Day by Day cartoon

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I met a no-kidding war hero last week-

The man's name is Marion and he is a very active member of the VFW and American Legion in Omaha Nebraska. Why do I know that Marion is a war hero? He was wearing a hat with Chosin Few on the crown. Now, I knew a little bit about the battle at Chosin Reservoir, during November and December 1950 in North Korea but I didn't know enough.

So, I had a little look on Google and I found on Wikipedia,
this article about this terrible yet heroic battle. In spite of sub-zero temperatures and overwhelming numbers of enemy Chinese, the Marines, along with Army and British forces were able to withdraw under heavy fire and rescue many thousand Korean citizens through the harbor at Hungnam.

Marion survived this 2 month long battle in 1950. Just as importantly, he serves as the head of the Honor Guard for the VFW in Omaha. Last year he participated in over 400 funeral services for other veterans! This is what he does to honor all the men and women who have served sometime in their life. I think this is as heroic an act as being in Korea during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

He's a fine character, Marion. He's a devoted husband to his wife who is a patient the same place as my Mom. He cares about his service and he cares about honoring servicemembers in his community, every day. I'm proud to have made the aquaintance of this fine American.

I didn't have to look very far to find a Dumbass...

Its like shooting fish in a barrel when John F'n Kerry opens his mouth and "trys to make a joke..."
Yesterday, at a rally for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, Kerry told a cheering Pasadena City College audience: “Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and do your homework and you make an effort to be smart you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
The American Legion has called on John F'n Kerry to aplogize immediately and put his money and support into funding our soldier's further education instead of showing his disdain and disrespect for our uniformed personnel.

How can so many Americans think that man dumbass represents them in our Capitol? He is an embarrasement!

I must find and report on more Dumbasses-

At least that was the direction I received from both Brother Tim and my Mom this past weekend. Tim acused me of boredom blogging and never getting fired up and writing a good rant about dumbasses when I find them. Mom said my kinder-gentler blogging was a result of knowing she is a regular reader.

Truth is, I haven't taken the time to point out the stupid people that I discover in the world very often over the past months. Blame it on school. Blame it on the job. Both are factors in my reduced ranting, I suppose. Mom says she isn't afraid to read my rants but she does appreciate the warnings if I'm writing about something "off color" or just tacky.

So, I'll try to get done with this last class and then I can spend a little more time making this hhumble blog more exciting with rants about the dumb people in the world that aggravate me the most. I'll try to get back to sneaking reports from behind the Zion Curtain out to the rest of the world so you can see what goes on here in my adopted state.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

One more Mom update from Traverse City

Well, Dad chastised me today for not keeping the updates coming and blamed it on staying up too late with Brother Tim. We in fact, did not stay up late causing trouble, though that might be expected when we get together. Tim & I did go out food and find a pretty dandy stack of ribs at a local joint but we didn't stay up late. [BTW, if there are typos in this post, above my usual count- tough! I've been drinking with a no-shit war hero. But that's the next post...]

Anyway, Mom is recovering nicely. She is in excellent spirits and has been breaking the back of the mailman as he or she trys to keep up with her get well card delivery. If you care to send her a card, the address is- Joyce [you figure out the last name], 1105 6th St, Traverse City, MI, 49684.

She is walking several times each day and insisting today that I speed up, in spite of the fact that no one passed us all day! Her strength for walking has improved considerably from the first day I arrived and her gait and energy level are much improved. Today she wanted me to move along quickly enough to get her blood and breathing speeded up. I had to remind her that we were trying to avoid that very circumstance!

Somebody has been visiting with her the entire time this weekend and she seems to appreciate the company. Having several folks visiting doesn't seem to impose on her, instead she seems to welcome the company. This weekend, Brother Tim and GF Rhonda have been around as well as Mom's sister Marlene, her daughter and my cousin Tammy and Marlen's son Dennis have all been in her room, (me too!) most of the weekend.

There is still discussion of letting her go to Cousin Tammy's home, here in Traverse City, in a few more days. The Docs don't want to rush it and neither does anybody in the family. Me- I'd rather she stay until they insist she leave since her care is immediate and the walking exercise is easy in the long hospital hall ways.

I've talked to family friends this weekend that I haven't had contact with for 25 or 30 years- that's been interesting! I've also heard some family stories I haven't heard before and some of those defy telling, they are just too funny.

We all got to watch as Mom received an updated electrocardiam/ultrasound and that was very interesting. It left no question about the hole between her heart chambers! The technician said Mom's record would certainly make it onto her "best of" CD and probably end up being plastered on t-shirts for a fundraiser! How cool is that?

Anyway, she is doing well, all things considered. Her color is good and her energy and attitude are positive. She is cleaning up her plate and passing orders to the kitchen staff about how she likes her vegetables prepared. She had fruit plates with 2 meals today and if she gets hungry still, another sister sent over more fruit and some health food store treats.

Tomorrow, I have time for an early visit, then its off to the airport for me and back to Utah. I wish I could stay more, for my Mom.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Update on Mom-

Those of you not directly related are perhaps getting tired of these updates on my Mom's health. Well, here's another one to grump about if you wish!

She continues to get much better. We walked again every hour today but for the time she was getting a shower in the morning and a nap after lunch. Most of the walks through the hallways were 15-20 minutes in duration. We walked to the windows where we could see the sun and we looked at the art work hung on the corridor walls.

Mom's hospital stay is breaking the back of at least one Postal employee because the stack of cards grows bigger every day. Yesterday I think 6 arrived, today it was 8 more cards from well wishers from her old workplace and numerous churches where she is known. She is very touched by the outpouring of kindness and prayers fpr healing and strength that have been said on her behalf.

I had a long chat by phone tonight with my favorite cousin, Billi Ann. We are the same age and spent our childhood's playing together whenever my family could get to Alpena. SHe's gone off to Florida, become a nurse and wife and Mom and goat feeder. It was so good to talk to her after many years without seeing her and we began talking as if we had chatted all the time, except this call focused around our kids and the pleasures of parenthood instead of how badly our own parents were treating us...

Still no schoolwork getting done...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Walking laps-

With my Mom on my arm, around the ward she is on, in the hospital. She is doing much better than could be expected! Today, she was taken off all the connections that held her stationary and stuck in bed, and given permission to move about as much as she was comforatable with. So we walked the halls every hour. I think we finally made 6 laps, even expanding down to the other unit before returning to her room.

Her recovery so far is a little more than remarkable. The Doc called it a 1 in 100 recovery so far, meaning she shouldn't be doing as well as she is. Call it a miracle if you believe in such things. I know I do...

She is expecting to be released by Friday and esconced in Cousin Tammie's house just a few miles from the hospital for a week before being allowed back home to Alpena.

I just hope she didn't over do it today!

Now its late and I'm going to bed a little earlier than last night. But first, one more cookie from the kitchen...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bed time!

Ok, so I cracked open the Canadian Mist and founf the kitchen, the fridges and the ice machine... Now its time for a shower and bed time.

Did I mention there's a twin sized bed in this room? Ugh!

Blogging from Traverse City Michigan tonight-

And from the old state mental hospital too! (I suppose I should say, "finally" as if the powers that be have finally caught up with me...)

Actually, I'm in a hospitality room at a place called Munson Manor, which really was part of the State Mental Hospital some years ago. Now its a nice place to stay just a few yards away from where my momo is staying while she recovers fromher heart attack.

I saw Mom first, after I arrived tonight. She was so very pleased to see me. The kind nurses let me in way past visiting hours and I visited until 10:30 PM when I finally told Mom to get some sleep and checked in to the Manor.

Mom's not generally a touchy-feely kind of mom, but tonight she wanted to hold my hand the entire time we visited. Which is just fine by me! She looks tired and bruised from all the needle pokes and blood thinners she is getting but its clear her intent is to keep on living and to get her health back as much as she can. She has actually been moved from the 2nd floor critical cardiac unit to the 3rd floor today, which means the docs believe she is getting better. And her nurse tonight is the younger sister of her brother Randy's ex-wife! It is a very small world!

Seems there is actually at least 3 members or former members of the family working at this hospital. One of them is a teaching and supervisor type nurse. SInce the other nurses on Mom's floor know who she is, they pay particular attention to her care, since they also know this supervisor is watching out for her...

So, I've been traveling all day. From Salt Lake City to Detroit, then to Saginaw/Bay City by air, then across the state in a rental Malibu, which turns out to be a decent car, (29.4 mpg getting up here). I may take time to do a rental car review later. Its nice but has some faults that I find distracting in just a couple hours. Of course I'm breaking house rules with a big bottle of Rogue Brewery Juniper Pale Ale and there's a pint of Canadian Mist that might wait for tomorrow before getting cracked open. Hey- I had to stop and ask directions ans an open liquor store seemed the right place to get them. And I had to buy something, right?

Coming to Michigan always puts me in an odd mood too, so I may have to write about that this week too. We'll see.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Carnival of Cordite is up!

This week's Carnival of Cordite focuses on memories and articles written by and about Col Jeff Cooper. There's lot's of good reading and this week my post about my H&R Sportster is included.

Now that's a scooter!

Found tonight on Scoot Dawg's forum, this Vetter Torpedo scooter, from the fertile brain and shops of long time motorcycle designer, Craig Vetter.

There's no details of how this fantastic scooter was powered but the video that's available seems to show it going down the road at a very reasonable clip.

I think it looks like too much fun! That is a very cool scooter and I'd ride it if somebody built it.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

This is better news!

I just received an update from Brother Mark about Mom's condition. She has had a decent rest overnight and this morning she is doing much better. The doctor says all the results from the ongoing tests are either staying stable or improving, all of which is promising for her recovery.

The doctor did say that without the medical technology, medicines and testing that is available today, that Mom's life would be over as a result of this attack. So we are all very happy to have technology on our side at this point in Mom's care. She is going to have to have surgery to repair her heart but it appears now that it will be several weeks away, not hours away.

Thank you to any and all that have sought God's care for my Mom over these past days. Your prayers and kind thoughts are well received and appreciated.

[UPDATE: Sunday evening] Mom is doing much better. I spoke to her tonight and she is hoping to get out of the hospital soon- but that's not going to happen just yet. She does sound good, better than I expected. My Sis told me she got to hear Mom's "washing machine" heart sounds where she should have the typical "lub-dub" sound. The doc is still saying 2 weeks before she is allowed home.

Apparently, the hole that she has between the atriums of her heart, and her survival to his point is a very rare circumstance. The nurse told brother Mark she had seen only one case like it during 15 years of cardiac nursing. I understand its almost always fatal and patients don't make it into the cardiac unit when this failure occurs. So we are all feeling pretty fortunate about Mom's condition.

I'm planning to head to Michigan on Tuesday for most of a week. My brother Mark and Sis will both have to be heading back to their normal lives on Monday. Mom will have her brother to stay with her but I think I will go to do my part too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

This is bad news!

[NOTE: Updates will be posted below. My sis is posting updates in the comments as well.]
During dinner tonight I got a phone call from Brother Tim in Florida. He had received a phone call from Brother-in-Law Mark, in Grand Rapids. It seems my Mom had a heart attack today!

I've talked to my aunt Marlene, Mom's sister tonight. She told me that Mom is resting under heavy medication tonight and no action will be required until sometime later. Alpena's hospital doesn't do any cardiac surgical actions, if they should be required, so Mom would have go to Traverse City if that turns out to be neccesary.

As you might expect, I'm pretty worried about my Mom tonight. I already owe her some flowers because I missed her birthday last week, now I'm worried about her health!

UPDATE #1. Sis called this AM. Brother Mark is already in Alpena after driving all night to get there. It appears Mom may have a bad mitral valve in her heart. Since Alpena doesn't have a cardiac unit she will be transported to Traverse City, probably already this morning. If she needs surgery, it will get done there. Here is more about mitral valve repair. I may have to rub the numbers off a credit card to get to Michigan in short order. I'm still waiting to hear more before I jump on an airplane.

UPDATE #2. Sis called again just a few minutes ago. Mom is in Traverse City. Her heart attack was apparently much worse than previously thought. She has 2 blocked arteries, one of them is 90% blocked. The early diagnosis of a bad mitral valve was also in error. She has a a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart as a result of the heart attack and that hole is acting like a failed valve.

Flat on her back bed rest for 48 hours and massive drug regimes. The docs want to avoid operating on her heart if they can, for 6 weeks, to give the tissues time to heal and strengthen. She will be in Traverse City for no less than 2 weeks before being allowed home to rest up until she can have the surgery.

I haven't ruled out rushing up there this weekend but right now am leaning towards going next weekend when she might better be able to tolerate visitors. Sister Mel is keeping me posted.

Spam I'm getting this week

It's a new, friendlier, done in confidence, spam that has been arriving in my inbox this week. I must have received half a dozen of these emails this week. My real question is, why can't the base network filter geeks prevent this junk from getting through and into the system?

-----Original Message-----
From: MarkD []
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2006 11:21 AM
Subject: Fwd:

Listen, I am not sure whether you got my first message or not. I am sort of concerned. People are making me feel ncomfortable and I don't like being in the middle. Some of the staff are spreading rude jokes behind your back about your weight. I personally have no problem with you being you.
Please don't come back at me for informing. I just wish to help if anything. I thought about mentioning it to a boss but then to have something like this explode is silly and embarassing for everyone involved, including you being the center of attention. If you really want to make somewhat of a difference, I know my cousin and friend both used this and it worked very well for them. They grabbed it off the internet to keep a low profile & stay confidential. This was the site they got it from, if this helps any.

Again, I don't like people insulting others behind their backs. I am only trying to help. Which I hope I am.
Thanks for at least listening & I hope I am not out of line by writing this.
I am only trying to help.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

I knew this would happen-

The oldest boy got his car impounded this week... I have been expecting it and I've warned him, repeatedly, to fix the problem. I'm certain he has had the best intent to get it fixed but it just never became important enough- until this week. Right now he's walking and facing some new traffic violations.

The car's not legal. It doesn't have legal license plates on it. He doesn't have title or registration for this POS Escort. [Redundancy Alert- I know already!] Historically, it was the Daughter-in-law's car that she brought with her from Illinois when she moved out here. But it was apparently titled in her brother's name. They managed to keep it registered and plated through Illinois until a couple years ago, when the engine died. Then it sat for a bunch of months, I installed a used engine in it, waited on an unscrupulous, not-a mechanic to finish the fuel problems, and finally got the car back to the kids last December, just before he got kicked out of the house and the couple split up.

I have reminded and encouraged him at every turn to get the paperwork straight. Now, I suppose he realizes I knew what I was talking about. We'll be talking more tonight probably to see what he has done to resolve the situation but my suggestion is that he pay his fines and let the county crush that car. He will need a replacement and I can see that I may need to assist in getting him back on the road.

I may buy him a bike from the Cash America pawn shop...

Carnival of Cordite #76

I even submitted my post about the H&R Sportster's first trip to the range from last week for this week's Carnival of Cordite. My post didn't make it in due to technical difficulties but there's plenty of good gun and freedom related posts to read over at Spank That Donkey. Check it out.

Camels in Tibet?

[Ah, forgive me but I couldn't resist this rude post. Mom- skip this one!]

Who knew there were camels in Tibet? I certainly would never have guessed. Thanks to Cowboy Blob for the link.

A day of celebration!

Yes, today it my beloved spouse's birthday! I won't tell you how old she is, but she is still a couple years younger than this humble scribe. The spouse is doing very well these days, healthier than she has been for many years. Long time readers know that just two years ago she was not healthy at all and her life was in jeopardy. Today, she is well and productive and I love sharing my life with her. Which leads me to the second reason for today's celebration, its our anniversary.

Not exactly 24 years ago today the spouse and I got married, barefoot, on Wynnehaven beach, outside of Fort Walton Beach, Florida and promised to love one another forever. In spite of some very troubled times in our early married life, and a 6 month break in service in 1992 when we did get divorced, we have managed to love one another through out these years. We are both surprised at how wonderful our lives together has turned out and remains. I must say that our love continues to grow with every year. I've not been a textbook example of a fine husband through the years but I keep getting better and my beloved spouse remains the biggest treat in my life.

That "not exactly 24 years'? Well that would be a result of the 6 month breakup back in 92 and the short-lived divorce. When we got re-married, we sealed the deal on her birthday. We even wore shoes and got married in our church's chapel the second time around. So far, it seems to be working!

I love you Sweetie, Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Catching up-

Well, why I haven't I written anything? After all, I'm out of school this week, so I must have time on my hands. Right? Not so fast there Bucko! It might seem to you outsiders that I'm living the idyllic life but hey, I've been busy.

Friday morning was studying for my Biology final exam, which was at lunch time. I got 46 out of 50 right on the test. I'm still waiting to see my final score for the class but it should be an A to match the A that I earned in Public Speaking. I've pushed my GPA up to 3.96 with these two classes. After lunch I loaded up and headed out to Impact Guns and their indoor range for some shooting and to test my newly purchased 17. But first I diverted to Wal-Mart for an oil change for the truck and to get pictures developed that were left over from son Noah's summer travels. I ended up buying a box of ammo for the Ruger 45 since I forgot to pack that into the range bag. The engine light came on for the second time in as many weeks while I was out, so I stopped into AutoZone and they kindly hooked their OBD-II tester to my truck's system and pronounced that I had a bad O2 sensor.

I did finally, make it to the range and you can read all about that fun in the post below this one. Friday night I got guns cleaned up and I think the spouse and I just collapsed in front of the moving picture box until I started snoring in my recliner.

Saturday I was up early because Honest-1 garage opened at 8 and they had already promised to get my truck in first thing and to try to get the lean condition reported by the computer tester fixed before we had to drive to Logan for Parents Day at Noah's fraternity. Luck was on my side at the garage because the mechanic very quickly determined that I didn't have a failed O2 sensor at all but instead a PCV vacuum hose had split, allowing air to enter the intake where it wasn't supposed to, causing the lean condition. The cracked hose was molded and the shop didn't figure Ford would have it in stock, so we agreed that some black RTV squeezed into the crack and some electrician's tape to hold it in would be a good fix. And a few minutes later, my truck was healthy again and the shop refused to bill me for the work! That was really decent of them.

So, back to the house in time for a shower, then off to Logan for Parent's Day. We had to wake the boy by phone when we were just 15 minutes out as he had slept in from the night before. We did make it over to the Sigma Chi house for introductions to some of the guys. There was some introductory remarks by the chapter president- only 6 years and he was already a senior, and a video that introduced the 7 initial members of the fraternity and their principles. We skipped the little bit of food that was available for a group lunch and had a little tour of the building with Noah. The words "fire trap" seemed to keep floating behind my eyeballs as we got the grand tour! Funky, nasty carpet runs throughout most of the building. The hallways outside the residential rooms was really bad, just gross! The meeting room in the basement was ringed by sofas that had obviously been carried in from other people's curbs. There were uncovered electrical boxes, holes in ceilings and walls and an air of more than just gentle dilapidation- it's a wreck! But the boy's not really as certain about remaining a frat pledge as he was some weeks ago. I think he has figured out that there may not be too many guys that he shares any common interest with- except the frat. He's also discovering that it is a huge imposition on his time and his other non-frat interests. I suspect that he might make up his mind to drop it for this year and reconsider later in his educational career.

After a dandy Korean food dinner with Noah, we returned home in time for me to get some of my winter preparation chores accomplished. I got the swamp cooler on the roof drained, dried out and disconnected and a new cover installed and lashed down. The only part of that task I didn't get finished was inserting the insulation plug into the duct in the house.

Sunday, I got to sleep in! I had coffee with Vickie the English professor for the first time in months. We had a very pleasant chat in the sun out front of the local coffee shop. Afterwards I ground 10 pounds of coffee into 106 individual servings, carefully sealed into ziplock baggies. Just as I finished, Daughter-in-Law Sara finally called me back and we made arrangements to meet her and her mom and the babies for dinner.

We had a really nice time with dinner at Sizzler. Grandson Astin, who will be 2 in December, is a whiz with a fork and spoon. The little guy really shoveled away his helping of macaroni and cheese, with very little mess and with a bunch of determination and dexterity. He even managed to eat most of his helping of JELL-O with his fork! In between bites we played with the John Deere tractor set that I brought for him and he even seemed to get less shy of me by the time dinner was over. Sara's headed back to the Midwest to return her mom to her home this week, setting out on a big road trip with such little kids. She says she will be returning in December, in preparation for getting back to work in January, so its going to be a little while before we get to see the grandbabies again... And I forgot to take pictures! Take my word for it, they are both cute kids!

Monday, yesterday, it was back to work so I could rest up but even that was interrupted with an early return home to gather up the BSU and take her to a Dr's appointment. In the evening it was the first extreme ski movie of the year, Anomaly by Teton Gravity Research. Noah even came down from Logan to see it with me then spent the night at home since he didn't have an early class today.

The rest of this week? Government business of course and the BSU's birthday falls on Thursday, so I have to call and cancel my lunch date with Karen for that day! Its also our anniversary the same day, so I suppose we will be celebrating with dinner out someplace. I'm hoping to get her embroidery sewing machine up and running as a gift for her.

Now its time for me to get some lunch!


Friday, October 13, 2006

Can a $100 rifle be any good?

I mentioned in this previous post the newest addition to my gun locker, a H&R Sportster in 17 HMR. I did get this rifle home last Saturday and I got it cleaned up and put away, awaiting a trip to the range to see how it shoots.

Today, I made that trip to the range... Does it shoot? You decide.

The target is 11 shots, from 60 feet, (all that's available at Impact Guns), using that same bag that is holding the rifle in the picture.

Why 11 rounds? That's an odd story. When I went into the range and got sat down to shoot, there was 1 live round sitting stuck in the corner of the barrier padding, a 17 HMR round, that somebody in front of me left behind. Now the odd thing is that this isn't the most common round to see and here was one left behind, in the very lane of the 12 possible, where I was setting up. Finding that left behind round seemed like some kind of message, so I shot it first.

So did it shoot? I'm mighty pleased! Recoil and report are negligible, as you might guess. Now I need to make some time to go find some prairie dogs to try this rifle on!

Here's a closeup of the target and a comparison of the 17HMR, in between a 22LR and a .223 round so you can see the diminutive size of this little hot shot.

Finally, the H&R wasn't the gun I took to the range today, (duh!) and I brought home a second target to show off. This picture is the result of several magazines through the Ruger P345 and my Beretta Neos. I'm not certain why I seem to pull one shot to the left on most of these groups but it seems a fault that will need much more practice to correct.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I shouldn't be to surprised really

Actually, I'm surprised it has taken this long for our .gov internet access to begin blocking all addresses. I happened to see one report of it last night late from a blogger that works for the Interior Department. This morning, this system, and the network filters that I am behind, have implemented the block too. So I can post this gripe through my email but I can't go look and see if I spelled everything correctly.

What are they expecting us to do, increase productivity? It might be just about time for an internet air card for my laptop...

A drum roll please...

Today- an hour and a quarter of classroom lecture in Biology. Tomorrow, show up and take my final exam. That's my last time I need to show up in a classroom before receiving my degree. I do still have one more class, Cost Accounting, next term, that I will be accomplishing on my own time and as quickly as I can.

And then I'll be done.

I am so ready to be done.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A dandy productivity enhancer- Trebuchets!

Sure, I know you say you're busy but that's got to be a fib because you wouldn't be here if you really were busy. So, while you're goofing off, go try your hand at launching a trebuchet for distance, accuracy and power.

Its good fun!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another phishing effort to watch out for-

This arrived in my email this afternoon. It looked pretty official and included a logo photo from the Internal Revenue Service.

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $79.80. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here. [no link in this post.]

Internal Revenue Service

© Copyright 2006, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. All rights reserved..
I did click the link, which was obviously not from a .gov address, only to find a "Suspended Page" notification, so somebody's paying attention and blocking this privacy invasion attempt.

Just be on the look-out and don't be foolish by submitting your personal information where an unscrupulous thief [redundancy alert] can take advantage of you.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I have got to get to get a bigger ammo locker...

Yeah, I bought another rifle and its in a new caliber that I don't already stock in my ammo locker... I have been making gun buying decisions already based upon whether or not I was willing to add a new caliber to the shopping list but what's a guy to do when presented with a dandy varmit shooter for just a hundred bucks? Its a H&R Sportster™ 17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire, (scroll down the page a ways) and it already has a scope on it.

I'll get it home tomorrow as I was in a hurry to get home after work today and only stopped at the pawn shop for just a minute... Just one drink, you know... But the gun looks practically new though its been shot a few times at least as the barrel needs cleaned.

So tomorrow I'll go get the rifle and bring it home and I suppose while I'm out I'll hit Sportsman's Warehouse for a box or two of ammo. I guess I have to buy a new, skinny cleaning rod and another zippered rifle case now too!

Now I'm mad!

I mentioned earlier that I'm grinding coffee beans into measured quantities for the coffee bar here at work and so far, the response from the coffee drinkers has been very positive. Except that there is one person, who has decided to customize the quantity of grounds going into the basket... Twice today I've gone down there to find partial baggies sitting on the counter. The second time it was after I put a polite reminder on the storage box to just use one baggie per pot!

Crap! I've sent out an email to the folks that are regular members of the coffee fund but I guess I am going to have to send out a building-wide email after lunch asking folks to comply or carry a thermos jug. What a load of crap that some people think they have to be "special" or that simple rules of politeness don't apply to them. Its just dumbass!

Spark plugs cost how much?

Well, the truck's just 6 1/2 years old and its had its very first tune-up just yesterday. With 131,000 miles on the clock, the "Service Engine Soon" light flickered its pestering illumination for the very first time this week. I started to take the truck into Autozone, just to have them install their diagnostic machine and tell me what what was being reported as wrong but when I got there, right next door was a brand-new, shiny garage, called Honest-1 Auto Care. And I decided that since the place was convienient to the base, I would give them a try for my service work.

So I went in and met the owner, David Lloyd. He was friendly and seemed to know his business and I made an appointment- for yesterday. Seems the fuel filter, (the original) was causing a low fuel pressure fault that was identified and duly reported by the computer. My spark plugs, (also original) were beyond worn out according to David and so 10 shiny new platinum plugs were pressed into duty, retiring the old ones.

My truck was ready to go at the promised time and all the systems were working as promised. My wallet was lightened to the tune of $340 and I was on my way home in time for the BSU to get to her quilting class. I've found a shop that I can recommend for auto repairs and I'll go back there whenever the Ford needs attention.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Its Thursday Three Time!

And I'm a slacker for not having played over the previous couple weeks. But, here's my answers for this week.
1) What is your favorite color?
I'm partial to green as a favorite color, especially on cars and trucks and miniskirts on red-headed women.

2) Of all the items on the following list:
Raindrops on roses
Whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles
Warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
Cream colored ponies
Crisp apple strudels
Sleigh bells
Schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes
Silver white winters that melt into spring

My favorite item from this list? Whiskers on kittens, I suppose. I do love kittens and their trusting demeanor and unquenchable curiosity.

My least favorite item? Cream colored ponies! Ponies are ill-tempered, too big to let in the house and too small to saddle and ride. You can't litter train them and they don't look cute chasing a bright feather on a string like a kitten.

And finally,

3) What are three of your favorite memories from childhood?
Hmm, Terry was right, this does get harder… I always loved going to my grandparent's homes, Grandma Kate & Grampa Harry's house in Ohio and Grandma & Grandpa Manning's house in Michigan. I especially loved going during Christmas. Grandpa & Grandma Manning always seemed to have the biggest tree that just filled up their living room and there was always presents under the tree for each of us grandkids- my brothers and cousins that I only got to play with a couple times each year. Grandma Kate ran a pharmacy and always had a stack of the latest cartoons for us to read when we went for visits. She also had those stamped aluminum drinking cups with the flared lip and bright red, blue and green anodized colors. I always liked those cups.

My first slot car track was one of my favorite toys and a favorite memory. It was a Strombecker 1/32 scale set and my Dad built a permanent setup for the track that could be put against the wall when not in use. But it stayed down and played with for many, many hours. Some of those slot cars are still in a box in my basement!

My Dad used to take me to the gun shows on Sunday afternoons and the Hot Rod shows in the coliseum each year. It was always fun to go do something, just the two of us and I loved looking at all the neat hardware, no matter what type it was.

Japanese Man Recites First 100,000 Digits of Pi

How disfunctional must this guy be? And he is a mental health counselor, according to the story!
Akira Haraguchi, 60, needed more than 16 hours to recite the number to 100,000 decimal places, breaking his personal best of 83,431 digits set in 1995, his office said Wednesday.
First, how could this guy possibly have been paying attention to his patients/clients? Don't you suppose he must have been rehearsing for hours while his patients poured out their distresses and fears, thinking that this dope was listening intently to the problems? Second, who was there with the printout to confirm his accuracy? How do we know he got it right? How do you compute pi to 100,000 digits? How much computer power does that require?

People do the strangest things...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

2nd Amendment Carnival- this is really good!

I've never visited this particular carnival before but I promise you that this is a good read. Check out the 5th Edition of the 2nd Amendment Carnival. Its a really interesting bit of reading, so take some time and enjoy.

Don't forget to check out the most recent Carnival of Cordite for more gun blogging goodness. Make sure to check out Cowboy Blob's link to this week's CoC, its a good one!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I started a business over the weekend-

I think I may call it Wasatch Custom Coffee Grinding. How's that for a name?

I'm still the guy that keeps the coffee bar running in our building. I've been able to buy good tasting coffee from Costco in individual bags that just needed to be torn open and dumped into a filter for several months. I had to drive past 2 Costcos to get to the 1 that carried the coffee, but I could get it- until 2 weeks ago.

I could get Folgers in premeasured packages, but its Folgers- it tastes like mud and its no financial bargain. All the coffee vendors in the area wanted more than twice the price I was paying for fewer bags of coffee.

So I bought a grinder and 2 bags of beans from Costco this weekend and 500 ziplock bags. I turned 6 pounds of coffee beans into 60, one & a half ounce bags of ground coffee. The coffee bar is paying me to provide coffee and I'm billing the group enough to pay for my grinder over the next few bags of beans. I'm certainly not going to get rich off this endeavor but if I could find a commercial sized grinder for cheap, I might try branching out beyond my building at work.

As if I didn't have enough things to do already...

Tonight's speech- How to Build a Potato Cannon!

That's right, tonight I'm giving a demonstration speech and my subject is "Playing WIth Your Food- or, How to Build a Potato Cannon. I have a new cannon all cut to size and an ignitor already epoxied into the combustion chamber. So tonight I'm going to explain what potato guns are, show how to assemble one and play a short video of a potato gun in action.

Our instructor really shouldn't let us pick our subject matter without some oversight! Anyway, it should be lots of fun.

This should screw things up for a few days-

The computer geeks just emailed- I'm on a list for a new computer, to be delivered and installed later today. I've already exported my Favorites list from Explorer but no doubt I'll be searching for stuff all week when its not where I expect it after the upgrade.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Another fine weekend-

Busy, as always, with school work. But taking time to have some fun too. Last night we had burgers and beer at the Shooting Star Saloon, a landmark here in the Wasatch Front. That was after a nice drive to see the leaf colors and a trip to Powder Mountain to see the progress on the fancy new high-speed quad lift being installed at Hidden Lake. Its going to be a dandy lift this winter!

In a few minutes, we are leaving to see the Barnum & Bailey circus in Salt Lake. We haven't been to a circus in years and the BSU said she would like to see it, so off we go!

I'm a pretty big fan of my adopted home town of Ogden, (you may have guessed that already) and this week I discovered a real prize at one of our local thrift stores. Its a hat... That's right, I bought a hat, for $1 with the "In 30 Zone" logo embroidered on the back. On the front is another embroidered picture proclaiming "Ogden Utah, Its All Within Reach." This is an effort from our current mayor but I can't find a picture of the embroidery right now. Anyway, I got a nice olive hat that proclaims my pride in Ogden for just a buck. Its a nice addition to mycollection of hats I wear every day.

Now its time to head for the circus!