Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Its the Thursday Three!

Terry has the Thursday Three posted for this week already. I'm even going to try to play today even though I've already mentioned several of the presents that I either received or gave this Christmas past. So, here's my answers-

1. Best gift I received or gave this year? Hmm. I've had 2 emails proclaiming that the slot car set that I bought for my nephew in Michigan has been a big success, so maybe that one was best. But the hummingbird decorated, white painted necklace rack that I made for the BSU was a big hit too. (Now that I have a digital camera, I could take a picture of that little present).

I actually hope that the 2 copies of Silent America for my sons will turn out to be the best presents that I gave this year.

2. The worst gift I received or gave? There really weren't any stinkers this year. I did receive a Hot Wheels car from son Noah that I picked out and paid for for myself which he snatched out of the shopping bag the week before Christmas and told me to be surprised...

3. The gift I'm going back to get for myself? I've already made mention of the welder I received and I do think I will be upgrading to the more advanced model. The Harbor Freight in SLC stocks the model I want but they are currently out of stock with more expected next week. That's it really, no other requirements to exchange or return any unwanted or wrong sized gifts. Not even any new pants that require hemming to fit my short legs.

I didn't get any parts for the buildup of my next computer but then, I didn't begin to expect any either. But I am planning to build a new computer this year to replace our groaning, underpowered, under memoried 5 year old P2 400mhz machine.

Now I've got paying work to attend to for the day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Yesterday I found the package of 2 copies of Silent America safely tucked on the corner of my front step. Thanks UPS man!

I bought a copy for each of my sons. Bill's essays, I believe accurately and eloquently describe the characteristics that make America and Americans unique in the world and I tried to say as much to my boys in the note I left them inside each cover. I hope they will read this book and understand.

If you haven't read the essays, they are all still available online at Eject! Eject! Eject!, so check them out.

And now I need a copy for myself to keep and to share...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

If you want to see the Nativity scene

here is my house. Drive by anytime. If you're friendly stop in, we'll make some hot cocoa.

UPDATE: Playing with this map today a little bit, I discovered that the first post was only displaying at the 200M line bar and by clicking the "IN" button I was able to zoom in even closer until after a couple clicks I was at the 25M line bar point. That's what is howing now. The red circle is actually on my next door neighbors house, mine is just on the left side of the shared driveway. That's our Fiberfab Avenger kitcar behind the carport, (the red car) and the camper is out in front of the carport. Obviously the picture was taken while I was at work and the boy was out 'cause there's no other cars in the drive. You can see the mailbox at the curb, the miniature cherry tree in the front yard and the curved sidewalk to the front door. My shop roof is visible, directly behind the red car, its the smallest of the three roofs that almost seem joined together at the back of the yard.

What's the picture of your house look like?

Hey, thanks Bruce!

Notice that my page has been restored to its proper appearance after my previous post about the Nativity picture dorking things up. The kind Bruce, from mASS BACKWARDS took the time to resize my picture and send me a link to where he has it stored, thus restoring the correct appearance to WE. His assistance came in through the comments to the previous post.

So thanks! And I'll maybe get some time to tinker with margins later this week.

My page is messed up.

Or at least it appears that way, using IE from the job and using the settings that seem to work for everything else. Its due to the Nativity scene picture and will be back to normal after it moves into the archives. If you're looking for everything in my right side box and it seems to be missing- its waay down there below all the posts.

Sorry 'bout that. I'm too lazy to resize the picture to make it fit so you'll just have to adjust for a few days.

One of these days- one of these days, I intend to try to figure out how to resize the picture files that make all the nice, rounded corners on the boxes on my template. I've got to figure out that trick first and then I can make the post box wider and shrink the margins on each side to give me more writing room.

But it ain't happening today...

I got noticed at Eject! Eject! Eject!

That's Bill Whittle's illustrious blog of course, deep in the comments, in the re-telling of the cross country adventure by Bill's friend and cohort, Steve, aka Great Hairy Silverback. I extended an invitation (in an earlier comment) to lunch and a visit to John Moses Browning's design shop if their trip should get them into my area. Steve tells the tale of the trip from Florida to Los Angeles, a fete by the DuToits and a mention to me that he stopped over in Salt Lake City, all in one comment.

I feel mighty privileged to get recognized in such fine and distinguished company.

Now if the two copies of Bill's book I purchased would just arrive at my doorstep...

Monday, December 27, 2004

More Grandbaby pictures!

Here's one from the hospital's web site. Say hi to Astin.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The oddest circumstance happened

on Christmas morning at my house. We were opening presents in the family room, lovely spouse, Noah, girlfriend Lili and myself. The CD changer had 6 discs of holiday music playing and Noah had set it to just pick songs at random from any of the discs. I was unwrapping this little package, Peanuts A Charlie Brown Christmas, and as I was unwrapping it, this song began to play.

It was so perfect that I thought the boy had preplanned it somehow but it was entirely coincidence.

Isn't that cool?

I love the book!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

What Santa Claus brought me this year!

I think I must have been a very good boy based upon the presents under the tree for me this Christmas morning. I got a digital camera from Kodak, its a model CX7430 with 4.0 mega pixels and a 3X optical zoom feature. It takes REALLY big pictures in the default mode, but not very many fit on the internal memory... But the quality seems just fine and the controls are starting to be understandable.

I also received a welder! Hurrah! It looks like this Harbor Freight Easy MIG unit. While its probably completely capable of most of the work I might want to do, I might just upgrade to this welder for a little additional flexibility and power. And we know power tools are all about power now, don't we?

I received a double cd set of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band live in Auburn Washington, the first cd is spinning my computer's drive right now! Later tonight I hope to be watching my Blues Brothers 2000 video that kind Lili bought for me.

We also had a surprise visit by grandson Astin and his proud folks. They has said they might not be coming out with the baby for fears of him catching ill. But Sarah's mom had to catch a plane home and so, while they were out anyway, they came on up to Ogden and surprised us. It was really quite wonderful.

So Christmas day passed quietly at our house with everyone playing with their new gifts and napping in between snacking. A fine time was had by all.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas to Each of You

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David),to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

A Cajun 12 Days of Christmas

From Mostly Cajun of course, a slightly different take on a traditional favorite.
Day 3. Dear Emile, Why doan you sen me some crawfish? I’m tired of eating dem darned bird. I gave two of those prissy French chicken to Mrs. Fontenot over at Grand Chenier, and fed the tird one to my dog, Phideaux. Mrs. Fontenot needed some sparring partners for her fighting rooster.
Its fun, so check it out.

Merry Christmas Tanker!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

It gets hot out on those ramps...

Which might explain strange behavior like this crew chief marshalling his jet out from under the canopy.

Having spent a few minutes of my life out there on the ramp I can assure you that long hours, sunshine and boredom can create foolishness that you might not see anywhere else.

A long time ago, when I was a scheduler in a tanker unit at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, I was upstairs, waiting to get into the commanders office for a signature on some routine business. Outside, in the hallway were 4 guys, two of whom were mid-grade NCOs that I knew were the expediters that drove the trucks on the flight line every day. These four guys were obviously waiting to see the commander for something much less routine than my business, in fact, the looked like kids sent to the princpal's office for misbehaving in class.

Turns out, that's what it was- misbehavior. Simple, seemingly fun stuff, or do it seemed, water ballons on the flight line for a little levity. Seems that one truck was approaching the other on the access road and somebody decided it would be fun to toss a water balloon out, onto the windshield of the second truck- just to see the splash on the unsuspecting driver's windshield.

You know what happened. The balloon did not burst harmlessly, instead it struck the glass like a pineapple and shattered the windshield into the lap of the driver and passenger! Yeah. It spread glass on the road, in the truck, required a major cleanup and took an important truck out of commision for a day or two. And I'm mighty certain it earned some serious butt-chewing for the party's involved.

Another day I'll tell you about flightline naps...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Fan Wing Airplanes, ever heard of these?

I haven't until I discovered the link at Synthstuff, fanwing aircraft. This is the coolest but somehow, most disturbing aircraft development I think I've ever seen. The links go to where you can see video clips of this creation in flight.

Its weird. Very weird. Cool but weird.

My Christmas Wish

I want some of these balloons! I'll tie them to the back of my scooter for my commute to work!

And thanks for the link from Synthstuff who has recently added me to their bloglist. I gotta check this out a little more frequently!

May I Introduce to You- For the Very First Time

My grandson, Astin Michael.

And the proud new Dad, Kye

All the pictures taken with the technological wonder of cell phones with cameras built in!

Ever wonder how Christmas is celebrated in the White House?

Then you've got to go here and see. If you've got a broadband connection, click the link "Where in the World is Miss Beasly" over on the right. Its the only chance you will get to see Carl Rove being attacked with tree ornaments! Thanks to Red Sugar Muse for finding it first.

Friday, December 17, 2004

For Onto Us a Child is Given...

That phone call was from the eldest son, Kye. He and lovely wife Sara were at the hospital and the baby was due momentarily. Could we come down to the hospital right away?

Silly question.

I did grab a quick shower and Noah canceled our dinner plans over at the girlfriend's and we headed out with nothing but a quick stop at Mc'D's and to grab a one-time use camera. By the time we arrived, Baby McCord was already 35 minutes born.

He's very beautiful. A thick head of dark hair scrunched down by the obligatory stocking cap. A dimple is on the end of his nose. Mom looked radiant. Tired, exhausted maybe but radiant none the less. She had gone into labor this morning about 1AM but had elected to stay at home until they were both really sure that it was time. When her water broke, they decided it was time! So there were no complications and mom and baby were doing just fine.

Lucky for me I had just stopped earlier today at the smoke shop where I buy my usual cigars. I even took a quick look at the celebratory, "Its A Boy" cigars but did not see a brand that I thought anyone would actually enjoy smoking. But at least I had my regular smokes in my pocket and when the nurses came in for a bit of a check on mom's circumstances, Noah, Kye & I went outside for a smoke.

So we stood in the dark and the cold for a bit doing the thing that men have done since the invention of fire. I gave him a big hug and he told me how surreal the whole circumstance had been for him so far. We talked about Noah's birth which Kye had been a part of since Noah was born at home with a midwife's presence. One of the most treasured photographs in our family is of Kye, 4 years old and curly headed, wearing his pjs, holding his minutes-old baby brother. We talked about lots of stuff and nothing at all but we shared the moments while fatherhood began to sink into his reality.

Later we headed back upstairs for a few more minutes with mom and baby and we took a couple pictures that later I'll get posted. In leaving, I reminded Sara that the real adventure starts now, with a lifetime of parenting and all the challenges it brings.

I'm certain that the two of them, now 3, will be ready for the challenges.

On the way home I said a silent prayer of thanks and asked for a blessing for this new family. I'm reminded that I might extend this same prayer for them, with them, tomorrow or the next day.

But no name for Baby McCord tonight. Mom is still trying out Aston or Gabriel. I suggested that a fine middle name might be Wright, since his birthday is the same as the first day of the Wright brother's success at Kitty Hawk.

Anyway, its official. I'm a grandpa. And it feels mighty good.

Mission Accomplished-

Regarding today's itinerary and this morning's post. Not only did it require 3 trips to Lowes but my local store didn't have the gas valve I needed when I got there, which meant I had to turn around and go away from the house by 15 miles to the next Lowes that did have both the parts. And, due to a complete lack of understanding by the friendly staff behind the counter, I got both parts for free, thank you very much!

I did get the spouse to the airport on time. The place was packed! I have never seen the Salt Lake airport bustling and swarming as it was today. A veritable crush of humanity that, miraculously was moving through all the steps required to get on an airplane these days in very swift order. Check in was no trouble and the line progressed so rapidly towards the security check-in that I nearly lost my beloved to the X-ray machine while I stepped over to the ATM. She was a little bit rattled by the crush of folks and moreso when she arrived at Portland's big airport but she did make it ok and the sister was there to pick her up just as planned.

I took my test on my way home from the airport and before I went chasing water heater parts so that was successful. And I stopped off to pay an grievious bill that causes me much stress only to be told that they had pillaged my accounts enough already this month and no further payment was expected. WhooHoo! That's a $300 bonus right before Christmas!

And the hot water fired right up first time after I replaced the new parts and thread taped everything and refilled the tank with fresh water. Hooray! Fear me- I'm a man with tools and I'm not afraid to use them!

I had just sat down with my first celebratory beer after putting away my tools and was waiting for enough hot water for my first shower since Wednesday when the phone rang...

Now entering the 2nd day without hot water...

And I'm shortly to head to Lowes for the 3rd time trying to get the hot water heater working. I've already bought the cheap thermocouple which was the wrong one, exchanged it for the proper thermocouple, installed it without successfully generating hot water, made 2 phone calls to the Whirlpool tech hot line and now I have an authorization number that will provide me at no charge, another thermocouple.

In between, I've got to finish studying for my accounting final which I must beg permission to reschedule for later today because I must be shuttling the BSU to the airport at that exact same time.

I'm not at all convinced that another thermocouple is the answer but the nice woman at the other end of the tech line assures me the thermostat/gas valves never fail...

Stressed? No, not me!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I'd buy this car if I could.

It's Wayne & Garth's flamed Pacer! It would be better, if you ask me, if were the wagon version, but hey, its famous!

Pretty neat Mustang for sale too.

RE: Testing- Is this thing on?

Trying it again...
-----Original Message-----
From: McCord Nathaniel R Contr OO-ALC/YPVO
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 8:39 AM
To: ''
Subject: Testing- Is this thing on?

This should be fun! I'm trying one of those new-fangled posts directly from
my email. If it works it might signal additional opportunity to post from
the cubicle since nobody can really tell I'm writing for you instead of for
the folks paying me.


Let's see if this works!

Email posting is NOT working...

Can anyone advise?

Especially for Ruby

And Sugarmama, who Terry is meeting for lunch today, the lucky bum. Its a cute
Christmas cartoon so check it out when you get a chance.

The Thursday Three!

And I'm playing this week. I shouldn't be, instead I should be slaving away as a good little (barely) civil servant, but what the heck, its for the holidays.

#1. When does the tree go up in our household? Not until December is well under way, sometime between the first weekend and the second weekend. Shopping for the tree, a real tree, remains a familial tradition that requires all members to be present- no letting the kids sneak off on some less important venture. We try to reserve the trip to the tree seller's corner for a night with a good snow fall taking place, the more snow the better. Something about going out in the dark and picking a tree while the snow falls all around really gets me in the mood to loosen the strings on my wallet, so we pick a tree, I pay and then we head home for hot cocoa. This year's trip did not include snow sadly but did incorporate dinner at Western Sizzler before the big event.

And I got off pretty easy on the wallet this year too. The spouse always says she wants a big tree, knowing that our basement family room is small and low-ceilinged. She even said it this year but then chose a beautiful, small tree as the one she wanted.

#2. Shopping is usually a last minute event at our house, just because a) I'm cheap and b) I try really hard not to get sucked into the buying-is-the-reason-for-the-season too soon. The spouse plans ahead a little bit as she often is sewing gifts for her sisters and that takes time. Like tree shopping, I really prefer a good snowstorm to get me in the mood for spending money on presents. Something about those big fat flakes falling below the streetlights really gets me in the spirit of buying. With the advent of online shopping that significance seems to pale somewhat but if the vendors really want me to get crazy with my money, they better arrange for a good snowfall outside the mall. Gift cards to a restaurant only occasionally for the boy & his girlfriend as stocking stuffers.

#3. We mostly stay close to home. After a Christmas Eve church service we generally stay at home for Christmas Day. After so many years of being in the service and far away from family we've gotten used to a quiet day by ourselves. Its too far to get to Michigan or Florida or Ohio so we just don't try. Its kind of nice that now that the oldest son and his wife (and impending grandson) lives less than an hour away, they usually come to visit for the afternoon. But its generally a laid back day with the cd changer stacked full of tunes, snack foods laid out for browsing and a chance to relax, explore new toys or start on a new book.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Thanks to Bronners Christmas Store

I can't quit tonight without thanking Bronners, the World's Largest Christmas Store ® for not only having the set of wisemen I needed to replace my set in stock but also for shipping them to me in time for the wind storm to collapse the stable on their heads.

Bronners is a midwestern-northern part of America icon that everybody that loves Christmas must visit and experience at least once. We were fortunate to spend a couple hours there the summer before last on our return from my Grandmother's birthday celebration in Alpena. Bronners is part of the village of Frankenmuth, (find your own link tonight), a cutesy, Bavarian influenced town that exists to provide rooms and food for the folks visiting the Christmas store.

The store is amazing and wonderful and jaw-droppingly stuffed with every Christmas ornament, tree, nativity scene, (in many sizes including full size) and trinket you can't even imagine. Consider maybe two Home Depot stores in size? Its big! And its worth a visit if you're ever in the same time zone so check it out.

Or, just click the link down there in my blog ads! They are showing up right now and its worth it. Really!

Regarding that last post about school-

the BSU assures me that we WILL be taking a cruise within weeks of my graduation! Even if she has to drag me by my mostly bald scalp!

I made a schedule the other day

that shows I can complete my Bachelor's degree in Logistics Management in October 2006 if I take 2 classes per term and don't skip any terms. If I weren't quite so liquored up, I'd find a way to post it on the web, (its an Excel spreadsheet, isn't everything I make a spreadsheet?) for everyone to see. But its not happening tonight. Or this week. Maybe between shopping and skiing during the weekend...

Anyway, I'm kinda proud of it and I happened to make it at a splendid point in time since many of the remaining classes I need are only offered every other year. I've now mapped everything out so I won't miss anything critical and I have a very firm view of my life over the next 2 years.

I also saw a brochure for a MS degree in Aeronautics Logistics/Program Management yesterday... hmm...

One test down...

and one to go. Business Law is finished with just a couple questions that I need a little advise on that I will get tomorrow. Accounting final isn't until lunchtime Friday, leaving me tomorrow night to work the study guide and Thursday's class time will be group review instead of lecture.

One of the programs that I was assigned last summer has pulled back to the front of the stove and is now on a hot burner that should keep me moving fast right after the first of the year. It might even be fun. Too tired for details tonight though.

I had a bright idea a few minutes ago. I might just register and build me a website with all the links and pictures that prove that Vento Motorcycles is a lying corporation over the holiday. Or maybe I'm open to suggestions if you want to leave them in the comments. What's a domain name cost, 15 bucks? Another 100 or so for some server space? I gotta check this out...

I told you I was busy!

and I'm not kidding!

No long term damage to the nativity scene but repairs do need to be made to the stable tonight before all is well.

And there's still the Business Law final exam to finish tonight. And studying for Friday's Accounting final. Some homework to finish as well.

Its also 47 degrees and there's no snow on the ground with none predicted before Christmas... Grrr!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Unique deer hunting method-

Kenny, ya gotta go see this! Deer hunting with a 12 Lb Howitzer! Successful deer hunting! Found the link at Possumblog.

Bad news on the nativity scene…

Strong winds were blowing out of the canyon this morning when I got up and it remains blowing hard from the east and down the slope of the mountain. The wind has blown down my manger and toppled all the characters from my nativity scene. I did not take time when leaving this morning to investigate the damage, I was late for work and cleaning up-fixing up would have taken too long.

But it’s a sad scene in my front yard this morning… I just put out new Wise Men over the weekend as two of them had cracked while in storage this year and had to be replaced at a not insubstantial 100+ dollars on the old debit card. I'm going to be really distracted today not knowing the condition of my characters and unhappy if there's been any damage besides being blown over.

Our manger is made from roofing chipboard and wooden slatting and consists of a 3 piece section of walls and another 3 piece section of sloping roof held together with 2 door hinges and all tied to the ground with some cord and stakes. The whole thing was flipped over with the inside of the roof showing and the characters scattered when I drove away. Which really concerns me because there's an angel attached to the top of the roof! I'm worried about her condition.

Anyway, I forgot my watch, work beckons and for some reason I can't get into the online registration for next term's classes which is supposed to be open this morning. So, yeah, call me Grumpy this morning.

Apologies for the lack of posting.

But real life has been (mostly) pleasantly intruding. School finishes this week, ski season started over the weekend, there was a party to attend, (with pictures!) and upgrades and repairs to my outdoor nativity scene to keep me busy.

I'm ok. Honest. Just busy.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Post found at Physic Geek's place
Subject: Temporary Permit

Due to the crush of taxpayers and holiday visitors, you are hereby granted a permit to use your stable, barn, or any agricultural outbuildings for temporary lodging or shelter for up to 30 days from this date.

Address any appeals to:
ATTN: Manger Manager
and this:
Date: Wed, 25 Dec


Subject: Praise the Lord ...

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
You might enjoy the whole thing.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

On Marines and compassion; a Marine's POV

The two things are not mutually exclusive. Go read the email from Marine LtCol Mark Smith over at Blackfive's place.

I can't find a good way to excerpt this letter or its message so I implore you just to read the whole thing. I happen to agree with LtCol Smith.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Pumpkin Bombing!

These guys seemed to be having almost as much fun as Punkin Chunkers; Zen And The Art Of Pumpkin Bombing.
So, armed with reason and FARs, a dozen mostly civil antique airplanes rendezvoused at a secret airfield in the hills along the Missouri border where federal statutes have always been seen more as obstacles than mandates. Pilot names and aircraft registration numbers have been sanitized in the interest of taking "reasonable precautions." Suffice it to say that the average airplane was 50 years old, and the pilots about the same age. Most were armed with shotguns for the morning's skeet contest in which free-range skeeters were released before a line of near-sighted shooters who mostly tossed a lot of lead shot into nearby trees. After that, a light lunch of chili, Doritos, and crème soda was served, followed by a military-style pre-mission briefing.

Nervous anticipation hung over the assembled crews like an unclaimed bean fart as Commander Sparky (not his real name) sketched the bombing mission. "Gentlemen," he called. "Try not to hit my car again this year." Then with a steely glance at the flight crews, knowing that some would not be coming back because the chili was gone, he said, "I gotta take a leak." Most of us took that as the code for, "Pick yer pumpkins and Godspeed."
And somehow, a B-25 came out to play with these guys!

Concerning that post about women and being friends

Regular readers may infer that there is more to the story than has been told. You would be correct.

Just so you know

The previous post was a test of the supposedly simple method used by Blogger to put my picture over there on the right in my profile. It obviously did not work. Anyway, that's my mug.

Also, if you scroll down to the archives, you will see January 2003 listed there, completely out of order from the other archive dates. That January link is to my very first month of blogging- back when I started out with Blogger and before I moved to Blogstudio and of course, back to Blogger last spring.

The links are gone in the archived page. And I'm trying, as time allows, to locate and repost the remaining months back here to this site. The Blogstudio web master has been assisting a little but mostly it is up to me to track backwards from referrals that located the page. Dodgy to be sure but maybe I can collect much of my old ramblings.

Anyway, I thought you should know.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Me at work. The goatee is gone and the glasses have been replaced with much cooler ones, but that's me. Posted by Hello

Friday, December 03, 2004

On having women as "friends..."

Last week I happened to catch comic Alonzo Bodden on The Tonight Show. Alonzo did a few minutes of standup comedy and he talked about being friends with women that you aren't dating. He said,
"Being friends with a woman is like having nothing in your wallet but your ATM card and there's nineteen dollars in your bank account."
Hmm, I think he is right.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

For every person with a family member in uniform

and for those that need reminded what it is like to serve this country in uniform, go watch Until Then. Be humbled by these scenes and be proud of those that serve.

Note- this comes with a hankie requirement and lump in your throat alert. Found at Black Five's blog.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Utah and pets in the news again today!

What the heck is going on except foolishness that's causing the Zion Curtain to be rent and our embarrasing behaviors to be displayed for the whole world to see? Yesterday it was the story about silly laws in Provo governing how many and what types of pets could be owned, today the story is about a woman performing surgery on her deceased chihuahua to save the puppy's lives!
CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) - A quick-thinking EMT performed a Caesarean section on her dead Chihuahua to save the lives of three puppies. Carolyn Shaw was at work two weeks ago when she received a call from her husband, saying their long-haired Chihuahua, Annie, was in labor and whimpering under the bed.
Next thing you know someone will be reporting that Ken Jennings finally looses in Jeopardy! Like that could happen...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Stories from Behind the Zion Curtain-

Today, pet ownership is in the news.
PROVO, Utah (AP) - The truth about cats and dogs in this city is that they aren't allowed to live in the same house. But that's about to change.

Current city law allows residents to own up to two dogs or two cats at the same time - but not a dog and a cat together. After getting complaints, the City Council is expected to change the law next month.

Now you might be restricted in the quantity and types of pets you can call your own but you are encouraged, even exhalted to fill up that house with a continually growing bevy of children. Children are your heavenly award, delivered early while you're here on earth don't you know. So have 5, heck, have 6 and double-stack them in that suburban rambler that you can't afford without working 2 or 3 jobs.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

What I'm thankful for this season

Sure, I know that last Thursday was actually Thanksgiving and I know that I did not write an eloquent, heartfelt memorial to all the good things in my life as so many folks did.

But make no mistake; I am thankful for many things, not the least of which was actually this weekend. I celebrated Thanksgiving day by catching the very end of the Macy's day parade, just in time to see Santa pass by the terrific float with all the wonder and children and imitation reindeer. Later I cleaned house in anticipation of company coming to dinner, which considering my BSU's circumstances over the past couple years was a remarkable change.

That's right, we had Thanksgiving dinner here, at our house, with family and friends. And it turned out wonderful. Noah & I cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, put stuff away, even making our upstairs living room into a presentable place to sit and visit. We swapped tables around, dug for tableclothes and washed dishes while the spouse dirtied them up preparing a very typical, traditional dinner which she did in splendid order.

The menu was turkey of course and the ham waited for another day. There was mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin and banana creme pie, fluffy bread rolls, cranberry dressing of a couple types, yams and deviled eggs. As I said, the usual stuff but this time prepared by a woman with enough energy and confidence to tackle all this by herself with just peeling and chopping and washing duties being handed over to Noah & I.

Vicky, Lily's mom and my occasional Raptor's baseball game partner came to dinner as well as Lily and later, son Kye and very expectant daughter-in-law, Sara. The kids arrived late because they were waiting on some friends of theirs to show but eventually we did all get to sit down together and enjoy a fantastic dinner and pleasant conversation.

It was wonderful and I was so proud of my beloved that I thought I would burst. Or maybe it was the pie.

Friday was a beautiful day ouside- the calm before the storm so to speak and what did I do? Nothing outside. I went out once to bring in the mail. Saturday it was snowing and blowing so what did I do? Why, I dragged out the Christmas decorations that needed to go on the roof and the trees out front of course! Noah and I put up the lights and the Heavenly Host Trio of angels on the roof and the star, again lashed to the swamp cooler in the center of the roof. Next weekend we will bring out the remainder of the nativity scene but on Saturday we contented ourselves with getting the trees wrapped and the roof preparations completed.

You know what was nice about this weekend? I didn't leave my yard from Wednesday evening until just after midnight Sunday morning! I stayed at home. I didn't go shopping, I didn't have to run out for dinner preparations, I just stayed home. I had a Business Law test to complete, Accounting homework to prepare and a paperback book to finish reading. It felt terrific not to have to move except from the fridge to my chair or to the computer room.

I did get a phone call from son Noah last night that was a "rescue us" call. For some reason the always reliable Tracker took a powder and refused to cooperate when the boy and Lily were ready to leave the movies. It wouldn't start. Or rather, it started for just enough seconds for him to get into reverse to leave, then it died. I hauled the two home last night and today we went back to try to get the trucklet working and/or home.

The stubborn thing wouldn't start this morning when we went back even though it apparently had both fuel and spark. The spark on the removed plug seemed kinda puny so we installed a new rotor and distributor cap but to no improvement. So we strap dragged it home. Once we got to our street, I stopped and instructed son Noah to put it into gear and how we would try to bump start it, just to see if that might work... Which, of course it did! Dang thing fired on the second spin of the crank! And seemed to be running fine as soon as it wamed a minute... Hmm. Eventually we found nothing wrong with the Tracker. It has turned cold and he did buy gas earlier in the afternoon, so its possible it was nothing but fuel line freeze or sme freezing in the throttle body. Whatever, its working now and I sent the boy to the store for some fuel line freeze preventer in a bottle to see if that keeps the problem at bay.

I did leave the house again this afternoon, this time to go see The Incredibles. Let me tell ya, this ain't just a kids film, it was great! Very funny story with lots of acton and a bunch of inside sight gags that you really have to watch closely to catch. It is a little "Bond- James Bond" as the story gets into the action-adventure portion of the film, but that was part of the fun, spoofing James B. I especially loved all the cars in the movie- lots of fun shapes.

Two things that tickled me about the cars, but you have to guess what they were. First one had to deal with one of the very first cars shown in the film and it's license plate. The second tickle had to do with the fancy sports car that Mr. Incredible buys partway through the movie and it takes place in the family's garage... Did anybody else spot what I did? The motorheads in the group might figure out what I saw, so leave your guesses in the comments.

Anyway, the movie was funny and a great story. Definitely worth seeing, maybe more than once. And my weekend has been terrific for all the reasons blathered about in the previous paragraphs.

There's a million things I'm very thankful for, but for this season, I'm especially thankful that my spouse is feeling good. Good enough to enjoy her kitchen, her cooking skills and well enough to have company in the house. Its been a long time since she felt well enough to tackle any of those things and I'm very thankful for her improved health.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and prayers. I'm certain they had an impact on her well being.

Now its time for pie- then bed time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Schoolwork Update

97% on yesterday's accounting exam! That made me very happy! Tonight is another round of fast paced Business Law and then a take-home test that should occupy 2-3 hours of my weekend.

Checking 6 on the Job, Part 2

!!UPDATE!! I found out who wrote the comment on the whine board! It was Sandy, one of the sweetest women in the building and one that I have a terrific relationship with! And she of course was joking. She even mentioned it to me in the hallway before writing it, I just didn't hear her remark.She was horrified to find out that I didn't know it was a joke. I got a nice hug from her as well. All's forgiven!

Well, I did receive a reply from the boss concerning the rather hurtful comment left last week on the whine board that I wrote about here. She did offer an apology for not being aware of the circumstances and not realizing that I wasn't a participant in the foolishness that took place. She assured me that there was no problem with my performance and she offered the probably true suggestion that whoever put the "working with Nate McCord" whine on the board was trying to be funny.

She also agreed that should the whine board ever be reinstituted that some ground rules about personal attacks would be required.

So I guess I'm satisfied. I'm still going to be checking behind me regularly to ensure nobody's sneaking up on me.

Aww- Dude!

Close air support for our Marines on the ground in Fallujah, brought to you by the friendly folks of the USAF, F-16 warfighting community!

I definitely know the guys that made 500 pound guided bombs on the F16 a reality, they work around the corner from my cubicle. I may even know the guys doing the jet driving for this mission!

Help a Serviceman Call Home

I've had that link over there on the right almost forever as an encouragement to anyone that would like to support our deployed service people by providing them with calling cards that enable them to stay in touch with their family. I cannot tell you how important it is to both the service member and their family back home to get a phone call every now and then. Its a big, lonely world for the parties on either end of a deployment and a phone call from dad to a young child or a wife's kind word of encouragement can make all the difference.

But calling home is often expensive if its available at all and the cost of overseas calls can bust a family's strained budget. One of the kindest things we back here at home can do is to provide a phone card or two to our troops. So my encouragement to you is to use the Operation Uplink button over there on the right or you can go here and purchase phone cards that will be provided to our service folks.

Help them out if you can. It will be appreciated, I promise you that.

A Thanksgiving Photo Blog Post

Rev. Donald over at One Hand Clapping has posted a series of pictures of what he is thankful for. Its a marvelous post and perfect sentiment. Go check it out.

While you're there, find the popcicle stick reindeer. I have one almost identical but made from a wooden clothespin. Its special and I cherish it and I'll guess that the Reverend's reindeer came from the same place mine did, a caring service group making ornaments to be handed out to deployed GIs serving away from home over the holidays.

Maybe I could get busy and find the time to follow his lead on this meme.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Checking 6 on the job...

I've had the strangest thing occur on the job since last Friday and it has left me distressed and angry. So this is a rant I suppose...

Last Friday was a hastily devised "Wingman Day" put together on short notice to manditorily cause all the military and civil service folks to attend briefings on the importance of looking out for one another and each person being a "wingman" to their fellow coworkers. This whole thing was put together to attempt to reign in the unusually high number of people committing suicide that the Air Force has lost this year. So, as I mentioned, there were mandatory briefings, mandatory health and fitness time with a group walk around the pond and then each division was tasked to implement some kind of additional, well-intentioned, theraputic, touchy-feely team building exercise.

Our bosses thought it would be great fun to have a "Whine & Cheese Party." Which they implemented by clearing a couple white boards so that everyone could leave a whine and then have some cheese curls or cheese puffs or even cheesecake. Everybody was encouraged to just leave whatever whine they had on the board, anonymously of course and then indulge in whatever bit of cheese they desired.

Well I didn't desire at all, thank you very much, so I skipped leaving a whine and I skipped the cheesecake. I had work to do and I didn't feel like playing on Friday.

So this morning, I'm at work and walking past the boss's office where one of the white boards remains filled with Friday's whines. Number 12, near the bottom, someone wrote, "working for 4 years with Nate McCord." WTF?

Now I'm a pretty easy going guy overall and I intentionally try not to bug folks if my work doesn't directly intersect with their work. I try carefully to maintain a professional demeanor and rarely get involved with any of the flirtations and extended BS sessions that sometimes go on in surrounding cubicles. I don't not talk to people and there are folks that I converse with for purely conversational pleasure, Bob the religious artifacts dealer sits just around the corner from me and so does Kenny from Coffee in the Morning. So I'm not a scrooge, I just try to mind my own business.

I've also been on the job 5 years next month so I believe that whoever it was taking offense to me arrived after I did in the building. Since it was Friday and since it was this "special" day, a big number of the civil service folks took a day's leave and so weren't there to disparage me so publicly.

Anyway, I went to my boss and showed him the whine board. He assured me that nobody was coming to him complaining about me in any way. He thought that the remark must have been somebody's bad idea of a joke but agreed that it wasn't funny especially since I had not been there to defend myself or rebuke the comment. Late today I wrote an email to my boss and his boss, in whose office the whine board is hung on the wall and expressed my displeasure with the circumstances.

I was especially clear that it seemed odd that on a day when we were supposed to be made more aware of our coworkers and their stresses that it would be ok to make such a direct and personal attack in public without the leadership calling a "knock it off" and deeming the comment to be inappropriate.

I've not asked for an apology because whoever the nameless, cowardly person is, they most certainly are not going to grow a spine if called on the carpet for their comments if they were identified. I did ask that if this person was to be identified that we sit down in a meeting, with my boss and their's present so that whatever grievances this person has can be heard and dealt with in the light of day.

I had to leave this afternoon for a Dr's appointment before I received a response from the front office. I can't wait to hear what the boss's reply will be.

How was your day?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Its late Sunday night and time for bed

But before I go to bed, I want to encourage you to go and sign the petition to support an American Marine who has come under fire for his actions that were captured on video and broadcast to the world last week. This petition is directed to the US Congress. Please take a minute to show your support for this young fighter making life and death decisions on a battlefield against enemies that support no rules of engagement.

I left a comment when I signed the petition. It said, "get the cameramen off the battlefield and let our soldiers and marines do the task they were appointed to."

There's lots more on my mind about this circumstance that would take too long to detail tonight but those of you that know me probably already know my feelings on the subject.

And how 'bout President Bush this weekend? Don't mess with Texas is right!

Accounting homework is done for the weekend

Though I'm going to the local Starbucks for some group review an hour from now. I have been working mighty hard on this class but I like it.

More posting later.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A new addition to my blog list tonight

I promised Pammie I'd get her linked over a week ago and slacker that I am, I just remembered to do it tonight. Her blog is Lollygaggin and she's lots of fun to read. I like her thoughts and writings and she is a member of the priviledged few known as the Axis of Weevil. So check her out. Tell her I sent you, maybe she's baking cookies or something ansd she'll treat you to one!

Friday is National Ammo Day!

So get out to your favorite dealer in ammo and buy yourself a 100 rounds- just because you can! If you need more explanation, just click that banner over on the right.

I'll be stopping by Impact Guns on my way home from work tomorrow for a brick of 22LR and at least 100 rounds of 380 for my Kel-Tel P3AT. And maybe I'll buy some 9mm, just to store for a bit as an incentive to buy something that it will fit...

Only in Utah... A peek around the Zion Curtain

Today, at work I'm talking to Lynn at my desk. Lynn began his government service as a radio operator in the back of B-25 bomber during the Big War, just to give you an idea of how long he's been around. He's also a life-long Utah resident.

As we are talking some shop, Terrie strolls past, behind Lynn and down the walkway. I turned back from looking as she passed by and said to Lynn, "I wish she would marry me."

Lynn cocked his eyebrow at me and says, "Aren't you already married?"

"Sure," says I, "but living here, that's not insurmountable..."

"No," Lynn advises me, "you can't have two wives if you're going to have plural wives. You can have three, but not two."

"But what if I only want two women," I asked.

"Nope, its got to be three. Two will choose sides against the man every time. If there's a third wife, two of them will choose sides against the third and the man will get left out of the arguments. Everybody knows that."

I suppose you already knew that too. It just never occurred to me before!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

You can save Vincent's life!

Thanks to Gunner's careful reporting, I'm expanding the search for kind souls that will save Vincent's life. But you must hurry, there's only a couple weeks left!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Finally, the weekend report...

UPDATE: I found a very informative link about Burt Munro which I added in the appropriate paragraph. Check it out.

Yes, the BSU and I did go to Wendover, Nevada for a little time away on Thursday and Friday, and we had a great time. The drive over Thursday afternoon was beautiful with a dramatic storm blowing huge clouds over the mountains and horizons. That really made for a pleasant drive and its just over 2 hours away from the house.

I had a coupon for a free night's stay at the Peppermill and the room turned out to be much nicer than either of us expected. It was large, clean, nicely appointed, just nicer than you might expect. In fact, everything about the Peppermill was nicer than we expected. Nothing, anywhere that I looked was worn or dirty or scuffed. Not the carpets or the chair arms or the upholstery in any of the dining room booths, it all looked brand new.

We did gamble a little bit, as promised previously, but mostly on the casino's money. I put $20 into a penny slot machine just for fun while the spouse napped and ended up a couple drinks later with $120! Well that money was what we gambled away throughout the rest of the evening, before and after watching Saving Private Ryan in our room.

The only disappointment of the entire weekend was the buffet. More expensive than Golden Corral and the food wasn't even close to being as good. In fact, it was lousy. Most items were cold, the prime rib and the brisket were tough and the ribs were dried out stubs. A couple Bloody Mary's made it tolerable.

Breakfast was in the regular dining room and it was excellent. I had an omelette with spicy Italian sausage, she dug into eggs benedict with a pronouncement that they were wonderful. Additional Bloody Mary's made breakfast a real treat. We both enjoyed our breakfasts after a good long sleep-in and some prolonged and energetic snuzzle time before going downstairs.

After checking out, we headed back home through Wendover, Utah, which is the poor, plain cousin to Wendover, Nevada with all their neon lights, discount liquor stores and gambling. Wendover, Utah has a few filling stations, a Super 8 motel and a couple (apparently) thriving pawn shops. There is actually, serious discussion going on between the two states considering moving the state border to incorporate the Utah town into the Nevada town, something that's apparently not been done in the US nearly since the country was established. But its really only a painted line on the one street in town that separates a town with lots of money from a town with none. Wendover does have a beautiful airstrip, built a couple years ago in expectation of getting a real airport that could handle commuter sized jets but the money ran out before the tower and ticketing and parking terminals could be built, so it sits there unused. I expect that in another year or two the painted line will get moved east a half mile and those uptight folks that don't want to live in Nevada will have to come east across the desert to the big city.

Anyway, before I got caught up in that geography and civics lesson I started to say that while driving through Wendover, Utah I passed a string of parked cars. There was a 62 Impala SS with 80s styled wheels on it, a 58 Corvette, a couple late 50's Buicks, a MGB rally car with Paddy Hopkirk's name painted on it on a trailer, a tiny streamliner on a trailer, a 32 Ford roadster in black and a couple other vintage looking salt flat racers on trailers, all parked together. Hmm, I think I gotta stop to see... Funny, all these cars have vintage, yellow California license plates. And the plates are wired on over modern plates. What the heck?

Now I know that these folks are not coming from the Bonneville Salt Flats raceway because I had just been there the day before and knew that the raceway was under water. I did find one guy, reading his paper sitting in one of the cars and so I knocked on his window and asked what it was all about.

The cars were all about The Fastest Indian which is a movie about New Zealand motorcycle legend Burt Munro, who in 1962, raced his modified 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle across the Bonneville Salt Flats and set a new world land speed record. The guy in the car told me that back in September they had a couple hundred vintage land speed racers out on the salt for the majority of the filming! That would have been very cool to see!

Anyway, we returned home Friday afternoon refreshed and as happy with each other as we have been in a good long while. And we only spent about $75, not counting our gasoline for the truck.

Any Firefox browser users out there?

I switched over the weekend to Mozilla's Firefox for my browsing instead of Internet Explorer. So far, I really do like it. It stops pop-ups dead. DEAD. Its also free, which we all know is a good thing. It will import your IE Favorites list painlessly.

The only thing I cannot figure out right now is how to get my links in all my folders into order! There's provisions for lining them up alphabetically but it doesn't seem to be working for me. If you are a Firefox user and can assist in getting my multitude of links in order, please drop me a note with instructions.

If you are tired of more-than-a-little-bit annoying pop-ups and the myriad hacks that can cause your computer to be vulnerable through Internet Explorer, I encourage you to check out and switch to Firefox. Really. Its worth it.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Differences in America...

More us vs. them but this time its Red State-Blue state differences. By By Ron Marr Commentary, November 05, 2004. And thanks to the Cajun for pointing it out.
The election wasn’t just Bush versus Kerry. ...Oh…there were issues aplenty. And on each one the families from Flyover Country took a stance diametrically opposed to the upper crust. The latter view Europe as a Socialist utopia which all should strive to emulate.The former view it as a place with bad plumbing and body odor. The latter are enamored with, and a desire to appease, anyone who claims a lineage harboring at least one duke, baron or Third World, French-speaking exporter of bat guano. The former couldn’t give a damn what Europe thinks, wouldn’t trust Kofi Annan to wash their truck. Hell, they want to resign from the U.N., boot out the tenants and convert the real estate into a Bass Pro Shop. When it comes to war, the “normal” American believes in big bombs, not big words.
[Emphasis mine] Read the whole thing, its worth it.

A Bass Pro Shop in the UN building... what a great idea!

The difference between them and us...

This is how Americans show their respect for their beloved, deceased presidents.

This is how the deserving folks on the West Bank who desperately desire their own state do it.

Any questions?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Its Veterans Day

So go read this tribute. I don't think you will find a better one anywhere.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Trivial Pursuit today!

After leaving Accounting class I headed over to the Winter Sports Expo that was being held at the club. I picked up a discount coupon for another, hopefully successful trip to West Yellowstone, discussed a discounted rate for a couple season passes at Powder Mountain with the nice lady who is in a position to make a deal and who I have treated to chocolates on a number of occasions and signed up for a free card that provides a $10 discount each time I go to Snow Basin Ski Resort.

Then it was off to the SmithTix counter to purchase two tickets for the upcoming Green Day concert for son Noah and his buddy Jesse. That turned out to be a $76 swipe of the debit card that I had NOT planned on! Dang ticket sellers get $22 in fees over and above the ticket price which is just ridiculous IMHO.

I also had to make a stop for batteries for the radio on my desk and its nearly time to head off to Law class.

Tomorrow, being Veteran's Day, I'll be off work. The BSU and I are heading to Wendover, Nevada until Friday. I've got a coupon for a free room, there's a swimming pool, several places to eat and I think they do a little gambling there too. Which is what we will do- a little gambling. Don't expect me to spend very much of my hard earned cash with the one-armed bandits but I suppose we will play a little. Mostly, we just want to get away for a little while. (The BSU has already ruled out taking the trip in either direction on the long route, every turn's an adventure, gravel road route).

I even got some work done today...

Accounting- 1st test results-

90%! I got an A! I was very surprised after brain-locking and not getting the balance sheet portion of the test completed and balanced. The woman, Kihe that sits next to me aced the test... Good for her!

Coast to Coast Scooter Trip Update from TGB

I've pushed this back up to the top to fix the link to the TGB Coast to Coast Scooter Trip. This link will get you to each day's pictures and their map. Seems they won't be passing through Utah at all. Not too surprising considering the weather possibilities.

It seems like they are having a grand time getting their pictures taken with pretty girls across the country, hanging out with the Hooters girls and even getting their story told on tv. The scooters seem to be holding up well and the decal count increases each day.

It had to be a long day getting across Texas though!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

So that's what a root canal feels like!

Now I know. So far the biggest pain will be in my wallet if I don't look up the insurance information tomorrow and phone it in.

I mentioned last night that I had a tooth that had been bothering, and getting worse for a number of months, so today I made the appointment to see Dr. Miya. Nice guy, though my previous contact with him had only been through my semi-regular checkups and cleanings. I'm lousy for going to the dentist because, except for cleanings, nothing is ever wrong with my teeth. No kidding, I've not had a cavity since before I joined the Air Force in 1978!

Today made up for all the good luck I've had with my teeth. Seems that one of them, in the back, on the bottom and previously filled during the Ford administration was cracked. Finding out how cracked required drilling. And x-rays. And diging around with a sharp pointy object.

The crack runs clear though and I'm probably lucky not to be loosing the tooth entirely. So I got a root canal and a new filling and a temporary cap. I actually took a nap during most of the drilling process. The doc said I snored ever so peacefully while he worked and was pretty surprised at my napping skills. He said that didn't happen often with most patients.

Anyway, I got out of there with a follow-up appointment for two weeks from today to get the permanent cap installed, a warning to go easy on the temp one and a prescription for some hefty pain pills- just in case and a bill for just under $1000, of which the insurance will catch the very largest part. I'll figure that out tomorrow.

I also just finished my Business Law test, which although not terrible hard was 2 and a half hours to complete. My Accounting test today went perfectly, except I completely forgot all the preliminary steps before creating a balance sheet! I hope I get partial credit on that part of the test because it was a significant portion of a decent grade. Maybe I can blame worrying about my bad tooth for missing it...

Now- bed time!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Two tests this week and a tooth hurting!

So posting might just be light while I try to get through my first tests in Accounting and Business Law in the next 2 days. Work is intruding and I have a painful tooth that is really demanding attention right away. That's a rarity for me so I'm not very happy about tooth pain.

Its also a short work week and I have a date with my spouse for an overnight trip to Wendover Thursday & Friday! Whoo Hoo! Don't expect much gambling to go on while we visit but maybe it will be just a nice trip away together for a few hours.

BTW, Napoleon Dynamite is the strangest movie I have seen in a long time, maybe ever. Sure it was a Sundance hit a couple years ago, but its just weird. The two main characters move so slow that it appears they are on qualudes and every one in the film is just a whacked out character. Its not without its moments but you will have to be in the right mindset to enjoy it. The BSU's funnybone is a liitle slow coming back from her recent illness, so she really didn't get it. I got it, I'm just not certain I appreciated it.

Something I saw over the weekend

I watched Noah's girlfriend Lily eating Froot Loops the other day. She eats them one color at a time. And apparently she eats them in the same color order every time! I'm not certain of the color order but she starts with yellow.

Which means that one of the colors is always soggy before the bowl goes empty!

DoD Stresses Troop Support Mail Policy

No more "Any Serviceman"mail.
The Department of Defense announced today the continued suspension of the “Any Servicemember” mail program. Accordingly, the general public is urged not to send unsolicited mail, care packages or donations to service members during the holiday season.

Americans, who don’t have loved ones deployed overseas, can still show support during the holidays by other means.A list of these programs is available at
There are ways to show your support over ther in my right column, buy those guys a phone card maybe.

Friday, November 05, 2004

You will NOT see me riding my scooter

like these guys! Nope. Nada, Ain't happenin for this guy.

Its pretty wild scooter riding so its worth a watch. I'd like to see the blooper reel too...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Coast to coast on scooters!

The TGB Coast-to-Coast Challenge is under way and you have to go see the pictures! On Day 2 it was 40 degrees and raining all across Pennsylvania. Yikes! This seems like a great publicity effort for these neat, new delivery scooters but I believe I would have waited until next May before setting out.

I'm a fair weather rider I guess but these three guys are tough!

How did we live before the internet?

The BSU just strolled in while I was writing that last post. She needed the address and zip code of the hospital in Salt Lake where she got such good treatment last month. She also wanted the address of one of her sister's in Oregon that had recently moved from the address she had been in for 20+ years.

It took no more than 3 minutes to find both items, from 2 different sites and she was back on her way finishing some Thank You cards. I might have even done it sooner except for a few seconds of snuzzle time.

Before there was the internet, how long would it have taken to track down that info?

Vento Phantom scooter engine sizes revisited

I know that all (both) of you regular readers don't really care about this nonsense but I feel its my duty to spread my (admittedly) limited knowledge through out the great WWW. So I'm going to continue posting about my scooter's engine size deficiency until the whole world knows.

Here's what I learned tonight. Last week I ordered a new head gasket from Vento's online parts listing in anticipation of needing a new one once I tore the engine down to measure it. And today it arrived. Very timely delivery, that was a good thing.

The bad thing is that I got the idea to measure the inside diameter of the head gasket hole! Sure enough, after breaking out my dial indicating caliper, measuring it to be 2.08 inches in diameter and running the numbers through the universal converter program in my Palm, I determined the diameter to be 52.8 mm. Very nearly the 52.4mm listed in the Vento Service Manual next to the 124.6cc displacement figure! I've actually found found a couple places that list the supposed bore as 58.9mm. This head gasket would certainly be hanging over the edges if placed over a hole that big!

So tonight I'm writing that email to the EPA and including a scan of the head gasket since I'm digital camera-free these days. I placed a ruler next to it for scale. I'm not going to uplaod it because I know you don't really care. If you do, ask. I'll email it.

F-16 Fighter Fires at School

Stories like this one cause people in my building to get called in early, stay late and generally run around with their hair on fire. Though I haven't visited him today, I am certain than my friend Bob, the religious artifacts dealer has been intimately involved with the details of this story since he walked in this morning; Bob is the USAF F-16 Flight Safety guru. So I know that he knows more details than the guy who was flying the jet last night.

Additionally, I have a small personal involvement in this incident as well because it isn't mentioned here, I'm betting the flyer was using his night vision goggles and if he was, I was hired here to work in the program that installed the night vision capability on that jet.
LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. -- A National Guard F-16 fighter jet on a nighttime training mission Wednesday fired 25 rounds of ammunition that tore through an intermediate school. No one was injured.

The military is investigating the incident that damaged Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School shortly after 11 p.m.

Police were called to the area when a custodian heard what sounded like someone running across the roof of the school. The custodian was the only person in the school at the time.

Police Chief Mark Siino on Thursday said police officers noticed punctures in the roof. Ceiling tiles had fallen into classrooms and there were scratch marks in the asphalt outside the building.
Lucky for everyone that it was 11 PM and not 11 AM.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My first scooter convert!

I've been having a pleasant email conversation with a guy named Chris for the past few days. Chris found Wasted Electrons while Googling Scootersdirect2U, which you regular readers might remember I also conversed with online a couple months back. Anyway, Chris wanted to know the details about that conversation and also any other advise I could share about scooters.

Chris lives in southern California and apparently gasoline is about $2.35 down there so he was looking for a way to cut his commute budget, same as me. I've told him about all I know about scooters, recommended JJ's Cruisers as a place to check out for reliable and friendly service and explained what I know about the Vento engine size disparity. I also recommended that he look around locally and see which scooters he could buy from a dealer nearby and that he should test ride a few before making his decision.

This morning he emailed me to say that he too has decided on a Vento Phantom R4i like mine. Its going to be his early Christmas present. Congrats Chris and let me know how you like your scoot when you get it home.

BTW, I still owe a return email to the EPA concerning the certification of Vento's supposed to be 150cc but seems to be 125cc engine.

National Ammo Day is approaching

So be gathering up your pennies, nickels and dimes to do your part! This is Kim duToit's annual event to encourage folks to stock up with at least 100 rounds of your favorite ammo.

I know I can always stand another brick of .22 Long Rifle!

And John over at Castle Donovan is promoting Buy a Gun Because Bush Won! as a method of celebration which I can certainly support in heart if not in reality right now. Rapidly approching holidays and ski ticket purchases will belay any new guns until after the first of the year. That Beretta CX4 Storm still seems to be on my short list of guns I think I need, so maybe it will get the call when I can celebrate with John.

What the left is saying about the elections...

Wow folks, it is just unbelievable how wild some of these folks ideas are. Over at
Little Green Footballs they are posting a bunch of the best of the left and here at Voices, the Day After, they're not only heartbroke but most have defective keyboards with stuck Caps keys. I think my favorite comment from the weirded lefty crowd was this one, posted over at Sgt Stryker's Daily Briefing.
“… Re: There better be some riots tonight … I can’t believe Bush won. Where did we go wrong?
Personally, I played my bongos at many rallies to defeat Bush. I had some phat beats going sometimes for hours, I really gave it my all. How could this happen?“
He played his bongos for hours to defeat Bush? Wow.

John Kerry does something honorable!

By conceding the election to President Bush! I must admit that I am very surprised. This is completely different from the "Not until the last vote is counted" words from his campaign staff last night and the pre-election drafting of an "army of lawyers" being called out to ensure every last voter was treated with kid gloves.

Since it appears that he has called the president to concede even before all the Ohio provisional votes are counted, based upon all the information that has been provided so far, I'll give the senator an attaboy. I would NOT have expected this to happen and I would have guessed that instead the courts, lawyers and over tasked elections officials would have been drug across the rug for the next several weeks.

So, good on ya Senator for doing something classy and honorable. Don't forget to remind the moonbats to stop sulking and get back to acting like citizens instead of jackasses.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I did my civic duty- and an update

or- I exercised my right as a citizen of these United States of America, and voted. (I suppose civic duty is performing jury duty, voting is a right and a privilege.) Anyway, I did it.

And, as mentioned before, I DID NOT VOTE FOR JOHN F'N KERRY!

On a lighter note, the beloved spouse accompanied me on her first ride astride the motorscooter to the polling station! Since it was just around the block it wasn't too much sacrifice on her part. And I think she actually enjoyed the little jaunt around the block. We even skipped putting on helmets for our short journey. Mostly I think she did it to appease me, but it just seemed easier than hauling the truck around the block to struggle for a parking spot. And it was a beautiful day to go for a scooter ride.

The BSU has been feeling much better over the past week. This is great news. When we visited the doc last week, he just suggested that some of the times when she takes her meds be moved around and so far, following his suggestions, she is sleeping all night long, getting up during the day and taking part in normal household activities that were beyond consideration a couple months ago. She even made breakfast over the weekend- twice!

She also mentioned tonight that her handwriting has returned to its normal, readable, pleasant to look at style. For the past many months her handwriting had deteriorated into such scratches and squalls that it was almost unreadable but she said she noticed it getting noticeably better almost immediately after her ECT. Today when I came home she was writing thank you notes to her sisters. That is a remarkable and significant change that we all are very thankful for.

So, I'm proud and happy for her and I'm mighty pleased to have been able to participate again in the democratic process. Now if they can just get all the votes counted, with minor complaints along the way and with the result of an overwhelming successful re-election of the president, things will be wonderful.

Its 199 electoral votes for the president and 188 for John F'n Kerry on Yahoo right now as I write this...

Something to think about on Election Day

From John over at Castle Argghhh! something to consider before voting today-
Its all about the judges!"
If you are a Libertarian pissed at Bush- Kerry's judges will be worse.
If you are a Conservative pissed at Bush- Kerry's judges will be worse.
I'm going to repeat my first scare tactic of my political punditry...

Chief Justice Clinton. Either one. Justice Gore.

Think about it before you throw your vote away."
Ditto. Think about it. As for me, my mind is decided and I'll be casting my vote this afternoon.

John F'n Kerry will not be my candidate! But you might have guessed that already...

Monday, November 01, 2004

Dang it all! Bad news from the mountain

I've finally been able to connect with the ticket checking boss at Powder Mountain Ski Resort, where, long time readers will recall, I've been working weekends since 1999. It seems that management has been changing things around and no weekend jobs exist for me and Noah this winter! Everyone now is on the payroll and sharing ticket checking and chair lift operator chores and the weekend volunteer positions have been buried in a snowdrift.

There is a "call list" so that anyone desiring a day off can coordinate a replacement for his spot in the schedule and I asked to get on to that list. It sounds pretty iffy though unless the boss operating the list is real good about rotating the folks getting called instead of just starting at the top everytime. Come springtime there's a big likelihood of getting called often as the regulars get worn down and quit coming into work but that's not a great plan because the pay is in comp passes and those get hard to sell the closer springtime gets. I've still got three left from last winter!

What this means is a significant boot in my wallet. If we are going to ski each weekend as we are used to doing, I've got to buy 2 season passes. I forget the exact amount but it will be close to $500! Ouch! I was planning some new snow pants for myself and Noah needs a new coat this winter and I still intend to pay for snowboard riding lessons and all that will be much more difficult if I have to pay just to go skiing.

I've already called Steve in the Ski Shop to offer our services to try to wrangle some kind of work / season pass trade deal. He's full up right now as well and had his staff numbers cut back too, so there's no active deal cooking but promised to see what he could finagle for us.

This was NOT news I wanted to hear today!

Go see Ray! Two Thumbs up!

Saturday evening the spouse and I escaped from the trick-or-treating hordes by going to the movies. We left the boy in charge of handing out the candy and we went on our first movie date in many months. And she wanted to see Ray.

First of all, a warning. Do not buy the upsized for just-a-quarter extra large soda! The movie is 2 hours and 40 minutes long counting the previews so unless you've been blessed with a really big bladder, go for the smaller sized soda.

The movie is terriffic and Jamie Foxx deserves an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ray Charles. It is a gritty story and focuses perhaps a little too much on Ray's many-year heroin addiction but in doing so it doesn't pull any punches or try to paint a glossier picture than what was Ray's life. I thought the scenes and the frequency instead portrayed the overwhelming affect the addiction had on his life. If you are offended by scenes of drug use and sexual activity, the movie might be too graphic.

But if you want a story about an American legend and his music through all its different sounds, go see Ray. The spouse was enthralled with the clothing styles and fabrics and the hairstyles as they progressed because she has older sisters that were growing up and wearing those styles. I liked the automobiles and how they were upscaled as Ray's career progressed upwards. But its really all about the music and I don't think a single one of us has been unaffected by Ray Charles' music so the movie is filled with the music that has crossed so many music borders.

So, if you want a story of an American that refused to be a cripple in spite of his disabilities, its well worth watching. Ray promised his mamma not to let anyone make him a cripple as he headed out into the world on his own and except for the heroin addiction, he was successful at that promise. He beat his addiction, kept his promise to his mamma and became an American icon and legend.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Just another car company...

Autoextremist is reporting this week that Porsche has turned to Toyota to buy an engine for their Cayenne hybrid!
From the "Hell Freezes Over" File, Automotive News Europe reported that Porsche is considering building a hybrid version of the Cayenne - using a Toyota powertrain. Readers of this site know exactly what we think about the Cayenne, but it's clear that this is a new low in Porsche history. The company that was founded on building lithe little sports cars that bristled with innovation and the visionary thinking of its founder has now openly admitted that they have given up on the innovation game altogether. Porsche insists that it has to act quickly in order to meet upcoming stricter regulations in the U.S. (and the growing interest in fuel economy by American consumers), but it's clear that if Porsche hadn't succumbed to the siren song of instant SUV-driven profits and had built an AWD vehicle that adhered to their founder's vision, instead of building a bloated, 5,000+ lb. truck that represents everything Porsche is not - they might not have to be trolling for powertrains from an outside source. By signalling that Porsche is either incapable or unwilling to engage in innovative, creative solutions to execute the Porsche philosophy in a new fuel-efficiency-prioritized market environment, CEO Wendelin Wiedeking has now officially and finally removed Porsche from the ranks of the world's great car companies.
Read the rest. Autoextremist has never missed an opportunity to rail against the german car company's oversized trucks. They are just about gloating over this news of a Toyota engine being used in a german SUV. They don't use permalinks so you will have to search the archives for the 27 October edition if you get here late.

Sure its piling on, what of it?

Need an Ipod for your music listening pleasure? Try this latest version, the Ashlee Simpson Karaoke Edition. Some of its special features include:
Like no other, iPod Ashlee Simpson Karaoke Edition stands out. Virgin white, it features the new Apple Fast-Forward Click Button and, on the flip side, complete how to use instructions. Available for just $349, it comes with enough money to use a pay phone for calling your daddy, your agent or both, when you get caught lip syncing live on national television. We have also included some Kleenex for those special times when your entire fan base realizes your nothing but a talentless hack.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


I wonder who was looking for me today. Mighty specific set of search words, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


"John Kerry has promised to "take this country back" from the wealthy.
Well who better than a guy worth $700 million? See, he knows how the wealthy think. He can spy on them at his country club, at his place in Palm Beach, at his house in the Hamptons, at his castle in France... He's like a mole for the working man."
---Jay Leno

First, clear your desk of liquids-

Then go see this link. It does come with a liquids/monitor/keyboard interference alert... John Kerry- Wrong For Geese- Wrong for America. Thanks to Publicola for this link.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

You know I like scooter riding

But this TGB Coast-to-Coast Challenge sounds like an adventure I might just pass up, especially in November! Cobra Powersports is planning to ride three of their TGB Delivery scooters from New York to Los Angeles- with a top speed of 60 miles per hour!

That is going to be a very long ride! and it should be a heck of an adventure. I'm just not certain it would be my adventure. Do check out that delivery scooter though.

One more reason I will be voting FOR Pres. Bush

I got this link emailed to me earlier today about a meeting between Bruce Vincent and President Bush last May. This is the kind of man I want as the leader of my United States.
...He grabbed me by the arm and took me back toward his desk as he said, "So that's it. I could tell that something is weighing heavy on your heart today. I could see it in your eyes. This explains it." From the top drawer of his desk he retrieved a pen and a note card with his seal on it and asked, "How do you spell her name?" He then jotted a note to her while discussing the importance of family and the strength of prayer.

When he handed me the card, he asked about the surgery and the prognosis. I told him we were hoping that it is not a recurrence of an earlier cancer and that if it is they can get it all with this surgery. He said, "If it's okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now. Would you pray with me?" I told him yes and he turned to the staff that remained in the office and hand motioned the folks to step back or leave.

He said, "Bruce and I would like some private time for a prayer." As they left he turned back to me and took my hands in his. I was prepared to do a traditional prayer stance - standing with each other with heads bowed.

Instead, he reached for my head with his right hand and pulling gently forward, he placed my head on his shoulder. With his left arm on my mid back, he pulled me to him in a prayerful embrace. He started to pray softly. I started to cry. He continued his prayer for Loretta and for God's perfect will to be done. I cried some more. My body shook a bit as I cried and he just held tighter. He closed by asking God's blessing on Loretta and the family during the coming months.

I stepped away from our embrace, wiped my eyes, swiped at the tears I'd left on his shoulder, and looked into the eyes of our President. I thanked him as best I could and told him that my family and I would continue praying for him and his.

As I write this account down and reflect upon what it means, I have to tell you that all I really know is that his simple act left me humbled and believing. I so hoped that the man I thought him to be was the man that he is. I know that our nation needs a man such as this in the Oval Office.
No matter what other faults our president may have, and he is a politician after all, I believe that he believes and that he is the man we as a country need as president.

Monday, October 25, 2004

John F'n Kerry & those uninspected containers

Michele Malkin really gets to the heart of this story concerning the man who would be king and his oft repeated 95% uninspected cargo lie that he is so fond of. I must admit that I have been waiting anxiously to hear John explain how he would remedy this terrible shortfall in our country's security. He hasn't said what percentage of the inbound containers should be inspected to be acceptable and he hasn't said how he would do the job if he is elected.

John hasn't said how many people he would hire to inspect all the containers or if they would be civil servants or untrustworthy government contractors and how much these people would get paid, and from whose pocket the money would come or where these perhaps thousands of new cargo inspecting employees would live around our crowded port cities.

Yet he can get his facts all wrong, ignore what has been done since 9/11 and keep promoting mumbo-jumbo as his plan for America. He's done the same thing by saying he wants to hire 40,000 additional Special Forces troops, without so much as a minute's consideration of where these folks might be stationed, or live with their families, or get medical care or how the military budget could fit this upsizing of our most elite troops.

I DO NOT understand how this jackass has gotten so much traction as to be a contender to be the president of this United States! He's a hollow self-aggrandizing tax-jacking liberal with no real ideas except for his own promotion and he cares less about America's future than he does about his next haircut.

So explain it to me John, what's your plan for fixing that "95% uninspected container" problem? Hmm?

Vote ! Vote! Vote!

I heard a AME preacher from Broward county Florida this morning on NPR extolling his congregation that this year they were going to vote and vote and vote!

Which I guess is just part of the Dem's plans for winning the majority in Florida this year, along with harrassing those voters that choose to vote early. Seems the legislature forgot to install that 50 foot stay-back requirement that applys on election day to the early voting days.

So I guess its "vote early and vote often" in Florida this year!

34 degrees and sleeting this morning!

The skiers and snowboarders are getting some early turns at the ski resorts if they are willing to hike. 52 inches of snow on the ground at Alta already and more falling heavily today and more predicted all week! It might be a really great winter if this keeps up.

Still not confirmed for our weekend ticket checking job at Powder Mountain but our applications are in and the supervisor knows who we are so I'll be expecting a phone call this week.

Come on out for some great snow!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Vento Phantom R4i scooters are 125cc!

Not 150cc as advertised. (Here's the post I promised a week ago...)

If you look at the this screenshot taken from the Vento website

Vento Web Page


another screenshot

you will note that the engine size is clearly marked as 150cc. But note the dimensions of the bore and stroke on that second page, 52.4 x 57.8 mm.

If you do the math to find the displacement of a cylinder, which is Pi x radius squared x the height, you quickly discover that the displacement is 124.6cc. It looks like this: 3.14 X 26.2 squared, (686.44) X 57.8 = 124,583.37 cubic millimeters and by moving the decimal 3 places to the left, you obtain 124.58 cubic centimeters. Not the advertised 150cc!

I think everyone involved with motorcycles or automobiles understands and tolerates a little rounding of the displacement numbers for the sake of simplicity or advertising effectiveness and I have no problem calling 124.6cc, 125cc. That's a reasonable rounding. But rounding up by 20% is way out of line. In fact, it is flat out lying!

When I spoke to my dealer about this subject, he assured me that Vento was actually adding a "big bore" kit to the scooters and he went so far as to call the VP of sales at the corporate office in San Diego. He assured my dealer that if the numbers on the web page added up to 125cc that the web page was wrong!

Want further proof that Vento Motorcycles is lying? Let's look at the online parts manuals for the R4i scooter and the previous model, the R3. First the , R3 parts manual, and then the R4i manual. By clicking on the tab at the bottom of each of these pages to the Cylinder Assembly and comparing the cylinder part numbers, you can see that the parts are the same! If the cylinder part number is the same, then the bore must be the same and that tells me the two engine's displacements are the same. In fact, all the parts I looked at on these two pages are exactly the same part numbers!

I have in my possesion, the owners manual for an R3 scooter, which was last year's model, that's what came with my R4i scooter when I bought it. In it, the displacement and bore & stroke figures are exactly the numbers on the Vento website for the R4i scooter. I also have been able to purchase a copy of the Vento dealer's use, Service & Maintenance Manual for the R4i scooter. It is the revision number 1, dated January 26, 2004. On page 8, under the engine specifications, it clearly shows those same familiar numbers, 52.4 X 57.8 bore & stroke and 124.6cc!

Still not convinced? Let's see what the Environmental Protection Agency has to say about the model of the engine installed in my scooter and every other R4i Phantom. Let's look at this link. (Its a slow loading text page, so be patient.)If you scroll down to the end of the document, or do a search for the model number of my engine, 153QMI, you will see that the engine the EPA certified, is certified as a 125cc engine.

The last thing remaining for me to do, to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt is to tear my engine down and measure it and document my work with photographs. That's going to be a Saturday's work in the shop and so it might not get done for a litle while. But its certainly worth the cost of a head gasket to prove that VENTO IS LYING!

So, is the web page wrong as the VP from Vento claims, or is Vento flat out lying? I've no idea how many R4i scooters they have sold this year but it must be several hundred, maybe a few thousand scooters and none of them apparently were as advertised with 150cc engines.

Why do I care so much? Because if I wanted to buy an identical scooter, a clone with a different name on it but sold as a 125cc machine, I could have saved about $600! Remember, I'm a cheap bastard! I could have bought from this dealer, QJ Powersports and paid a third less money for the same bike, if I had known that VENTO MOTORCYCLES IS LYING!

That's it. That's what I know so far. What will I do next? After documenting a teardown, I'll probably sue Vento in small claims court. It won't be too hard to get a judgement against them, I think, but I'll probably not be able to find a soluton to making them pay a settlement. If I do ever receive a settlement, I'll buy the kit from Power Sports Factory to make my scoot truly 150cc.

NOTE: If you're a lawyer and have some advise on this subject, I would love to hear it. If you are a Vento R4i owner and are as unhappy with VENTO LYING as I am, drop me a note. Maybe we can share ideas. And if you are a potential R4i buyer, I'll say this; I love my scooter. Its lots of fun, it looks great and it meets my needs perfectly. I put almost 600 miles on it in a month and hate that its time to put it away for the winter. I'm disappointed and angry that VENTO MOTORCYCLES LIED TO ME!

Mission Accomplished-

or very nearly anyway. The truck has new shocks and new brake pads on the front. At 91,000 miles the brakes still had at least half the pad thickness remaining. Which surprised me considerably. But since the new ones were paid for and sitting there I put them into use. The new shock absorbers seem to be working very well- except on the one concrete street in town. As we went down the road tonight the truck felt like a bucking bronco across every expansion strip! I may have to throw some sand bags in the bed to settle it down, or exchange them for a different model. Changing them in the driveway, in the rain was nearly painless, except for that very last bolt on the bottom of the last shock. That thing was corroded solid into the sleeve inside the shock absorber bushing. Without the air compressor and the impact hammer I don't think I ever would have removed it. Even using the impact gun it took a bunch of hammering and rust solvent spray and colorful language to get it removed. And of course, another trip to the NAPA store for a new bolt and nut...

The tonneau cover is back in place after being off since I brought home the scooter. The camper did get winterized and pushed back but it still needs the tarp tied down to be done. Noah's Tracker is quiet with the repaired manifold installed and the swamp cooler is drained and covered. We also got the Subaru motor moved into the shop and stashed in a corner and out of the weather and the spare tracker motor is up on the engine stand so that I can make certain its healthy before considering swapping it out.

We did NOT get the Halloween/harvest decorations on display in the yard and we didn't get all the hoses and watering devices stored away. We also didn't tackle the leaking oil seal on the Tracker, instead we'll save that for another weekend.

The spouse has taken a downturn again and is not doing so well. Upset sleeping routines again and worries that don't seem controllable. There's a visit to her Doc planned early this week and hopefully he will be able to assist with the meds to get her back on an even keel. She has been able to cook up some nice soup this weekend and we have been shopping a couple times but she is sill kinda rocky. Dang it all!

Now there's 3 baskets of laundry needing folded that are calling my name. When that's done I suppose I can rest!