We live in a world of numbers.

One. One is the loneliest number. I learned this back in the 60’s from some educators called 3 Dog Night. Need proof? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MHR8jqVdR8

(In case you haven’t spent much time in this blog, I live in the past and like 60’s music)

Speaking of One, there is only One of me. Law enforcement agencies and doughnut shops throughout the world are grateful for this fact. If there was more than one


Two. It takes two to tango. Pictured above are two of my book readers who called me from California last year to tell me how much they enjoyed the book. I have never met the nice people. They’re in their eighties. They even sent a picture of themselves and the book.

A 15 year-old kid from Pasco looked up at me the other day while I was balanced on top of a grain bin and brought up my book. He said he was in chapter 15 or 16 and really liking it.  I got so excited I almost fell off the bin. It would have made a great blog post unless I landed on the kid.

It’s stuff like this that keeps me pushing the book. Anytime I get a little down about the monumental effort it is to promote the thing, I just read a few of the reviews on Amazon.

And Three. Three is a crowd and the times I’ve almost died. Wait a minute, I need to add a zero or two to the last claim to be in the correct ball park.

I love that we have numbers. Without them, I couldn’t enjoy my favorite numerical song… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDiSYp_51iY

When I started this blog 5 months ago, my reader numbers were dismal. Follower numbers were even more so. Zero is a bleak and dismal number. I think it might be even worse than one.

But there was a silver lining. When I first started blogging, WordPress, the outfit that hosts this blog, listed my followers visable to the public as 1,962. I had 1,962 blog Followers and I had only produced one post!

But then, I noticed in my RecoveringIdiot.com blog command center that my actual blog Followers were much lower. According to my insider info, it showed zilcho as the actual Followers number. In hindsight, I think zilcho was far closer to the truth than the almost two grand figure.

I figured the high tally would give some respectability to my blog and elevate my writer reputation. I didn’t worry about contacting WordPress to fix it.

I started picking up a few followers which was good. At same time the public tally started dropping. It went the wrong way by sliding down to 1,904. This kind of stuff can really rile a blog writer up. As I added actual followers, my numbers dropped! I had to do something to halt the slide!

So I came up with a great idea to boost my readership. I would give $500 away to a Facebook friend who had followed a couple of simple rules of sharing and following the blog to be eligible. About this time the blog facade dropped to 25 while my actual followers shot up to 25.

So things are picking up in the blog department.

The catch to winning the $500 is that I’m drawing the name of a Facebook friend. There’s a good chance they will miss out on the $500 because they neglected to take the time to become eligible.

I will draw a name every Saturday until I come up with a follower of my blog. I’m excited to see how many losers and weeks I draw before I come up with a Recovering Idiot Blog Follower, translated into a winner of $500.

May the best Follower win!

Most of the reason I write this blog is to promote my book.

Following me on Facebook is not what counts in the giveaway. Being a RecoveringIdiot.com blog Follower is one of the needed components. Sharing a RecoveringIdiot.com blog post on Facebook is the other. My Facebook friends will all be in the numbered drawing each Saturday until an eligible name shows up.

The book is still selling. Copies are available on Amazon, at Basin City Farm and Home, Connell Grange, B&B Printing in Kennewick and at the Country Mercantile Stores in Pasco and Richland. Additional cases were just sent out to restock the Country Mercantile locations.


Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two


Caution! Do not try this at home. This type of installation usually causes 4th of July sparklers followed by a guaranteed instant blackout. Only untrained and non-professionals like myself have the adequate bravado to tackle such a project.

I know almost everybody feels the need to be safe. But sometimes you just have to throw away the rule book in order to get the job done. I find myself in pickles at least twice a day and have learned to improvise on the fly in order to get my projects completed.

Years ago I visited a business that had asked me to modify one of my products that was mounted on their truck. This required welding. So, I hauled my welder to their shop. In order to make my welder plug hook up to their electrical receptacle, I could see this less-than-an-hour-long job was going to take a good three weeks if I followed the Man’s rules.

Included requirements were locating and hiring an electrician, finding an electrical engineer to draw up a complete set of schematics, applying for a permit, and then jumping through the never-ending hoops that come standard with most inspectors.

And this would just be the beginning of my troubles! Scheduling all these “professionals” would put the completion of the job out about three weeks. In addition, I could see this routine would probably end up with a hot debate vis a vis the business owner concerning who is going to pay for the complex installation of a compatible receptacle by union professionals.

Now some of you might say, “Why didn’t you just change the plug on your welder?” And I would counter with the fact that I had the plug I wanted on my machine and I had a position to defend just like the inspectors do. I would be compromising my principles if I capitulated and changed to a plug that would fit the offending receptacle. Additionally, it would not be compatible with my own shop’s wiring.

So, in 30 seconds I created a temporary fix that worked great. But I must warn you, don’t try this at home. My experience is whenever I venture into unknown electrical territory like this, a little less than half the time I end up with a gizmo that actually works. The other half of the time I end up cannonized through the air, shocked out of my realm of comfort by what seems like zillions of volts and amps.  This is especially true if I’m standing in a wet puddle at launch time.

I like the challenge of venturing into the crazy world of redneck solutions, especially electrical. You might ask, “How do you keep from getting locked up?”

I have found that after you do something really stupid, you can get past your glaring error if you are still able to cling to a conscious state.  You simply come up with an excuse that takes people aback yet probably makes no sense to anyone in the trades. Before they have time to think and retort, try throwing in some technical jargon they’re not familiar with.

They might shift into neutral or even backtrack and your smokescreen will usually get you out of the jam you’ve been stirred up in. They don’t want to look as stupid as the thing you just did.

So what did I do with the foreign female receptacle?  I found me a piece of green ground wire in my pickup and in two minutes I wired on to the male plug (see picture), inserted the new apparatus, got the welder cranked up and was ready to go. It wasn’t code but I had the complete job finished in a half hour instead of three weeks.

Luckily there were no inspectors around.

I thought the conversion was good enough that had an electrical inspector walked by, he might compliment me on my work, especially the pretty green color of the wires. It was so picturesque, I snapped a picture to show my electrician friends.

And there was no doubt I’d be ok if the inspector was a greenie like the wires.

In today’s politically correct world, some will fault me for referring to the cobwebbed and dusty receptacle as “female” and the nice, clean plug as “male”. I will probably be criticized for stereotyping and promoting one gender over another.

In today’s upside down world with anything goes and whatever floats your boat concerning the subject of gender, I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that you can call anything related to the sexes whatever you want. A caveat to that is that you better be spot-on with your label of what they want to be called or you’re in deep do-do.

I’m so confused by the queer labels (their word, not mine) that many are giving themselves that I am learning not to be surprised by anything.

AC/DC is no longer in vogue. DAC/C, C/DCA, AD/CC, /DCAC…the possibilities vary as widely as the people who want to change their polarity or voltage.

It’s no longer standard 110 volts or 220 volts but more like clueless Michael Keaton said in the old movie Mr. Mom. “Volts? It’s 220, 221. What ever it takes.” The sky is the limit in today’s world.

Nope, it’s not like it used to be. A male-boy-man was easy to understand and all in the same category. A male plug had a protrusion. A female-girl-woman was also easy to understand and even easier to look at. A female plug had a receptacle.

But not now. Fewer and fewer plugs and receptacles are well-grounded. Nothing is as it seems. Electricity flows in completely different ways than it did when Adam and Eve were around.

So, I project that any day we’re going to have to start embracing the terminology shift in electrical jargon to comply with politically correct labels. This will be done to help those who are in the closet kick the door open and come out of the closet.

Which brings to mind the question: If people spend so much time in the closet, what kind of electrical receptacles are in the closet and does current codes require closet fixtures to have a polarity switch?

And while we’re on the subject, is using a three-pronged extension cord that goes outside the closet door still within code? And what should the landlord do if the cord gets pinched in the door jam and the closet dweller can’t come out, even though they want to?

I wonder what the electrical industry is going to do when the LBGTQ people start zeroing in on them for incorrectly determining the sex of this plug or that receptacle?

Maybe it will divert the attention of electrical inspectors just enough that they lose interest in red-tagging my work.

Like they say, there’s always a silver lining to storm clouds. I just hope when those clouds start raining, that silver lining will keep my electrical modifications from getting wet.

In conclusion, I must state that this post is made with complete satire and jest in mind and strictly aimed at humorous aspects of life. Electricity is a dangerous force and great care must be used around it. Inspectors and electrical professionals are essential in maintaining a safe environment. 

Don’t forget to make sure you’re eligible for next week’s drawing for $500!

If you were offended by this post, read on…

Honestly, I feel bad for those who are upside down and miserable in their sexual identity quandary. It’s a big deal in their lives. But I am of the opinion that in the free-wheeling and multitudinous options of today’s society, many of the available choices may seem attractive but lead to even greater inner turmoil.

Suicide rates are far higher for transgenders than others. I’m of the opinion they have issues that are often exacerbated by “solutions” offered by the world.

I often poke fun at myself and once in a while at others. I have to. One of my particular and unfortunate leanings is to not make good decisions in everyday life. This had led me to a lot of pain, grief, regrets and costly blunders. Because it is so apparent, I’ve had to learn to accept my propensities and just carry on.

Most people pack a lot of pride and would be horrified if others knew of their weak points. It’s impossible for me to do that. So I just shrug and agree that I’m an idiot. I have no other choice or explanation for my dilemma.

We’re all different. Differences can generate hate and anger. But they can also be funny, interesting, and even endearing. I write about what I observe, especially if others have put themselves and their agenda in the public eye.

I don’t believe anyone should be persecuted for what they believe or who they are. I don’t buy into political correctness, especially when it is forced down other’s throats. I do believe we are all children of God and are entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, regardless of your particular polarity.

 image3-lowerA quote from the book… 

…So on Christmas morning when I got up, my grandpa steered me toward my stocking. He was more excited than I was for me to stick my hand in the stocking to discover its contents.

I jammed my hand and arm down the big sock. When I pulled it out, I was clutching a big gob of horse manure, just like the little boy in the story. However, I had a little different reaction that horrified my parents…



Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two




In this post I’m going to focus on the latest little incident I just encountered which once again beat the odds and left me still numbered among the living.

To the uninitiated, my name is Ben. After spending most of my waking hours in grain bins over the last decade, maybe I should just start signing my name as Bin.

Before becoming a Bin guy, I owned and operated Ben’s Basin City Tire for 20 years. I also owned Basin Propane. After liquidating those businesses, I’ve devoted most of my waking hours in grain storage containers, corn bins to be exact.

I have also dabbled in the safety consulting business, actively providing numerous and excellent examples so others can learn from my vast pool of experience.  While most experts just sit in an office and talk about safety, I get out there and actively demonstrate. Every day. You know…the proper and safe way to do things and also the improper and death-defying way.

My safety company has focused and honed in on the second category for more than six decades.   My company was established in March of 1955 when I was just a newborn. This vintage company has an excellent record of consistency and on-time performance ever since.

Unfortunately for me but bringing a wealth of knowledge to my safety company, I have been heavily involved and vested in accidents of many kinds and various degrees. Bicycles, tractors, automobiles, airplanes, paper-cutters, parking lots, flying objects, fires, exploding tires, stolen cars and even a few close calls that occurred in bobtail propane trucks. The list is long and getting longer. I’m not sure I’ll live to see the completion of the list.

Fortunately for the propane industry, a major national company bought my propane business some 20 years ago. This has dramatically reduced the chances of a BLEVE in the Pacific Northwest ever since. See, I do take action to make things safer!

PERC should breathe a sign of relief and probably send my safety company a fancy certificate of thanksgiving for my far-sighted sale and exit from the propane business.

If you don’t know what these acronyms stand for, You Tube or Google it. One of the nyms is very exciting. If you’re in the propane business and don’t know what they stand for, get out of the business before it’s too late. Now!

Because I have been in business the majority of my life, you may think I’ve made lots of money. Well, I have but since I’m constantly paying medical bills through the nose, there’s not much left at the end of the day. Permit me to list the various businesses I’ve run and I’ll even give an estimate of the total sales of each of them. Take the following numbers with a grain of salt:

  • Tire business                               1977-2006                Sales approximately $30,000,000
  • Propane business                       1999-2005                Sales approximately $4,000,000
  • Equipment sales                         1999-Present            Sales approximately $2,000,000
  • Safety Consulting sales              1955-Present            Sales approximately $0,000,000

I promised my new bride Michele in 1979 that I would give her all the proceeds from my Safety Consulting business to use for household expenses and fur coats. Needless to say, we’ve had a very unhappy marriage

I’ve been happy with all my companies except the last one. I’m not sure why I have not been able to rack up safety consulting fees, especially since I’ve been doing this one the longest.

My safety company is unique since it regularly features and actually produces high levels of adrenaline, blood pressure through the roof, a pretty amazing tolerance for pain, hundreds of X-rays, countless scars, 27 broken bones, two missing fingers, stitches from tip to stern, some verifiable brain damage and almost no fear whatsoever of any job that might come down the pike.

Since this is probably the first time you have received any instruction from my company, I’m going to offer this introductory safety seminar at no charge. In today’s world, people want instantaneous information so here is my latest instantaneous safety tip:


On the particular morning in question that the sample event occurred (which was just yesterday to be truthful), I will provide instruction concerning:


B–Fast-moving power tools

C–First-aid kits


Picture snapped just as I was getting ready to slice my bacon.  I’m sitting in the man-lift cage trying to decide which roof section I wanted the blood to be flowing down in.

Incident report from files of Ben’s Safety Company:

Subject went to the top of a corn bin with articulated man-lift to begin disassembling and moving said bin, starting with the roof first. Subject had a screaming wild and lightning-fast grinding tool complete with a six-inch disc. Subject deemed it necessary to cut some bolt heads off in order to gain access through the roof.

I’m sorry. I’ve got to switch back to a first-person accounting since I am not all that comfortable being a subject.

Some people call the tool a “Skinny Wheel”  because it slices through metal (and flesh) like a hot knife slices through butter, I call it a “Slicer”. Whatever you want to call it, it is a handheld machine that should not be used by people (like me) who are three or four gallons short of a full tank.

My slicer and I were zipping through the bolt heads on the bin roof a good 24 feet in the air when I once again forgot a lesson I have learned and relearned at least four times in the last six years. Each of these lessons cost me unforeseen, unplanned and unbudgeted pain, doctor bills and downtime.

Also, I have learned time and time again that the slicer disc deposits little metal filings in my flesh as it carries on with it’s cutting action. This causes the injury to heal two or three times slower than your normal, everyday knife attack would.

Your safety lesson today is to hold on to the slicer with two hands. I cannot stress this point enough! Nor can I deny it is one of those lessons of life easily forgotten by people like me who are just too darned busy to take a deep breath and consider the possible outcome.

This tendency (that is implanted deeply in each of my genes) is at the heart of many safety problems that rear its ugly head for myself and others. This tendency keeps doctors rich, ambulance chasers on the loose and hook makers (for newly-stubbied forearms) in business.

Because I was hovering twenty-some feet up in the air, partially in the man-lift and partially on the tin roof, I used just one hand to operate the slicer while the other hand (minus two fingers, another story for another day. Page 512 in Ben’s safety manual) was locked with a death grip to the man-lift basket.

You know you just can’t be too careful. I say that all the time. Or at least I should.

Little did I know that in the next few seconds I was going to come within an inch of bleeding out with a severed femoral artery.

The slicer didn’t like the way I was holding it (one-handed) so it decided to set itself free and go on it’s own merry way. The metal-destroying, “spinning at 10,000 rpm’s” disc took off from the bolt head being cut and made it’s way in a straight and impressive manner quickly across the bin roof.

I no longer had control of the screaming, flesh-eating machine as it did a little skimming action across my Levi’s in the left-hand lane, or I should say, the left-leg lane. Immediately the Navy blue material turned Blood red. I found out once again that it doesn’t take much time at all for my carnivorous slicer to cover a lot of territory to find some red meat after being released from two-handed control.

I refused to release my grip on the man-lift but was more than happy to let go of the slicer. Luckily, the blood wasn’t spurting. I’ve had spurts before and I can tell you without question they freak you out. Elapsed time to jump in your rig, spool it up to maximum RPM’s and cover the distance to the nearest hospital immediately becomes your top and only priority.

I found out later that this particular “slice” was just over the femoral artery. If it had been a bit deeper, there’s a good chance my bloody fuel gauge would have read empty by the time I made it to the ground floor via the man lift. Five or six minutes is all it takes for a femoral artery to completely bleed out.

I guess another option in quickly dismounting the bin would have been to use good old gravity. My man-lift takes a minute or two to reach the ground. The gravity method from 24 feet up would have been much faster but the nanosecond travel and arrival might have generated another problem or two.

As soon as the two or three cells in my brain that are responsible for safety could dissuade the other two or three cells of my brain from the exciting idea of jumping, I steered away from the jump idea and transitioned my still-intact spirit and body to the ground via the man-lift. I then hobbled toward my pickup.

A stranger had just pulled into the yard and actually heard my weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth during the incident while I was still up on top the bin. When we crossed paths at ground level, he asked me if he should get his first-aid kit in his truck. I thought it might be a good idea since I had seen a little blood on my pantaloons and knew I didn’t have a kit in mine. I don’t know who he was but I’ll call the Good Samaritan uh…Sam.

I’m 62 years old. When I’m feeling healthy, I think I’m going to live forever so who needs a first-aid kit? Or, if I’m having a bad day and run into an accident, I look forward to meeting the grim reaper and I don’t want any first-aid kits blocking my path.

Either way, I see no reason to pack a kit to try to extend the darkening dusk of my fore-ordained existence any longer than necessary. Furthermore, why haul something around that is just going to take up space in my vehicle when I could be using that same space for a six-pack of pop or a stash of candy bars I acquired last week and am trying to hide from my wife?

Sam brought his kit, I dropped my pants and we both gazed in horror. Then we saw the injury.


For the squeamish I’ve downsized the pic.

Still doesn’t look bad for you? Full-sized picture is located at the bottom of this post after my clarification of the $500 drawing. If you are faint of heart, don’t continue past that point. I’ll post another warning if you are forgetful like me.

I noticed that Sam suddenly looked much less like Geronimo than when we first met and more like a pale face. He reinforced my observation when he shakily uttered something to the effect that he didn’t do well in these type of situations.

I told him to look away and grabbed some gauze out of the kit and placed it over the substantial scratch. I told him that he had to hang on and stay conscious. I gave him instructions about wrapping some tape around the gauze and leg since I’m kind of an expert from way back.

He was able to complete his duties before passing out. I thanked him and quickly hobbled across the lot. I’m not sure Sam heard my appreciation and I didn’t have the time to look back to see if he was still upright or down for the count.

My son Mike just happened to be hanging around this very location so I hitched a ride with him to the hospital. I told him not to rush as I wanted to have enough time to post pictures on Facebook. It worked perfectly as I had 12 comments and 23 “likes” by the time we arrived at the medical facility. I couldn’t have asked for anything more at that point.

During our transport, I changed our itinerary from Lourdes hospital to Lourdes Urgent Care clinic. This astute decision on my part netted a reduction in my bill by several thousand dollars before even arriving.

We parked and I hobbled toward the impressive and expensive-looking medical facility.

However, we were not welcomed with open arms. All the doors were locked and the names of the offices were labeled with long medical terms that I couldn’t pronounce even on a good day without any bleeding. Finally, I desperately banged on one of the doors and told the lady who appeared that I needed help. She said “This isn’t Urgent Care. You need to go out the double doors and it’s straight ahead.”

I was confused because we had just come in that way. Mike and I went back out through the double doors and looked around. There was nothing but a large empty room with stairs and an elevator. I realized then that the lady giving us directions was either not all that bright or she was just trying to prank us. My life was slipping away outside her double doors and she was playing a joke at my expense!

Who would do that?! Then I realized I probably would if it was on a different day and somebody else had the big slice in their pants and a trail of blood in their wake.

I love pranks. However, pranks can be deadly if not properly planned and performed by a professional. I consider myself to be one of the best. David Day, the big wheel at American Standard Manufacturing out of New York which manufactures propane equipment will verify that I am an expert and he is a mere novice.

Details of this learning experience for David can be found in my company’s safety manual on pages 385-387 which is available on Amazon. The manual is titled Recovering Idiot. It is 523 pages of safety tips of every kind.

Anyway, back to the problem of finding the Urgent Care clinic…

About the time I was trying to figure out if the lady was pranking me, Mike looked through the outside doors and saw another building across the parking lot, just in front of where our car was parked. The building was labeled with a huge sign declaring URGENT CARE.

I felt bloody stupid hobbling back across the bloody parking lot since we had bloody parked directly in front of the bloody big sign. (My ancestors are from England and after yesterday’s events I can relate better with them and their language)

We went in and the doctor had me stitched up in a quick hour. The nurse checked my normally sky-high blood pressure and it was 110 over 70, even with all the needles they were sticking in me. I haven’t had a BM, I mean a BP that low since I shadowboxed in the fly weight division. I’ve been fighting my mid-drift bulge and blood pressure numbers in the heavy weight class for 30 years now and was shocked to hear the low numbers.

Either their BP machine was calibrated to make the patients artificially happy or I had dropped enough red liquid to drop the pressure to where it should be all the time. After this, whenever I take a physical I’m going to get the old slicer out and do whatever is necessary to drop the systolic-diastolic numbers like the other day. I can probably knock $50 a year off my life insurance premiums with the lower count. Maybe I’ll give the $50 to my wife and tell her it’s from the safety company.

The clinic’s blood pressure machine performed far above my expectations and the personnel were very pleasant. However, soon I understood why they charged so much less than the hospital. You will too in a second.

After leaving Urgent Care, I went to Walmart to get some antibiotics. As I walked toward the pharmacy, I felt the wrap and bandage that had just been installed on my thigh slide down to my ankle. Do you have any idea how hard it is for a fat old guy to bend over and pull his thigh bandage back up from his ankle while not bending his leg for fear of ripping out the stitches?

But then again, I guess you see that sort of thing at Walmart all the time.

The doctor had said I was not to go back to work under any circumstances. After he left, the nurse told me to keep it elevated.

Mike drove me back to my work site. Following the nurses instructions, I crawled up on the man-lift while trying to keep my stitches from stretching and ascended the 24 feet back up to the top of the bin. I felt pretty good that I had a machine that was able to help me follow the nurses instructions to keep it elevated. And, since I was already up there,  I decided it wouldn’t hurt to cut a few more bolt heads.

For the rest of the afternoon, I cut bolts. With two hands on the slicer.

Feel free to share the post!

A national trade magazine that I advertise in every month has said they might use my story for their August edition. It’s their Safety edition.

This could be your Safety Edition…


Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

Not much time left to be in the running for 500 bucks that soon will be transferred from my clinched fist to somebody’s excited and sweaty palm! If your name is drawn and you have neglected to become eligible, you are going to have a hard time living with yourself and your empty pockets for at least a day or two.

30 seconds is all it takes to sign up. Do it before JULY 15th! Read past posts for details. Contrary to a previous delirious post I made about drawing 3 times every Saturday, I’m changing the rules back to the way it was when I initially outlined the giveaway.


Caution: My injury is just below in living color.








Last chance to look away. Picture of the nasty slice is just below. Just so you know.

I don’t want anyone mad at me for posting an R-rated picture. You cannot say I didn’t warn you.



Just kidding. It’s further down.
















I have no clue of my nether region’s status from my vantage point located at a far higher altitude.

But before I get to the zipper part, I’ve got to button up a few things lest I forget.

Michael, our baby boy, got married last week. This is the only wedding picture we took:


You’ll have to take my word for it. They are a cute couple.

They were married in the LDS temple in Richland. It was a wonderful marriage and sealing performed by a good friend of ours named Lowell. I was one of the witnesses which is important to remember because of what happened later.

After the marriage we had a reception at Mike’s new in-laws.


If you’re looking for me, I’m the little tiny guy in the suit fifth in from the right, way in the back. I’m far more photogenic here than most of my photos.

Mike married way above himself as did my good wife Michele. Amelia has a great family and for once, we have in-laws that are located in the same galaxy as we are. This will be very helpful as Mike’s kids should be appearing in about 9 months from now and are far more likely to be around both sets of grandparents than our other far-away Utah, Texas and Arizona grand kids are.

So we had a family reunion previously planned at the family cabin at Priest Lake ID. Mike didn’t want to miss the reunion so the new couple decided to make our reunion their honeymoon. This Idaho location was the same place he proposed to Amelia last Thanksgiving. I guess since our family was involved with his proposal last winter he decided to include us in his honeymoon in the here and now.

I can’t think of a better place to spend a honeymoon than with the in-laws.

So we did the reunion/honeymoon thing. It was great. I spent a couple of days reading a biography about Lowell’s dad who I knew well. I enjoyed the book and called Lowell and told him so. For some reason, I completely spaced out on the fact that he had performed Michael’s marriage. At the end of our conversation I said “Oh, by the way, Michael got married Saturday.”

Lowell said that was nice.

That night about 2:00 am, I awoke with a start. I realized the big faux pas I had just made the night before. I felt terrible. I didn’t sleep the rest of the night.

I texted Lowell an apology as soon as I got up. Lowell texted me back that he didn’t know what a faux pas was since he spoke German and not French and then wished me and our family the best. I guess he was talking about the honeymoon.

This cobwebbed lapse in my spider cavern got me thinking. I arrived at the conclusion I’m getting Alzheimer’s.

My short-term recall should be recalled. It doesn’t work. Five seconds after I start looking for a tool, I have no idea what I’m looking for. I start out looking for a hammer and I come back with a nail.

Telling my wife about some average near-death experience I had earlier in the day is not possible. When I get to the scary part, I have not a clue how it turned out.

Every time I bump my head lately I hear a hollow echo. Q-tips go in much further than they used to. They even come out the other side now which never used to happen.

I walk around most of the time with my pants unzipped. I am positive I have zipped them up but it seems like every time I check, they are open for ventilation. Old Timer’s must be kicking in.

And then, even as a witness at a very memorable and unforgettable wedding, I forget who has just performed my kid’s marriage. And even worse, I call him up and tell him they got married like it is new news. The truth is that mentally I was kind of patting myself on the back for giving him the fresh news.

Next week, I’m going to start scouring the Tri-Cities old folk’s homes. I’ll see what I can afford and who will take me. Then I’ll write it down since there is no way I’ll remember what they tell me. My only problem will be settling on a date to tell them as to when to pick me up.

Back to the family reunion…

Once we got to the honeymoon cottage, my oldest son Derek promptly took over my duties as commander in chief without a whiff of permission from me. It was kind of a hostile takeover with him acting like Caesar Augustus. He could have at least asked me if he could run things during the reunion. Anybody who would put flowers in their hair and disrobe down to a toga deserves to be given the keys of the kingdom.


Notice how his wife on the right is completely ignoring him. I get the feeling she does this even when he doesn’t dress up.

Unfortunately, he had to turn things back over to me as he got sick that first night. I think it was the drafty toga.

So during the family get-together, we took a hike up a mountain. We were only 12 or 15 miles, as the crow flies, away from Ruby Ridge.

Our family has been coming up here since 1980. The government did their dirty, lie-packed bulling thing to the Weaver family in August of ’92. It’s likely I or one of my siblings were up here at the cabin while that needless lead-slinging and brutal power play was going on just a few miles away.

Because Randy Weaver refused to be a snitch for the feds, he became their enemy and they blew his wife’s brains out. Sorry about getting off track. Let’s just say I get bothered by some of Big Brother’s antics.


Anyway, we climbed up the afore mentioned mountain and took a rest with all the grand kids. The adults in the group kept talking about seeing a bald eagle and then laughing. I never saw one as I had such great cell service I couldn’t resist calling a few friends and bragging. The rest of my kinfolk were pointing and laughing at something behind the kids.

As I said, while we were on this mountaintop, I was amazed at the excellent cell service AT&T provided in this way out of the way place. I had five bars on my phone and we were many miles from the nearest settlement. I’ve never had five bars before, even in the metro center of downtown Basin City!


I just don’t get why I can’t have five bars any other place. You know, when and where I really need it. AT&T is wasting their bars in the middle of nowhere. Makes no sense at all.

So on the last day of our little vacation, one of my sisters called me up and gave me instructions to go out and clean up the dead wood on the hillside next to our cabin and to stack it in a nice little woodpile. I told her I didn’t have a chainsaw there.

That didn’t faze her. And then I asked her if she knew I’m on vacation and trying to recover from Alzheimer’s? She just keep giving me instructions. She went so far as to tell me to send her a picture of the wood pile after we finished.


I said ok. A couple hours later I Googled a picture of a stack of wood and sent it to her. This is her reply (I kid you not):

“Wow! I love it!”

Everything will be fine until she takes her turn at the cabin and starts looking for firewood.

I love my slightly ditsy and take-charge sister. I’ll miss her after I’m admitted to the home. Or maybe I just won’t remember her.

One thing I know for sure. She’s going to spend a long time looking for that pile of firewood.


Not much time left to be in the running for 500 bucks. 30 seconds is all it takes to sign up. Do it before JULY 15th! Read past posts for details.










Gated communities usually house wealthy people and secure gates. Not ours.

All our gate does is keep the mice in and the neighbor’s dogs out. (When we remember to close it.)

But I still like to tell strangers who don’t know Basin City that I live in a gated community.

Money and me. Oil and water. Never sticks together.

Here I am. 62 years of age and still working like a day laborer in a chain gang. And yet at times I can be found handing out cash while my wife watches in bewildered amazement, aggressively shaking her head side-to-side. She really needs to quit the head rotations since after the $500 blog drawing we’ll have no money left for a chiropractor.

Perhaps I’ll share a few of my cash-evaporating experiences for entertainment purposes and monetary teaching moments for the rest of you. And maybe this time I will finally remember to quit giving in to people on the prowl with their hand out.

I’ve probably created the wrong impression that I’m monied since I announced I’m giving away this cash. Tis not the case. This chunk of money is a budgeted advertising expense, not a charitable fling of cash in the wind.

It won’t happen again. I have already handed out way more than my share of lettuce to people’s salad requests.

I am not independently wealthy. In fact, I’m just scraping by. I would have been far more affluent in the cash reserves over these last 50 years except I’ve got this little character flaw of giving in to sad sacks.

This flaw often allows greenback leaches into my inner circle where they fix their sights on my cross-haired bank account. The flaw causes me to believe people’s hard-luck stories, no matter if the tales be true or fiction.

There is no way I am not listed in the SuckersRUs worldwide directory. In big bright bold letters.

I am barraged on a regular basis by scammers. “Who?” You may ask.

Well, there’s at least one guy from Nigeria, and…an alleged paralegal, an ex-con who got a bad rap, a few Les Schwab dudes from the president on down, Indonesians, Chinese mainlanders, and a Dr. Chistopher Miller from the Bahamas (who knows nothing about medicine but has his doctorate and then some in blowing smoke).

I know it sounds confusing but each incident  actually occurred.

I’ve also had many more experiences with less prolific scammers who are no-pay rubber users, also known as dead-beat tire customers. After I finished the mounting and balancing they pealed out, never to be seen again.

Back in my tire marketing days, I was driven by the desire to sell and there were plenty of people agreeing to make payments that ended up never materializing.

I helped many originating from south of the border and a few more from north of that same border. The Northerners usually got me for larger sums than the Southerners just because they had some credit history and could ask for a higher credit limit in my native tongue.

So here’s my first story. A guy I’ll call Bad News drove into my driveway and life with his big SUV ten or twelve years ago. He introduced himself as a paralegal and told me that he’s got all this cash coming in from an impending court judgement in Nevada. He even showed me an impressive ream of court documents that filled a briefcase.

He told me a very sad story and said if I loaned him some dough, he would pay me back double in a couple months. I would be instrumental in saving him from financial ruin. I felt sorry for Bad News and told him he could just pay me back the principle as long as he paid me in the promised time. I had a good feeling of helping someone out as I doled out the dough I was able to scrounge up. (By the time that particular summer was done, the charitible good feelings I initially enjoyed had fled, just like the cash.)

Throughout that summer he kept visiting me with new additions to his old story which required me to shell out more cash. His wife was going to leave him if I didn’t help him pay his bills. He even cried real tears. Or so I thought.

It went on and on. My ill-fated generosity was really putting the pinch on my finances and marital happiness, namely Michele and her empty purse.

I finally had to break his heart and stop the bleeding. “You’ve taken it all” I told him. That didn’t stop him. He kept trying but I had at last drawn the line at buying his line.

I was out around 16 grand from this guy with the crocodile tears. He owned a large rig and would periodically call me and tell me he wanted to see me. Each time, he made another attempt to dip into my wallet.

One day, a few minutes after he had called me to announce another one of his unwelcome visits, there was a knock at my front door. It was a sheriff’s deputy that I  knew who just stopped by to say hi. As we stood and talked outside on my driveway, I heard the rumbling of a rig coming down the road behind the trees.

It was about time for Bad News to show up so I figured even though I couldn’t see him there was a good chance it was the carpetbagger. I got a flash of inspiration and told Deputy Bryan to slam me up against the wall and start frisking me. He said “What?!”

I repeated my instructions and told him to hurry as Bad News was almost in sight. Bryan, with a very puzzled look on his face shoved me up against the wall and started patting me down just as Bad News came into view. He was slowing down to turn in at my place but as soon as he saw the cop car and the uniformed deputy making a realistic-looking arrest, he hit the gas and motored on down the road.

I haven’t seen him since.

We had a good laugh as the rig faded in the distance.

Bryan retired soon after. I think he was worried about being charged with police brutality and a false arrest one summer day in Basin City.

He needn’t have worried. I was grateful for the cop beatdown on that particular occasion.


So I’ve penciled in a few more details about the upcoming $500 giveaway…

One Winner. Eligibility is essential.

To qualify for this cash bonanza, you must do two really easy things and one really hard thing:

Easy part:

  1. Sign up to follow this blog in the upper right hand corner.
  2. Share on Facebook Ben’s June 7 Facebook post announcing the madman’s giveaway.

Hard part:

3. Be a friend of mine on Facebook or you won’t be included in the random number generated drawing. You and I must have at least one Facebook friend in common for you to be accepted as my friend. 

If you aren’t my Facebook friend and we don’t share a common friend, comment on this blog post as to which Recovering Idiot Amazon review you liked the most and at least one word as to why.  “Because” will suffice. If you want to go into more detail, feel free.

This Comment rule is intended to separate bogus Friend requests that I receive from people who genuinely want to be my friend and be in my cash giveaway contest. I’ll then accept your Facebook friend request. Friend requests not meeting this criteria will receive no response.

The winning friend will be selected in the numerical order of my Facebook friends as listed on my Facebook page.

Here is the random number generator we will be using to find the winner:  Random Number Generator

I know this random number generator tool is not quite as professional-looking as the Powerball tools they use to give away hundreds of millions of dollars.  However, my budget is somewhat less than the Lotto promoters and my “winner” probably won’t have his or her life ruined like the Lotto winners often do.

However, if you do think the extra 500 bucks is going to ruin your life, please shred the check as soon as you get it. Unfortunately, if you have to do this you’re never going to know if my check was going to bounce or not.

If the winner is picked from among my Facebook friends but hasn’t completed both of the first two requirements, I’ll announce their name and give condolences. If we don’t have an eligible winner, the same process will be repeated the next Saturday and every Saturday thereafter until a qualified winner is drawn.

Most sweepstakes exclude relatives or employees of the awarding company. This one doesn’t since I have many relatives who are part of the mix of my Facebook friends.

If my wife wins, I should probably leave the country.

But wait! I don’t have to worry. She’s not one of my followers.


 image3-lowerA quote from the book… 

…”Next, these federally-employed “extortion ladies” told my brother-in-law that he must sign a form admitting he had hired children. They had seen these kids in the orchard and therefore they were his employees. If he did not sign, his apples would never be run on the packing line and would be slimy junk in a few days.

They told him ‘If he wanted his 400,000 lbs of fruit to be released, he must sign a false admission that he had hired kids and he must then give the Department Of Labor a $16,000 cashier’s check to pay the fine it handed him.’ Only then would they release his fruit.

They told him that they were going to make an example out of him. It did not matter that he had never hired kids. They didn’t care. All they wanted to do was hold him hostage for their resumes and egos until he met their blackmail demands”…

Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two