Day by Day cartoon

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Good News!

We got a package of terrific photos of the grandbabies today! They are both ever so cute! Tomorrow I'll try to get them scanned so I can share them with everyone. The kids look just terrific and getting the pictures was a real treat.

Not such good news- I have got to get myself to the doctor to have some spots on my scalp checked out. I've got a couple spots that seem scabbed up and they have been up there on my head for a few weeks now. They haven't gone away on their own so I guess its time to get them looked at by a professional.

Some Days Weeks its Just Not Worth Gnawing Through the Restraints

Its been tough here the last couple weeks folks. There just seems to be so much going on here that I don't have time for everything and blogging seems to be taking the brunt of my business. COuld I have a couple more hours everyday for dedicated blogging time? Please?

The boy's depot repair/mod barn for his Tracker that is my carport has been emptied out and cleaned up. He worked all weekend and into Monday before he finally got everything back together. The Tracker's now got a turbocharger pressurizing the intake system and boosting its horsepower. There's no guessing how long the motor will last before the boost blows it up but I really should start a death pool for this hapless little truck. I spent part of the weekend running parts for him and overseeing his work and making certain that he got all the pieces back under the hood. He still needs to get a complete exhaust system welded up but I guess he will do that up in Logan.

But the carport's cleaned up and all the tools are put away so that's finished and I'm glad for it.

My scooter's still in my shop waiting for me to complete a carburetor swap to a slide style with a powerjet. I've been had to build a bracket to hold the choke cable and I still need to re-install the throttle cable which is a major effort because it runs from the handlebars through the cowling, under the floorboards and into the engine compartment. So its taking a couple days and I'll finish it maybe by the weekend.

I did something last Saturday that I haven't done since 1996 and I had so much fun, I'm going to do it again this Saturday. I went fishing! Kenny took me to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and we caught a cooler full of carp. That's right, we caught carp! We hoped to catch some catfish but they weren't biting and the carp were, so we caught them. Kenny's planning to try them in his smoker to see if he can make them tasty and edible. This Saturday we're going to Willard Bay to try to catch catfish again and maybe some Wipers. Wipers, if you don't know are a hybrid Striper and white bass that is a popular game fish out here. It was good fun to go sit in the sun, bait some hooks with squirming nightcrawlers and feel a fish at the end of my line. I'm looking forward to this weekend's trip!

The job is eating my ass right now and I'm not going into great detail but I've been under the intense scrutiny of both my government and company bosses. It all has to do with my big modification program that had stalemated for a bit, to the dismay of the command folks that hoped to be installing the mod on the jets by now. Needless to say, I've been busting my butt trying to do what feels like pushing a rope. I'll get 'er done but right now it is keeping me more than fully employed. I've got a couple other programs that are sitting waiting their turn for my attention and I really need to get back to them in the next week. But I've been busy enough that I haven't even had time for emailing in any posts.

The spouse and I did catch a Raptors baseball game Saturday night. It was a really nice evening even if the Raptors did leave the bases loaded twice and another inning they left two guys stranded! Yeah, sadly, they lost. Our team is actually not doing too well this year, dropping 7 of the last 8 home games and only a little better on the road. But its really good to spend a summer evening watching ball players practice their skills in a close knit ball park and we had a good time.

And I just finished my bottle of pear flavored vodka that I've been sipping on most of the summer!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Offspring Update-

Well, kids; ya gotta love them. I suppose. I've seen both my boys today, one of them is standing here in my living room right now. Its the youngest that's here at the house. He has turned my carport into a Geo Tracker depot repair facility- just today and he figures the repairs are going to carry through the next 2-4 days, which means he is staying over, eating from my fridge and overloading my laundry machines. He's unemployed, so he has the time to work on the car and his plans include a new front axle, new brakes and calipers and a turbocharger installation, complete with an entirely new exhaust system that may or may not get the catalytic converter and his Cherry Bomb muffler reinstalled.

Yeah, he is going to pressurize this high mileage motor with somebody else's homebuilt turbocharger system...

Once he gets all that done and the oil cleaned up out of my carport- then he's going to start looking for a job again. Seems that even though his boss at the Honda store was a pretty laid back guy, he still didn't tolerate repeated tardiness and the boy was sent packing. And he owes the boss $100 to clear his tool truck bill so he can get his tool box unransomed! But he is signed up for 1 class at the University, "You Can Survive College", and he paid for that himself so he's at least doing a little something right.

The older boy's unemployed as well, we just found out about that last night and had dinner with him tonight. He was working at a telephone assistance and reservation agency for a bunch of the big hotel chains but then he got too busy assisting other employees to help his own customers so they sent him packing. And he was broke enough after paying his bills to not have gas money to go job hunting. So tonight I bought dinner and slipped him some grocery and gas money so he can get out to find another job.

He had also been broke up with and now back together with the girlfriend so I hope he has solved the problems in that department.

What is it with these kids anyway? Neither of my two care much at all if they go unemployed and I just don't understand that. Youngest told his mom that he went camping for a week after getting fired since he needed a break after working hard all summer! Imagine that, all summer! Both of these boys are perfectly capable of working and doing very well, but they don't want to. The oldest almost looks like Charlie Manson with his hair all blown out and a chrome stud sticking out of his chin and green ear gauge plugs showing out from under the died hair. I wouldn't hire him to work at 7-11 if it were me doing the hiring but he doesn't think his appearance makes any employment difference.

All this just goes so against my experience and beliefs that its hard for me to accept. From my days in high school I have almost never been unemployed. I'll bet the total number of days of unemployment I've had since I graduated HS is less than 45. I always either had another job already aligned before leaving a job or I got up every day and job hunted until my unemployment circumstance changed. Its just what a guy did when I was growing up. My boys do not share that same ethic and I find it really frustrating.

But, they are both healthy and seemingly in good spirits so I guess I shouldn't complain too much. As long as the oil and grease gets cleaned up out of my carport!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Update-

What is this anyway, Saturday Night Live? It seems the only time I have for posting these days is on Sunday evenings. Some of my lack of posting is simple laziness but mostly I've benn busier than ever and when I'm not being busy, I've taken some time to just sit and relax and read a book or two.

First of all, I've not said anything about the crisis and tragedy of the mining accident down in Huntington. There's nothing I can add to everything that has already been said and if you've seen any new broadcasts over the past 2 weeks, you know the story; 6 miners trapped during a cave-in and 3 men killed while working on the rescue crew with 6 more suffering various levels of injuries. Now, after drilling 4 holes from the top of the mountain, down 1800 feet into the mine trying to locate the trapped mines, the officials are saying that the 6 trapped men may never be recovered. The mine is unstable and further digging to rescue or recover the men may just cause further collapse and injury or death of anyone trying to go into the mine shafts.

This is a terrible tragedy and the stories of the grieving families have been on our nightly news each night. My heart hurts for all of them and I wish there was some way for them to be relieved of their pain. As it is, they may not even get to bury the bodies of their loved ones.

Myself, I can't imagine working underground every day, digging coal oout of the rock. It scares the crap out of me to think of doing the work that these brave men do every day. I think its a shame that we still depend on coal for power production and I'd like to see every coal burning power plant replaced with a new, shiny nuclear powerplant so that miners like these wouldn't have to go underground.

My heart goes out to those families whose loved ones are trapped in that Huntington mine.

So what else have I been doing? I've taken the Para-Ordanance Warthog out for its first outing at the range and so far, I'm not ready to make this gun my carry gun. Like many chopped 45s, this gun has feeding problems... Grr! Its accurate and shoots where I point it and even pretty controllable for its shortened grip but it doesn't feed ammo reliably.

I shot 110 rounds through the gun. On nearly every magazine full, the last round out of the magazine fails to feed. The round comes out of the mag, gets the rim under the extractor but hangs up with the nose of the bullet against the top of the barrel hood. This hangup must have happened 8 or 9 of the 11 magazines I ran through it. Additionally, I had repeated failures to feed in the middle of the magazines where the round of ammo didn't even make it up to the bolt face but instead got hung up under the bolt as it returned to the closed position after recoiling.

There's a possibility that I was limpwristing my grip and that could be the cause of the misfeeds, but I'm not sure. I was making an effort to keep a firm grip on the gun to prevent this problem and I don't think that my grip explains why the last round in the magazine hung up so routinely. When I got home and cleaned the gun, I also discovered that the magazines had some kind of getting sticky coating on them. So I cleaned the magazines, inside and out with some solvent and applied some spray dri-film lube on the insides.

Now I've got to go back to the range and see if the sticky coating was holding up the magazine performance. I'm hopeful that the problem is solved but I'm not carrying this gun for protection until it shoots reliably.

The scooter's not working- again! Same problems as before, cutting out at high speed, not idling, dieing when the throttle is opened. I've left it sit most of the weekend because I'm mad at it. I'm either going to have to buy another carburetor for it or just keep struggling with it.

I did get the camper's awning repaired and reinstalled. The front crossbar got seriously bent when the water filled up the awning during our camping trip to Oregon. The aluminum extrusion was bent about 2 inches out of straight and by some careful bending using a couple sawhorses and the bottom of my workbench, I was able to get it nearly straight. I put new velcro on the front of the extrusion to hold the screenroom in place and I got everything put back into the storage bag and rehung on the camper.

I finished another pretty good thriller novel this morning after working on it most of this week. The book was Black Order and except for a few cheesy concepts, The SIGMA secret arm of DARPA is one of them, its a pretty good thriller. It has James Bond style thrills and secret agents and a evil bad guy with a plan to take over the world using secret technology. Its a worthy summer read and I enjoyed just sitting and reading in the shade of the carport.

I also got the overgrown weedbed in front of the house cleaned out and turned back into a flowerbed this morning. That flowerbed gets overgrown so fast its just remarkable.

What else? No movies this weekend. I did go visit Darren's 3rd scooter and ATV store, down in Bountiful on Saturday, tried to find a new face shield for my helmet as mine got damaged the other day and I'm still looking to purchase a fishing pole before this next weekend so I can go fishing with Kenny.

The job has been very hectic lately and shows no sign of relaxing in the near future. Last week I gave 4 briefings on 2 different programs and prepared charts to brief a 3rd program next week. So blogging from the job has become almost impossible as I try to keep all my programs moving forward and getting accomplished.

And now, its 10PM and time for me to get my shower- except I still have clothes to fold nd put away so I can find them when I need to get dressed for work, starting tomorrow morning.

Friday, August 17, 2007


A teacher is explaining biology to her 4th grade students. "Human beings are the only animals that stutter", she says. A little girl raises her hand, "I had a kitty-cat who stuttered" she volunteered. The teacher, knowing how precious some of these stories could become, asked the girl to describe the incident. "Well", she began, "I was in the back yard with my kitty and the rottweiler that lives next door got a running start and before we knew it, he jumped over the fence into our yard!"

"That must've been scary", said the teacher.
"It sure was", said the little girl. "My kitty raised his back, went "ffffff, ffffff, fffff",...and before he could say "f**k", the dog ate him!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Finally- a 1911 to call my own!

I've had a 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol already, the Ruger P345 that I sold last Christmas. It was a pretty nice gun but I never really fell in love with the double action/single action trigger that it was designed with. So selling it wasn't really a problem, except that it left me without a pistol in the caliber that God and John Moses Browning intended.

Until yesterday. Last Friday, on a lark, I stopped in at one of the local pawn shops that always seems to have a decent gun selection in their case. And there, down on the bottom shelf was a compact, stainless, single action 45 caliber pistol.

"Let me see that compact gun when you get a minute, please"

"Sure, here you go."

I had in my hand one of Para-Ordnance's Warthogs, and on first glance, it looked brand new. I looked a little closer, not a single mark on the feed ramp. The breech was completely clean, no dirt of any kind.

"I think this gun is brand new!"

"Yeah, I'm pretty certain it is new. I've got the box, all the paperwork and the original hang tag from Impact Guns."

"Let me give you some money and I'm putting this on lay-a-way, right now!"

So that's the story, I brought it home yesterday. It really is brand new and only seems to be missing the tiny allen wrench for locking the rear sight down. I bought it for more than $200 less than the original price from Impact Guns. Its a tiny little gun with a big hole in the grip for the double stacked, 10 round magazine. Its going to become my regular carry gun after I find the right holster for concealed carry on my rotund body. Right now, I'm leaning towards ome of these from Law Concealment Systems.

Now I need lots more ammo and an immediate trip to the range!

Monday, August 13, 2007

JUst once I'd like to hear-

So Karl Rove is quitting. He says he wants to "spend more time with his family."

Does anybody believe that? Anywhere?

Just once I'd love to hear some retiring high roller admit the truth, "I've got a new set of golf clubs and a 26 year old girlfriend and I'm going to spend my time with both of them."

Emerald Acres Hummingbird Ranch

I've had an epiphany and I know how I want to spend my next years after I quit doing the government support work that I'm doing right now. Call it my retirement job and since it would be seasonal, I could actually act retired several months of the year.

A hummingbird ranch.

That's right, a hummingbird ranch!

Now I do not intend to ranch hummer birds in the normal, raise, feed, take to market for slaughter manner as livestock and I don't intend to create huge pens where the hummers spend a short miserable life waiting to be sent to Tyson to be breaded and flash frozen for your dining pleasure. I mean, think about how many hummingbird drumsticks you could eat at one dinner- no way I could grow that many hummers!

No, I want to build a hummingbird conservation area. I'm thinking that perhaps a 5 acre property would be big enough, with 3 acres dedicated to a permanent flower garden with wide walkways and flower beds filled with the plants that hummers prefer surrounding the many flower beds. Around the border, there will be thick hedges suitable for hummer nesting areas. And in the garden, I'll place hummer feeders, lots of hummer feeders, perhaps a couple hundred individual feeders, placed around to keep the little buzz bomb's interest.

Up front I'll have a building that contains a ticket counter, a bright, sunny food area with sandwiches, hot and cold drinks and ice cream and a gift shop. There will be parking out front with enough room for numerous school buses and RVs. In the gift shop, I'll stock everything "hummingbird"; feeders, food mix, feeder hangars, CDs with screensavers for your computer, stained glass hummer window hangers, post cards, T-shirts, key chains and every other typical gift shop item you can imagine.

In my concept, I will have educational multimedia displays that show the varieties of hummingbirds that visit, their life and migration cycles and explanations of the types of flowers and their influence on the hummingbirds. I want Emerald Acres to become a destination spot. Just like Hardware Ranch brings visitors from all over to take a sleigh ride to see the elk, I want visitors to come and stroll my gardens and enjoy the antics of the raucous little hummingbirds that choose to live in or nearby my "ranch." I'd like it to be a field trip location for the local school kids in the spring and would work towards having educational material to support their interest and educational levels. I've even been advised to work with the local university to implement an intern program and to hire a college student to be the on-site naturalist while earning college credit through a summer's work.

Doesn't this sound like a great place to visit a time or two each summer? It would be a place to bring your out-of-town visitors and guests for a refreshing trip out of town for a little walk around the flower beds and a pleasant lunch in unique surroundings. I don't have a clue how I would finance this effort but ever since the idea arrived in my cranium last Friday afternoon, its been swirling around and becoming more clear with every hour. The interesting part is that this idea arrived almost fully formed in my head and everything else had just been the details. I've even got an idea where to put my ranch- out in Huntsville but the property there is getting so expensive already that I may have to find a more affordable location.

Remember- if I get going on this plan, you heard it here first!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The new air conditioner in the shop

Works perfectly! It is much better than the previous unit, which is for sale. Does anybody need a 5000 BTU window air conditioner? It'll be cheap.

The scooter seems to be healthy again too. I didn't ride it to work today, simply because I was too tired to think about 2 wheeled operation. I'll ride it Sunday for a second good test ride before starting up again next week.

Did I mention I'm just flat exhausted this morning? I am really tired and my head's all thick and not many coherent thoughts are escaping from my brain. My back hurts and I already wish I had some of my stronger pain pills than the OTC meds I have here in my desk. And tonight's the county fair!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More lost time on the job-

You know its bad enough when I'm killing time because I can or I want to for a little while on the job. But its really frustrating to be stuck and not able to work because of computer failures. I've spent so much time with our computer network geek this week that I feel like we're dating or going stead or something. Schuyler's a really nice guy and competent but I can't help feeling that the local high school is someday going to call, wanting the Audio/Visual Club president back.

So, I think I'm finally back in business after close to 2 hours of futzing this morning. Schuyler forgot and removed my mouse driver software that allows me to double-click by pressing on my mouse wheel once, and I had to go online and locate the correct drivers. Of course, I don't have administrator privileges, so I can't download and install the software, I have to email him the link and he can install it for me, remotely.

Ditto for the video card drivers that he was going to ignore until I said I could not live with the jittering, juddery scrolling that the on-board video was capable of. He got both of those things fixed, remotely, while I went to lunch.

Lunch? A gas fill-up, a trip to Lowes to purchase a 10,500 BTU window air conditioner and Panda Expires for a rice bowl with Thai cashew chicken breast and veggies.

And now- back to the charts!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Bwhahaha! Click this link! See all the motivational posters here.
Diplomacy- the art of saying "nice doggie" until your sniper gets the range...
That's just too funny!

New windows!

We are signing the papers tomorrow night for all new windows to be installed in our house. They are pretty fancy vinyl windows, double paned, of course, argon filled and will be a huge improvement to our house. American Exteriors will be building the windows and doing the installation in a few weeks.

Our little house is the same age as me, 51 years old, and it has the original, single paned, aluminum framed windows. Upstairs there are horizontal sliding windows, downstairs we have steel framed tip-in, rocker type windows. They all are getting replaced except for two. Our bedroom window in the basement doesn't meet current code for size for a bedroom, replacing it would require much cutting of the concrete wall of the basement. So that's not happening. The other window that's not being replaced is in the basement laundry room and has the dryer vent routed through it. I don't feel like drilling a vent sized hole through the bricks in the side of my house, so that window stays too.

Anyway, its going to be a big investment and of course the BSU wants new doors installed too, though I'll be doing that seperately. We've been in the house almost 8 years and we haven't spent much on improvements, so this one will be a big deal and very valuable in the long run. Promises of reduced heating bills and increased comfort should make this a good improvement to our house.

Scooter struggles-

I've spent several evenings last week and most of the weekend struggling with my scoot. It had become unreliable at idle, stalling at traffic lights and bogging down when trying to accelerate from idle. This problem was really an issue since I commute through a busy part of town everyday and sitting at traffic lights is a regular part of my commute.

I blamed it on the carburetor and I've had it on and off the engine a dozen times in the past week. The problem seemed to be that it would start, run, idle and rev up properly until the engine warmed up. Then the rough idle and bogging would return after 10 or 12 or 15 minutes of running. But once revved up, the engine ran beautifully and it seemed to have all the power it is supposed to have.

I adjusted the valves. I changed pilot jets richer and leaner, I tried 2 other carburetors, all to no avail. Once I figured out that the problem remained even with a different carburetor installed, I about ruled out a fuel problem entirely.

Now I've got a new coil to install tomorrow night. Darren at Quad & Cycle suggested that the coils can be squirrely and unreliable and heat sensitive. Alan at PowerSportsFactory suggested the same thing through an email today.

So I guess I'll try a new coil and see if that solves my bogging and stalling problem. But its too late tonight.

Its only Tuesday? Good Grief!

I'm just about 2 days behind already this week! By noon yesterday, my work computer had gone Tango Uniform, (NS for you naval types) and when I tried to log in after lunch there was a bunch of overlapping warning windows all vieing for my attention and then it shut down and restarted. Restarted right up to a scary blue-screen-of-death that said to contact the network folks.

So the computer geek came over with a recovery disc and that didn't work. So he carried away my hard disc, spent most of a day overhauling it and when he returned it after lunch today, it still didn't work! So, he carried away the entire machine and brought me a temp machine. I was back in business about 2:30 this afternoon!

And I have so much to do. Charts, lots of chart sets to build and prepare to brief before next week. And now I'm 2 days behind... Hooverdamm!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

How I spent My Summer Vacation

Well, its time. I can't put it off any longer. If I'm going to tell the story of my summer vacation, I better do it while its still summer. Otherwise, who really cares? Probably nobody does anyway but here it is.

I did manage a post from Pendleton Oregon on our first night. Pendleton was a really nice place to stay and further down the road away from Utah than we normally travel when we go to the Oregon coast. I wish the pictures had turned out of the 6 foot tall thistle plants that were growing just beyond the grass of the Holiday Inn express where we stayed but the pictures weren't worth sharing. But I had never seen such huge thistle plants. They were amazing to see. Scary even!

On Thursday, we set out down the Columbia River gorge towards the coast. We had a pleasant stop at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and then continued along the way.

Somewhere along the way, before we reached Portland and all of its myriad off ramps and bridges, we should have stopped for gas, but somehow, I failed to do that. Instead, we kept driving, found the road to the beach and then the road over the Cascade mountains down into Tillamook. As we headed up the road and read the sign- 54 miles to Tillamook, I also read the display in the truck that read, “49 miles until empty.” Yikes! Oh well, there must be somewhere to get fuel along the way, right? Nope. No fuel anywhere along Route XX!

So we drove carefully and slowly and coasted down every downhill portion, all the while watching the numbers count down on the digital display on the roof of the cab. And the numbers remained lower than the numbers on the road signs beside the highway. This was looking really bad for my trip planning!

We did finally coast into Tillamook, having to stop at a traffic light within sight of the Shell station on the corner and luckily, the truck kept running because I really didn’t want it to run out of fuel just ½ block from the fuel stop. Seventy-five bucks didn’t even top up the fuel tank but at least we didn’t have to walk or push and the display said there was 1 mile until empty!

A short drive north from Tillamook and we were checked into the Nehalem Bay State Park campground, surrounded by the BSU’s family. This was the same campground we stayed at a couple years ago and it really is a nice place to spend a weekend. The camper went up without drama and we could finally relax and visit and eat as is typical for our beach trips.

It did rain this trip to the beach, unlike our other trips, beginning Thursday night about bed time. It rained all night but we were snug in the camper. In the morning the first order of business was to break out the multiple blue tarps that regular Oregon campers all seem to have hidden away someplace. We strung tarps from the trees, over the picnic tables an the area for the camp chairs and used the big syrup bottle to hold down the back edge so the water ran off where we wanted it to go.

So that was most of the weekend, sitting around under the tarps, drinking coffee and snacking in between the too-regular meals that sister-in-law Mary had coordinated and prepared. In between I took numerous walks with Sandy dog including a couple trips over the dunes and down to the beach to watch the waves. Saturday afternoon I took the BSU down to the beach at the little town of Manzanita. We got pretty thoroughly drenched during a short walk but that’s what Oregon folks expect when they go to the beach so there wasn’t any disappointment.

The rain did cause some problem with the camper’s awning that I still need to attend to. Overnight on Friday night, the awning material finally got wet enough to stretch and stop draining off so I woke to several gallons of water trapped and weighing down the aluminum crossbar. The weight put a pretty good bend in the crossbar and I’ve got to get busy and find a way to straighten it shortly.

We woke Sunday morning to a real downpour and a promise of a full day of that rain so everybody broke camp early to head back home. I was pretty drenched by the time the camper was folded up and we hit the road. We drove as far as Redmond, Oregon, found another Holiday Inn Express and checked in to spend the night. I had it in mind to stop in at Bandit Motorsports to visit there on Monday but I neglected to notice on their website that they are closed on Mondays! Hooverdamm! After returning to the hotel to recover the spouse and dog, we headed south again, this time to find Crater Lake National Park.

What a beautiful part of the country it is around Crater Lake! We arrived from the north, drove part way around the lake and then traveled down to the campground, seven miles from the lake. The spouse napped after we put up the camper and Sandy Dog and I went sightseeing. The road around Crater Lake is 33 miles around and there are numerous places to get out and see the unique beauty of this natural wonder. The road is probably the most treacherous road I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t help but wonder how many RVs and other vehicles end off the narrow, unguarded road and thousands of feet down the precipitous drop-offs that border the lake. The road really is remarkable and its no place to screw up because there’s no berm on most of it and dropping a wheel off the paved edge could send a vehicle plummeting for a very long time. Caution is definitely a requirement while negotiating this very skinny road.

We had a good dinner in the lodge and later attended the Ranger’s slide show about the lake. Most of his slides were out of order and in spite of several attempts to get them right, the Ranger pretty much had to wing his presentation.

One interesting aspect of Crater Lake is that there is only one access down to the lake itself, a 1.1 mile gravel path that is the equivalent of 65 flights of stairs down and then back again. Needless to say, I did not take that hike! But at the bottom, visitors can take a boat trip, swim or fish for the rainbow trout and salmon that were first planted there back in the 1940s. The fish continue to thrive in spite of the discontinued planting even after 70 years. There’s no limit to how many fish you can catch, no license required but fishermen must keep all they catch because they really don’t belong in the lake. I would have loved to try the fishing it but I wasn’t willing to try that lengthy, dusty, hot hike.

I was also mighty curious how the Park Service had managed to transport boats down to the lake over the years, including a small submarine that was used some years ago to research the bottom of the 2000 foot deep lake. There have been tour boats down there almost since the park’s inception and getting them down the slope to the lake must be a real challenge.

After breakfast on Tuesday, we broke camp and headed home on what must be one of the most scenic roads in the United States, Oregon State Road 140. This road runs from Klamath Falls Oregon, through Lakeview, east and south into Nevada and finally connects to an interstate at Winnemucca, Nevada. Between Lakeview, where we stopped to walk the dog and go to the bathroom and Winnemucca, a trip of 258 miles, there are exactly 2 places to buy fuel, Adel, Oregon, population 78 and Dennio, Nevada. The one service station in Adel is closed on Tuedsays and both these places only accept cash- no credit or debit cards accepted! We bought fuel in Dennio at $3.80 per gallon, enough so we could make the final 100 miles into Winnemucca and the civilization of interstate travel. Highway 140 is a fantastic trip through beautiful countryside, lots of valley floor farms on a laser straight road broken up by trips up, through and over many canyons and small mountains. Where the road is straight, its possible to drive 75 miles per hour, through the curvy, hilly pieces, the road is marked for 30, 35 and 45 miles per hour and you better be paying attention to the posted speeds! You won’t see much traffic going either direction for miles at a time and the beauty of the scenery will really make the trip worthwhile even if you aren’t getting anyplace particularly quickly.

It was a long day’s drive and we got home a little after midnight on Wednesday morning. The truck ran perfectly and the computer claimed we averaged 11.8 miles per gallon, dropping from 11.9 mpg at the beginning of the trip. The entire trip was just 7 miles short of 2100 miles.

So that’s it; a road trip with a relaxing visit with family and a trip through some of the scenery and untraveled roads that makes America a great place. It was really a pleasant week away and going back to work came much too soon.

Sad day in the blogosphere-

Terry is boarding up the Axis of Weevil headquarters! This is going to leave a huge sucking hole in the blogosphere that won't soon be repaired. I'm happy for Terry- he's getting a promotion and moved into a department that will actually use his talents and training and move him out of the administrivia world that he has been trapped in for several years. It has been a huge bummer not to be able to visit Possumblog during the day, from the job over the past few weeks because there is a dedicated group of folks that circulate and hang out over there and often the comments to Terry's posts turn into some wild and fun converstations. Being blocked out and only being able to see what the other have already said many hours later from home has been a huge disappointment in my own daily life.

But Terry's moving downstairs and now his work hours will be filled up with real work so he's not expecting to be blogging except very sporadically. This whole "giving up blogging for the paying gig" is not unheard of and if you read through the comments in the linked post above, you will see reference to ALANHA, a reference to another Axis of Weevil member who had to give up blogging for corporate obligations. I actually had the opportunity to have dinner with Little A some years ago and I still miss his humorous outlook on life.

[Ed note: I've had to take a several minute break during this post to pet my cat, Uintah. He strolled into my shop while I was writing this and he wanted a good petting. He really likes it when I'm home on the weekend so I can share some of mytime with him and this morning is no different, so he wanted so attention. Now there's white cat fur all over my table, my laptop's screen and keyboard and my coffee mug. He's finally wandered off and now I can resume posting.]

As you might or might not know, Terry and Possumblog are the reason that this humble blog exists. I first discovered Possumblog several months before beginning Wasted Electrons and Terry's insight and creative writing quickly became one of my most regular reads every day. It wasn't long before I was emailing Terry interesting subject material for his blog and pretty soon, he was recommending that I start my own blog and quit hogging up his inbox, and so I did. Wasted Electrons is a direct result of Terry's encouragement and I've been pleased to call him my blogfather ever since.

[The cat is back! I may never get this post finished! And from all the fur piling up here you might guess that I would have a naked, pink skinned cat pretty soon. (Here comes the second cat!) Now they're both gone!]

You can read Terry's story of his packing up from his old office here, and here. If you haven't routinely read Possumblog, take a few minutes and read back through his archives. His stories of daily life in Birmingham are real treasures and you'll quickly see how big a loss to the blogosphere his leaving is going to be.

I'm going to miss him. But time and the blogosphere holds still for nobody and Terry is going to be much happier in his new position as a real architect. And I wish him the very best. If I ever find an excuse to get back into Dixie, I'm going to go find Terry and buy him and his lovely family dinner, just so I can meet the guy that really got me started in this bizarre and strange hobby.

Adding a new link on my blog list

Somehow I've never seen this blog before but today, first thing, I discovered The Nanny State and I can't pass up adding it to my blogroll. Check it out and give me some feedback as to whether its worthy.