Friday, April 18, 2014

Convergence

When separate elements approach a common point, not necessarily by any plan we know of.
I had to work last Saturday, not an uncommon occurrence. I work every other Saturday.
I work an eight hour "Split Shift" so called because it covers two shifts First shift (:00 to 1:30)
and second shift (2:30 til 11:00)
My shift is 9 to 5:30.
So the sun was up, it was a beautiful spring morning. The early flowering fruit trees and ornamentals are in bloom, The world is coming out of it's Winter hibernation.
I pulled into the parking lot, and an open space was fairly close. As I pulled in I noticed the car next to me
It was an early Japanese little pickup, all tricked out. Custom metallic bronze paint job with blue pin striping. Lowered until it was sitting on the ground. spray-in bed liner, custom interior, killer sound system.
As I turned into the parking spot what came on the radio?
LOW...
RIDE.....
ER.......
Oh YEAH
CONVERGENCE.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

All the news what's fit to print

The Westfalia should be back on the street tonight. I think someone tried to steal it. The little half-moon tab on the bottom of the ignition switch was suddenly broken off of the key switch, like somebody tried to force it. The replacement process is a little long, but not expensive. Pull the steering wheel, pull the turn signal collar, pull the wiper collar, pull the electrical connections. Slip the housing out, Remove the switch half. Drill a 1/8" hole in EXACTLY the right place, pull the key barrel. Buy new key barrel. Reverse everything. I should be done putting it back together tonight.
I ordered up the parts for the 280Z, they should be here on Saturday. At some point I have to decide what I want to do while I have the head off. If I want to go with a performance cam, now would be the time to do it. The only real problem is that you can't just replace the cam, you will need new lifters and rockers and lash pads and springs. So the total is about $800.00. A little pricey and definitely not in the car fund. The car fund is tapped out since I just got the Z painted.
It is my turn to work overtime this weekend. I really don't want to work any overtime, but the extra money comes in handy. I really want to stay home and tear apart the Z. Oh well, I'll have plenty of time.
For our anniversary we are going to Cannon Beach for the weekend, some time after the weather turns nicer.
V. gets home from Army AIT tonight. He won't get in until about 10:00. I won't be waiting up for him, since I have to work tomorrow. Hopefully we can go out for a beer and Pub Grub soon. He mentioned that he has a week of emergency Medical Training to do starting Sunday, for a week, so it may be a while.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Z is Mocking Me

Ten weeks the Z was in the shop. I saved car fund money for two years to get it painted. The final bill was around three grand. It is SOOOOO pretty.
So why does it hate me?
New wheels, new tires, new seat covers, new carpets, new paint. Lots of cars would be happy, lots of cars would be proud. Not mine.
Sunday I backed it out into the driveway to do a couple of small things. Reconnect the speedometer, figure out why only one speaker is working. Little stuff.
When I backed it out, I noticed a large puddle on the ground.
I pop the hood, and I see a small pool of green liquid on the motor mount. Antifreeze. This could be small or this could be huge. A leaky hose is a relatively minor thing. Since I can't tell where the leak is, I clean off the side of the block, fill the radiator, and start the engine. Go around and look at the side of the engine to see antifreeze seeping out of where the head meets the block. No water in the oil, no oil in the water. These are good things It means the leak is only from the water jacket out. It means a new head gasket.
A big pain in the butt.
So for now the car sits in the driveway sparkles and mocks me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Take a load off

If you come around here at all, you know that the state has taken two of my grandkids and put them in foster care. I have lost a lot of sleep over this, because I know foster care is a flawed system.
I have heard the stories, have been involved in a few of them.
My feelings towards DSHS is distrustful bordering on paranoid.
I got some pretty glowing reports from Grand daughter A about the Foster Parents, something that surprised me.
Sunday she helped set up a visit with Mrs A and I her and Neeko and the foster parents and the two grandkids. We met at a Micky D. with a playland, and of course it was total chaos, with kids of all sizes running around screaming and yelling. It was not the best situation for a meet and greet, but it was OK. We had some good conversation, and I came away feeling much better about the situation. I hate to think of how much sleep I have lost worrying about it and feeling helpless.
If you accept the situation for what it is, The kids are in about the best place thet can be.

Friday, March 07, 2014

An oldie but a goodie.


Stories you might read here are mostly true

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Life as a Chicken Hypnotizer.



When R. was small, I decided that she could use a little experience in the feeding and care of farm animals, but since we live in a more-or-less urban area, although it is unincorporated, there are some restrictions on what you can do, not to mention the restrictions on space (I only have 1/4 acre).

I was tearing an old dilapidated deck off of the house, so I used the pieces to build a chicken coop in the back yard. Then we went down to the feed and seed store, and bought a couple of Banty chicks that became Rusty and Dusty, our two laying hens.

R was fascinated that without benefit of a male chicken for inspiration, they would produce eggs on a regular basis. Not only that, they weren't white or brown like normal store bought eggs, they were a grey-green and smaller. She used to like to take hard boiled Banty eggs to school because most people had never seen anything but regular eggs.

One day she had a couple of friends over, and she was showing them the chickens, and I asked them "Do you know it is possible to hypnotize a chicken"

"NO WAY! Could show us?"

So I did.

Later R. asked me "Dad, where did you learn to hypnotize chickens?"

As I have mentioned ad nauseum, we had a farm, and raised all kinds of things. We always had two batches of chickens, One batch of laying hens, one batch of fryers. One of the kids jobs was to go out to the hen house in the morning and gather the eggs and feed the chickens. It was always a little like a treasure hunt, because you never knew what you were going to find. Taking the eggs away from the hens could be an adventure too, as some of them took objection to us removing their eggs. After all it wasn't easy producing them.

The fryers life was short and pretty good. They were fed and watered and didn't have to produce anything to earn their keep, just put on weight. The down side was that before things froze up in the fall, would come slaughter day.

Everyone hates slaughter day. It is nasty, smelly work, but it puts food in the freezer for all winter.

The little kids were chicken catchers. Grandfather was the headsman. Uncle Fred and Dad were the gutting crew, and everyone else were Chicken Pluckers. It was our own little assembly line.

My job was Chicken Hypnotizer.

After the little kids caught a chicken, they would bring it to me. I would stick it's head underneath it's wing and then pump it (the whole bird) up and down for about 30 seconds. Then you could set it down on the ground and it would stay where you set it. Eventually it would sort of shudder, pull it's head out and look around like "Where the hell am I?", but on slaughter day, they generally never came around. If they started to, I would just grab them before they got any ideas about running off, and re hypnotize them.

It always caused me to wonder "How did someone figure this out? It would seem logical that it would be someone who wanted to transport chickens quietly and easily. Like maybe a Chicken Thief? How did my grandfather, who was from the hills of Kentucky and taught me the fine art of chicken hypnotizing happen to be in possession of this particular bit of information?"

It wasn't until many years later that I learned that this is a technique used by bird hunters to train their bird dogs. They will hypnotize a chicken and set it down in the brush, then get the dog and lead it around close to where the chicken is, then reward the dog when it finds the bird.

I have always wanted to put this on my resume'. Chicken Hypnotizer. That alone should be good for a first interview, and once you get your foot in the door anything is possible.

I have never found a use for this very rare skill in the modern world. I mean you can't exactly pick up a newspaper, and there on page 13 of the classified ads you find "Wanted: Chicken Hypnotizer. Full time. Full benefits. Must be experienced. Top Wages."

Any one need a perfectly good barely used Chicken Hypnotizer?

Getting Impatient

My '77 280Z has been gone for a month and a half now for paint. I am getting a little impatient to get it back. I told my painter to take his time, no hurry, no worry.
I called him last week to see how it was going, and he said he would come by with pictures. He showed up last Friday with pictures of it in Satin Black. It looked so good that I almost told him to leave it as is and finish it up.
Almost. I have this vision of what it will look like with the purple/blue green satin color changing paint that I need to complete the project to make the vision become real.
He said he was going to put on the color changing stuff on Monday. I haven't heard from him since. Of course just laying down the paint doesn't finish the process.
Rust heads were showing around the gasket for the windshield and rear hatch window, so I had him putt both and gave him new gaskets to reinstall them. He told me that once he got the windshield out there were a bunch of pinholes to weld, so that took more time. The body shop is a side line for him, so I know he doesn't work it like a regular job. And I did tell him to take his time, so I have no room to complain.
Besides, the weather has been crap for the last month. Not inspirational sports car driving weather. But I can smell Spring in the air, and I want to be ready.
Patience, patience, patience. Never has been one of my better virtues.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Life as Defined by Two Photos











SO this little tableau is a metaphor for life.
At one end of the rainbow we have the gold/goal, the beer store. When I get off of work I'm going to The Beer Store to reward myself for my hard work. The Beer is the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow.
After we have attained our reward, we satisfy our craving, all is well.
Then 6the other end of the rainbow is a shower of gold.
And repeat as necessary.