Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back to work today

But my back's still not close to being healed. Its just less
excruciating than it was yesterday. The biggest challenge so far today
was getting my socks pulled on, since I can't bend that right leg
without causing mucho oucho. But I made it into work and as long as the
meds hold out, I'll be here in cubicle. If the meds take advantage of
me, I'll be face down on my keyboard, drooling until it catches fire and
the alarm and sprinkler systems goes off to wake me.

I still really can't believe that all this pain is due to my posture
error while I play my guitar but I am 100% certain that is the root
cause. I can just barely lift my right leg and when I do and get it up
to the height of my footrest bag, the pain becomes unbearable. Its
almost as if I am being stabbed, right at my beltline and 3" to my right
from my spine.

If I'm not better by tomorrow, I'm going back to the Doc and I'll
probably be searching out a chiropractor before the week ends. In the
mean time, I'll try not to snap anybody's head off just because I'm

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I figured out why my back is tweaked-

Its a guitar injury! Oh yeah, I've hurt myself playing my guitar! I was blaming my muscles spasms from the bending over I did while working on the scooter on Sunday afternoon. But, before I worked on the scooter, I spent a couple or three hours practicing with my guitar out in the shop. I have a wood bench that I use for sitting while I practice. I've also been using a shooting bench rifle support as a foot stool to help me hold the guitar in place. It has seemed to be a good setup. But last night, after a full day's work without too much discomfort, I went out to the shop for more practice.

And, just as I always do, I slid the shooting bag into place and tried to raise my foot into place- YEOW! #$%^&*( That HURTS! Putting my foot on that bag sent sharp shooting pains all up and down my back and through the pain, the clarity of what had caused my problem became abundantly clear. Oh boy-o-boy, that really hurt!

I guess I better buy a strap to help me hold my guitar in place instead of propping my foot up like I've been doing since February. And I'll get out and buy a strap just as soon as I can stand to leave the house.

I'm home today under heavy medication. Last night my spasms increased in severity substantially and even though I took meds at bed time, I woke this morning in extreme discomfort. Today's pain and stiffness is worse than before I saw the Doc on Monday. Its so bad that it is all I can do to raise and lower the toilet seat and walking and turning while walking makes me really wobbly. I stayed in bed until after noon, only getting up to struggle with that toilet seat and now that I'm up I'm just sitting with a heating pad on the painful parts.

So, I'm pretty miserable today and not happy about it. I'm just hoping that I'm able to get back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summertime and baseball is back in town

Have I told you how much I love minor league baseball? No? Maybe not this season but if you have been coming around for more than one summer, you will know its true, I love watching minor league baseball. Our team in Ogden is the Raptors and they are the rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. And since they are in a rookie league, their season starts late and ends early. The Raptors opening home game was just last Friday night.

I of course had 4 tickets for opening night and they were shared with the BSU, My Friend Vickie and her mother, Barbara. Barbara's a big baseball fan and just recently relocated to Utah after being a New York resident and Yankees fan most of her life. Vickie jumped through more hoops than Siegfried & Roy's tigers to get the full season of Yankees baseball beamed into her house for her mom's viewing pleasure. Because Barbara's elderly, she's also not able to walk great distances so when she goes out, Vickie pushes her in a wheelchair. The wheelchair meant that the 4 of us wouldn't be able to sit in the regular box seats and so 3 of us sat in plastic lawn chairs and we all sat above the top row of seats in the wheelchair seating area. That seating turned out to be really terrific for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that there were no other fans trooping in and out for beer or hot dogs crossing over our toes. We were able to spread our chairs out a little bit, turn them so we could converse easier and catch all the breeze that blew through under the overhang. The seating area was really hot for a little while as we had the sun our necks as the stadium's sun screens weren't installed yet but once the sun went down just a little bit the seating spot became absolutely optimal. Except for the fireworks- we couldn't see most of the fireworks after the game because we were too far under the overhang. I gotta talk to the Raptors front office about that shortcoming...

Anyway, it was a perfect summer night at the ballpark. The Raptors played very well and beat the Casper Rockies 13-8, including a grand slam homerun. The weather was perfect, the beer was cold and as I mentioned, we had great seats in a sell-out crowd. I had only sat down with my first beer and my family and friends and I was totally at peace. There's just something about the tradition of the game, the field preparations, the National Anthem played over the PA system and sung by a large portion of the crowd, the youngsters attending with parents or grandparents, clutching a new pennant or miniature bat that all comes together to create a perfect Friday night. Its all just so Norman Rockwell and somehow, to me, it represents all that's good and right in America.

Barbara, in spite of missing her Yankees playing on the television seemed to really enjoy herself and she loved the up-close view that is typical of such a small stadium as Lindquist Field. She seemed genuinely pleased to be able to get out and see a game surrounded by fans and the sights, sounds and smell of the ball park. I'm pretty certain she and Vickie will be attending lots of games with us throughout this summer.

Next game: Sunday, Monday or Tuesday next week. I better go buy some tickets!

Tuesday update

Well, I am at work today even though my back is still very painful. It’s a little bit better than yesterday- just painful to walk today instead of excruciating, so maybe I'll be able to work all day. I did see my Doc yesterday afternoon and he hooked me up with anti-inflammatories and pain meds for my back as well as some new meds for my ongoing sinus drainage problem. So if the muscle pain isn't too bad today, I'll stay working. Otherwise its back to the ranch and my comfy chair and some heavier duty meds. We'll see.

This bunged up back problem is probably going to screw up any chance of going camping this weekend which was the plan. I even switched my Friday off around to accommodate a trip this weekend. Now it looks like I'll be working this Friday just to make up the hours I missed yesterday. Grumble!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Corrections Officer killed in line of duty

And this disgusting piece of human garbage, Curtis Allgier is the culprit. Already in jail and formerly Utah's Public Enemy Number One, this jackass hopefully has sealed his doom by killing this officer, Stephen Anderson, a 22-year-veteran today.

Sadly, Curtis was taken back into custody today still alive and now will, I suppose, be tried in court and hopefully be given a death sentence poste haste. But in the mean time, this jackass is still breathing instead of Officer Anderson.

Seems that Officer Anderson was the first corrections offer killed on duty in twenty years!

This turned out well-

The backstory- last summer the BSU convinced me to purchase a microwave oven to put in the camper. Even though most of the time when we go camping, there's no AC power to use a microwave, and even though the family campout in Oregon is only one weekend a year, she wanted a microwave oven. So I bought her one.

Much earlier this year, when son Kye and GF Stephanie moved into their new apartment, I gave them the oven. Hey, we weren't using it and they needed it. So I gifted it to the kids.

A week ago, after I set up the camper, the BSU remembered and reminded me that now we again needed a microwave oven for the camper. So last week, as I passed through the Thrift Store, second hand shop on the base, I spied a brand-new looking microwave, for just a 20 dollar bill. And I bought it. Took it home, plugged it in to the camper and it works perfectly.

Last night, as the BSU was preparing dinner she told me that the kitchen's microwave oven had started making zapping noises, sparking and smoking! Yikes! Sure enough, there are burn marks on the door and the paint has burned clear through and there is even a burned through hole in the metal where the paint got worn through. I suppose this machine's toast…

Lucky for me, the $20 microwave is just the same size as the burned up unit and fits perfectly on the shelf above the stove. Problem solved- except for that "need one in the camper" insistence from the spouse...

Bad, BAD Network filters!

Its worse than I thought! The networks management b*stards have really locked it down today! Not only can I not reach Blogger, all Blogspot addresses are blocked! So is Instapundit, Little Green Footballs and Lilek's Bleat! They were working when I came in this morning and the blockages have put in place in just the last couple hours.

Crap! What are they expecting me to do all day, work? Get real! I may just have to pony up for one of those over-hyped Apple I-Phones that are due out at the end of the week just so I can get my daily number of net surfing hours in.

This is probably why Kenny was trying to call me a little while ago...

Dang network filters!

Dangitall! Those 2 previous posts were just emailed in to Blogger, which apparently still works from the job. But I wanted to go into Blogger to post the guitar post so I could add a link to the Guitar Center page that has a picture of my new Ovation.

But I can't do it. Since Friday the network filters have added to the blocked list and now trying to access it just displays a blocked message and the warning that my address has been logged as trying to access a "personal page."

That really sucks!

Another guitar- but still only 2

Well, Carol will call me a guitar whore, again, I suppose, but I bought another guitar on Saturday. The Fender Stratacoustic that I bought a few months back went to my buddy Loc's son, Tom since he wanted to learn to play and I wasn't loving that guitar all that much. But I found another guitar to love last week while out hitting the pawn shops for a 2nd hand tool chest and on Saturday I went back and bought a Ovation Celebrity acoustic/electric.

The guitar looks like its brand new, no scratches, no dings or other wear marks and it came with a solid, sturdy hard case. Its beautiful to look at and sounds very sweet with the exception of the shortcomings of this unqualified operator. But I got a very good deal on the package and all I need to do now is spend the hours learning to play. I did spend a few hours yesterday re-stringing both my guitars and practicing out in the shop which was really pleasurable.

So many new skills to learn...

Blogging might be a little crabbier than usual

I'm hurting today and mighty crabby because of it. I spent part of yesterday afternoon bending over my scooter working on the carburetor and doing so has tweaked up my back. It hurts. It hurts to stand and walk and sit (less so) and lay down. Overall, it hurts a lot. Ibuprophen is not helping.

I have an appointment with the Doc at 2PM today. As much as I hate taking pain meds, I gotta do something about this hurting so I'll bug him for something to make me feel better. I think my sinus infection from 2 weeks ago has returned as well.

I'm crabby!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Your government in action...

I don't know if I can possibly put the correct amount of snark on this post and the entire back story would be too long to tell, but this little exchange is just too good not to share. I do have to tell you a little bit so the entire thing makes sense.

A month or more ago, an email went out to all the folks in the military group that I support on the job. The Colonel wanted volunteers to paint the brown stripe that encircles our WWII vintage brick warehouse converted into office building. And the Colonel got zero volunteers. None. Nada. What a surprise… But the Colonel wants the building painted- just the reachable potions of the brown stripe, mind you, no ladders will be authorized, and so our boss, the Major has declared next Wednesday to be painting day.

You also need to know that our boss, the Major, is brand new and all gung-ho at the commander business. So he likes to try to instill "team spirit" and esprit de corp through challenges and competitions. All of which are rousingly ignored by the civilians and the military types alike. So read the following email that came out this morning and then I'll add some additional commentary below.

Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 8:38 AM
To: XXX ACSS All Personnel; XX ACSS/GFLD All Personnel; XXX ACSS/GFLC All Personnel
Subject: Painting and Parking
All Bldg 1212 Personnel:
Please DO NOT Park along the West and East side of bldg 1212 Wednesday (26 Jun 07). We will be painting. I will cordon off the parking area on Tuesday (25 Jun 07) late afternoon. FYI there is the large parking lot North of Bldg 1201 and 1211.

I plan to start painting about 0730 on Wednesday (26 Jun 07), of course that is subject to change.

I appreciate everyone’s cooperation in this matter.
Thank you,
Information Manager
PS: The quicker we get the painting done the quicker we can park are vehicles.

From the Major, this reply-

Thanks. Cary, please make sure that we have a camera to take some snapshots when I start my watch at the beginning until we complete the job.

All – if you have old paint rollers, please bring them in. Hopefully, a team will do the prep work of taping prior to 0730. If you can’t dress down to paint, you may want to participate in the tape work before the paint starts flying.

Thanks to all for your excitement to rapidly execute this paint job and make Bldg 1212 look better! As a reminder, our contractors are not authorized to assist in the painting.

Please note the Major's expectations and anticipation of painting fun. He wants to stage photo ops of him clicking his stopwatch and he is going to time the entire process to see how quickly the building's stripe can be painted. He thinks that hurrying will add fun and challenge to this little project. He thinks by challenging the project to be done quickly that we will all be encouraged and gain team spirit and bragging rights for being done faster than teams on other buildings. Sure. Also note his hopeful thinking that some unnamed, unappointed team of masking tapers will be done before the 0730 roller and tray crew begins. I can tell you that the civilians I work with are looking for ways to avoid this painting project like a flaming paper sack of dog pooh. There is going to be a rash of folks taking leave rather than show up in their grubbies for a painting day. That means it will be up to the military guys & gals and those civilians that are either supervisors or those that expect promotion in their future through sucking up.

And me, I'm a contractor; specifically forbidden by contract not to participate in thrilling extracurricular activities like this- dang!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

If only...

Jose & Carlos are panhandling on the street. Jose drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage free house and has plenty of money to spend. Carlos only brings in 2 to 3 dollars a day.

Carlos asks Jose how he can bring home a suitcase full of $10 bills every day.

Jose says "Look at your sign- It says: I have no work, a wife and 6 kids to support."

Carlos looks at Jose's sign. It reads "I only need another $10.00 to move back to Mexico".

These folks are really smart!

Well this morning Terry has been visiting the Kalabarians to understand their supernatural understanding of every name you can think of. And so, following Terry's lead, I had to see what they know about my name.

Here's what the all-wise Kalabarians have to say about me.
-Your first name of Nate has given you a practical, logical, analytical approach to life and a great deal of patience.

-You enjoy working at anything of a mechanical or technical nature, and believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well.

-When you are interested in a project, you concentrate all your thoughts on it and do not appreciate being interrupted.

-This name creates a deliberate and methodical way of thinking and speaking; it takes you time to learn but, once you have mastered a subject, you do not forget it.
Say- these folks are pretty smart! If you know me at all, particularly in the flesh, this is in fact, a pretty accurate description of me. I wonder how they know all that... [/snark]

Why insurance adjusters drink after work

I suppose, as in every industry, that there are stories and legends and "There I was" tales that unfold over drinks and burgers at weekend cookouts with coworkers or in the bar during the annual conference and seminar gathering. I suspect that this tale of resolving the damage caused by having a crane fall on a house might be one of those career building stories that gets retold time after time.

As for the homeowner, that's really got to suck, having a crane cave your roof. Check out the videos and photos of the recovery of the crane.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Seems that I am in immediate need

[Updated at bottom of post]

Of a new tool box roll-around chest. Son Noah wants his monster, silver-colored, stainless steel edifice to all things mechanical toolbox, that has been happily residing in my shop, for his own use now that he has secured employment. And I don't want to go back to using multiple small toolboxes sitting on my workbenches to store my tools. So I need a new, (or used), medium sized roll around chest.

I tried to suggest to the boy that since he's been hired as a service writer and shop helper, not a technician at a motorcycle, ATV and snowmobile shop that perhaps he should bring in just a small, portable box that could sit out of the way for his use. I also suggested that in the mechanics world, that maybe being the guy with the least experience but the largest toolbox might just cause a little stress among co-workers. Especially since there's just not that many tools inside his giant box.

But he wants it and he wants me to borrow a trailer and help load, move and unload the box at his employment location. That means I have to separate my tools from his tools, from his box where they have been happily co-mingling for over a year, in my shop. Last night the BSU and I had a look for chests at Harbor Freight where they had nothing I wanted and at Sears where the choices are plentiful but expensive. And of course, the BSU sees no need for me to have a new chest and thinks whatever I buy will be a wasteful expense at a time just before we double our personal debt by paying for a road trip to Oregon and back next month.

I'm hoping to buy a chest today so that I can move the tools just once, from Noah's box to the new one. Yesterday's pawn shop search was unsuccessful and browsing KSL's adverts last night unveiled numerous $4000 Snap-On boxes but nothing in my price range. While Noah's box was a space imposition in my little shop, I had grown pretty accustomed to having my tools (and his) available all in one place and I really want to maintain that status quo even if I have to buy my own box on short notice.

Donations will be gladly accepted…

As for moving the boy's box, my week and weekend are filling up pretty fast. So I might just let him know when its ready for him to come and get it and let him manage the transportation requirements.

UPDATE: Mission accomplished. Tonight I purchased this 6 drawer cabinet from Sears. With some assistance from the BSU, my yard trailer and the overhead hoist in the shop, we got the wheels installed and the box sitting waiting to be filled. I guess that will be tomorrow night's job. I didn't buy the matching top chest, yet, but I would like to add it to the cabinet so I have a matched set. Overall, I think this will be a much better size for my shop than Noah's huge set that just eats up a lot of floor space.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Its a Cheeseburger In Paradise wedding!

What fun! Pammy, our favorite riverside-photo-snapping, wants-to-buy-some-coyote-urine, blogger and her perfect partner, Ziggy are getting hitched! Read all the details and wish them both well as they make plans for a wedding in August.

They have arranged a sternwheel riverboat captain to do the officiating at their ceremony. Good on ya both!

Boy Killed by Bear

Here is a real tragedy making today's state news- Boy Killed by Bear in American Fork Canyon. It appears that he was minding his own, 11 year old business in the family tent camping over the weekend when a black bear decided he smelled like dinner. The bear tore through the tent, attacked the boy and carried him 400 yards off before dropping his body in the forest.

Its a tragedy, it really is and my heart goes out to the family. I can't remember the park regulations about firearms in campgrounds but I'm a pretty firm believer in being prepared to protect oneself in spite of paper signs on a park bulletin board. Its apparent that the Dad in this case wasn't prepared to defend his family, and that's a shame. According to the Ranger quoted in this story, there's been no bear attacks in 28 years- that's small solace to this grieving family that lost their son.

It's a damm shame

When you twist your ankle, causing swelling and excruciating pain, stepping off an unfinished, unlit sidewalk in the dark and you can't even sue the (ir)responsible party- because you can't sue yourself!

Wow my ankle is sore today! I didn't break anything but I sure hurt myself last night just stepping off the end of the sidewalk onto the sloped path at the top of the hill in the backyard. I took a good twist on my right ankle that caused me so say bad words, loudly, in the privacy of my own backyard. I managed to hobble into the house and the BSU kindly propped me up with an icepack, anti-inflammatory meds and a towel until bedtime. Today, I need more meds and to stay off this bum part as much as possible.

And, while I don't know the details just yet, friend Kenny managed to tear up his knee over the weekend! Ain't we a pair?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another good thing that happened this weekend-

So Friday I finally made it over to the DMV to purchase the registration stickers I needed for the scooter. I've been riding it with last year's stickers for a number of weeks now, due to the time and money that I spent getting the Suzuki on the road. The plates had actually expired last October and I usually leave it until spring and the fee for the year was, according to the paperwork, $120.

So I went to the DMV and got in line at the driveup window. There's 3 driveup stations and 2 waiting lanes but the folks in front of me had all lined up neatly in 1 line. So I waited my turn and just as it came my turn to pull up, a motorcycle rider cut the line by passing 5 or 6 waiting vehicles in the empty lane. He pulled up to the service window right in front of me!

I pulled my truck right up onto his rear bumper, as close as I could get without tipping him over while he pulled off his backpack and began frantically searching for his paperwork, which he couldn't find. Finally, to get his attention, I gave him a little toot of my horn to let him know how displeased I was with his rude behavior. He said some rude words, that I didn't hear but eventually rode off without his transaction being accomplished.

The really good news? The clerk took my paperwork that said I owed $120 for stickers good until October and rang me up for just $95 and gave me stickers good until June of 2008! I didn't ask or question her work, I just took my papers and stickers and happily went on home!

Grandmas Don't Know Everything

Little Tony was staying with his grandmother for a few days. He'd been playing outside with the other kids for a while when he came into the house and asked her, "Grandma, what's that called when two people sleep in the same room and one is on top of the other?"

She was a little taken aback, but she decided to just tell him the truth. "It's called sexual intercourse, darling."

Little Tony just said, "Oh, OK," and went back outside to play with the other kids.

A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, "Grandma, it isn't called sexual intercourse. It's called Bunk Beds. And Jimmy's mom wants to talk to you."

A little joke from a high school friend, via email. Thanks JoAnne!

So where have I been?

I realize that my blogging output has significantly decreased over the past couple weeks and I don't have a real explanation for it. Excuses- those I've got lots of but no real explanation.

I have been busy or distracted at work and so I've been reading and commenting on other folks blogs but I just haven't been able to focus very well on either the job or blogging. I'm trying to get my work output bumped up and to do that I've got to spend even less time online.

Graduation has come and gone and yesterday's ceremony was really fitting and fun. I enjoyed hanging out with some of my former classmates, all of whom seem to be signed up for advanced Masters classes beginning in August. And they want me to come along for the ride... Hmm... I gotta think about that some more. We had a great day though and afterwards the BSU and I went to the NCO club on base for drinks. We didn't stay long though since nobody came along to join us and the margarita I had really didn't sit to well on my stomach. So home we came and we rested the rest of the day.

We had Father's Day dinner Friday night with Son Kye and we went to Red Lobster mostly because it was close and its the BSU's favorite place. I don't normally load up at Red Lobster but Friday evening, I was hungry and ready to eat, so I had the Ultimate Feast- lobster tail, crab legs, fried shrimp and shrimp scampi. It was terrific and I had a great meal, the best I've had in quite a while. Good stuff that!

Today I'm taking it easy so far. In a little while I'll play my guitar until my fingers get sore and later I think I'm getting the camper uncovered, set up and prepped for next month's trip to the Oregon coast.

Raptors Baseball starts this week, (finally) and I have 4 tickets purchased for Friday night's opening home game. The spouse and I will be attending with Vicki and her mom, Barbara. Barbara's a big baseball fan- they have the Yankees network on their cable tv and the two of them watch baseball nearly every day. But she needs a wheelchair to get around so we will be sitting with her in the wheelchair area, in folding chairs instead of the normal reserved seats. I'm looking forward to Friday night already!

Did I mention last week that the BSU and I watched almost an entire MLB game on tv on a Friday night? It was the week I was sick and the spouse turned on the tv that night and the cable was already on TBS when it came on. We watched the remaining 7 innings of the Cubs blasting the Braves and had a great time. I think this was the first baseball game the BSU had ever watched! But she had control of the remote and left it on the game and it was perfect for that Friday night.

I almost forgot, I bought a new wireless router yesterday as my old one died- though it might have just been a cable problem. The new one is a Buffalo Technology Wireless-N Nfiniti™ Broadband Router and my coverage out here in the shop is much better than the last one I had. I guess that was my graduation present to myself!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Graduation Day!

That's my classmates Tony on the left and the tall guy is Roger. I'm the old, short, chubby guy on the right.

They've got me thinking about a Masters program again...

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Suzuki has a happy new owner-

That's right, the Suzuki has left the building. Or the parking lot, actually, since it has been sitting on the base Lemon Lot this past week. A guy named Darrell bought it after checking it out and a decent test ride the other night. I gave him the box of leftovers, receipts and paint cans as well as the stuffed bear with the "Do the Suzuki" shirt that buddy Loc gave me when I started riding the bike.

I'm not really sad to see it go because somehow, as much as I liked working on it, I never really bonded with it. It was a great project and it turned out to be a terrific motorcycle. It just wasn't the right motorcycle for me. Now, my plan is to use the money to arrange airfare and pay the balance of our anniversary cruise costs so all that is covered.

I think I'll be waiting until next spring to find another pair of motorized wheels and I'll keep riding the scooter I already have for the remainder of this year. And maybe I'll find another project bike for next winter's tinkering fun.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Another Phantom scooter post...

Actually, I haven't made a scooter post in quite a long while and I suppose that's a result of the scooter soldiering along without any apparent resentment to that oversized interloper of a Suzuki that it has been forced to share its parking space with. Its been fine really though I've been kind of slow this spring in getting it ridden regularly. It does have a small intake manifold leak that disrupts its perfect operation and the intake manifold rubber boot is cracking, so I've ordered a replacement just this morning. But its rideable until the new one arrives and then I'll just take it apart once. Last weekend I removed the 2nd failed vacuum operated fuel shutoff valve and I replaced it with a lawnmower 1/4 turn shut off valve.

Everything was great, actually, until lunch time just a few minutes ago. I was on my way to the credit union and just as I pulled away from a stop sign, the muffler fell off! Fell right off- departed the vehicle, so to speak! I was already on my way across the intersection so I had to cross, park and go back for my left-behind parts. Which was hot, BTW. Good thing I had my gloves. Anyway, one of the two muffler attach mounts on the swingarm broke off at the weld, which upon inspection had been mostly cracked through for quite some time. One end of the muffler bracket that attaches to the other mount point also broke off. I was able, after it cooled a little bit, to get the muffler bungee corded to my luggage rack and continue on my way.

But what a racket it makes with nothing but the header pipe diverting the exhaust gasses! Yowser its loud! If you've ever been around Triumph or BSA flattracker motorcycles, you'll have some idea about the tone and volume of this noisy beast. Its rather embarrassing for an old guy like me.

So, I think I have a 2nd muffler bracket in my box of spares. I hope I still have a spare. The swingarm and muffler attach point stub will require welding by somebody more competent than me and then everything should fit back together. I suppose getting it all patched up is going to take a day or so before I'm back on scooter wheels again.

Right now I'm just hoping I can sneak home today without drawing the ire of any local law enforcement types who think I need an excess noise ticket...

UPDATE: The scooter's fixed! I brought it home tonight and removed the swingarm and took it down to Darren's shop, Quad & Cycle. Darren and his mechanic did a great job of rewelding the broken off muffler mount. I brought it home, gave it a shot of paint and after dinner, put everything back together. I also installed a new spark plug, a fancy irridium tipped model that is supposed to be wonderful. But it was $9! Nine bucks for a spark plug? It better be wonderful!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Better late than forgotten-

Dad, your Father's Day present has been ordered. Today. Not sure when it will ship or arrive but it won't be this week.

But I think you're going to like it. And its not a tool or a tie!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Busy right now-

Blogging will catch up as soon as I can manage. The past 2 days I've been busy moving from one side of a cubicle wall to the opposite side of the wall. Its taken me quite a while to stow the leftover stuff from the last guy that sat in my new spot, and to sort, stow and dump the stuff that I had filed away in my old space. Today was full of cleaning my new space, moving my computer and all the ancillary stuff, reconnecting and hiding all the cables and figuring out how to hide my monitor from my boss's view when he comes around the corner behind me.

I'm on my way shortly to let a prospective buyer take a test ride on the Suzuki so maybe he will be smitten and dump an envelope of cash in my lap later this week.

I'm finally getting back to a regular, daily practice with the guitar.

Yesterday I picked up a cap & gown and an honor rope for a graduation ceremony coming up on Saturday. That would be my graduation ceremony… I bought announcements but they will be arriving late and I'll send some of those out with pictures once they arrive, after the fact.

And the BSU wants Chinese buffet tonight for dinner!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm back among the (almost) healthy!

I am feeling much better after a rather rocky week last week from the flu bug or whatever it was, that left me feeling really poorly. I felt so bad on Saturday morning that I took myself to an Urgent Care thinking that maybe I had strep throat. The Doc in the Box didn't think I had strep but did think I have a sinus infection and that was the source of my extreme sore throat. So, antibiotics for 10 days to treat the infection and maybe then I'll be well.

My trip to the Urgent Care wasn't the only medical visit for the family this weekend though. Almost like Sister Mel's family, we made a second trip, this time to the Emergency Room on Saturday night for the spouse. She had a bloody nose that had begun in the early hours of Saturday morning, continued to be a bother off and on all day and then became a non-stop flow while we watched a movie on tv. She had a gusher going that simply would not be stopped with home treatment, so we headed out to the ER.

The BSU got good care and pretty promptly, though it seemed like we were there a long time. The Doc finally had to cauterize the bleeding spots in her nose with silver nitrate after a decent period of pressure packing and some numbing medication. Today she's much better and hasn't had a single nosebleed all day, a rare ocurrence for her.

Friday I felt well enough to spend a few hours in the driveway replacing the front brake pads and rotors on the truck. That was only the second set of pads for the truck, with 144,000 miles on it now and the first rotor replacement. Can I tell you how heavy the wheels and tires, the rotors, calipers and mounts are for a F250 truck? That stuff is all really heavy! I was a bit too worn out by the time that project was completed.

Made it to the movies tonight

The spouse and I went out to see Knocked Up. Its funny. Its a little bit tragic and it makes pointed fun of a circumstance- unplanned and unmarried pregnancy from an ill-advised one-night stand, that's not normally funny, but it is a funny and sweet story. But its a story about couples and families and being pregnant on the job and about growing up.

I laughed a bunch. The spouse tolerated the story but didn't love it. So I guess that's one thumb up and one thumb level for Knocked Up.

86 Episodes and now its all done-

It seems that a popular television show, The Sopranos has come to a close this weekend. Somehow, I missed every episode...

Guess I'm just not one of the cool kids!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Spam? Scam? Its gotta be legit...

I got this message regarding my motorcycle for sale, in less than 1 hour after updating my ad on KSL. Do you think I should write him back?
Hello, My Name is marksmith,I am interested in the purchase of your$2200 1981 Suzuki GS850G, Classic, Clean Superbike for my wife birthday gift,the payment will be remmited via a money order/cashiers check. In order to conclude the deal as soon as possible, the money order that will be sent to you will include the money for the sales of your item and the shippers fees for organising a home pick up service. You do not need to worry as my shipping company will come to pick the item up from your base for shipment. What I want to clarify is that will you be able to send the shipping charges to the shipping agent as soon as you get the money order at your bank cashed and you deduct the money for the sales of your item?If you agree to assist in this capacity , send your : Full Name, Your Residential Address, Phone Numbers and the final amount you are willinging to accept (ATTACH PICS), so that we can proceed. Regards, marksmith
I mean, he doesn't sound Nigerian, so it couldn't be a scam, right?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Too sick to blog today-

I got dressed just long enough to go into work to close out my timecard. The resto f the day I've been in my jammies and either sleeping in the bed or watching movies on AMC.

I'm really miserable with a flu bug.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I still have the Suzuki and its still for sale

Last night I got a phone call from a hopeful young man who, because of my mention of getting another scooter, offered to trade his 2005 Yamaha Zuma, 50cc scooter for the Suzuki. He suggested that I might have better luck selling his Zuma after a trade since it was newer. I suggested that if that was the case, he should sell the Zuma himself and bring me cash.

The youngster was pretty clueless about lots of things, including where Ogden is in relation to Salt Lake City. Seems he's lived in SLC for 2 years but never traveled to Ogden. And he wanted to know if the Suzuki would be a good "learner bike" and a good "cruiser" for around town riding. I assured him it would not be suitable for either circumstance. The poor fellow claimed to have been shopping for a $2000 motorcycle for 6 months, both on KSL's classifieds and the Craigslist listings. You know, if you can't find a motorcycle for that price in those two places, you just aren't the smartest knife in the drawer.

When the floods retreat, I'm going to park the bike on the base's Lemon Lot with a For Sale sigh stuck to it. Maybe a little more visibility will find it a pleased new owner.

Its 43 degrees outside today-

And raining like we should have built the arc last week while Tim was here! Its snowing above 8000 feet and feels like it is October or November, not June.

On top of everything else, I think the flu bug has descended upon me. I feel lousy. I'm picking up Nyquil on the way home from work and I'm taking a bunch of it until I'm drooling.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

We don't get hurricanes in Utah

Nor do we get tornados like the ones that devastate the Midwest. We could have an earthquake, someday, and that will most likely be a problem at my house, if it ever occurs. What we do have, too often are hillside fires just like the one that is burning right now, just 1/4 mile up the hill from my house. The BSU and I saw it at about 6:15 this morning when we left out for the dentist's office, it was much bigger and further up the hill upon our return about 9:30.

There's lots of smoke and you can see the flames from the house and there is a fierce wind blowing today but hopefully the guys that get paid to tackle blazes like this will get it under control shortly. There shouldn't be any concern for my house as the fire is burning up the hill right now but its disturbing to see just the same.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Blogging? When would I fit that in?

Wow, how long has it been since I blogged anything? Days? It sure has been several days now, sorry. I've been busy hanging out with Brother Tim and I just haven't sat down long enough to report on all of our fun. We've been to the desert for an afternoon's shooting fun with my buddy Loc. We visited the Union Station in Ogden and toured through all the museum exhibits there, especially the John M. Browning museum. We also took a trip out to our local legend, military surplus collector and peddler, Smith & Edwards for a walk around their surplus yard.

We've had meals at the just-opened Texas Roadhouse BBQ joint, the Union Grill and last night, we all went to Rodezio's Brazilian Grill down in Trolley Square. That was my first trip to this local favorite eatery and it was a nice experience. It wasn't all that special, as I had been led to believe, but it was pretty nice. One complaint: the drink that I ordered from the bar came loaded down with far too much ice and lime slices, leaving too little room in the glass for the drink. Otherwise, it was a pretty fine dinner.

Here's an interesting fact to consider: John Moses Browning made 62 trips from Ogden Utah, to the FN gun factory in Belgium during his lifetime, beginning in 1902! Let that sink in a moment- 62 trips from Utah to Belgium, successfully and apparently without incident. Tim and I figured that it would take nearly a week to travel by train from Ogden to New York and no less than another week to sail by ocean liner from New York to Europe. Double that to make it a round trip and you have used up no less than 1 entire month just for travel. Multiply that month's travel by 62 trips and JMB spent 5+ years of his life just traveling to do business! That huge use of time just to get back and forth is hard to imagine in these days of air travel, electronic communications through phones and faxes and video conferencing, yet John made the travel to ensure the company building his gun designs were getting it right.

Anyway, we have been busy and having a great time so its been impossible to get all the fun blogged. Tonight's their last night in town so we'll be hosting them at our house before they depart for Florida tomorrow. This week I'm moving into another cubicle on the job, but its just on the other side of the wall where I'm sitting right now. I still get a window view and I won't move fully until my phone gets shifted over. But I do have to clear out the last guy's stuff before I can move in, so I'll be busy.