Me and My Velcro

Your modern teenager is not about to listen to advice from an old person, defined as a person who remembers when there was no Velcro. ~Dave Barry

OK, that would be me. I’m so old I remember when I was smarter than my phone! I’ll come back to that in a minute. These days, Velcro is my friend!

My relationship with Velcro has been evolving over past few years, in part, because I live in a rolling home and Velcro stops everything from falling off the walls.


But my true affinity for Velcro developed when I became a Top Secret Agent. There are certain things that SA’s need at all times: like a pen (which we SA’s lose like regular folks lose socks) and the exact time to the minute – no rounding. My watch only has a 12, 3, 6, and 9 so once again, Velcro came through from me.

Also, there’s the fact that as an SA, I work mostly in the dark. My eyesight  and memory both hover around a 6 on the 1-10 scale. SA Heidi, who lives to problem solve, Velcro-ed all the small things she thought I might need to the inside of the drawers by the sink: Pencil, Marker, Lipstick (apparently considered essential for SA work), Visine, Glasses Cloth, and Dental Floss.

Unfortunately, we failed to take any Velcro with us when we went on our not top-secret vacation. If we’d only thought of pocket patches we would have been able to get black dress pants for $17 instead of $82.50! With Heidi driving and Henry and I syncing and singing, we made the trip to Tucson in good time (a 10 hour day and a 5 hour day).

As a matter of fact, we made such good time that we decided to try to get our shopping done early Saturday morning to beat the masses. Top Secret Agents in remote locations have very few shopping opportunities.

Someone wrote and asked if we TSAs have phones in our shoes? Unfortunately no, but we sure wished we did once we got to Tucson. We typically carry them hidden in our back pockets. H’s phone wasn’t quite hidden enough and we never once thought about Velcro.

On only the second day of our grand adventure, and our first day in a city, her phone was skillfully picked from her back pocket while we were perusing the sales racks at jcp (JCPenney). We were outsmarted by a Smart phone thief.

We went to jcp just to buy black dress pants for the cruise. We each got a pair from the drastically reduced racks and spent just under $40 total, which is pretty good shopping. That is until you add in the $125 insurance claim for the phone which meant we left jcp with 2 pairs of pants at the bargain price of $82.50 each.

Before leaving the city, we headed to R.E.I. where H bought SA pants that are full of pockets, some so secret that she didn’t find them for two weeks. And some so special that they securely fasten with, yes, Velcro!

It was an auspicious beginning to our adventure. You would think things could only look up from there. As it turned out, not necessarily…

Angry Birds

Angry Birds are everywhere. They may not be much of a factor in your life, but they’ve become a huge deal in mine!

In Angry Birds, players control a flock of multi-colored birds that are attempting to retrieve eggs that have been stolen by a group of evil green pigs. On each level, the pigs are sheltered by structures made of various materials such as wood, ice and stone, and the objective of the game is to eliminate all the pigs in the level. Using a slingshot, players launch the birds with the intent of either hitting the pigs directly or damaging the structures, which would cause them to collapse and kill the pigs. ~

Angry Birds has been sweeping the nation  world since it’s advent for Apple in December of 2009.

If you know about Angry Birds, there’s no need to explain more and if you don’t you probably aren’t all that interested.

Before I elaborate on my relationship with Angry Birds, I need to add some disclaimers.

I’m not a gamer. When I bought my Verizon Droid very smart phone in 2010, it came with 3 games – Tilt, Bejeweled and Angry Birds, none of which had I even heard of. Tilt was pretty easy to master, so I moved on to Angry Birds. At that time I was a manager at a beautiful resort on the Oregon Coast. Because I was the front desk supervisor and guest service manager, I was always pleasant – always.

At the end of the day, I would go to bed and play Angry Birds. Maybe there was something cathartic about pulling back a virtual slingshot and flinging birds at walls of wood and stone and ice to kill green pigs.

I was on level 5 when, after moving to Texas to become a gate guard in the wilderness, I had to switch to a less smart AT&T phone which not only didn’t come with Angry Birds, but for which the app wasn’t yet developed. Clearly not a student of the game or of the strategies, I never did know why the birds were so angry.

I have a different phone now which is only slightly smarter and I did recently buy Angry Birds for a couple of dollars. I haven’t played it much since I had to start at level 1 with my new phone,  but I did find out why the birds are angry. Somehow the green pigs (which have only heads – and sometimes helmets, but no legs) managed to steal the eggs (which are golden) from the birds. This, understandably, made the birds very mad.

As unlikely as the scenario might seem, the task was no doubt made easier for the pigs by the fact that the birds are wingless. Fascinating concept: disembodied green pig heads stealing golden eggs from wingless birds.

All this leads to my latest personal crisis. The local feral pigs have taken up serious nighttime screaming. This starts sometime after midnight. They rotate with the coyotes. This was already semi-creepy. Then about 3 nights ago, around 2-3 a.m. a persistent thumping ritual has begun, moving back and forth across the RV roof.  We’re sitting in the middle of absolutely nothing, unless you count the giant alien weeds.

It’s a LONG way to a tree and the ladder is too high off the ground for a raccoon. I’ve seen some bats at dusk but unless they’re also forming a Union, I’m left to conclude that the screaming pigs have managed to, once again, steal the golden eggs, causing very angry birds to flock to my roof.