Thursday, December 31, 2009



Guaranteed to make a certain bodily orifice pucker up immediately if not before! Some of these were simply accidents. The dry van that "drops a wheel" on the gradual left curve - sometimes those shoulders really drop. The flatbed at the railroad crossing? Moron Fail. I have no idea how a driver could have his end dump in the air and try to drive under an overpass. The other end dump that fell over while unloading - this happens all the time with those long beds - one side hangs up and creates an imbalance - and over she goes! The Target shopping carts? Two words. Load lock. One segment with a dry van semi passing at high speed on a curve looks like a brake failure on a mountain pass - but I didn't see any smoking brakes. Probably just a loose nut behind the wheel - which isn't confined to the States, apparently.

Just remember - not all the drivers out there are seasoned professionals, and even they (including me) make mistakes! I hope I've made y'all feel more secure on our nation's highways and byways! Sleep well tonight, America!

H/T Hoss

What Are Your New Year's Eve Plans???

Hmmmm. Detect a common thread here? I guarantee you it's what I'll be up to - which ain't much. I've got what's left of a bottle of rum that started it's residence in this ol' place much closer to the beginning of this decade than the end - I might just have to mix a rum and Diet Pepsi for the New Year. Yeah, I know, how exciting! Such is life.

How about some cowboy poetry to start off the New Year? Robert Dennis sums up the year that was at his family's ranch. Good Stuff! threecollie (Marianne Friers) and Earl (Just the Library Keeper) remind us of the blue moon visible now. More posts to be added later if I find 'em and remember to do so!

So, let's hope and pray that 2010 is a good year to all of us. Happy New Year, one and all!


I've mentioned before that my sister hosts cats for adoption. Generally, every time I visit, there is different cat. One time, she had two onery looking kittens that I ached to play with, but they had ringworm and couldn't be handled. Sis had to use rubber gloves to treat, feed and water the poor little devils. Often, these cats have a health issue - which is why they were abandoned. According to that logic, I should have been kicked to the curb a long time ago. I have little sympathy for the former "masters" of these animals.

Biscuit's only problem we could fathom was his sensitivity to dog food. He's ok with cat food from Petsmart, but the dog food for Sadie - Kathleen's cocker spaniel - not so much. It gives him gas. Nuclear strength with a marked half life.

Otherwise, he is a friendly, well behaved full grown neutered male. He likes attention, but seems fairly quiet, particularly compared to the cat who rules The Poor Farm (Rooster). I'd have brought him home, but Rooster does not play well with others. This old farmhouse is small enough with myself and one cat - but two? That may or may not get along? No, Biscuit deserves a family that can devote themselves to him - he's worth it. Believe me when I tell you I didn't like leaving him behind. When I adopted Rooster from the pound at Dodge City - it was painful to pick only one out of so many. The staff offered a trip through their dog section, but I knew I couldn't handle that. I'd want 'em all. I'd be the crazy old hermit with all the dogs and cats that ends up in the news, given half a chance.

At any rate, if you are in need of a cat and are in the Oklahoma City area, I can assure you Biscuit would make a fine addition to your family. He even has his own web page. And, if you want a cat or a dog and you aren't from that area, please consider your local shelter or pound. Mixed breeds may not be Paris Hilton's fashion choice of accessories, but they are generally more robust and healthy than finicky purebreeds, plus they need our lovin.'

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Say What?


File this under the "You've got to be kidding me" department. I just saw this ad on the boob tube. Of course, someone had it up already on YouTube - plus I get a charge out of the little dialog box towards the end "fast internet or Cheap internet that sucks." So true.

I keep AOL around - yeah, I know - just in case. I stayed an my Sis's place for several days over Christmas, and while she resides in a major urban area, cable nor DSL is available for her. There are wireless solutions available, but she has it in her mind that she ought to be able to get broadband for the same price others down the road pay rather than double for the local wireless. So, I use my dialup access so I don't burn through all of her "unlimited" time with internet connection sharing. Just dipping my toe in the tar pit of dialup speeds (rather the lack of) was enough.

Yeah, Mark Goldston - I spend too much money on lighters - best get me two sticks to rub together - that'll save some bucks. I don't care for these newfangled cars that start themselves, require plugs every 100k, and put out more power with better mileage. I think a Tin Lizzie with a hand crank would get me by just fine. What do I need with a high definition television when I can make my own movies with a pad of paper? Oh, yeah, that's entertainment. Antibiotics? Who needs 'em? Let's go back to barbers who don't wash their hands - look at the money we'd save. Electricity? What for? Coal oil lamps all the way, baybee.

NetZero ad? Fail.

Thumbs Up

In the tradition of I Can Haz Cheezburger is - Lol celebs and so on. It appears some of the images were originally on Cheezburger.

Must Have Sleep. No, really.

Marty Feldman - we miss ya!

Pets as a fashion accessory - yep, we're doomed.

Shatner over acting? No, why do you ask?

Cannot be unseen. No, really - I didn't need to see that.

Speaking of unseeing something - eye bleach and mental floss - stat! Truly the stuff of nightmares!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm A Shameless, Dirty Old Man

Dr. Amy Mainzer,
35 years old, born in USA

Dr. Mainzer is a Research Scientist at JPL. For her thesis, she built the First Light Camera for SOFIA (FLITECAM) and observed brown dwarfs with it. She joined the WISE team and JPL in 2003. As the WISE Deputy Project Scientist, she works to ensure that WISE will meet its science requirements. She is also the principal investigator of a project to enhance WISE's ability to find new asteroids.

I just linked Dr. Mainzer after perusing her blog - not only is she a fabulous looking babe, she's also (obviously) hyper smart and has a sense of humor. Made of unobtanium - sigh.

I'm sure she doesn't need any links from me, but I found her writing to be accessible and enjoyable. If you are into the cosmos at all, check her out. She also appears on the History Channel's series The Universe - which is where I first found her. Who knows - I might actually learn something.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bite Me, Garry

Nope, Sarah isn't hiding away like all you "progressives" wish she would. She might seem to be an albatross to y'all, but to the rest of us away from the coasts, well, we enjoy what she has to say.

At least she's not an anti-Semite like Carter, who needs to shut his mouth.

I Dont Care Who You Are


This 'Cuda is frakking cool! Five minute video, but if you are a gearhead, you will watch. Yes, you will.

H/T Ant Gail

Quote of the Day -

"[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, - who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia." --George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

I've been subscribing to Founder's dot org's various dailies for some time now, and the Founder's Quote Daily is my favorite. If you want to subscribe, go here. I often think men like Mason would disown us for the mess we've made of their experiment. On a side note - I'd have to say my American History was a bit sketchy - I sure don't remember George Mason being mentioned much, when we probably owe our Bill of Rights to the man. On the other hand, Ben Franklin may have really been the father of our country - wink, wink....

Going off topic even more - the other night on Pawn Stars a gentleman came in wanting to sell some Revolutionary War currency. Two were fairly common and not worth that much, but one appeared to be printed by Ben Franklin. Turned out it was, and the artifact was valuable. It was worth more because of Franklin's signature, but what really made it rare was George Mason's signature.

Anyways, getting back on topic - doesn't what Mason is discussing seem just a bit uncomfortably familiar?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yeah, Pretty Much

I love it when an evil plan comes together.

And, in other news, the one column Dave Barry writes each year is up: Dave Barry's Year In Review. Read it and weep! It's all Bush's fault, according to Robert Gibbs - since this administration inherited it's problems!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

So, There I Was

We were gathered outside in a bunch, shooting the breeze. Suddenly a call came in, and my leader announced we had a four wheeler to totally rebuild. Because that is what we do - rebuild ATVs. I grabbed a plastic radiator out of a long line of identical parts - off the ground. All of us started jogging across the field, headed to wherever the ATV apparently was. We were all wearing camo.

We had to go across a feedlot, and I managed to keep up the jogging pace by leaping between the fence bars. I had seen how muddy and crappy the ground looked, so I didn't want to crawl under the fence. It occurred to me that I hadn't been in that kind of shape in years.

We were out in the open again. However,behind us power lines were being disturbed, and some were falling out of the sky around us. Huge cables - eight to twelve inches in diameter, falling a half mile or more, landing on the ground sizzling, writhing and whipping about. So, we had to keep an eye on the sky to stay in the open and not under any of the mutant power lines.

Our group - still on the ATV repair mission - found ourselves in a more urban setting. It was an older section of town - old brick business buildings found close to the tracks. We still had to watch the power lines, but only the normal kind found in an old business district. Suddenly, our leader stopped at a small building about the size of an outhouse. It was a dingy white with galvanized louvered sheet metal panels mounted on the sides. He started speaking to someone hidden inside - apparently a reporter we had to speak with on the way to completion of our mission. Rebuilding an ATV.

The reporter started yelling at our guy, telling him that some celebrity or another shouldn't have said what they said, and how rude and tasteless it was. Then, another reporter on a panel started arguing counterpoint - standing up for what that particular celebrity had done. As I cleared the cobwebs from my brain, I realized I had fallen asleep in my sister's recliner with the television on, and had woken up during a "panel discussion" on some tabloid tv show.

I fumbled with the unfamiliar remote and couldn't get the damn tv off quick enough.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Twisted Christmas

What? Y'all expect a touching post on the meaning of Christmas? Heh.

Typical men. Last minute shoppers - Oh Yeah!

Subtle, yet effective.

No doubt - under appreciated fer sure!

The King is a fink.

Santa isn't messing around this year.

Well, I did think today's Liō was touching, wistful and a bit sad.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I'm descending into dialup hell when I get to Sis's place, so posting may be even more sporadic than usual. Be safe, and God bless.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Semi Crazy


RT sent this to me - and I got a large kick out of the clip. As far as I can tell, the trucks are all from the seventies. The two GMC COEs at the first are kinda rare - as well as rode hard and put away wet! There are a couple of good shots of the interior of a Pete cabover - it's the instrument panel above the doghouse. Petes all have the rotary elbow vents on top of the dash. The COEs had three, conventionals had two because the cabs were smaller and narrower. Folks, they were the only registers those trucks had (unless the A/C was a roof mounted unit). They doubled as vents and defrosters. The fans mounted on the headliner helped move a fair amount of air but didn't help NVH much - they were noisy.

The door and window seals - it is to laugh. Insulation? Not so much. The other interior shots of the Pete showed the height of luxury - the vinyl door panel with all the heat sealed fake tuck and roll - but only on the door. The doghouse? Just a padded sheet of vinyl. Those chrome door handles and window cranks look cool, but after you've been slammed against them for the seventeenth time that day - well, that part of your body wished the engineers would have mounted them somewhere else. You can also see the door vents - open one way and they would act as scoops bringing in fresh air, open the other and they'd exhaust interior air. Those vents were pretty useful. These days they are just on sleepers - I suspect they allow too much outside noise even when they are closed for today's trucks.

Even with all my bitching and moaning these old trucks are pretty cool. They were built to last as well as they knew how at the time, so ruggedness is a hallmark of their design. The plastic and electronics of today's rigs certainly won't last as long as those old warriors. The average shade tree mechanic could and did work on them. Today's trucks? Not so much.

Some nostalgia is good, and we can overlook some things with rose colored glasses. This tubby trucker still likes the new equipment better. I'm built for comfort, not for speed these days, and the majority of those old wagons weren't all that fast anyhow.

Cartoons Again

Yeah, cuz everyone who's anyone knows the polar ice caps are melting, melting, melting, and the polar bears are gonna starve, and our oceans are gonna flood whole continents - withing a few years! If you don't believe it, you're just an anti environmental denier - the science is settled!

Err, yeah, dipstick, the science is settled. Riggghhhhht.

This cartoon - well, it hits me kinda hard. I'm too sad to be sarcastic....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chicken Hauler Goes Belly Up

Full story at Tulsa World

Employees and drivers of Arrow Trucking Co. are in a quandary Tuesday, some going home and wondering if they have jobs at the west Tulsa company.

Arrow, which operates about 1,400 trucks throughout the United States, is in financial difficulty, drivers say.

Drivers from Tennessee to Wyoming said they have had the company stop payment on their gas cards, stranding them at truck stops around the country.


Williams said workers weren't given their last paychecks and benefits have been cut off. Some drivers are stranded along their routes and are struggling to find a way home because of orders to sideline the rigs, she said.

Arrow truck driver Ruben Bradley, who had stopped at a truck stop in Wichita Falls, Texas, said he was told Monday night by a dispatcher to take his load for delivery in New Mexico. Bradley said Tuesday that he has decided he's not going to move until he is assured he can refuel after he delivers his load.

"A driver was told they're shutting the doors and to bring his truck to the nearest Freightliner dealer or Arrow terminal," Bradley said.

"He was told if you took it to the Freightliner dealer, they would see about getting us back home."

Even among employees, information about the company's future was scarce.
There are really two definitions for "chicken hauler" in the latest trucker vernacular - one is a decked out show quality truck, and the other is less complimentary. Fleet trucks that are plain jane, governed slowly, underpowered, rate cutters, and generally in the way of the rest of us when we're trying to get somewhere would be definition number two.

Not that I have a real problem with a company trying to control costs, mind you, but - it sure seems that the cost controls are heaped on the backs of their drivers, too. Most companies pay their drivers by the mile - but they pay on map miles rather than actual miles driven. So, about the only time map miles match actual miles driven is if one manages to load and unload on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas. Like the west side of St. Louis to the east side of Denver. If you have to go across town in both cases, that can add over a hundred miles to your trip that you won't be getting paid for. Or a major detour can add miles not paid. Another little dig is to have the truck programmed to shut off after a minute or so idling. So, the truck will die at stoplights, and when it's hot or cold, the driver can't stay comfortable in the bunk - since the truck won't run long enough to keep the A/C or heat on. Auxiliary Power Units (APU's) are the solution, but many companies refuse to spend the extra money on such "frills." Add the practice of making a driver sit at a truck stop for days waiting on a load, or deadheading without pay or sharply reduced pay to pick up a load - geez, is it any wonder these companies have high driver turnover?

Often these companies are the first place a fresh driving school graduate ends up at - since a lot of schools are linked with such stellar employers. Keeps 'em in fresh meat, as it were. Rookies have to start somewhere, but most don't have a clue what they're getting into.

Arrow has a pretty bad reputation - a simple web search will find a lot of bad info on forums and the like. It's one thing to go belly up, but to strand their drivers just before Christmas? Arrow actually dispatched drivers with loads knowing they were going to shut their doors and kill their fuel cards. Their management has known of this for quite some time, so one can only infer what sort of benefits they received by keeping this quiet until the last second. I'm quite sure "they got theirs" out before the walls came crashing down.

But, again, stranding their drivers before Christmas? Despicable. I can only hope that they stay out of business - that's one less scummy rate cutting outfit in the mix.

H/T Wayne at Life On The Road

Stuff of Nightmares


I'd think this qualifies as a contender in the ol' "Things we have nightmares about" category. Pantless in front of millions? Check. Good enough for me!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pawn Star$

Anyone else watch this? I find myself hooked on it - even if it is a "reality" show.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Earlier this week the ol' blog rolled over 50k hits. Apparently this means something to me, or I wouldn't mention it at all, but really - what that number represents really doesn't mean much to me. Why, you ask?

Because the largest share of hits are people following a search for an image, a specific search string, or a link from a forum about some post I put up some time ago. The posts that drive the most traffic to this site are the ones I've labeled "email." They are usually a bunch of pictures about some particular subject someone emailed to me. The three such posts that really draw the traffic at this time are World Harvest For Kids, Oldest Boeing Airliner In Flying Condition, and the latest major traffic draw - How To Cook A Deere. Someone on a farm forum linked that post and for several days, traffic was high - almost to 500 hits one day. For this blog, that's a lot. The other post that still brings 'em in is my directions on how to remove the blower motor in a Chevy pickup. For a while there, Sitemeter showed I was averaging several hundred hits a day, thanks to the roasting John Deere traffic.

But, to me, that's all rather empty. Rarely do any of those folks ever look around. They just see that page, and that's it. Comment? Forget it. Now, I dunno about the rest of you who read here regularly, but I like to check out what other bloggers have to say once I'm there. I'm in their house - I'm gonna look around and see if I like the place or not.

Which is what I suspect most of y'all who blog do as well. I've said it before how bloggers are kinda incestuous - we supply a lot of traffic and feedback to other bloggers who do the same for us. We're a very small subset of the surfing public. Most casual surfers just don't get blogging - the idea that they have to come back to check for fresh content does not register, and in fact, they don't care. Which is why blogging will always be a niche product in the larger scheme of things.

That doesn't really bother me, either. What I've come to enjoy is the social aspect of the whole experience. It's like we are all part of a Venn diagram with all sorts of interactions that spread across geographical, political and religious lines. When most of us (those of you who stop here regularly) expound on politics, we are preaching to the choir - but we do interact with those who disagree. It's not a total echo chamber.

No, it's the friendships that have been forged that mean something to me. This is strictly anecdotal - but whilst perusing other blogs I get nosy and see what sort of traffic they get (if their counter is open and not set privately). There are a ton of blogs out there who get a heck of a lot more traffic than this dump - but post after post after post shows zero comments. One or two posts on their front page might have a few comments.

That would drive me nuts - even further than I already am - heh. The reactions and ideas bounced off what I've put up makes the efforts worthwhile to me. I really appreciate everyone's comments. Y'all have no idea how much that meant to me while I was hospitalized, or if something has upset me. It's a comforting feeling to know there are a bunch of you who have my back, even if it is just in a world of electrons.

And there are other things I could do to drive more traffic. One thing right off would be to limit my feeds so that if you are checking this joint out on a reader - you'd actually have to come here to read the full post. Personally, I just don't care for that strategy being used on me, so that's one step I'll never take. Yeah, readers don't show up in traffic stats, but if what I say is important enough to ya, you'll stop in and say something. I use the Google reader, and it strikes me that the blogger who sets up their feed to preview looks at my actual presence on their site for pumping up their stats as more important than what they are posting. But maybe that's just me.

So, thanks to whomever drops in from Jeff Soyer's People of the Gun site! I've noticed you here before - but with Sitemeter, I have my doubts that you are actually from Savannah. Sitemeter still thinks I'm from Fort Lauderdale FL on SunBeach Networks, when I'm really on from Cimarron. So, until you're better paid, thanks is about all I can dish out!

And more importantly, thank you to all you "regulars." The idea that you actually come back to see what sort of drivel might drip from the ol' noggin really amazes me, and I'm forever grateful. Ya'll are a bunch of talented people, so attracting your attention means something to me. I hope y'all can count on me if ya need it.

A Different Christmas Poem


Kinda puts the commercialization of Christmas in perspective, huh....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hundreds Attend Global Warming Protest

Oh, excuse me - that's supposed to be climate change nowadays.

H/T Ant Gail

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hmmm, Lessee Here

Hrmm, looking at a list. Georgia - yeah, been there. Tennessee - the same. Kentucky - several times. North Carolina - yep. Virginia - yeah, there too.

Hrmm. Michigan? Yep, unfortunately. Indiana? Oh yeah. Illinois - under protest. Ohio - a couple times. Iowa - all the time, baybee. Minnesota? Always in farging winter - as I type this I'm in Albert Lea and it's 5 below - Fahrenheit, that is.

Mmmmkay - Wisconsin. Haven't been there. Oh wait! Just dashed in and out yesterday. Cross that one off!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chevy Billboards

Welp, once again I'm raiding the ol' email inbox. It's gonna be zero or so here at Osceola, IA, where a couple of us are holed up on our way to the southwest corner of Wisconsin. Gonna be cold there, too.

These pics are supposedly of billboards Chevy is putting up around the Detroit area to bolster support for the brand. Real? I dunno, googling it finds most references say the same thing I just mentioned. So, take it for what it's worth, which is basically nothing. For an old gearhead, the pics are art, man!

Disclosure: I had a '79 L82 'Vette - black with black interior, so the front shot of the chrome bumper black shark below happens to really start my motor.

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Tasty.