Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Customer Service Fails - Century Link Edition

I'm moving about three miles after the 1st and wanted to get my internet service arranged. Currently, I use Century Link.

While I'm spending two days trying to make contact with them, my bill arrives. Hello, jacked up my cost and changed my billing date.

Finally get through on "Chat' so I can cancel only to be informed I cannot do that except by telephone. Oh joy, doing business with the phone company on a phone. Spent a total of 48 minutes on hold without getting a live person. OK, hit the prompt for "new service". Get through in just three minutes. So sorry Eleanor, but you got the short straw. However, you did handle my request properly, and I received a confirming email.

For my sins, I next tried Comcast. Got "Lynn", Engrich as a second language, and an auctioneering school graduate who soon heard silence on my end. Fortunately, there is a Comcast office near the new digs. Went in and arranged service.

Guess I'm the only person in the USA who wants Internet only. No, I don't watch TV. Yes,  I own a TV, cathode tube model, and a DVD player. It is used when I have company. No, I'm not interested in packages so please don't insist on explaining all in great detail.

Karma, payback, for all those years selling cars.

While never saying never, I can't forsee using Century Link in the future.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cancer and Quacks

Cancer. About the only thing I fear. My late father had eleven siblings. Six have died from cancer. I have 50+ first cousins. I've lost track of the number fighting cancer.

For the past few years, I've been developing basil cells. The standard treatment is liquid nitrogen on the areas of skin that have the cells. It is not always available for me.

I've a great interest in alternative medicine. Some time back I came across the following.

The One Minute Cure
The Secret to Healing
Virtually all Diseases
by
Madison Cavanaugh

http://www.amazon.com/The-One-Minute-Cure-Virtually-Diseases/dp/0977075141

This is only one source, other places are cheaper. Folks, I'm not getting in any kind of debate about the author or his recommendations. Make up your own mind, as have I.

This discusses using 30% food grade hydrogen peroxide. I've been taking ten drops a day now for nearly five years. In addition, I put it directly on the areas of patchy skin. Like liquid nitrogen, it will keep your attention for ten to fifteen minutes. Within three days, the skin looks normal.

The peroxide is hard to find, but is available online. A quart costs around $50 and will last me several months. Does it work? I don't know for certain, but I do know for the price of a modest dinner check it is worth it to me.

Two things I've learned about cancer. It spreads faster in an acidic and oxygen poor environment. Keeping your body in an alkaline state is easily done with diet. Eat an avocado daily, for instance. The hydrogen peroxide, my reading tells me, helps my body stay oxygenated.

Obviously I'm not a doctor, and this isn't "medical" advice. You should do your own research, and make your own informed decisions.

Does any of this work? I was 70 years old before I spent a night in a hospital as a patient, and that was caused by an abnormally slow heartbeat. I do believe it works for me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Profound Thought

Every time I think I have all my ducks in a row, the damn ducks waddle off in all directions.

Hope each and every one of you has a peaceful and joyous Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hail TABOR


Colorado is unique as the only state to pass the Taxpayers Bill or Rights (TABOR). In addition, Colorado passed the “Gallagher Amendment” setting a statewide standard for assessing residential properties. Both have severely restricted politicians at all levels, city, county, districts, schools, and the state ability to raise taxes.

A brief explanation is here.


The heart of TABOR is this:

 Under TABOR, state and local governments cannot raise tax rates without voter approval and cannot spend revenues collected under existing tax rates without voter approval if revenues grow faster than the rate of inflation and population growth.[1] Revenue in excess of the TABOR limit, commonly referred to as the "TABOR surplus", must be refunded to taxpayers, unless voters approve a revenue change as an offset in a referendum.[2] Under TABOR, the state has returned more than $2 billion to taxpayers.

Full explanation here.


The last refund I received was after a budget passed when the GOP controlled both chambers and the Governor’s office.

The last budget was passed by the (p)regressives controlling both chambers and Wishywashy signed it as governor. Despite their valiant efforts, the state will collect more revenue than anticipated. Oh the horror; money will be given back to citizens instead of funding whacko programs. Naturally (p)regressives are having palpitations.



TABOR was once a national movement but only gained traction in Colorado. More than any single individual, it was pushed through by a certain Douglas Bruce, a California transplant who has become as notorious as Alfred Packer, Colorado’s most prominent cannibal.


One thing Bruce cannot be called is dull. One can only applaud a politician who celebrates his swearing in ceremony by kicking a newspaper photographer.


Why do I find this situation hilarious? Must be a huge character flaw. Why did I write this post? Because I can. Probable result? All three of my readers will drop my blog.




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Speaking of Attorneys


Another long blog that may only be of interest to my family members. Feel free to skip it.

Folks are always making comments about attorneys, and one recent comment by me on another blogger’s post was to make sure you don’t hire an incompetent one.

Unfortunately, I’ve had too many dealings with the legal establishment.

First, there are the ones involving my three sons. My first born is Autistic, and there are several challenges in estate planning and wills with handicapped heirs. I ended up writing some hefty checks.

Middle child liked to drink, get in bar fights and drive. This went on for about six years. Good criminal lawyers are expensive.

Youngest had two children with a messed up drug user. Getting her parental rights ended was in the order of tens of thousands of dollars. I don’t care, my grandchildren are safe. Our case was helped by her big mouth, lifestyle choices and hiring feminist hacks whose best moves were waving the motherhood banner, and the “all women are victim’s meme”.

I’ve had a lot of criticism, for lack of “tough love”, coddling, etc. My response is no response because I don’t give a rat’s ass about other’s opinions unless they are helping financially. I raised my two youngest on my own from the time they were eleven and thirteen. Lived with the “I would give you a hand but I’m busy wringing both of mine” input by others.

My children didn’t get a free ride. I insisted they pay what they could, that it was enough for them to feel the pain, but I used my resources to make sure they had competent counsel.

Most of my dealing with attorneys involved business dealings. The first big one involved my employer losing the use of our facility due to a contractor’s incompetence. The “high powered” Seattle law firm was stellar in billing hours and totally ineffective in reaching a resolution. One time I was deposed. Five lawyers were firing questions at me with a court reporter taking notes. My strategy was, “Who are you and who do you represent”? That changed the whole dynamic. Felt good, me intimidating them!

Same law firm sent one of their lawyers with me to Anchorage where we finalized a contract. On the way back, he was ready to kick back in business class and have some adult beverages. Bullshit. We were being billed for his time and I was determined to get our money’s worth. Don’t think he liked me. Oh, well.

These are just examples. In the retail car business, there are always customers who decide to be awkward. You get a call from their attorney or a letter, or both.  My response was no letter must be answered and to tell the caller “Feel free to sue us. Until you take us to court, don’t bother us. No, you don’t need the name of our law firm".

One lesson learned is to be very clear about what you want the attorney to accomplish. You don’t need them to tell you what to do; you need them to tell you how to legally accomplish your goals. Good ones won’t fight you. The others? Fire them.

The second lesson is, do what they advise. They are the experts, that is why you are paying them.

When I hire an attorney, I try to arrive at an agreed, all inclusive fee. This means I give them all the information and answer all their questions up front. I’ve found it keeps them focused. That doesn’t seem to be a popular options for most attorneys.

Another area I’ve had legal dealings involves my scofflaw driving habits. Usually,  I represent myself. The courts want speedy resolutions. I like to throw sand in the gears. Time-consuming, yes, but the long term costs of traffic tickets is often overlooked. In almost every case, I’ve written a check, and it went away. They don’t care if I go to the “Driver’s Classes”, just pay for them. 

One time I got written up for 93 in a 65, just two miles away from a mandatory trip to jail. Hired an attorney I knew. Ended up with an eight hour driver’s class, before the court date per my attorney’s recommendation (“Your honor, my client has taken responsibility for his actions”), a guilty plea for, “Driving too fast for the road conditions (it was a dry summer day)”, a fine, and community service. Turns out the community service was a check for the hours times the minimum wage. Damn expensive, but worth it as 3 points against the 8 points that were on the table and future hassles if I got caught again.

My divorce was worked out without attorneys. She wanted out and knew how obstinate I am. We worked out an agreement, both signed, and she went on her way. Bad move on her part as the man she left me for turned out to be all hat and no cattle.


I feel some empathy for attorneys, having spent thirty years selling cars. Neither occupation ranks high in the general public’s opinion. Of course, I don’t let the public’s opinion determine my self-esteem. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Low Humor

The devil showed up one day in our town.

Everybody ran home in fear and closed their doors except for the town drunk who stayed in his chair outside the bar.

The devil was amazed and said to the man, Don't you know who I am? Aren’t you afraid”?


“No,” said the drunk, “I was once married to your sister”.

Grumble, grumble, complain


Leading up to winter, got the vehicles prepared, studded snow tires on, emergency kits checked and loaded, and windshield washer fluid reservoirs filled with -35 fluid. Other than a few snow days in early November, haven't even used the ice scrapper. Fickle Colorado weather!

Last winter was harsh. This year, nothing (yet). We'll probably get hit with a spring blizzard that will shut everything down for a week.

No winter snow means no summer water and no replenished aquifers. Despite the oil boom and the high tech stuff along the Front Range, Colorado still depends on agriculture to pay the freight.

We need snow!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Clueless, Retail Divison - A Rant

Back story.  I’ve spent most of my adult life working on a commission or fee per job basis.

The computer monitor started acting up. After installing a spare, took the old one to Best Buy, as they offer electronics recycling.

I submit, someone entering a store to drop off something for recycling might, just might, be in the market for a replacement. When that person then wanders over to the monitor displays that would be a very large clue that a motivated buyer is present.
The three “associates” one aisle over must have thought their conversation was too important to interrupt for a mere customer. Likewise, the manager type at the front desk, who saw me walk in and directed me to the recycle section, didn’t seem to notice.

I refuse to reward piss poor behavior even if I’m inconvenienced. I left.

Over the years, I’ve patronized Best Buy. They seem to have a decent selection and reasonable prices. I’ll probably patronize them in the future.


Regarding the three salespeople and the manager, if they worked at any car lot I managed, they would be looking for a job. While not always apparent on a balance sheet, the largest single expense a retailer has is getting someone to walk into their establishment.

Final rant. When you put salespeople on a shitty hourly wage, you get shitty salespeople. No amount of "motivators" will make them anything but shitty. 

Don Chalmers, Renton WA, 1986, speaking to sixty+ throat ripping commissioned salespeople, "No company has ever gotten in trouble paying salespeople HIGH commissions". Truer words have seldom been spoken.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Frack This

Did a post called “Risky Business” 12/16/13 about fracking


This is more a “Yeah for Fracking”. The usual suspects are against it; the same crowd behind gun control laws, the “Colorado Model” and Common Core. Yepper, the (p)regressives.


Add, “not in my backyard”.


Why am I for it? JOBS, damnit. Lots and lots of good paying blue collar jobs in the $15 to $40 an hour range with lots of overtime. Young people able to stay in the area instead of moving to Denver to find a job.  Money is being pumped into the local economy creating more jobs. Tax revenues up and school funding up.

The picture below is a wind generator factory owned by a Danish company. Opened with great fanfare. Major tax breaks. Special classes by the local community college to train workers. The place is on financial life support.


Due West is this building going up with no special treatment, no public funds, required by the owners. Surprise, oilfield business.


This is happening all over the area. Did I mention jobs? This is just one street.


Growth brings problems. It has taken me several weeks to find the apartment I’m moving into after the first of the year (the test driver job fell through). The area has an acute housing shortage. Driving on the local roads can be a challenge. I’ll live with it, even though I’ve no patience, and not complain. Every one of those beasts means another job.




To those who want to shut all this down, want to dictate how others should live, etc., I offer these words. Go fuck yourself.

My late father years ago said an environmentalist was, "A guy who bought his five acres last year". One time, when the smoke from a local sawmill drifted into town (older times when they burned sawdust and scraps), someone spoke to my father, "Bob, isn't this smoke terrible"?

My father, sniffing the air,said, "I smell a $100,000 a year payroll".

One of my sons has been unemployed or underemployed, caught in the Temp agency bog, for a long time. Recently, he has started a decent paying job. So good to have my smiling son back instead of the disgruntled one. Perhaps, only those who have been unemployed for a long period can appreciate what having a job means. That is why I get enraged by those special snowflakes who are willing to see others suffer for their defined "greater good".

One last note. This growth is coming from technology applied, mainly, to existing oil wells. Very little wildcatting is involved. The resource has always been there.

And a final opinion. Every dollar being spent isn't going to some foreign enemy.



Friday, December 5, 2014

Chance Encounter



Waiting at a tire shop, noticed an old gentlemen’s hat festooned with various pins. Not often you see a three war Combat Infantry Badge.

After speaking to the gentleman, we had a nice conversation. He was born in North Dakota, a second generation German/Russian/Swede and married a Finn.

Eighty-nine years old, he tended to ramble, but still sharp, and still driving. He retired somewhere around 1971. Unsettling for me personally, as that day was my late father’s birthday. He was a WWII vet.


Doubt I will meet anymore WWII vets so I was pleased to have this chance.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Canadian, Eh?

A young friend in the used car business asked for a car sales story.

At car lots in the Seattle area, salespeople scatter and run for cover when a car with British Columbia plates pulls in. The occupants are always full of questions, will happily soak up your time, and seldom will they actually BUY a vehicle.


Circa 1992, we had a Canadian buy a truck, and traded in a Skoda. Canadians were able to buy imports that were not USA compliant. My dealership put the Skoda on the books for $1, assuming we could wholesale it to a Canadian dealer, or send it to the crusher.
A few days later, a car with B.C. plates pulled in. I was half asleep, the other sales people scattered, and I was stuck with the “up”. Shit! After a few minutes chatting, I decided to see if the Northern ally was greedy, and walked him over to the Skoda. I explained we could only sell the car for export, and the buyer must take it out of the country. I would put it on a trailer and take it to the border. At that point he was on his own. This was his unique opportunity to buy a car for a fraction of the market value in B.C.

In the next four hours, he parted with $3,000 CDN, I loaded the Skoda on our dealership trailer, and we convoyed to Blaine, WA. The Skoda was unloaded, and I watched him drive to the border crossing. I was a very happy individual when I saw him cross the border. Of course, I didn’t stay around to see if he got tossed back.


The next day, the General Sales Manager called me into his office. After I explained the transaction, he gave me the ultimate car lot compliment.

   “You kinky mother fucker”!

The deal broke down as follows. $3,000 CDN at .935 $US = $2,805 less $1 acquisition cost less $250 pack (overhead charge) = $2,554 gross profit. At my commission point, 35%, my gross pay for the sale was $893.90.  I did spend $20 or so in gas expense getting to the border and back, but still a nice days work.

The happiest person in the whole deal was the Used Car Manager. The Skoda had the potential of being a huge pain in the ass for him. Can you say, “future favors”?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ferguson, MO My two cents.

Old saying, everyone has an opinion and an anus, and both smell. That said my opinion on the Ferguson, MO fiasco.

 A poorly trained and maybe unqualified police officer from a poorly run police department meets a stoner thug, and the thug dies. Perhaps the best summation of the Ferguson, MO fiasco I’ve read is by Peter Grant.


Then I read stuff on Facebook, posted by liberals, that makes me wonder if we live in alternate universes.  This takes time to read, but the absolute blindness to facts, and the editorial slant, boggles my mind.


This type of thinking only obscures the basic problem. In St. Louis County, the citizens are living with a corrupt set of self serving local governments that are all about money, and not about public safety or service. Most of the county is a “ticket trap” according to friends that have lived there, and articles posted in Peter’s blog. I sympathize with the frustration and anger of the people who live there. So, how do you change a corrupt system? Not by the thinking displayed by this liberal. That obscures the role of corrupt officials and gives excuses for thugs.

Looking at history, a lot of changes have come about by people using pitchforks and torches, just saying. 4G warfare, anyone?


And finally.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Army Story

Old AF Sarge’s blog often prods me down memory lane, and today it is memories of Army Mess halls, and one particular cook.

http://oldafsarge.blogspot.com/2014/11/air-force-chow.html

We had in our Engineer company circa 1965 a few WWII vets. One was SP5 Hyatt. He was married to a German national, lived off post, and was content with his place in the Army. He had no interest in becoming the Mess Sergeant nor being promoted. He was close to retirement and just wanted to be left alone.

We had, as every unit has, a new shinny bar 2nd Lieutenant. As was the case with all new Lts, he was the shitty little jobs officer which included being the Mess Officer. He made it his mission to motivate SP5 Hyatt.

In our unit, it was possible to go a year without putting on a Class A uniform. One day we had a formation where everyone not on duty, had to stand, in Class A’s, including SP5 Hyatt.

There he stood, with his 82nd Airborne shoulder patch (he had jumped at Normandy), POW ribbon, Purple Heart ribbon with three bronze leaf clusters, Bronze Star with V ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Airborne Wings, and about four years worth of combat stripes on his sleeve. If memory serves, his “brick” was five lines high and included the Korean Conflict ribbon.

After that day, the Lt never again bothered him.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Coffee Addiction


All this immigration theater is such a downer, I want to write about something light and frivolous.

Old AF Sarge has a nice post with many comments about Navy coffee that reminded me of Army coffee circa 1960’s as found in our Engineer Company in Germany.


In the field coffee was made by dumping cans of coffee into 30 gallon pots of boiling water. Not bad, until you got to the bottom where the grounds had settled (no filters). 

Most of our power boats, and many of the trucks, had various containers mounted on exhaust manifolds where water could be kept hot for coffee and heating C Rations (all forbidden by regulations). Some used instant coffee (nasty stuff) but most of us just poured coffee into the water. Not being the most macho type, I had a small metal filter that was easy to tuck away.

One of our cooks was of Polish descent, and had perfected appearing stupid. After washing out of radio operator school (deliberately), the Army made him a cook. Few realized he was a Michigan State graduate with a BS in Applied Mathematics. One morning while we were bivouacked along side the Rhine River, Mike decided to wash his socks out in the coffee dregs before emptying the pot. A newly assigned 2nd Lieutenant observed him doing this. Aghast, and not waiting to discover any facts, he rushed up and ordered Mike to dump the coffee. Mike did, right on the spot, splattering both the Lt and himself. Relieved the daily tedium that it did.

It wasn’t uncommon to spend ten or more hours operating  bridge erection boats, coming to the bank only to refuel. Having something hot to eat or drink kept us going, especially in the winter. Whenever we had a higher headquarters formal inspection, there was always a rush to remove and stash the water heaters.  Otherwise, everyone turned a blind eye. When we had observers aboard, they were very open to sharing our coffee.

Growing up, we had “cowboy coffee” made over a campfire in the same manner as Army coffee; a large tin can of boiling water with the coffee dumped into the water. When brewed, a cup of cold water was carefully poured in to “settle the grounds”. I can’t remember the grounds settling, but do remember trying to strain the coffee through my teeth. My father liked his coffee and no hunting or fishing trip was complete without a fire and coffee.

All the coffee bars in the world are wasted on me. I like my coffee, but I like it “Folgers in the Cup”. I’ll drink it plain, but my morning preference is a 16 oz mug, freshly made, with a generous amount of heavy (real) cream and a big spoonful of raw honey. Some mornings I will grind the beans but mainly I’m too lazy.

Given all the crap going on right now, I find some comfort in my morning routine, and my coffee. I’m sure some Progressive out there is trying to find a way to control our coffee, strictly for our own good, of course.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Immigration

In advance of the Lightbringer's bloviation this evening.

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me over and over, I must be a mainstream media apparatchik.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dutch Harbor Story

Rev. Paul in his Way Up North blog likes to feature Dutch Harbor stories.


Thought I might contribute a related Dutch Harbor story of my own. Around 1990, I was stuck in a Mitsubishi store in Puyallup, WA that was owned by a multi franchise organization. I was able to sell any of the brands the organization carried.

One day a customer, “Angel”, came in. About 5’ tall, and as round. Redefined androgynous. Who cares, she was a customer. She was from Dutch Harbor, had $10,000 cash to spend, wanted only a brand new vehicle, and insisted on four wheel drive. No new small truck was in her price range. Still, a cash customer. Solution? 

An all wheel drive Tempo. In fact, for her $10,000 we could add superior rust proofing with a warranty! Please understand, this wasn’t a rip-off. At the time, Zibart rust proofing was a huge improvement on anything the factories offered.

Angel was happy with her purchase, and still had enough money left to barge the Tempo to Dutch Harbor. In 2002, happened to be talking to a commercial fisherman from Dutch Harbor. He knew Angel, and remembered she still was driving the Tempo. Given the total of roads there, bet it still hadn’t clocked 100,000 miles. 

I loved the Tempo. It was the perfect no brainer car. There is a class of drivers who don’t like cars, don’t understand them, and only have one out of necessity. All they want is that it starts, drives away when you shift, and is CHEAP. The Tempo was made for them.

I had a subset of Tempo customers, Chinese. Ford had a marketing gimmick printed on the window sticker, a “Value Added Discount”. This was additions like A/C that added up to $660, and was discounted $640. Typical Chinese customer went like this.

    “I’m very poor man. Need large discount”!

    “Look, we have already given you a BIG discount”.

Chinese customers were fun. Hard negotiators, but not time wasters or liars. If they said they had $2,000 down, they weren’t lying. They didn’t come in to “shop”, they came in to buy. The Chinatown Seattle First bank would almost always finance them. The whole secret was to get them laughing.

    "I like you. I send all my friends to see you".

    "Please don't. I can't make any money of you Chinese, and I have a family       to feed".

    "Hah, I send EVERYBODY in Chinatown to see you".

There was little gross profit in a Tempo, but was a good sale towards the monthly volume bonuses, so I was happy to sell them.


Ford replaced the Tempo with the Contour. A superior car in all respects except price, and the no brainer customers didn’t like them. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The War On Rural Residents

It may slow down, but it never stops. The use of government regulations to force people off the land and into the cities. Latest example, the Gunnison Sage Grouse. Here is a better explanation than I can give.

http://coloradopeakpolitics.com/2014/11/12/squawk-gunnison-sage-grouse-listed-threatened/

Travel around in "flyover country" and you will see the dying and dead towns where people are hanging on, or squatting (Farley, N.M. for example). The small farms and ranch families that the towns depended on are gone, forced out by various regulations imposed by government functionaries with no skin in the game. Can't have all those independent people not relying on some government dole, now can we? Too hard to control, don't you know.
























Sunday, November 9, 2014

Military Wives

                                   Winners do what losers won’t. 
                                           Jackie B. Cooper

Military wife; toughest job in the world? 

Probably what you make of it. My daughter in law (referred to on this blog as FDIL) has used the time my youngest son has been in the Army to earn both a Bachelors Degree and an MBA online. This is in addition to raising five kids, having her soldier deployed to Kandahar, and several moves. 

FDIL can fix her own car. She is a better shot than me, and sometimes her husband. She is active in the military community and works at the on post elementary school helping special needs children.

I like to call her Frau Feldwebel, as she is both organized and in charge. S-3 staffers could learn lessons from her. 


I think my son married the right woman.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Police Blotter


Not up to Dutch Harbor/Unalaska standards, but you must work with what you have.

Sunday, Nov. 2
2:45 p.m.: Evans police officers were asked to respond to the 2500 block of Crescent Cove Drive for a report of a child hanging out of a residential window. After speaking with officers, the child agreed not to hang out of windows anymore, saying he realized he wasn’t really Spiderman.
1 p.m.: A child living on 4th Street called Greeley police to report that her 4-year-old sister had been drinking beer all day and that an older sister had a broken arm, but no cast. Officers responded to the home and the child admitted to making up the story.
6:45 p.m.: A man called Greeley police asking for a ride to detox because he had consumed too much alcohol and marijuana. The man called back a short time later to inform officers he received a ride to detox from his mom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Clear Thinking

My sister straightens out my thinking this morning as I was flapping my gums about the results of the elections.

I’ve been thinking along the lines that resistance and revolution are part of out national DNA; that when something unpopular is shoved down the people’s throat, the people fight back.

Not so, said my sister. We live in a system of checks and balances. When the government and elected officials ignore the checks and balances, the voters step up and restore the checks and balances.

Could she be correct?

Hear in Colorado, Senator Uterus went down to defeat even with his wardrobe of cowboy boots, Wranglers, and big belt buckle.


Looks like Gov. Wishywashy will be reelected, but the close vote won’t give him a mandate. Look for more flip flopping.

Last year the Democrat controlled Senate got onerous firearms laws passed. Next session, control goes to the Republicans.


Seems there is plenty of humble pie to go around today.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Friday Ramble

 Oh how well the organs of government work. Not! Had a scammer contact me about something I had listed on Craigslist. The usual, sent me a check for $1,450 for a $350 item. Wants me to send him the difference via a Money gram. Since I get everything at my Post Office box, and few people know my physical address, turned over the envelope and check to the Postmaster. He was visible reluctant to take it, but said he would send it to the “investigators”. Still waiting to hear from them. At one time, mail fraud was taken seriously. Guess times change.

From DickMorris.com, One-Quarter Of All Doctors Refuse Obama Care - Lunch Alert!‏


Proving once again you can’t just cram something down the people’s throats. Maybe get away with it among the Free Cheese low information voters, but rebellion is in our national DNA. What is sickening (no pun intended) is all the money that has been pissed away, and our national health system is getting worse.


Have a job again test driving preproduction cars when I’m able to relocate closer to their base. Confidentiality agreements, etc., keep me from disclosing anymore information. Part of the orientation was a Liberty Mutual Insurance video titled “Decision Driving”. I’ve been licensed for 56 years, and I got a lot out of it. If you have a chance to see it, it is a well spent hour. Of course, friends and family are having great fun pointing out my past mishaps and asking, “Did they really check you out”?  Sheesh, over the course of ten years or so,  tear the door off a $100,000+ preproduction Lincoln, drive a tall truck under a low bridge, and drag a 30’ gooseneck trailer across the front of two Kias, and folks start questioning your ability. No need to bring up that one ground loop in a Stinson Voyager. 

Today was another day I’m happy I didn’t go into police work. Stopped for gas ($2.94 a gallon) and then went into the convenience store for coffee and to make my retirement fund payment (bought a lottery ticket). Outside near the entrance was a “piss bum”. He was sprawled on the walkway with one hand down his pants masturbating.  As one police officer once told me online, something seen can’t be unseen. I was far enough away that I couldn’t smell him. Sorry, my character flaws keep me from feeling much compassion for him. I left; the store personnel and police are the proper people to deal with him 

The ignition lock on the old truck is worn. The beeper chime letting me know I left the key in the lock stayed on, intermittently. Very annoying. A retired service manager I worked with has a shop that would not be out of place at a dealership. I stopped by and he got under the dash and strangled the buzzer. Cost me thirty minutes of conversation. Across the field from his property is a riding arena used by Colorado State University women practicing flat saddle skills. Most of the thirty minutes was listening to his crude remarks about the women. This, from a man with a very attractive wife. He is faithful to her but ????? Oh well, not my problem but I would have a lot more respect for him if he wasn't such an ass.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Medical Update

Had my little heart episode two months ago (Aug28). This post is primarily an update for my extended family (50+ first cousins) who occasionally read this blog.

Two months in, my nose is fairly well healed. Since it was broken so many times, it is strange to see a straight, normal nose in the mirror.

The cardiologists had to reattach one of the two pacemaker leads. That was on October 1. They only kept me for a few hours. As you cousins and aunts know, I’ve lived most of my life at high altitudes and inherited the Burtis genes for shoulders and chest size. Even when I’m less than 200 lbs, I still wear a size 52 coat and a 20/36 shirt. Seems the cardiologists had trouble finding a good location for the lead. Dr, Gryboski would instruct me to take a deep breath. The lead would move. I seem to remember five attempts. At my two week check up, the lead wasn’t optimal but within tolerances.

When I did the face plant (twice) August 28th, I must have received a bad concussion. I’m still wobbly and have some balance problems. I’ve lost an edge mentally. As to the heart, my energy level is way down and strength is off. Must use a jack now lifting my truck instead of just putting it on jack stands (yeah, yeah).

Now the bills are rolling in. Somewhere North of $100,000 and climbing. Between Medicare and United Health Care, most will be paid or discounted. My share? Don’t know yet, but it will bite.

In summary, I’m living the joke; if I knew getting old was like this, I would have put it off a few years. On the other hand, I was 70 years old before I spent a night in a hospital (as a patient).


Life goes on. If I can avoid the family cancer curse, I will be content.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hope and Change



Let’s start with and oldie but goodie well understood by most folks.

Six Stages of a Project

Initial Enthusiasm.
Disillusion.
Panic.
Search for the guilty.
Punishment of the innocent.
Honors and Praise for the non participants.

Six Stages of a Progressive

Elation.
Nagging doubt.
Double down.
Shit.
Look for a savior.
Find some way to cover their asses.


Are we there yet?

F4U Corsair

Does anyone know a blogger who might relate?

                         http://www.chickenwingscomics.com/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Favorite Season





Fall is my favorite season. Cool days,  crisp air, and a riot of colors, if only briefly. In my youth it meant hunting season with my Dad. It is bittersweet, as I know what follows.
As I get older, the less I appreciate winter. Maybe I should become a snow bird.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thoughts On Firearm Ownership

This will be a rambling post with no real point. You are warned.

First, I detested the use of the word “gun” unless you are referring to a smoothbore. Firearms have been part of my life since childhood. There was always a .30-.30 over the front door, a rifle in our vehicles, and a .22 in a closet. I can’t tell you how young I was when I first fired a firearm because I can’t remember. Likewise, I can’t remember a first use of a hammer, saw, axe, hay fork, or cow hobbles. They were tools that we used, sometimes daily. From 7th grade through high school, I belonged to the NRA Junior Rifleman program. The weekly range session was the highlight of my life. At no time did I hear anyone referring to a “gun”. Please take my word for it, in the Army, circa 1963, referring to your M-1 or M-14 as a “gun” would bring swift, and unpleasant, attention from the NCOs. Even the .50 M-2 was a “weapon”.

Second, I detest people who don’t handle firearms safely. I think everyone should demonstrate a basic competence and understanding of safety issues before they can own a firearm. Yes, I understand this is not happening because anything of this nature will be gloomed on to by the gun grabbers and perverted. There already exists a model, the hunter safety card.


Does it work? Damn right it works.


Third, I think every household should have a firearm and ammunition, and know how to use them.  Of course, some households have members who are not emotionally stable or mentally competent, and access must be restricted. I say this as someone who has personal experience with the issue. Rapid access in an emergency is compromised, but compromised access is better than no access. As I type this, a revolver is available in the drawer of my desk beside my right knee.

Fourth, I think every business should have trained and armed employees in the workplace. I spent thirty years in the retail automobile business. Believe me; you do not want to rob a car dealership. While some are “gun free”, none I every worked for were, even when the “official” policy was “gun free”.

Two times in my life I’ve faced a criminal armed with a hand gun. The first time was around 1970 in Glendale, CO at a small coffee shop on Colorado Blvd. My employee, Glen, and I were at the cash register paying for our coffees to go when the robber approached and waved a firearm. Glen was an 11B about one year removed from the 173rd in Vietnam. Without a word spoken, Glen and I both tossed our hot coffee in the robber’s face. Soon, the robber was happy to see the police and ambulance.

The second time was mid 1970’s in Renton, WA. I was on a test drive. When I stopped to change places with the “customer”, he pointed a semi automatic p.o.s. at me. Dumb little gang banger, he had the safety on. Funny how your military training kicks in, even after years away from it.

In both cases, I devoutly wished I was armed. Discussing the second case with a supervisor, he told me I was armed, with my wits. Yeah Don, not a substitute for my .44 Special.


I doubt many readers of this blog will disagree with me, even my (p)regressive friends who occasionally wander over here. I believe everyday violent criminals leave potential victims alone because they are afraid of getting shot. That, I believe, is a good thing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hell Freezes Over - Political Edition

The Denver Post newspaper has now endorsed two Republicans, Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado District 6, and Rep. Cory Gardner for US Senate.

Maybe there is something in this "climate change" business!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Political Ads

I seldom watch television, but live in a house where it is on 14 hours a day. Don't listen to the radio in my vehicle, but am in stores with radio stations playing. Even with my limited exposure, the political ads are overwhelming.

Colorado seems to be a national battleground. In recent days, some of the Democrat ads are being pulled. Hopeful sign. I'm a blue dog Democrat who hasn't voted for a Democrat, except in local races, for several years. This year every blasted Democrat running is a (p)regressive. I hope they all go down in flames. Maybe by 2016 the (p)regressives will form their own party (hey, I can hope).
The GOP has one good congressman running for reelection that I will feel good about voting for, as I did with a check to his campaign (Mike Coffman).

The candidate for governor is the usual recycled past, failed,  candidate. Lifelong banker and a one term Congressman who has been associated with many shady, if not criminal, happenings.  In spite of that, Governor Wishywashy seems to be in trouble.

Lots of chatter from the 2nd Amendment people. More chatter from the ecofreaks about fracking. Instead of, "I support the 2nd Amendment, but.......", you hear, "I'm not against fracking, but............."

Say the GOP, at the national level, takes the Senate. What can we expect from B.O. and gang during the lame duck session? Bet it won't be pretty. Then, two years of the Elmer Fudd show. Aarg! I'm getting negative again.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lying, Needlessly

Once again, I'm reminded that law enforcement, car sales people, and insurance adjusters are the professions people have little compunction to lie, about everything, even when it isn't needed.

The woman who came by and bought my Escort strongly implied she needed it as a donor car to keep her Escort running.  Now, I find, the car went to a salvage yard. This woman buys cars for them.

Like I care, so long as I get paid. She isn't much of a negotiator, and she paid about 40% more than the car is worth for salvage. Mind you, this car has dents in every panel, the roof rack is bent, and interior trim pieces are missing. It has near new tires, struts, and a perfect windshield, but they will be hard pressed to part it out, then sell the hulk to a crusher, and recover their money.

Of course, you can tell the literal truth and still be misleading per this found on a Facebook posting.
As always, YMMV.