Spent the past several days shopping for furniture to fill the house in anticipation of eventually closing the deal.  Uncle Sam (in the guise of HUD) is taking his sweet time, although the contract offer has been accepted and approved.

Once I actually take possession I’m going to have to have the interior painted and new flooring installed before I actually move in.  But when that day comes, I’ll have the living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture I’ve now purchased delivered.

I won’t bore you with the details of my shopping experience (at least any more so than I already have), but I will relate a little story that I thought was kinda funny.

I had looked at a leather couch/love seat combo I rather fancied at Ashley Furniture.  About twice as expensive as the leather blends that are quite popular, but I’m hoping to make this the final furniture purchase in this lifetime.  So I had to consider quality over price, at least to the extent I could afford to do so. Still,  I wanted to stew on the decision for a bit before pulling the trigger.  A few days later I found a bedroom suite that filled the bill at Value City and I completed the purchase transaction with my salesman, Maurice.

Having now made up my mind to go with the leather at the Ashley store, I hooked up with Eva, the salesperson who had assisted me on my previous visit.  She asked me if I had bought a bedroom set at Value City the previous day. I was somewhat taken aback, but confessed that I had in fact done so.  It turns out that Maurice is Eva’s husband.  Apparently he had told her about his “big sale” (these folks work on commission) and I guess his description of us rang a bell with Eva.

Anyway, I thought that was a pretty amazing coincidence.  I mean, the sales staff in both stores just grab the customers randomly as they enter the store.  What are the odds that I’d just happen to get both ends of the married couple?

I guess I made both of their days. And Eva said she’d be sure and remind Maurice she got the bigger sale.  Me?  I’m feeling quite a bit poorer for the experience.  But I got some nice stuff.

Like ducks to water

Last night the McCrarey’s invaded Puddlin’ Duck for some darts.  Brother Keith (visiting from California) and my son Kevin joined me in the weekly competition, with daughter-in-law Lauren and Jee Yeun handling the cheerleading duties.  Who’d a thunk that you’d find so many McCrarey’s in an Irish pub of all places?

Now, Keith and Kevin hadn’t played in a dart tourney before and by virtue of the vagaries of the blind draw format wound up being teammates.  And they defied odds by winning their first match in a hard fought battle.  Kevin seems to have a natural knack for hitting the double out and that served him well.

Of course, they advanced to meet me and my partner Pat in the next round and we showed them no mercy.  Darts does not recognize family blood after all.

It was a good night for this McCrarey though as I achieved tournament victory for the first time here in South Carolina.

Nothin’ is finer than winning in Carolina, to coin a phrase.

Anyway, we all had a great time and I expect Kevin may become a regular participant.  And no doubt he’s going to be beating me with regularity before too long.  He didn’t say it, but his face said “payback is hell”.

Let the darts fly!

Soup or bowl?

Everybody around here seems to talking about that age old question of which came first, the soup or the bowl.   It seems fairly obvious that you couldn’t possible invent soup unless and until you had a bowl in which to place it.  But that’s just me.

Anyway, I understand that the issue is to be decided on something called a gridiron today.  Seems these soup packers from Green Bay or going to attempt to fill some steel bowls made in Pittsburgh or something.  Everyone is getting together at my daughter’s house to watch the action.

I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.  I’m not that hot on soup anyway.  Now, some good ol’ chili is always nice.  Especially in a steel bowl.

State Street Pub

Another night, another darts venue.  State Street Pub in West Columbia has a Thursday tourney.  It’s about forty minutes from where I’m staying, but what are you gonna do?

So, I arrived early and was underwhelmed at first.  It was like Friends Bar in Itaewon, with somewhat better lighting.  In other words a bit of a dive and not too clean.

When the darters started showing up it made me feel a tad old.  They all appeared to be 20- somethings.  I guess I was old in Korea too, I just never felt that way.  At least not too often.

Anyway, everyone turned out to be very friendly and made us feel genuinely welcome.  And I wound up having a great time.  My game was only so-so, but truth be told, that’s usually the case, so what the hell.

Interesting format–one leg of cricket in the winners bracket, one leg of 301 (SIDO) in the losers bracket.  It keeps things moving pretty fast and even with 20 or so playing there wasn’t much waiting time.

There were some quality players present, (at least the ones who beat me of course!).  A group had come in from Aiken, SC to play and I got invited out for the Friday tourney at the VFW.  I might venture out there one of these days, but given the distance (a good hour from here) I’d probably want to book a room for the night.

So, it is good to be out and good to be playing again.