Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Sound of Nothing

That's is what I wake to in the morning now. Beautiful quiet.
No alarm clock or buzzer or sense of urgency. Just the consideration of whether I am ready to get out of bed,
Not that things aren't busy. Friday was my last day at work. Saturday I wandered downstairs about 8:00 and had a leisurely breakfast, then the morning sorting of all the crap from Boeing. Then after lunch, tear the pellet stove apart to do some diagnostics to figure out why it won't start. Located the technical manual and started trouble shooting. Jump the start switch. Does it start? No jump the auger speed switch. does the auger motor start. No that means the auger motor is bad. Yes, then the speed switch is bad. Auger is turning, so Go on line and order a new speed switch. Put everything back together.
Sunday is a get together with my daughter's kids ans Amelia and the guardians. At Chuck E Cheese. Good Lord I hate that place. It s a test of my love for my grand kids that we show up. But as two of them are travelling out of state it will be the only chance I get too see them for the Holidays. I find out that R is giving up her twp kids for adoption. The guardians are overjoyed, but it tears mu heart apart to see it. It is probably the best thing for the kids, but it still hurts. R is also pregnant with a third, and it is due in Christmas day. She has managed to make it through rehab, but this is not her first rodeo, and she has chosen a rough horse. Time will tell. God I hate it when I weep in public.
Got back in time to see the Seahawks game. The game was going slowly and the Cardinals scored with a field goal. Something was wrong.
I realized I was not wearing my Seahawks hoodie! Quick, I ran upstairs and put it on, and come into the room. One play 80 yards, touchdown! and what a touchdown Marshan Lynch going all "Beast Mode", breaking tackles. One of the best runs EVER. Then later Russel Wilson faking a defender right off his feet. What a game.
Monday we hit the road and went to West Port Winery and bought a half a dozen bottles of various wines fir gifts, then down the road to Bay City Sausage. The were just pulling the Cranberry Smoked Sausage out of the smoker. Had to buy 12 feet of it, then down to Twin Harbors State Park for a Nice walk on the beach with the4 pups. It was a marvelous warm day, and the tide was VERY high. The waves cased us up on the dunes a couple of times.
Today I had an appointment with the diabetic nurse. Sixteen and a half years after being diagnosed with type two diabetes, I am going on Insulin. This is not so much from my diabetes getting worse, as it is from taking Metformin for all these years, It is hard on my kidneys, but had been doing a great job of controlling my blood sugar. Oh well. shooting some insulin once a day is no big deal.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the Warren gathering of the clan.
Then Christmas day and more gathering.
Aome day I am going to have a day off
This retirement stuff is exhausting.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The next Step

Well, I pulled the plug today. Turned it my laptop, gave back my Company cell phone and my planning bug.
I am not officially retired yet. I am on vacation until January 22nd.
The reason is that the 21st is my 35th anniversary, and it has been my goal for a long time to make it to 35.
So  I signed out and went home at lunch. The clouds parted and the sun came out.
I have been feeling a little overwhelmed, what with applying for social security Medicare, and my pension. Way too much crap, but that's what it takes.
So I came home and took a nap. Things always look better after a nap.
The vehicle tabs had expired on my truck, so I had sent off for the tabs, but I had to get new plates as well, because the State of Washington employs convicts to make the plates. Who says there is no slavery in the good old USA.
I got the plates and a screwdriver.
WHen I got the plates out, I saw that the Registration needed to be signed, so I started looking for a pen. I have all the junk I brought home from work scattered around my chair for sorting. My leather folder was there. No pen, but when I opened it I saw a piece of paper that needed Carol's signature. I set it aside, but I saw my boring meeting doodle. This is not just any doodle. This is an elaborate scene of a Viking in full armor with a drawn sword, castle in the background., slain dragon draped over the wall, covering an entire 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper. So I had to show it to Carol, along with a couple other humorous things.
By then a half an hour has gone by and I still haven't gotten any closer to getting the new plates on the truck.
Finally found a pen and got Carol to put her ssn on the form, and signed the registration. I got plates on the truck.
It's gonna be a long retirement.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Things Move Along

I now have 11 days left before I retire.
I have already applied for Social security and Medicare.
I am most of the way through the process of getting my pension from Boeing worked out. Friday Dec 19th will be my last day of work, but then I will go on vacation before I retire.
January 22nd is the 35th anniversary of my employment at Boeing, so on the 23rd I will retire. As with any long journey, there have been many ups and downs, triumphs and failures, but for the most part it has been a satisfying trek. It is honorable, honest, challenging work.
I am getting out just in time.
The company I joined and worked for all of these years is dying. Gone is the sense of family. Gone is the atmosphere of creativity and innovation. Gone is the inspirational leadership and charisma.
The most innovative, industry leading company has been bought out by the bean counters and accountants, and it has become increasingly obvious to even the casual observer that profit above all else has become the mantra of our upper management.
Any so called new programs have been driven, not by by innovation but as a knee jerk reaction to moves by the competition.  The 787 program was a reaction to Airbus creating the super-jumbo. The business plan was concocted by a band of accountants over the objections of of the Engineers and Production people. The results of that plan, driven by greed and ignorance brought a grand company to its knees, and everything that has happened since has been the result of management refusing to back away, justifying every action in pursuit of profit.
For now, with a captive work force, the plan will succeed. Unfortunately for Boeing, a large proportion of their employees are like me, at the end of their employment cycle. An enormous asset will be leaving the company within the next few years, but mqnqgement seems to be ignorant of the dumbing down of the work force. They have repeatedly demonstrated a disdain for the work force.
The newest 737 derivative, the MAX is a direct knee jerk reaction to the Airbus NEO.
Don't expect any innovation or risk taking from Boeing. Gone are the visionaries that gave us the 707, the first really  successful commercial jet program.
Gone is the innovation that rolled out "The Queen of the Skies", the 747. Back then the company was run by risk takers, visionaries, and innovators.
RIP a once proud and inspirational company.

Friday, November 07, 2014


Noun: The state of not understanding what just happened.
A relatively normal state for me.
I really don't know what to make of the mid-term elections.
On one hand,the GOP won a lot of critical races, which sends a pretty clear signal about the political climate. Or does it?
On the other hand the Initiatives to legalize Pot were passes in three states and the District of Columbia. Now there's a mixed bag. Consumption of weed is against Federal Law on one hand, but on the other it is legal in the Nations Capitol. Now that's downright schizo.
Environmental issues did well in general, while electing a non or anti environmental Government. I have no idea how to interpret that.
The Democrats had ample economic information and statistics to build a strong platform, but it was like they were ashamed of the success. I mean unemployment is at an eight year low, the stock market is recovered, new jobs are on the rise. Pollsters said that the Economy was the number one issue in the mid-terms, and the Dems all turned away from all that. It makes me might suspicious.
So here's a theory: The GOP has been handed the torch, but they have been so hampered by internal bickering that they can't agree on anything. The Dems GAVE THE ELECTION AWAY. It was done on purpose.They knew that if they gave majority leadership to the GOP and they do nothing with it, the voting populace will be thoroughly disgusted with them by 2016, thereby clearing the way for a DEM victory in the Presidential race.
Lost the battle
won the war.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Chicken Little School of Crisis Management

There is a theory of Political Philosophy that says that the Government has to keep the populace is a constant state of panic to make them more pliable. Part of me believes this is true, not only that the government uses scare tactics to keep people under control. but will create the crisis in the first place.
Consider the logic of the current Ebola "Crisis".
First off, let's recognize that there is a very real crisis if you are in western Africa. Ebola is a very nasty bug, and highly contagious. There have been several outbreaks in the past, and there will no doubt be more in the future. The current outbreak is the worst we have ever seen, and needs to be monitored closely.
But the amount of panic and vitriol being spewed from the news sources is utterly ridiculous.
The quiz is very short.
Have you come into contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has Ebola? No? Sit down and suty up. Yes? Immediately take yourself to a treatment facility for testing. That's it.
Save the panic and doom crying for something that is of real consequence. More people will die from the yearly bout of flue in the United States than have perished from Ebola WORLD WIDE.
How many people have died from Ebola in the U.S.? ONE. More people have died from being struck by lightning. Certainly a lot more have been killed by Police.
The Center for Disease Control has been struggling to react fast enough to satisfy certain political factions. These same factions defunded the CDC. Well, maybe the Surgeon General should step up and take a leadership role in this time of crisis.
What's that? There is no Surgeon General? Why? Because those same political pundits won't approve the appointment of a Surgeon general because he considers death and injury from gunshot wounds a health issue.
So what is the answer for this crisis?
Blame it on Obama.
That is the answer for everything.
I have yet to understand the logic of that, but then the whole thing makes absolutely no sense to me.
Meanwhile I'll be in my blanket fort with my tin foil hat on to prevent aliens from beaming information into my head.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Incident

75 days to retirement. If I stick to the plan. Being a very goal oriented person, I will stick to my plan until the end usually, sometimes even when it makes very little sense.
Even though some people think it is impossible, I find that I give less of a SH*T every day. Take the fact that I plan on retiring on Jan 23rd 2015. Why that day? Because it is the 35th anniversary of my joining the Company.
But lately there have been some things that make me question my judgement.
When you do the math, the bottom line comes down to this: If I were to retire today, the difference between what I make by working and what I will get when retired works out to $4.00 an hour. Not a lot of money for the amount of crap I put up with. So when people ask how long until I retire I tell the "One day, I just don't  know which one."
On Friday I had just signed off and was on my way out of the building. I had seen a notice that the main door would be closed off as of 3:00 Friday afternoon. I have a very strong streak of curiosity, so I cut through the Wing Line to see what they were doing.
A voice comes up behind me. "You cant go that way, they have it closed off" I already knew that, so I just kept on walking. Again, louder, more insistent "YOU CAN"T GO THAT WAY, THEY HAVE IT SHUT OFF." Running sounds behind me.
Same thing right next to me. "And you don't have safety glasses on." I was wearing my Washington State approved shatter proof plastic lens glasses, so I tapped them with my forefinger. "WELL, THEY DON'T HAVE SIDE SHIELDS. YOU HAVE TO HAVE SIDE SHIELDS." The fat little half bald dude was yelling at me.
I don't always respond in the best way I could, so I turned to him, looked him up and down and asked "Who the hell are you?"
He refused to give me a strainght answer, but made a smart all comment. Which pissed me off. He continued to yell at me, so I decided the most reasonable course of action was to walk off. He followed behind me threatening me and yapping like a little ankle biter dog.
I walked off.
When I got out of the building, and was walking towards my truck, here he comes running out of the building with a gal .
 I turn to them and she walks up to me ans says "Those are not Boeing approved safety glasses, and we can't have people dropping the "F" bomb on our managers.
I told her (looking around me with a puzzled look) "I don't seem to be in a Boeing building, so there is no requirement for me to wear safety glasses. I am not on the clock, but on my own time, and I am on my way home, Please leave me alone."
The little fat f&)k started yelling at me and threatening me. The gal was a HR rep so she knew he way outside of the rules, so she told him to calm down, but he went on, "I'm gonna get you, I'll see you in HR on Monday, Who's your Manager. I ignored him and moved off. The HR rep got him under control.
I had to work both days on the weekend, and it was pretty quiet, so I wrote an e-mail to my manager and my HR rep, explaining the incident in detail, and including the fact that I had no idea he was a manager. Nothing in his manner ot behavior suggested in any way he was management. For all I knew he was a janitor with delusions of grandeur. I also pointed out that if this matter was pursued, I would have solid grounds for filing a "Creating a hostile working environment" lawsuit.
At any rate, I had Monday off, but I never told the little fat dude or the HR gal, so they could search all day on Monday and they would never find me.
On Tuesday when I left for work I told my wife "Today may be my last day. If things don't go my way, I will retire on the spot"
When I got to work, there on my desk was a box of safety glasses with side shields. I found this highly amusing.
But that was the only indication that I had that anything ever happened.
I actually as a part of my explanation started off with the fact that I was guilty of not wearing side shields.
So now I am back to the original plan
75 days.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Yesterdays mail brought the fruition of many years of work. The deed to my house, all signed and notarized was delivered to my mailbox. The culmination of about thirty-five years of payments.
If you stay the course and keep on truckin' you can reach your goal. Of course there are those that say it is foolish to tie up all your money in a house when you can cash it in and do whatever you want.
The idea of having my own home all paid off has a greater value than anything that money can buy.
Having achieved one of life's major goals, I now set me sights on the next goal: Retirement.
I have about three months left before I walk away from work. Who knows. it may be less. The target is to make it to DEC 19th and then go on vacation, never to return, except to sign my final papers.
I have a bunch of vacation saved up, sp I will go on vacation until January 23rd which is the 35th anniversary of my employment at Boeing. It is a goal that in reality means nothing, just a date. But I am a person who is very goal oriented, so I have set that goal.
That doesn't mean I can't change my mind between now and then.
I am one bad day away from walking.
It is very empowering to know I don't have to take any crap from anyone. It also gets me in trouble. Things come out of my mouth that I never would have said before, because I basically just don't give a shit any more.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Yesterday I made my final mortgage payment. A day I didn't ever think would actually get here. I have refinanced my home three times because of a divorce, and twice to take advantage of lower interest rates.
O took out a Home Equity loan to  fix the roof, and do a bunch of other stuff. All paid off.
At the moment I owe about $350 in various bills. which will be paid in full next payday.
I will be debt free.
Retirement now becomes a real possibility rather than a remote concept.
It's kinda scary as well as exciting.
Now I need to start getting the house in shape to sell once I retire.
Sell the house and move to the country.
Buy a place with some elbow room and a proper shop.
Much excitement awaits.

Friday, September 05, 2014

A Nice little Hike

The two pictures are of Twin Falls, wa. This is the lower falls. It is about 150 feet tall, really spectacular in real life. And the two pictures are approximately in the right positions to show the whole falls.
The hike isn't too bad. About a half a mile from the parking lot to the trailhead, then a mile down to the falls by a switchback trail. The last quarter of a mile is so steep that they have put in stairs.
The hike back up is at least twice as long as the hike down. The dogs needed to stop several times to catch their breaths. After all, they have to take four steps to my one. All I can say is that I made it. That and my legs aren't too sore from the hike.
We need to get out and do this more often.
What a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Too Busy

As the saying goes "I'll sleep when I'm Dead."
I had the dubious privilege of working both days last weekend. So I didn't have much time to accomplish anything at home.
The Z will start, but runs real rough and then dies. I'm not sure what the problem is. I think it is probably a vacuum leak somewhere, but I haven't tracked it down yet. I am waiting for a couple of parts to come in before I get focused pon figuring it out. Upper and Lower Radiator hoses, thermostat and gasket. Should be in in time for me to finish putting it back together this weekend. Now if I can just figure out how come it is idling  so rough.
Last weekend we went to see Marcia Ball at Jazz Alley. She was a lot of fun. I love that whole boogie woogie piano blues thing, and she does it the best. Jazz Alley isn't exactly the kind of place where you get up and dance in the aisles, but the crowd was on its feet and dancing. A lot of fun.
Next weekend is Keiko Matsui, who I really like. Best jazz/new age keyboardist in the world as far as I am concerned. I have several of her CDs and play them regularly. Should be a very nice evening.
On an entirely different subject, the balance on my mortgage is $3100. So this retirement stuff is getting real. I am a little uncomfortable with the concept of not working, but will make sure I have enough projects to keep me busy and out of the hair of She Who Must Not Be Named.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Did you hear that?

A rumble in the distance, a low roaring sound. An almost smooth braaap?
The Z has stirred to life again. Not well, but it does run.
I got far enough that I decided before I went any further, I should try getting it to run. It currently does not have a radiator, is missing hoses and has a hole in the exhaust manifold where the EGR tube should be. None of those things should keep it from starting.
You wouldn't want to run it for any length of time with no radiator, and the lack of an EGR tube will make it run like crap, but run it should.
And run it did. Not for long, but just enough to let me know nothing catastrophic is wrong. The EGR fitting on the exhaust manifold is stuck tight. I put a box end wrench on it after soaking it in rust buster, and reeefed on it with a pinch bar, to no avail. All I did was round off the corners of the fitting.
Time for drastic measures. Blow torch? Impact gun and air chisel? Special socket for removing bolts with the corners rounded off?
It's a good thing I don't have access to a cutting torch.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Last Fishing Trip

Uncle Fred was my fishing partner for about 40 years. He was the one who taught me how to catch trout in the high country streams in Northern Idaho.
Every time I saw him later in life, the conversation would inevitably turn to fishing, usually to one particular fishing trip.
At the time the limit was 15 trout per person per day. We came back with 30 trout and one whitefish. Since I caught the whitefish I was declared the winner of our informal competition. Since there was a whole house full of people, the catch provided a meal for the whole family. And the fish were all substantial. The smallest was about 10 inches, the largest 18 inches. I have never seen a better looking string of fish.
Last year he passed away of cancer. I visited him in the hospital, and he made a special request of me "Would you do me a favor?"
"Sure Uncle Fred, you just ask".
Take me fishing one last time."
"You got it."
We had a meeting of the clan in Sandpoint, Idaho last week, and my cousin Ginger brought his ashes. I had told her my intentions to scatter his ashes along our favorite stretch of fishing water.
On Sunday I set off alone for Deep Creek with his ashes. It is hard to catch fish this time of year. The water is warm and the level low, so what fish there are are laying in the bottom of the holes, under logs and are inactive. If you want to catch fish you need to get your spinner and worm right down where they live. It means you will get snagged a lot and have to wade in to work the hook loose from wherever you have it snagged, but if you want to catch fish, that's the way you have to do it.
I had made my brag. I was told there were no fish in that stretch of creek. I told the family that I was going fishing, and I would catch fish.
The fishing was slow. A few little bait thieves here and there but nothing worth pursuing, so I fished along and scattered ashes as I went. I thought I was going to get skunked.
 I set Uncle Fred's ashes on the bank of the stream, and told him "Uncle Fred, I'm doing my part of this. I am carrying you down the stream and scattering your ashes as I go. It's time you got in the game here and encouraged a fish to bite. I'm doing catch and release, so it won't deplete the stock, so go do something."
I'm not claiming any supernatural intervention or anything. but shortly thereafter I caught a beautiful 10" brook trout. Bright sparkling in the sun, colorful and firm. I went to take a picture with y cell phone, but the phone was dead.
Shortly after that I tied into a big trout. Probably would have gone 18 inches. He dived into the roots of a stump, wrapped the line around a root and broke off my spinner.
Uncle Fred would have loved it, me going home with one fish caught and "The one that got away."
So long Uncle Fred. There will be other streams and other fishing trips, but I will probably never fish that section of stream again.

Monday, July 21, 2014


A guy could get used to this vacation stuff. Or as I like to put it, practicing for retirement. The only real problem is that I still have a sense of urgency because I only have so much time to accomplish a lot of stuff.
So yesterday I slowed down.
The only thing I accomplished was to make a batch of home made applesauce. Nothing like a fresh warm batch of applesauce with a little cinnamon.
I am slowly working on the basement. There was a patch of black mold on the drywall in the basement, so I had to tear a section drywall out. The spare room was a mess, so I had to rearrange everything. In order to move something, you have to have a place to put it.
The drywall was behind an old hide-a-bed sofa that needed to go to the dump. But since it was too big to fit in the truck, first it had to be torn apart, which took most of the day. I still need to finish cleaning up and make a trip to the dump, buy the new drywall, install it, Spackle it and paint it.
Oh, and I still want to get the Z finished and ready to drive.
Oh, and I have a family reunion for four days in Idaho.
Today the powers that be (She who shall not be named) insists I take a day off. We are going to go see Maleficent and then go to dinner. Probably at the Wild Fin.
That leaves me two days to get the Z running. I can do it in two days, if everything goes right.
But when has everything ever gone according to plan?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The End of Civilization as we know it

Yesterday, pot went on sale legally for recreational purposes here in Latteland. For all the hype and stern warnings by concerned conservatives, life as we know it did not come to an end. A 65 year old Grannie was the first person in the state to make a legal over-the-counter purchase, and although she had a little trouble making change, she did not morph into a deranged crazed killer.
The lines were not all that long, and I heard of no line jumping or riots. The crowd seemed quiet, and, well, normal.
In other news a 20 something young cereal killer ate a whole box of chocolate Cheerios.
A couple of hipsters became addicted to blo-pops. They were heard to say "O wow it starts out like hard candy, and then all the sudden you realize you are, like chewing gum. Like when did that happen?"
Energized housewives were seen placidly cleaning house, although they tended to get distracted. "hey look how the light refracts through this cut glass vase! It makes little rainbows!"
There were noticeable fewer road rage incidents, because people went home and tried out their new purchases, and then responsibly stayed home to watch the sprinkler.
Domestic violence reports took a decline, but no one is sure why. maybe the usual participants just couldn't get up the energy to give a hoot.
On the other hand, close call pedestrian/car incidents were on the rise as people stopped in the middle of the street to watch the street lights change.
And so it goes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014


How did it get to be July already?
Last time I checked it was early June, then BAM, July.
I stall haven't gotten the Z back together, but that's OK I am in no tearing hurry, just want to get it on the road before the Summer is over.
Spent all day Sunday getting the timing chain on, the cam re timed, the oil pump on, the timing chain cover back on.
I checked the timing mark and everything was right on, So I can proceed with no fear. I took a bog box end wrench and turned the engine over very carefully and there is no interference in the engine. Now the only thing left as far a s timing goes is to get the distributor lined up. Since the drive is by slot and key you can only be in or 180 degrees out. Since I didn't turn the crank or cam when it was apart, should be fine as long as the rotor is pointed at number one piston when the timing is at top dead center.
I am putting everything back together with stainless steel allen headed bolts, except for a couple of places where you can't get to the bolt heads.
Next comes the water pump, then a couple of water inlets, then the exhaust manifold.
Then the intake,  distributor, wiring, and valve cover.
Gas pedal linkage and gas/vacuum lines.
Whew, I'm tired already.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Back on Track

The timing chain cover just came in for the Z. Degreased and bead blasted, it bears little resemblance on the surface to the beat up grimy one I took off of the car. Now I can begin putting things back together.
I also got in all the nuts and bolts to put everything back together, ad well as a new crank seal and gasket set. By the time I get through getting it all back together it will have cost me about $250 to replace the head gasket. A lot more than I figured. It will be sooooo nice when I get it running again and can drive it.
On another front, there has been a lot of e-mail traffic back and forth between myself, my cousin Ginger, and my newly found cousins.
We have also connected on Facebook. I don't care that much for facebook, but it has been good for reacquainting with long lost family and friends.
One of the things that came out of this all was that two of my cousins are going to be coming to the meeting of the clan in Sandpoint this summer. Ben, who lives in Florida is going to fly up to Spokane, where he will meet up with his sister Ursula, and they will come together.
I have ordered three additional copies of "Candles of the Lord" from the Ursuline sisters in Kentucky. They should be arriving next week. I think my one cousin that lives in Spanaway is going to come over and get her copy. The ones for Ginger and Ben I will probably hang on to until the Meeting of the Cousins in Sandpoint.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 07, 2014


When I was 13 my Uncle George passed away from brain cancer. He was still fairly young, and left behind a wife and a bunch of kids.
Their mother, my Aunt Marge was barely functional. The State took her kids away for a couple of years, but eventually she got them back. To me, they just fell off the edge of the Earth. I never heard from her or them again. Always in the back of my mind was the fact that I had a bunch of family out there somewhere.
Last year I set out to verify some things about my family's time in the Four Corners area of the southwest. AMy dad and all of my Aunts and Uncles were born in the town of Waterflow New Mexico. I was told that my grandfather was the farm manager for a Catholic School, so I set out to find out something about the School.
I googled Catholic School New Mexico and got the Sacred Heart Academy. There was a picture of the schoolchildren in 1938. Two of them were my father and my Uncle George. There was a contact number which led me to the book "Candles of the Lord" which is the history of Waterflow and the Sacred Heart Academy, which mentions all of the Warren family members,
Shortly after I started, I got an e-mail from my cousin Ginger. She had been contacted by a Dale Warren of Kentucky, who was in search of a male member of our family to get DNA tested. Since I was headed down that path already I agreed to be tested.
Turned out we are not closely related to any of the established Warren lines, which was a big disappointment. We are not related to dale, but Dale is related to Terry Warren, who was our Uncle Ben's godfather. Small world.
AT any rate I was trying to get beyond Charles Warren, but was having a lot of troub le. Mainly because the name is spelled a lot of different ways. Warren, Worren Waring Warring etc.
I took a trial membership in Ancestry,com, and already belong to Myheritage,com. WHile doing some research of family trees containing information on Charles, I came across a family tree that contained a bunch of information about Charles' ancestry, so I contacted the owner of the family tree.
Mariam told me that a lot of the Warren Family information was given to her by Ben and Laura Warren. Ben was the son of my Uncle George.
I last saw him in 1961.
I asked if I could get their e-mail address, and was given it and told that they had been searching for Warren Family relatives for years.
We have connected. We shared e-mails addresses and someone set up a group mailbox. We all connected on facebook and had a great time meeting and greeting yesterday. I sense the beginning of a long term relationship.
Besides this, I got the front end of the engine of the Z torn apart so I could fix the timing. It was two steps forward and one step back. I got everything torn apart, gor the timing sprocket back on and the tensioner back in place. Unfortunately I dropped the timing case and a corner of it broke off. Al least things are noe going back together rather than coming apart.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Test of my Patience

I have stated before that patience is not one of my better virtues.
One of my favorite sayings is "Just keep swinging and walking forward and something is bound to fall down eventually".
This does not work well with cars.
In my battle with the Z, It has taken another round on points.
I put the new head gasket on and torqued it down.
When you take off the head you need to make a piece of wood 1 1/2 inches wide by 9 1/2 long to jam in between the two halves of the timing chain to ensure that the chain tensioner remains in place. Otherwise the tensioner drops out and you have to tear the front of the engine apart to get the timing chain back on.
I dutifully made the block of wood, and jammed in between the two chain halves. It remained in place while I worked on the head.
I put the timing gear on the chain and was maneuvering it in place. It was within 1/16" of being in place. The damn stick kept interfering with the bolt that attached the gear to the cam, So I took the bolt and got it started by hand. Then I removed the stick, since there was tension on the timing chain.
You can probably guess what happened next.
The bolt popped loose before I could tighten it, and the gear dropped down, releasing the tension on the chain, thereby allowing the chain to relax and the tensioner popped out.
Now I get to tear the front of the engine apart to get at the tensioner.
I walked away from the car, as I was on the borderline of throwing  things and turning the air blue with cusswords and shocking the neighbors.
One step forwards, two steps back.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blood Sacrifice

The car Gods were angry with me.
They demanded a blood sacrifice before I could complete the task at hand, which was extracting a broken off exhaust manifold stud from the head of the Z.
The head stud had been broken off at some time in the distant past. I didn't break it, so it must have been broken when I bought it, ten years ago. Since I had never even entertained the notion of removing the manifold, I had no idea there was something wrong. It wasn't making any noises or anything.
After being there for who knows how long, I knew it would be difficulty to get it out.
It was when I broke the third easy-out that I sliced open the side of my thumb. It bled copious amounts of blood. After that, I got the broken out stud out.
First I drilled a small hole in the stud and soaked it in rust buster. Then I broke my first easy-out.
I had to walk away.
So I went down and bought a diamond drill bit to drill out the easy out, which was broken off below the surface of the head.
I drilled a slightly larger hole maybe half way through the stud, tried the next size up. Snapped the very top of the easy-out odd. That left enough that I could get my stud puller on the shaft of the easy-out, which promptly broke. Because I was herking on the wrench with ell my might when It broke, it took a divot out of the side of my thumb.  
It left just enough grip that I could get the easy-out removed. I got a slightly larger diamond drill bit and drilled all the way down the length of the stud, and put the larger easy-out in the hole
At last I could get the leverage I needed to extract the stud. And I still have plenty of threads left in the head to insert a new stud.
A lot of struggle over one exhaust manifold stud.
At least that is done, and now I can start putting things back together.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Me vs THE Z

Over a couple of Saturdays, I have torn down the top end of the Z. I have never gotten into fuel injection, so I wanted to take it slow and mark everything and label the wires.
I busted the second head bolt. Twisted it right in half. You shouldn't be able to do this. The head bolts were WAY over torqued. They must have been at 120 ft/lbs. It took everything I had to break them loose. And of course since I broke #2 I sweated every bolt.
When I pulled the head off there was about 1/2" of head bolt sticking up. Just enough to engage my stud puller. Big WHEW" there.
When I took off the intake/exhaust manifolds, I saw that the first and last bolts were broken off in the head. As soon as I got the head all cleaned up and the left over gasket material removed, I set out to remove the ends of the studs. Drilled the first one, engaged the easy-out. And of course snapped off the easy out. Flush with the block.
Well, crap. Went down to Lowe's and bought a couple of diamond bit. Now I will have to gingerly drill out the easy-out, so I can try it again. Pain in the A**.
The EGR tube was also broken. It has been broke forever. I am surprised I didn't hear the exhaust leak. But the if it has always been broken, I would have probably figured that was the way it was supposed to sound. The engine always ran strong, so It ought to run even better when I get through putting it back together.
That's WHEN not IF.

Thursday, May 01, 2014


I must have done something good.
Yesterday I came out of the restroom, and of course I washed my hands. When I went to go through the gate to get back in my work area I noticed my wedding ring was missing. I figured it must have come off when I was drying my hands, so I grabbed the trashcan liner and all the paper towels in it and dragged them back to my desk, and went through the paper towels one by one. No ring.
Well, there were two cans, so I did the same with the other. No such luck.
I had to go home and face the music. I figured it was gone for good.
I sent out an e-mail to a bunch of people asking them to keep an eye out for a yellow gold mans ring with a white gold insert.
I got a phone call from the office in the next bay over. Someone had found it and turned it in.
I went down to the office, and sure enough, There was my ring.
My Karma was strong.
It restored my faith in humanity.

Friday, April 18, 2014


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?

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.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentines Weekend

I proposed to the lovely Mrs A. on Valentines Day 11 years ago. I try to return to "The Scene of the Crime" every year tom commemorate it. So last weekend it was off to The Lake Quinault Lodge.
It is in the Olympic National Forest at the edge of the Quinault Rain Forest.
No phones in the rooms, not TV no cell phone service. Lots of beautiful hiking trails, a decent restaurant in the lodge.
I was concerned this weekend because the weather forecast called for rain followed by rain, with rain expected along with high winds. We have gone there before, and the rain doesn't bother us that much. Only one time have we been there when it POURED rain the whole time.
The drive there was through light drizzle, but not as bad as I had anticipated. We had dinner at the restaurant, and it was OK. They did not offer my favorite, Cedar Plank Salmon for two. So I had a steak. I was disappointed in the steak. Being raise on beef, and our family raising beef, I know a good cut of meat from a bad one, and the quality was so-so. The steak was thin and tough. This was not a $28 piece of meat, it was an $11 cut of meat. At least they had the Marionberry Cobbler, which was good enough to be the reason for the trip.
Sunday, after sleeping in we took a long hike, about four hours. We timed it perfectly. We started out in the drizzle, and were dressed appropriately in waterproof gear. We really didn't need it, because it quit raining and we actually saw the sun, an unexpected bonus. We got in the car and drove around the lake the waterfalls were all going full throttle. Quite impressive.
Nature being a thing of balance it made up for the unexpected bonus by bringing in a howling drenching rainstorm, and the power went out in the Boathouse for five hours. The Lodge has backup power, but not the boathouse, so we were in the dark without heat. No big deal. The lights came back on about 10:30.
The drive back home was a white knuckle drive all the way. Absolutely pouring rain. As much water coming up off the road from the cars as there was coming down from the sky. Traffic would hum along, the blind leading the blind, and suddenly it would stop for no apparent reason. No accident, no stalled vehicle, nothing
we talked a lot , told jokes, got rid of a lot of tension, had some good food, had a great hike.
Couldn't ask for a better weekend this time of year. Just enough negative to make you appreciate the positive.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A little bit of humor

I was walking down the aisle to the machines to get my morning Fritos.
A rather attractive woman was walking past in the other direction.
She was staring at my crotch.
I thought "What, did I forget to Zip or something?"
No everything was normal there.
As I checked my hand brushed my left hand pocket.
I had a bottle of prescription pills in my pocket.
I realized that it looked like I was "Really happy to see her"
I found it highly amusing.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Coming around

I have not frequented my blog of late. In general, I do not do well in the winter. Whether it is the weather or the lack of sunlight or whatever,  Throw on top of that not knowing where two of my grandkids are, and all of the uncertainty with their mom, it is hard to stay on an even keel.
SO I withdraw from the world, read and do genealogy, go to work, work overtime, and pretty much hunker down. I'm OK but the daily slog is just enough of an uphill slog to require a little determination to keep up at it.
I had a great time watching the Seahawks thump the Broncos in the Superbowl. Things are looking up.
But I am still having a lot of trouble gaining traction to go anywhere or do anything.
Oh well, Spring will come, the weather will improve and if things go well, I can retire this coming December.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Z" Paint

I turned over the 77 280Z to the painter today. I have been planning to get it resprayed for some time, and have been saving the money up.
Strictly by coincidence, my friend Gabriel that I lost contact with a couple of years ago showed up a couple of weeks ago, and he came over to take a look at the car to give me an estimate on a respray. I want to do something a little different this time. I love the emerald green to cobalt blue color changing paint, but I got some stuff that also has purple in it. I think the color change will pop better if it is covered with a flat clear.
At any rate, that's what I'm going to get it sprayed.
If I decide I don't like it flat, I can always get a shiny clear sprayed over the flat. I've seen a couple of examples, but only tesr swatches. There's no hurry, so it will be a couple of weeks at least.
Pictures to follow when I get it back.


I said goodbye to my two grand kids on Sunday.
I may never see them again.
"i" was out of control, a situation made worse by CPS. The won't allow you to punish a kid that is placed under your care by the courts. I am not a proponent of beating kids, but find nothing wrong with the application of a wooden spoon to the "seat of knowledge". If you completely take that tool away from parents/guardians then it becomes almost impossible to control kids.
When a five year old is telling you he is going to kill you, and you find him stuffing paper in the electric heater, there has to be a more rigid form of punishment than giving the kid a time out.
Since they were having so much trouble controlling "i", they had to find some place outside the family to send him. They found someone that would take both kids. X is five months and the cutest little thing you ever did see, but the objective is to keep the two kids together. Since the place they are going has no other kids and a stay-at-home mom, she should be able to give the constant attention to "i" that he will need.
But Grandparents have no rights, so I am just SOL.
So I took the day Sunday to go up to Concrete and say goodbye to the grand kids.
Tough day.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Anyone who comes around here regularly over time know I live in Seattle, or as I like to put it, Latteland.
Maybe I should start calling it Potlandia, as the infamous weed is now legal in the State of Washington.
Of course just to make things ridiculous, there is no way currently to purchase it. Distribution centers have yet to be set up.
It takes about 500 politicians a couple of years to roll one joint.
One thing that is in place is Medical Marijuana. If you have one of certain medical conditions, you can get a prescription. Well, I have Glaucoma, which is one of the few recognized universally conditions that can be treated with Marijuana. Glaucoma is excessive pressure in the eye, and pot relaxes the muscles of the drains for the eye,
The main reason was really insomnia. I haven't had a decent knight's sleep in years. So I wanted to see if it would help me sleep. Cost me $100.00 to go see the Naturopath, 11.00 for a gram of weed. They gave me a sample of a chocolate with THC, said it would help me sleep.
It did the opposite. I was up all night. Mainly because my mouth got so dried out. My sinuses swelled shut so I couldn't breathe through my nose, and when I breathed through my mouth it dried out my tongue so bad I had to take a sip of water.
Miserable night. It DID relieve the pain in my neck and shoulders. Maybe if I take  claritin before I indulge, it will work out. But not on a work night.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Bullet Hole

Mrs A went about her usual chores and stuff on Tuesday. Worked out at the gym, Want to the thrift store. Bought a few groceries.
She was coming back from dropping off some movies at Redbox, when she noticed something unusual.
A bullet hole in the hood of the car!
When she got home, she came in and said "Y0ou've got to come look at something."
I went out and looked, and there was a perfectly round hole in the upper passenger's side of the hood. From the way to hole is, it was apparent to me that someone had shot a gun in the air, and the bullet had come down on the hood of our car. From the angle, the impact was vertical.
So we got to inform the insurance company, call the Police for a Police Report, and go in for an estimate.
$750.00! For one little hole!!
We have an appointment next Monday to get it taken care of.
This kind of thing is always happening to Mrs A. Always being in the wrong place and wrong time. At least she wasn't standing where it hit.