Day by Day cartoon

Saturday, March 31, 2007

This really made me laugh!

Its really rude but its funny! Thanks Carol.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I'm back home again- safe

That is the longest time I ever hope to have to endure without a decent cup of coffee! It was horrible stuff that hospital had smoldering and I couldn't get anyone to go downstairs to the barista for me.

I'm home. I've had my surgery. Apparently everything went quite according to plan. The Doc cut out a portion of my colon and patched the hole with 8 stitches and got back out leaving my bottom in no worse shape than before. The surgery was yesterday and took a couple hours to perform, everything else was just preparation and recovery and a fitful night spent pretending to sleep on a hospital bed.

I did not get much sleep, as if that was the entire hospital staff's intent. People started clomping through my room about 4 AM and I saw the first doc before 5. The nurse had to change the IV fluid bag and then she had to come back in because she didn't set it up correctly and it beeped at me. The lab tech lady came in and complained that I had "tiny veins", which I don't, except when its the middle of the night and I'm dehydrated and hungry and trying to sleep. All of this while I wrestled a tiny plastic pillow that was determined to squirt out of it pillow case, the IV tubing stuck to my hand and the inflatable leg cuffs that either were slipping off like the pillow case or twisting around my ankles preventing me from rolling over. All in all, it was a memorable night.

And as good of care as all the folks took for me at St Marks, I really can't say a single good thing about their food service. Really, how can you make chicken broth badly? They managed.I had two cups of that brought up and both times, it was undrinkable. The french toast piece they brought later was a travesty. It wasn't even worth opening they syrup to try to make edible. The fruit cup I could eat, and the jello. Nothing else. The coffee tasted like burnt sheet rock and I just couldn't drink it.

So, I'm glad to be home. I've got no pain and after a couple days of light duty, I should be back on my feet again. In the mean time, I'm watching movies on my laptop and snuggling a cat that's sharing my lap.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rocky the Flying Squirrel

Here's video you just have to watch. Its got a flying squirrel but no moose. Its terrific!

Really bad wiring-

I know my dad will get a kick out of some of these wiring schemes gone bad, especially the power pole with the wires hanging out of the box. I can tell you that nothing has ever scared me quite so much as wandering around major cities in Korea and seeing power poles that looked just like these examples. Scary stuff in this pictorial!

Purse Pliers! Its about time somebody thought of this!

Turns out, the guy that thought of this perfect idea was Scott Adams. A little quote from his blog-
As you know, there is no way to hold a purse in a manly fashion. After sixty seconds of transporting a designer bag full of Tampons and lipstick, your testosterone will be so low that you’ll be playing field hockey and lactating.
He also has directions on how Purse Pliers should be applied:
The recommended way to lift a purse with pliers is by grabbing the zipper and holding it the way you would hold fresh road kill, at a safe distance from your body, just in case it’s not totally dead. Research has shown that wuss cooties can not cross pliers.
Lucky for me, the BSU doesn't carry a purse as she has forsworn most of the trappings of typical womanhood requirements and leaves all those items at home. But if your significant other carries a purse, you need Purse Pliers!

Odd stuff and stupid people-

Ok, I told you already that I might be just a little bit cranky today. And I am. But I saw and heard some things this weekend that just made me scratch my brain. You get to hear about them, right now.

First, I heard Lynn Rosetto Kaspar interview John R. Hailman about his book, Thomas Jefferson on Wine. The man has spent 30 years researching Thomas Jefferson's wine fetish! Thirty years! Is that possibly the best use of his time that he could imagine? He researched 30 years just so that he could write a book. What a complete waste of time for an individual who otherwise sounded like he was in his right mind! Just for a moment consider all the good he might have done for his local community or for the entire world if he had just applied himself to something more important that Jefferson's wine lists. Get a life man!

Next, I saw a man driving this weekend in the most peculiar driving posture. He was in a late model, shiny red Honda next to me at a traffic light. Both front seats were reclined back, probably as far as they were intended to go. The headrests were aligned dead center in the rear windows of the car. The driver, who seemed to be a rather tall man, was leaned forward, away from the seatbacks and had his elbow draped over the steering wheel, with his head positioned about dead center with the front side glass... There must have been 15-18 inches between his shoulder blades and the seatback. His posture appeared to be his normal driving style, as if the seatbacks weren't really a neccesary portion of his car's equipment. I didn't get to watch as the man headed down the road to see if he reclined back into the seat after he cleared the intersection and I did not get to suggest that if his seatbacks were both broken that Honda would probably replace them under warranty. No matter which way the man drives all the time, either leaned back into the back seat or unsupported and hugging the steering wheel, if he is involved in an accident, I don't think he will get full advantage of the safety features Honda built into his car.

Something seems different today...

There's something going on today and it seems important but I can't quite put my finger on what's on the schedule. Let me look at my calendar...

Hmm, Take off work @ 2 is on today's block on my calendar.

Oh crap! I remember! Today is the day before I have my colon surgery! Which, of course means that today is the day I have to suffer through a clear liquid lunch and the nasty business of choking down the laxatives and suffering their effects this evening.

All that's going to make me cranky...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weekend Update-

Its time to kick out the strippers and hangers-on and sweep out the detrius of the week long party because the spouse returns from Oregon tonight! Its been a tough visit for her because one of her sisters is quite ill with recurrent cancer and recent strokes. Most of her visit has been at the hospital and it hasn't been a fun trip.

In her absence I've helped Son Kye and his GF get moved out of the rented bedroom they were in and into a real apartment of their own. They are mighty pleased to be getting more privacy from a household of renters and into their own place. The new place is in an old part of a downtown neighborhood, so its quite different from the suburban area they were used to but they both seem to like it. There are eateries and convenience stores and a video rental store all on their block and a coffee shop next door called The Coffee Blog.

Friday afternoon they picked up the keys and I picked up a U-Haul trailer. We were able to move very nearly everything they owned in one trip using their two cars, the truck bed and back seat and the trailer. There were just some cleaning supplies that needed picking up after the cleanup gets completed this weekend.

Of course the electricity wasn't getting turned on until Monday, so unloading and carrying things in was a bit of a challenge... But we got 'er done and the trailer was dropped off the same night so I didn't have to make 2 trips into Salt Lake. Later today I'll be dropping off our spare microwave oven, which they need but won't be able to use until Monday- when the power comes on.

Yesterday I repainted the Suzuki's gas tank... Since I had put the enamel pinstrips on in the wrong order with the lacquer clear coat, I decided it had to be redone. Trying to wipe off the stripes wrecked the color coats too, so I essentially resanded and repainted the entire tank. If I can, between errands today, I'm going to get the white flashes repainted. And I added a white flash to the front fender that I think looks pretty neat.

As soon as I finish this post, I'm headed out. Noah's car is dead in Logan for a bad alternator and he's determined to find a job to pay for getting it replaced. Which is good because I don't see it as my obligation to buy parts for his car. I did fix his 'puter after all. But his and another snowboard are still stranded at Powder Mountain and he needs his laptop for the end of the school term. So I'm taking those things to him. Later I'll drop the microwave off with the other son on my way to the airport to pick up the beautiful spouse.

Shook the hand of another blogger this week

That would be Matt from Unsurpassed Expectations, who I discovered recently when the number of local bloggers on my Blog Map increased. Matt, being the kind and skilled computer science expert and a local college student, was kind enough to take on the job of getting Son Noah's laptop back into operation after it quit functioning.

Matt was able to do a complete re-install of Windows XP, add another stick of RAM that I purchased and locate all the neccesary drivers to make the Toshiba function as it was designed- and at a price I could afford to pay.

Thanks Matt! Now its time for another blogroll update!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Phrasalator? C'mon!

Once again, National Public Radio does a story that makes me scratch my head. Today This week, it was a story about the Phrasalator and its use by Native American tribes to keep their native languages alive. To get the full irony of this story, you really have to listen to the audio which you can find over on the right of the page. This Phrasalator is a hand-held device, designed for language translation and its apparently in use by our service members in Iraq. According to the story, the manufacturer had to get State Department permission to sell these devices to civilian markets.

At one point in the article, it mentions a tribe in Southern California that has used its income from the casinos on their reservation to purchase nearly one Phrasalator for every member of their tribe. And they want the adults that don't speak the native language to speak to their kids using the device so the kids here the language and try to guess what Mom or Dad is telling them. The example in the article is about Mom directing the kid while using the Phrasalator to answer the telephone...
From another portion of the article-
Wells wants kids to take these devices home. The hope is that a parent, who doesn't speak Dakota, could have family dinner with the Phraselator at his side. He could ask, "Please pass the rice," in the language. If a child doesn't know the response, she also could use Phraselator to figure it out.
Am I the only one that finds this methodology and thought process completely dumbass?

Let's look at this whole concept-
1. They are spending thousands of dollars to promote a language that only a few tribal leaders want and only a fewer still speak and imposing it upon their youngsters, who, if they ever hope to do more than service work at the casino, need to get off the reservation with a firm grasp of a language that (most of) the rest of the civilized world understands. That's not the language they are being force fed through a Phrasalator.

2. I'm not saying that their native language isn't important and shouldn't be taught and used. I am saying that if the adults want to impose it on the younger generation, the adults better learn the language either before or concurrently with the kids.

3. If verbal repetition was the method of the elders that used the native language to train their youngsters, and the voices of the elders comes out with each breath as one of the individuals states in the article, maybe the modern adults should be using the same methodology with their kids. Let the kids learn from the voices of the elders, not from some electronic box the elders couldn't even conceive of, let alone build.

I'm sorry, I'm out of time to work on this post and my thought process has derailed some as well on this subject. I'm going to post this up for now and maybe I'll refine it later. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of the hopelessly stuck, current mindset of many of our Native American neighbors.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Now I'm starting to get irritated...

Another Suzuki paint job post, in case you want to skip it...

Last night, I put on the One Shot paint pinstripes. I cheated though, I didn't really stripe it freehand like a real striper though, I taped everything off and painted inside the lines.

And tonight, I intended to put clearcoat over everything. But before I did that, I decided that I should check to make certain the clearcoat wouldn't soften the 24 hour old pinstripe paint.

Which it of course, does. The clearcoat wrinkles the One Shot pinstripe paint in a second. Luckily for me, I discovered this on some of the leftover masking tape from last night...

So, I didn't put clearcoat on tonight. I'm going to see if tomorrow night I get the same bad reaction. If I do, I suspect I will have to remove the red stripes with thinner, clearcoat everything and then re-pinstripe everything after the clearcoat sits 2 days and I decide if it needs buffed out.

I really wasn't trying to get all fancy with this, I just wanted an attractive paint job. But I also can't bring myself to do a 2nd rate job on something that will make the bike look decent and presentable.

What a bundle of work! I also bought the license plates today and found out there is a safety inspection required and I have a 14 day temp tag to use to get the job done. So I guess I better get busy! Or busier...

Down and Dirty Thursday Three

From Possumblog, its Thursday Three time again. Here's Terry-
Okay, no time for long-windedness and literary flourishes--answer these questions, NOW! GO! RUN! Get your keyboard and leave a comment or a link to your blog.
1. What are you supposed to be doing RIGHT NOW? (Aside from answering these questions, of course.)
I probably should be working on yet another series of PowerPoint charts for a simple program to update several Technical Orders to include some upgraded software for a countermeasure set. There's no particular rush though because the redlined Technical Orders haven't been received from the responsible organization and that same organization hasn't even made available the previous software update. I don't have to do very much, really, except go through the hoops of briefing the contract methods and configuration changes, then implementing the documents that get the contracts underway to make the changes to the books. Pretty boring stuff actually.
2. How long is it going to take you?
How long? Lessee, the charts will take a couple days to actually create. Then I wait on several other people to fulfill their obligations- that might be several weeks. Two different days to brief the charts, then a couple more days to get the [electronic] paperwork accomplished and finally, a couple more days of waiting on the Contracting office to do their magic. When will my involvement in this particular effort be complete? Summertime probably.
3. What do you have to do after that?
I'll have to follow up on a couple other programs that are plodding along to make sure there's no snags that are going to pop up while I'm gone next week. Its also Lunch With Mellisa day, Later I have to take Son Noah's laptop to a guy for a tuneup/repair and tonight is guitar class. I also have a draft post that maybe I'll get finished today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Death by a thousand cuts-

Or- when did this motorcycle turn into a boat?

So far in the story of my Suzuki's paint job, I have applied all the color that I'm going to apply with rattle cans. The metallic grey is applied and the white stripes have been applied and tonight I will finalize the reflective clear to the white stripes. Everything has gone along pretty smoothly so far with minor exceptions. I did screw up the tail section with an ill-timed touch up that required some sanding and respraying to correct and there were a couple very small areas of white paint that snuck through my masking job onto the grey paint that had to be cleaned up with thinner.

I have stopped on my way home from work each night since last Friday to purchase more materials and I have to do it again tonight, hence the title to this post. I of course thought that this little painting effort would be far less than $50 but I'm over than by close to 50%. Today's trip will probably certainly push it over that mark. Yesterday I purchased the vinyl, dual pinstripe tape that I want to highlight the white portions of the paint job. But that vinyl won't curve the way I need it to, so there's a 6 buck roll of tape available for anybody that asks. Today I'm buying another roll of the blue plastic masking tape that is flexible enough to make my pinstripes and a can of One Shot pinstriping paint. I suppose I'll have to buy a real pinstriper's brush to get the job done right as well.

I'm going to mask off and then paint on the pinstripes I want since the tape stripes won't work. I layed it out last night using the tape I have and it seems like it might work really well. I just need one roll of narrower tape for the center gap. When that's all done, then I can apply some clearcoat to the entire job and call it finished. Except that I'll probably want to buff out the clearcoat to make sure everything turns out shiny.

And I still want to add a white stripe and cap to the front fender to match the rest ot the scheme...

I'm still waiting for Darin to call and say that the $75 worth of air box components and filter to complete my $20 airbox purchase have arrived and maybe I'll make it to the DMV for license plates before the week is over.

Or not.

[UPDATE] The 1/2 pint of One Shot was $13.55 and the squirrel hair Mack's sword striping brush was $9.00. Ouch!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Suzuki paint update

Well I've been slaving away in the shop pretty diligently over the weekend and tonight getting the motorcycle painted. So far its looking really good. Admittedly its not as fancy a paint job as Tam's last Suzuki but it is coming along nicely. Everything is metallic grey and the white trim is on the gas tank and tail section. I haven't decided if I'll put any white on the front fender just yet.

I did make on boo-boo tonight that required part of the tail section to be repainted and I'll finish that tomorrow night. I'll also be figuring out how to add some red pinstripes to the white sections and then finishing up with the reflective paint over the white and then a clearcoat over everything.

And then I'll put it back together and buy some license plates!

I've also got unlimited hours in the evening to work on it since I put the BSU on an airplane to Oregon and her sister's for the week!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Motorcycle paint progress report

Like any good project the Suzuki's repaint is taking longer than one might wish. It is progressing nicely and there's no magic to getting a good result, so it is taking a little time. I'm just painting the gas tank and the tail section to match the front fender and side covers that were already painted a metallic, gun-metal dark gray that turned out to be a Truck & SUV color.

So far, the tail section has been sanded and primed. I used sandpaper to remove the pinstripe decal on this portion and that took quite a long time to get through the clearcoat and then to remove the pinstripes. For the gas tank I used a miniature wood plane to remove the decals and it was much quicker than sanding all of the decals. I did have to sand everything to remove the edges on the clearcoat and some edges on the bottom required quite a bit of sanding to remove some loose clearcoat that would flake off when I hit it with the air gun. I did get the underside of the gas tank primed last night before I quit. Hopefully this weekend I'll get the topcoat grey color sprayed.

I'm still working on how I will add some white scallops to the sides of the gas tank, front fender and tail section. I did find something very interesting that I believe I am going to add to whatever white trim I use. Its called Dupli-Color Nite Lites and it supposedly lights up like traffic signs and road name signs when hit with headlights. This seems like a pretty good idea for a dark motorcycle if I want to keep from being run over or into by less attentive car drivers.

Anyway, the project is still under $50 including the sandpaper I've purchased just for this job. Buying the Nite Lites reflective paint will drive the price over the $50 mark, but not by much.

Buddy Loc wants me to go for a ride next Saturday to Jackson, Wyoming! If I'm going with him, I've got lots to do in a week's time, not the least which would be putting a few local miles on the bike to ensure its up to extended rides. I may have to miss Jackson this time...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Man Killed While Trying Stunts on Motorcycle

I expect to see this guy nominated for a Darwin Award for 2007.
Police say 20-year-old Ty Griffiths was in the parking lot of an apartment complex when he tried to do a wheelie. However, officers say he instead lost control of his motorcycle, went flying through a window of one of the apartments and was thrown into the brick building.
Remember, life is hard. Its harder when you're stupid.

And to prove that stupid doesn't have to be lethal, just painful, check out this gem from the comments section:
This proves national section can be a harsh master.

Thursday Three and Chamber of Commerce Day

Its Thursday Three time again and this week Terry must be trying to decide where to take his summer vacation because he wants to know about our hometowns. As usual, the questions are followed by my answers. Terry- come & visit but plan on more than one hour!
1) If you only had one hour to show a visitor something interesting in your hometown, where would you go?

Ogden has a wonderfully restored Union Pacific Train Station at the end of Historic 25th Street. I'd take a visitor to the train station for their first visit. There's some old trains sitting outside that one can view and inside there's a miniature train store and the Union Grill restaurant. There's a nice display about the construction of the Union Pacific railroad and its completion at Promontory which is just a few miles up the road. There's a gem and mineral museum inside and a collection of antique cars too. But the real attraction of the station is the John Moses Browning memorial museum and in there, a gun enthusiast can really get lost for an hour or two. Although it has been relocated from its original location in Morgan to the museum, JMB's actual, original workshop is on display. There a number of prototype and first models of JMB's gun designs and displays of how far and wide his influence spread in the small arms industry. This is holy ground for anyone that loves firearms and its worth a look.
2) If you then had to find that friend a great place for a quick bite to eat, where would you go?
Well there is a fine eatery, The Union Grill that the BSU and I visit occasionally for an extended Friday lunch and a visitor would be mighty well served to have their one Ogden meal there. But if time allows, I'd walk my guest down Historic 25th Street about 3 blocks from the station to Roosters Brew Pub & Restaurant. This is another of our favorite Friday eateries and it has very relaxing dining indoors, or outdoors on a beautiful patio when the weather's nice. We once sat just a table away from Ogden's mayor, Mathew Godfrey while he schmoozed some out of town folks over lunch.
3) Now that you’ve entertained them and fed your friend, it’s time to send him on his way. You’re not sure which way he’s going, but he’s got a fast red convertible, and you want him to see something nice as he drives. What route from your home to someplace else, either to the north, south, east, or west would you recommend to him as the most scenic drive?

The most scenic road to travel out of Ogden? Highway 84 heading east towards Wyoming is probably the most scenic road to travel. Inside the first hour you pass through Weber Canyon, see Devil's Slide as you enter Morgan Valley, follow the river as it passes through low lying farmlands full of cattle, horses and sheep and enter an stark area of beautiful red rock canyons before arriving on the high desert plains that lead into Evanston. That road probably packs more of Utah's unique scenery into one short trip than any other, though there are many more scenic trips to take if you can manage more time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Maybe the biggest time killer ever

I'm adding Dark Roasted Blend to my blogroll tonight and it must neccesarily go in the "These I Can't Read at Work" list because, 1st, its a huge time killer to sort through all the fun categories like America in the 30s & 40s: Pulp Fiction Comes Alive-Highlights of industrial and urban photography and 2nd, because the base netork filters block all the hundreds of pictures that are on this site.

This website is jam packed with wacky cars and trucks, pictures of women in car advertisements from both the US and Europe, vintage airline stewardess photos and adverts, and pictures of a guy's efforts to turn a Boing [ed: who writes this stuff?] Boeing 727 into his permanent home. I'm telling you, there is a more weird pictures and articles on this website than any I've seen in a long while.

So if you've got a minute or two, or an hour or more, check it out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dr appointments today- did I miss anything?

Well today was two Dr appointments in preparation for my upcoming surgery. The first one was with my usual GP doc to make sure certain I was well enough for the 2nd doc to be cutting on me. I had blood work an EKG that the doc called "perfectly normal" and 107/70 blood pressure. I got 2 scripts renewed and a go-ahead for the surgery.

Doctor appointment number 2 was in SLC, with the surgeon that will be working on me. He basically went over the procedure and explained what I should expect both during and after my operation.

Afterwards, since it was such a beautiful day, the BSU and I went go-karting at Boondocks. Its one of those all inclusive birthday party places with karts and laseer tag, miniature golf and a huge game room. We just stayed for one go-kart race and passed on the mini-golf even though today was the perfect day to be there since the kids were still in school and we practically had the place to ourselves.

This evening I ofund found the exact matching paint for the Suzuki at Autozone and while I was there, I bought sandpaper and a tack cloth and some spot putty in preparation for the paint job. I also spent an hour sanding the tail section tonight and its 2/3 done. I've got to sand through the clear coat to remove the pinstripes but most of the surface just needs scuff sanding in readiness for the new paint.

So its been a busy day! Now its nearly bedtime.

Monday, March 12, 2007

My visual DNA

Stolen from Pammy, again, from Lollygaggin.

Suzuki update-

I'm gonna paint it.

Right now the tank and tail section actually match and are original but they are 26 years old. The front fender and side covers have a recent dark grey metallic color on them. I think I'm going to paint everything dark grey and then add some red and white pinstripe tape or red and white trim of some kind. I think I'd like some scallops like the So-Cal hot rods on the fender and tank.

I'm not going to try to make it into a show bike paint job but I will get everything that needs it sanded smooth before putting on the new paint. I think I may have a local automotive paint shop match up the color I already have and load it into a couple aerosol cans for spraying. I'm going to try to get it painted this week while the weather is turning real nice and while I wait for the airbox parts to arrive.

Tonight I flushed the rear brake system fluid and tomorrow I'll do the front brakes. Its 65 degrees here and I'm getting anxious to get this beast on the road!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Something that makes me go hmm...

The spouse and I go to the movies pretty often, that's no big secret. But something's been bothering me at the openings of movies at the
Cinemark multiplex. Cinemark's mascot is Front Row Joe. He's the cat that appears in their commercials and movie intros. Joe's paramour is Popcorn Penny and the current preview show has Penny selling a ticket to Joe, selling popcorn to Joe and then appearing onscreen in a dancing routine where she reaches out and pulls Joe into the routine with her.

Here's what confuses me- when Joe gets pulled into the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers scene, dressed in a spiffy tux, he's barefoot while his beautifully begowned partner Penny is wearing pumps... Why is that?

And why does Penny, being a cat character have 2 distinctive, perky breasts? Don't cats have 8 nipples? Hmm? I'm just asking.

Went shooting today-

Here's a little video clip-
That's me, shooting buddy Loc's Smith & Wesson 500. He insisted I shoot it first today as he hadn't yet had the opportunity to try it. I've got to tell you, about 3 rounds is about all I really care to shoot that critter at one time.

It is a hard hitting piece and it makes dandy 1/2" holes in a 2X6 but its not really fun to shoot.

We did have a great time plinking with all the other guns and even though we took a good hike through the sage brush, no jackrabbits were damaged today.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Suzuki update

Well with the encroaching warmer weather I'm getting rather anxious to get the motorcycle finished up and ready for the road. I still need to paperwork transferred and maybe I can get that done still this week. Everything is coming together and I've been able to spend a few more hours in the shop lately since it is warming up outside.

The original tail section didn't fit the back of the seat worth a damm and when I got busy trying to make it fit better, I discovered that it was broken in such a way that a good repair was going to be difficult. Turns out, it was the wrong tail sectionanyway. I purchased another piece from Ebay and when it arrived I discovered that it matched the seat profile much better than the original. So that turned out really well.

I also purchased a stock airbox from an Ebay seller, with the intention of replacing the 4 individual foam filters presently on the bike. The airbox arrived yesterday and its condition was what is generally referred to as "barn find." That is, its all in good condition and all the parts are there, but, boy, was it grimy! The inside was filled with 25 years of oil-soaked dust and rust. I did get it cleaned up last night after scraping, brushing, blowing and sanding out the offensive gritty bits and its ready for some black paint the next time I can get out to the shop. Like any restoration project, its not the purchasing that is the expensive part of the effort, it’s the refurbishing. I paid just over a $20 bill for the airbox and shipping but when I looked up the needed rubber air tube parts and a new filter, I'm going to quadruple my purchase price! Good grief! I'll call my buddy Darin who says he can get the parts I need for less, later this morning and see if he can't reduce the costs for the parts I need.

Its also time to start making decisions about how much I am going to care about the cosmetics on this motorcycle. Right now, the gas tank and tail section are original color and pinstripes but pretty scratched and worn. The front fender and the side covers have a dark grey, rattle can paint job applied by the last owner. I have to decide if I'm going to paint it all or leave it mismatched and "weathered" or if I'm going to hit all the parts with a matching rattle can, quickie paint job or if I want to spend a weekend giving everything a good sanding and smoothing and a proper, air gun applied, buffed out-shiny and re-striped paint job. Chances are pretty good that I'll take the time to put a decent paint job on it. I'm not a big fan of the "rat bike" look and painting it up nice won't be that much trouble. The spouse says that I have to paint it up right just for bragging rights when I ride it into work for the first time.

The spouse also says she is not riding on it with me- period. That's disappointing. I suppose I'll have to start interviewing some potential, less uptight passengers if I want somebody along for the occasional ride.

And, last night I bought another of those loud air horns from Harbor Freight for the bike, just like the one I installed on the scooter last year. The horns that are on there are worn out, not loud enough to alert any cell-phone talking minivan moms and pointed down at the engine. I'll figure out a good spot for my loud horn and get it wired up in the next couple days.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How many of me?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

That result comes from me using Nathaniel instead of Nate for my first name. The results for using Nate was 0. Found at Pammy's place, Lollygaggin.

New scooter link added to blogroll

I've added a new link today for a great scooter website, LetsGoScootIN. The play on punctuation and capitalization is because the one-man content provider, Dennis DenHartog is from Indiana. In spite of having a real-life day job selling and making dulcimers, Dennis has really put together a comprehensive and interesting scooter website.

I first met up with Dennis through the Scoot Dawg Forum which is also linked over there on the blogroll. I had sent him an email after noticing that we shared several interests, scooters, dulcimers and a common home town, Ft Wayne, Indiana. Well, Dennis wrote me back one Friday afternoon and suggested that I must have been "one of Roger's kids"! What? It had been lots of years since anybody called me that! Turns out Dennis and my family all attended the same church years ago and Dennis had even been a guest in our house! It is a small world.

Anyway, Dennis has been busy building a terrific website and I'm adding it to my blog's scooter website list. Thanks Dennis!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

All things AMC

Jalopnik had a post today pointing to the most wonderous American Motors website. They are correct, you can spend a few hours browsing Arctic Boy's AMC collection.

As a former owner of a 69 Ambassador SSJ, a 74 Hornet Hatchback and a Pacer Wagon, you know I had a good time browsing these pages. Check them out if you think you can stand a flashback to some earlier, exciting days.

Potato chips, guns and guitars-

What do they all have in common? Its simple, one is never enough! That's right, just like Lays potato chips, you can't just have one. And now I have two! I bought a second guitar last week, from a local pawn shop.

Its a looks-like-brand-new, Fender Stratacoustic. It looks just like the one at the link except there's no pick guard. Its an acoustic with electronics built in so it can be used amplified and it has a skinny neck like any Fender electric guitar. It has a small body and a fiberglass, moulded back and its smaller than a typical acoustic guitar. Its lighter than my Ibanez and easier to transport so I think it will be my "go-to-class" guitar and that will help me keep my beautiful blue Ibanez from getting scratched and dinged.

I really like it and I'm splitting my practice between both guitars. The Fender does have a little better tone than my Ibanez when both are unplugged due to the greater body volume and sound hole shapes. But I love them both and I'm really pleased with my new toys and hobby. I can play Yankee Doodle almost without looking at the music and I've learned Love Me Tender and tonight I started working on Amazing Grace.

Chords are still pretty hard...

Zumbo "gets it" and comes in from the cold

That large popping sound that rang out throughout the country recently? You might have heard it, it was the sound of Jim Zumbo's head popping out out of his ass! As you might remember, Zumbo really stepped in the stinky stuff a few weekends ago, calling for the banning of "scary black rifles" from the hunting woods and fields. He was thrashed severely, (and rightly so) in the woodshed of the internet over just one weekend and lost his job with Outdoor Life and many of his equipment sponsors.

Well, Zumbo has been schooled over the past couple weeks on the numbers and types of owners of rifles that don't fit his walnut and deep-blued steel paradigm. And he understands the damage to the complete gun community that his hastily worded blog post caused. He has seen the light and is diligently working to make amends. Read his letter to the chairman of Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
I was wrong when I recently suggested that wildlife agencies should ban semiautomatic firearms I erroneously called “assault rifles” for hunting. I insulted legions of my fellow gun owners in the process by calling them “terrorist rifles.” I can never apologize enough for having worn blinders when I should have been wearing bifocals.

But unlike those who would destroy the Second Amendment right to own a firearm – any firearm – I have learned from my embarrassing mistake. My error should not be used, as it has been in recent days by our common enemies, in an effort to dangerously erode our right to keep and bear arms.
There's more, and I believe him. read the whole thing. I believe he will be a valuable ally in our fight to keep the politician's hands off our guns.

Monday, March 05, 2007

It seems my political activism knows no bounds!

The Ogden Standard-Examiner published my letter to the editor! I was very pleased to see a letter supportive of more, not less concealed carry in community areas, sharing the same editorial page today.

It only took 13 days from send to printed, which says something about just one thing that's wrong with mainstream media these days. But- I got my opinion expressed and out there into the public arena.

Its going to be a long, lonely week-

Kenny's out of town, visiting his mom in California. Loc is TDY to stormy Georgia. Terry's Possumblog is on civic duty hiatus while he performs jury callup service. Melissa's cramming for finals this week and so is Karen.

All my friends are busier than me! Maybe I'll get some work done this week...

And why the heck haven't I ever been called for jury duty? I've had the same address for 7+ years, I'm in the phone book and I register and vote. I can't tell if I'm bragging or complaining, I'm just sayin is all.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

So long for now-

Last night was the final night of the Foursite Film Festival here in Ogden. Sadly, I was too worn out and my back was hurting too much to attend the final night festivities so I didn't get to thank Scott Halford, the executive director, Jim Henderson, the organizer and Ryan Pearce, the PR guy for inviting me to their show.

This film festival was really a well run event and it seemed to have films for everyone's interest. I would really have liked to get to some of the documentaries on Saturday and I was really sorry to miss last night's premier of Blind Dating. I did get to see 3 nights of great films and I had a great time with all of them.

I'll be looking forward to seeing the festival come back to Ogden next year and wish the best of fortunes to the great group of folks that work very hard to put it together.

In other local news, I got to stay home today and rest up from all the week's prior activities. I've changed out the strings on my latest guitar and spent a couple good hours practicing. I ground 6 pounds of coffee beans into individually sized packets for the coffee machine at work and generally took it easy today.

Now there's laundry to fold and maybe more practice before bedtime!

Friday, March 02, 2007

FourSite Film Festival update

Opening night of the festival was a packed house at Ogden's Egyptian Theater and Carol has written a fine post about the feature show Pirates of the Great Salt Lake. I can't improve on what she has already written so make sure to check out her review. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed Pirates. Its entertaining and funny and played with such earnestness in spite of its silly premise that it really made me laugh. Watching these two nefarious pirates sailing the high seas of the "Great Salt Sea" in just 2 or 3 feet of water, walking the plank off of their rowboat and falling into the mud and racing across 300 yards of beach to try to rob food from a woman only to happy to serve them a plateful was just funny.

It was also very fun to watch a film that was made right here in my neighborhood. If you can manage a chance to see Pirates you will get a great introduction to the scenery here in Utah that I like so much. I also couln't help enjoying how much fun this motley cast and crew must have entertained in the making of the movie. While they play it completely straight, it was obvious to me that it must have been lots of fun to make this film. I have to say that the BSU did not love Pirates very much but she has had a broken funny bone forever and so her opinions about what's funny are pretty skewed. She's not one to love a movie that revels in its silliness or absurdity and that's too bad for her.

Last night's movie was the world premier of The Mini. The crowd was (much) smaller than opening night and some of the reduced attendance needs to be blamed on the weather and traffic conditions because it was very ferocious outside all evening. But it was a world premier and I was determined not to miss it, even if the BSU opted to stay at home and Carol chose the wiser option of avoiding the lousy driving conditions.

The Mini's a terrific story of living with perenial low expectations. The hero, Fran is frustrated by his job- he's restricted to just selling futons in the mattress store where he works and resents Stan the manager's preferential treatment of the only other employee, creepy Rick Boushard, Fran's nemesis since high school. When Stan announces that the winner of the local mini-marathon will get the assistant manager position in the mattress store, Fran goes to work, enlisting his best friend Dale's help to train for the big race. In the mean time he is dealing with a broken down junk car, a budding romance with Carmen and continual difficulty keeping AM and PM straight on his bedside alarm clock.

Hijinks, high drama and bowling ensue. And because this is a feel-good movie, in the end Fran perseveres to get the race win, with help from his many-years-departed Dad, the hot girl and a much better job than he imagined possible. Stan and Rick get their just rewards and Dale learns to drive.

This is a terrific film! I really loved it and I wish the entire cast and crew, most of whom served in multiple aspects of making the film a multi-screen release in the near future. This movie deserves to be seen by many more folks than will attend the festivals where it might be shown. Right now some of the music score is pending usage contracts but once that circumstance is complete I expect, and the crew is hoping, to see this released at the local cineplex. If it comes to your neighborhood, go see it. It’s a great story.

Tonight- extreme snowboarding films!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Thursday Three from Down Under

Today's questions came from a Possumblog regular that hails from the other end of the planet. Here's the questions and my responses.
1) Here, it is the first day of autumn - Wednesday 1st of March. However, in some parts of the world, the new seasons do not arrive until the 19th of the month, or later; due to large cattle breeds called solstices and equinoxes that issue huge amounts of methane, which increases global warming and makes the seasons run late. Question: what is your favourite season, and why?
Favorite season? Hmm. Winter, with its related snow and trips to go skiing, could it be my favorite? Maybe but winter also brings early darkness and generally limited time outdoors. Spring? Is it a better season? Somehow spring means excess amounts of yardwork- raking up al the leaves left over from fall and the piles of dog poop that has collected throughout the winter. There's always busted sprinkler lines to fix which means digging in the mud and making repairs while working on my knees. All that fixup-cleanup in the spring means a sore back to me even if I don't undertake some new landscaping project. What about fall then, could it be my favorite season? It is pretty with the color changes in the lanscaping and flora and its pleasant to be outside because summer's extreme heat is gone leaving really pleasant temperatures. Until it turns wet and cold and I have to put the scooter away until spring returns. So that just leaves summer, and I guess on the whole, its my favorite season. The temperature is cool in the mornings and hot before lunch and daylight seems to last until bedtime so there seems to be enough time to get everything done. The spring homeowner chores are mostly done and just the routine watering and mowing of the grass is usually required. Its good scooter or motorcycle riding time and it’s a perfect time for going to the desert for shooting fun. There seems to be enough time to sit in the shade and read a book just for fun as well. So I guess summer might have to be my favorite season. Ask me tomorrow, maybe my answer will change!
2) When you started your weblog, did you deliberate over whether to choose a nom-de-blog or use your real identity? What swayed you either way?
I never even gave any thought to blogging anonomously. I figured that I have an opinion and a forum and I'm not afraid of putting my name on my opinions and attitudes. My spousal unit believes that I tell too much personal information on this little bit of cyberspace- see repeated references to my pending colo-rectal surgery but that hasn't ever been a problem. Its part of my life and that's what I'm sharing here, my opinions and my life.
3) Discussing religion, politics or sex has always been impolite at cocktail parties, because of the risk of embarrassing face-to-face arguments. However, this is not a cocktail party, but a blog. And since the whole point of a blog is to have robust discussions, make a comment on the first thing that comes to your mind about religion, politics or sex. Pour yourself a martini first, if it helps. Don't forget the olive.
First, no martini thanks. Most any other libation- yes please. Bring two! I'm with Terry concerning my positions on religion, politics and sex; my positions have changed over the years on each subject. Two political opinions that have been floating through my cranium for a couple weeks are these: 1) I think that there should be no campaigning allowed until 6 months prior to any election. None. Primaries begin at 5 months out from election day so candidates get just one month to announce, fund raise and campaign before primaries. Early starting results in disqualification. 2) I think that if you are an elected official and you announce your candidacy for another position, you must also announce the immediate surrender of the position you were elected to. I cannot believe that any current candidate for an election that is 21 months away is honestly representing their constituents. If I were one of those persons that voted for an already announced candidate, I would feel mighty ripped off and I might feel that my senator or congressperson really didn't have my best interest at heart. Finally, John McCain will never be my candidate until he repeals McCain-Feingold laws!

The answer is "Strongly Disagree"-

to all the questions on the Brady Campaign Legislative Priorities survey. Here's question #1-
Since the expiration of the federal Assault Weapons Ban two years ago, there has been a significant rise in violent crime and homicides. How strongly do you agree with this statement: Passing an assault weapons ban must be one of the top domestic safety priorities of the 110th Congress.
The answer is "Strongly Disagree". The answer is the same for the rest of the questions. Now get over there and let them know how you feel about their gun-stealing, anti-American, plans.

Thanks goes to Gunner at
No Quarters for pointing this one out.

No new restrictions on concealed weapons permits at universities

This is good news for firearms rights advocates in Utah. This is the bill that I have been writing my representatives every other day to get defeated. It didn't get defeated but it did get almost all of the overly restrictive aspects of the university's desires negotiated out.
Concealed weapons won't face any new restrictions on university campuses in Utah, although students can now request not to live with permit holders.

A bill that passed in the waning hours of this year's legislative session ended up as a watered down version of an original bill that would have prohibited concealed weapons in certain faculty offices.
Very good news and good work from the final hours of this year's legislative session.