Day by Day cartoon

Friday, January 30, 2009

Busted Tempo update-

We're going to fix it. Not right now, in February (almost) but probably in April, once the snow melts and the temperatures start reaching into the 60s. Paying to get it fixed is right out due to the price so we are going to do it ourselves, in my carport. Sunday I'll go down to SLC with a car tote and drag it back to the house and in a few more days I'll purchase the second-hand engine I located.

Then they can both just sit until the weather warms up and ski season ends and I have a few more free hours every week.

The boy is getting himself a bicycle in the mean time!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Tempo motor is no more

Well after fixing the boy’s car in the snowstorm last Sunday we seemingly damaged the oil pan and that fault didn’t become apparent until the boy took it out for a lengthy drive on Monday evening when all the oil leaked out. He didn’t see the oil light or hear the engine complaining until permanent damage was done to the rotating parts.


Of course I had to take time off from work to drive down to Salt Lake to rescue the car from where he abandoned it. We towed it to a nearby garage and left it for them to check out and they confirmed that there was no point in replacing the busted oil pan since the engine was wrecked. And they estimate $1700-$1900 to purchase and install a 2nd hand engine, plus tax!


It’s just a thousand dollar car!


So now, we have to decide what to do with it. It is much too cold to consider changing the engine in my carport right now. One possibility would be to tow the car to my house and park it and a used engine in my driveway until the spring thaw arrives and it gets nice enough to do the work ourselves. That would be a $500 job and seems feasible. Alternately, if the boy is going to be receiving a tax refund this year he might just be able to sell this car to a pick-a-part yard and use his own money to buy a different $1000 car. That’s my first choice- as you might imagine but I’m not at all certain he will actually be receiving a refund based upon his circumstances.


No matter what, I’m going to have to make another trip to Salt lake, probably with a car tote in tow, to move the car away from the garage’s parking lot, probably on Sunday.


Good Grief!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I love the internets- Part II

Well I told the story of buying a teardown manual for my Stevens Favorite just back on Monday. And I have to tell you I am very impressed with this eBay seller, Slkanedds! I ordered the book Sunday night, it was shipped Monday morning and arrived in my mailbox today!

That really is terrific service and if you need a teardown manual for your gun, I really recommend that you contact this eBay seller.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Matthew 18:20

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to tell you about the trip that the BSU & I took last Friday to Draper, Utah. We went there to do something I thought I would never do and I promise I never will do again. You see, we went on a tour of a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints temple. LDS temples are not simply beautiful big buildings like a Catholic or Episcopal or Anglican cathedral where worship services are held for all who would enter. One cannot simply stop in for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection or to light a candle or to take communion during a Eucharistic service or join in song with a beautifully voiced choir during a praise service. Mormons don’t do those things in their temples. Mormon temples are sanctuaries where their belief-specific ordinances are performed- baptism in behalf of deceased persons, marital and family sealing and instruction about the purposes of mortal life and the blessings to be received in the next life. It is a beautiful building, no doubt about that, with very nice woodwork and stained glass windows and very fancy lighting on the walls and suspended from vaulted ceilings. You can see the pictures on this KSL slideshow. If you imagine the nicest funeral home you have ever been in and multiplied that by a couple times you would get an idea of the scope and grandeur that the architects designed into the building. This new temple is open to the public for a short time, right now before it is sanctified and closed off to the public, and a large portion of the LDS population, forever.

And that is my problem with the LDS belief system and why the title of this post is what it is. Latter Day Saints believe that they are THE CHURCH that Jesus Christ implemented here on earth and they draw some of their beliefs from Old Testament scriptures. So just as Moses made a portable temple for God to dwell in while the Israelites wandered in the desert, and just as Solomon and Herod and every other Jewish king built and maintained a temple- where God lived and provided instruction to the Jewish population through the appointed hierarchy of temple leaders; so too do the LDS believe that God lives in their temples. God doesn’t (apparently) live in the hundreds of churches scattered on nearly every corner here behind the Zion Curtain or the thousands of them around the world. Those buildings, where Mormons meet every Sunday are just meeting houses where children receive bible lessons and adults share their testimony and sing hymns. But God doesn’t live in those meeting houses, God lives in each of their 129 temples around the world. The temples that are closed to the public…

These temples are also closed to LDS members unless they have been approved and recommended by their local ward bishop. LDS bishops are not formally educated in religious seminaries like your pastor or a parish priest. Instead, they are elder members of the local congregation, in good standing with the church hierarchy that are appointed for 2 or 3 year stints. They are the local insurance agent or business owner or mid-level civil servant working down the hall from you. And this person- a man in every case, knows everything there is to know about you and your family. You will sit down with this person every year with your W-2s and determine exactly what your tithe to the church is, and any additional financial obligations to the church’s building fund that you will be expected to fulfill. You will also sit down with this man for any other religious guidance you may require for family matters, marital problems or questions you have about the celestial kingdom that you have been told to expect beyond the grave. And this bishop will consult his manuals and handbooks and give you the answers that the higher echelons of LDS leadership want you to hear. This man also controls your access to the temple. If you can’t meet your tithe, or if you don’t attend services regularly enough or if he has heard some rumor that you might not be living the faithful life as he believes it to be, he can deny you access into the temple. You must present a temple recommend card at the front desk of every temple and if you don’t have one because your bishop has denied you a card, you will be turned away.

And that is where the LDS church fails completely in my humble opinion. I believe Christ’s simple direction that it he is with us wherever we might be. I believe in his example to draw apart from his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane to be alone with his father in prayer. I believe that the Holy Ghost, that made itself apparent to Christ’s followers after his resurrection, is there in the simple church where I worship on Sundays and I believe that I can feel God’s spirit in my home or in the woods or in the desert when I seek him out. When I am on my knees, with my heart open I know I feel God's touch and hear his message, no matter where I happen to be. I completely dispute the LDS belief that God only lives in their fancy stone and carpeted edifices where I can’t go to be close to Him due to their rules. I believe that every believer of any faith has the right to draw close to God, wherever they believe him to live, even if that place is a LDS temple. To deny that opportunity to a LDS believer, even if he or she doesn’t fit the requirements that some bishop imposes is contrary to Christ’s teachings. To prevent an unbeliever to come in for their own enlightenment, soul searching and comfort is beyond my ability to comprehend and illustrates the disdain that the LDS leadership has for those that don’t fit into their elite club.

Finally, after all this, you might wonder why I took a perfectly good afternoon to drive 120 miles to see this temple. Well the BSU said she wanted to go and I of course said I would accompany her. When I met her my BSU was an active, practicing Mormon and she had been married to her first hubby in the Salt Lake City Temple. She wanted to go back to explore something that was very important to her at that time, and so we did make the trip. Now she has decided that she is going to contact the church and request excommunication so that she can be removed from their rolls! Much of what I have shared here came directly from the video we were shown as part of the tour or from the pamphlet that was given to everyone that takes the tour.

You know I won’t be going back. And you also know more about me than maybe I ever shared on these humble pages!

I'm a what?

I'm a Nissan 350Z!

You're not the fastest or the most agile, but you have style and power. You believe in looking good and moving quickly -- without breaking the bank.

"Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

It's not the sports car I would have called myself but that's what the test claims. What is really interesting is that I am in a group of just 3% of the people that have taken the quiz.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No blogging tonight-

I didn't sit down until almost 9:45 tonight. The kid's car broke down on him last night after all the oil escaped so I had to drive back down to Slat Lake, pick him up, tow the car and drop it off at a garage and then help him move a mattress, box spring and very heavy tv set.

So I'm tired. No idea if the engine in the car is going to live or if it is a smoking paperweight. It certainly needs a new oil pan before any decisions can be made about the engine's condition.

At least we had dinner at Hooters!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Want to see what scootering looks like in Japan?

These guys really seem to know how to have a good time!

I love the internets

Really I do.

I'm working on the 2 rifles that were damaged a number of months ago by a leaking Damp-Rid dehumidifier bag. As you might recall, my Stevens Favorite and my Taurus Model 1863 were pretty badly damaged with corrosion. Brother Tim, due to circumstances outside his control, decided he couldn't undertake the neccesary refinishing.

So, I'm doing it. And I needed a dissasembly manual for the Stevens. All the moving parts are held into the receiver with 4 pins that obviously just need punched out to get the parts out. And I decided I really needed a manual to instruct me in the order of parts removal so that everything goes back together when the time comes.

Here's why I love the internets so much- it took me 2 minutes to find this Radocy Takedown Guide on Ebay, 2 more minutes to pay for it and at 6:30 this morning, I had an email telling me that my book had already been shipped and providing a tracking number!

The book will be here this week. Finding this book without the internet might have taken weeks, finding a bookseller- after determining that such a book even was in print, digging through stacks at gun shows or making phone calls to locate one, then buying and sending a Money Order to be delivered before the book even hit the mail on it's final way to my workshop.

I think this new-fangled way is much better!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Working on a car, on a curb, in driving snow-

is really no fun at all! But that's what I did this afternoon, with my son, fixing the electical system on his car. And we were successful! It was a chore that would have been no problem at all in the driveway, with the sun shining and the temperatures at 60 degrees or better. But that's not what we had on the agenda today...

Instead, it was snowing- big fat flakes interspersed with sleet. He had already purchased a new battery and a new battery cable but he needed my help with a floor jack and jack stand so that he could get the car up high enough to get under it to replace the starter cable. So- I loaded up a tool bag and headed to Salt Lake this afternoon and we worked together to get his car running.

We replaced the starter power cable with a new one and due to circumstances, left the old one in place. After we had the new cable in place, we installed the new battery and when we tried to install the cables onto the battery we had big sparks! Yikes! So we dug a little deeper and thought we were going to have to remove the starter, thinking the bendix might have failed. But we discovered that the solonoid feed wire had shredded 2 inches of it's insulation and was shorted against the power feed post.

I made up a replacement wire from the spares that I had carried with me and after a bit of cutting and stripping and crimping, the car was fixed! It started right up after sitting for at least a month after we got the wires right! I was really glad not to have to remove the starter, (or replace it) and the job turned out just fine. It was just the weather and working conditions that really sucked hind tit today.

Afterwards we dried out at Village Inn where I bought dinner and chatted about how his life is going. As things go, I think he is doing ok.

It took me an hour to get home due to the sloppy driving conditions! And that's the reason why I haven't shared any of the other exciting stuff that happened this weekend! Stay tuned, I have an post brewing about religion!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not much sitting and relaxing this week-

Monday was a trip to the desert with Kenny. There was 'sno bunnies to kill but we did have a good time burning some gun powder and getting the truck truly muddy.

Last night was a trip to Salt Lake City for an appointment that was an all evening affair. Tonight is dinner at Rickenbacker's on the company's dime and we should be eating pretty good tonight. Drinks too!

Tomorrow is Kenny's retirement luncheon. Friday is a trip to Draper to see an LDS temple that is open to the public for a short time before it is sanctified and closed to prying, unworthy eyes. Saturday will be a day of ticket checking at Powder Mountain and later, dinner with Kennie and Susie.

So full tummies but not much rest time on this week's agenda!

When Fishermen Meet


Sunday, January 18, 2009

In celebration of this blog's 6th birthday-

I've cleaned up my lists tonight, deleting some, fixing some broken links and adding a few new links too. Dilbert's gone, both the link to the blog and the widget that displayed the cartoon. I was bored with both of them.

There will, (hopefully) be more changes coming in the next few days. I may need to pester Carol for some formatting help but I really intend to increase the size of the post column and reduce the size of the margins on the sides.

So it's a pretty small celebration here but at least things are tidied up a bit.

We salute you-

Mr. Exploding Banana Head Man!

That might just be the freakiest video on the internet that I have ever seen but it is no less freaky than the rest of the work that this fool seems to believe is art. Click through those other videos and see if you can find any sense to this guy's "art."

It is waay to weird for me!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The most gag inducing propaganda ever!

Last night the BSU & I wandered into Target for a little time killing. We passed by the book section where I discoverd two of the most noxious, misguided, and wildly jingoistic books I believe I have ever had the displeasure to peruse.

The books? Barack by Jonah WInter and illustrated by Ag Ford and Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Brian Collier. Both of these pieces of dreck touch upon Barry's concern for the poor people of Indonesia when he lived there and his wonder about what he could do to help these less fortunate people. Don't forget, Barry moved to Jakarta when he was 6 years old yet he was, according to both these books, concerned beyond consolation and wanted to help the natives and from this, he grew up to be the caregiver that he is.

Another facet of Barry's life that both these books focus on is his deep religious faith and participation in Trinity United Church with it's delightful pastor Jeremiah Wright. You remember, Rev. Wright was the preacher that exclaimed from the pulpit that his congregation shouldn't sing God Bless America but rather should proclaim, "God damm America!" Both of these disgusting books show Barry sitting in his place in Rev Wright's congregation with tears running down his cheeks as he worries how he can help those less fortunate people in his neighborhood!

These books really are despicable and do a disservice to our new president with their overly simplified and one-sided description of Barry's past. they are attempting to deify him to our children before he ever completes the first day on the job. They are pathetic and deserve nothing but derision.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

FW: Awesome Craigslist Ad

To the Guy Who Mugged Me Downtown (Downtown, Savannah)
Date: 2009-01-06, 3:43AM EST

I was the white guy with the black Burberry jacket that you demanded I hand over shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I hope you somehow come across this message. I'd like to apologize.

I didn't expect you to crap your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. Truth is, I was wearing the jacket for a reason that evening, and it wasn't that cold outside. You see, my girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber 1911 .45 ACP pistol for Christmas, and we had just picked up a shoulder holster for it that evening. Beautiful pistol, eh? It's a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head, isn't it?

I know it probably wasn't a great deal of fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge flopping about in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse since you also ended up leaving your shoes, cellphone, and wallet with me. I couldn't have you calling up any of your buddies to come help you try to mug us again.

I took the liberty of calling your mother, or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, and explaining to her your situation. I also bought myself some gas on your card. I gave your shoes to one of the homeless guys over by Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all of the cash in your wallet, then I threw the wallet itself in a dumpster.

I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell. They'll be on your bill in case you'd like to know which ones. Alltel recently shut down the line, and I've only had the phone for a little over a day now, so I don't know what's going on with that. I hope they haven't permanently cut off your service. I was about to make some threatening phone calls to the DA's office with it. Oh well.

So, about your pants. I know that I was a little rough on you when you did this whole attempted mugging thing, so I'd like to make it up to you. I'm sure you've already washed your pants, so I'd like to help you out. I'd like to reimburse you for the detergent you used on the pants. What brand did you use, and was it liquid or powder? I'd also like to apologize for not killing you and instead making you walk back home humiliated. I'm hoping that you'll reconsider your choice of path in life. Next time you might not be so lucky.

If you read this message, email me and we'll do lunch and laundry.

- Alex

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Uintah cat has an eye infection-

Who knows how or why but somehow one of my cats is ill with an eye infection. Maybe he got a scratch from the sparrow that he caught, brought in and defeathered in the laundry room the other day. Whatever the reason, it's pretty obvious he is hurting and uncomfortable so tomorrow he's going to have to see the kitty doc.

I can hardly wait to fight getting him into the kitty transport box...
Uintah Cat
[UPDATE: Uintah cat has been to the vet and now has a prescription for a tiny little tube of antibiotic ointment. It's our job to stick a dab of it in the affected eye 3 times per day. He actually went into the cardboard box without much complaint. It was being in the box that he didn't like one little bit. He even managed to punch two head-sized holes in the box trying to get out on the way home! But I think he's going to get back to normal real soon.]

I think I need to apply for this job!

Australia offers 'best job in world' on paradise island- Hey, I've already got blogging experience, I can swim and snorkel and I get along pretty well with folks, and I could use the exercise. So I'd be perfect for this job, right?

I guess I could leave my guns with Kenny for 6 months because I know I wouldn't be allowed to take them to Queensland.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Its been a very good weekend-

But I'm just pretty tired so I'll write just the high points.

I did go shooting at Impact Guns, with Kenny on Friday. My new Taurus PT1911 works just fine, right out of the box. Its easy shooting, on target and didn't miss a lick with 100 rounds fed through it. My little NAA Mini-Master works great too and it's pretty accurate for it's tiny size. It can be a really great backup gun but with the terrible slow method of reloading, it can't be a primary defense gun. Anyway, it is plenty fun to shoot.

The BSU and I went to see Gran Torino and it is a powerful and moving movie. It's not a particularly pretty movie and some parts of it can be uncomfortable. But it is a great story and Clint Eastwood does a terrific job pulling this story together. Go see it! I might have to see it again just to soak up some of the tale that I know I missed during the first showing.

Now it's bedtime!

I'm an embarrassment to Barry!

What a surprise, right? Darn proud of it actually!

I'm an embarrassment to Barack!

I only scored 18 on the Obama Test

Found the test over at Bruce's place.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My wallet needs a break!

I really have been hoping to start stashing some cash for a future boat purchase but the planets just don't seem to be aligning for my wallet!

In November it was airplane ticket purchases. December brought Christmas gift purchases. We have been making a serious effort for several years to pay for Christmas without incurring any debt and so December's cash was spent for gifts.

January isn't looking very promising either! I already moaned about the plumbing costs- $400+ to unblock my drain. And last night I spent almost another 400 bucks to pay for eldest son's computer repair!

He built a gaming level pc a few years back but it's been busted for several months and I told him I would pay to get it repaired as part of his Christmas gift. Well the computer needed a new motherboard- purchased by me off eBay, a new power supply and lots of hours of labor to get working. So Dad paid and he can pick up his machine today.

But, dammitall my wallet is aching! It needs a rest from all these big-ticket expenses.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Starting to think about some kind of celebration...

This humble bit of blogging drivel will be 6 years old sometime next week. Isn't that about 110 years in internet time? I might have to think about buying myself a Carl's Jr. breakfast burrito on the way to work that day, just to celebrate!

Texas legislature to debate an Open Carry law

Good for them. I am a firm believer that if a citizen has to have a license to carry a gun for personal protection at all, then that citizen should be allowed to make their own choice between open carry or concealed carry. Sure there are good reasons for concealed carry- keeping criminals in the dark about your self-protection decisions perhaps being the most important, but I'm not at all certain that letting a criminal with evil intent see that a citizen is armed and prepared is any less of a deterrent. I believe citizens that choose not to carry firearms should simply get used to seeing their friends, neighbors and fellow Wal-Mart shoppers legally carrying a crucial self-protection device. I think a openly carried firearm should not be any bigger cause for alarm than a pocket knife carried in a belt pouch or clipped to a pocket.

Legal open carry would greatly simplify the carrying of handguns due to the plethora of quality holster choices that are available but generally require a covering garment being available for everyday use whether the activity or weather dictates. It would also allow guys to buy pants that fit all the time instead of just when wearing an inside-the-waistband holster, if that is their choice of concealed carry holster, since every article I have read suggests buying pants a size or two too big to make room for your handgun. That tells me that you would need pants to fit with and fit without your holster. Buying an outside the waistband holster eliminates that trouble and if it is visible- who cares!

I'm a firm believer in and supporter of and I hope their efforts in Texas are successful so that the rest of the states can take notice and respond similarly.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I've always wanted a 3-wheeled car-

But this isn't the one I had in mind...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Spousal Unit is still sick with a cold-

What day is this now, 4, 5? She's had a whopper of a cold, with the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, achy head and chest, trying to sleep it off with Nyquil bug for too many days now. She might be a little better this morning, but she's back in bed, snuggling a cat, so it's hard to tell.

As for me, I'm heading out into the coldest day so far this winter to bring in the nativity scene from the front yard. I need to round up my neighbor to help me move the snowblower back under the carport and out of my shop. There are a couple steps that it will need lifted over and I can't do that by myself.

I did get the new parts installed in the snowblower so it should be good to go for the rest of the season. We'll see.

And my friend Carol has decided, for reasons yet unexplained that Microsoft's Instant Messenger is no longer acceptable for conversation and switched over to Yahoo Messenger. Which I had to install on this computer if I wanted to keep up with her. I haven't tried it yet but it looks like a spam generator to me!

434 bucks? Dammitman that's an expensive housecall!

Yeah, $434 last Friday for Rescue Rooter to come to the house and unclog my kitchen sink drain.! That was waaay too much money and if I had known how much it was going to cost, I would have worked harder to fix it myself. That was just a crazy amount of money for the value received. I did get the clog unstuck but that was a lousy bite in my check book.

As it turned out, Rescue Rooter guy took one look at our clog, borrowed my ladder so he could work through the vent stack on the roof and pushed a Scour-Jet 1500 high pressure nozzle down to the clog. Once he cleared that he also installed a float ball valve in our laundry room floor drain to prevent the washer discharge from wetting the floor all the time. And both his fixes seem to have worked very well, I'll give him that.

And I suppose, if I had decided to fix my problem myself, I could have dug a little deeper, (and longer) to remove the clog. I should have gone to The Home Depot and rented a motorized cable snake and done the job myself. But I had deluded myself into thinking a hundred dollar bill or a little more was all a plumber was going to cost me and so I committed to going that route. Not next time though!

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Wunder Boner- I need this thing!

According to El Capitan they don't seem to be available any longer. Too bad.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Uncle Jay explains 2008

And thanks to my friend JoAnne for turning me on to this!

I talked to Joe Fouts yesterday

and confirmed that he is, in fact, the office manager for Bertschland Family Practice Clinic in Cambridge City. The previously linked article has also been corrected to get the facts straight.

But here's the really great part- I knew when I read his name in an article about Dublin Indiana, that he had to be the same guy that I knew and was friends with back when I was a teen. And thanks to this marvelous internetz thing, it was simple to locate Joe and call him on my cell phone- another marvelous thing, and say Hi after 32 years.

Now my spousal unit thinks that is just the strangest behavior- to pick up the phone and call someone, or to swap email with classmates from 3 decades ago. Maybe its a Midwestern thing because my Dad certainly shares the trait as do many of my old classmates, but for me, I love the ability to connect to people that were friends and still are friends in spite of miles or years.

Joe and I had a really great chat. He asked about my folks and my brothers & sister. We talked about our kids and places we have lived or traveled to. We talked a little bit about the USAF because he has an offspring living in Germany thanks to the AF's "see the world" plan. I told him how I managed to end up here in Utah after fleeing the corn fields of Indiana. Joe caught me up about people we both know and remembered. I praised him for his 15 minutes of fame on the internet this week and he told me how the town meeting transpired in such a way that Tom Daschle really did show up in Dublin even when nobody local expected to see him. Joe was pretty pleased to be invited to participate in this meeting and it seemed that he did a thorogh job of sharing the patient's problems he sees every day.

So, it was fun to just give him a call, out of the blue, and chat. He sounded happy and healthy and actively engaged in running Bertschland Clinic. Happy New Year Joe!