Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One of the things that We, the People, generate is

tuna cans.

Yup. The cans of the size that tuna fish comes in.

It's a handy size of container. They are quite useful and as I write, I can see where two of them are performing a useful function.

One of them is being used as a holder for a number if screws, brads and small items that I use from time to time. The other is presently standing by for the next time one of my friends that smokes cigarettes comes by. He will be handed that one for use as an ash tray to be taken with him to the garage.

There are also a number of them in the garage standing by for whatever purpose that may arise. The last time I worked on the Miata, there were a couple standing by to recieve small parts. Various nuts, bolts and other small parts were place in tuna cans to keep things organized.

I think professional mechanics often use cake or bread pand for this purpose, but tuna cans work pretty well.

Now, not all tuna cans are really born to contain tuna fish. A lot of them are sold containing cat food, which generates the majority of those being used at the Piccolo residence. Still, they are the same size and shape.

I actually have a set of headphones I made out of a pair of these priceless gems.

Headphones, you ask?

Yup. Headphones. The kind you put on your ears to listen to music on the stereo. They have a thing that goes over your head to make them hold to your ears.

I will not lie to my readers and say that they sound like a pair of Bose headphones and get all of the perfect sound that Bose has the reputation of producing. The truth is that they sound pretty tinny, which is to be expected from something made out of a can.

Still, they work pretty good, all things considered.

I admit, I look pretty funny with a pair of tuna cans on my ears listening to the news on a radio made in the 1940s, but it is somewhat satisfying to do. In this day and age it is good to be both high AND low tech.

The way I figure it is that anything that is as useful as a tuna can is to seriously be considered a National Resource.

Sorry, Charlie. The one I used today was generated by the cat.

my other blog is:

The corner of Telephone and Telephone

is a term that goes back about thirty five years when I discovered just how powerful alcohol really is.

I suppose I am no different than anyone else in that I experimented with the drug as a younger man and learned to respect it at an early age.

I was at the point in life when I was seeking to find my limits and, of course, I had guzzled down a lot more than was deemed wise.

I knew I needed a ride home and decided to call a friend, so I went to the nearest phone booth and called him.

"Hello, Larry? I'm pretty damned hosed," I slurred. I stepped out of the booth for a second and looked up at the top of the booth. "Pick me up at the corner of Telephone and Telephone."

One of life's mysteries is how Larry knew exactly where I was and scraped me up in about five or ten minutes.

Of course, I was kidded about that one for years.

Still, it was a pretty good lesson.

my other blog is:

Today I have to get in touch with my Amish roofing crew

which is going to be a little more hassle than getting ahold of a non-Amish crew.

I will not slight anyones religion, but it is interesting how the Amish work.

I get on the horn and call a couple of different numbers, none of which are the home or work phone of the Amish crew as such. One of the numbers is the cell of a non-Amish employee and the other is one of the neighbors they have some kind of a deal worked out with. I am not sure, but I think the third number I have is a booth at the corner of Telephone and Telephone.

The system works, but this leads to an interesting paradox.

I would imagine that it is far easier to get in touch with, say a drug dealer or a pimp than it is to get in touch with an honest carpenter.

Go figure.

my other blog is:

The face of the blog is changing

because my work is going to take me out of internet/cell range for long periods of time.

I will make up for this by posting several timmes a day when I get the chance.

I suppose I'llprobably simply put what I write on a flash drive on a daily basis and post the different items all at once when I get back into range.

Instead of being a daily, as originally intended, I will have to be a periodical.

Sorry, but that's the way it has to be. Circumstances dictate it.

my other blog is:

Someone asked me yesterday why I am such an admirer of the


I guess I'd have to say that I really like the flexibility and pragmatism of it.

There is a lot to be said about taking a 19 year old kid and putting him in charge of a multi million dollar piece of equipment or putting a 20 year old in charge of 8 men and sending them out on a patrol that can actually have a direct bearing on foriegn policy.

The neat part about it is that it works.

The military, in spite of a lot of military bull$hit, actually works, and damned well.

It is interesting, because they use their people to their full potential.

I had been in about two years when I was ordered to teach a class on map reading.

Think about it, a guy with 2 years service being in a teaching role.

In the private sector, they wouldn't let someone with ten years experience teach a class, yet there I was, at the head of a class teaching basics of land nav.

It isn't just me, either. I was taught to survey by sergeants with no college time whatsoever.

Military medicine is something else, too. No bedside manner or anything, just good, solid, get-him-back-on-his-feet practical madicine. The AMA would probably go nuts if some civvy doctor started practicing things the way the services do.

Another thing, the day to day practice of medicine there is not done by MDs, but in most cases by guys with a 12 week school taught down at Fort Sam Houston.

It makes sense, when you think about it.

Everyone wants to see some MD for a lousy little cold, but the truth of it is that an awful lot of medicine doesn't really require the services of someone with those credentials. A trained PA or even a basic medic can do just as good a job at a basic grass roots level.

Over the years I have had a number of things taken care of by a couple of former medics I know with good results. I suppose that they would be thrown in jail if anyone ever nailed down that they had been practicing without a license, but they were not. They were just helping me out on an informal level.

A while back I had a foot injury and got lucky. The doctor was a former GI doctor and we spoke the same language. He and I reached an understanding that I wanted a no BS cure for my injury.

His face lit up and the directions were straighforward and simple. Keep the foot in a cast for six weeks and then remove the cast. Buy a pair of jump boots and hobble around a little bit until the boots are broken in and comfortable. When the boots are broken in, you will be good to go.

This I could understand, and was a pretty good plan until someone in the office of my former employer got wind of it and decided he knew more than a GI doctor that had been assigned to the paratrooper factory as a foot specialist.

I had to see a company doctor who was appalled by the situation and that's when the fight started. The company doc started in with abunch of crap, none of which had to do with fixing my foot and all of which had to do with covering asses.

I balked and stuck to my guns for a while, but finally compromised and played both ends out against the middle. I let the company doctor play his little game, but kept the GI doc as my primary and let the company guy replace my cast with a camwalker.

When 6 weeks had passed, I bought the jump boots and about 10 days later, I saw the GI doc, who gave me a fit for duty slip. I returned to work and that was that, except Ihad to go back to the company doctor and play his little game which lasted for about five minutes, four and a half of which were spent listening to his crap and thirty seconds of which were spent telling him to sign me off, which he did after I raise cain with him.

Back to the original subject.

The military puts things straight down to grass roots and places responsibility down at the lowest level possible. The guys that have to do the actual work make a lot of the grass roots decisions.

A number of years ago, Harley-Davidson did the same thing. It was pretty good because they made a wonderful turn around, going from making junk to making a pretty good product. The guys on the floor were directly involved in the process and things got a lot better. Fast.

The military has a lot going for it when they let things work from the bottom up and that's why I admire them. They utilize their people to allow them to reach a lot closer to their full potential than the civvy world generally does.

Someone once said that WW2 produced a boatload of teachers, and I suppose they were right. That's because the services needed teachers and they made them out of ordinary guys. A lot of guys got out of the service and realized that teaching something like radio repair, mechanics, surveying or administrative tasks wasn't a whole lot different than teaching, say, math, science or industrial arts in a classroom, lab or shop.

The interesting part of this is that a number of people that wound up in military teaching roles had not even finished high school, yet there they were as teachers.

Of course, when they got out at the end of the war, it was off to the classroom compliments of the GI Bill.

They were right. A lot of my teachers as a kid were WW2 guys that had done just that and for the most part, they were pretty good.

They were also pretty good at keeping smart assed kids like me in line, too, which is a lot more than I can say for some of the other teachers I had.

Anyway, there's a lot to be said for the way the military operates and they have a lot to teach American business.

my other blog is:

Got home late last night

or early this morning, whichever way you want to look at it.

I'm fried with travel fatigue,

Travel really is astonishing when you think about it. In nine hours, about 6 of which were driving, I covered more milees than a guy on a fast horse could in a week or more.

I once made a comment about going somewhere and someone wide eyed said, "All the way to Colorado? Wow!"

My answer was, "Hell, if you think about it, Boston to Los Angeles is nothing but a four hour nap.

That's about it.

These days you hop on a plane and in about four hours or so, you can be in California. You don't have to tend to animals or have your teeth jarred out by bad roads, you simple climb abooard an airplane and catch a comfy nap and that's about it.

Pretty amazing when you think about it.

my other blog is:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Still more time.

I mentioned getting a pickle suit sent to me. I also mentioned that I want to fix it up.

I found a place where for the paltry sum of under twenty bucks I can get my old division (4th ID) patches, the proper name tags and my sp/5 collar devices.


I think I'll wear it to Camp Perry and catch a bunch of good natured flak from the younger GIs.

They get a boot out of seeing an older guy in his obeslete uniform.

Why not?

my other blog is:

I am still in range, so why not?

I keep looking at the way the country is heading and I wonder.

Now, this is a very small petty thing, but it is indicitive of a lot.

Candy cigaretttes have been outlawed.

So? You might ask. Smoking is a bad thing and yada yada yada.

What it tells me is that we are now chasing symptoms instead of the disease. Outlawing a candy novelty does nobody any real good that I can see and simply puts a few candymakers out of business. When you think about it for a minute, it does nobody any good whatsoever. All it does is make a few lawmakers feel they have done something to prove to the public that they are taking action.

It makes them look busy.

A while back I posted that I was refused service at a Philly hospital because I had an inert bullet-one with no casing- on my key ring. The idiot at the metal detecting machine told me that it was a SYMBOL of gun violence.

It made me wonder if I was tattooed with something they didn't like. Would that mean I could not get medical attention?

I have heard a lot of what I will call total unmitigated horseshit over the past few years.

For quite a while it has been a running joke among seamen that the only reason we keep the job is that it gives us a place to dry out. Guys that had, say, a single beer in three weeks off may claim they came back to work to dry out. It is also a common line among guys that drink a lot more than that ashore.

Still, most of us are afraid to use that line in front of any office types or doctors after some truck driver admitted to his doctor that he would occasionally drink a six pack in a single evening. The doctor took it upon himself to declare the guy a problem drinker and had his CDL yanked.

As soon as that got out, there wasn't a doctor that could get anything close to an honest answer from anyone with seamans papers or a CDL regarding questions of alcohol use. A generation of liars was created, thanks to government meddling.

Truth be known, he probably never got near a motor vehicle after more than a siingle drink.

Still, the doc decided to do his bit and make America a lot safer.

The definition of alcoholism is not too clear. The truth of the matter is that an alcohilic is simply sommeone that drinks more than his doctor. It is kind of like the definition of a 'heavy smoker'.

To a nonsmoker, a guy that has a cigar on the 4th of July is a heavy smoker. To a pack a day smoker, a guy that smokes 1 and a half packs a day is a heavy smoker.

I suppose there are official charts defining alcoholism and heavy smoking out there, but I have never seen one.

If they are government produced, I suppose that anyone that drinks more than the subcommittee member of Congress that defines the term is a whatever. Alcoholic, heavy smoker, whateever.

For the record, there is no excuse for imbibing at work anywhere unless you work as a taste tester for Jack Daniels or something along these lines. Then the company had best provide transportation home for said employee.

Government claims that they are trying to make the planet safer, and I suppose they ought to to some extent, but the idea of controlling a person's off time is not doing anyone any good. It's just an infringement on someone's freedom. It also doesn't really do much for making the rest of us any safer.

Outlawing candy cigarettes is nothing more than window dressing and if that's all they have to do is stuff like that, then they really ought to adjourn and go home and spend time with their wife and kids. Maybe take their kids fishing.

On the other hand, if they did that they wouldn't have access to Washington hookers,quality blow, good booze and illegal Cuban cigars.

my other blog is:

Last post for a while.

Have a good weekend. I'll be out of range pretty soon.

One of the guys was telling me about his neighborhood and the problems that go with it.

It makes me very grateful that I have the kind of neighbors that I do.

Then again, I fail to understand why anyone in their senses would live in a city setting when the suburbs are there for about the same money.

Especially a sewer city like Philly.

It makes no sense.

When you have neighbors like I do, life is good. Then again, to a certain extent, good neighbors are often made. People are suspicious and I can see that. But,still you have to work on it. You can often turn a jerk into a good neighbor if you are good about things.

Of course, you may run into a jerk, and when that happens there is nothing to do but either live with it because these days with every criminal having more rights than the victim does, running the guy off is often not an option.

I have heard a couple of horror stories about city life today and it simply makes me damned grateful that I do not have crap like that to deal with.

Thank God almighty I have good neighbors.

my other blog is:

Last post for a while.

my other blog is:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It looks like I am going to have problems keeping up with the blog in the near future.

I do not say very much about work here, but the job I have has reassigned me to some rather interesting duty which is not open for discussion.

What this means is that I will be spending all if not most of my time out of cell/internet range unless I cough up some serious bucks for some kind of satellite connection.

Friday or Saturday is going to be my last post until I get back home.

I guess I will have to post double or triple when I am home to make up for things and reach my goal of a post a day for at least a year.
For me this has been both a labor of love and a small challenge to wake up knowing that I have until midnight to make a post of some sort.

Like the title says, it is the grumblings of an Old School wayward sailor. I would like to think that I’ve managed to come up with at least a few intelligent things from time to time.

Of course, work comes first and I can honestly say that what I am going to be doing may prove to be important. I hope it is and that my skills are not wasted.

For several years I have mentioned to my employer that I wanted first refusal on any interesting work that came up.

I have said that I don’t care if it is hot, cold, hard, long hours, primitive living or even downright dangerous. If it is interesting, I want first refusal.

I was once asked it I wanted to pitch in and put out an oil well fire. My reply was “YES!” He was kidding, but I was serious.

Anyway, something interesting has come up and I know it is going to be hot, somewhat primitive, and uncomfortable, which I do not really care for, of course. But at least it will be a new experience and another thing to put into my lifetime experience collection.

I have done quite a bit of interesting stuff in my 58 years and as I age I realize there will probably be unfulfilled dreams, which is, I suppose, OK because all the dreams I have had would fill several lifetimes.

As time passes, I realize that a day of physical work leaves me a little sore, something that I never knew as a younger man.

I suppose that is a good thing because it reminds me that time is passing and I really do not have a whole lot left. If I have anything to do, I had better get with the program or not complain about it. I still have plenty of opportunity.

It is a source of pride that at 58 I still have the same sense of adventure that I did as a youngster.

I have been to air shows and realized that quite a few of the men watching the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels are thinking the same thing; I wish I had bigger balls.

I don’t think I have had that problem. I simply wish I had the skills they do.

I’ve done a lot of interesting things from fishing in Alaska, delivering sailboats, living in a tipi in the Rockies to name a few.

Still, I am glad that the company has sent me out on an interesting assignment even though it means pretty rough living for a while.
Wish me luck.

my other blog is:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One of the things I like is

MILSPEC gear because it is sturdy.

My brand new refurbished laptop took its first spill shortly after I got it home. It wasn’t much of a spill, but there’s a chance that if it had been one of the cheaper models out there it might have had to go in for repairs.

Seeing we’re paying for it, it seems that Uncle Sam is not cheap when it comes to buying pretty good stuff.

On the other hand, maybe that is the cheapest way to go in the long run. ‘Soldier proof’ gear doesn’t break as easily and requires a lot fewer repairs under hard use.

There is an old saying that if you put a pair of privates in a room with a pair of bowling balls and order both of them not to touch them, you will return an hour later to find one missing and the other snapped clean in two.

Based on that, MILSPEC gear DOES have to be made well.

At home when the chain saw comes out to perform some act of Old World craftsmanship, I generally don a pair of surplus pants and boots and blouse the pants into the boots to keep the chips out. It works well. The pants must be at least fifteen years old and they are faded from repeated washings but are in otherwise pretty good shape.

Not everything Uncle Sam issues is practical for a guy like me, but there are quite a few things that work pretty well for an older homeowner.

I have an old machete that was designed to break jungle, but I use mine to hack up brush to make it small enough to stuff into the chipper/shredder.

There are a few other odds and ends that are pretty good, too. I have a GI poncho that I use sometimes when I am outdoors in the rain under informal circumstances. It sheds the rain well, although I don’t wear it out of the neighborhood, as it looks a little too far out.

When I lived in Alaska, the snorkel coats were great in cold weather. Those were a pretty common item. So were GI duffel bags.
Someone once said that they were so common that almost every fisherman had one. I did.

That same someone pointed out that the airlines tended to lose luggage and there was a hangar full of green duffel bags at Anchorage International. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Then again, a person has to pick and choose what works for them.

I suppose I just pick what’s right for me, but I’m I’ll say this for the MILSPEC stuff I have snagged over the years; The majority of it has served me well and has saved me a pretty penny.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recently I snagged a katana

for my room as a decoration.

In case you do not know what a katana is, it is a Japanese sword, often called a samurai sword.

This one is not a World War 2 bring back, as those are pretty damned expensive and I am not a collector. I just wanted a katana for a special room I have and didn’t want to have to cough up a small fortune for it.

I got it for $20 and it will do the trick as far as looking like a casual piece for my room goes. The repro will look just fine there.

Over the past couple of years I have chatted with a couple of old men that served during WW2. I have asked them about their souvenirs and bring backs and several of them have gone into either shock or disbelief when I tell them what their stuff is worth.

One old timer was shocked when I told him what a Luger is selling for. “Why, I traded that for a bottle of cognac I got from a German cellar,” he said. “I didn’t like the taste of hard liquor back then so I traded the bottle for the Luger. I guess I had better lock it up instead of keeping it on the mantle.”

I would say so.

When I went looking for the katana I was mildly surprised to see how many reproductions were out there for sale.

I spent a couple of hours looking at the available things that are out there for sale and compared prices of the original item and the current prices for reproductions.

It is astonishing. A pair of the 2 buckled WW2 GI boots are now running between $100 and $150, and sometimes more. I would imagine they cost Uncle Sam two or three bucks a pair back in the day.

A re-enactors uniform now probably could run a guy several hundred bucks unless he can score an original out of an attic somewhere.

On the other hand, God only knows what something original is worth.

A couple of years back I saw an old Marine show up at Camp Perry, Ohio with his complete Marine Corps footlocker that he wanted to show the Marines shooting there and was astonished when someone offered him well over two grand for the whole kit.

Someone else was decent and told him to get it appraised.

My advice to anyone out there that has elderly relatives with an attic full of stuff is to have it appraised.

You never know what some musty old thing in the attic is worth.

What irks me is the stuff I had as a kid and tore up playing with. I could probably be retired now had I known what I do now.

my other blog is:

Monday, June 21, 2010

All in all, Craigslist

is a pretty good deal.

The price is right.

It is often maligned over the fact that there are a lot of scammers on it, but so is everything else.

The world is full of those that would take advantage of things, especially something that is free.

If you stay alert and act with a little common sense you can often come out of it with a pretty good deal under your belt and emerge unscathed.

Like everything else, stupidity hurts.

You have to use a little common sense and be a bit wary. You don’t agree to meet someone in a dark alley with a pocketful of cash at 3am and you don’t agree to have somebody’s so-called agent show up and pay you for something with a check drawn from the First Bank of Outer Mongolia.

I have taken a few chances with small ticket items from people out of state with no bad results. I mail then the item, they mail me the money.

The rule of thumb here is that you have to be willing to lose the item and not get too upset over it. You have to understand that when you do something that the purchaser can easily take the item and skip out on you.

It hasn’t happened to me yet, but when it eventually does, I will not get too upset over it because I know I am taking a chance when I do this. I am willing to lose the item.

Most recently I sold a decorative part for a Miata and to tell the truth, it needed a little work. I sent it to someone out of state and received payment almost at once. The part had cost me little and the shipping price was about ten bucks, so I really didn’t have a whole lot to lose.

What was funny is that the person that warned me about the transaction and carried on with me about how I was going to get taken had just returned from Atlantic City where he had lost a couple grand to the gaming tables there.

Go figure.

Generally speaking, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it is.

Act accordingly and you have access to a pretty good resource in spite of what the naysayers tell you.

my other blog is:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I was wondering about real estate.

If you buy a piece of real estate and plant peyote, marijuana, magic mushrooms and other psychotropic plants on it, does that turn the lot into UNREAL estate?

Just wondering.

my other blog is:

A while ago as I was walking past the TV

I overheard something about how (insert 2 girls names here, one was named Chloe) take Miami.

So, OK. These 2 girls take Miami.

As far as I am concerned, it they hold it for thirty days, and nobody claims it, it's theirs.


my other blog is:

I wonder what I am going to write about for today’s daily.

I know, lets talk about rumors.

Today at one of the places I deliver to, one of the people I deal with made a comment that he had heard a rumor about such and such.

I discounted it instantly, as I am an old salt that has spent most of his life listening to such truck.

I get tired of hearing how someone’s wife had a girlfriend who had a college roommate that met a guy that had a cousin that met a guy in a bar that heard from the bartender that overheard a customer say that they knew someone that had a friend that…Whatever.

That gets pretty old fast.

Over the years I am grateful that I have made a lot of friends in various places, both at work and otherwise so that I don’t have to pay much mind to Rumor Control.

When something starts making the rounds, I generally make a phone call and get the skinny on things right off the bat.

It makes for better communications and fewer disappointments. It also lets a person know what they are up against and generally makes life a lot easier.

A place where I used to work was run entirely by Rumor Control. I have seen people do some pretty dopey things because of unfounded rumors.

One former co-worker went into the office convinced by Rumor Control that he was getting a pay cut and quit right then and there.

Smooth move, Ex-Lax. We got a raise about a week later. It took the moron months to find work, and he suffered because he was afraid to ask someone to confirm or deny a simple workplace rumor.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to make a phone call and go straight to the horse’s mouth.

It often keeps you from looking like the other end of the horse.

my other blog is:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

YOU give peace a chance.

I'll cover you.

Attributed to an unknown GI to some liberal imbecile in an airport. I heard it on

my other blog is:

What's with the Kardashians? Why are they so damned


I have seen they have this show about keeping up with them.

Yeah, sure, they are attractive, but what do they do, anyway?

It reminds me of the fascination the world seemed to have with Paris Hilton, who is another person I have never heard of doing anything useful with her life. I heard that Hilton was getting $20K just for showing up at someone's party.

I have always wondered why some gang from the Hole in the Wall Trailer park, complete with 7 dilapidated school buses didn't pool their money they made from the trailer park meth lab and invite ol Paris to attend their party. Maybe get Jerry Springer to record it for posterity.

People snorting meth and running around smoking dope and drinking moonshine and all that fun stuff, and there is Paris right in the middle of it, dressed to the nines among the bib overalls.

Flies buzzing around the picnic table, landing in the barbecue sauce. The whole deal.

Let's make thst little spoiled brat EARN her money.

Now that Paris isn't heard of much these days, the Kardashians have popped up to replace her.

I don't think they do anything useful, either.

They fit right in there with people that don't do anything worthwhile.

In my opinion they are really worse than Brother Jesse and Al. Although I don't like either of them very much, at least they are constantly being a pain in the ass and that at least counts for SOMEHING even if all it is is to annoy the hell out of me and make things worse than they are. In their favor, at least Al and Jesse don't bore me.

The Kardashians don't even annoy me, they just bore me to tears.

I fail to see what the public fascination is with them.

my other blog is:

Friday, June 18, 2010


I may be going out of internet range during the next couple of weeks without warning.

If you do not here from me I will do another catch up thing when I get back.

I will NOT discuss business on a public forum, but the next two weeks will be interesting.

my other blog is:

While I was gassed up the pickup

for the run to work, I pulled into a Sheetz, which is normal.

After gassing up, I went in for my general going-to-work-buck-and-a-half lunch consisting of a couple of hot dogs and a diet coke. There was one of those Saturn Sun roadsters sitting there. I glanced into it and saw something truly disgusting in the form of an automatic transmission.

“Hmm.” I said to myself, and a woman walking past me looked.

The woman misinterpreted me and asked me what was wrong. I looked at her and glanced at the car and said to her, “Nobody but a hooker or an interior decorator puts an automatic transmission in a sports car!”

She tittered, looked into the Sun, shook her head and walked into the store.

I grabbed my tube steaks and went back to the pump and saw a pretty little Miata in the pump next to me and glanced into the open cockpit and saw it was a 5 speed. I turned to head back to my truck and the woman I had spoken to walked up to the Miata.

I looked at her with a grin and said, “You are an honest woman.” She laughed outright, and started to get into the Miata.

“I don’t know why people put automatics into sports cars,” she said.

I do, and it really irks me.

The heart and soul of sports cars are simplicity, suspension, balance and control.

A sports car is supposed to be about maneuverability and being able to hold the road. For this, the driver needs control. The car is supposed to shift when the driver tells it to shift and not when some machine decides it wants to shift.

I built my Miata to be a pure sports car, and nothing more or less.

For safety’s sake, I put in a roll bar and a full harness, but I left the OEM seatbelts in place so I could clip it on for little hops.

The next thing I did was to remove both the air conditioning and the power steering. The A/C really didn’t work to begin with and besides, an A/C unit in a convertible is a joke anyway. All the power steering did was to sap power off of the little 1.6 liter engine in exchange for making parking a little easier.

Even at low speeds, power steering made little if any difference as far as difficulty went.

Instead of replacing the power steering box with a manual, I used an old racer’s trick and ‘looped’ the steering box. I simply cut the inlet and outlet lines and slipped a hose over both ends, allowing the leftover hydraulic fluid to pass through from one side to the other.

This ‘looped’ system allowed me to get a better steering ratio than the manual steering box would have given me. I also feel the road a lot better.

Both power steering and the A/C were probably installed in the car to make it a little more marketable to women, as were the shocks and sway bars.

The factory shocks were somewhat of a compromise, again probably for marketability to the fairer sex that made the ride a little nicer, and I figure the same to be true about the sway bars.

I swapped the shocks out with Bilstein HDs and put a much stiffer set of sway bars and new bushings into it, and then I got a somewhat lighter set of wheels and put on a set of extreme performance tires. I compromised just a tiny bit on the rubber because I wanted halfway decent wet weather traction in case I got caught out in a rain storm.

A lot of this stuff came from Craigslist, and hence cost me short money. The shocks, tires, sway bars and bushings I bought new.

True sports car drivers will understand what I did and why. I wanted to turn the little car into a vehicle that held the road like it was on steel rails, and I did a fairly passable job.

Carefully note that the only change I made to the engine was that I swapped out the thermostat with a slightly cooler one. The little 1.6 is powerful enough for a sports car of that size.

While not a brute strength machine, the old saw holds true. Straight lines are for fast cars; curves are for fast drivers.

The wannabe types will not understand this at all.

These are the people that do not understand the heart and soul of the sports car concept and either look one as a cute little thing or just want to look ‘cool’.

The former I halfway understand, the latter I loathe, as they are the types that are either too stupid to understand a sports car or are too lazy to take the time out to learn how to drive one with any skill.

Simply being cool looking it their desire, and to me, that is a part of what I call ‘pimp mentality’.

I guess the reason I wrote this is because today I rode a Jeep for three hundred long, stiff miles. The last time I drove a Jeep was a long time ago, and it was an old flat-fender government model, a 1955 if I recall.

It was slow, very stiffly sprung, somewhat lower powered with an old 4 cylinder engine. It was a somewhat frisky open little quarter ton truck, one of the beloved little vehicles that the GIs won the Second World War with, and in slightly modified form, lasted the services well past the Vietnam era.

The newer one I drove today was a different breed of cat. It had a fairly torquey in-line six cylinder engine, air conditioning, a hard fiberglass top, air conditioning, cruise control equipped far cry from its predecessor.

This particular model was actually pretty much an in-line successor and managed to stay fairly true to form. Much like the older ones it morphed out of, it was still a pretty good off-road vehicle. One more thing, the person that ordered this particular one from the factory at least had the decency to order it with a five speed manual transmission instead of copping for an automatic.

It was, like its predecessor, an uncomfortable ride on the turnpike. However, it was able to move reasonably well at turnpike speeds. The older one I drove years ago could barely manage to hit 60 mph while going down a hill and that was about it.

On a level road, anything much over 45 mph and the little four-cylinder would be screaming like blue bloody murder. On a turnpike, they generally rode in the break down lane at minimum legal speeds.

At least this particular newer model had stayed fairly true to form.

The thing that I was thinking about as I drove the Jeep today is that I was mildly surprised that the new model hadn’t morphed into something totally different.

Generally what happens is the same thing that happened to pickups over the years. They morphed from being a special use, simple Spartan rural tool into being a complex suburban daily driver, complete with all of the creature comforts, bells and whistles.

Pickups are still pickups, and the model Jeep I drove was still a Jeep and that is good.

Pickups still haul stuff around, but these days in a little more comfort and Jeeps are still pretty good off-road vehicles.

It is what is happening to sports cars that galls the hell out of me. They are morphing into complex daily drivers for a number of people that just want to look cool and make a fashion statement.

The sports cars of today are the successor of the cars made by the Brits during the period following WW2.

The British made Triumphs and MGs made in the 50s, 60s and 70s were simple, wind in the hair, bugs in the teeth rag topped machines for serious drivers. Finding one where even the heater worked was unusual, and they suffered legendary electrical problems. Still, they were fun to drive.

Then came the dark decade after British Leyland went under and there were no more of these wonderful, reasonable priced driving machines produced until Mazda started producing the Miata.

Of course, during the dark decade, there were a few sports cars available from manufacturers like Mercedes and the like, but there were both more complex and expensive.

The NA (first generation) took off in 1989 and the demand was there. They sold like hotcakes.

The hard nosed drivers were now able to get a reasonably priced, simple sports car again.

Of course, in an effort to expand markets, they started adding all sorts of options, bells and whistles to the second (NB) generation. The Miata started moving away from the original wind in hair, bugs in teeth concept.

In their 4th generation, they are still selling, but to a different breed of person.

What was once the badge of the hard nosed wind in hair, hell for leather open cockpit driver had seemed to have gotten the reputation of somewhat of a chick’s car and more than a few have gotten sold with not only the bells and whistles, but have had their very soul ripped out by the installation of an automatic transmission.

I notice that many of them have been restored to their roots by the few of us purists there are left, and most of the reconverted ones are first generation models.

There are still a few of us purists left.

my other blog is:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I will never drive a Jeep for 300 miles again.

This AM I got a call from an offgoing crewman asking me to drive his Jeep to crew change so he didn't have to go to company HQ and back home again. He lives between HQ and where we changed crews out, a distance of 300+ miles.

It took me about 6 hours and I had to stop three times to get out and limber up.

I fail to see why anyone would want a quarter ton truck bastard son of a WW2 combat vehicle to use as a daily driver.

The Jeep I drove had a decent 5 speed trannsmission and a fairly powerful in line 6 cylinder, ao power was decent.

It was the ride itself that beat me up. It was pretty stiff. Handling at turnpike speeds sucked, too.

No, the next time a crewmember asks me to drive a car for him on crew change, I am going to make damned sure it is something that rides a hell of a lot better than a Jeep.

my other blog is:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today will be a day of travel, as I have to

drum up a little scratch.

I am off to spin the wheels of industry for a while.

I am hoping it will be a quiet trip across the Commonwealth.


One of the things that I think will be done upon my arrival home will be a roofing job,which is fine by me.

I got the OK from Mrs Piccolo to do what I want there and it is going to be interesting.

I think I mentioned that all exposed flashing is going to be copper, which will tarnish nicely over the years.

I am also going to take a foot wide piece of flashing and bend it lengthwise and use it as a ridge cap. There is a reason for this. The north face of the roof doesn't get as much sunlight as the south face does and as a result it gets a little moldy.

Every so often I have to climb the roof and clean the mold off with bleach and then hose it down.

If I put copper on the roof, it will oxidize and then as it rains, small amounts of copper oxide will mix with the rain water and run down the roof. Mold doesn't care for copper oxide very much, so the roof ought to stay clean.

Besides, I love the look of weathering copper.

The big thing I am going to have to do for a few weeks is guard it until it turns brown and fits in with the roof. Copper thieves are getting pretty common these days and new coppper looks like molten gold in the sunlight. After a couple of weeks, though, it turns brown and won't show up like a sore thumb so I ought to be OK.

It's goinng to be pretty expensive, though.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The driver from the building supply place woke me

up this morning with news of a delivery.

He was there early, which was good. He also had a fork lift which made things a whole lot easier and he managed to get the entire pallet well into the garage, which made things easier.

Neighbor Bob wandered in at just the right minute and pitched in and within a short time, 42 bundles of shingles, 8 rolls of iceguard, 3 packages of ridge caps and a pack of starter strip were stowed in the garage in such a way I could get the Miata in and keep the little car out of the weather. We were done by nine AM and I was surprised.

One of the things we did was thaat when the stack lowered itself to the point where we had to bend over too far, we teamed up and moved the bales with the 2 of us, one on each end. This was to avoid having to use our backs to lift.

We are both old men and are a lot wiser than we were as youngsters. It doesn't take a whole lot for an old man's back to go out, and when it does it will take a lot longer to recover than it would have a few years back.

The Amish crew that is supposed to do my roof is working on anothe one down the street. I stopped and waved and they smiled warmly at me in return. I stopped for a second and complimented them on their home and their faces lit right up.

Yesterday was a first for me. I had some paperwork from them to get squared away and I went to the home of the lead man. He invited Mrs Pic and I in and I will say that it was simply the cleanest home I have ever been in in my entire life.

It was also very simply furnished and the laundry was hanging out to dry. It occurred to me that every single piece of clothing on the laundry line was hand made, and it the laundry clothes are anywhere near as well made as the handmade work clothes the crew wear, they are beautiful.

The visit brief visit into their home made me do quite a bit of thinking about the stuff that fills my life, most of which is pretty meaningless.

Most of the stuff we have is just that;it is stuff. Meaningless stuff not worth getting upset over. The first thing that occurred to me is there was no television in their home and the minute I realized that, I felt that there was no great loss there.

It is a shame, too, because TV could have great potential as a learning tool, but instead it is nothing more than a vast wasteland of so-called reality shows, sitcoms and general stupidity. Then again, I don't watch a whole lot of television.

All in all, I am grateful to have been invited in to their home.

It is fun to see how different people live and the truth be known, I tend not to look at differences, but what we have in common.

One of the things I have noticed when I was in their home was that the lack of clutter and stuff does make it a whole lot easier to keep clean. I am going to do some rethinking about that and maybe do a little de-junking. We'll see.

One of the things I wish I had spoken to the contractors wife about was sewing.

I'll bet she'd have been quite surprised to know I've made a number of shirts myself using a sewing machine identical to the Singer treadle model she uses.


Yesterday I saw a young girl in her early twenties walking along with her grandmother, probably about in her 70s.

I was feeling a little mischievous, so I looked between the pair of them and said, "Hiya, Gorgeous. Hope you're having a good day."

The young woman looked up and thanked me for the nice comment.

"I wasn't talking to you," I said, but not unkindly.

The old woman's face lit right up and I knew I had made her day.

It doesn't take a whole lot to make someone's day.

my other blog is:

Monday, June 14, 2010

I do not have a PayPal account and I am not getting

one either,

The reason for that is that the PayPal people put restrictions on what a person can and can not buy on the account.

It is my money and I will buy what I see fit.

I drive a manual transmission because I want my vehicle in whatever gear I want it in and NOT what some damned machine tells me IT wants to be in.

Now, this is the BIG goat getter and that is a sales person that keeps trying to sell me what THEY want to sell me and not what I want to buy. Generally, this does not end well as I have been thrown out of a number of places over the years for announcing just that. I generally do this in a rather loud, angry voice.

On the other hand, I am the easiest and fastest customer a person ever had to deal with if they simply understand the rules. Simply get me what I want and I will cheerfully pay for it.

After all, it is my money and I will spend it any damned way I want.

my other blog is:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The cop that came by the other day

drove past the house yesterday.

I was still weeding on the hill.

Weeding is one of those 'chip at it between putting out fires' type of jobs, so the hill wasn't finished. It still isn't as I write. There's about an hour left and I will get to it if the rain holds off today.

Anyway, the cop that came a couple of days ago when some idiotic neighbor called him was driving by, saw me still weeding so he stopped.

With a grin, he asked me if I had found any land mines.

I had found an old jar when I was digging in the hill side. The jar had a key in it when I found it, which is really a fairly common find, as homeowners often did, and sometimes still do bury an entry key somewhere outside in case they find they have locked themselves out.

I held up the jar.

"Almost had to call you. For a second here, I thought this one was a Bouncing Betty."

"Glad to see you're keeping the neighborhood safe," he replied warmly.

Then with a smile, he rolled uup the window and drove off.

Now a lot of guys would be annoyed by having a contact with a cop like that, but I wasn't in the least. Some guys would want to make some kind of issue over nothing more than a good cop trying to maintain open communication with the citizenry.

It's good to have a local cop with a sense of humor that understands you. Having someone else in your corner is always a good thing.


Edited to add:

I posted the above while I was starting my morning coffee and before I even poured a cup, I put on an old pair of pants as I have a somewhat dirty day ahead of me.

After I had posted the above, I grabbed my cuppa joe and headed outside where I discovered that I had to keep pulling my pants up lest they actually fall off of me.

I looked at them and noted the size was a lot bigger than I am now and that I must have bought them when I was fat.

All I have to say about this is that it feels pretty damned good being able to fit into pants I wore in my twenties at the age of 58.

Instead of being aggravated with a pair of pants falling down, I am elated.

my other blog is:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yesterday was another one of those "Here's your

sign" days.

I am weeding the hill in the front yard and a walker-bystopped and asked me what I was doing.

Now, I am weeding the hillside, sitting on my ass with a weeding tool that actually looks sort of like a bayonet or some kind of fighting knife. It's a good tool, made in Scandanavia and perfect for weeding, especially for dandilions and tap rooted weeds.

It is obvious that I am weeding. I am sitting on my ass, weeding tool in hand, cart full of pulled-up weeds parked next to me.

"I am practicing my lane mine detection skills," I reply. "I do not have a mine detector handy and this is too close to the house for me to blow them in place. Too bad. If this was the back yard, I'd just run a row of Bangalore torpedos the length of the yardand crank them off and look for sympathy explosions, but I can't here or I will damage the house."

The idiot looked aghast. "There are land mines in your yard?"

"I do not know. That's whay I am looking for them. Just making sure my yard is safe."

He looked shaky and walked off.

Five minutes later the police arrived.

He pulled up.

"What is going on here," the cop asked.

"OK, I was here weeding this hill, right Pretty obvious?" I answered.

"I see that," said the cop.

"So some jerk asked me what I was doing and I told him I was looking for land mines. Some time ago I decided that God put stupid people here for my personal entertainment. Before that stupidity angered me. Now it amuses me."

"Land mines, huh?" the cop asked, rhetorically.

"Yeah," I answered. "As a perrson who makes his career dealing with stiupid people, you should know where I am coming from."

The cop laughed. "Oh, I do. By the way, if you do find any land mines, let me know. I'll have EOD remove them."

"Roger that," I answered, and the cop drove off.


ANother double post.

I mentioned to someone that I am hiring an Amish roofing crew and he got mildly upset and went off on how the Amish pay no taxes, which is a out and out lie.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY escapes taxes.

While it is true the Amish do not pay into Social Security, it should be clear that they do not draw from it at all. They take care of each other.

It is also true that they, for the most part, pay no property taxes because they do not individually own their property. The church owns it, and therefore it is tax exempt. It should also be noted that schools are paid for by property taxes and the Amish have their own school system, so that's pretty much a wash there.

The church ownership tax break is someting available to all of us. To take advantage of it, all one has to do is turn the ownership of their property to their church with the agreement that they can live there for the rest of their lives. a small handful of non Amish people have done that over the years, but most of us opt not to do that, choosing to pay property taxes instead. Our choice.

Now, I'll give this guy credit in that he looked at me and went straight to the computer and looked up what I said.

He educated himself and returned to me.

"What you said is pretty much true," he said. "Nobody escapes death and taxes."

"It's not taxes that the Amish skip out on," I deadpanned. "It's death."

"Death?" he asked, looking perplexed.

"Yup. Death. They escape death."

"How do you figure that?" Ne asked. Now he looked really confused.

"Have you ever been to an Amish funeral?" I asked.

"No," he replied. "Can't say I have."

"Ever seen an Amish funeral?" I asked.

"No. I haven't seen one."

"Well, there you go," I replied, and walked off.

my other blog is:

Friday, June 11, 2010

I now have a pickle suit, which makes me happy.

An Internet friend sent me a package that arriived yeaterday.

In it was a pickle suit, and it fit me like a glove.

Back in the day I was a soldier, the fatigue (work) uniform was a lot different than it is today. It consisted of a pair of heavy cotton olive green pants with 4 patch pockets and a matching shirt with two pockets.

We used to starch them heavily for in-garrison wear, and not starch them for field wear. When they were not starched and came fresh out of the wash, they were pretty wrinkly. That's where the term pickle suit came from.

You looked like a pickle when you wore it. (Or at least so said some)

Anyway, I asked around on an internet forum and someone said they could drum one up somewhere. A couple of weeks later, Lo and Behold! A package arrived!

I know where it came from, and I'm grateful to the person. Over the past few years I have been the recipient of his generosity. He's a surplus dealer.

He is also a part time soldier, too. I sent him a message in a bottle when he was in Afghanistan and it got to him in about 35 days, which was cool.

When Tokie, by beloved cat died, he was there with a set of dogtags for the little guys box of ashes. Tokie will be buried with me eventually.

Some time ago I was reminded that the table setting was dated he came through and sent me a set of GI canteen cups and stainless steel GI trays which I used to make a sarcastic statement.

zxdujnm,lp/' (excuse me, cat on the keyboard)

His generosity to me has been exceptional and I am grateful.

It is good having a pickle suit and I will have to get a 4th ID patch and a name tag for it, and I am good to go. I think I will wear it to Camp Perry this August and I think I will be buried in it when my time comes.

There are a lot of good people out there and I am grateful for them.

If you let them, they overcome for the jerks we meet daily.


Double post today.

Yesterrday 3 threes came down in my front yard. I took them out myself.

We're getting ready for a new roof and they were dumping tree fallings on the roof and also keeping the sun from drying things out. There is a mossy patch on the roof because of the shade they produced.

When I started dropping the trees I noticed that the trash guys had not shown up as scheduled and that they seemed to be running behind so I decided to bust my ass and get the job done before they arrived.

I did, and sure enough, they crammed all three trees into the truck and hauled them away. I gave them a little something for their troubles and it was another win/win deal for both of us.

Of course, the idiot down the street was galled when the trash guys left the building materiels she tried to get them to haul away and she griped again to Neighbor Bob.

Bob reminded her that she was the one that had made life miserable for the trash guys several times over the years, whereas I had made life good for them over the years.

I'd like to give the guys some beer or something, but I won't, as it would endanger their jobs. Mere posession of any alcohol, even it it was not opened, would constitute a firing offense and it's not worth the chance.

Bob says he knows where both of them live, so maybe a drop off is in order.

You have to take care of a valuable asset like the trash guys.

Good ones are hard to come by.

my other blog is:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Today is a slow day, or at least

a slow srarting day.

The computer is running slower than ever, because it is downloading some kind of update coupled with the fact that this is the first day of summer vacation. The latter means that every kid and their older brother is on line playing some kind of game.

It's also trash day which means I had to haul all the jettisonable unwanted materiel to the curb.

One of the things people have to learn to do it throw stuff out. It seems we collect all sorts of meaningless stuff as we go through life, most of which is just stuff.

Neighbor Bob and I were yakking about that yesterday and we both agree that the biggest excuse for keeping something is the amount of money paid for it.

" I paid a hundred dollars for that, and I'm not throwing it out!" seems to be a frequent war cry over this issue.

So that means that for the price of $100, US Dollars, you get the honor and privlige of tripping over some stupid piece of junk for the next three dacades. With any luck, you can stub a toe over the damned thing, and if you are truly one of the gifted, you may even break a leg or something worse and really get your money's worth.

Sometimes you have to look at things and realize that the future holds no reasonable hope for a saved item.

The bell bottom pants in the rubbermaid box are probably not going to come into style again anytime soon no matter how often Cher is spotted wearing the damned things, and besides, after 4 decades it is pretty unlikely that you are ever going to get skinny enough to wear them unless you get really sick or something. If that happens, the last thing you are going to think about are the damned forty year old torn jeans in the Rubbermaid box in the basement.

You look around and see the amazing Jungle Gym/Treehouse/swing set in the back yard that you lovingly built for you sweet little daughter and realize that the little girl is now 34 years old and hasn't used it in well over 20 years and that the thing has been nothing but a pain in the ass because you have to mow around it every week.

But, by God, you paid good money for it and you'll be damned it you'll get rid of it.

By the time your grandkids are old enough to use it, it'll be rotten and with any luck the little crumbsnatchers will have it fall down beneath them and you can spend time getting to know them as the two of you sit together in the Emergency Room.

Who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Or you can simply just throw the damned thing out and figure you got your moneys worth or, if you didn't, just chalk it up to experience.

my other blog is:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sometimes one of my sisters makes me laugh

The otherr night she told me about having to get some yard work done and she needed help.

She found a guy that had recently gotten out of jail after cooling his heels for about 18 months for his 4th DUI, which ia a pretty big thing in the state she lives in.

Seems the guy had just gotten out oof the cooler and had found a job but was going through the 'we hold back the first week's pay' deal and he needed some fast cash for gasoline and grub.

Now, the guy seems to be basically honest because at least he is trying to work to get back on his feet so she followed her instincts and gave him a break and hired him.

He worked like a dog and did her a real good job and was overjoyed when Sis gave him a little extra money for his hard effort.

It was a win/win deal because he make a little money to get back on his feet and get back into society and Sis got the good feeling that she was helping someone help themselves.

Sis followed her instincts, was kind to a person that wanted an opportunity to help themselves and got a lot of things done for a fair price.

Of course, Sis isn't totally stupid, either.

She did have the good sense to keep the LadySmith handy just in case her instincts failed her.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When I recently went through an airport, I had to

go through security.

I havea neck chain that I wear that has a car key, a dogtag and a P-38 can opener on it.

The TSA guy examined it, hesitated for a second, eyed the P-38 and handed it back to me.

This leaves me with a question.

Are we returning to a little common sense? Or did TSA goof up and hire someone that does have a little common sense?

Who knows. It's geetting scary.

A few years back I tried to get a TB test read at a Philly hospital and there was a security guy there and I had to go through a metal detector, etc.

I was denied entrance because of a simple bullet on my key ring.

Not the entire cartridge, just the bullet. It was a harmless inert object.

When I argued, I was had to listen to a "Don't you see, Man? It's a SYMBOL of something, You See?"

I saw, all right. I saw a complete idiot.

It made me think that if I was really chewed up and bleeding all over hell, they wouldn't admit me if I had, for example, a Guns and Roses tattoo.

my other blog is:

Monday, June 7, 2010

There are only two excuses for yelling and screaming.

One of them is a fire.

The other is a man overboard.

Anything else is simply an idiotic insecure person that does not know how to either conduct themselves or communicate.


*Exception: Any Drill Sergeant type acting in the line of duty.

That is all.

my other blog is:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A lucky bastards luck just ran out

and now Neighbor Bob has a funeral to go to.

It is a relative of his that was a member of the Lucky Bastard Club.

Back during the early dark days of WW2 the Mighty 8th Air Force was bombing France and Germany and the Germans were shooting B-17s and B-24s out of the sky constantly.

The policy of rotation was such that after 25 combat missions, aircrews were sent back to the States to train other aircrews.

With casualties so high, it was nearly a miricle that a person survived the 25 missions. Those that did became automatic members of the Lucky Bastard Club.

It was informal and the certificates were made locally, but to this day there are a number of old men that have their certificates displayed prominantly in their homes, just like a lot of sailors have their shellback certificates displayed.

Neighbor Bobs uncle was a B-17 pilot and flew 25 missions against Germany during the war and therefore is a memmber of the club. He died peacefully in his sleep 2 nights ago, which is another stroke of luck for the old flyboy.

When Bob told me that, I chuckled at the irony of it.

As a young man he survived 25 missions over Europe, came home, married, raised a family, saw great grandchildren and died peacefullly in his sleep.

I'd call that being a lucky bastard.

my other blog is:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The oil spill is a national disgrace

and I do not mean the spill itself, which, in itself, is nothing short of being a colossal ecological disaister.

OK, something happened and there is a pipe a mile down and oil is spewing out. I could have predicted that eventually someone involved in offshore drilling at some time was going to FUBAR somehow.

I know every expert promised the public that a screwup of this magnatude could never happen because of all of the wonderful technology, but you have to remember that this program was brought to you by the same people that brought you the RMS Titanic and a host of other engineering disaisters throughout the years.

The disgrace I am speaking of is not the oil spill itself, but the way everyone has started to raise hell over everything and is carrying on.

The blame game is going on at a pretty good clip, threats out there of a Justice Department investigation are running at flank speed and everyone is getting in the way with their favotite plan to handle the mess.

One imbicile of a senator wants the whole affair turned over to the military, which is about the worst thing I can see happening because there is nobody involved that needs killing and there is nothing more that needs breaking, unless you include a lot of of politicians heads. Hmmm....Maybe putting the military to work ins't ALL that bad of an idea. If the military cracks a few skulls, maybe the experts can get back to work doing what they are supposed to do, which is stop the flow of oil in the first place.

The disgrace of the spill isn't in the spill itself, it's the feeding frenzy the media is running on it along with the conduct of out elected officials.

President Obama is carrying on, making counterproductive threats to BP about how they are going to have to pay for everything he can think of, various public figures are running off at the keyboard and the mouth and talking about something they don't even understand, much less know how to cure.

What should be happening now is that everyone should listen to the old saw they had posted at Fort Sill when I was sent there many years ago: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

I have yet to see any of ut leaders capable of taking charge of a mile-deep-in-the-ocean pipe capping job, I see none of them on the beaches getting dirty cleaning things up. All I see them do is babble about this and that and get in the way.

Let's get the flow of oil stopped first. We have decades left to assign blame and make the guilty pay.

The lawyers need not worry, there's enough to go around and there will be no shortage of clients. There's no hurry.

Let's just get the flow stopped and start cleaning up.

my other blog is:

My new combat laptop is getting set up today..

I was at work and saw a deal I could not refuse on a refurbished Itronix Gobook, $209 plus shipping. It's not a new laptop and I'm sure I could have gotten a lot more technology for the money, but I did not buy it for technology,

I bought it because it is downright tough.

It's only a 1.7 gig processor, and a 40 gig hard drive with 512 RAM, but the thing is supposed to be able to land on concrete from 1 meter and still be able to work.

This is a far cry from most laptops that are likely to bite the dust after being carelessly tossed onto a bed or couch.

My research tells me that the Itronix seems to be the way to go because the Panasonic Toughbooks seem to hold their value a little better and as a result they cost more.

I think this old Gobook cost someone well over 4k new, and I would not be surprised to find out it was originally owned by Uncle Sam. I say that because Itronix is owned by General Dynamics and GD is a big time defense contractor. These laptops were designed to go into the field with GI Joe.

The carrying handle is also pretty well thought out, too. I can use it to slant the keyboard for easier typing and I can use the handle in a vehicle to hang the machine from either a window or a steering wheel.

All in all, a pretty good deal for a guy with my life style.

my other blog is:

I suppose my work is cut out for me today

as someone I know FUBAR'd and dropped their cell phone into a pool.

I'm pretty lucky with dealing with the Tracfone people for whatever reason, so I generally get the detail and have to deal with the people on the other end of the line. Generally they are either South Americaans or Filipinos, which is fine.

I used to deal with Filipino seaman all the time and they were a joy because most speak pretty good English and they work well together. I wish American crews worked that well together.

Anyway, I'll betcha I spend the day reprogrammming a new cell phone.

my other blog is:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Neighbor Bob said something very wise tonight

I built a fire in the backyard tonight, which I do quite often.

Bob is a regular at these fires and thinks I build them for fraterninty and companionship. I do, but the bottom line is that I build them to get rid of the tree that fell in the backyard some time ago.

Anyway, when the fire started to pick up and get really going, it starrted raining.

I looked at Bob and suggested we take our drinks inside.

Bob looked at me for a second and thoughtfully replied, " We're men. I seriously think it is time for us to do something stupid."

I nodded and we sat there enjoying a fire in the rain until it went out.

It was a joy to sit in the rain and enjoy a fire and get wet.

When the fire went out, we decided to go inside.

We're not THAT stupid.

my other blog is:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We are getting close to the dock

and my relief is supposed to be there.

This is good and soon I will begin the trek home which begins with a spiffy airplane ride.

I used to love to fly, but since 9-11 I hate it because of all of the security stuff, most of which is a joke and an inconvenience. I have heard all kinds of tales of people that have accidentally left something in their bags only to find it AFTER they got home, meaning the whatever got past security.

A relative of mine told me her friend accidentally got through with a box of .45 ammo.

If course, they always want to seem to take your nail clippers away and make sure you are not carrying deodorant, which means you have to buy more when you land.

I suppose this means we can use this as an opportunity to make a business because when a smoker lands, someone on the ground with a lighter could probably sell lights for a buck apiece.

Anyway, when I land it is then time for me to go to pick up my truck and drive for about 6 hours or so and arrive home fried.

I'll catch up on missed posts in the next day or two.

Later, Pic.

my other blog is:

I am back on board and today will be a day

of travel.

I have a few minutes.

Right now we have a major ecologigal disaister in the making in the Gulf of Mexico.

I am damned tired of the keyboard commandos, barroom experts and talking heads running their big fat yaps.

If you do not have anything truly useful to say, then shut the hell up and let the people responsible do their jobs. There is a lot to say about the adage 'Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Oh, yeah. Many thanks to the justice department for the add-to. We can add them to the problem in that it makes it pretty hard to concentrate on stopping a spill when you are worried about going to jail.

If I were the CEO of BP, I would walk off right now and tell the public, "Sorry, folks. I have to prepare my legal defense."

I'm not letting BP off the hook. They FUBAR'd. Big time. We know that.

What I am saying is that we ought to get off their backs until the oil stops moving.

We have a lot of time AFTER the oil stops flowing to play the blame game.

One thing at a time.

my other blog is: