Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chevy vs Ford Trucks

Old NFO, can you feel the love?

A somewhat younger friend is a medically retired Marine and EMT. He is a good mechanic and works at that trade when he can. He is a die hard Chevy/GMC man. We seldom agree. A recent conversation.

Mike.  “Why do you think most mechanics own Chevys?

Me.  “They grew up fixing them while the kids with Fords were picking up the Chevy guy’s girlfriends”.

Mike. “Go spit shine your shovel, ditch boy”.

A few years back Mike was hurting for money and sold me a mid 70’s ½ ton pick up with my promise I would sell it back to him first before I sold it to someone else.
We both worked with a man, David, who had a 6.2 diesel powered Chevy pickup. One day I was driving to work in “Mike’s” Chevy and saw David pulled over on the shoulder. His truck had quit running. I stopped and gave him a ride. As we continued on to work, the ungrateful wretch asked,

“How does this turd run, anyway”?

My reply?

“It is hauling your fat ass to work, isn’t it”?

Crickets.

Mike bought back “his” truck eventually but only after I put a new clutch in it. Of course it needed a new clutch, according to him, because of my bad driving. Such friends I have.

Outside of the car business, I’ve owned pickups for my personal use until I got around to selling them,  a Dodge, two Chevys, three Mitsubishis, an Isuzu (Chev Luv), a Geo (Suzuki) Tracker, two Fords pickups and a E 350 cargo van. The Fords ran longer with fewer repairs than any of the others.

My sister averages 300,000 miles on her Ford trucks.

I’ve owned two Lincoln Town Cars that went over 250,000 miles each and a Ford Escort that went 192,000.

I realize I won’t change the minds of those who do irrational things like joining the Marine Corps or buying Chevy pickups but hope by bringing up the subjects, perhaps it will keep a few people from those ghastly fates. Please, no need to thank me. I do it as a civic duty. As always, YMMV.





Monday, July 27, 2015

Enforce the Law

Seems the people who hate firearms are all butt hurt  that restrictive laws passed are not being enforced. Examples include New York and Connecticut where owners are required to register their “assault weapons” (whatever the hell that is) and are not in huge numbers. Some estimates range as high as 90% non compliance. This cannot be allowed to continue!

Since the police are already stretched thin, and seem reluctant to enforce these laws, I recommend the firearm control proponents be drafted into formations along the lines of Sheriff Posses, given some training, and be sent door to door to check for illegal firearm possessions. This could be part time work and even be given a stipend.  Imagine how good they will feel about themselves after walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. Perhaps Bloomberg could put up some bucks to get this started and offer himself as a leader.


Yes, I think this is my best idea to date! After all, what could go wrong?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fatigue


Slacking in the blog writing department caused by a combination of fatigue and no inspiration explains the lack of recent posts.

Readers may remember I started working part time to deal with medical bills from the heart problem and pacemaker implant last August. Overall, the total now runs well over $150,000. After insurance, etc., the balance is around $7,000 which I will dispute after having a billing expert review my case. It appears AARP/United Health Care is trying to avoid paying around $4,000. In any case, all the “piddling” bills are paid and a payment schedule arranged with the hospital. That bill I won’t live long enough to pay but the monthly payment is about the same as a bar bill. Life goes on.

I’ve been putting in long hours on the “part time” job. In my prime 60+ hour work weeks were no problem. In my dotage they are a bitch. Part of the increase is training to take over a different route. The other is a major shakeup with my employer.

My employer was a lean, mean working machine. They used Toyota Corollas and Subarus that they kept running with engine and transmission replacements. One Toyota had over 600,000 miles on the body.  They out hustled the hated competition. Their competitor was bought by a big multinational firm who then purchased my employer. The resulting turmoil of the mergers is causing an exodus of long term employees. Many are quitting over butt hurt feelings because changes are being made. Stupid. The only constant is change and you best have an ownership position if you think you can dictate what changes can and cannot be made.

My supervisor is a woman in her forties with eleven years on the job. In addition to the turmoil she has learned she needs a double mastectomy.  Somehow she keeps her focus on the job. She has asked me for help covering gaps as she hires and trains new people and I don’t have the heart to refuse.
Next week I was scheduled to take a new route and have been training on that route along with covering my existing route which is the cause of the 60 hour weeks. That has now been postponed for a week. The person I’m replacing has agreed to stay another week as a new person is trained for the route I’ve been covering and another silly employee comes back after taking time off to get married.

I’m looking forward to the new route, three days a week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It starts at 0330, goes to Wheatland WY, Torrington WY, Scottsbluff NE and then Denver International Airport. Makes for about a nine hour day. Yes I know, come winter I may regret my decision. Here are some pictures of the daily “grind” I will face.








What is hardest to do is stay “retired”. I’m determined to be just a worker drone and stay the hell out of management. As an example, we have an employee who makes terrible decisions with her personal life. Worse, she wants everyone to know about her personal dramas. Certainly, she will be sharing all of this with our customers as she makes her rounds; she won’t keep her mouth shut. There are two obvious solutions. One, put her on routes that pick up specimens from lock boxes only with no people contact. Two, terminate her.

I clearly see a train wreck coming. Hard as it is for me, I am keeping my mouth shut and focusing on being that worker drone. I’m done with herding cats.


For now I’m enjoying reading your posts. Assuredly, rants are building up inside and will gush into the internet in the future.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mellinums

We who walked ten miles to school in snow and rain with it being uphill both ways are prone to find today's  youngsters lacking. I think we may be wrong. OK, helicopter parents, nobody fails, trophies for just showing up and on and on, I get it. 

Since January, I've been living in a large apartment complex in a college town with one large university and a fair sized community college. A lot of the residents here are milleniums  attending college. Once they  realize I'm approachable, that age is more a number than a mindset, several have become friendly. I'm enjoying my interactions with them.

Overall, I find them to be very polite. I see a lot of ambition, willingness to work, awareness of current events, and concern for their future. In short, I don't see much difference from my age peers at the same stage in our lives. Admittedly, the ones at this complex are on the lower social and economic scale attracted by the lower (relative) rents.

I hope what I am seeing is typical across the country, the kids from flyspeck towns in flyover country. My generation hasn't been that great at leaving them a better world but I suspect they may do a better job than us.

Or, maybe I'm being my usual contrary cuss. YMMV

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Scots Memories

Reading some Scots jokes at Bergheim Follies


dredged up an old memory.

Some 38 years ago while living in West Salt Lake City, we acquired new next door neighbors. We had a lot in common, same age, kids, not LDS and pets. They were standoffish so we never pushed it.

They had an Oldsmobile 442 that I admired but he like to get up early Saturday mornings, fire up a radio out on his driveway, and work on his cars.

I was working 60+ hour weeks and tried to sleep in on Saturday. Also my wife and I liked our “cuddle” time and his damn radio disturbed us. Two times I asked him to not play the radio, or at least turn it down. No cooperation.


When we married, my wife had a Zenith Circle of Sound Stereo which was fairly up market at the time. One Saturday morning I put the speakers outside the family room window which faced the neighbor’s driveway and waited. Soon they were outside, radio blasting, and washing their cars.
With the volume turned to maximum, let them listen to “Scotland the Brave”.


 Message received and understood. The Saturday morning radio playing stopped.

But WSF, weren’t you concerned he might beat you up? Could have happened as I was down to a svelte 205 lbs and 18" guns in those days where he maybe went 150 lbs, if that.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Preventable Accident


Very experience pilot and a senior game warden were shotgunning coyotes. No muzzle cage for the shotgun. Shot hit the lift strut. Neither survived.

Addendum. http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=125428 This is not what happened. The owner is correct but there were two fatalities. 

In 1969 I was flying another game warden doing the same thing. We installed a cage to contain the muzzle. Didn't stop the damn fool from shooting a tire. A bigger damn fool was on the stick but managed a safe landing with no further damage.

These pictures are circa 1967-68. Recently started converting slides to digital. Need better equipment/software than the $35 gizmo off Craigslist but it is a start and a learning process.