the deck, of course. Anyway, Loyal Reader Number One and I have officially been In the Pool, although we were only there very briefly. That water is cold! It’s just tap water, of course, and it appears to be slowly warming up, but summer is definitely on its way out here in Lardville, so we’re not entirely sure when it will be warm enough to swim.

On the upside, the spa is working too. I’ve been in twice (or was it thrice?) and enjoyed it immensely. Loyal Reader Number Four and I agree that it’s much more pleasant than the Gardenville spa. That one was a big fiberglass monstrosity that had shaped seats and adjustable jets, and all sorts of cool stuff. The trouble was that the shaped seats had nothing in common with our shapes and the adjustable jets failed to jet anyplace comfortable. We now have a big circle with two-level seats and upper and lower jets all around. We can turn the upper jets, the bubbles, and the light on and off and that’s about it. It’s big and comfortable. Super. We’re definitely satisfied. And we can venture briefly into the pool, knowing that we can warm back up immediately in the spa. I have activity at home evening tonight and I think you can guess what it will be.

We went over to visit the Pool People on Saturday. They analyzed our water and gave us a $100 gift certificate towards pool chemicals. We got a bucket of giant chlorine tablets, a couple of gallons of acid, some shock treatment, and a chlorine floater. That came to $99.83. Seventeen cents left! I think we might get our future chemicals from someplace a little more inexpensive, like WalMart or Home Depot. The Pool People offer unlimited free water analysis, however, which I fully intend to use.

Then we went over to the Pool People’s outdoor furniture store to decide how to spend our outdoor furniture voucher. We were somewhat surprised to learn that they wanted us to spend it essentially immediately or lose it. We found a beautiful teak bench and matching side table and a difficult-to-describe big fire bucket/giant candle thing with two matching metallic tiki torches. We lit the bucket o’ fire on Saturday night and is it ever neat. I’m excited to try the torches too. Maybe tonight.

LRN4 and I also went over to the garden center at Target, where she had earlier seen a big ground cover plant sale. There were some very nice plants on sale, all right, although the sale wasn’t anything to write home about – some of them were a whopping 20 cents off. Be that as it may, we bought about fifteen plants, which are now gracing our wasteland of a backyard in their containers. We need to get the watering system at least figured out, if not actually installed before we get too much further on this thing.

On our way to Target, we saw an old pickup truck for sale along the side of the road. It was a ’91 Ford Ranger and appeared to be in reasonably good shape for its age, in spite of a fairly large dent in one of the front fenders that had been mostly pushed back out into shape. The price wasn’t great but was pretty much in the ballpark for a truck in pretty good condition. We called the guy and he came out to give us a look. It seemed fine – until we started it. The guy had a pretty tough time getting it started, and when I drove it, it hesitated very badly from time to time as if it was running out of gas. The needle was pretty much bottomed out so, just to be sure, I took it to a gas station and put in a couple of bucks’ worth of regular. No change. The overly-friendly owner then tried to convince me that “it probably needs a little tune-up.” Right. If it won’t run right for him, it won’t run right for me. It pulled pretty hard to the right too. I got suspicious when I noticed that they had scraped off the old registration stickers. Did they try to register it but fail the smog test? Something fishy was going on there and the guy was trying way too hard to talk me into it. So I didn’t buy it. Someting better will come along.

Sunday was busy. I taught Gospel Principles again this week and enjoyed doing it. Loyal Reader Number One spoke in sacrament meeting. He did a very fine job and we heard numerous compliments. After church, LRN1 and I went home teaching. We dropped in on one guy we hadn’t heard of before – he was very welcoming and pleasant, if a little crusty – and visited some people we already knew. They’re moving as soon as they can sell their house, but we’ll keep visiting them until then. I worked some on the HRVA website, but only got partway into my article about Henry Ford’s famous camping trips. I’ll try to find the time to finish it up during the week.

Today I worked. Still love it.

— Later —

It’s late at night now. We jacuzzified for activity. To our general satisfaction, we discovered that the pool has warmed up even more and is now just a little bit chilly. The boys spent a lot of time in it, and I jumped in a couple of times too. It’s getting better!

No links tonight – just too late. I’ll come back tomorrow and add a link or two.

That’s about it for today. See you on Tuesday.

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