Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year everyone!

Well it isn't midnight here in Utah yet but I'll offer my Best Wishes to everyone now because it is pretty likely I won't staying up until the fireworks go off here. I'm tucked into my chair with a wound up kitten on my lap and a glass of corn whiskey on my chair side table so I'm as happy as it's possbile to be tonight.

I'm watching the teevee weather lady describing the snow that is going to fall tonight and tomorrow and cursing the worker on the assembly line where this Craftsman snowblower was assembled, whenever that was. Yesterday's snowblower failure was a result of another (numerous) failed welds just like the one that already caused me to make repairs just a few weeks ago. There's a bracket that holds a jackshaft in place that completely unwelded itself from the main frame of the machine. I know all that because I've torn the machine down until the frame is naked- all the parts are sitting on my bench. So I need to order a chain and jackshaft and I need some welding done, all before the machine can be available for it's intended use. I really do hate this worn out machine!

Otherwise, and except for the pending unemployment, everything is great.

Ya'll have a great 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some interesting aspects to my job hunt today-

Including the fact that my old job, down there in the airplane world, is being advertised by a company I used to work for but not the company I worked for when I left that position... Am I excited about applying my old job in the airplane world? You bet!

There are a couple other similarly related things I discovered today that require my intense involvement tomorrow.

Drinking some tasty Colorado whisky tonight-

It arrived in a box of gifts from the younger son today. It is Colorado's Own and made in a micro-distillery in western Colorado. After struggling with that blasted snow machine tonight and finishing the job the old fashioned way, I was ready for a drink (or two.)

I'm no whisky expert but I know what I like and I like this tasty nectar. There were several other very nice gigts for the BSU and myself in the box- a book to read- Heaven and Hell by Don Felder. It's a story about the life and times of The Eagles and I can't wait until this weekend so I can get comfy with a coffee or some more of this whisky and spend some time reading.

This might be the first time one of my kids ever bought me booze! Sweet.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE that *^&*%% snow blower?

The damm thing is busted AGAIN! Leonard used it once to clear his drive after I fixed it last time and I used it tonight to clear about 1/2 of my drive of the fresh 6" of snow that fell today. And then it quit shifting again...

The drive seems to be farked, just like the very first repairs I did on this blasted machine 3 years ago. I'm pretty certain that the jackshaft with just 11 teeth on the sprocket has ground itself into pulp- just like it did before and is locking up the chain drive.

What a POS! I am really frustrated with spending more time working on this thing than using it to move snow! If I could, I'd go write a check for a brand new machine tomorrow. Sadly, that's probably not going to happen...

You'll shoot your eye out kid

Not bloody likely... See the funny.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So I took a few days off-

Apologies to all, (both) that continue to come around, for the lack of recent posting. I've been busy I suppose, what with all the holiday scurrying about but that's not the entire reason I've not sat down to post.

Actually, except for Christmas Day, I haven't been doing much sitting. Christmas Eve, as I already mentioned required some very last minute shopping and then a very nice church service at St Peters, our church home. It was our priest's next to last service so it was very special. Christmas Day we did sit around and rest in spite of an 8 AM wakeup call from my Dad telling me that us boys could leave our bedroom and come downstairs!

On Saturday our Very Elderly Visla, Sandy had to make an unscheduled trip to the vet as she had begun coughing badly the day before. She was poked and prodded and x-rayed and the vet came up with a diagnosis of pneumonia! We left with 2 shots of antibiotics in her butt, 3 bottle of antibiotics to take every day and bedtime cough suppressants and my wallet lighter by nearly $300. Argh! Not the best Christmas present for a guy just about out of a job but there it was. So we have been treating Sandy and fixing her boiled chicken and rice to eat so her tummy settles down. Today she seems better, not well but better and her energy level seems improved.

Also on Saturday I headed down to Salt Lake to the boy's apartment to see if I could help him repair a non-working washing machine that has been taking up precious floor space in his tiny kitchen. He's been working on it by himself for quite some time and he had finally exhausted his skillsets and decided to ask Dad for help. I ended up carrying the gearbox home to my shop where I sprayed and scraped 20 years of grunge off the slider bars and added some fresh lithium grease on the moving parts.

Sunday after church- and our priest's final service and the requisite potluck lunch, the BSU and I headed south to Salt Lake again, this time with Christmas presents for grandbaby Ryker and his mama. I also dropped off the cleaned up gearbox and some wire terminals so the son could put his washing machine back together. I still haven't heard if the machine is working but I hope the phone call I missed at 11:30 PM was good news saying that the machine was back in operation.

I missed the late night phone call but not the 4 AM wake up call from my brain, snitching on both my stomach and colon who were planning simultaneous terrorist attacks. I was ill and wishing for a double-headed commode in our bathroom! I slept in and went to work late and struggled though most of a day but finally quit early and went home for a long nap followed later by an early bedtime. By today I was feeling much better.

I am getting close to being unemployed and that isn't a pleasant feeling. I've applied a few places and been rejected by just one that I know of so far. I have some significant writing work to do before applying for any Civil Service jobs that I haven't sat down to do so far. So- I'm a little cranky about the upcoming unemployment circumstances but not discouraged. It is far too soon to get to that point yet but overall, it is having an effect on my generally good humor.

So that's the story. Maybe I helped fix a washing machine. My job is running out. My kids are doing ok- one boy's girlfriend makes tasty cookies, and I fought back a dose of illness. I suppose that's why I haven't written more.

Kathy Ireland sells bondage gear?

In spite of my misgivings about shopping this past holiday season, the BSU actually dragged me to the mall on Christmas Eve afternoon. It wasn't a terrible trip really because we knew what we were shopping for and didn't need to browse for ideas. I was surprised to see large pictures of Kathy Ireland peddling and wearing what could only be described as bondage gear. If this decorative key pendant doesn't look like a handcuff key, I don't know what does.

No, I'm not explaining why I know what a handcuff key looks like...

Anyway, I thought it was hilarious and couldn't help wondering about the women that would be opening a package containing one of these on Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The real meaning of Christmas

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

When they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and keep Christ in your heart through this blessed season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Back safe from the land of rain and lefties

and am home safe in Utah where I belong. We had a very nice weekend with the BSU's family, relaxing, visiting and eating too much. I even had just enough to drink all weekend. The ornanment exchange was a little subdued this year as we didn't even make any of the kids cry by taking an ornament in the claiming round as we typically do. One B-i-L who had a heart attack 4 months ago is doing well, another that hasn't participated in family events since his wife died 3 years ago showed up and everybody had a very nice time.

We arrived home last night with no drama and the boarded pets came home this morning. They seem even more spoiled than when they left! Now there's just some last minute preparations to make before Christmas day and some (paid) days off. Those would be different days than the ones I'm looking at beginning on 7 January...

Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 Toyota Camry driving impressions

This thing has a ricer looking aero kit wrapped around it's bottom!

That's what the Dollar Rental folks had lined up for us when we landed in Portland this morning, a 2010 model Camry with Just 165 miles on the odometer. It drives just fine. Manually shifting the 6 speed tranny with the forward/back lever is entertaining for about 5 minutes. After that it is easier to just put the lever in the auto mode and let the car take care of the gear selecting. No sat radio in this on- bummer.
It's got a huge trunk and the seats are firm and comfy. But the body kit looks a little overdone to my eyes.
Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Let the holiday festivities begin!

If, by festivities, I actually mean, begin packing for a weeekend trip after I get done with this post, (check the time stamp), loading the electronics for same trip into a bulging laptop bag, shuffling off to the airport in the early AM for a flight to a too liberal state for me to be comfortable in and settling into a family members house and liquor cabinet for the same weekend.

It's time for the annual sojourn to the BSU's family Christmas dinner and gift exchange. This year we are scheduled to return on Monday so pray it doesn't snow the 16" tht fell last year while we were there.

The snowblower is fixed and functional, the kitten and the dog are checked into the kennel, the food dish for the cat that is staying here is filled up and I think the dryer has finished so I can stuff some clothes into a duffel so I'm ready when the alarm goes off tomorrow.

I've applied for 2 jobs already this week, one with a private firm that makes very large, noisy, sparkly things and another contractor on base where the job description sounded like it had been cribbed from my work history. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Recall: Well this sucks!

McCord, Nate R CTR USAF AFMC 500 CBSS/GBLA would like to recall the message, "Well this sucks!".

Well this sucks!

I found out this morning that effective at the end of the current contract option that I am working on, 6 January, I’ll be unemployed. Laid off. Made redundant. Not just me but all three of us that belong to 1 company, my boss and a coworker. There’s almost a zero percent chance that the funding will be found today to keep us on contract after that date. The company has some positions to apply for- in other states! Notgonnahappen!

The organization I’m currently working in expects to begin a major new program in February that should have a budget to allow them to hire a number of people, even more than the 3 of us being laid off but due to the complexities of .gov program implementation, new contracts would have to be negotiated and that program may not get funded as long as the Continuing Resolution for the entire government budget remains in place.

There is also a number of open positions available on base but due to one entire organization packing up and moving to Ohio, all those folks that do not want to relocate get hiring preference until all of them get satisfied with a new job. That could take months before positions get filled with dislocated workers and normal hiring practices resume. I can’t wait that long.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

PaddlefasterIhearbanjos, NotTexas

Want to have a good laugh? Head over to LawDog's place and read about his itinerary. It is a hoot!

Christmas Guitar Hero Has Waay Too Much Time On His Hands!

For the benefits of a few of my readers that don't pay attntion to or play video games, the guitar you will see is a controller for a popular video game, Guitar Hero. But whoever decided it would be a good idea to rig his Christmas lights to respond to the sounds is first of all, a genius and secondly should be solving the problems of the world instead of doing this. But the video is awesome so turn your amplifier up to 11 and sit back and have a look.

UPDATE: Go figure, the guy that created this is an unemployed Disney special effects creator. You can read all the details at the link.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stupid belt was an inch too long!

After supper and a trip to the big-box mega-store for some victuals, I finally got enough time and energy to put the snowblower back together with the new belt I picked up from my local NAPA store last night. The belt is at least 1 inch too long and would never drive the auger properly so the job remains unfinished until tomorrow when the snow is expected to resume with a vengeance.

Did I mention the belt already? I repaired the broken auger case bracket with bolts the other night because I couldn’t get my welder working properly and everything looked fine for final assembly until I discovered that the v-belt that I just bought last winter was cracked all the way around the inner circumference. So I carried it into the NAPA store where I discovered that a: the guy behind the counter last year had sold me an automotive belt instead of a fractional horsepower belt and b: fractional horsepower belts use a different angle on the driving sides of a v-belt and finally, c: automotive belts aren’t designed for any reverse curve operation such as is caused by the belt tensioner on this machine. So the guy behind the counter this time, exchanged me for a fractional horsepower belt and gave me a refund because he warranteed out the cracked belt. Sweet! Except that it is too long.

I’ll get back there on my way home today and probably get everything buttoned up tomorrow morning. Tonight’s agenda is already full so it won’t happen tonight.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Almost record time for repairing the snowblower-

And I really needed it last night as the city street crews had pile 14” of the heavy stuff at the entrance to my driveway yesterday while I was at work. Unfortunately, I did not get the machine completely repaired and so I had to do the snow removal the hard and back-aching way with a shovel. I did nearly get the powered machine put together last night though. The biggest part of the repair was re-attaching the broken off from the auger portion bracket that holds the auger section to the drive section. The bracket is just a piece of fancy angle iron but the welds had failed and allowed the auger section to bounce around.

I spent more than an hour just cleaning up and trying to get either of the welding helmets I own working. Once I had a functioning faceshield, I couldn’t get my welder to cooperate, it might have been operator error but no matter, I could not get a weld bead to appear where I was futilely making sparks. So I drilled holes and bolted the bracket into its rightful place. I also added a bolt to the other bracket that had 1 broken weld before it failed completely. I installed the new cable that arrived yesterday- thanks Sears Parts Direct! I only ordered that part Sunday evening and it arrived yesterday, that’s good service.

I was just about to tape the drive belt to the pulley so I could rejoin the two halves of the machine when I discovered that the belt- which was brand new last winter, was cracked between the teeth all the way around the inner circumference. I don’t know why the belt was so badly damaged but I decided my repair work was done for the evening and to buy a new belt today before bolting everything back together. Rats! I guess I’ll hit the NAPA store today on the way home and maybe then I convert all the pieces back into a functioning machine.

I did get the driveway cleared out, manually, finally. Neighbor Leonard’s truck won’t be moving until the snow melts because I’m stacking snow in front of it and the pile is already bumper deep! It was 10 PM before I finally made it into the house and got to sit down.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

That new star for my nativity scene?

It's this LED Star of Bethlehem from Bronners. It should be here in another day or two and then I'll get a chance to go up on the snow covered roof again. I'll put up a new picture once the star is installed.

Want to see something really interesting? Check out the 2nd comment in the post below this one. I thought that was pretty neat. Thanks Lori!

UPDATE: My star arrived yesterday. That's awesome service from a company working hard during this busiest time of year. Sadly, it is too small by half. I knew from the web page the dimensions- 16" X 22" but I figured I would give it a try. The star fits 10 feet above the peak of my roof and I'm afraid the star I bought will just not look right so far in the air. So now I have to hunt further and this one is for sale.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Too busy to blog?



This weekend turned into a doozy of fun-filled activity, if you like shopping at Toys R Us, working on automobiles and setting up outdoor Christmas decorations in freezing temperatures. At least that is how my weekend filled up. I actually started on Friday with a Dr.’s office visit for a physical exam. The doc pronounced me healthy, or at least breathing normally for my age and decrepitude. I filled up the afternoon with errands, (oh, for my family- I found the missing pocketknife, which I will now save for youngest brother’s 50th b-day). It was either Thursday evening or Friday when the BSU and I ventured into the big box toy store after spending a hundred bucks at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in the same shopping center. We spent more in the toy store than the book store so we went home with my wallet feeling mighty flat.


Saturday I ventured into the base Auto Hobby Shop with my buddy Loc to change the rear air springs on the Lincoln. The car has been sitting down on its bumpstops every time I shut it off lately and new air springs seemed to be the recommended fix. Let me tell you, changing air bags is much easier than replacing coil springs and we had the job accomplished in just a few minutes more than 2 hours. Afterwards we spent a greater amount of time replacing the brake shoes on the back of Loc’s truck before grabbing lunch and heading home about 1:30.


The BSU has fallen victim to a chest cold and was staying in bed so I spent part of the rest of the day tending to her needs.


Sunday I went off to church by myself and in the afternoon dragged the nativity scene characters and stable components out into the front yard and put it all together. The star up on the roof isn’t lighting correctly so last night I found a replacement at Bronners and ordered it for delivery this week. I also ordered the first new part for the neighbor’s snowblower that I tried to use Saturday afternoon to clear the snow out of the drive only to have the auger drive cable separate into 2 pieces. I also discovered the entire snowblower was trying to separate into 2 pieces as one portion of the angle iron that is supposed to be welded onto the auger section had broken off letting it dangle at scary angles. The machine is now in my workshop with parts on order and welding work to accomplish which I might even try by myself.


Did I mention it is supposed to snow every day this week? Damm snowblower!


Anyway, we did not buy groceries that we need and I did not get the haircut that I need because we didn’t go to the giant box store where she can shop and I can get my locks trimmed at the same time. So both of those essential tasks need completed this week. There’s a bundle of Christmas and birthday presents piled up awaiting a wrapping session and then I’ll have to make a stop at the UPS store to get them delivered. I did do some of my holiday shopping online last night before bedtime, further occupying my blogging time. I’m not done and there’s no tree yet but we should get that circumstance remedied this week if the spouse heals up. We haven’t figured out how to keep the kitten out of the tree and away from the ornaments but I guess we will cross that bridge later in the week.


Little Bit the kitten, who will turn into Little Bit the cat before he outgrows his moniker, is fitting in pretty well at WEWHQ. He even lets himself into his kennel when he wants a nap if we leave the door unlatched. He’s great fun and never seems to move except at a gallop and the other 2 pets are grudgingly accepting his antics. He’s a good snuggler when he isn’t playing or racing about so we all are getting along great.


Now there’s things to do while I redistribute your tax dollars.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Fix bayonets!

Congressional candidate Lieutenant Colonel West speaking at the American Freedom tour in Fort Lauderdale Florida. Why can't I vote for this guy in my state? Because he would get my vote!

Thanks to Kevin at The Smallest Minority for introducing me to this gent.

A perfect example of not messing with things you don't understand

If he survived, he's probably still telling the story of this day in the buck bar every night.

Found at Cowboy Blob's Saloon.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Neatest model cars I've seen in a while-

Surf on over to Jalopnik and spend a few minutes, (ok, maybe more than a few) checking out the photos of detailed model cars
made from cut up soda and beer cans. They are really terrific, for sale, and the creator will sell you one for your own shelf if you like them well enough. Neat stuff!

Monday, November 30, 2009

You will NEVER see me doing this!

Seriously. I will NEVER do this.

Anybody that does probably coaxes Great White Sharks to floss his teeth for him.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Worn out tonight-

I've got neck muscles that have been torqued badly enought to cause pain for a week and a half and I really need to make a chiropractor appointment or see a massage therapist. Meds make me drowsy to the point of uselessness.

I did get the outside Christmas lights installed today and took a trip to see my buddy Loc's intended new house. It's big- huge! It's also new and custom throughout and should be a luxurious place to call home once he gets all the paperwork done.

The new kitten- still unnamed, is fitting in around here very well. He's gotten used to his food dish and litter pan being inside a dog kennel and makes it clear when he wants in there. He romps all over the house, plays hard for play time then drops into drooling naps mid-step. The other animals are getting used to him. Wasatch cat is no longer hissing and laying back her ears everytime he walks into a room. He is snuggable and cuddly and hasn't been a bit of trouble. Expensive but no trouble.

I fixed some busted links and added a couple new blogs to my blogroll over there on the right. I'm planning to upgrade my template soon so I can change the way my archives display so if things look wonky over the next few days, that would be the reason. Now it's bedtime.

Update on the bandit dispatch efforts-

No luck yet with the removal of masked bandits from my neighborhood. I've been putting out some warmed up wet cat food during my stalking hours but so far they haven't seen fit to match their schedule with mine. The motion detector seems to be working perfectly and I even taped over the light sensor so thaat it turns on the light during the day- just in case...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In case I happen to be on your holiday gift list...

Cannon downriggers are on my wish list. Until today I wasn't fixed on Cannon brand but then I got a chance to buy 2 low profile swivel bases for just $100. That's half price and I couldn't pass up the deal.

So, Cannons please!

Bought 2 of these tonight...

Remember the story about Papa John finding his long-lost, beloved Camaro? If you haven't read the story, follow the link and see how Papa John recovered his high school Camaro that he sold to save his Dad's bar and begin his pizza business.

Well Papa John has had his car reproduced in miniature and tonight I bought 2 of them. One is going into my die cast car collection. The other might be held back for a grandson's collection when he gets old enough...

You have GOT to watch this!

And I dare you not to laugh! Make sure to click the full screen mode for the full high def goodness.

This is one of the first YouTube videos released in high def and it's really worth a few minutes of your time to lighten up and have a laugh.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Parenting Fail-

This woman probably votes, too! Will trade children's Swine Flu vaccine for Bon Jovi tickets. But only 6 of the vaccines for her 7 kids, the 11 year old needs his so he can be healthy to babysit the other 6 while mama goes to the concert...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hunting over bait?

You bet. I've been putting out a little cat kibble most nights, right behind my shop. The dish is empty every time I check it so I know the critters are coming around regularly. The bowl was even knocked off the ledge today after I left it empty for a couple days, so I think the critters are getting used to the ready food supply and will be coming around for a free meal often-

Right up until I kill them.

This weekend I rigged up a remote motion sensor above the feeding station and put lhe light inside the shop where I can see it while waiting inside where it is warm. Now when the thieves arrive at the feeder, even if they sneak in the back way, I'll know it. I hope I have a couple carcasses to dispose of before the week is over.

Then I can put out some bird seed and suet cakes for my feather friends.

New kitty at our house...

He's not got a name yet and we haven't taken any pictures just yet but we adopted a new family member Friday afternoon. He's a little guy, short haired and grey and brown over a white face and paws. He seems to be settling nicely and has been staying in a dog kennel when we aren't nearby to play with him. Right now he's sleeping on my chest but he seems to be finding his way around the downstairs pretty well.

Wasatch kitty has her nose in a pretty big snit... She has been avoiding the kitten and us quite actively. She's been the queen of the roost for quite awhile now and she is not impressed with a tiny interloper.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's a Thursday Three day!

It has been more than 2 years since the last Thursday Three and every member of the Axis of Weevil has been mourning the loss of this meme ever since. But today, in celebration of one AoW member's upcoming birthday, in complete surprise to everyone on the internet, there is a T3 post at Possumblog! Hurray!

Terry's questions?
ANYwho--since we’re coming up on Thanksgiving, answer me these nonqueries:

1. What one person are you most thankful for this year?
2. What one thing are you most thankful for this year?
3. What one event are you most thankful for this year?

AND, as a big fat bonus unquestion:

4. So, how’s it going? How’ve you been lately?

Now the hard part- I need some answers to these questions. Lemme see...
1. Excluding the BSU, who would be just too easy to put at the top of the list, I have to really think about this one. I think I might be most thankful for my brother Mark for his listening and following when he heard a calling to become a minister. It was a real privilege to hear him preach a few weeks back and to see how loved he is by his congregation. I'm also very thankful for our pastor, Susan and all the people at St Peters that have made us a part of their church family.

2. The one thing I'm most thankful for? I suppose that would have to be Fish Slayer, my aged but very capable boat that I was able to purchase this past summer. I have really enjoyed the hours I've spent fishing with friends in this humble boat. It's great therapy and stress relief for me to be on the lake fishing with friends.

3. A single event that I'm most thankful for? Another toughie. I think it must be the vacation trip we took to the midwest last May to see our grandbabies. We had a wonderful time playing with them after such a long absence and we are already planning our next visit. Additionally, the BSU and I got to see my mother and grandmother over Mother's Day and attend church with Mom. That weekend was pretty special.

And the bonus question? Well, it's really going well, thanks. My family is healthy and happy, I'm pretty close to healthy except for my back that has been acting up again lately and I've lost 20 pounds over the summer. My grandkids are smart and cute. I did loose a beloved cat this summer to unknown reasons but I believe we will be adopting a new kitten tomorrow to add a little spark to our household. I'm working and glad to be even though friends all around me are retiring. So thanks for asking.

How well can you eyeball "close"?

Everybody's heard the "close enough for government work" axiom before, right? And probably everyone has had the opportunity to eyeball a straight line or the center of a circle sometime in the past. Now you can see just how good you are at eyeballing some simple geometric figures with this Eyeballing Game.

This is fun so give it a try. You have to play through each example 3 times to see your score and how you compare to all the other players across the internet. My best score, so far is 5.90. How well can you eyeball?

Why I love the internet and cookies!

In spite of what the fear-mongers whould have you believe, the nicest people on earth live on the internet. As an example, meet Diane a fellow member of the Axis of Weevil and fellow follower of PossumDad, Terry. Anyways, a couple weeks back Diane had a "uncloaking" contest at her blog to get some of her regular readers to actually leave a comment. And from the commenters, she chose 1 name at random out of a hat and offered a prize to the winner- which was me.

I won! It's a major award! Diane graciously offered me a couple of dandy handmade choices and I voted with my tummy. She made me a batch of delicious ginger snap cookies and included a pound of her favorite coffee beans from her local and favorite coffee joint. The package arrived today.

The cookies taste terrific and the coffee beans smell wonderful. I'll be enjoying both treats over the coming days. Yumm!

Thanks Diane for the very nice treats. Can I offer you a racoon pelt suitable for making a Daniel Boone cap from in return? I may have a couple in a few days.

My tacticool, single shot, lever action, antique replica, 22LR, urban sniper rifle-

I'll bet you've never seen a sniper rifle like this one before-

Stevens Favorite Urban Sniper Rifle

That is my Stevens Favorite replica rifle with a VistaLite bicycle light strapped to the side. I'm going to use it and the Colibri subsonic ammo I bought yesterday to dispatch the masked bandit raccoons in my backyard. I had to put the light back and to the side so that it throws some light on the front sight which I treated with a silver Sharpie for better visibility. My initial plan to mount it under the barrel lit up the target zone beautifully but I could not see the front sight at all, hence the unusual location on the left side.

The bandits are coming to the bait I'm setting out but I realized that unless they run across the roof like they did the other night, I won't know they are out there. So I'm going to install a makeshift motion sensor, wired to a light inside the shop. With that I'll be able to sit inside until the light comes on alerting me to bandits.

The Colibri ammo I purchased doesn't penetrate clear through a 1" pine board but I figure a raccoon skull isn't as thick as a pine board. And the sound of the bullet striking the board from 20 feet is louder than the discharge of the shell being fired so I don't think I am going to alarm anyone.

As always, click the thumbnail to see the full size picture.

It's National Ammo Day today!

I have been so remiss this year, I didn’t even get the National Ammo Day logo up on display this year, so apologies for that. But it is 19 November, the day we celebrate our right and opportunity to clean the dealer’s shelves of the ammo of our choice. Your obligation is to get out and buy at least 100 rounds of the ammo you favor, just because you can.


Foolishly, I forgot about the holiday just yesterday afternoon when I visited Impact Guns and bought myself 50 rounds of Colibri 22LR ammo so I guess I will have to redeem myself with another purchase at Saturday’s gun show…


The Colibri 22LR ammo I did buy is entirely powered by primer charge- there’s no gunpowder in the shell and the bullet is just a 20 grain pointed lead projectile. The sound of the bullet hitting a 1” pine board is louder than the shot! They don’t penetrate that same board either but I am pretty certain they will be just perfect for my purpose.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's about time to start feeding the birds in my backyard-

The cold weather has moved in with a vengeance since last weekend and we received a significant snowfall last Saturday. This is about the time of year that I start keeping my Wasted Electrons World Headquarters backyard bird feeder filled for the wild birds that live in the surrounding trees and bushes throughout the cold season. Typically I keep the seed feeder full and put out suet cakes for them too.


Before I start the buffet for this winter, I have to remove some unwelcome varmints from the neighborhood…


Last night while I was sitting in my shop smoking a cigar and reading my email, I heard a weird, scrabbling sound move across my roof- twice. It almost sounded like ice buildup slipping down but I was certain that wasn’t the problem. I stepped outside my shop, shined an LED flashlight down the gap between my shop and the neighbor’s garage and was rewarded with 4 yellow eyeballs reflecting back at me from the back of the property.


Raccoons! At least 2 of the masked bandits were back there on Leonard’s cinder block pile. Before I start putting out bird food, these thieves must be dispatched. I need a brighter flashlight. I also need to decide if the air rifle will be suitable for the task of if I need to break out the Stevens and my stash of subsonic ammo.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bob Ross and I had something in common?

Apparently we both retired from the USAF as Master Sergeants. The coincindence had to be military related because I'm certainly not capable of painting happy trees as Bob did on public television for so many years.

I found the link on Boing Boing dot com.

On a related note- my 10 year retirement anniversary is rapidly approaching. Time is sure fun when you're having flies!

The Wizard of Oz- On the Big Screen!

Tuesday night I'm going to do something I have never done before- I'm packing up the BSU and we are going to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen at our local cineplex. The film is 70 years old this year and I can't remember the last time I watched it on tv but it's been a couple of decades at least since I last watched it.

Kenny is bringing his lovely spouse and I've invited another couple from church to attend the event with us too. I can't convince Kenny that the best way to attend this movie is in costume- he says he is not going to do it, even though I suggested that he would make a terrific cowardly lion.

But there's still time for you to make your plans to see it Tuesday night too so check out the link and see where it might be showing in your neighborhood. I'll bet you've never seen this classic in a theater and now is your chance so make some plans, invite your friends, hire a babysitter, rent costumes and head over to the mall to share this special event.

It should be a really fun evening!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pirate Radio-

Rock & roll, baby! We went to see this terrific movie tonight and I have to tell you that it is a hoot! The story is about a rock and roll radio station that broadcast from international waters outside of Great Britain during the 60s- the heyday for British rock and pop music. The government owned the legal airwaves and didn't like the popular music and so a motley bunch of DJs set up shop on a ratty freighter and piped in the music outside of the government's control.

Mayhem ensues.

The story is profane and funny. The characters are flawed but earnest and the soundtrack is awesome- remember, this story takes place in 1966 so the music is chock full of great pop and rock hits from the time. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays the part of the only Yank on board and he bumps egos with the Brit superstar DJ until they play a scary game of chicken that leads to shared injuries and respect.

We both loved this movie. If you grew up with rock and roll during the 60s, you may get a real kick out of this show just like we did.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I do love hanging out with my buddies-

and tomorrow, 4 of us are going to Cabelas! My buddy Loc has never been to the store just an hour's drive south and so we have decided to make a day of it tomorrow. Kenny is going and Jack too. We are having breakfast together on the way and then we are going to go hit the store to browse and shop with no restriction on our time.

I'm hoping they have the seats and parts that I need for Fish Slayer because I have some money in my pocket!

So tomorrow is Veteran's Day

Give a vet a hug or a sandwich or a donation to the retirement home near you to help make their lives better. It still seems strange to call myself a vet, though I am. But in my eyes, those real vets are the guys older than me, those World War II or Korean Conflict veterans that supported our country's ideals under incoming enemy fire. I never had anyone shooting at me during my service and for that reason I suppose, I don't see my service to have the same weight.

But honor the veterans tomorrow, (and every day)that you know or that live near you.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

What a nice weekend!

It's been terrific here with much too warm temperatures for November but it has been beautiful. Yesterday was a perfect "man" day- breakfast with friends at Cracker Barrel, a trip to the gun show and shopping at Harbor Freight. COuld it be any better?

I blew, vacuumed and sucked up leaves from the front yard in the afternoon until there were 2 80 gallon trash cans full. I covered up the boat motor and my engine crane with tarps and inherited a lawnmower project from my neighbor. It runs but not steadily so I saved it from an ignomious end in the dumpster and I'll figure it out over the winter.

Today was a great day at church and our pastor has asked the BSU and I to consider participating in our diocesen search convention for a new bishop. That might be an interesting challenge! We have decided anything yet but maybe it is something we could do.

I've also got the money I need for new seats for Fish Slayer! I decided a couple weeks ago that maybe I would sell my black powder pistols and so this evening I listed them on KSL to see if I could sell them. It took 20 minutes for the phone to ring! The guy that called came up from Salt Lake so it took him an hour to get here but he bought the guns! That was cool. On Wednesday when I go to Cabelas with my buddies, I think I'll be able to buy my seats. Sweet!

Now if the weather would just turn and start sending snow our way, I can start thinking about ski season!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I didn't do it...

Train derails in SLC

It’s not my fault, really!


Monday, November 02, 2009

Never walking around empty handed again-

First of all, I can blame this on LawDog for putting the idea in my head that a walking stick might be a good companion. I've not really pondered having one terribly often because I typically have a firearm on my person when I am out & about. But I couldn't take my firearm with me on my recent trip to Ohio, just because I was certain that packing it and declaring it at the airport would give the BSU a major case of the gasses.

So I went to Ohio unarmed. While we were out sightseeing with the family my brother takes us to visit Lehmans Hardware Store. It's a neat place full of old time stuff; hardware, garden tools, toys, knives, and lamps for those folks that choose not to use electricity. Lehmans was a great place to spend a couple hours browsing their intriguing wares.

I bought me a piece of neat gear, a Horse Hame Walking Stick. I'll have to investigate what a horse hame is, because I really don't know but I can tell you, this is one stiff and sturdy walking stick. I took a look at these canes and decided that one of them could be my constant companion while I was in Ohio. Here's a picture from Lehmans.

Lehman's Horse Hame Cane

I do have a bad lower back and lots of walking does frequently cause me pain. I've read that using a walking stick can ease some of the burden on a aching back and now I can tell you from experience that using this one helps relieve my back pain.

It also gives me some piece of mind that should a bad guy decide to make trouble for me or mine when I can't have a firearm in my pocket, I still have a dandy tool to use for defense. That brass knob would leave a mark on a bad guy's noggin or chest very effectively.

I also discovered that I could carry it onto an airplane with no problem after passing it through the security x-ray scanner. Nobody gave me or my cane a second look and I carried through 3 airports today unmolested. So I expect that I'll be using this horee hame cane just about every place I can- just to keep my back from hurting...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pictures from my weekend-

Well our weekend at Wooster has come to a close and we are packed up for tomorrow's return trip. This has been a great weeekend with my family. I've got an early wakeup tomorrow so I'm not titling all the pictures I uploaded tonight but I will share with you just a couple pictures tonight.

The first one is my family; Mom, Dad, 3 brothers and sister.

Highland Church of God

This is the birthday boy, Brother and Pastor Mark.

Highland Church of God
Your humble scribe, relaxing while the family gathers for photos.
Highland Church of God
As always, click the little'uns to see the full-sized images. You can see the full album here: Ohio vacation

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some blog template help needed- anybody?

Over there on the right, my archives are listed by the month and it makes for a long an unsightly list going back for as many years as it does. I would like to change the way my archives are displayed and maybe even just show on the front page the years of the archives. Blogger is no help in their template set up.

So I'm asking. Could somebody assist with helping me get my template altered to change how my archives are displayed? My HTML-fu is lousy and I really don't have the interest needed to get the modifications done properly. If you can help, I'd be very appreciative. Contact me through my email.

Blogging from Wooster Ohio tonight

Made it safely through 2 airports and 2 flights, arrived on time to find my brother, his girlfriend and Mom already waiting for us, just as planned. Avis put us into a Lincoln Town Car and we needed it for all the luggage we were toting.

We made it safely to the birthday brother's home and relaxed there for a bit then left Mom there and came out to the Rodeway Inn where we are staying. Got a nice room. Tim and Milly and I sat for a bit in the bowling alley next door while I had a couple beers and came back in time to find the BSU soaking in the hot tub in our room.

So it's all good. And bedtime!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hot Mormon Muffins- A taste of Motherhood

I just found this tonight- Hot Mormon Muffins- A taste of Motherhood. It seems they have a calendar and muffin baking videos. Weird.

And I truly doubt it is real...

I covered the boat just in time-

Because I woke up this AM to snow falling, just as the weather guessers predicted. There is supposed to be 2-4” by the time for the afternoon commute which should make the law enforcement and accident cleanup folks quite unhappy. But Fish Slayer is cleaned and covered for the winter so I guess I’ll have to break out some of my other hobbies to entertain me until the spring thaw.

Monday, October 26, 2009

So we're going to Ohio for a Brother's birthday

And in preparation for the trip, I was digging through my photo heap tonight. I found a couple pictures to share with everyone so you can see my brothers and sister. These pictures were taken on the steps of Glamorgan Castle, just a few blocks from the house that my folks bought and Brother Mark kept for years after that. As you can see, we are a handsome crowd-

The McCord Brothers and Sister
And, as typical for our family photos, it's just not a photo event until somebody has mooned the camera...
There's always butts showing up in our family pictures!
This weekend's birthday boy is on the right...

No, we never have any fun when we get together! As always, click the little'uns for the biggie sized pictures.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

OnStar is watching you-

They are if you launch your 700 horsepower Hennessey tuned Cadillac CTS-V and it pulls a .99G launch. Watch the video and turn up the sound because the car sounds good!

No ma'm, there's no emergency.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I have NO idea how I missed this story-

After all, it happened right here in my home town. I guess I missed the news that night...
Father to be gropes nurse enroute to delivery room. It seems that Adam Manning might have been having a celabratory drink or two or three while his wife was in labor, about to deliver his baby. So between the check-in station and the maternity ward, young Adam got all horned up and began groping the nurse that was seeing to his wife.

Police were called, charges were pressed. Babydaddy missed the delivery.

What do we call people like Adam?


It's that busy time of year

Somehow the fall season always seems like a busy time of year for me with lots of chores to do before the impending snow falls. I guess the difference between fall and spring is that with summer approaching, there’s plenty of time to get everything done but in the fall everything has to be put away or covered up before the snow blankets everything. For whatever reason, I stay plenty busy this time of year.


I’ve got the camper winterized, moved behind the fence and covered. That didn’t all happen on the same day but I got it done. Sleek Black Beauty has been washed and tucked under its cover in the workshop for a winter waxing and nap. Most of the garden hoses have been drained and put away. The watering system for the BSU’s hanging vegetable garden has been disconnected and drained. The swamp cooler is drained and covered.


The secondary water is off from the city but I still have to blow the lines empty to prevent freeze damage. I need to buy a cover for Fish Slayer, remove the trolling motor and the batteries, figure out if there are water drains in the powerhead to remove and get it moved out from under the carport. I need to mow the back yard for the last time and get the hoses rolled up from back there. I need to refill the propane tanks that I removed from the camper so I can heat the shop. I need to buy the sealer for the fresh concrete in the driveway and get it rolled on to protect it from the city’s impending salt distribution on the streets.


All this and the weather guessers are forecasting snow as early as next week. It looks like my weekend is going to be plenty busy between the chores and some clothes shopping that needs doing before our trip to Ohio.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Me and the Geico Gecko are doing business-

I just switched insurance on my truck, the car and Sleek Black Beauty. I've had it up to my neck with the previous company- American Family and although I still need to find new insurance on the boat and house, pretty darn soon I will be completely through with those jackasses at my local agent office.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Proof that Burbot really exist!

Jim and I had a terrific weekend fishing at Flaming Gorge. The weather was perfect, the water calm and the company friendly. We even caught some fish! Not a lot of fish, just 1 Burbot each during our night fishing expedition and some rainbow trout on Sunday before we came home.

The burbot fishing was kind of disappointing since we only caught 1 fish each when the reports were of fishermen catching coolers full of the ugly creatures. Jim and I followed the instructions we had received from Rob, found the right depth of water and the right structure and had the preferred lures. And we both hooked up with just a few minutes of getting our lines wet, so we thought we had solved the equasion. But the fish weren't cooperating and the huge schools of fish- even though they appeared to be there according to the fishfinder, weren't biting on our jigs. I guess that's why they call it fishing and not catching!

This is my buddy Jim-
Trout, Fish, Utah,Flaming Gorge
This is me at the controls of Fish Slayer
fishing,Flaming Gorge
I told you they were ugly! This is Jim's burbot. His was much bigger than mine.
fishing,Flaming Gorge
The end of my first season of fishing on Fish Slayer.
fishing,Flaming Gorge

This weekend was so much fun we may have to make this an annual trip!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Burbot fishing trip plans-

Six jigs, 3 types of glow-in-the-dark tubes and 2 packages of frozen sucker fish meat purchased on the way home tonight. Tomorrow the truck gets an oil change, supper groceries, cigars and beer get purchased and a spare tire and wheel for the boat trailer needs to be bought. Then I can get packed up for a Saturday morning departure.

It's gonna be a good time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looks like Fish Slayer is coming out 1 more time this season!

And going to Flaming Gorge reservoir for burbot fishing! My buddy Rob called me today to say that another friend caught 70 of these homely beasts last night and the biggest one weighed 9 pounds.

So Jim and I are going to the Gorge on Saturday for some trout fishing in the afternoon and a late night's worth of trying to fill up the boat with these fish. The weather is promising to be pleasant and I'm pretty excited.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wanted- 1 very special Stevens Favorite rifle

Many decades ago, I received as a gift from my Dad, a 22LR Stevens Favorite rifle. It was the only gun my Dad ever gave me and I was mighty proud of it. I was probably 12 when I received this neat little rifle. Dad had searched out and found an entire rifle with an already shortened stock, just the right size for me at the time while searching for a replacement stock that he could shorten for a Stevens he already owned. Sadly and stupidly, in about 1976, I sold the rifle to an unknown buyer through my first wife's uncle. It might have been as big a mistake as I've ever made. I sold it in north eastern Ohio.

Anyway, I want the rifle back. I'm willing to pay. The rifle is unique and if anyone has ever seen it, they would recognize that the collectors value today has been ruined because the frame has been nickel plated. My Grandfather had to take the gun for a while during my ownership to make a new firing pin for it and while he had it, he talked somebody in the plating shop where he worked to nickel plate the frame and the lever. It's not polished like chrome but is a very nice shiny matte silver. I don't believe any of the other parts were plated. It also has an ivory dot tipped front sight which I now know was not the typical Stevens Favorite front sight. I believe my rifle was a takedown model.

I have searched the internet gun seller sites and auctions for a couple years. I've even advertised in the local papers back there in Ohio hoping to find the current owner without success. Before I buy a 2nd Savage Model 30 Stevens replica and build one that looks like my old rifle, I'm turning back to the internet to see if this unique Stevens Favorite can be located. Have you seen my rifle? Do you know who has it tucked into the back of a gun safe somewhere? If you do, will you please get in touch with me immediately? You can contact me any time through

Friday, October 09, 2009

How Long Is "Your" Password?

During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password:



When asked why such a big password, she said that it had to be at least 8 characters long.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

The driveway work is finished!

It really looks good. Everything went very well this afternoon except that the guy that did the work- and did the measuring for the amount of concrete I needed, can't add. It wasn't 3/4 of a yard of mud I neeeded because when we dumped that much in the hole, it didn't begin to fill it up!

It took 2 1/4 yards of mud to fill the hole! Seems Jack got distracted while he was measuring and doing the math and only told me how much I needed for 1 portion of the job. Fortunately it wasn't a problem- except for the added expense- to go pick up the 2nd load of concrete just a few blocks away.

I'm really pleased with the way this job has turned out.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The hole's excavated-

and the concrete pouring and finishing for the driveway improvement takes place tomorrow afternoon. Tonight I had to dig out the 2nd half of the dirt that the concrete guy decided he did not need in his yard. But he came over and helped me do the shoveling and moving so it's ready for the concrete. I'm taking the afternoon off from work tomorrow to drag home a 3/4 yard load in a trailer and Jack should be done before supper.

Already I'm asking myself why it took me 10 years to get this done. I can see that it will be a huge improvement on the access to the house when it's finished.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Too tired for blogging tonight-

I should be telling you all about the excitement and adventure of removing a ton or more of busted up concrete out of my driveway after busting it up with a jackhammer and hauling it away with the truck in multiple loads over the weekend. I could be telling you about watching the large noisy cutter machine removing the curb this afternoon. I could tell you about the plans for the concrete pouring and finishing that is going to be going on later this week.

But I whupped tonight. I think I'll just tip my recliner back further and nap until bedtime.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Blogging and surfing may now resume-

I've finished Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. It is very good! It's typical Dan Brown- Robert Langdon caught in a bizarre mystery that he unfolds and solves through his expertise in symbology. This one is no different- it takes place in our nation's capitol, Washington D.C. and it is filled with the mysteries revolving around Freemasonry.

It is deep and fast paced. I can't speak to the accuracies of the Freemason details because I'm not a freemason. There are parts of the story that are pretty heavy in concept and some of it spells out hours after the original mystery is solved which I thought extended the story past it's climax.

But it's a good read. I really enjoyed it and the BSU says she is picking it up next. It's a brain teaser and twister and I recommend it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What a difference a day makes-


A day and a cold front, that is! Eighty degrees last night at 10 PM, forty degrees and raining this morning on my way to work at 6 AM. It’s supposed to rain all day today and snow down to the 5200 foot elevation level tomorrow, so just 800 feet above my house. The weather guessers are calling for 18” of snow in the mountains before the weekend. That suggest that the BSU and I will NOT be going camping this weekend as planned.


On another note, I’m reading Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol for the past couple nights and I haven’t even had my laptop open for the past 2 nights. That might explain my lack of blogging and Facebook posting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fwd: Your upcoming appointment with American Exteriors

NOTE: I just received this email this afternoon. See anything wrong with it?

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: KnowledgeSync <>
Date: September 28, 2009 1:20:46 PM MDT
Subject: Your upcoming appointment with American Exteriors
Reply-To: <>

Dear McCord, Nate,

We are reminding you of your appointment with American Exteriors to discuss your window and siding needs.  Your appointment is scheduled on 7/31/2007 6:00:00 AM at 7/31/2007 5:00:00 PM and with DELWIN HILTON.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
American Exteriors, LLC.

I was right, fishing is more fun than fixing!

After our aborted attempt to go fishing on Saturday afternoon and the repairs to the control head, Jim and I saddled up and took Fish Slayer out yesterday afternoon. The control head shifts better than it ever has since I purchased it and we had no mechanical problems at all. We didn’t have much fishing luck- Jim caught one catfish on a fire tiger colored rattling crankbait and I lost another favorite lure hung on the bottom. But we had a very nice afternoon and evening on Willard Bay.


I’m suspecting that due to the encroaching cooler weather and early darkness that yesterday might be the last trip out in the boat for the season. We’ll see. There’s a cold front coming in this week- only 50 degrees for a high temp on Wednesday with rain, so summer is running out very quickly.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Working on boats is not as much fun as fishing-

And this late in the season, missing an afternoon of fishing on a Saturday is no laughing matter! I was supposed to go fishing with Jim today- we actually did put the boat in the water- twice! but we didn't get it off the trailer!

The first time we backed it in, I had no electricity to the motor- nothing. I wiggled and made sure everything was plugged in but it seemed to have no battery power. So we pulled the boat out to the parking lot and I found a little corrosion on the battery terminal and after knocking it away the electrical power seemed just fine.

Let's back this beast in again! And we did. This time the shift handle bound up in reverse as I was getting ready to crank the motor. It was stuck and would only move in reverse, no neutral, no forward...

Back out of the water- again. We shook and lifted and wobbled but nothing seemed to be fixable at the lake. So we put everything away, tied the boat down and came on home. I thought it might have been related to the shift shaft and lock cam so pulled the lower unit but that didn't free anything up. Next I looked at the engine end of the cables and everything there looked like it was ok. Jim and I finally decided that the only thing left was the shift head, so, I took it apart!

Of course I took it apart! It's a tricky piece of mechanical hardware but I got it apart. It seemed like we located a piece that was worn enough to cause the locking problem that had been occurring but there wasn't anything to do but put it all back together. I greased everything that moved and when it was all back together- no left over parts!, and it works perfectly! I don't know why wverything got so jammed but it seems to be working now.

So maybe tomorrow afternoon I can call Jim and we can go fishing before the season ends.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The truck is in the shop today...

Can’t the monthly repair bills stop? Please? In August it was $600 for getting the Lincoln’s cooling system fixed and doing its job properly and right after Labor Day, another $60 for brake pads and a rotor. Now, still in September, it is the truck that has gone all wonky. The BSU drove it Tuesday and it was fine and then last night when we towed the boat with it, it wasn’t working right. I noticed it first at a traffic light where it seemed to be stumbling and the tachometer was visibly rising and falling. On the highway it seemed like it was surging and balking even though it got us to the lake and back safely. There is definitely something wrong but whatever it is, the Check Engine light hasn’t triggered. I dunno what it is. It almost feels like a sparkplug wire or 2 have fallen off but the truck has individual coils. Maybe a connector has fallen off a coil.


At any rate, we dropped it off at the Firestone Auto Care Center this morning before work and hopefully after they run all their diagnostic tests, the repair will be a simple one. I need it to be a simple, (and cheap) repair because I have other places to spend my money right now!


Later this month I must buy a couple airplane tickets to Ohio. (Note to family- the BSU will be coming with me to Ohio at the end of the month!) I need to buy new headlight assemblies for the Lincoln but new ones are $225 each, which means I am going to just buy 1 at a time. I need to buy a cover for Fish Slayer and I need to find winter storage for it which must be paid upfront not monthly. The BSU is bugging for another trip to Illinois to see the grandbabies and it is time to be buying a season ticket for skiing. And Christmas is rapidly approaching…


I do not need lots of unplanned car repair bills right now!

UPDATE: The truck came home tonight with no charge! The Firestone shop couldn't find anything directly wrong but did find one of the fuel injector wire connections loose. So they installed a zip tie to hold it together and told me to bring it back if I have further problems. So it's ok for now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ten Years-

The BSU and I have been living in this house for 10 years this week. That is a first for us, we have never lived longer than 6 years in any home before as a result of our military life. But we just passed the 10 year point in the last couple of days and I think that is pretty neat.

We're pretty happy in this house and it would take a lot to pry us out of it!

Fish Slayer regains it's mojo!

I actually took the BSU out fishing tonight- her 2nd time in the boat, to Willard Bay fishing for Wipers. We trolled the bay north of the pig farm- actually a cattle feedlot, unsuccessfully and just as we were getting ready to turn into the inlet to the boat launch, I spotted a Wiper boil!

The fish were surfacing just on the point outside the inlet and I was pretty quick to get into them. My new, light action fishing rod put one fish in the boat but it really didn't have the needed backbone. The 2nd fish I hooked up with broke off my favorite lure so I switched poles and contned fishing while the spouse watched and handled the net. I ended up loosing another fish and boating another for a total of 2that went into the cooler. The BSU was pretty creeped out by me dragging angry, flopping fish into the boat but I think she enjoyed the event just the same. For a bit there were fish jumping all around the boat and I think she was pretty amazed by the entire scenario.

All told- it was a fun night. She watched while I filleted fish and took notes of the electric knife the guy next to me was using. I assured her that if I had one of those I could get home much earlier after a night of fishing! Happy, happy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What I left unsaid in yesterday's post...

Yesterday, if you read the post just below this one, you see that I suggested to President Barry that he first try to show the American public all those savings that he says are buried in wasteful programs and that he says, will pay for his big, new plans for universal, mandated healthcare. He says that he can implement his plans with no increases in the federal budget and truth be told, I, and many other people much smarter than myself, including the Congressional Budget Office, think he is full of crap.


I suggested that the president get busy over the next 2 years and root out all those millions of dollars in that he says are buried in inefficiencies and overpayments and prove to the public that he has some of the skills he tells us that he has. I recommended that he table his new plans and first of all prove that those savings that he claims are waiting, can in fact be pulled out of the programs where they currently hide. I think this is a common sense approach and that it would prove that he is the capable leader that he claims to be.


What I didn’t say, and what I hope you realized after reading yesterday’s thoughts, is that Barry is going to have a number of large fights to win as he begins his search for the missing millions of dollars that he believes will pay for his programs. For every dollar he finds and claims to be excess, there is going to be a special interest group that will fight him tooth and nail to keep in place. Seniors will set fire to their phone lines calling their congresscritters when Barry tries to reduce their ability to get medical care through Medicare and the doctor’s associations too when he tries to further reduce their payments through the multitude of medical programs they participate in. Veterans groups? I don’t believe he will be able to stand the heat that the different veterans organizations will rain down on his head if he tries to reduce care to veterans of all shapes and sizes, this veteran included. Will he pay up front for the software, hardware and technical staff required to achieve the transformation of every medical record into electronic records to save those dollars he claims are tied up in the inefficiency of paper records? Can he show exactly how much that effort will cost and the number of dollars to be saved by doing so? I really doubt it.


But I’m willing to be proved wrong. So go ahead Mr. President, get your digging team assembled and show me the money! Fight the fights, find the savings and spell it out to me and America on prime time television exactly where you have saved millions of dollars by reducing waste and inefficiency. Hell, send me the data when its ready and I’ll gladly build your PowerPoint charts to show the American people how successful your efforts have been.


Until that day though, Mr. President, I will continue to not believe you or support your new healthcare proposals. In fact, like  Congressman Joe Wilson, I will say you lie. You are lying to the American public every time you tell us that your proposal won’t cost us in an increased federal budget. Prove me wrong. I dare you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dear Mr. President-

I know you are running into trouble getting your ideas about universal healthcare across to the American public in spite of your continual campaigning style of promotion. I heard you were on 5 different Sunday talk shows yesterday and are going to be on David Letterman’s show tonight. I didn’t watch you yesterday and I won’t be watching tonight because I think Letterman is an obnoxious jerk and I won’t stay up past my bedtime to be annoyed by that cretin. I also know that you have risen to the top of our government without ever having managed so much as a sidewalk taco stand and that your demonstrated skills and provable results are transparently invisible to the majority of law-abiding and tax-paying American citizens. I think I have a suggestion for you that might make implementing your plans possible- show us the money!


I have heard you say on television that you think you can pay for your healthcare schemes by reducing the waste and overspending that you claim are currently in place in Medicare and Social Security and other federal care programs. You believe, (or at least state publically), that the increased costs of your universal healthcare programs can be implemented without raising the federal budget by identifying and correcting all the overspending that you claim is presently in the system.


Here’s my suggestion. Take 2 years off from implementing your healthcare plans. Spend those 2 years rooting out those millions of dollars that you claim are buried in overpayments and mismanagement in the existing programs. Show the American public where that money is , and how much of it there is. Show us that your administration can first of all locate and fix the mismanagement that you claim will be the cornerstone of funding for your health care plans, make these existing programs more streamlined, fair to both the recipients and the taxpayers that fund them. Show all of us that you really do have the top-level management skills that you seem to believe you have and then, after you have had some fiscal success, we might believe that the savings you have created should be applied to the new, more inclusive programs that you envision.


So go to work. Quit asking for programs that can’t possibly operate without more money, (just ask Massachusetts how that is working for them) and quit telling us how wonderful your new programs will be and how these new programs will be free based upon savings that you haven’t yet identified. Find the money, the overspending, the mismanagement. Weed it out first then we can discuss expanded healthcare! With success up front your supporters will have something tangible to brag about and we citizens might believe that we hired the right guy for the job of President.


Feel free to take my idea and implement as your own. You and I (and those I email this to) will be the only ones that know that you are cribbing my idea and that is fine with me. Talk it over with your staff and those fawning folks in Congress and see if this idea doesn’t have some strength. Consider how badly the Clinton’s got clobbered when they proposed HillaryCare to an unwilling public, too early in that administration. As I recall, the crushing of that proposal really set back all their schemes for a number of years  and their health care plans never became possible.  Until you have some proven results, I think your health care scheme is doomed to failure and I believe my idea is the perfect lead-in to a more comprehensive health care plan.



Nate McCord, Ogden UT

Wasted Electrons blog

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do you know what I hate?

I hate breaking fishing poles! And I broke one of my favorites 2 nights ago while working on my boat! Oh, I was mad! I've been trying to get the reverse lock hooks cam aligned properly which has dictated removing and reinstalling the lower unit numerous times and shifting the gear lever forward and reverse and into neutral lots of times.

One of those times my fishing rod tip moved up under the control handle and when I pushed the handle into reverse, I broke the top 12" off my fishing rod! Dammitall!

I have adjusted the reverse locks cam again and again and there is no right position! On 1 spline the locks are engaged until the control handle is moved a long way into forward so its too far advanced and when I move the cam 1 spline backward the locks don't hook at all in any position.

I give up! I'm just going to use a tie-down strap to secure my motor to the transom until I can find a no-kidding solution to this problem.

Ogden Underground

We've got a distillery in town! Who knew? I discovered Ogden Underground a few weeks back at the base liquor store where they were having a tasting event. I bought a bottle just to show my support for a local business and have been sipping on it ever since. It's a 1 liter bottle, so I've been working on it for quite a while now.

It's pretty good stuff. Apparently it is similar in taste to Jagermeister, all packed full of herbs and spices and tasty stuff. I'm no Jager expert so I can't compare them but Underground is quite good.

I may have to buy another bottle when this one runs empty!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thoughts from the weekend camping trip-

It was a wonderful weekend. The son and GF were better company than I expected. The weather was beautiful and Anderson Cove campground was very nice although it did not have the showers and water and electrical connections I thought I read were available. We had a nice campsite with a view of the lake and the big trees provided nice shade most of the day. We had some good meals and even though our elderly dog Sandy doesn't care for him, the boy's puppie Louie was pretty well behaved.

The boat worked beautifully with a tiedown strap holding the engine down when I had to reverse except for the last 5 minutes while I was trying to get it on the trailer. The end of the strap managed to get overboard and wrapped into the prop just as I trying to negotiate the last 30 yards of the weekend! No harm though and I've already removed the offending strap bits. The trolling motor works perfectly and is much quieter than the last one I owned years ago. The operator's not so hot but the motor is a real asset to the boat.

Fishing at Pineview Reservoir is not so hot on Saaturdays due to the huge power squadron of cruisers, wakeboarder and ski boats beating the water into a froth. Sundays are obviously much better because it was obvious this morning from camp that there were far fewer boats than yesterday.

I even talked the spouse into going for a boat ride! Hurray! This really was the high point for me. She claimed to have white knuckles for the entire trip but I think she saw that it was possible to go for a ride without getting wet, drowned or dumped out of the boat. Now that I've broken the ice she might get more amenable to regular boat rides.

The laundry is nearly done, most everything has been put away already and I'm beat!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Take 10 minutes today and watch this video.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Did I mention we are going camping this weekend?

No, I didn't think so... That's because I didn't really think we were going camping until yesterday. The BSU had invited the oldest boy and his girlfriend to go camping this weekend, weeks ago, though it would require them both to arrange their work schedules. I figured it was a less than zero chance of that happening.

But they did arrange their schedules and we found out about it yesterday. Today I had to arrange a day's leave for tomorrow and find a campground, preferably one with a lake with fish in it. We are going to Anderson Cove Campground just on the other end of Ogden Canyon. It's close and convenient, has flush toilets and showers.

And a boat launch ramp. So I'm dragging the camper out first and once I have it put up I'm going to return back home- I said it was close, and get Fish Slayer and go back to the campground. I should get a good chance to check out my new trolling motor searching the shallows for smallmouth bass. And I think I have the spousal unit talked into going for a boat ride sometime during the weekend!

I wonder if they have a wi-fi connection...

It's getting almost painful...

Tonight I dragged Fish Slayer back down to Salt Lake City to have it's lower unit reinstalled. Rich had taken it, had it checked out by another marine mechanic he trusted who gave it a clean bill of health and we arranged to meet at his place to reinstall it. I drove down there, backed in and Rich grabbed the lower unit ready to slip it into place.

Except there was a piece missing! Shit! There is a hard rubber bushing that keeps the shift shaft and the reverse lock shaft in place. It slips up into the upper section and when we removed the lower unit last Saturday, we forgot to remove that part. And somewhere between his place and my place, it fell out... Dammitall!

We did get the lower unit aligned and installed just fine and tomorrow I'll make a couple calls to see if I can find the part. I'm not hopeful I will find it in stock because I can't find it in any of the online parts breakdowns that I have looked at tonight. That isn't a good sign that any dealer will have it in stock.

In the mean time, I'm going to use a ratchet tiedown strap across the transom and the engine mount to hold the engine down when I'm in reverse. It won't be perfect but I'm pretty certain it will work.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

More mechanical distress!

Over the weekend I had to have the truck towed when it wouldn't start. I had already removed the battery and had it load tested, cleaned and reinstalled the cables. And it started right up- once! After that it refused to start again and I had a relay under the dash buzzing even when the key was out. So I was convinced it was something more complicated and I had the truck towed to a garage- that installed a new battery!

I hated paying for it since it was a repair I could have easily accomplished on my own but it tricked me. Bummer.

Today I took the Lincoln to work and immediately heard a brake dragging on a rotor. It sounded like metal to metal grinding and sure enough, when I got to the 4th wheel, I found the damage on the right rear rotor. Somehow, Ford decided that these cars didn't need the squealer feature to let a person know before the damage was done. So tonight I replaced the brake pads and one rotor and got the special tool returned before Autozone closed. My knees are sore from all the kneeling but I got the job done.

What can go wrong now?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fish Slayer Updates, Labor Day Weekend Edition

It's still broke... Today I towed Slayer down to Salt Lake City to the boat repair guy that resealed the lower unit to help me get the lower unit reinstalled. I had tried aligning the shift shaft in every which way, I even made a tool this morning to turn the shift shaft but nothing I did made sense or seemed to work properly.

The boat guy had the same problems I had... We worked together on it for an hour or so and he finally decided there was a problem inside the sealed portion of the lower unit. So I left the lower unit with him to figure it out and brought the boat back home.

I did get the trolling motor installed and working yesterday. I swiped the deep cycle battery out of the camper, installed a new battery box in the front of the storage area that was under the seats and got it all wired up tidy. I still have to modify the seat boards to make room for the battery box top because it sits higher than the storage area. But the installation's tidy and will make the boat much more useful for bass fishing or anytime I want to work particular areas of a lake with a degree of control.

So- no fishing for me this weekend. Bummer. Lots of work going on but maybe I can manage to find some non-Fish Slayer related chores done over the next 2 days.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fish Slayer updates

The good news- I'm now the proud owner of a MinnKota trolling motor like this one. It's used, obviously, because there is no way I could afford one of those new. But a buddy knew another guy that wanted to sell one and the price was too good to pass up so I met with him just a little while ago, paid him the asking price and stuffed it into the Lincoln. I had to use the car this AM because the truck's battery was flat this morning when I went out to the driveway. I guess I left the lights on a little too long the other day while I was checking out the new trailer lights. I'll be buying the wire and receptacle and installing my new electric motor over the long weekend.

The bad news? I still don't have the lower unit reinstalled. Argh! Rob came over last night and helped me get the output shaft splines aligned so it would fit right up but then we had to drop it a couple more times to get the reverse lock cam properly aligned on the shift shaft. He left before everything was perfect but I had figured out how to get the cam aligned. I went 1 spline too far, almost decided I could live with the slight imperfection but then decided that since it was so easy, I would drop the lower unit 1 more time to get it perfect. And I adjusted the cam backwards 1 spline- easy, but then couldn't get the output shaft to slide home into the engine! Crap! I wrestled it for 30 minutes, bumping it just like Rob did with no success. He assures me today that everything has got to already be perfect, since I didn't move anything and that it will just take a little jiggling and it will slip up like it should if I just try it again. So that's my most pressing task, getting that lower unit installed.

There's a long weekend coming up and I am going fishing if I have to install oar locks on Fish Slayer!

There, I fixed it!

I complained a couple days ago about my beloved Compaq Presario laptop acting up and erratically playing the “hardware installed” and “hardware removed” sounds for no apparent reason and my unsuccessful search for a solution. Yesterday, I got it fixed. Hurray! I started by contacting the H-P online chat service and explaining the problem to the helpful service tech. He emailed me some instructions and links to 2 updates for my machine, a new BIOS file and a new set of drivers for the processor.


His instructions included disconnecting the power cable, removing the battery and then holding the power button down for 50 seconds. After that I reinstalled the battery and power cable then went in and reset the BIOS to the default setting. Then I installed the 2 new file updates and when I was done, the sounds were gone! I also removed a D-Link network utility program that I had installed but wasn’t using and that may have been the offending program that was causing the sounds to play. But whatever it was causing the problem, it’s gone now. I’m calling it a real success.


My thanks go out to the very helpful, timely and available Hewlett-Packard tech support. They did me right and my laptop appreciates their efforts.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Now I'm getting cranky! Computer is whacked!

I just turned on my normally trusty laptop 1/2 hour ago and as soon as I had it booted up the Windows "Hardware Removed" and "Hardware Removed" sounds began playing repeatedly. It took me several minutes to figure out what the sounds were and I've spent several more minutes Googling for a solution without success. Nothing I can find on any computer forums have a real answer for this problem.

I didn't add anything, remove or change anything since I turned off the machine last night. It just started beeping for no apparent reason. Listening to videos is pretty unpleasant with the beeping going off every few seconds.

If that's not enough, I can't get my boat motor lower unit reinstalled either! That's why I was so late sitting down tonight. I found the part on the shelf at a boat store in Salt Lake today so afer work the BSU and I drove down and picked it up. Interestingly, the new part is made of metal to replace the original plastic part. That made me pretty happy. But I can't get everything lined up just right and so the motor is not back together and ready for fishing.

Maybe I'll get it figured out tomorrow night...

Monday, August 31, 2009

BSU is getting better-

Thanks for asking.


Friday was a rough day for both of us but at least I wasn’t the one hurting from 3 hours of nasal surgery and dripping blood. She had a pretty steady nosebleed from the surgical work that had to be left alone to clot on its own good time. Sleeping has been problematic for her for a couple days but she is getting better. Yesterday she was feeling well enough to venture to the Village Inn for supper and the pain meds seemed to be taking care of her discomfort. She’ll be getting better day by day.


I did NOT receive the part I needed for Fish Slayer’s motor so instead I spent the weekend working on the boat and trailer instead of fishing. I built and installed some trailer guides on the back corners along with new rear lights. I’ll get pictures later but the guides are made out of automotive tailpipe tubing and PVC pipe to cover the steel tubing. I put miniature clearance lights on the front and back of the posts near the top with yellow lights facing forward and red lights facing aft. These should make backing the trailer when the boat is off and loading the boat in the dark much easier. Before it was nearly impossible to see the trailer when the boat wasn’t installed and lining up with the trailer in the dark was a real trick too. These new guides should make the entire process more pleasant.


I also installed the missing windshield half and replaced the original aluminum triangle brace with tubular braces. Now Fish Slayer is symmetrical again and I won’t have to fight with the interference of the windshield support and my rod holder. Now if the dang part will arrive this week, I’ll be able to spend some quality hours fishing over Labor Day weekend!