Sunday, January 31, 2010


I'm certainly that. I've always been bad about remembering dates, but you'd think I'd remember yesterday. Nine years ago yesterday my Mother passed away.

Sis and I really miss our Mama. Still.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's What's For Dinner

And what do ya know - that's not even a Black Angus. I'd bet it's just as tasty, but maybe that's just me.

On a related topic, there is a picture just waiting for me to snap if all the stars align properly (I'm about gonna have to catch one parked somewhere). A local feedlot has a few cow wagons, and they're "famous" locally for the artwork on the rear of their "pots." It's similar to the pic above, only there is a chicken pecking at the - ahem - fertilizer. The caption reads: "What Will It Be, Chicken or Beef?"

Well, now that you put it that way........

H/T Dave

You're Welcome


I'm a modest guy and don't really want the publicity, but geez, this sort of adulation can go to a fella's head.

H/T Zane

Friday, January 29, 2010


iLike this cartoon from Luckovich, who iUsuallydon'tlike. iThink the iMaxipad will sell like hotcakes anyways. Even if iHavenouse for the latest iToy. Not an iLemming here, fer sure. Like iCare.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm Back


I'm back in the saddle again - actually pretty busy. Until Thursday and Friday, when I have to have some tests done and see one of my doctors. Whee.

Beats sitting at home staring at the inside of my eyelids with the aid of hydrocodone.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Feel Soooo Accomplished

I wear bifocals. I discovered I needed them - oh, say something approaching twenty years ago. I'd been a lousy model builder as a child, but with big plans that never panned out. Then, I got older and decided to check in on the ol' hobby. At that time, the thinking was "Now that I'm an adult and can afford to buy some of the detail goodies to make 'em look real, I can go to town. I also have the patience to do it right - fill in cracks and low spots with body putty, proper painting, and care." So, as I was trying to simulate spark plug wires on a SBC (1/24 or 1/25 Z28 model), it became painfully obvious I couldn't see well enough to do that kind of detail work. Even after I got bifocals. Even with magnifying glasses on articulated arms.

So, I ended up collecting some die cast models. Not the same.

During a Woot Off before Christmas, one of the things that came up was the Alpha Force WWII Aces or Modern Aces - Six Pack. Either six WWII fighter plane models in 1/100 scale, or six modern fighter planes in 1/144 scale. Whoa. Too Cool. The Bachmann Mini Planes have always tripped my trigger until one has to actually, well, pay for them. So, hey, here are some model planes that promise to be highly detailed, just require a little glue, and most importantly, cheap! $11.99 plus five bucks shipping and handling cheap. If you are a Wooter, you also know that you could actually buy three sets and get them all shipped for the five bucks S&H.

What can I say - I succumb to impulse buys once in a while. I ordered two before Woot ran out. Two each of the WWII planes. I've got a good friend who is about as bad as I am when it comes to neat stuff for "decoration." His office is lined with memorabilia - truck models, old toys, swords, guns, sports goodies, Cohiba boxes - just a lot of good, manly stuff. It's his Man Cave - I have a whole house for that. I knew he'd appreciate the WWII planes. We're both old WWII memorabilia and history buffs. We can watch a History channel presentation about P51s and get misty eyed. We're emotional that way.

So, the six models are of the pictured FW190, Me 109, Spitfire Mk. Vb, Mitsubishi A6MZ Zero, P 47D Thunderbolt (a truly manly fighter), plus the all time fave - P 51D Mustang. It just doesn't get any better than that - all the major players are represented, and you'd really need more than six slots for cool WWII fighter planes. I could see the P47 knocked off for a P-38 (edited) Lightning, and I'm sure there are others that could be successfully argued.

So, how did it go together? Wow. Did I mention these things were 1/100 scale? And I'm about blind to tiny crap like this? Did I? I'm not sure, they say memory is the first thing to go. I dunno about that - it might be seeing things super up close and personal. Not only is the memory going and the eyesight not so useful - but there are other things that irk me, too. Whoever said after you're a teenager the zits go away lied. The hair on top of my head has migrated to my eyebrows, my nasal passages, my ears, down my back to my butt. You are what you eat - I must have eaten too many Rice Krispies as a kid - all my joints snap, crackle and pop. Oh, wait, I was talking about building a model. Sorry 'bout that, seems like I get sidetracked easily these days...

Other than needing to be about thirty seven times larger, it was really surprising to me how well this thing went together and how fine a degree of detail it exhibited. Tampo painting has come a long way, baybee. The only major flaw was a pretty good seam opening on the bottom of the fuselage, but on display it's not visible. I can tell you for a fact that the paint scheme shown would be impossible for me to apply. Also, not surprisingly, it's very very fragile. I suspect that open display of this model with a cat in the house may lead to one upset tubby trucker.

And just think - I've only got five more to go!

And one more thing - my pal is about as blind as me for close stuff, too. Bwaaaa haaaaa haaaaa haaaaa!

Friday, January 22, 2010

How Good Are You

At eyeballing lines, finding centers of circles and so on? The game is called The Eyeballing Game and it can be found at

This was at Iowahawk's place, and he said it was for the frustrated engineer in us all. There are seven figures repeated three times for the average score. I thought I did poorly at 5.41 - I'm gonna have to try this in the morning when the ol' eyeballs are fresh. Yeah, my eyes are tahrrrd. Yep, that's the ticket, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!

I'm a Doctor, Not a .......


Transporting my electrons halfway across the galaxy? What about the immortal soul? You soul less green blooded....

Ol' McCoy had some pretty good lines.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

These Guys Have Guts

I'm gonna step back into time a bit here - back to November of last year. The conservative blogosphere was quite surprised by a post by a bunch of self proclaimed liberals thanking George W. Bush, Laura, and even Dick Cheney for the jobs they did and being as classy as they are, particularly considering the contrast with who I call Teh Won and they refer to as Dr. Utopia.

I am of course referring to the gay guys who write Hillbuzz - supporters of Hillary Clinton. They caught a lot of flack from the Soros machine - The Daily Kos and Democratic Underground leading the way. Plus, being from Chicago didn't help, either, since they were in a sense right smack dab in the middle of Mordor. They are anonymous bloggers as well.

However, they also came out in favor of Scott Brown (R) instead of the party approved Martha Coakley (D).

Without getting into the ugly details and specifics, because we’re trying to cling to some semblance of privacy and a personal life here, we were warned two weeks ago to discontinue our support for Republican candidate Scott Brown or suffer consequences for backing him, at the expense of Martha Coakley. We were told, point blank, by Democrats in Chicago that people on the Left had “had enough with (us), and were going to come after (us), in a big way” if we didn’t stop rallying the troops for Scott Brown’s win over Coakley. We were given the ultimatum: either drop our support for Brown and the Left would leave us alone, or continue speaking out on Hottie McAwesome’s behalf and “just see what happens”.

Well, never let it be said that a hot and awesome guy needed help and we just sat there and did nothing, especially not when we felt America itself was at stake with what’s been going on in the Senate lately.

We told you previously that a main reason we aggressively backed Brown for the Senate seat was because of the way Democrats conducted themselves in the week before Christmas. Perhaps it was Christmas itself that really brought the fire out in us, since we were so disgusted Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, and the current president were so shameless as to use CHRISTMAS, and the distraction it naturally causes, as cover to ram through an unconstitutional piece of legislation riddled with pork, graft, and corruption that few in this country seem to want. That repulsed us.

We were further sickened by the fact that Demcorats insisted on handling this legislation in the dead of night, behind closed, locked doors, with no cameras in sight, rushing to vote on it at breakneck speed before Christmas Eve.

This is not how legislation this complex and world-changing should be handled. This is not how the United States Senate should operate. Regardless of what you think about healthcare reform, as an American, we don’t know how you could support EITHER party behaving this way with legislation that has such a vast and unprecedented impact on our economy, at a time when so many we know are out of work, and so many Americans’ jobs are hanging by threads. This healthcare bill should have been written in sunlight, after spirited debate not only in the Senate, but in town halls across the country where Americans of all stripes could have come together and, after much thought and consideration, devised a plan that would work for this nation. Something we could afford. Something we could pay for. Something that would not bankrupt us and cross the unconstitutional line of forcing, for the first time in history, citizens to purchase products against their personal will and free choice.

But, that’s not how the 60 Democrats in the Senate chose to conduct themselves.

That’s when all 60 of these people lost our support.

It’s why we started rooting for whomever will oppose them in their next elections.

There is more - and I highly recommend if you missed their thank you to the Bushes to read it as well.

They are suffering for their cause - and they feel they are being patriotic and trying to preserve the Union. Whether one agrees with their lifestyle is one thing, but it's hard to not admire them for their sheer guts in this battle. It is a battle for them.

I've seen bloggers pay the price for their beliefs before. Kim DuToit is basically unemployable because of his blogging about the second amendment and he and his wife's conservative views - when in fact they are actually very progressive in a lot of areas - while blogging they were excoriated for not being conservative enough. Chris Byrne lost a job because of his desecration of the Koran on video. Never mind that the Bible is desecrated daily by members of the Religion of Peace without second thought. That was his point, and it cost him dearly and still costs him in some ways to this day. Joe Huffman is another whose second amendment activities have cost him employment in the past.

So, I often feel I'm not contributing enough of my time in some ways, but I'm also pretty insulated from most of the blue state shenanigans as well. My two Senators and my Representative already vote the way I want - against Dr. Utopia's plans. Even when I travel in Illinois or Iowa (just examples of blue states) - if politics are up for discussion with a customer I find they generally agree with me and are quite upset that their votes don't count for much. Since I deliver to small business owners, oil companies, big chemical companies and some pretty big time farmers, this is really no surprise. They don't like what they see, either, and so confronting them with a big WTF do ya think yer doin'? doesn't get anywhere, because they're in a siege mentality already.

I've certainly tried to stand against stupid policies here in Kansas - no one was happier than I to see Kathleen Sebelius Peter Principled out of Kansas politics - the damage she's done with our energy policies and our school budgeting defies belief. I tried to help bring attention to the gun confiscations after the tornado struck Greensburg. Frankly, there isn't much around here that irks me as those issues did, and they're not issues anymore. I doubt I had anything to do with solving any of that, but it did feel good to bitch about it.

So, when I read the calls to action from the Hillbuzz boys, I feel out of sorts because my job here is done - all I do is maintenance. My state Senator (Tim Huelskamp) is running for the Big First as a U.S. Representative, and he certainly has my support for that job. Any Tea Parties are many hours from here and I don't have the time or money to attend. And, covering national politics is not a strength of mine - there are others who do a far more knowledgeable and credible job than I could ever attempt.

But, I can point to things that others may miss or I find interesting and meaningful. This is one of those times. Go and read what those guys have to say. I guarantee you will be touched at how brave they are considering what they're up against. I'll be doing what I can to make sure things don't "slip away" here in Western Kansas.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Any complaints about this site will have to be submitted on this form. That is all.

Seen here

Armstead Snow Tractor


This puppy is just plain cool - it was sold as a retrofit kit for Fordson tractors and Chevrolet cars. The article didn't say - but I'd bet you could adapt this to about any brand of similar sized vehicles.

A snow machine from 1924 is a piece of science fiction from the past. Patented by Frederick R. Burch, the Armstead Snow Motors Company made a 16mm demo film to show off the contraption. The company mounted a Fordson tractor and a Chevrolet automobile onto the spiral drums.

"Having these cylindrical drums turning in, that's friction against each other. But that's part of the reason it works, because it is forcing things in together, and it grabs and it screws its way over the snow," explained Randy Julander, snow survey supervisor with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The original is part of the archives of Michigan. Julander shared the film with us. He's a self-described "snow nerd," and enjoys snow sled gems from the archives.

"They're, number one, fascinating. Number two, they served a very practical use in the advancement of science over the years," Julander said.

It turns out that tracked vehicles were a better solution - but it's still fun to see what avenues that tinkerers traveled to find solutions and try to make a buck as well.

The email that prompted this post claimed the inventor himself - driving both the tractor and car - was Henry Ford himself.

This is a 1926 silent film (on video) of a tractor-snow-machine invented by Henry Ford, shown here driving it. Watch the whole thing. Note his suit and hat.

After I saw the second vehicle was a Chevy - well, I may not know Henry Ford, but I'd really, really doubt he'd use a Chevy for any sort of contraption he worked up. Just because the coat and hat were similar to what pictures of the period had Ford wearing does not make it a fact that the person depicted was in fact Henry Ford. As a matter of fact, since this "promo" was filmed in Utah, I'd presume by appearances that John Moses Browning (pbuh) has equal claim to being the inventor. If all it takes is a coat and hat, that is. But, I think we all know by now how much credibility I give information in forwarded emails, and how much it irritates me when the information is untrue.

Just for geekery sakes, Google has the patent for this bit 'o machinery - which shows Frederick R. Burch as the inventor - just like the linked news story says.

Anyhow, tooling around on one of those snow tractors would be a riot, I'm thinking. Oh, and that video is about ten minutes long. Don't say you weren't warned!

H/T Ant Gail

Monday, January 18, 2010

One pretty woman want to meet with you

From "Johnette Janeen"
I am lady. I have a black hair with pale shimmering. My eyes is green. I am not high. I have beautiful hair. My hair is short straight. I live in a big city. I work in public service. I like to watch thrillers. Representations in the performance pop stars on stage. I like horseback riding . I like desert. If you talk about me I am wild girl. Most of all in men I value openness. When I saw you in subway. I immediately realized that should. Because I can be for you a be unique only for you lover or someone great if you want. I'm waiting.

Hmmm - I am lady. With a name like Johnette, I gotta wonder. I have black hair with pale shimmering. Your eyes are like limpid pools in the moonlight? My eyes is green.Well, whadya know? Mine are too! I am not high. Heh. Not tall or not stoned? I have beautiful hair. My hair is short straight. Mkay, I get it. U gots gud har. I live in a big city. So? I work in public service. Oh, you show up and help blow tax money every day - wow, that's impressive. I like to watch thrillers. Representations in the performance pop stars on stage. Probably a Michael Jackson fan, wondering when his nose would fall off. I like horseback riding. Bet you just love long walks in the rain and sunsets on the beach, too. If you talk about me I am wild girl. Okay, baybee, get after it - I'm talkin' 'bout ya now! Most of all in men I value openness. Something tells me you like money better. Not sure what it is - just a feeling. When I saw you in subway. Really? The only public transportation I've ever been on is BART. It ain't no subway. Whoops! I immediately realized that should. English isn't your best language, is it? Because I can be for you a be unique only for you lover or someone great if you want. Believe me when I tell you, that will get all the proper consideration that it is due. I'm waiting. Heh - probably something you will continue to do for some time, if you're waiting on me.

Huntin' Ducks

A.D. spins a tale of breaking in a new dog. Go Read!

Bit of This, Bit of That

Well, I'm done for now with the outpatient surgery. An earlier blood screen showed my calcium and potassium levels were a bit high. Today's were even higher. This bothered the surgical team because I've had an ablative procedure (cryomaze). This procedure alters the nerve functions of heart regulation - so for every day use, it keeps mine from beating irregularly. However, during surgery, it is less stable and regulating medicines have less effect. So, in a stress situation, the ol' ticker could take off. That is what they feared if they put me under completely.

Another alternative was a spinal block. Most of the team favored putting me off and medicating my levels down to a safer level. My urologist decided to install a stent, moving the stone from it's blocking position and allowing my kidney to heal a bit - it's somewhat swollen. The urologist figures the levels will correct naturally.

So, they didn't put me under very deep, and used locals to install the stent. The pain from the stone is gone, but there are certain stretched parts that are complaining - nuff said. It looks like I'd be ready to work by Thursday, but I've got two followup appts Friday - it's a situation of "What's the use?"

Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts - y'all don't know how much that means to me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Don't You Know It

I'd do it.

Found here

Do It Again


Back in the day, we thought this song was pretty risque and clever. Of course, that was before hos were beaten, gang shootings glorified, cops were shot and other such cultural touchstones became common in modern music.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Screw That Viagra Stuff


Try Sproingo Instead!

H/T Nunkle Kim

A Rolling Stone

Still isn't extracted

I've been running around seeing different doctors for different reasons all week. The urologist told me they'd be in contact - he wanted to review my CT scan, Xray and lab results. So, I saw him today for a plan of attack. He had another CT scan done because the Xray seemed to indicate the stone had passed out of the kidney and into the ureter. Turns out it was still in the kidney.

So, I've gotta see my main Doctor's nurse practitioner tomorrow for a pre-op physical, and a cardiologist Friday for an EKG. Monday is when I'm scheduled for out patient surgery. He wants to go in with a camera and crush the stone. If it moves, he can run a more flexible tube "up" there. And, if all that fails, he can place a stent to regroup and do a lithotripsy later. He'll be doing that for the other stones in the left kidney later. Also, I don't have a stent in my left kidney - I thought I had one, and thought I remembered seeing it on an Xray for something else once, but it ain't there now. Which is good - they can get a lot of deposits built up and become difficult to remove.

I also had the option of being admitted into the emergency room and he'd have taken it out tonight. If I can't stand the pain until Monday that is always an option. Strikes me as a better deal all around if all the i's are dotted ect. - do it the outpatient way.

So, that's the plan!

The Essences Must Be Kept Pure

Y'all might remember posting about how some guns of mine were stolen. I have not heard anything positive from my local constabulary, and until Monday, I had nada.

I pick up my mail about once every two or three weeks, whether it needs it or not. As I was sorting through all the junk mail, circulars and whatnot, an envelope from the Sheriff's office kinda grabbed my attention. So, I opened it up and was greeted by a letter ALL IN CAPS.


Say what?


Why yes, my firearm magically appeared as if transported by Scotty himself just the other day - all shiny and clean. I was so happy. AS IF, dumb asses.


Why yes, they paid me off like a slot machine. So, you can consider this gun "not quite as stolen as before" so you really don't have to look quite so hard for it now.


Well, since I didn't have any insurance at that time, I doubt I'll be filing, considering the good it would do. Remember - y'all asked me when filling out your reports if I was insured.

I had four guns with saved serial numbers and two without, so this only concerned the four they had definitive data saved.

Well, now, this makes me feel all warm and runny about the future prospects of any ongoing investigations. I'm just all positive and glowing about how I'm gonna be getting them back. This sort of thing really illustrates how LEOs are different and better than the rest of us.

We're sorry to bother you, Mr. Jeffro, but we have to ask you some questions about the guns that were stolen from you earlier. You see, we have to make sure our database is kept up properly, and purged of confusing or out of date information. Would you please fill out these forms and get them to us as soon as you can? Rest assured, we're doing everything we can to find the bastards who stole your firearms, bring them to justice, and get them back for you.

Nope, can't do it that way, after all they're the ones with the badges and guns.


Yannow, I do get it. I understand that the ol' database has to be pruned of incorrect data if at all possible. I don't get what difference it makes if the gun was insured and if I got a settlement. The gun is still stolen. I know the gun would go to the insurance company if it were recovered, but how does that make any difference now? Plus, it looks like I'll be doing this once a year or more often, whenever they feel like it.

Protect and Serve? SHADDUP, FAT BOY.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Senator Harry Reid Should Resign

I'm sure we all have heard about Reid's comments taken from the book Game Change - a look behind the scenes of the last presidential election. He's not even contesting the truth of the book's revelations, so it is apparent he did say what he was purported to say. Which was? Barack Obama is a "light skinned" African-American with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Well, frankly, that is more or less the truth of the matter, racist or not. However, it matters not what Reid's intentions were - he in fact did say those words. Michael Steele, RNC chairman, has compared the situation to Trent Lott's racist remarks at the 100th birthday party of Strom Thurmond's. "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either."

What problems? Well, Thurmond had voted against the Voting Rights Act, plus a continuation of the Civil Rights Act, and against making Martin Luther King's birthday a Federal holiday. Not that Lott actually said anything directly racist - it was interpreted as such by the Democrats. Which is Steele's point - good enough to force Lott out, then the same standards should apply to Reid.

Are either of these statements inherently and obviously racist? Not really. One Reid apologist (oh, excuse me, reporter) on CBS News claimed that Reid is just a product of an earlier time, and chose his words with less care than he should. So, we need to cut him some slack. Apparently, he's a foggy old codger losing his mind and the things that drip from his mouth should be ignored. Oh, wait, that's not quite what they mean? Then he's sharp as a tack, and brilliant? Then he meant what he said - can't have it both ways. So, lets' slough off his race discrimination with a little age discrimination of our own.

Both examples are of politicians who need to be muzzled when away from their handlers. They're so full of themselves, and get to feeling comfortable among similar minded people, and let these zingers loose. I'm sure their strategists wish the teleprompters were on even when in line to order at Mickey D's.

Let's look at the highly touted forgiveness from Teh Won:

Emphasis mine

Now we're getting somewhere. Teh Won is speaking with a Forked Tongue - he knows exactly how valuable Reid is in the larger Sixty Vote Super Majority in the Senate Scheme of Things. Reid votes "on the right side of history." Do you really think this is all about stopping racism? Oh contraire mon frere. It's all about the balance of power and who wields it in Washington. Should Reid resign, the balance of power will shift.

Oh, but Jeffro, why should any of this matter? The guy who should be upset - our Wunnerful President - isn't offended by ol' Harry's remarks! Aren't we kinda piling on? What's the diff?

You can ask, and you will learn.

We have (and have had for some time) a climate of correct thinking in our workplaces that is enforced by the EEOC and our courts. Not only is direct harassment or racism not tolerated, neither is third party harassment. If I and Bob tell each other Polish jokes, and neither one is offended, well, we haven't done anything wrong, correct? Nyet, comrade! You fool! You didn't take into account that Boris, who happens to have Polish ancestry, was tuning in every word. Doesn't matter that you and Bob were having a private conversation, and Boris was eavesdropping - he heard it, he's upset, and either you and Bob are canned or the company gets sued.

So, Teh Won can bluster all he wants about how he wasn't offended, and the Dems can bluster all they want about how it's all politics, Reid didn't mean it, he's an old guy with old ways, and the Republicans are evil, evil, evil - it doesn't matter according to the laws and customs the rest of us have to follow in our workplaces. They went after Lott with a vengeance, and the chickens have come home to roost.

Aaaand, while we're at it, here's a quote from Reid on Lott's resignation:
Asked if the episode would serve as a warning to weigh his own words carefully, Reid said: "You play how you practice." "If you tell ethnic jokes in the backroom, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play."

Remember what Lott actually said - it was interpreted as being racist, because it wasn't directly racist. Reid was intimating Lott told racist jokes in the locker room. But, he's better than that - he's always practiced what he plays. Uh huh.

I won't be holding my breath that Reid will resign, but clearly he should.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Sometimes, I need to gain some perspective.

I saw my nurse practitioner today, and he had their lab screen my blood, plus he sent me to the hospital for a CAT scan. I've got a pretty decent sized stone in my right kidney and two in my left. The left kidney has a stent installed to prevent the stones from migrating. Apparently the stone in Kidney Right is irritating things. So, he made an appointment for me with the local urologist. His scheduler allowed how I could get in on the 28th. This is why I saw my guys first - their opinions carry more weight than mine. I saw him today.

I also had some xrays. The urologist wants to look things over - he hadn't seen the CT scan results nor the xrays, and wanted to study them first. I'll get a call when he's made a decision.

Okay, so it's a pain, and I'm whining. But, I gotta tell ya, it beats a brain tumor all to hell.

I just got word today that one of my childhood buds has a tumor and exploratory surgery is scheduled for Friday morning. He'd been seeing flashes out of the corner of his eye, and when he made his appointment, he had difficulty staying upright and keeping his balance. One doctor led to another, and this is where they're at. They do not know if the tumor is malignant, or what kind, or how it's growing. Apparently, if it started outside and grew in, then that is far better than if it started inside and grew out.

I spent a lot of time at his house as a kid, and he at mine. His friendship has meant a great deal to me over the years.

So, if you have time or room in your heart, please say a prayer for my pal. I'm a scabby old rat when it comes to survival - albeit one who doesn't take care of himself like he should. I'd a whole hell of a lot rather have stupid kidney stones than a brain tumor any day, and I don't feel quite so sorry for myself after all.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Yep, I'm Alive

Sort of

The last update on the Trip to California had our intrepid truckers camped out at Primm, NV. The next day took us across I15 to Barstow, then on CA58 to Shafter, which is northwest of Bakersfield. Most of that journey was across a whole lot 'o nuttin' - one of the highlights was going by the Zzyzx exit. Once at Shafter, the tanks were unloaded and set on their sides. The new owners didn't have their containment field ready. We also had to "deck" trailers. Two of "our" guys weren't company, and their owner tries to find backhauls when he can for his trucks. He found some trailers to haul back. I've mentioned before how our trailers are very single purpose - so there really isn't much freight he can haul with them. Better to drop the trailers and find someone needing a trailer hauled.

But, that leaves us with two trailers in California with no way home. Unless we deck 'em. That means putting one on top of the other and fastening it tight with belts, chains and boomers. After that was done, we pointed 'em east towards the house.

It was back to Barstow and then on I40. We ran in the dark from Barstow to Needles, but I'm pretty sure that was also a whole lot of nothing. We landed in Kingman, AZ for the night.

My impressions of the California I saw - lots of different crops - carrots and the like, plus lots of fruit trees. The overwhelming impression, though, was how dirty the highways are. Supposedly, the state crews' budgets have been cut for trash pickup. Trust me, it shows. I'd hate to have to pull off on a shoulder - I'd expect a flat tire. Apparently, adopt a highway programs have failed as well. It is a shame, because it is some nice country.

I'd never been in Arizona before, either, so that was new. The landscape west of Flagstaff was a bit of an eerie volcanic desert wasteland - lots of igneous rock formations cluttering the landscape with typical desert vegetation scattered between - looking for all the world like a race of giant cattle had come through leaving their droppings. Somehow, I doubt there is much tillage goin' on 'round there.

We made it to Tucumcari, NM before we petered out. The next morning found us headed northwest on US54. Once we were in Texas, I was back in familiar territory. That morning was the start of the third day of pain from a suspected kidney stone.

I've had the bastards before - in fact, I was in the hospital getting zapped when my EKG readings went haywire and I ended up with a quad bypass. I still have a kidney stent in a ureter that hasn't been dealt with. So, I've been procrastinating.

I hate going to hospitals. This crap isn't in my budget, even with insurance. Dollars to donuts, I'm gonna be in for a series of procedures to clean me out. But, I can't live with a stuck stone, either. It's really made me pretty sick, short of breath, and very tired. I'm in some pain, but it's nothing like the first stone I had. Of course, Friday morning in New Mexico kinda made it difficult to get an appointment with my doctor in Dodge City, so I'll be seeing them Monday. I could call the urologist (a new one in Dodge - I'm less than enthused with the one I'd been seeing in Garden City), but I'd bet a phone call from my doctor would get me in far sooner than just me announcing I have a stone and to see me immediately if not before. Referrals and all.

So, the trip was good, but I'm more than a bit grumpy at the moment.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The $9.99 Hotel Room

That would be Sin City. It was really hazy there - almost as bad as Denver used to get several years ago. We made it to Primm, NV - on the California state line. We've got to have escorts in Liberal Utopia, and they'll meet us here. There is a small truck stop and a fairly decent casino here - and when we filled up, the manager told us to be sure and take our fuel receipts in - rooms were $9.99. Normally, they are thirty bucks Mon-Thurs. Since fuel was almost three bucks a gallon, that helped the ol' bottom line for the company. We also got five bucks off in the cafe, and fifteen bucks comped on our "player card" that we could burn. Free t-shirt, too - but they didn't have them in Omar the Tentmaker sizes, so one of my compadres and I got smaller ones for two of his grandkids - I didn't need a t-shirt that wouldn't fit.

So, I got $40 from an ATM - that was my budget. $4 transaction fee. Plus, before you could gamble on their money, you had to pay for the first play. I'm a quarter slot kinda guy - I like the old fashioned three reels with two diagonal and three straight lines, but I couldn't find one. So, it was a single line, then. I used up their comped bucks, and was eating into my twenty, when I hit a triple bar. $68 bucks! I quit right then - had I continued, that would have been gone plus my other twenty.

So, internet here is $11.99. None of my browsers would open to their sign in page. OK, I've got a toll free number to call. Wait, that's seventy five cents for toll free and local calls, each. I get tech support, and he tells me to put 'er to sleep while he worked on some stuff. Mkay, when I tried again, it's glacier slow, or speedy quick, or dialup crawl. The router wasn't keeping me hooked up. Mkay, call again - but this time I used that modern invention - the cell phone. I guess I've lived too long without one, and even ten years later, I forget to use the dern thing.

He told me he'd put my MAC address on their priority list, so sleepy time for the laptop. He must have known his stuff, 'cause it's working pretty good now. So, I figure I'm ahead about thirty bucks after getting internet service, the ATM and the stupid phone call. Plus I had a fifteen dollar meal for ten. Not too shabby.

Yeah, maybe I gave up the opportunity of a lifetime by not continuing to gamble. Yeah. Okay. Sure. You betcha. Whatever.

My room number is 1413 - and there is no thirteenth floor. You know what that really meant my room number truly is. Snork!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Goin' to California With an Achin' in My Heart

Well, I'm going to California, at any rate. Achin' in my heart, not so much. Just irritated again. This is a shot of I70 from the westbound uphill side of Loveland Pass, which y'all recall the last time I had to go over. This time, the road was more snowpacked - Colorado had dropped the chain law not too long before we got there - or we'd still be sitting there waiting for it to open. I've never been to California in a truck before, so this is new. Normally, we head to I40, but apparently New Mexico has some road construction they don't want wide loads traversing. Thus, I70 over to Vegas. Now my truck is filthy - gaaah! I'll guarantee you we won't be coming back this way - empty we can go when chain laws are in effect, but I hate putting the damn things on. So, I40 it's gonna be.

But, I do like Glenwood Canyon for scenery. You'll notice the eastbound traffic runs under the westbound - a lot of the road has to do that in that canyon. The speed limit is fifty mph, and trucks aren't allowed in the left lane at all. So, we're stuck until we get through if we get behind some moron slowpoke. Most of the time, it's not too bad, though.

And, we made it to a truck stop east of Grand Junction - one of the trucks in our little convoy had some minor trouble, so we quit there a bit early to fix it. Dollied our trailers down and drove to Junction for the motel. This Pete was sitting there looking ever so fine. This truck was immaculate (won't stay that way if he keeps going east!), and the chrome, stainless, lights, stacks, and droopy visor were all done very tastefully, if you ask me. I like painted tanks with the straps left in polished aluminum. He's got some classic old school stuff - single headlights, spotlights in his A pillars, the chrome swan for a hood pull, the flattop sleeper, and a few extra clearance lights on the cab. It's a good looking rig with the stainless fuel trailer, and it's new and shiny too.

So, we have no idea where we'll land tomorrow, but we'll be the first to know when it gets here.

Talk to Me Baybee


I got this in an email titled "Tiger Wood's Wife Talking to Him" but I suspect her wedding dress was a tad more than five hundred bucks. The black cat doesn't seem to be too bothered by it all - us men just don't listen when we're getting an earful!

H/T Eddie

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Feel The Powah!

This is the world famous Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket - which sells for $147.72 in quantities from one to three. From the product page:
If you are building your own audiophile power cord to improve component performance, you need the WattGate 381 receptacle. Why build a performance power cable only to plug it into the same receptacle that's been in use for almost 100 years? WattGate's 381 is a no compromise solution for the demanding AV enthusiast. Construction of the 381 is top-notch and features glass-filled, nylon front and rear housings. Mounting strap, rivets and grounding strip are gold plated, solid brass for the ultimate in corrosion resistance and power transfer. Installation of the 381 is simple and efficient due to rear wiring and large, #10 brass terminal screws. Terminal clamps are gold plated, solid brass and shaped to better grip the conductors. Like the 330 and 350, the 381 leaves the competition behind with its contacts. Configured in a triple-wiper design allows the plug blades to be gripped at three separate points. Additionally, the heavy-duty contacts maximize the clamping spring-rate and ensure conductivity. A three-layer plating process is also completed on the 381: Oxygen free copper plating, electrolysis nickel, and finally 24k gold plating. Receptacle contacts are cryogenically heat treat hardened. Receptacle is rated at 125 VAC, 20A.
  • Cryogenic heat treat hardened contacts
  • Solid brass contact construction
  • Three step 24k gold plating process
  • Triple wiper design increases contact area
  • Superior performance over standard receptacles

Of course, the reviews for this highly developed bit of electrical engineering are virtually glowing:
I didn't believe all the hype... but at this price (bought 4 to get the reduced pricing $561.32 + $25.00 shipping) I figured the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket was cheap enough to experiment with. Besides, 4 regular sockets at your local Home Depot would cost you around $12.50 and there is no multi-unit discount with them! So really I would have been crazy not to buy them...

I am a big-time Bass Fisherman. I would rather go Bass Fishing than anything. So it should come as no surprise that I bought the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket to go in my Bass Fishing boat.
It s kind of an old clunker though, 6 aluminum job. Single seater, with only a trolling motor for power. I installed a super cheapo fish finder a few years ago... it works ok in shallow water (knee-deep or less) as long as the fish are really big!

So I installed one of the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket to run the fish finder.
I didn t run any wiring to the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket I just cut a hole in the bottom of the boat and screwed it in.
I was afraid it would leak, but to my surprise it was completely water tight. In fact some other holes that used to be in the boat stopped leaking also...
Next thing I noticed was that the trolling motor that used to strain to push the boat along at 5 mph was now kicking up a 30 Rooster Tail behind me and was pushing the boat along at hydro-plane speeds approaching 300 mph.

And finally with the fish finder plugged directly into the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket I am making a fortune from all the sunken treasure that the fish finder is able to detect now!

...on a side note, me and the wife have been trying for 12 years to have a baby, well lo and behold I come home from a month long fishing trip and she informs me she is 2 weeks pregnant! Thanks Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket!!! You have made my life complete!!

Of course, there are "green" benefits:
Before installing the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket, I was only able to pick up a few local radio stations on my HD receiver. The stations I could hear had a lot of static and where hard to listen to. Since installing the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket I can now pick up nearly ever station on the planet and even a classic rock station from Alpha Centuari system.
The 25% increase of amperage as well as the power sine wave interpolation without a doubt prove that the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket is worth at least five times the full retail price.
After some calculations I have determined that if were to use the Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket to recharge my Prius, I will obtain close to a 35% increase in mileage using batteries alone.
I further hypotheroize that if one Wattgate 381 Audio Grade Duplex Socket was installed in every household in America the global carbon dioxide levels would be significantly reduced.

Let's not forget the Chuck Norris effect:
I was given the wattgate 381 as a gift from my wife, I was not impressed with it. Yeah it was shiney and sure did look the part but come on, it is an outlet!!! I have a nice entertainment system so I thought I would give it a try, after installation I put in my favorite movie The Delta Force starring Chuck Norris, this time he killed everyone the good and the bad, it was so loud my ears are still bleeding. When the movie was over my TV exploded and Chuck Norris stood in the carnage. Then he picked up my wife and gave her the best rogering she has ever had (the doctors say she might be able to walk again after intensive physical theropy). Two thumbs way up!!

Wow! This sounds super fabuloso - I'd bet this socket would blow away Gold Plated Monster Cables even! Like totally worth the money, dude!

H/T Purple Avenger at Ace's

Friday, January 01, 2010


Garry Trudeau has it. How on God's green earth can he ink this stuff without realizing his hero Teh Won had no experience compared to Bush? "President of the 57 states in the Union" - yeah, that's how the world really works for a community organizer and a junior senator who didn't even finish his first term. But George W. was obviously stupid compared to the brilliance displayed by Dear Leader - plus, Bush actually served in the military for six years. Flew jets, fer cry yi. Crammed bullet points? WTF is Trudeau talking about? Of course Teh Won didn't learn anything at the knees of Ayers or Reverend Wright - or take orders from the real ruler of Illinois - Daley.

I think y'all know by now I'm not a big fan of Bush's domestic policies - so I don't really care to find myself defending him - but for crying out loud - people who live in glass houses shouldn't be lobbing freaking boulders. Still lobbing boulders - a year after his hero won! Are we still trying to tear down Bush to Der Kommisar's level because we're a bit insecure about his qualifications and job performance?

Naw, not in kumbaya land. All is well, nothing to see here, move along.