April 02, 2019

Stella Passes Critical Test

At first there was some hesitation on my part when I felt the plan I had, was going to happen as soon as we returned from Stella's morning walk. The last time I went to Bloomington and was gone between 2-3 hours I returned home to see Stella eating my group of bananas on the floor, what was left of the mangoes and apples she ate, plus a few things pulled off the counters as she surfed for anything to eat.
I was going back to Bloomington to hand delivery my state tax return at one of their district offices. The reason behind that was in yesterday morning's post. I was also planning to have some Mother Bear's Pizza before I returned home. It is on that side of town so I could make a quick in and out of 'city' traffic for my return home.

Stella would decide how soon I would leave because she would set the schedule for the day. At 9am she was spread out in the middle of my bed, under the early morning sunshine coming through the east window, in a deep sleep. She was late compared to Sadie's old schedule. I kept reading the internet while she slept.
I knew as I slipped my jacket on, for another cool morning walk that was close to 30°, that I was not going to back out no matter what. As soon as the walk was over, I'd grab my tax paperwork, my phone, the keys and head out. After our walk Stella knew I was going somewhere because she walked into the bedroom, and waited for me to close the door. Heidi was still asleep as usual.

It was going to be a critical test for Stella. Would she pass the 2-3 hours that I would be away without trying to tear down the house to get outside to find out where I was? For those that don't know her history, she came here in August 2015 with a reputation of  havng severe separation anxiety. It did not take me long to confirm it was the worst I had ever seen. I was her 4th owner in her short 6 years of life.
I was in a little different mood this morning. I was not going to be in a hurry to get there and for the first time since last summer, I took the two lane highway with the 50mph speed limit to Bloomington instead of my wide open high-speed interstate I-69. I knew there would be times I'd be stuck behind cars, with the lead car or truck going 40-45 mph for whatever reason. I'm not a patient person, so I guess it was also a test for me too.
I saw the new business building where the Dept of Revenue was located just about the time I was about to pass it. There were no signs out by the street and it sits back off the road. I made a sharp turn into their last entry to the parking lot. No lines inside and I was taken care of immediately.

She did confirm that Indiana was no longer accepting electronic tax payments through online tax services where I file my taxes. Those payments could only be made on the state's website, just like I did yesterday. She did not understand why I could not go ahead and file my taxes electronically after getting the on-screen notice about the payment.
With it beingthe start of lunch breaks for those working, I thought it might be the wrong time to have pizza. I am not a fan of crowds but it wasn't the first time my urge for pizza outweighed any lines of people. I was happy to see as entered that no one had arrived. I walked straight back to the bar section where there are a couple of large televisions that would have sports on both of them.

I love this pizza place and that was one of the reasons I was somewhat shocked and somewhat pissed off. To the right of me on the U-shaped bar are three girls on iPhones along with some paperwork but they looked like they worked there. (They did)

Near the taps and register was the waitress for this section texting away on her iPhone. NONE of the FOUR waitress even raised their heads as I sat down. NONE !!!! Remember ... I am in my patience mood today, where slow traffic, idiotic drivers and now terrible waitresses are NOT going to ruin my day, my pizza or piss me off. THIS evidently was my test of the day ... not the drive.
Finally after about 10 minutes of watching a Pacers game that was played last night, I jokingly asked one of the three girls IF this place was open yet?? {loaded question :)} After all it was only 11:25am and it might be too early for pizza. (Playing dumb) When I asked that question it was the first time that any of the four waitress RAISED THEIR HEADS FROM THEIR PHONES !!!!

Even the bartender did not make a move and continued to text to whomever
I remained calm. I had a great salad and medium pizza. It was nice to see three hours later I had no signs of indigestion. I'll go to their website to get their nutritional listing of ingredients so I can add those to my Cronometer to log in as my meal for today. No, I didn't eat the whole pizza, just half.
I joke, but it's always nice to see that Stella is not standing outside after a return from a trip longer than normal. Stella's test last 2 hours and 20 minutes today. The kitchen door was still closed so that was a good sign. :)  I glanced in the door window as I unlocked the door to see the bedroom door as I left it. It had the "three level security system" ... door tied shut by tight cord, backed up by a baby gate that was backed up by a chair propped up to keep the baby gate from moving IF she got the door open.
She had passed her critical test with flying colors. Do you know what the final step of confirmation is? As I open the door I reach around it and feel the door knob on the inside for any wet or semi-wet bloodhound drool. That tells me if she made any attempts of trying to pull the door open. She has done it before so I know it's possible.
What would have happened if she had failed the critical test ???

She would have still be the same lovable, goofy, great personality bloodhound that no one else wanted to put up with. IF she had broke out she would have made me laugh again while I commended her ...  "damn your good" ... just like last time.
I had crossed over their time for lunch which I thought back in December might have been her trigger point for escaping. Heidi was thrilled as usual when I returned with nonstop barking, which makes Stella nonstop howling ... in other words, it's time for lunch.

It wasn't until a little after 1pm when Stella stood by my desk chair as I was downloading the photos from the morning walk. She had her ears perked up and was whining, a rare thing for her to do. Once Heidi heard that, she jumped from her living room couch and headed to the door. They wanted outside and Stella wanted her walk a few hours early.
With Heidi hanging back to roam the yard and take a day off from the walk, Stella and I took off. She wasn't waiting on me, she was out in front and getting her second walk of the day early in the afternoon. Could it be a three walk day? The weather is good enough for it.
Due to my excitement after our morning walk, thinking it was spring. I changed out of my thermal underwear and shirt, the fleece lined jeans, and the wool socks. I found out pretty quick that it might be April but there is still a chill in the air with just a tshirt under a sweatshirt and regular jeans on. I was tempted, but held off from wearing the cargo shorts.
It was an interesting drive over to Bloomington. It's a beautiful drive through the rolling hills of southern  Indiana, a great road for a sports car. You would also see a wide range of houses and income brackets. From immaculate farms, large new houses to smaller old houses almost falling apart as well as house trailers in such bad shape that you are shocked at seeing a parked car in front.

It has always been that way for as long as I can remember. Around Monroe County you can see wealth and poverty at the same time.

Today there was something else much different. Yes, I did notice a lot of changes since last June or July since I had not driven that way in months. Today, maybe 15 miles apart were two different beat up house trailers with flag poles in the front yard. They were not new as I had seen them before a long time ago. The flags on those poles had changed though.

Both flag poles around 15 miles apart were flying the Mexican flag.
It reminded me of the article I was reading yesterday about the baseball fan at Dodger Stadium in LA, that was beat up in the parking lot after the game and was in critical condition. It's the second time it has happened in the past few years. It wasn't the article that was interesting as much as reading the comments after the article.

Some comments were from Dodger fans still attending games and those that had stopped going because "Dodger stadium is like a third world country now as well as the surrouding area" and they didn't feel safe taking their family to the game anymore. It was similar to the comments I read in an email from an old old friend of mine that grew up in Carlsbad Calif and still lives in Carlsbad Calif.

It was sad to hear what North San Diego County was turning into. Just like the county next to mine here in 'the tropics', you can see wealth and poverty all in the same area. Only out there crime is on the rise as well, but more of those crimes are now classified "violent" crimes. It use to be nothing more than a quiet small beach town in southern California.
Here we have a huge meth problem. I see some of those people in the 'jail beat' section of my local paper or in the "court news" section. It is normal to see out of the top ten crimes listed by the name and age of the person, seven of them are usually meth related. It's been that way around here for at least the last 15 years that I can remember, maybe longer.
Not all of those rushing the southern border are going to get jobs. Nor have the hundred thousands before them gotten jobs. So how do they live? Do the ones that don't find work live on food stamps and welfare, housing support paid for by me and you?

If I am wrong about this let me know. I'm just curious how they live. Not every one can or will work in a field, a meat processing plant or making yogurt in Idaho. So how are they supported financially? I don't see a lot of cheap rent listings in the San Diego paper so how can they afford living in Los Angeles? What a mess.
I am on pace to see an all-time record in for the fewest miles driven in a calendar year unless I hit the road this summer. You would not believe me if I told you what my average mileage is for a month, after the first three months of the year.

It just proves how close I am to living in the New Green Deal without a car or nearby public transportation. I am only one Amazon drone away, that will deliver my groceries, for not needing a car. .... Sorry dingbat AOC, NOT going to happen.  :)
Before I could finish this blog post, Heidi and Stella came back to my desk to let me know they wanted back outside. I stopped what I was writing ... pulled out my camping chair and spent the afternoon outside while they enjoyed the sunshine.
Oh ... the blog header image went away because it didn't look right when you see the blog on a phone or tablet. The header image and the blog post feature image were running together. I kind of like the 'no header image' on my large computer screen better than having one.

It was a great day in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana today.

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