Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More Prius

Ready to offer some more comments on the Prius I'm driving.  The route is 489-496 miles a day, Monday through Wednesday. Another driver covers Thursday through Saturday. I leave at 0330, go to Wheatland, WY by 0600, Torrington, WY by 0715, Scottsbluff, NE by 0830 and Denver International Airport airfreight by 1245. Back to Greeley, CO by 1430.

What do I like about the Prius? Bluntly, nothing. It is adequate, nothing more, and nothing special. Rough ride, little adjustment available in the seat and little aural and tactile feedback. Without cruise control, keeping a steady speed is difficult. More time is spent glancing at the digital readout than focusing on the road. You steer it constantly; no centering or holding a line. Take your eyes off the road to pour a cup of coffee and it immediately drifts out of your lane. Surely isn't one of my Lincoln Towncars.

It has adequate passing power and decent headlights.
We flog the little dear hard and rarely see more than 40 mpg economy. Our route is fairly flat and it climbs the few hills at cruising speed. We do eat up tires, especially the rears. Brakes are adequate and it has a deceleration downshift available which is useful. Otherwise, it is D only and a CCVT automatic transmission.

It offers a techie's delight information center which interests this Latter Day Luddite not at all. You can watch power flow displays and calculate your fuel costs in real time. Me, I don't care. What I do care is the short legs, about 350 miles range with a full 8 gallon tank. I fill it twice on my route. This old Rocky Mountain driver considers a half full tank to be empty. The two trip odometers I do use and, per my GPS readout, the speedometer is very accurate.

It has some tech stuff, phone pairing, etc.,  which I don't use and don't care to learn.

As couriers, we often carry bulky boxes. The rear seat stay folded flat. On two occasions I've need to use the front passenger seat to carry cargo but most times the available cargo space is adequate. We carry three 2'x3'x5' shipping boxes and a small picnic type cooler. We carry a lot of dry ice in the shipping boxes so the rear windows are always open about 1". Noisy, but we don't want to nod off while we are driving.

The A/C is marginal and rarely feels cold. More like cool. Today saw 94 degrees on the OAT. The cabin was bearable but not cold even with system in the maximum setting. I remember from last winter the heater and defrost were adequate. The rear wiper on the hatchback models we use keeps an area clear no greater than a large bandana.

My opposite number loves the car. To each his own. YMMV. Would I ever spend my own money on a Prius? Uh, no.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Western Fires II

Hopefully a better picture than yesterday. This was taken just West of Guernsey, WY. Speaking of Guernsey, I'm glad I go through there at about 6:20 am. Here we are nearly into September and the North Platte is running full. Guess Glendo Reservoir has filled.

Today at about 9:30 am there wasn't a cloud in the sky. In Wyoming and Western Nebraska that means 100 mile visibility. Not so with the smoke. Scottsbluff.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Western Fires

Lots of smoke drifting into Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado. This was taken early this morning North of Wheatland, WY on Hwy 26 just East of Interstate 25. Not my best effort. My excuse, a small handheld point and shoot at extreme zoom and a low light situation. Yes, I know, it is a poor workman that blames his tools. Didn't quite capture the Sun's Japanese Flag Red that I saw with my eyes.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Molesting Electrons

Broke down and got a new (refurbished) desktop with Windows 7 Professional 64 bit with legal software. It is a HP 8000 bought through AAA Members program. $195 delivered.

Have it up and running. Being bombarded with ads and all the Windows Explorer crap. I use Google because that is what I know and all I am interested in learning. 

I use my AAA membership a lot. While it takes forever, it seems, to get through to the dispatcher, and longer for the tow truck to arrive, it does save a hit on the wallet. I like the free maps and avail myself.  A GPS is useful but I like to plot out my trips and Microsoft no longer supports Streets and Trips. 

When I was deciding on the computer, I asked an expert (my sister's assistant). She assured me the computer has far more capacity than I will ever use (1.8T). Hope she is correct.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Seems people are having trouble posting comments. Will work on the problem in the next couple of days.

Monday, August 17, 2015

For Texas Readers

Southwest Nebraska Hwy 71 South of Scottsbluff this morning.
Nearly needed the heater.
Three days a week, just under 500 miles and just over ten hours Monday through Wednesday. I'm liking my new assignment.

Come winter you can start giving me a raspberry.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Veterans Administration

The Veterans Administration seems to have two kinds of people. A slim minority of dedicated, caring people trying to make things happen on a shoestring and a large majority of payroll patriots and career REMFs with a new infusion of fobbits that are all for their own comfort, pay and perks. How annoying it must be for them to actually deal with “clients”.

There is at least one pit bull on their asses, Mike Coffman (R) Colorado 4th. He declined the chance to run for the Senate (with a good chance of being elected) to stay where he can continue to hammer the VA.

I now live in another district but continue to send a few dollars his way because I think he is a decent man and committed to bringing change to the VA. The national Democrats target him every election.  We all know it takes money to run for office. If you can see your way to vote with your wallet to help our vets, his campaign is worthy of your consideration.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Donald Trump's Appeal

Once again WSF goes wandering about trying to make sense. A rambling and possible nonsensical blog. You have been warned.

There have been times in our recent history when bold initiatives produced great results. Foremost is WWII and the aftermath.

The Marshall Plan in Europe along with the creation of NATO were bold and daring moves. Granted, they were motivated by the fear of Communism in general and Russia in particular, but paid off. First, Western Europe recovered economically. Second, the Europeans (who so enjoy bashing the USA) haven’t been killing off each other and dragging everyone into their periodic wars.

Putting MacArthur in charge of Japan post WWII was bold. He was a polarizing man, and a flawed human being, but he was the right man at the right time.  My late father who was in India during WWII loathed MacArthur but would admit he did the job in Japan.

What have we had since then? Half assed efforts hobbled by aversion to risk taking, and politically covering of asses.

The only bold and daring recent event I can think of was Margaret Thatcher’s Falkland Island response.  

War on Terror? Give me a break. Gutless payroll patriots and poll reading politicians running a war with more interest in focus groups polling than military history. I include flag officers in this sorry mess. A Patton? A Nimitz? A Spaatz? Don’t see much resemblance to them in the current crop. More the triumph of the REMFs. 

Which leads me to Donald Trump.  He is nothing if not bold, although I see little substance in his rhetoric. I think he is tapping into this country’s desire for bold and decisive actions and results. We are still a nation of risk takers even with the deadening hand of government bureaucracy. The group of risk takers I’m most familiar with are car dealers and wholesalers. They are all in for Trump.

Is he the right person to be president? Damned if I know. What I’m enjoying is the discomfort and outrage of the professional political class, especially RINOs, with a nod to the (P)regressives being aghast. Of course, the (P)regressives think he will only help Shillary. Perhaps, if we are fortunate, she may soon self destruct. Her ethical stench is making even hardcore (P)regressives gag.

Speaking of crazy hair, how about Trey Gowdy? That is a man I could get excited about. Seems to be one of  the few Republican with brains, guts, and tenacity. 

As always, YMMV.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Molesting Electrons

                                 WARNING: One graphic picture

Being a Latter Day Luddite, tech savvy division, I now find myself in a precarious position employment wise. If I don't master a program on an IPad, I will lose the Wyoming route. Given the state of my employer, there may not be another route for me.

I’ve years ago lost any fear of unemployment and am currently working only to pay off medical bills. Still, the competitive gene still is strong and I hate to fail. Hence, I've been putting in unpaid hours learning the damn device. To date I've written down every single step to get it up and running and will go in tomorrow morning for a final tutoring session. On Monday I solo.

Today, I stopped by my sister’s office to recover Book 3 of the Grey Man Chronicles (she loves them but is too cheap to buy her own).

My sister and her assistant are, of course, masters of computers, programs, tablets, and smart phones. Showing them my self generated printed instructions was an occasion for their great mirth.

Sisty. “My brother not only has to write instructions, he has to read them”.

Assistant: “My granddaughter can use an IPad”.

My suggestion to both was to perform certain solo sex acts in response to those comments. That backfired as they came up with ribald comments that weren't to my credit.

Some days you wonder why you even got out of bed.

On a winning note, my ongoing circus with the hospital billing department and United Health Care has reduced my bill from over $7,000 to under $900. Hopefully, that battle won’t be fought again. Still have one bill where the business office would rather send it to collection agencies than pull their head out of their asses and properly bill United Health Care. I haven't bothered the doctor as he recently lost a daughter.

I’ll give it a month and then contact him. He only saw me one time for twenty minutes in the hospital but his practice has billed me different sums sent to different addresses. Based on recommendations from people whose judgement I trust, used another doctor to rebuild my nose.

Happened when my heartbeat slowed and I fainted and face planted (twice). 

??? Should I make this my Facebook photo???

Didn’t watch the debates and there isn’t a single candidate who makes a tingle run down my leg.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Miscellaneous Sarcasm

My lack of blogging is due to learning a new route and routine, and further messing up an already dysfunctional company. Yep, I fit right in.

Have some miscellaneous sarcastic ideas that I wanted to put to paper, and/or molest electrons as the case may be.

Just because cattle were once trail driven from West Texas to Moorcroft, WY is no reason for the BNSF railroad to name a siding near Torrington, WYWest Texas”.  On the best day of the best century, West Texas never looked that good.

You can tell the level of involvement of people in agriculture by the number of functioning lights on their stock trailer. Fewer lights, more involved. Don’t know how to classify the people I saw today with their trailer electrical plug sitting on the hitch. To their credit, they had their pickup lights on and were diligently signaling lane changes. Plus, the trailer was rusty and wobbled going down the road. Total involvement? 

Denver International Airport has a “cell phone parking lot” where you can wait for your people pickups to let you know you they have arrived. It was far too convenient alongside the arrival road. Now you exit with all the rental car returns and navigate three traffic lights to get to the lot and to get out of the lot. Instead of large signage, there is now a tiny sign. Just another way the City of Denver shows their care for the citizens.

So I’m number eight in a line of cars on a two lane road with a 45 mph speed limit. I’m sure the jackass behind me sitting one car length off my bumper is pushing the seven cars in front of me to go faster.

On a positive note, I’m still breathing air and taking nourishment. Mega doses of MSM and tart cherry juice has pushed the pain in my knees back down to a tolerable level.  Life is good!