Sunday, April 30, 2006
I have just one thing to recommend to those of you taking the day off- get in line early at your local Immigration and Naturalization Service office. I bet the offices open by 8 AM, so get there early for a place in line close to the front.
If you get done early, there might still be time for any picnic, march or demonstration you might want to participate in. If you don't see the INS first, I don't want to hear about anything else.
Finally, I'll bet there is already a National Anthem that is always sung in Spanish. If you need to sing an anthem praising a country's heritage in Spanish, pick one that was written in Spanish. This country's anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, is sung in English. Learn the English and sing the song or leave it alone!
I also saw the latest version, the Sub-2000 from Kel-Tec at the gunshow. All the receiver parts that are aluminum on my Sub-9 are machined plastic on the new model, including some pretty rough grip panels. I certainly like my alloy model better.
I can't wait for a trip to the desert for some shooting!
UPDATE: Disregard that date on the gun picture- the stupid batteries died so hard in my camera that it lost all its settings and I didn't take the time to fix it.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I did manage to remove the pin from the SKS handguard after a tiny amount of dremeling and a bit of drilling on the drillpress. Now I need a new pin... I've also ground off the molded scope rail on the handguard and sanded everything down flat and smooth. Once I find some 3/32" drill rod to make a new pin with, I will finish the installation job.
Finally, for the first time this year, it is nice enough to take full advantage of my wireless internet connection and sit and relax in my backyard with my laptop, a cigar and a beer. This is what makes the wireless connection really worth its puny expense. I've gotten all the yard mowed so the neighbors won't complain, the tools are put away, and now, its beer time!
Its been a busy weekend and I need at least 2 more days before going back to work and maybe I'll be caught up with most of my chores. I fixed one water line break on the secondary system on Friday only to discover a bigger break behind the shed. That one will have to wait until next weekend. I still have an outside faucet on the front of the house that needs replaced, the carport needs a good cleaning and I guess I'm going to have to do a lot of the yard waste hauling and the shed cleanup by myself, since the boy seems unwilling to stick around to do any of it.
I did go to the gunshow on Saturday with Loc and stocked up on ammo as promised. I even became a paid up memeber of the evil National Rifle Association while I was there! I aslo got the distinct pleasure of making the aquaintance of another local blogger and gun enthusiast, Bob G of Near the Salty City. We had a very nice visit while we walked around checking things out and we all had lunch at the local Hooters before heading home.
[Interesting side note-] There's a robin in my pine tree just 20 feet from me, seemingly testing each of the branch crooks as a possible site for a new nest. Both the cats are watching ever so intently but the nester-to-be seems high enough to be unconcerened.
The rest of the weekend has been spent grinding on a group paper for my Business Policy class, that thankfully ends next Friday. We even as a group got together for 3 hours this afternoon to work on this blasted paper. The subject is General Motors and there is no shortage of information but getting it pulled together into a comprehensive paper is really taking some work. And its not done yet...
But the paper will get done even if I have to burn some leave hours to make it so, then there's a presentation to create, a final exam to study for in my Logistics class and then the term will be over. After that, a month's respite! Believe me, I, and all my classmates are more than ready for the break!
UPDATE: The robin seems to have picked a crook to settle in and has had a good cleanup of the leaves that were in the prime selected spot. It has flown off for now. I guess I'll keep a watch to see if a nest appears in that spot over the next few days. Still no hummingbirds at the feeder that has now been up for a week. I wonder what happened to that first one I heard.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Next week, when he gets back to work, we will all be hearing about how hard he worked...
Sure Kenny, I caught you!
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Today I am drafting a letter that will be reproduced and shortly forwarded to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on Appropriations and the Chairman, Committee on Armed Services in the US Senate.
There's nothing intimidating about that... Right?
For the next week anyway. Yesterday, the BSU called me about 7:30 AM to announce she was leaving for Oregon later in the day, and would I please be prepared to get her to the airport on time. It seems that one of her nephews is getting married this weekend and she finally decided that enough sisters had called to ask about her plans that she should be there. She knew about the wedding, she did a very nice ribbon embroidery gift for the couple. I tried to talk her into making travel plans last week but she wasn't convinced to go then. So, she is off to Oregon for a week.
The boy is out somewhere, he hasn't been home since Tuesday, so I guess its just me and the dog at home for a while. Too bad my weekend is going to be filled up with schoolwork, because except for the trip to the gun show on Saturday, my time is booked.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Its time for my springtime ammo stock-up for the summer's shooting fun. So, Saturday I'll be going to an ELGS- Evil Loophole Gun Show to stock up. What's on my shopping list? Hmm, let's see...
9mm- 500 rounds, FMJ, commercial reloads- check
223 Remington- 100 rounds,
38 Special- 200 rounds, jacketed semi-wad cutter, reloads again- check
I'll probably not any 7.62 X 39 this trip, though I should, if only to keep US sales up and take 500 or 1000 rounds away from those goblins that would use it against our deployed Soldiers and Marines. No 22LR from the gun show either since I can get a brick all the time for 10 bucks at the evil Wal-Mart.
For my buddy Kenny, who is away in the People's Republic of Kalifornia, I'm buying- 38 Special- 500 rounds, jacketed semi-wad cutter, ditto on the recycled ammo
All quantities are subject to point-of-sale rounding, probably upwards, depending on prevailing prices and my hormonal level at the time. I'm also planning on meeting Bob G on the way in and I'm taking with me two more buddies, Loc and Mike who will have to carry their own ammo!
I've also ordered my new Tapco, desert tan, pistol gripped, adjustable butt stock for my SKS and am eagerly awaiting the big brown truck to pull up at my house!
That seems like a bad idea...
Or- maybe not so much...
I did hear the first hummingbird of the season on Sunday and brought out a feeder to encourage the little dive-bombers to settle in and find a home. No takers at the sugar water dispensing unit yet, but its out there.
And- the secondary water made its way through the canals and pumps and pipes into my neighborhood and yard yesterday- which is good news. The bad news is that means it is time for muddy, working while bending over and on the knees, plumbing repairs. I knew I had one broken sprinkler riser to replace but that's no problem because its on the yard side of one valve, and that's no real problem. The bigger problem is the burst supply line leading to one of the circuit valves in the backyard. That one caused a bit of a flood before the main valve could be closed off and will require more digging and draining than I could get accomplished last night. I have to fix that line before I can flush out and check out the rest of the system. Its going to be the weekend before the BSU has running water for her freshly planted flowerbed out front.
Maybe I can get the Boy to do the plumbing work...
He owes me since I had to interrupt my schoolwork last night to extricate his Tracker from some deep snow he found while playing and trying out his just-replaced front differential. He and a buddy did the work yesterday, then took off to go try the 4WD on a treacherous gravel road he favors. Everything was great until they got high enough to find snow on the road deeper than the frame rails. They hiked back into cell phone range and called, I stopped and bought 2 more tow straps and brought shovels and tire chains for their extrication efforts, picked both of them up and drove back up the mountain until we found the buried Tracker. Once they dug enough snow out from under the frame rails it came out pretty easily with a tow from my truck.
It was 10:30 before I got back home...
Did I mention I have two term papers in work with two different groups of people? Argh!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Move your drinks away from your keyboard and monitor first!
Friday, April 21, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
The new variator parts and belt seem to have really smoothed out the drive. Its running really well. I've still got a small idle circuit problem but its not so bad I can't ride the scoot.
Friend Kenny figures my postings will increase now that I've got the Phantom on the road, he's right, perhaps. This summer I think I'm just going to focus on riding it instead of tweaking it.
I just returned from briefing and receiving go-ahead approval for 3 separate programs at the Review Board! For a technocrat such as this humble scribe and those like me, a hat trick of approvals is simply unheard of. Most program managers carry 1 potential program to the board requesting approval, I did 3! I even received funding for the 2 low-cost programs and a nigh-onto-promise of the $4 million funding I need for the biggest program.
This is better than expected results, really. I would have been very satisfied to get 2 programs approved. Getting all 3 programs approved is a real feather in my cap. And assures me of long term employment...
UPDATE: Unofficially, I've been told this afternoon that the $4 million was approved for my 3rd program. This is really good news. If you happen to be a Block 25, 30 or 32 F-16 pilot, I'm going to fix that lousy taxi light that doesn't light up anything worth a damm by moving the light off the main landing gear and up onto the nose landing gear door where it belongs.
UPDATE 2: Now it is official, the board did fund my taxi light relocation project! This project is going to keep me busy for at least a year along with my other programs. But today has been a red-letter day for me.
And I got a perfect score on the research paper on Honda that I did for my Business Policy class! That was better than expected too!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
If you perchance aren't a cubicle farm dweller this post might not be as funny as it is to me. My BSU didn't get the humor at all.
But you might...
And not just because the truck's fuel tank needs refilled- No, today the truck is in the shop having its front suspension overhauled. Ball joints, top & bottom and universal joints for the front axle are on the agenda. It make get brake pads and the rotors turned if that squealing I was hearing turns out to be the pad wear indicator. Hopefully there won't be any other parts that need replacing since the estimate was already over $800 before we began discussing brakes.
800 bucks? Good grief! Not really too surprising since it is a big truck and those parts are hefty and expensive. I'm figuring that I will have to spend a like amount on 4 new tires before traveling to Oregon in July. I've also passed the 120,000 mile mark with it with nothing but 1 set of brake pads and shocks and one prior set of tires needing replaced. So its not like the truck has been beating me up continually for maintenance costs, it just comes along occasionally in really big dollar amounts.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
But Bob seems like a pretty smart guy and you should go say hey over at his new blog.
Or even consumed at my house. We skipped buying any festive goodies this year and nobody seems the worse for it. The BSU & I did attend Easter service at Washington Heights Baptist Church. Surprisingly, she had asked me where there was a Baptist church and I mentioned Washington Heights and she announced that was the church she wanted to attend. And so we did. The service was wonderful and we both enjoyed the music which was a combination of traditional Easter songs and more modern praise songs. The pastor was energetic and had a point to make, which he did very well. Overall, the church was a little more casual than I'm comfortable with, coffee in the sanctuary seemed to be standard practice, but otherwise I was really glad to have attended an Easter service in such a vibrant church.
Sunday afternoon I had to make a trip to Salt Lake for car repairs on Son Kye's car. It had broken down on him Saturday, requiring a tow. Troubleshooting over the phone led me to believe the starter had failed. Troubleshooting in person confirmed my suspicion but not in any way I might have guessed. The 2 screws securing the solenoid to the starter had disappeared! They weren't just loose, they were gone! So, with the tools and jack and stands, we were able to get the starter removed without incident and replaced with a new one from AutoZone that was free, since I bought the failed starter less than a year ago.
Saturday turned out to be schoolwork all day, including a meeting with my Log Management partner, Angelique. We've a presentation that is kind of stuck and needs some kind of spark. Right now its thorough but it needs some kind of hook to really pull it together.
Friday was lunch with the BSU at one of the chi-chi places on historic 25th Street in Ogden, Roosters. The mayor of Ogden, Mathew Godfrey was having lunch and doing business just 2 tables away from us! We also went to see Take the Lead, the new Antonio Banderas movie. I'll try to get a proper review posted later today and a link but I'll say this now- Take the Lead is a terrific, fun movie. Its formulaic to a degree, but what movie isn't? I really enjoyed myself with this movie.
I gotta get back to work...
There's a storm blowing through today that is just hard to imagine. There are big, fat flakes of snow, whirling around like today was the 17th of December instead of April. The weather is supposed to be crap all week, meaning no scooter riding. It also means I should have already gotten the lawn fertilizer and weed killer down so it could be watered in, just like my neighbors have already done.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Anyway, GOYL tagged me with a meme of fours this week and chastised me for not fulfilling my part of the deal last week when the micro virus was going around. So this is my "catch-up" post for both kind links. Now on to the questions!
Four jobs I have had in my life:
Pizza delivery guy
USAF helicopter mechanic
USAF F-16 Program Manager
This obviously is not a complete list of my past employs, just 4 that came to the front of my brain first tonight. What's next?
Four movies I could watch over and over:
Jeremiah Johnson- one of my all time favorites
Lethal Weapon I-IV
Four websites I visit regularly:
International Scooter BBS
Jalopnik- for my car news fix
and- Possumblog- my blogfather and daily source for all things corn battered and deep fried.
Four of my favorite foods:
Ribs- dry rubbed if I can get them
German chocolate cake
Beef & barley soup
Four most wonderful places I've been: I had to think about this one for a bit...
First, Mary Ester, Florida, where I married my spouse of 23 years on the beach, barefoot.
I played Pooh Sticks on Pooh Sticks bridge in southern England with my sister Mel and my Mom and my kids.
My year spent in Kunsan, Korea was very hard, but exciting and interesting. I especially enjoyed mountain biking and joy-riding in the Kunsan parks.
On the Thunder Bay River, in Alpena Michigan, behind my Mom and Grandma Manning's house with my spouse, canoeing in the sunshine.
Four songs I could listen to every day:
Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell album
Don Henley's End of Innocence album
Just about any song by Rod Stewart
The entire Eagles library.
Four people I'm tagging:
My buddy Kenny
Gunner at No Quarters
And, finally, Sarge
I'm pretty sure I'm going to like this gun!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
GENERAL IDEA:This sounds like a perfect father & son project that my dad, Noah and I could all have a great time with if we didn't live in multiple time zones.
Finish your machine before you arrive. Stay away from the liquor. Go faster than everyone else. Don't Crash. Win money.
But these would be our kind of toys, that's certain. Thanks to Jalopnik for pointing this out.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
My new drive belt and variator rollers arrived last night! I've got just about 30 minutes of putting things back together and cleanup to do, then I'm ready to start riding. Just as soon as the weather settles down a little bit. I am getting pretty anxious to start riding my scooter!
Just for fun last night I sat down and browsed the Japanese motorcycle company's websites to see what they might be offering that would tempt me like that Triumph Bonneville tempted me last Saturday. For the record, I am not shopping for a motorcycle, but it never hurts to have a little look around. Right? But Honda. Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha have no motorcycles that I would consider throwing a leg over every day for the next few years. None. Nada.
Those 4 motorcycle companies have completely turned their collective backs on "normal" motorcycles. Now there are only 3 styles of motorcycles, if, for the sake of argument, we ignore the big-bagged, GPS equipped, 8-states-in-4-days touring bikes, and I have no problem ignoring those behemoths. The other 3 styles are the V-twin cruisers-"I wanna be a Harley and look like a bad-ass," the full fairinged, mufflers tucked up under the seat sport bikes-"I wanna be a road racer and drag my knee on the ground." and the dual-sport, 12 inches of suspension-"I wanna look like I can commute across the Sahara without refueling" bike.
They don't sell any normal, roadster street bikes that just say, "I want to commute to work and take a ride on Saturday morning without pretending to be something more than a simple motorcycle." The Honda CB line of roadsters is all gone, so too the Kawasaki KZ line of low-piped, room for 2 people on the seat, feet go under you, not in front of you, motorcycles.
So- if, and I'm saying if, not when, I get ready to move up from my little Vento Phantom motorscooter and buy a "real" motorcycle, I won't be going into any of the Japanese dealers to shop. If I've got a big enough wallet, I'll go get the Bonneville T100. If not, I guess I'll be shopping on EBay for a normal motorcycle that suits my fancy.
If anybody happens to have a 80s vintage Kawasaki KZ750 twin they would like to sell, I'd be interested in seeing it.
Monday, April 10, 2006
So here's my question- if our country's immigration laws can be ignored as inconvenient to those that want to work here, what other US laws could 11 million folks ignore without reprisal?
Could 11 million of us stop paying our taxes?
Stop paying for licensing fees for our vehicles?
Set our own speed limits?
What else could we ignore? If as a group of 11 million we picked and chose a law or two that we considered inconvenient and then flaunted our criminal behavior by publicizing it nationwide, would that be ok?
Somebody explain the difference to me, please...
Say what? I just saw a carton of this stuff in the soda fridge in our break area. Berry & cream flavored soda? Some new product developer at Dr Pepper was able to convince management that this was the next great taste sensation? Is there no adult supervision in that company?
Is it just me or does berry & cream flavored soda sound nasty to you too? Ugh!
Sunday, April 09, 2006
So first I took a little trip to the sportings goods store to see exactly how things looked inside. Then I went home and drilled a 1/4" hole in my locker in just the right location. With an allen wrench to use as a puch tool, I was able to move the offending gun out of the way and open the lock.
I probably should JB Weld a penny over the hole in the future. And maybe a bungie cord to hold the rifles back against the back wall of the cabinet would be a good idea too!
The spouse is pretty certain that I will not be getting a motorcycle, especially one that comes with monthly payments like that Bonneville would entail. And I really just stopped to look on a lark, because of a magazine advertisement that I has seen a few days ago. She is probably right in this instance, especially since she doesn't have any intention of riding with me.
But, you just never know...
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
1. Do you really like baseball, or is it just something baffling that some people do?Yes, I really like baseball, as long as its played in a stadium with no outfield seats except for a grassy hill to spread your blanket on. That seating method is just how family's do it down at the Salt Lake Bee's home stadium, Franklin Covey Field.
The Ogden Raptor's home park, Lindquist Field doesn't even have that outfield seating, though last year there was talk about adding some grandstands on top of the clubhouse that defines the left field fence.
I became a baseball fan back in Shrevepot LA when I was stationed at Barksdale AFB. I started going with friends and pretty soon I became quite fond of the relaxation that comes from watching a baseball game play out on a summer evening. Since moving to Ogden, I'm becoming a regular at Raptor's games though I listen to more of them on the radio while doing homework than I get to go watch. Not this summer, but next summer, I'm hoping to have a pair of season tickets in my wallet. This summer there is stiil homework to do. I haven't been to a MLB game since 1974 and I'm not anxious for the opportunity. I can watch baseball on the television but I generally don't, just because there's not enough time for tv in my life, especially in summer.
2. Who are some of your favorite players?
I liked Nolan Ryan for his longevity and business-like approach to being a good pitcher. I like Randy Johnson for his ferocity. But mostly I like those 19 & 21 year old players suiting up for the Raptors, playing baseball professionally for the first time in their lives. I like watching them warm up and taking time to sign autographs for the youngsters that stand at the fence next to the dugout. I admire them for their dream and the opportunity to take the chance to keep moving up and maybe, someday make the "bigs."
3. What one thing would you change about baseball?
I would cap major league players salarys to the median income of the city they played in or 90 thou per year, whichever was lower. I would promote sponsorship of schools and community centers by baseball teams. I'd make certain that the most expensive seat in the house was $20. Dump those over-paid crybaby millionaires that think stuffing themselves full of steroids is an ok career move and give baseball back to the families and the kids. That's what I would do!
There now--take a swing at those!
How hard it is snowing here today! It is dumping snow like its mid-December, not April. There will be no gardening or golfing for those folks so inclined today.
Its supposed to be opening night for the Salt Lake Bees baseball team. I suspect that won't be happening tonight either. My baseball related Thursday Three responses might make it through the storm in time for opening day festivities- later today.
Much busyness going on through the paying hours today.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I really, really like the looks of this thing! I think it needs a low windscreen to deflect bugs and tire-flung debris away from the driver and passenger's face, but otherwise, I'll take just like it is.
Bring it on Volkswagen!
Sadly, the paying gig, a staff meeting today, a pending mid-term exam and a term paper that need attention will keep me from passing along the infection until later. And tonight I get to go see my grandbaby and son and daughter-in-law for a couple hours!
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
And why was somebody in Nishinomiya Japan looking for a queer bear in lycra on the internet? Hmm? Very strange.
UPDATE: After the BSU and I retired for the night, we had a pretty good laugh about some poor soul desperately seeking pictures of a queer bear in a movie. It was the spouse that pegged this bear, Boo Boo, as the only gay bear that came to mind. Sadly, there do not seem to be any pictures of Boo Boo wearing lycra on the internet. We also decided that just trying to squeeze a bear into a spandex suit would be enough gay sex for anybody for one night.
Monday, April 03, 2006
And I wonder if anyone else has considered this question- How long do you suppose Microsoft will continue to use the current icon for the "Save" function in all their products?
Let's face it, if you were being introduced to computer use today, for the first time, that icon of a 3.5" floppy disc might seem irrelevant, don't you think? Right now, I use three different computers every day. Not one of them has a 3.5" floppy drive built in. I know that my dad bought an external, USB powered floppy drive so he could access some of his old files when he bought a new computer a few months back. But I can't remember the last time I saved anything to a floppy disc. Everything I do is on CD or my memory stick.
Are you still using floppy discs? Why?
Sunday, April 02, 2006
I happened to see on television Rep. McKinney's press conference where her lawyer claimed she was "just a victim of being in Congress while black." No, I saw her talking, admitting that she couldn't be bothered to wear her ID pin. She's not a victim and she's not being singled out because she is black.
No, she is a victim of her own feelings of self-developed entitlement. She believes that the rules don't apply to her and that because she is black that she can make her own rules. She demands not normal treatment like every other member of Congress, but special treatment.
Apparently assault charges are still being considered against this arrogant, more self esteem than she has earned Congress person. I hope the charges are pressed. I hope the security video that hasn't yet been released clearly show this woman's misbehaviour.
I've been pretty quiet for a number of months regarding stupid people, but after seeing this woman on the tv the other day, I have to say it, she's not being singled out, she's just a jackass!