Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun Two Day Trip

Before hitting the TSA checkpoint, I empty all my pockets and put the contents inside my bag. Before getting on the plane, bought a cup of coffee and discovered my keys, still in my pocket. Had the same thing recently occur with a couple dollars worth of change at Ft Meyers. Good to know TSA is on top of their game.

Getting on a flight to Las Vegas via Phoenix some jerk tried to put his oversized bag sideways over the row I was to sit in. Called him on it; told him to move his bag. He said something about no space where he was sitting. Told him I didn’t care; I paid for my ticket same as him. He moved the bag.

Flying to Phoenix was interesting as the aspen are turning colors. Quite a sight from 29,000 feet.

Exiting the restroom at Phoenix, the man with the bag was waiting for me. Started running his mouth. I stepped away from my carryon, extended my hands palm up, and made a “come on” motion with my fingers. Turns out he was all mouth and decided he had other places to be.

Must have been a spectacle; two senior citizens chest puffing in the entryway to an airport restroom. To hell with these jerks that think the world revolves around them. The airline employees won’t do much about the carryon problem because they know their management won’t back them up.

Later, talking to youngest son, he pointed out the man probably steamed the whole two hours from Denver. Bet the outcome to his confrontation with me didn’t go the way he envisioned. Probably steamed the rest of the day. Being the perverse asshole I am, I rather enjoyed the rest of my day.

My boss goes to Expedia and buys the cheapest flight possible. I don’t care, I get paid whether I’m in an airplane, sitting at a terminal, or driving a vehicle. The company isn’t getting paid if wheels aren’t turning on the test vehicles. Not my problem, but old management habits are hard to discard.

Nice drive from Las Vegas to Denver. Tourist season is over as is a lot of construction. Did earn my pay nursing the vehicle. Pre production stuff isn’t always reliable. Guess that is why the manufacturers test them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Evil Car Salesmen - Ongoing

As requested, another car sales story.

Mid 90’s, upscale HONDA dealership, still needed to sell their used car trade ins. The used car department was staffed by six throat rippers recruited from other stores. In walks a Japanese couple, fresh off an airplane. They wanted a Japanese car, only, at a stupid low price, for cash. Ah, a challenge.

We did have a 1990 Mercury Tracer Hatchback. This was a Mazda 323 clone. After explaining this was really a Mazda 323 (and showing them some parts under the hood with Mazda on them) we went for a test drive.

This couple had limited English. Seems they were heart surgeons, married, and were doing a year long training program at a local hospital. The woman was in charge.

After driving them off the lot to a low traffic area, I parked on the right side of the street and let the lady drive. She promptly pulled over to the left and away we go! After a short, but intense, discussion about which side of the road is used in the USA, we finish the test drive and complete the sale.

A few days later, and two days off for me, the sales manager called me over after I logged in. The Japanese woman had called the store and he had taken the call. As he explained, the call went like this.

Customer “Ah, no RIKE car.”

Sales Manager “OK, no problem. We will have your salesman find you another car.”

Long silence

Customer “Ah, NO RIKE SALESMAN.”

They came in and bought another car. The sales manager wanted me to know why I wasn’t on the second deal. Like I cared.

I didn’t lie to them. A Mazda 323 was a decent car. A Mazda 323, assembled in Mexico and sold by Ford’s Mercury Division, not so much.

For several days, had to listen to, “Ah, no rike Tank.” On the bright side, if her driving had given me a heart attack, she and her husband could have saved my life. Probably not; even in Japan they know car salesmen don’t have hearts.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Offensive and Rude Stereotyping

Traffic offenses I would like to see enacted and enforced.

Driving while Asian

Driving while Mexican

Driving while African

Driving while elderly

Driving while Cell Phoning

Driving while gansta

Driving with Head Up Ass

Mountain Driving by Flatlander

Driving Turnip Truck in Metro Area

Driving minivan like a minivan

Driving like a Dirt Hauler

Driving like me

Feel free to add your own.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama Press Conference

When you drive prototype and pre production vehicles, you can end up on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Such was the case this morning so I listened to the Lightbringer's press harrange. (Silly me, I thought press conferences included questions from the press). Heard it on Sirius POTOUS.

Good speach. Better if it had come a month or two after his inaguration but a hint that he is starting to "get it".

What hasn't changed is the arrogance/ineptitude. His speech started twenty six minutes late. This is his pattern. Total disrespect for other's time.

I've worked for a few, "The meeting doesn't start until I get there" types. I never worked for them very long. While I was working for them, I didn't respect them or much care for what they wanted. I can't remember one whose business prospered.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tea Party

Recently got into a political argument (surprise, surprise) with a "progressive" who challanged me to explain the Tea Party. I don't consider myself a Tea Party member (maybe a fellow traveler) but this is what I sent her.

What Fuels the “Tea Party”

Arrogance! Those who consider themselves intellectual elites, who assume they hold the moral high ground, who should be in charge, and who know best what are the common good needs, and really don’t care to hear dissenting opinions. They "fuel" the Tea Party.

Tea Party? How about folks who are saying, not only no, but Hell No.

We will raise, mold, and install our values and beliefs in our families.

We will keep our property.

We will keep our privacy.

We will keep the tools that defend us without interference.

We will choose, not you.

You don’t care to listen to us? Then we will take your power from you.

The Tea Party is an idea, not a monolithic party. It may well be the Civil Rights movement of the 21st Century. And, just as Dr. King and others had the Deacons for Defense and Justice standing in the wings, this is an armed and organized movement.

Her response? I'm a right wing nut job! Ah, civil discourse and respectful exchange of ideas lives, somewhere.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunset All Laws

The continued growth of our Federal government is what is stifling our economy. What is needed is to make every law ever passed subject to expiration, i.e., Sunset, every ten years. Five years? Seven years? Timed to off election years?

This will force the bureaucrats to defend their “turf”. Congress, with all their sub committees, will focus on what we’ve got rather than creating even more new laws.

Before Sunset, you have sunshine. As Michelle Malkin points out, sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Imagine, if you will, all the lobbyists, special interest groups, etc. having to justify their existence. Some will make their case and others will go away.

The alternative? The whole damn system collapses.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Our country has a rich tradition of citizens speaking up. This results in someone being pissed off, usually a public official or politician. Contempt of cop comes to mind. Down at city hall dealing with some busybody who just wants you to go away is another. Politicians at town hall meetings nattering about "civility" are discomforted.

TSA? A couple I know have a child with medical problems. This child has been exposed to numerous x-rays in a short period of time. They refused to allow their child to go through a backscatter scanner. TSA went off on them and the mother went off on TSA. When I heard this, my response was, "Good for you"!

The old counter culture cry of "Resist Authority" still has validity. Whenever and wherever we encounter abusive authority, we need to holler. We need to support others who holler. We defeat abuse by standing up to it. Don't be bullied!

I'm not suggesting you be vulgar or engage in personal attacks. I do encourage going up the chain of command and putting the heat on those who are normally insulated from the "unwashed masses". Remember, you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

The most effective person I know at doing this is my little sister. She starts out, "Honey, you don't get paid enough to get yelled at by me. Who in this place does"? Believe me when I say super important corner office occupant is about to have their day disrupted.

Most folks want to avoid conflict and just live their lives in peace and quiet. Sorry, I don't think that works. Don't be a sheeple. Suck it up and start hollering!

For a variety of reasons, MSN is my browser. Their liberal bias is blatant. Imagine my surprise to read a very negative view of the Lightbringer’s jobs speech.

Is it possible reality is setting in? No matter how much you may like the man (or not), he is in over his head. Unfortunately, we are all with him.

Different subject. A young friend is again blogging. Sometimes a younger perspective is interesting. Check him out if you will.

On the road for a week; light or no blogging or comments. Still working on getting another laptop or getting back one of two “loaned” to offspring.

And now advice from my friend Hal Swift.

Never carry soda pop in your saddle bags.
And, if y'do, always let the New Guy open the first one.

My cowboy friend, Dave P. Fisher, added to my observation about not carrying soda pop in your saddle bag. He said, "Don't open it on horseback, either. It sounds like a big snake."

Stay safe - see you in a week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What's in My Bookshelves

Question started by Brigid at Home on the Range

Lots of books but this is a favorite. Published in 1999. Per the price tag, paid $28.88 plus tax. This book has given me many hours of enjoyment. Sits adjacent to Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Drinking with Dirty Al

Dirty Al appears in many blog entries, because he is both a good friend and a character. He resembles the late actor Lionel Jefferies (Grandpa Potts - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

When we started working together, he was a widower so I never knew him as anything but a single man quite interested in women. Lets see, there was “the widder”, Joanne, Lisa (a subject of a past blog), and others.

He was back in the car business after a spell as a bail bondsman. One night, after closing, he invited me out for a beer. Off we go to the various places around Auburn, WA. Each place presented a problem. In the parking lot he would recognize a vehicle. Oops, someone’s husband’s car - can’t go in there. Enter a place. No, there are two brothers over there playing pool; revoked bonds on both of them, can’t stay here. This happens about five times. Finally I tell him to find a 7-11, I will get a six pack and we’ll drink in the parking lot. Please understand Al wasn’t afraid of a fight. He is ex Special Forces and was a very good light heavyweight boxer. Our employer was intolerant about salesmen’s extra curricular activities becoming public knowledge (also looking down his wife’s shirts). Ended up that evening without a beer.

Since Al is tired of reading about politics, I guess I could blog about his renting from a daughter’s ex mother in law, hot tubs, the mother in law’s daughter, the mother in law’s male friends, Christmas parties, and large cut glass ashtrays. Maybe not. Probably no general interest in those subjects. We could cover his commercial fisherman days; rescuing people too dumb to turn their fuel spigots on. Perhaps a tattoo, “Marche ou creve” is blog fodder.

Fall is approaching so he will soon, health permitting, be headed South in his Prevost. Should make for some good blogging entries. “Stuff” happens to Al; it is like he is a magnet. I just worry about “Princess”. He works that poor dog night and day. You can see her here

Car salesmen spend a great deal of time busting each other. As an example, I was recognized by the staff in a grocery store I hadn’t shopped for several years, having moved from the area. Al pipes up, “You mean they still let you in here after being a shoplifter”? My reply, “Al, quit stalling. We still need to get you register as a Sex Offender today”. That shut him up for a few minutes!

Al is fun to be around. Don’t know if he ever met a stranger. Go into any bar or restaurant with him and watch the energy level start rising. He is a good friend, deeply kind and caring, and the best car salesman I’ve ever known. Al sold over 400 Subaru Justy’s, a wretched little shoe box with a three cylinder engine. Seeing his 6’4” frame shoehorned into the back seat of a two door Justy was like something in a clown circus. Didn’t matter the customer had come in looking for a ¾ ton pickup. Subaru paid a tidy bonus directly to the salespeople (bypassing pesky IRS liens and wage garnishments; W-4’s to be dealt with next year). Al was a fan.

So, I am picking on him. Larn him not to have a blog. Hope he has a winter free of propane purchases.

The picture isn’t random; wonder who will pick up on it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tough Shit

MSNBC tear jerker story about Muslim travelers clearning immigration.

My gut reaction? Fuck'em.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Let Us Not Forget What This Day Honors

Mary Harris Jones
• Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Progressives" Waking Up

Recommend this

Confesses to being a biased journalist and duped by the Lightbringer.

Would like to laugh but the gallows humor is too grim.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sorry Dirty Al, Political Rant Ahead

Sorry, Dirty Al, more political rant.

My political view is a mixture of populism, anarchists, and libertarian. The populist side comes out when I see economic inequities. While in no way excusing Obama and his fellow travelers, George W. Bush’s watch saw a huge financial swindle of this countries population. Bankers, of all varieties, ran wild. I was saying this long before Obama’s election.

Interesting piece about the state of North Dakota in the leftist Common Dreams by an Ellen Brown.

North Dakota has their own state bank that focuses on the needs of the state’s citizens. State tax revenues are deposited in that bank and don’t leave the state. The state has the lowest unemployment in the USA and the highest growth. The state has run a surplus for years and is lowering taxes.

As a child, I listened closely to my elders. I wanted to know what they had seen and experienced. They lived with the Irish discrimination. They lived the Great Depression, crooked bankers, corrupt sheriff’s, strikes and strikebreakers. These pictures are what is left of a Moffat County, CO homestead dugout where my father and four brothers slept.

What I believe, to my core, is the money people in this country, and the world, are perfectly happy with the idea of me, mine, and yours living this way. They are fine with reducing all of us to Adam Smith’s unit value of labor.

"The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What every thing is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who wants to dispose of it or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself, and which it can impose upon other people." (Wealth of Nations Book 1, chapter V)

Specifically, the minimum resources needed to keep one worker producing.

This always creates opposition. Molly Maguires in West Virginia. Black Panthers in Oakland. Think they are that far apart? That is why the Soros’s and Bloomberg’s want us disarmed. This why we need to keep our arms. And this is why we need to own and control our banks. At a personal level, I bank with a local co-op. Maybe it is just a gesture, even a futile gesture, but is what I can do here and now.

The politician who can tap into the seething resentment existing in this country will prevail. The Democrats are trying; tax breaks for the wealthy, big oil, corporate jets, beating the drums. They are themselves so damn phony the populous sees right through them.

What would happen if many states followed North Dakota’s lead? Maybe get the country going again?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh, Canada II

Middle son reminded me of a two day trip he and his younger brother (17 and 14) made with me to Canada. They hadn't been to Canada since they were little. My sales were far ahead of schedule so I decided to take two days off and take them to the Vancouver area.

My sons were aspiring rock musicians and looked the part. Their band, THE LUCKY SPERM, was important to them. They loaded their guitars for the trip and off we went. The Canadian Customs folks got all in a twitter; took us nearly an hour to cross.

We had no planned itinerary; just cruising. We stopped at a mega store where an ugly situation developed. They went exploring one way while I went another. I saw them leave the store and go to the car. As I started to leave, I observed four security types watching them and making comments. I confronted them and insisted they accompany me to our car and check my kids on the spot for shoplifting. No way was I driving away and then being stopped by the police. Now my kids were never thieves. They would flat kick your ass but they wouldn't steal from you. The situation was settled with a few choice words from both sides and off we went.

My youngest had a strong desire to obtain foreign currency and buy something. I stopped by a bank where he went in to change two US $20 bills into Canadian. The bank employees refused to wait on him. He came back to the car frustrated and embarrassed. Then papa bear went into the bank. Shortly, he came back to the car with Canadian money.

We stopped to eat and I started looking for a motel. Then the kids said, "Dad, can we just go home"? Which we did.

One thing I miss about living in Western Washington is the Abbotsford airshow. It is worth all the hassle and expense to attend; the organizers do a fine job.

A short side trip on raising kids. I made mine do for themselves as training for when they would be on their own. Having my youngest go into a Canadian bank alone to exchange currency, first time ever doing that, was part of making them into strong adults. Being papa bear and showing them how to deal with people giving them shit was part of the process. Always be polite and respectful but don't take any shit from anyone at anytime.