Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Watching train wrecks...

was the phrase used a bit ago to describe watching the news. Normally, I can keep my perspective, but today was not such a day!

Hearing an executive try to tell Congress that his is an American company and that the cars in question were American cars was the beginning...I am grateful that they are assembling some here and sourcing some of their parts here, but the design and engineering came from "home" and that is where the profits go...back to his country...the one that our military defends. My old ship was homeported there for her last 11 years as deterrent to China and North Korea; now one of her newer sisters is, along with crew and families and a helluva a lot of our tax dollars.

As the man realized he was upsetting the Congress people he tried to explain; it started to sound like he was blaming the workers when another Congressperson went after him.

Got in the truck to run errands and heard someone from Wellpoint explaining that they had to raise their rates 39% to cover their costs. When she was asked about her salary she said she got $1.3 million a year in salary, $8.5 million in stock options and another $73,000 for something else.

Geez, we didn't make $73,000 last year...both of us together!

Then I get back home and turn on CNN to find out that a "killer whale", held in captivity despite having killed twice already, had just killed it's 3rd trainer. While I'm not "anti-zoo" and I realize that there are some creatures we wouldn't have in this world anymore were it not for captivity and breeding programs, etc., I don't think Shamu is on that list!

I'm sure tomorrow I'll get up and start my day with the Weather Channel and MSNBC and CNN again, along with my news page and Facebook and Twitter and a half dozen other places I go looking for things.

But right now I'd like to climb in a barrel and pull the lid on after me!

May the week be kind to each of you!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sharing the wealth...

My oldest grandson spent the weekend plus his Monday holiday. After playing video games and watching movies and parts of Daytona and the WinterNationals, by yesterday he was ready for something different. I lit the furnace in the garage and after a couple of hours we went out and I started clearing more of my workbench; him putting things in the tool cabinets or the trash; me sorting other ones into the "20 year drawers" beneath.

As we got to the back there was an old Rochester 2 barrel carb, in pieces, that I had robbed pieces from a few years ago for something else. Being able to see all of its "innards" led to explanations of "idle circuits" and "pullover enrichment" and then finally "being on the mainjets" with him able to see how they all interconnected, along with the cautionary stories about needles and seats and what happens when they "stick" (a deluge of gasoline spewing out of the carb top usually followed by an engine fire).

From under the bench I pulled out an old Rochester "Quadrajet", the 4-barrel "performance" carb from that same era; when he saw the 2 1/4" back barrels in comparison to the little pair in that 2-barrel he suddenly understood a lot more about "hot rods" and horsepower and gasoline comsumption!

I promised him a few months ago that if one of Dottie's "Powerball" tickets hits, we can build a "deuce coupe" using some of the other things I have stashed away in various corners and some of the multitude of parts you can buy now. I'm kind of hoping that in the next year or two things work out and we build something anyway...he's a lot more intrigued by mechanical things than his Dad or his Uncle ever were and it would be nice to pass some of the knowledge along instead of taking it with me!

(Not that this has anything to do with my last post or anything!)

For now though, he's more concerned about getting the boat cleared off before spring comes!

Me too!

May the week be kind to each of you!


Friday, February 12, 2010

February 13...

keeps coming back around, much as I wish at times it wouldn't!

Dad would have turned 83 tomorrow, and for all the baggage there was between us before I left for the Navy, we made up for it after I was out and moved home and his grandkids were born. That one son has no memory of him and the other only has the slightest ones is one of the sadder things I ponder altogether too often. 26 years disappear for me each time I touch his tools, or his old Ambassadeur 5000 (baitcasting reel)'s yesterday again and he's chiding me about his "educated thumb" being the reason he can cast 15 feet further than I, with the same reel, rod and line.

Little did I know 'til I took his apart for the first time after he died how educated that thumb truly was; he had taken the brake cylinders completely out of it!

Know you were and are still loved Dad...and missed terribly!

May the weekend be kind to each of you who find your way here!