Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Tee Shirt Tuesday # 6

 I've been called that more than once in my 71 years - sometimes in jest, sometimes seriously and I'm sure at least a few times behind my back or under someone's breath. You can't make it through life without stepping on some toes. Looking back on my life, I'm sure I deserved it more than a few times. Now I try not to offend anyone - since I don't know what burdens they're carrying on their shoulders. Might just be that I've matured/mellowed over the years. However, some people are, in fact, just ***holes. Seems they manage to get promoted to positions of authority on a regular basis, like maybe a superintendent of schools, or elected to prominent political offices, like maybe to Congress. I'm afraid there's no escaping them if you venture out in public - no shortage of examples this last couple of years.

In my case, my apology if I've been an ***hole towards you. Now at least if it happens it will most likely be inadvertent rather than intentional. 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Moral Dilemma


Once upon a time in a land far, far away, I made a bunch of these kettle stands for the Salvation Army. Just a few years back I had a young man in one of my classes that was an officer in the Salvation Army, as was his wife. After having a few short discussions with him I came away with a better understanding of the Salvation Army, what they stood for and the work that they did. 

Now, however, I've heard and read about The Salvation Army going "woke". They published a guide for donors and apparently I'm once again being urged to apologize for my white privilege. Regardless of the merits of any of the Critical Race Theory or whatever else is being promoted these days, I'm fine with being who I am. Likewise I wish that everyone else, regardless of color, feels the same about themselves. But now, I'm offended by someone telling me I owe the world an apology due to the accident of my birth. Of course, I've taken offense to a lot of what I've been told to do over the years, mostly by some dumb-ass I worked for or with who came up with some edict just to justify his position. So maybe I'm over-reacting here due to past history, but it seems I'm not the only one and The Salvation Army has back pedaled on this.

Normally, whenever I walk past a bell ringer I drop a couple of bucks in the bucket, however, when I came out of the grocery store Saturday I just walked on by. I didn't say anything to the bell ringer, she probably wasn't even aware of this issue, just trying to do a good Christian deed. I know in my heart The Salvation Army does good deeds in spite of having some "woke" morons coming up with this idea and others up the line approving it. Normally, the money I give every year isn't much. It's enough to buy a few hot meals or some warm socks so maybe if I don't give anything it won't be noticed. But if they've offended lots of small donors, that's going to put a bite on the organization and the people who need the help the most will be the people who suffer. Like it always seems to be, you know, The American Way.

After thinking it over and putting it down in writing, next time by the bell ringer I'll double up. After all, isn't that what the spirit of Christmas is all about? You decide what you need to do. Far be it from me to tell you what to do.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

New Orleans Funk

Spent most of the day playing nursemaid to the Missus yesterday - the old girl came through the teeth pulling like the trooper she is but I wanted to be around if she needed anything. I didn't get anything done on the projects that way but I did get the new battery installed in the car, made a grocery run for her and walked the dog. 

To keep us all entertained until I get some shop output, how 'bout some New Orleans funk?

My buddy "Mr. U" used to play this kind of stuff on his bass guitar. He wasn't all that great as a bodyman when I worked with him but that was never his real love. As a musician he was first rate. His band opened up for some big-name acts and he was just one step away from making it big. Like me, he had a heart attack also but his was much more serious. After retiring he had his own program on the local low wattage radio station and funk was what he specialized in. I couldn't get the station on the radio due to the low power, but I could listen to him on the computer. He's been gone a while now. It's funny how missing some one can put you in a funk but listening to some funk can get you out of your funk. 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Senior Bennies

 I checked on both state park fees and a fishing license for the upcoming year. Looks like being an old guy does have at least some rewards. The annual fee for park entrance is only $25.00 for Seniors. That'll get you and all passengers in a non-commercial vehicle in the gate. Since my walkies group has been talking about hitting a couple of the state parks to do some hiking, the payback on that would be real quick. If I go camping, the gate fee is assessed along with the camping fee, so the Senior Park Pass would cover that as well.

There's a Senior lifetime fishing license available for $17.00. I haven't been fishing in about ten years now. That was something I was looking forward to when I retired but just haven't gotten out. No reason for it other than it hasn't been a priority. Even if I never go fishing, donating $17.00 to help support the DNR isn't a bad thing. Might give me the incentive I need to finish my boat as well.

This one came on the radio while I was taking the Missus to the dentist - nice soothing little ditty to get five teeth pulled by. She came through the extractions OK but when I went to fire up the rig to come home all I got was clicks from under the hood. I had stayed out in the car while she was being worked on. I turned the ignition on 5 or 6 times, just long enough that the radio would come on and that was all. Fortunately, my own personal Hoosier Helper was on call. The daughter-in-law had jumper cables in her car and she only lives ten minutes away. So it ended up just being not much more than a little inconvenience but I didn't want the Missus to have to go through anymore on top of what she'd just been through. Fortunately, she was pretty well sedated - which is the Ramones tune that would fit right in about now. I'll get a new battery today and get it swapped out. She's got another medical thing coming up soon, so I need to make sure the car's on the up and up. 

This is the first time I've needed a jump on one of the vehicles in a long time. I've got a good set of cables in the barn but I don't carry cables in the car or the truck. I'm not familiar with the battery booster things they sell now, some of which are under $100.00. Cables would be cheaper but then you have to have another vehicle. Buying two of the boosters would probably be overkill but, invariably, the vehicle that needed a jump would not be the one with the booster. Might be a good time to ask Santa for some advice.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Cast Iron For The Cosmic Cowboy


Beautiful day yesterday - sunny and 60. The average temperature this time of the year is about 40 degrees. I put the new belt on the mower and cut the front yard one last time. The mower should be ready to go for next season now. I also cleaned up the poop park and mowed it with the old reel mower. That could use a sharpening but I'm not sure of the best way to go about that. I've read that you can use lapping compound and spin the reel and it'll sharpen itself up. Many years ago the machine shop instructor sharpened one up on the lathe using an OD grinder. Maybe check with a golf course around here and see what they recommend. 

The cast iron frying pan has been out in the shop for several years. I sandblasted it and got it cleaned up but then I let it get a little rusty again. I ran the wire wheel over it yesterday so it's ready to season. It's a Lodge brand, so it's a good one. I want to get it useable and throw it in my little camping trailer to do some cowboy cooking. Obviously the cooties aren't going away any time soon, so I'm thinking getting out in the camper could be a good thing. There's a state park not too far from me that has some nice hiking trails. I should look into getting a season pass. 


The Missus is getting teeth pulled this morning. I feel sorry for the old girl. I'll be doing nursing chores this afternoon. Hopefully she'll get some decent pain pills so she can sleep comfortably.   

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Cabin In The Woods For Tough Guys

 Had a fairly busy day yesterday with not much to show for it. I had an echocardiogram scheduled for 9:30 in the morning followed by a blood draw. So I drove north 25 miles and made a stop at Menards while I was out. I got home about noon, got something to eat and then headed south 20 miles to get a belt for the mower. While there I noticed a brochure for Honest Abe log homes. That's always been my dream home - cabin in the woods, big shop out back and a library card. Nice thing about those log homes is they never need painting. The next time will be the last time I paint the old farmhouse.

Changing subjects, last weeks Epoch Times, Life & Tradition section, had an article titled Hard Times, Strong Men. Without mentioning Stoicism, that seemed to be the theme.

    Many of us have relatives who lived through hard times. They save every dollar, scrape every morsel from their plates, and admonish us for any waste. We find their behavior odd, even comical at times, but they know better than us that prosperity doesn't last. When hardship does arrive, they'll be prepared, while the wasteful will be left wanting, unaccustomed to austerity. 

   In light of present circumstances, it would be wise to remember the inevitability of discomfort and adopt, out of choice, a habit of fortitude and self-discipline, before it becomes a necessity. Grit, tenacity, and endurance are skills that can be learned and honed through purposeful practice. They allow us to thrive with little material means at our disposal.

 The article was written by Ryan Moffatt, who according to the paper, is a tradesman, father, writer, and musician. Sounds like the kind of guy I'd like to sit down with.

The paper also reviewed the book The Viking Heart and when you talk about tough guys, you can't leave out the Vikings. It looks like a good book but it's 512 pages long - 12 more than my self-imposed limit. Maybe I'll get a copy when I retire to that cabin in the woods.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Some Beautiful Things

I bought some roses the other day at the grocery store. Beautiful flowers for only $5.00. I need to get these on a more regular basis to brighten the place up a bit this winter.

Not as beautiful as roses but the wiring loom came yesterday and I'm making progress on the wiring diagram. I ran into a little snag. The directions that came with the kill switch say one thing, the wiring book says an other thing and the factory wiring diagram says another. I've only got the wiring diagram for under the hood. I'm going to try and find the diagram for the dash and then it should make more sense. 

This, however, is indeed a real beauty. It was nice out yesterday so I jumped on the bike for a ride, got about a half mile from the house and came across this set out for the garbage man. I quick turned around, went home and got the truck before somebody else snagged it. It's missing the keeper on the front so it won't pull the moveable jaw out when you loosen the screw, as well as a thrust washer on the screw. Nothing I can't handle. I don't really need another vise or another vice, but it was too good to pass up. 

The vise is a Chas Parker #954 with 4" jaws. I did a quick search and Parker made several sizes of vises as well as other items including the Parker brand shotguns that are now worth really big bucks. I did see an Ebay listing for a 954 Chas Parker for $375.00. Maybe fix it up and peddle it off.