Sunday, November 1, 2020

Suntana's Chalkboard

Welcome to my Blog!

Here at Suntana's Blog Trek you will find a dynamic duo of entertainment options.  At the forefront are my specialty and pride & joy true stories, my anecdotes if you will.  They are interesting, hilarious and very entertaining accounts of incidents, tight predicaments in which I have found myself throughout the years.

Just recently I have now incorporated the 2nd form of entertainment.  I have added some Art Galleries to my Sidebar.

Viewer Discretion  My Art Galleries feature what I would classify as Contemporary Adult Art.  If you are easily offended by Adult Art, then I'd recommend you stick to my entertaining funny anedotes.  If on the other hand you are NOT offended by innocuous intriguing Adult Art, then by all means, feel free to browse through my Art Galleries.  No need to worry and freak out.  It is not Porn.  It is just entertaining Adult Art in which to engage in some Art Appreciation.

O --- kay ... Blog Orientation is complete.  Now feel free check out whichever area of my Blog is within your tastes ... preferably both areas.  Enjoy!




Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Phantom 57 Chevy

Seeing is believing.  What you see is what you get.  It is what it is.  We are all familiar with those three sayings.  But, is reality really that simple?  Are things really that black & white?  Is everything we see right in front of our eyes at any given time always real?  Is everything we see really always what we think we are seeing, or could our eyes sometimes be fooled?

The incident in this post tests and challenges the veracity and validity of the three aforementioned sayings.  Y’all will see evidence that apparently while we think that seeing is believing … sometimes what we see is not necessarily what we get.  It is not always as simple as “it is what it is.”   Sometimes it is actually something else all together.

NOW … take a good look at the image on the right.  At the top of the image is a 57 Chevy.  At the bottom of the image is a 70 Chevelle.  I think most, if not all of y’all will agree that the two cars have nothing in common as far as body style.  The 57 Chevy has what used to be referred to as the “Shoebox” style for obvious reasons.  The Chevelle on the other hand, is a more modern lean, mean, aerodynamic machine.  They look nothing alike, right?  Well, hold on to that thought.

So on the Saturday of the week after this past Halloween, I was taking my parents to Walmart.  We were taking a different route than usual because there was going to be a Veterans’ Day Parade there on the main road and any minute now, it would be closed.  As we were driving along, we saw an Oldies Classic car coming towards us.  As it passed right by us, we noticed it had several little USA flags on it, so we figured it was going to be participating in the parade as one of my sisters and her husband have two Oldies Classic trucks and they usually participate in the parade.

With my Dad having been a Wizard Guru Master Auto Mechanic in his younger days back in the Old School era of autos, he always gets nostalgic when he sees an Oldies Classic car or truck.  He likes to call out the make, model and year of the car or truck.  Not surprisingly, that was the case this time as well.  Below is the conversation that ensued.  The conversation was actually in Spanish, but I have provided the translated version.

Dad:  Heyyy!  A 57 Chevy, just like the one we used to have.

---  I paused several seconds before it dawned on me what he said and that obviously something wasn't right.

Me:  Whoa!  Wait a minute!  What are you talking about?  That wasn't a 57 Chevy.
Dad:  Yes it was, just like the one we used to have many years ago.
Mom:  No sireee!  We never had any such car as the one that just passed by.
Dad:  Yes we did.  I saw it clearly.  It was a 57 Chevy.
Me:  No it wasn't.  In fact, that wasn't a 50’s anything.
Dad:  Well, what did you think you saw?
Me:  I saw a Red & Black Chevelle.
Mom:  Yes.  That’s about what I saw also.
Dad:  A Chevelle?  Nooo!  That was no Chevelle.  I know what a 57 Chevy looks like and that was a 57 Chevy … a Red & Black 57 Chevy.
Me:  Well I too know what a 57 Chevy looks like and that was no 57 Chevy.  I saw it front and rear and both were that of a Chevelle.
Dad:  No, you’re wrong.  That was no Chevelle.
Me:  Well, I guess we’ll just have to ask my sister whether a Red & Black 57 Chevy or a Chevelle participated in the parade.
Dad:  I guess we will.

The next day, I was at my sister’s house.  I asked her, “Hey, did you and Joe participate in the parade?”  Joe is her husband.  My sister replied, “Uhhh, I didn't, but Joe did.  Why?”  I told her about our incident regarding the Oldies Classic car sighting and the debate that followed regarding whether it was a Red & Black 57 Chevy or a Chevelle.  My sister went, “Well actually, Sandra does have a Red 57 Chevy.”  Sandra is some woman we know there in town.  Anyway, with my sister’s comment, my jaw just about dropped and I went, “Wwww WHAT?  You mean my Dad was right?  Now I’m going to have to go admit to him that he was right and my Mom and I were wrong?”  I paused very briefly as I thought back to the incident, then reasserted my stance on the matter, “Wait a minute.  No!  No way!  That can’t be.  I know what I saw and there was no 57 Chevy there.”

Just then, my brother-in-law happened to be walking out of the garage.  My sister asked him, “Hey, Joe, doesn't Sandra have a Red & Black 57 Chevy?”  Before my brother-in-law could answer, I interjected to bring him up to speed with the details of the incident regarding the Oldies Classic car mystery.  To my delight, my brother-in-law replied, “Well, Sandra does have a 57 Chevy, but it is Red & White, not Red & Black.”

With my eyes opening up wide and no doubt a huge smile on my face, I went, “All right!  Now we’re getting somewhere.”  Excited and sensing victory, yet still somewhat cautious, I asked my brother-in-law, “Okay … now tell me this.  Confirm this for me.  WAS there or was there NOT a Red & Black Chevelle in the parade?”  My brother-in-law replied, “Yyyy yes.”  I immediately celebrated, “Woo Hoo!  YES!  I was right!  I win!”

I then proceeded to go tell my Dad about my brother-in-law’s confirmation that there was indeed a Red & Black Chevelle in the parade and not a Red & Black 57 Chevy.  I thought my Dad would finally admit defeat, but I was mistaken.  My Dad still did not budge.  He stood his ground.  He still claimed he saw a Red & Black 57 Chevy pass by us the previous day.

I don’t know.  I am perplexed and at a complete loss as to an explanation for how 3 people --- my Mom, my Dad & I could look at the exact same car pass by us … and yet while my Mom & I saw a Red & Black Chevelle with little USA flags on it, my Dad somehow saw a Red & Black 57 Chevy with no little USA flags on it.  How is this possible?  As y’all saw in the image above and no doubt agreed, these two cars look nothing alike.  And what about the USA flags vs. no USA flags?  Sheesh!  This is equivalent to a Hot Babe walking sexily by and out of 3 people … 2 saw Christina Aguilera in tight, short Red Shorts with a tight USA T-Shirt … while the 3rd person saw Kelly Monaco in tight Blue Jeans with a tight, short White Top.  I mean, both possibilities of who the Hot Babe really is are excitingly pleasant.  However, we all know it can’t possibly be both at the same time.

Who knows?  Maybe this was just some weirdness residual leftover from Halloween.  Just a Phantom 57 Chevy because there for sure doesn't seem to be any logical explanation.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Clueless at the AutoZone

For quite a while lately, I've been helping my Dad with trying to fix his truck.  It has a very intermittent, tough problem that no one has been able to fix.  With the solution still eluding us, let’s just say I have become a frequent customer at the local AutoZone auto parts store.  I have been attended by various different Parts Specialists or whatever they are called.  Up to last week, I had not had a problem.  They had all appeared to be very knowledgeable.  Whatever part I asked for … BAMM!  They either got it for me or they ordered it if they didn't have it in stock.

Then came last week.  For the millionth time, or so it seems by now, I drove on up to the AutoZone store.  This time I was greeted by a new Parts Specialist, which I had never seen there before … a Girl.  Heyyy, no need to freak out.  No need to think that just because it was a Girl, she wouldn't be knowledgeable about auto parts.  After all, the local O’Reilly’s auto parts store actually now seems to have more Girls Parts Specialists than Guys Parts Specialists.  Not that they’d admit it, but no doubt their strategy is that the Girls Parts Specialists will attract the guys to O’Reilly’s instead of to the competition.

I proceeded to make my part request.  I went, “I need a quarter inch fuel line 16 inches long.”  Just the previous week I had bought 2 similar pieces of fuel line there without any problems.  The previous Parts Specialists had gotten me those 2 fuel lines with extreme expediency and precision.  So what could possibly go wrong this time with such a simple and similar request?  I mean, after all … all I was asking for was a little piece of rubber hose fuel line with a ¼-inch inside diameter and a length of 16 inches.  Simple … elementary, right?  Well … you would THINK.

Immediately getting a very confused look on her face, Parts Girl asked in Spanish, “¿Uhhh, para gasolina?”  (For gasoline?)  I replied in Spanish, “Si, para gasolina.”  (Yes, for gasoline.)  She then continued in Spanish, “¿Qué tamaño?”  (What size?)  I immediately got the impression that she really didn't know English, so I switched to speaking in all Spanish.  For the purpose of not having to be translating everything, I’ll just write everything in English from here on even though our conversation was now taking place in all Spanish.  Anyway, so I answered her question by reiterating what I had already told her previously, “It is ¼-inch.”  Still looking very confused, Parts Girl goes, “Is that like ¾-inch?”  WTF?  I was tempted to go, “NO, you blundering idiot!  Why the fugg would ¼-inch be like ¾-inch?”  Sheesh!

Working hard to keep my cool now that I knew I was dealing with a knowledge-challenged Parts Specialist, I reiterated, “No, ¼-inch is a ¼-inch.”  I even demonstrated with 2 fingers what the approximate diameter was.  She then asked, “What length?”  Again, I answered what I had already told her way in the beginning, “It is 16 inches long.”  Now thoroughly confused and looking like a scared deer caught in the headlights, Parts Girl goes, “Come over here to the back so that we can confirm that it is the correct hose and size.”  Again --- WTF?  I gave her all the information she could possibly need to get me the hose that I needed.  Even a crawling baby could have probably gotten me the hose that I needed.  But, there we went over to the back.

We got to the shelf with the hoses.  At first she was having a hard time finding the ¼-inch hose.  Finally she found a piece and went, “Oh, here it is … ¼-inch.”  She added, “Okay, we don’t sell it by inches, only by the foot.  So, about how many feet would you need for 16 inches?”  WHAT?  Oh my goodness!  Is this girl for real?  Could she really be that clueless?  Did she really not know how many feet would cover 16 inches?  So, I went, “Give me 2 feet.”  I visually estimated the piece in her hands to be around 3-feet long.  However, clueless Parts Girl having no idea just went, “Would this be enough?”  Now shocked at how unknowledgeable and unprepared she was, I went, “Pfffttt, well, you can give it to me if you want … as long as you don’t charge me for more than 2 feet.”  Parts Girl repeated, “So this would be enough?” 

I hadn't even noticed there was a Ruler taped at the edge of the shelf.  All confused, Parts Girl placed the piece of hose up to the Ruler, but really did nothing other than to look back at me as if for me to figure out how much I needed.  At this point it finally dawned on me, “Wow!  I don’t think this girl knows how many inches in a foot, much less in 2 feet.”  So I told her, “Just give me 24 inches.”  I would have thought that would have solved the numbers labyrinth of a nightmare for her.  But, Nooooooo!  She STILL seemed confused as to just exactly what to do with that information of “24 inches.”  So, while she was still holding the piece of hose up to the Ruler, I pointed with my finger and went, “Just get a knife and CUT right THERE!

Now, I ask y’all … wouldn't y’all think THAT would have made it perfectly clear how much hose to give me?  I mean, I told her exactly where to cut the hose and what to use to cut the hose.  Well, hold on to this thought because Clueless Parts Girl had not finished setting a new World Record for Cluelessness.  Oh no.  She wanted to make sure her World Record would never be broken.

Thinking I had already definitively showed her exactly how much fuel line hose to give me, I went back to the front counter of the store.  A little bit later, Parts Girl also showed back up at the front.  She gave me my fuel line hose and I paid the $2.98 with 3 dollar bills.  So, there was no way she could screw up giving me change since all she had to do was give me back 2 cents.  But, WAIT!  Just because I already had my fuel line hose, had paid for it and gotten my 2 cents change back, does not mean this story is over.  Oh no.  Parts Girl STILL had a surprise for me.

I took the fuel line hose to my Dad and told him about my adventure with Clueless Parts Girl.  We took the hose out of the bag and it immediately dawned on both of us, “Whoa!  That sure looks like more than 2 feet long.”  We measured the hose and sure enough … it was longer than the 24 inches I that I had showed Parts Girl exactly where to cut by pointing with my finger.  The hose was actually 33 inches long.  In the end, apparently Parts Girl had not been able to process, decipher and deal with what “Just get a knife and CUT right THERE” meant.  I don’t know.  Maybe it was my fault for not going 2 steps further and showing her what a knife was and how to use it.

I tossed this incident around in my mind over and over and came to a conclusion.  In Parts Girl’s defense, maybe she really isn't remotely this clueless.  Maybe upon encountering my great looks as I entered into the store and into her life, she got sooooo nervous that she instantly forgot everything about everything she ever knew.  That seems the most plausible, right?  Well, either that or maybe some Reality Show had me on hidden camera testing my patience.

Friday, July 25, 2014

L2D2: An Opera Odyssey

We have all at one time or another heard various people on social networks say that online friends are not real.  Those people appear to imply that online friends are like characters in an online game that you play on a daily basis or however many times a week the case may be.  I guess for those people the social networks experience might be just that ... an online game, a trivial diversion whereby they don’t actually develop real friendships and real interests in those peoples’ lives be it their good times or their struggles.

In my experience and from my observations during my 5 or so years on the AOL Message Boards and almost 6 years on the now defunct MyOpera Blogging Community, I can attest to that online friends CAN most definitely be real.  The online experience is what you make of it.  You get out of it what you put in.  I’ve read of many couples who met online and wound up getting married.  Other people have gotten to meet up in person and become real life friends.  That is not to say that everyone will get to meet up in person with some of their online friends and / or find their soul mate online.  But, a great time can be had with online friends who are definitely more than allegedly just characters in an online game.

That said, today on this July 25, 2014, which happens to be her birthday, I wanted to pay homage to a dear departed online friend, Linda whom I referred to as Peppermint during our years at MyOpera.  I had started my Blog on MyOpera on July 31, 2008.  As I believe I recall, I stumbled upon Peppermint’s Blog around March of 2009.  It caught my attention that she was a fellow Texan.  As big as Texas is, I would have thought I would have come across more people from Texas on MyOpera, but I never did.

So I commented on her Blog and she soon after that followed suit.  It wouldn’t be until later on when we more officially became friends that she confessed something.  She admitted that when she first checked out my Blog and saw my Suntana logo profile image, she was hesitant to comment as she wondered just what kind of presumptuous guy I must be to have such a pretentious profile image with 'Suntana' in huge letters.  She had some trepidation as to what she might get herself into if she dared chat with me.

With Peppermint and I having become friends and me dabbling in my hobby of creating Blog Designs, I created a Blog Design for her.  Here is the 1st Header that I created for her.

As you can see by the ‘Garden Party’ title for her Blog that she chose at that time and the rest of the text on there, she loved to have fun and had a personality much bigger than her short physical stature.  It’s funny that in the beginning, I was sort of her Blogging mentor.  There I was giving her tips and advice on the do’s & don’ts of Blogging.  Well, very soon thereafter, with that Texas-sized personality of hers, Peppermint made a lot of friends and her Blog became a mecca of chatting & fun to the point of even having more activity than my Blog.  And that was saying something considering that my Blog was no slouch in the chatting & fun activity area.  You could sorta say that the student had become the teacher.

Early on in our friendship, I had been having major problems with my computer monitor.  I would complain periodically about my having to wrestle multiple times daily with my monitor.  Out of the blue, Peppermint mentioned that she had several computers, monitors and assorted extra computer equipment in general.  She said that if I wished, she’d give me one of her computers and one of her monitors as they were just occupying space there at her place.  I told her that I would think about it.  Later on when my monitor got even worse, I asked Peppermint if her offer was still on the table.  She said that sure.  And just like that ... BAMM!  She mailed me a computer, a monitor, some computer speakers, a keyboard, a mouse, a tracker ball mouse, a microphone, an Ethernet cable and a fonts CD!  Wow!  Talk about a care package ... and from an online friend at that!  Now if that’s not evidence that online friends can be real, I don’t know what is.  I knew at that instant that I would never forget that gesture of friendship.

So Peppermint got interested in Blog Designing.  She asked me to teach her about CSS Code and Blog Design.  After what she did for me, there was no way I could refuse her.  So, I taught her and she learned.  Eventually she started creating her own Blog Designs.  She really enjoyed that a lot.  She was very inquisitive, very curious and very eager to learn more and more.  Her inquiries were now often not only pushing the envelope of my knowledge of CSS Code … they were obliterating the freakin’ envelope.  Interestingly enough, what initially seemed on some level like relentless pestering turned out to actually be a positive.  Her constantly asking me how to do this and how to do that regarding things I didn’t know how to do pushed me to experiment, investigate, ask around and in general learn more about CSS Code.  Thus, it can be said that ultimately, Peppermint pushed me to become a better Blog Designer.

Peppermint really enjoyed hanging out on MyOpera.  She would quickly go on to make her mark on MyOpera as evidenced by her having gotten selected Member of the Week in around only 6 months or so after having joined MyOpera.  That was FAST!  Yeah, you could say Peppermint the Little Texas Tornado took MyOpera by storm.

As you can see there in the image, she was a Sci-Fi fan.  I remember way in the beginning not being able to connect the dots as to just exactly what the heck ‘L2D2’ might be referring.  I mean, I figured the ‘L’ must stand for ‘Linda.’  But, why two ‘L’s’ and what the heck did the ‘D’ stand for and why two of them?  Well, it would turn out to be just her Sci-Fi creativity Linda take on ‘R2D2.’  Elementary.  Doh!

Unfortunately, despite all the fun and great times she was having on the MyOpera that she loved, it was for the most part no secret that she was not in the best of health.  In fact, even since when we first became friends, she informed me that she had COPD and that she didn’t see herself being around in 5 years.  I had hoped that she was seriously erring on the low side of how many years she had left to live.  However, having later on being diagnosed with cancer, that only exacerbated her health problems.  Her prediction would unfortunately turn out to be almost spot on.

I would have much preferred to have made this post on the MyOpera community so that all the friends she made there would be able to see it.  However, when MyOpera shut down on March 3, 2014, that plan went out the window.  So, in remembrance of Linda / L2D2 / Peppermint … for those friends of hers who might somehow happen upon this post here on Blogger, here is a reminder of how her MyOpera Blog page looked the last she left it before MyOpera disappeared.  I believe as I recall, her Blog’s title at the end was --- L2D2’s Opera Odyssey.  Hence the title of my post.