Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Everything I Know About Cars I Learned While Drinking Or I Saw The Lightening

Before I was married I worked with a friend (RT) repairing and building portrait studio cameras. He had a friend (RA) that had a barn where they worked on cars at night. I had a knack of being able to disassemble most anything and actually put it back together (without having spare parts left over) so they invited me to join them. We stayed pretty busy fixing cars and trucks for family, friends and friends of friends. We did everything from replace windows to rebuild transmissions. I really didn’t know much about cars to start with but I learned quickly. We worked together for about three years and made about $300. Not really a big profit but I learned a ton that has saved me thousands since. The most important thing was RA’s dad owned a little country store. Most nights we would take a road trip to the store and pick up a few beers, link sausage, hoop cheese, and crackers. We worked hard but we partied pretty hard too. The building was made of tin and despite our best efforts to seal it up when the wind blew outside it blew inside too. In the winter we would sit around the wood stove and toss back a few and try to stay warm between turns on the cold concrete floor under a vehicle. During the summer we opened the huge doors and ran the fans and had fish fries. Oh, we worked some too. One summer we were working on a 54 Ford pickup truck. We were swapping the engine and transmission out with a 289 Mustang engine and 4 speed tranny. It was storming outside, with heavy rain and lightening. The truck was up on steel jack stands and I was leaning across the fender with a beer in my hand looking into the engine compartment. All the sudden we heard a loud thunderclap. Ya know how you count seconds to tell how close it is. Well there weren’t no seconds to count. Something lifted me 4 inches off the floor. The guys said I had arcs coming out of my feet. I had to sit down a bit as my muscles felt a bit weird but I was fine and only spilled a little bit. I still love a summer thunderstorm but I don’t watch them from metal buildings anymore.

Ever had your life light up??

Sunday, March 28, 2010

College days ahead

I took a nice trip this weekend with my high school senior daughter. We went to the coast to see her college and OH jeepers it made me wish I owned a Rascal. I don’t think I have ever walked so much in my life. They claim the college has gone green. Well my face was pale and my feet were red. The green finally came into play in the financial meetings. Seems I make too much for her to get financial aid but too little to make the payments. We toured the dorms. I swear we were in the same building but saw two totally different places. I saw little pig sty’s all in a row. She saw a castle free from parental guidance. It was a nice trip and she seems excited. I thought we would get time to talk as it was a 3 ½ hour drive. Hah, how wrong I was. Out popped the IPOD, I might as well been in the car by myself. Coming home was a nice drive, at least till I got about 20 miles from home. We drove the back roads. The fields were gorgeous and then we realized why. The odor filled the car. Tis the season. The fields were fertilized by chicken manure. It didn’t help that the back roads are lined with chicken farms. I got in the car this morn and the odor was still in the car. It took a few miles with the windows down to air it out. Aside from the airy welcome home it was a nice trip.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Government Thinking Process Explained

I think this may explain alot.

“I don’t see why the legislature should be in the business of artificial intelligence, real intelligence or any intelligence at all.”
–Rep. Hunt Downer (D-La.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Need CPR Can I Help

I look forward to taking Little A to the ball field for practice. I played softball for years and I have been helping the coaches and working with the girls. At the field tonite, one of the girls asked me to throw with her. We threw for about 15 minutes warming up when the coach called everyone in. The girl’s mom asked her if she was warmed up and she said yes, she was throwing with the old guy. Wha… ??? You should have seen the mom’s and coach’s faces. The apologies started flowing. It was pretty funny. I ain’t no spring chicken, I’m 50. My glove is older than most of the moms there. I have 3 older kids ( 23, 21, 17) and Little A (7) was the late surprise. It didn’t bother me a lick but it was a bit of a surprise. When she was first born we had folks at church ask us if we were playing grandma and grandpa this weekend. I about threw him off the balcony. I handle it a lot better now. Have your kids ever said anything to give you that OH NO moment?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Child Rearing Advice

"Never raise your hand to your children--it leaves your midsection exposed" --Robert Orben

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What's in your Head?

The call comes. Dad, I am at Autozone, What kind of oil do I need for my car. Now that’s makes a dad really proud even tho I will be the one changing it. Oh that’s Pennzoil High Mileage 5W-30. It’s in a 5 quart container. What kind of oil filter do I need? Oh that’s a Fram PH 3387A. The wife’s van uses a PH16. My old Z car used a PH2450. Why do I know this? I have a thing for numbers. I still remember part numbers from machines I worked on 30 yrs ago and don’t tell the wife but my old girl friends number(no I don’t call). Past addresses, phone numbers, and dimensions of parts I made a long time ago still hold spaces in my noggin. Wooohooooo, My mind is a trap. Then the wife calls, Did you pick up little A at her friends?? Uhhh no. Did you get your prescription filled?? Uhhh No Did you pick up the dog food at the vet?? Uhhhh No Crap. I am not totally forgetful, I do remember to brush my teeth and shower in the morn, but I have headed off to work without shaving and my glasses and my work laptop a couple times too. I think I need to dump and defrag to make room for more current useful things. What fills your head??

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rat Wars or Hey Ya'll Watch This

Years ago I went out to feed the dog in her pen. When I opened the gate I saw a tail sticking out from under her food bowl. I flipped it over and there was a king snake coiled up under it. It shot out and crawled under the dog house. Being a fan of snakes I flipped the house over to try and catch it. When I did I saw a huge hole under the dog house with a big rat head sticking out of it. It had gnawed a hole through a drain line and was using it as a subway between the field, where the washing machine drain dumped, and the dog food bowl. I forgot all about the snake and ran into the house to get my pistol. Things went downhill from there. The rat ran down the drain line but I was there at the end when he got there and I popped a couple rounds at him. I assumed I missed because he ran back up the pipe. I saw him run by the hole under the dog house and he was heading to the washer inside. I hollered for the wife to fill the washer and then drain it. I’m sitting there waiting for a gush of water when she walks out. I ask what was going on and she informs me she just started a load. Good grief. I grabbed the flexible pipe and pulled about 4 feet out of the ground. I had her fetch the garden hose and I started filling the drain pipe up with water. After about 10 minutes water started flowing from the drain pipe and a minute after that the rat came out, Splat on the ground. The wife ran to the house, I backed out of the pen and it followed me and then took off across the yard. I took my best marksman ( I ain’t) stance and proceeded to empty the clip as it ran across the yard. It stopped in the ditch and I ran down to see if it was dead. I nudged it with my foot and it let out a scream and lunged and grabbed the inseam of my jeans about the knee. Thank goodness my clip was empty or I would have prolly shot myself in the leg. I am standing/hopping on one leg, shaking the other in the finest Hokey Pokey dance you ever saw trying to shake the rat off. That sucker was not about to let go. I finally hit it with my gun and knocked it off. It lay in the ditch and I was not about to poke it with my foot again so I ran back to the garage to get my shovel. When I got back it appeared to be dead. I whacked it for good measure to make sure. I started up to the house with it when I saw the wife in the window about to fall over laughing. I tried to tell her about it but the adrenaline was still flowing pretty good and I could barely speak but she saw it all and was already on the phone to her sis. I had won the war but lost my dignity.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's In "A" Name

Just a tad about my kids. I have 4, 3 girls and 1 boy. For some reason we thought it would be a good idea to name them all starting with the Letter A. Well it didn’t start like that. The oldest was named after the wife. She was known by her second name and I liked her first name so we agreed on that. She tells everyone I just blurted it out in the hospital but that aint true. We went round and round over the son’s name. My dad and her dad combo, William Robert, Nope, down south that’s Billy Bob and even being a bit rednecked I ain’t doing that to him. The rest of the male family names to choose from, Willard, Millard, Zimmie, Roscoe, Rufus, Clinton, and Horatio. We were screwed so we picked a non-family name that happened to start with an A. We discussed whether to name him the full version or nickname and we picked the full. Everyone calls him by his nickname. The next girl arrived and we thought well, we have two “A’s” and she might feel left out if we don’t use an”A” name so we did. We had kinduv picked a name and while still in the hospital wifey shared it with her sis. Sis proceeds to say it was a silly name and the wife having postpartum depression after all the kids births breaks down. We leave the hospital with “Baby Girl L” on the birth certificate. Thanks sis in law. We go through the “A” list again and decide on an “A” name and then the discussion is whether we name her the full “A” name or the nickname version. We picked the nickname version and now of course everyone calls her the full version. Sheesh this is hard. Well, we was done having kids or at least we thought so but 10 years later I get the call. It was kinduva shock to say the least but we finally wrapped our heads around it and settled down. We were sitting around the kitchen table at dinner when we broke it to the other kids. The kids would be 16, 14 and 10 when she would be born. They looked stunned and one by one got up and left the table without saying a word. It was a bit surreal. The baby was actually due on the soon to be 16 yr olds B’day. It worked out to be pretty cool because the oldest had her learners permit and she chauffeured the wife around town. We had a Sweet 16 party planned and she was not a happy camper that the wife was due any minute. The wife took her out shopping to calm her down. Amazing how that works, Huh? The little one was born exactly a week later. Oh crap we have to name this one too? “A” name or do we start with the “B’s” this time? Oh heck no she tells me we ain’t starting nothing, you are getting fixed. So it will be an “A”. It really weren’t that big of a deal to find a name prior to going to the hospital and making it clear with the sis in law that I didn’t want to hear one crack. Big sis was there to cut the cord and now she works in the birthing unit at the same hospital. Now the thing is when we holler for one of the kids you stumble down the list before getting to the one you want. All the big kids now work and are dating or starting college. Little A and I were home alone the other Saturday and we headed to Mickey D’s for breakfast. She informed me while we ate that she needed to get a boyfriend and a job. Lot’s of pressure for a 7 yr old.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Now Thats Rac'in

A friend of mine is President of the local ASNT Chapter. For their monthly meeting they scheduled a tour of The Joe Gibbs Racing Facility. He had extra tickets so I was invited to attend. I am a big NASCAR fan having lived near the heart of the racing Series all my life. I am also a machinist and a shadetree mechanic as well so I was excited to get to go. I was not disappointed. Inside the front door is a display area where they have the trophies and show cars from each team. Downstairs they have all the cars being prepped for the next race as well as the cars from last weeks race being evaluated. The prep room was wall to wall cars in various stages of assembly. Next stop was the machine shop. No cost spared there. The shop runs 22hrs a day. They machine 3200 different parts for the cars. We also visited the Dyno area where they test the rear ends and gearing. They have a table they set the car on that will simulate any track. I knew a lot went into preparing a car for race day but they have some amazing tools to get the job done. If you are interested and get the chance I would recommend it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kids Explain It All

> You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
> Alan, age 10
> No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
> Kirsten, age 10
> Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
> Camille, age 10
> No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.
> Freddie, age 6
> You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
> Derrick, age 8
> Both don't want any more kids.
> Lori, age 8
> Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
> Lynnette, age 8
> On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
> Martin, age 10
> I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
> Craig, age 9
> When they're rich.
> Pam, age 7
> The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
> Curt, age 7
> The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
> Howard, age 8
> I don't know which is better, but I'll tell you one thing. I'm nevergoing to have sex with my wife. I don't want to be all grossed out.
> Theodore, age 8
> It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
> Anita, age 9
> There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
> Kelvin, age 8
> Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck.
> Ricky, age 10

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kids Advice to Kids #1

Stuff I found on the Web
> Never trust a dog to watch your food.
> Patrick, age 10
> When your dad is mad and asks you,'Do I look stupid?' don't answer.
> Hannah, 9
> Never tell your mom her diet's not working.
> Michael, 14
> When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.
> Taylia, 10
> Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a Tic-Tac.
> Andrew, 9
> Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.
> Kyoyo, 9
> You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
> Armir, 9
> Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
> Kellie, 11
> If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.
> Naomi, 15
> Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.
> Lauren, 9
> Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat.
> Joel, 10
> When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone.
> Alyesha, 13
> Never try to baptize a cat.
> Eileen, 8