Friday, January 01, 2016
Monday, August 03, 2015
Sick Day, August 2015
Here is the most recent list:
1. I'm sick of all the O stickers that are on cars in Oregon. So you like a University in Oregon, big deal. Do you realize that once you are 500 miles out of Oregon no one has even heard of Oregon, let alone the University of Oregon. It's just another school.
2. I'm sick of Washington Drivers. When in Oregon, can you simply observe what the Oregon drivers are doing and mimic our behavior. This means not coming to a full stop at every intersection that doesn't require it. This means the speed limit is the speed you should be traveling; not 15 MPH below the limit if you are in front of me and not 15 MPH faster if you are coming up to tail-gate me.
3. I sick of the Minions. I haven't seen the movie or perhaps movies, but I'm totally sick of seeing them on the Internet.
4. Both Astoria and Seaside now need a bypass. There is no way to get out of town quickly which makes me wonder how many more people will die if we ever have the quake and tsunami that is expected.
Monday, March 02, 2015
I can only assume that the speedometers on these trucks are factory mis-calibrated 25 mph under the real speed, because I have never seen one of these trucks go any slower that 25 over the limit.
I must admit these little trucks are oddly very stable since their center of gravity is probably two feet off the surface of the ground and with speed being a factor; I'm surprised the ditches on curvy roads aren't littered with trucks of every color.
Now a note to you hill-billies that drive these things... Instead of spending all that money on after-market crap to trick these little toy trucks out, why don't you put your money towards a real truck that can actually do all the things you are trying to create the illusion that your truck can do. Until then, just realize that people with real trucks view your truck as an annoying gnat that shouldn't share the same road.
Back on the east coast in the 80's all the real douche bags drove a Camero Iroc-z. Out here in 2014 they drive little tricked out Toyota pick-ups. Time to grow up little men...
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Just the Way I Like It.
I wasn't bothered in the least by not having the phone over that period of time. The funny thing was that when I turned it on there were no texts, or voicemails waiting for me. There were no missed calls. I think I have finally reached my goal of keeping out of touch.
Thursday, January 01, 2015
2015 Death Pool
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Burt Shavitz (Burt's Bees)
G. Gordon Liddy
David Rockefeller Sr.
Carol Elaine Channing
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Me and My Goose
Today I am not paying homage to the Alices Restaurant movement as I am sure they are doing so on the East Coast as I write. Instead I will pay homage via Youtube to another Arlo Guthrie song for those of you who will be dining on some sort of bird today.
Please click this link Me and My Goose
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Autumn on the Coast
Here on the Oregon Coast there are signs of autumn, but it isn’t the changing colors of the trees. Yes, some trees change color; like some maples and aspens but trees like the alders start shedding their leaves in early August but the colors don’t change. The leaves of the alders are all gone by the time the first autumn wind storm happens.
The signs of autumn here start with roads. Chipmunks cross the road in confusion and though one might slow down and hope the animal has decided on where it wants to be you will inevitably hear a thump under your rear tire as you pass.
The next road hazards are the Woolly Bears. These are the furry black and orange caterpillars that find it necessary to cross the roads. I always try to avoid them with my tires, however when looking in the rear-view mirror after I pass them I find the wind from my vehicle blows them away and they roll up in a ball to try to defend themselves.
Wolly Bears are interesting creatures because according to folk lore you can use them to predict the severity of the up-coming winter by the amount of black fur they have. The more black fir, the more severe the winter will be. If they successfully consume enough food they will turn into a yellowish moth known as the Isabella Tiger Moth which will mate and lay clusters of eggs under leafs and the whole process begins again.
Though we have had our first rain and wind storm of the season the Wooly Bears are still crossing the roads, even in the rain. Soon we will have our first frost and that will signify that that the process of autumn is nearing its end. It will be green here throughout the winter, even if we get a dusting of snow.
All the fall and winter rains will assure the first signs of spring in February with the sound of lawn mowers cutting the lawns for the first time as the crocus bulbs come alive with the sounds of the frogs chirping in the swamps.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
LNG, A Win-Win for Both Sides
If you've been following this blog over the years you may remember that at first I came out against LNG. My mind was changed while driving home one late night or early one morning and I drove by some homes of anti LNG advocates and I noticed that the exteriors of their houses were lit up with all sorts of outdoor lighting and porch lamps. It was then that I realized that if they could waste electricity like that they had no right to complain about LNG.
All these many years later I found a win-win solution for both sides of the LNG advocates and detractors. The way I see it, the conservatives want LNG and the progressives don’t. So, to break the stalemate I say the progressives give in and let LNG be developed in Warrenton. If nothing goes wrong we will have a lot of new jobs in the area and the added revenue in the form of tax collection will go to schools, public safety and infrastructure.
Now, let’s say there is a problem and the LNG site blows up and vaporizes all of Warrenton. Well this is the payback for the progressives because who lives in Warrenton? Conservatives; and lots of them. They are religious, Tea Party, Obama effigy hangers... and now they have been vaporized and the progressives will have a bigger share of the vote for generations. The only conservatives left will be easily recognizable because most conservative men have blond wives… No shit, think about it... But you may say that the Democrat District Attorney of our County has a blond wife, but consider this, he is pro death penalty, he's against medical marijuana dispensaries, he is good friends with Lars Larson and was even married on Lars's boat... Now how can you do any of that and still call yourself a Democrat? One simply cannot.
Another benefit will be the increase in tourism. Nothing says tourist dollars like a good disaster. What is one of the biggest draws to Clatsop County right now? That’s right; the ship wrecked Peter Iredale, a historic disaster. What about New York…Ground Zero. Tourists love disasters and the LNG crater would be an economic boom (pun intended) to our area for generations.
So all you progressives out there, you should learn to embrace the eventual coming of LNG. If you presently live in the blast zone, now would be a good time to market your home to a conservative. Just post your listing on every church bulletin board in Warrenton and Hammond and you'll get that place sold for sure. Remember, net floats hanging on your fence is a real draw.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Dennis Richardson is a Douche Bag
Dennis Richardson is an asshole and a Douche bag... Driving back home from Portland on 26 tonight I saw that there was at least one of those political signs for his bid for governor every mile and some even closer than a mile. This was from Hillsboro all the way to Cannon Beach Junction. At least 70 or 80 signs in total which are destined to become more land fill; that is if his supporters ever go back to reclaim them from littering one of the most beautiful roads in Oregon. Richardson, your campaign has more money that the organizers have brains. I hope he doesn't even make it past the primary...Douche... I mean really, when has a political lawn sign ever convinced people to vote for any particular candidate. I know the more signs I see the less likely I will for the candidate...even if I liked them in the beginning.
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Death Pool 2014
So how did I do on on last years death pool? Better than most years... I got Margaret Thatcher, Hugo Chavez and Nelson Mandela
Here is my 9th annual list for 2014:
David Peel (If you don't know he is you weren't a Hippy)
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
After I finished the garage roof I had another project to start; the kitchen remodel. I've learned to be suspicious when a task looks simple. The task was to remove the old cabinets and drop the ceiling to 93 inches and lay down a new floor.
We have been living without a kitchen for well over six-weeks now because it got complicated. Taking out the old ceiling I found buried electrical junction boxes that couldn't be covered up and all the wiring was 14-2, so I ripped out the walls to replace all the wiring with 12-2 and added more receptacles and some for the under-counter lighting. The problem with taking out the walls was I found two layers of sheetrock covering shiplap.
Like the garage roof joists, the wall joists were varied in spacing from 12 inches to 26 inches apart so the room needed to be reframed. The former sink had feed pipes and drain running through the floor so that needed to be rerouted through the walls.
During the reconstruction we used a folding table as our food prep area with a microwave and a toaster oven on it. I put the sink from the laundry room in the kitchen so we’d have a sink. I must say that I really missed having a dish washer.
Finally after several weeks of a big mess in progress it got even messier with the dry wall and mud and sanding, but I finally finished painting and laying the new floor on Sunday. The cabinets were installed on Monday and Tuesday. I was able to install the dish washer a few hours after the installation was done. Tonight I will install the water line to the ice maker in the fridge. After that I will install the under-counter lights and the above stove microwave and then the new light fixtures.
The counter will be installed on the 31st and then I’ll move onto the next project.
It’s a good feeling knowing that civilization is returning to the house, one day and one piece at a time. By the way, the photo above is what our recycled glass counter top will look like.
Thursday, October 03, 2013
The BMW That Broke My Heart
It was a nice car. It was a 528i that was intended to be my wife’s car, but she just couldn’t love it so it fell upon me to host this machine. Sure it had quirks that I fixed as soon as they popped up, but one day it started to over-heat. I did something counter intuitive to get it to cool down. I raced the engine and the temperature came down.
Eventually a pattern developed where the temp would inch up and just before the red-line was reached the temp would go down. There was air in the coolant line. Now with BMWs you don’t just pour coolant into the reservoir. You have to jack up the front end and bleed the air out of the system as you add coolant. I would do this and all would be good for a couple of days and then it would happen again.
I replaced every hose, the radiator, the thermostat, the heater core, the fan clutch and then it still overheated. I replaced the head gasket. And it overheated again.
The only thing I could figure that there was a crack in the block, probably in a cylinder since coolant never leaked out; air just got in and the only place it could get in with more pressure than the coolant was through the cylinder.
I was going to replace the engine, but then the transmission light came on. So here I was, stuck with this lemon. It was great to drive when it was drivable, but it was so unreliable and expensive to constantly have it in the shop. We decided to trade it in. Fortunately it was drivable to a dealership. I made a full disclosure of all the problems with it, but they wanted it anyway and gave us 1/10 of what we had into it. That was worth it, just to get it out of my life for good.
We replaced the BMW with a Mini Cooper, which is ironically made by BMW.
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Yeah, I'm Still Here
Just too busy and uninspired to write, but here’s the beginning of the run-down since my last post.
The heat stroke I suffered had residual effects for weeks. I was only able to put in a few hours a day working around the house. My task was to remove the roof over my garage. That garage roof leaked since I purchased the house. It has a flat roof with a very slight pitch. Years ago I tried fixing it with several layers of fibered roof coating, but that didn't work. Then I tried a corrugated metal roof and that didn't work either. Finally I ripped it all off to the rafters and put down new sheathing.
Funny thing is that the original builders, who I believe also built the garage/ now rest rooms at the Astoria column because the buildings are identical…anyway the builders gestimated their distances. Some joists were 16 inches apart, some were 20, 17, 26, 15 inches apart. This means every sheet of ply wood had to be cut. It was a mess.
We hired professional roofers to do the garage roof and to put a metal roof on the house. I was tired of the constant wind damage. Comp roofing just can’t stand up to the winds we now get since the area was clear cut. Hiring a local roofer was a bit of an ordeal. I called several local roofers for estimates. Talked to many of them and they never showed up to give me an estimate. I asked “g” and he suggested a semi-local company and they actually came out and put in a bid. Just to keep it all on the up and up I also called a roofer from Portland who did a metal roof for my father-in-law. They came in with a bid that was 2/3 the price of the quasi local company and they threw in new gutters and leaders. This crew was great, they kept things neat and clean and replaced some rotten 5/4 tongue and groove wood that is our living room ceiling. They put new insulation foam panels above that so our living room now has an r-factor. They reflashed everything including the five skylights and kept me posted on everything as they went along.
It will be nice to never have to go on a roof again. With a 40 year guarantee this roof will out-live me. More on the other projects soon…
Monday, July 15, 2013
I thought I could handle the heat yesterday, but I was wrong. It wasn't that hot, probably 80 degrees or below. There was a nice breeze. I was building an arbour which took some digging and wood to be screwed together. I was pacing myself. I had a large mug of ice water that I tapped pretty often. I took frequent breaks in the shade. I was doing everything right, but after I finished building what I could in a day I took one more break in the shade before putting my tools away at around 4PM. I started to sense some indigestion and suddenly all the water I consumed through out the day came rumbling up and was expelled across the lawn. At that point I moved up to the porch where there is always a breeze and I was cooling off pretty well, but my wife came home and saw how pale I looked and told me I needed to lay down with ice packs to which I complied. I stayed in bed motionless for two hours and when I was able to get up again I felt like I had a serious ass-whipping. I rested the rest of the evening and I still feel drained today. I'm drinking Gatorade hoping to restore the electrolytes.
I think back to the days I would ride my bicycle 30 miles on hot/humid days. I recall working on a farm in 1969, the summer of Woodstock, which was hot and humid every day. I just can't do what I used to. I accept that and I'll take on outdoor projects in the early morning and stop when starts getting warm while keeping in mind that the gloom will return one day.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Itching For A Fight
I was surprised when Blue Mamba told me about her fighting history. When growing up she always felt sorry for the underdog regardless of what position the underdog was fighting for. If there was an underdog in a fight she'd jump right into the brawl to help out. She just loved the excitement. Mostly she loves fighting.
If you could see her now she appears as a stylish professional adult of means and would never suspect there is a savage heart beneath with a fight clock ticking and purring inside her. The alarm is always set on her fight clock.
We recently went out for a farewell dinner in Astoria. Yes, Blue Mamba, the focus of many posts here over the years, is sadly moving away. Any way, behind where I was seated a family of three came in. The adult male was acting badly and suddenly Blue Mamba's eyes widened and a glint of a smile came to her face. Her claws were coming out. She was on the edge of involvement, but fortunately the woman at the table apologise to the waiter that her husband was bi-polar and they would be leaving. Through the rest of our time there Blue Mamba kept revisiting what had happened at that table, which I couldn't see. I could see she was disappointed that the opportunity to rise up and put up a fight for the underdog mother and son never got to the point where it would have been considered feasible and justifiable. It almost got to that point, but not quite.
I'm sure Blue Mamba went home and dreamed of battle that night. She is a warrior.
Friday, June 14, 2013
The Push For Lager
In the spirit of full disclosure I am not a big drinker. I probably have maybe two beers a year which I don't usually finish. There is something good about the first two sips of a crisp cold beer on a hot summer day, but I usually lose interest by the third sip. Yet there are people out there that guzzle it down as though it was life sustaining oxygen.
I write this for two reasons. One being I haven't posted in a while and I an starting to get hate mail from people who can no longer stand looking at the photo of my last post. The other reason is a perfect, humorous phrase that came my way that kept me laughing for a day.
Blue Mamba and I were talking about a new brew-pub that is going to grace Astoria. I think there are three of them presently and with a new one in the works I wondered just when is the market over saturated. Blue Mamba told me that this brew-pub is going to specialize in brewing lager which supposedly is not being brewed by any of the competitors. Then she said the phrase that struck me as the funniest phrase that my ears have enjoyed in quite some time.
She said, "Apparently lager needs to be made here..."
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Aging With Grace
I had to admit that when I was his age I was very much the same. I'd read several books a week. I was at all the hot spots and events that were happening. I knew all the up and comers and was very aware of everything in the news and in entertainment. I could stay up for days at a time. I could work two jobs and go to school full-time. There was no reason to stop being constantly on the go. I was fit and flexible and open to all ideas. I loved conversation. I listened to radio constantly, I even left a radio on all night when I slept. Music, music, music, I couldn't get enough. I used to have all the latest technology.
Now I find that a half of a life later I'm no longer impressed by topical stuff. I read one book a year if I am lucky. I see people who are supposed to be famous and I have no idea who they are, nor do I care. It seems people are famous for being famous with little tangible substance. I don't care about philosophy or religion. I care less about politics. I only listen to OPB radio and they never play music. I don't like people much either. I can stand most people for a time limited to under four-hours. I don't really care to go anywhere, and if I never see a movie or a play again I'll be totally happy with that.
I'm even bored by the Internet. I've let several of my sites and blogs fall by the way-side. I am sick of Facebook and I'm visiting that less and less. I don't check all that many blogs anymore either. The golden age of blogging is long over. I can hardly stand email anymore. When I see something new in my inbox I think, "Oh shit, I'll have to deal with something now."
I no longer care much for new technology. I couldn't stand my smart phone so I got rid of it and got an old fashioned stupid phone and it works great. We still have a land line because most cell phones sound like shit. I have a cassette player in my car and I don't care to upgrade it, I just listen to OPB radio while driving. We haven't upgraded to a flat screen TV yet, our old tube set is still doing fine. We have three vehicles and all three were made in the 20th Century. I refuse to send texts and I delete any that are sent to me.
I think Tattoos are stupid, as are piercings and any other type of mutilation. When I see someone who shaves their head I think of them as a skinhead.
So yes, I am older and far less flexible and I don't care. This is want happens when one ages. The passions don't flow as deeply and all your desire for input is exchanged for a want of silence without complication. It is less important to do things that make you feel great and more important that your knees and hips and back will allow you a pain-free day. When I was young it was important to me that parts of my anatomy would stand up straight several times a day and now it is important that I stand up straight when ever I rise to my feet.
I remember when I was the age of Blue Mamba's son. I have fond memories of those times, but time moves forward and to go back to who I once was would be out of nature and hard on the body. There are reasons one slows down and calms down as one ages. I embrace my present age and I'm glad that I came to my senses as to what is really important and appropriate at this time in life.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
You Can Never Go Back
The photo above is of burgers that were purchased two years previous to the photo being taken. Note there has been no decomposition or mold...
The older I get the more I realize that time is meant to go in one direction and one direction only. Sure we are fond of things from our past that made us who we are today, but we can never really go back and it is best we don’t even try. Sometimes I think it would be fun to revisit some of the places I’ve been or the things that I’ve done. However when I do succumb to the temptation; more often than not I find disappointment in epic proportions.
I recall when I was in my 20s living back east, every Tuesday night me and a bunch of friends would go to Fuddruckers. It was a noisy burger joint with indoor neon signs. When you entered and got in line to order you stood next a large glass window where there were several beef carcasses on the hook and there was a butcher cutting and grinding meat. This showed the product was fresh, though many Americans like to disguise or not recognize that their meat comes from animals. This was in your face.
Whenever I drive North on I-5 towards Portland I see a Fuddruckers just off the Lake Oswego exit. I’ve been tempted to stop but never have until last week. Fuddruckers promotions say they sell the world’s greatest hamburgers. The building looked like other Fudd’s I’d been in before except the butcher shop no longer had beef on the hook. Instead there was a tray of large raw burgers that were probably previously frozen, or even made of plastic for that matter.
Everything was familiar at the counter where one places their order except the prices have risen drastically since my last visit. Once you get your order you go through a fixins bar that had tomatoes without flavor or texture of anything that was once living. The lettuce was iceberg and everything else was about as interesting as a recycled cardboard.
I now must say that this was not the world’s greatest hamburger. It wasn’t great at all and even the on-site baked burger buns couldn’t save the experience. Furthermore the noise that I found charming in my 20s was now annoying. I realize not that the acoustics in there are poor just to distract the senses so you don’t realize how bad the food really is.
The 30 years that are now behind me from my 20s makes me question if this place was ever any good. Maybe in retrospect the only competition back then were places like McDonalds and Burger King that sold and still sells indigestible plastic that they call beef. Compared to that the Fudd’s burger was good, but now it seems to fall in line with its former competitors.
Like time, I’m going to move forward and am no longer going to look back. I want to shield myself from any more disappointment. I have so many fond memories of my youth and I want them to remain as fond memories. I don’t want to expose them as anything different with the spot light of reality.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
It seems that America has lost it's way in regards to maintaining or rebuilding the infrastructure that once made us a great nation. Our highways and bridges are a mess. Our air traffic system is antiquated. Our power grid is vulnerable to all sorts of sabotage and mishaps.
Presently our nation would never be able to get the support it took to build the interstate high-way system. I doubt we would ever be able to have a project like one of the dam building projects. I doubt we would ever be able to build NASA from scratch.
I think the government is missing some great tax options that could restore this nation to what it once was when people were doing pretty well financially and they felt the US was a safe place to live and a land of opportunity.
We should legalize and tax marijuana. We should tax fire arm and ammunition purchases. Finally we should tax the churches.
Legalizing marijuana is a no-brainer because the majority of the population thinks it should be legal and when it it legal it will cost less to produce and distribute and even adding a tax it will cost less than it presently costs to obtain it.
Before you NRA kooks pop a nut you need to realize there is a federal department dedicated to alcohol, tobacco and fire arms of which alcohol and tobacco are taxed, why fire arms and ammo not taxed? The NRA wants gun laws to be enforced and they want to place armed guards in every school and they think mental health needs to be addressed... figures show that there were 16,808,538 gun applications in 2012 at the end of November. If gun purchasing loopholes were closed so that every purchase was taxed and tax each bullet we could easily raise billions every year. Instead of being annoyed by the constant sound of gun fire I hear while living out in the country, I could instead hear the the sound of tax money being made to support society. If we have a government agency with the word "fire arms" in its name we should be taxing all things fire arms to protect the integrity of the fire arms and those who use them.
Finally, the churches. The churches thrive in this country and they are protected under the constitution. They are free to pick up rattle snakes. They are free to sell flowers at the airports. They are free to publish and distribute their tracts. They are free to brainwash children and the weak minded. They are free to ignore science and dictate or at least strongly lobby public policy. They are free to picket funerals and create international incidents. They are free to have TV and radio stations. They are free to solicit funds and worship openly. All this freedom and they aren't paying a cent to the government that keep them free to behave like knuckleheads. I think it's high time they tithe 10% to the United States.
If these three taxes were initiated we could have universal health care; no one would be going without food or shelter in this country and our personal tax rates could fall. We could get the infrastructure back to where it should be and put people to work and provide social programs for those not wanting to have god shoved down their throats.