Day by Day cartoon

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I shoulda torn the snowblower a little further apart

before I started ordering parts! I mentioned the other day that I had to order a new friction wheel for the snowblower that Leonard owns and I use to keep our driveways clear. The monster machine wasn't working very well so I downloaded the owners manual and set to making adjustments as dictated by the manual.

That work led to me a multi-stop trip around town on Saturday looking for 2 v-belts which I did find and replace. Then I discovered that the friction wheel was missing much of it's friction material so I ordered that part.

Tonight, in preparation for the wheel that is supposed to arrive tomorrow, I dug a little deeper to make sure the machine would be workable when the wheel is installed.

Not so much... I discovered that another chain sprocket on a different shaft from last year's repairs, is ground just about to 1/2 thei normal thickness! It's toast. Very thin toast! Damm sprocket is only 8 teeth and it isn't made of great quality steel so a little misalignment has ruined the teeth.

I ordered that part tonight. Should be here Friday. I guess I know what I'll be doing Sunday afternoon!

I can't explain it-

but my Microsoft Office software on this computer has gone Tango Uniform overnight. I used it 2 nights ago and last night it wouldn't open. There are files gone missing and I need to reload the entire package apparently.

So here's the question: do I reload the old version of Office I've been using or upgrade to the Office 2007 version with the CD that's sitting here next to my chair? I may have to fix the current installation just so I can remove it properly! Maybe I'll get a chance over the weekend.

[UPDATE, 1 January, 2009: With the help from a Google search and a couple forums, my Office software is working again. Now I don't have to install the 2007 version until I'm good and ready.]

Dublin Indiana hits the big time!

Now this story really hits close to home because Dublin, Indiana, population 697 was my hometown during my formative teenage years. It's also interesting because I learned about the story from a school friend, JoAnne, who sent me the email and said that Dolly Sweet is her mother!

And the story- Little Town Beseeches Obama’s Health Chief tells about Barry's "lead architect" for health care reform in the upcoming administration, coming to our little town to discuss and hear citizen's concerns about healthcare.

I've been in that Fire Station many times; my dad was a volunteer fireman and my mom baked pies with the Ladies Auxillary for the very famous fish fries that occur every Memorial Day weekend, so I was in that building plenty often. I noticed looking at the Dublin website that the single grocery store in town is still there though it's no longer called Doll's for Mr. Doll who ran it when we were kids. I spent many a hot summer afternoon drinking soda with my buddies, after our lawnmowing jobs were finished, under the overhang on the front of that grocery store! I even mowed Mr. Doll's yard occasionally when he couldn't get to it himself.

One last thing, there's a Dr. Joe Fouts quoted in that article. There was a Joe Fouts that went to our church when we lived there. He was a pretty cool guy and even drove me on some dates before I was able to drive. The Joe I knew wasn't a doctor but it is a really small town and lots of things could have happened since I left there. I wonder if it's the same guy!

Now it looks like I need a plumber!

Good Grief! What a pain already. If buying a new transmission for the truck wasn't enough expense, now it seems that I'm going to have to hire a plumber. Damn! With the first sinkful of dishes that I washed when we got home from Oregon it was apparent there is a drain blockage someplace in the line.

I started with some Drano gel since I had standing water, at least when I released a sinkful of water. Last night I bought a new drain snake and snaked the sink drain pipe and I snaked the washing machine discharge pipe. I was unsuccessful removing the washout plug that's probably been in place since the house was built so I couldn't get the snake down that line except from under the sink. I poured crystals down the floor drain and none of that seemed to cause any improvement in the problem.

Tonight- the heaviest duty drain cleaner I can find at Home Depot. If that doesn't fix the problem, I'm going to have to write a check to a plumber...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Well don't I feel like Glenn Reynolds?

Yesterday was my first trip up to Powder Mountain since the snow flew. I went to pick up my employee season pass, intending to start work today. As I was walking out of the ski shop, a woman in a Powder Mountain staff jacket crossed my path and she said hi and then asked, "How's your blog?"

That's never happened to me before!

Thanks for the ego boost Caroline!

And I did NOT get to work today as I still need to pee into a bottle to prove I'm no doper and the place that does the tests won't be open until Monday. So I've torn apart the neighbor's snowblower instead. It has 2 new belts now and I'm ordering the friction wheel that it needs to work properly.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

And to a couple of my readers that might celebrate the season differently, Happy Holidays!

It's definitely a white Christmas outside, as there is a huge storm dumping lots of snow on most of Utah today, as in most of the states, according to the news. High winds are predicted and los of drifting almost everywhere. So with the exception of going outside to blow and shovel some snow, I'm staying at home and inside, with the spouse, the pets and a big pot of coffee.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home, finally!

The morning started pretty early today with our return preparations. The travel into Portland from Columbia City took an long time as the road was plowed but not cleared very well. There was usually two lanes where you could see the road but there was a lot of loose snow in between the lanes, making travel pretty tricky. It wasn't hazardous but it was pretty slippery the entire route.

The real adventure began when we arrived at Portland International Airport. Southwest Airlines had cancelled numerous flights over the past 2 days, leading to an overabundance of folks hoping to get rescheduled for their flights home. So the check-in line for Southwest wrapped around and around the shopping concourse giving us plenty of time to make friends with our line mates. We stood in line for about 2 1/4 hours before finally checking our bags and heading to security and the loading gate. Since the airplanes leaving were all late in line, ours was late too so we had time enough for a lousy lunch before getting on the plane.

Flying home was no trouble and we arrived before 5 PM. But by the time we claimed our bags, hiked over to the rental car agency, cleared through the youngsters that were trying to punch up their commission by upselling us a bigger car and made it out of the airport, it was late.

The very good news? My next door neighbor had used the snowblower under my carport to clear my driveway! Roger used the blower to clear his drive, mine and the next one over, for the guy that owns the snowblower. That was a huge relief because this little rental car would not have made it into the driveway!

So tomorrow the truck comes home from the repair shop and the dog comes home from the kennel. Then the rental car can go back to the airport and I'll be able to relax for a bit!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Made it out of the house today!

The snow in this part of Oregon took a break today and we were able to actually go into town! The BSU & I went with the sister and her hubby into Wal-Mart and the Safeway for some last minute shopping before returning to their warm abode. I promptly took a nap after our excursion!

But there has been sewing going on and cookies are being stirred right now and it's been as pleasant a day as possible.

Tomorrow is going home day, so cross your fingers for clearing weather. The flight we are scheduled for tomorrow cancelled today, so I'm hoping Southwest has had a chance to catch up. Twenty-six flights had to be cancelled yesterday since Portland's airport couldn't deice jets fast enough to clear the parking spots and all those flights were delayed even arriving. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

The biggest trouble I can see- short of getting home to Utah, is that my driveway at home has been piling up with snow and Leonard's snowblower seems to be busted again. Which means I'm going to have a serious shoveling chore when I get home!

But all the kid's gifts have been ordered and are in the capable hands of the delivery services and all I have to worry about is getting home and hoping my truck is ready for me to take home too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The snow must be setting some kind of records-

Because the people that live here claim to never have seen so much snow, for so many days, in all their lives, here on the banks of the Columbia River. It has been snowing mostly non-stop since we arrived and when it wasn't snowing, it was freezing rain. The roads in the neighborhood have been taken over by the kids with inner tubes, sleds, toboggans, snow boards and trash can lids for sliding down the street outside the house where we are safely ensconced.

I did go out today to unbury the rental car and make enough path to get it into the portion that has been plowed but I didn't drive it anyplace. I took a walk up the hill behind the house to see the view and the very fancy houses and to watch the chickadees slipping and sliding while they dig for seeds. The birds seem pretty confused by the white crusty stuff and it was a hoot to watch them for a bit.

So here's some pictures- bad ones, snapped with my phone on a grey day, of the scene going on outside the house. As always, click the small pictures to see them full size.
Snowboarding in the streets!
Snowed In in Oregon Dec 2008
Playing in the street!
Sledding on K Street
[UPDATE] The news reports are that this storm has delivered the largest snowfall since 1968 in this part of the contry. There were many airline flights cancelled yesterday but it appears that things will be cleared up by tomorrow for us to travel back to the airport and back home as we planned.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowed-in in Oregon!

That's right, we are comfortably housebound with the BSU's sister and hubby, in their very luxurious house with a view of the Columbia River, well and truly snowed-in. Our flights yesterday went off with very minor hitches- sorry for all you folks traveling though Vegas, you weren't so lucky, and we arrived at our destination with very little drama.

But the snow has been coming down, the roads are packed or slushy or frozen and the house we are staying in is on a steep hill. So nobody's going anywhere unless they absolutely have to and we don't have to. It looks like board games, reading and drinking are the activities for the weekend. I've already read 70 pages of Jack London's Call of the Wild, in the same Companion Book that I am pretty certain can still be found on my Grandmother's bookshelf. Good fun.

This seems pretty accurate, actually

Cribbed from Cowboy Blob. But I tried this analyzer and it seems right on the money to me.
Typeanalyzer examines Wasted Electrons Try it with your blog at Type Analyzer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dog's at the kennel-

and the BSU says it's a nice one, so that's a good thing. The truck is ready to go to the transmission shop tomorrow. The BSU's gifts are wrapped and packed and the teddy bear that was a gift from the jeweler was re-gifted to the Toys for Tots bin. I bought a bag of food so the cats won't starve.

Now it will be time to get the luggage packed and decide if I'm taking my laptop.

And my new eyeglasses? They work terrific for everything except reading! I have to move my glasses way down on my nose to be able to read anything! This is going to be completely unsat and when I get home I'll have to see the optical shop for some kind of action. If it gets bad enough I'll install the old lenses back into my frames on my own.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New eyeglass lenses installed-

Last Saturday finally made it into the eye doctor for an exam and I ordered new lenses, because I like the frames I have been wearing for several years. They arrived tonght and I arrived just before the kind lady at the eye center locked up, so she kindly hooked me up with my new lenses. Everything's great but I wish I could read my monitor!

We bought a gift for one of the boys, shopped for the shoes (unsuccessfully) I need and found more toys for the grandbabies. I mailed another package, bought some parts for another gift and figured out how to get home from the airport next Tuesday.

Now I just have to pick up the BSU's gift, if it's finished, tomorrow and find some shoes tomorrow night. No worries, right?

Re: my last post-

The dog needs to go to the vet for fresh immunizations before she can go to the kennel...

Only having one vehicle in the family is getting complicated!

Sent from my iPhone

Counting down the hours

Until we depart for Oregon, that is. The grandkid's packages have been wrapped & shipped. The dog has a kennel reservation, though not at her regular place. Funding for the transmission repairs have been secured. The BSU's gift awaits pickup.

Still left to do- I need a new pair of casual shoes. I need to confirm transportation to and from the airport with Kenny. There's a company luncheon to wrap a gift for and to attend. The BSU still wants to buy more gifts for the boys!

I still need to hack her email for the rental car reservation details to get the car upgraded to something fancy without her being aware...

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's going to be a busy week-

We are leaving for Oregon on Thursday morning. Before we go, I have to make a trip to the UPS store, the jewelry store, arrange some financing for the transmission overhaul, drop the dog off at the kennel for boarding, buy the cat's a new bag of food and figure out how to get the truck dropped off for the repairs while still getting to the airport on time for our flight.

All while working 9 hours and getting to my company's luncheon on time. Easy, right?

The tree's up!

and decorated and lit. It's a mighty pretty one this year. The nativity scene is set out and the Christmas music CDs are loaded into the changer for atmosphere.

There are 3 large boxes packed with wrapped gifts for the grandbabies that will need to be delivered to the UPS store tomorrow.

I've got a dandy, shiny present being specially made for the BSU that should be a big surprise. I hope she likes it!

Christmas is pretty well under control here- except for cookies. We don't have any cookies on the counter. Maybe I can convince he spousal unit to bake up some cookies, then things will be just about perfect.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dear Santa

All I want need for Christmas is a new transmission for my truck...

Yeah, it's getting close to being toast. The transmission has been thunking a little bit at low speeds and I decided it needed to be looked at, so that's what I did this morning. I took it to the transmission shop. There is powdered brass in the pan and the expert tells me that could only come from the torque converter, or more likely, the thrust washers for the output shaft.

There is some good news, Tanner is having a big sale, (see the link above) with prices several hundred dollars off the normal cost and no labor costs. Additionally, since we are going to Oregon for several days next week, it will be the perfect time to have the truck off the road for a few days without me having to rent a car to get to work.

Now I just have to figure out how to put a Christmas bow around the transmission and fit it under the tree!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

In regards to the question I asked last night-

I repeat, why is anyone still living in Illinois? I used to believe that Louisiana had the most corrupt state government but I think Illinois has taken the lead with this latest bit of corruption.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Why would anyone live in chicago?

Really, why would anyone live in a city where the rules can be so completely ignored, trampled upon and misused to ruin a citizen's life is completely beyond my comprehension. Read this incredible tale of a police force running completely outside the boundaries of common decency and written law in the ill treatment caused upon Chris Morley. Chris went through the complex and twisted and expensive procedures required to own and carry an unloaded firearm in the city of Chicago but due to his illness at work and an unauthorized search of his personal belongings he spent 48 hours in jail and a hospital. He was denied food and water and his medications and his family was unaware of his whereabouts for 24 hours.

Chris has had his legally owned firearms confiscated by the state and his ownership permission card revoked. He lost his job, can't find another due to his arrest- no conviction mind you and is being prosecuted for Unlawful Use of Weapons even though he NEVER used his weapon! Hell it wasn't even a weapon, since it was unloaded, he had a badly shaped club in his pack!

Anyway, if you live in Chicago and still believe in the American Dream and the right of citizens to act like adults, pack up and get the hell out of there! Really, pack now and get yourself somewhere west where you can be treated like an adult. If you don't live in Chicago, go read this entire story and be amazed at this misuse and abuse of written law and common decency.

And then join and support their efforts to raise funds for Chris' defense fund. I signed up and I hope you will too!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Rock the Vote!

Go here and tell Yahoo what you think about your citizen's right to protect yourself in a national park.

You know that I think this press release is great news and the right decision.

I did something today that I've never done before...

I stopped and window shopped for brand new
Cadillacs! I even found a CTS in Blue Diamond paint that I really could fall in love with!

It's not gonna happen but it didn't hurt to look and I do really like that car. I've been kinda looking around for an addition to the truck, so that we didn't have to drive it every place we drive, since the truck doesn't get very good mileage and it does have 170,000 miles on it. I'm thinking that I might keep the truck forever if I can get a second vehicle to share the daily travels.

I must be getting old if I'm looking at Cadillacs, right?

Well don't I feel privileged!

I received an email this week from somebody on my bloglist that asked my opinion about which gun to buy for a concealed carry gun! I'll not say who because their decision is their decision and maybe they don't want to share. But I felt really honored that this person would ask me for gun choice advice.

What did I suggest? Well, a 38 Special, 2" barreled revolver from Smith & Wesson, Taurus or Rossi. I recommended that this person not buy a similar 357 Magnum revolver due to the increased size and bulk and weight and to just buy a gun that could be counted upon when it was needed.

I also recommended that this person buy a 22 pistol, either a revolver or semi-automatic simply for the fun of shooting and the pleasure of learning the skill of accurate shooting.

I can't wait to hear how my advice is received by this person!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Funniest commercial lately-

Does anybody else think this birthday commercial from Arby's is as hilarious as I do? It makes me laugh every time I see it.

The BSU doesn't like it quite as much as I do. I wonder why...