Sarah Palin is allowed first dibs on Alaskan wolfpack kills.

calendar   Sunday - January 12, 2020

Fixed, For Now

Had to fix the toilet this afternoon. There was some kind of slow leak. Worse, the cat pan is right next to it, and you know how messy kittehs are. And we use that clumping litter, so it was kind of a gummy mess down there. American Standard sent me a new tank a few weeks ago, warranty replacement for the old tank that had developed a little crack, but wasn’t yet leaking. I figured I had a fussy job ahead of me, taking off the water line, getting the float valve, the flush lever, and the flapper mechanism out of the old tank and into the new one. But when I opened the box, inside was a whole new top to the toilet: new tank, new lid, new float valve, lever, and flapper. All installed and adjusted. Thanks American Standard!!

So I took it all apart, got it cleaned up and off the floor. There was a whole clam farm of wet cat litter silt under the bowl. That had to go. Scrubbed it all up, then sanitized the whole area with my good old D-128 disinfectant. And then I found that it was the water line valve that was the culprit, along with the crush washer in the water hose. Too late to go to the store, so I did what I could do with tape dope and some silicon caulk. Good enough for tonight. I know you’re not supposed to, but I put the bowl back in with a nice bead of caulk under it, so it’s sealed to the floor. If I have to, I can use a knife or a spatula to get it off, but for now there won’t be anymore litter mud underneath. That made it nearly impossible to get the floor clean.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/12/2020 at 12:08 AM   
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calendar   Sunday - January 05, 2020

Mr. Busy Today

Got a whole lot of things done today, along with my usual Sunday cleaning. Even went out to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner, because sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. El Patron. It’s pretty good. Not the usual slapdash tacos and basic burritos. Got back here and set up our new home phone. The other one died after about a decade, although the LCD display had been going downhill for quite some time. The new phone is amazing. Caller ID, blocking, it talks to you, OMG the features are endless. I got one with 4 handsets, so we have them everywhere now. I put in all the phonebook numbers, the answering machine message, checked and cleared all the old voicemail messages, etc, right from one of the handsets. [ Ok, I kept the voicemail message from JayD (Peiper) when he called here just after hurricane Sandy, a week after we’d moved in. You know, I think that’s the only time I ever heard his voice. I spoke to his wife Jen several times in the years after that, but they’re both gone now. I miss them both so much. So I’m saving that one. ] No need to stand in the kitchen working the base station. So far it sounds nice and clear, although Panasonic put papers in the box telling me all about the additional handsets I can buy with super duper HD audio, or ones with mil-spec waterproof outdoor capability, or a range extender, and so forth. Maybe later. In case we decide we really, really have to have a phone in the bathroom. Um, no. I’ll call you back after my shower, not during it.


Ok, now onto a bit of laundry and then I can spend some time with my new book. I’m reading the Peter Ash series by Nick Petrie. It’s about a guy who did too many tours with the Marines, suffers from claustrophobic PTSD, and is trying to put his warrior life behind him, but he keeps getting pulled into violent adventure mysteries back here in the USA. It’s pretty good writing, not another one of these formula books that the top adventure novel authors are churning out these days. I’m halfway through book #1, The Drifter, though I started with book #2 Burning Bright and got hooked. Book #5 comes out the week after next, but won’t be in paperback for another year. I don’t buy hardcover pulp fiction, and I almost never get Kindle or other kinds of digital books. I want the book in my hands. I want to go to the library and borrow one, or to the store and buy one. I’d go to my local Walmart, but they’ve remodeled the place yet again, and now the book section is just 8 feet long, is way in the back of the store, and all they seem to have is books by James Paterson. Hey, Paterson is fine, but sometimes I want more than just another police detective murder mystery story.


We watched the movie adaptation of Les Miserables last night, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and half of Hollywood. It ran almost 3 hours, and really wasn’t that great. Some things might just be better on the stage. They did keep the songs, and the performance of Do You Hear The People Sing? was pretty good. Definitely gets you fired up emotionally. The French getting Revolutionary. And then they all get killed.

Do you hear the people sing? Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/05/2020 at 09:32 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - December 18, 2019

When The Alma Matters

One for all, and all for one, forever.

A pretty weird situation that needs to be nipped in the bud ... as an undergraduate 25 years ago I formed close bonds with the kids I fenced with. I heard today that one of those people - a guy now in his late 40s - is trying to hit on the 15 year old daughter of another of them, a gentle woman I cherished and always teasingly called my lioness. The guy was a bit odd back in the day, but he’s since become a delusional nut case. Harmless up until now, but a real pain in the arse with all his strange emails. But sending a Facebook message to the child’s mom, saying he wants to date her daughter when she turns 16, and reminding mom that that’s the age of consent, providing the daughter can prove it with her driver’s license ... is way over the top. EEEEW, and kind of frightening.

Lucky for us that any number of our crew have gone on to become lawyers. One of which this guy has harassed for years already.

Don’t mess with the lioness’s cubs. We will ALL come down on you.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/18/2019 at 01:42 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - December 17, 2019

winter wonderland

The latest storm system is slow, wet, and chilly. It’s just around the freezing mark, so we didn’t get any snow. We had freezing rain, but not a whole lot of it. And we’re going to get wobbly weather for the rest of the day and the rest of the week.

But right now, all the plants are covered with a thin glaze of ice. Nothing dangerous; no falling trees or power lines or slippery roads. Just a shiny crusting on every bit of nature out there. It’s very pretty. Cold, wet, fairly miserable, highly overcast, but pretty. For now.


2 cups of whole milk microwaved until it boils
another cup of whole milk microwaved while you’re making the recipe.
6 tbs sugar
5 tbs cocoa powder, perhaps 6
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

mix sugar salt cocoa in a medium pot. transfer in 1/2c hot milk. Stir until it’s sludge. do same with another 1/2c. add the rest and some vanilla, stir. Add next cup of boiled milk. Heat mugs in microwave 30 seconds. Add hot cocoa.
Makes a full mug of yum for 2. mini marshmallows optional.

Drink while looking out the window and praising the consumption of fossil fuels. Order take out and have it delivered.

The whole idea of civilization is to get as far away from nature as possible.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/17/2019 at 11:44 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - December 12, 2019

Life In A Small Town

Out on the highway here there was a truck accident at 4am. Closed the entire eastbound side. Traffic backed up to Pennsylvania; that’s a 15 mile long jam up. Everybody and their emotional support chicken tried to find a way around, but there really aren’t any. Traffic was jammed solid on every side street and through town. The morning rush was a nightmare, a parking lot for 5 hours. Somehow, somebody finally did something somewhere, and stopped the bypass traffic from coming through. Town emptied out, all the side roads cleared up.

Traffic is still backed up for miles on eastbound Interstate 78 in Hunterdon County after a tractor-trailer crashed and spilled more than 100 gallons of fuel and oil early Thursday, officials said.

The tractor-trailer struck the center median near exit 17 in Clinton Township at 3:54 a.m, State Police Sgt. Jeff Flynn said. The driver was not badly hurt and no other vehicles were involved. About 100 gallons of fuel and 15 gallons of oil ended up on the road.

Traffic cameras show debris in the center median and traffic still jammed at 9:05 a.m. shows traffic backed up to about Exit 12 as of 9:05 a.m. Side roads near Interstate 78 are also clogged with traffic.

It was almost eerie going downtown around 8:40. There was hardly a car on the roads. It’s a nice reminder of just how small our small town is. The vast majority of traffic we get is pass-through. There really aren’t that many locals. Too bad that Clinton is at a road nexus, but that’s where towns grow up after all.

Once upon a time, when New Jersey really was The Garden State, this corner was a farming community. Hey, Flemington was the once egg capital of the tri-state area, perhaps the nation!

In 1955 nearly 450,000 cases of eggs were sold as well as 65,000 crates of live chickens. By then it had become a $2 million a year business and a prototype for other operations across the country. In 1960 the name was changed to the Flemington Agricultural Market. In 1976 the auctions were discontinued due to lack of suppliers, as there were fewer livestock and poultry farmers in the area.

And a big pottery factory too!

But in the post-war years with the demise of the railroads and the opening of the interstates, the rise of grocery store convenience over farmer’s market freshness, other areas could now feed the cities, and farming and everything else diminished here. When Route 78 went through in the 1960s local farming pretty much went belly up and the whole county went back to sleep for a decade. But as the cities grew, suburban sprawl happened. And housing developments sprang up everywhere for the next 40 years. Now we’re on the outer edge, but our infrastructure isn’t much more advanced than when this was farmland. There is no room to add extra lanes to the highway. Not that I-78 is small; it’s a 6-8 lane highway for most of it’s length. When it was built it was a superhighway. It’s just that NJ has become the pass-through state. And when traffic gets bad, the pass-through shifts to all the local roads.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/12/2019 at 09:31 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - November 30, 2019

Free is the best price

OK, we made it through Thanksgiving. We had a great time at her dad’s, had tons of good food and good company, and didn’t get caught in a hurricane or a blizzard on the drive home this time. So, winning!!  Had my mother and brother down here for an extended visit, and fed them 4 or 5 times while cooking up a storm. As always, the bread I took got eaten immediately; didn’t get a chance to have fun with the “panda pee” jokes I had ready. The two kinds of stuffing went quickly too, although one got scorched a bit when the hostess reheated them a bit much. Her oven was running real hot; the turkey was done 2 hours sooner than it should have been. The white wine I brought, a 2015 Poilly-Fume, was quite nice and I managed to get several glasses of it. And her cheesecake was excellent, with or without the fresh raspberry reduction topping. So that was a plus, all around. And we’ve nibbled up most of the leftovers already.

Our breaking toilet didn’t break, and it survived our guests. A small miracle. We spent a couple hours this morning shopping online for a new one, perhaps a better one, but couldn’t quite agree on which one to get. The ADA rules have taken over the toilet industry, and it’s difficult to even find a “standard” height (15” tall) toilet; nearly everything is a “comfort height” “right height” et al ADA-compliant height 17” bowl, which is fine if you’re really old, in a wheelchair, or well over 6 feet tall. For the rest of us, it’s a bit of a balancing act. The one we have is like that, and it’s really too tall for her, seeing as she’s barely 5 feet. So after not zeroing in on one particular model, I looked up a replacement 4215A tank, and when I finally found one it was 80% of the price of an entire regular toilet, or a third the price of a fancy one. So ... what the heck, let me see if it’s under warranty from American Standard. A few web page menus later, a whole lot of “clicking in circles”, and I gave up on trying to get a chat mode session going, and found the actual telephone contact number off in one dusty corner of their site. Called them, went through a whole bunch of “press 1 for ...” steps, and then got in the wait queue. Somebody answered finally, and was really nice, and helpful, and within a minute or two I had a new tank being shipped to me for no cost. Free. It’s going to take about 10 days to get here, so it’ll be super glue and duct tape and prayers until then. But spending nothing but some of my weekend time is a lot cheaper than dropping $450 on a new fancy throne. So I’m happy. Meanwhile, I gave ours a really close inspection, and I think the very slow leak is probably coming from where the float valve thingy screws through the bottom of the tank. So when the new one gets here I’ll make sure to have some fresh washers and a little tube of silicon caulk, so that I can put all the old internals in the new tank and not have the drips.

And we’ve got snow in the forecast for Monday.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/30/2019 at 03:34 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - November 26, 2019

Time to get focused

Ok, I’ve bopped around the internet long enough this morning. Time to get cleaned up, go to the grocery store, and get some last minute housework done because tomorrow is The Day Before and we’ve got guests coming by.

So, enough reading and research into the international donkey shortage and global population decimation. All because of a major rise in China for some traditional folk medicine. They take donkey hides, boil them down, and make gelatin out of them. For snacks, for face cream, and for medicine to improve the yin and yang. Am I the only one who notices that a huge part of their pharmacopeia is all about improving the sex bits? And instead of killing off the wild animals all around the world, why not look into this stuff scientifically and see if a) it actually works, and b) if it does, is there any difference between the donkey killer based stuff and Knox gelatin made with mineral water?

Right, and no more reading up on the hot rod stuff. Yeah, if I had the time, money, space, inclination, and access to some skilled machine shops, I would enjoy building up a Mopar 340 or an old school Pontiac V8. Hell, I can dream of an aluminum 455 SD with modern fuel injection. Torque monster!! And drop it into a 1974 Ventura for the ultimate sleeper rod. Looks like granny’s old grocery getter, runs in the mid 10s. On pump gas. And with a lightweight block it might even handle a bit. Throw in a DNE+5 style trans and some highway gears in the back, and it will probably get 30mpg on the highway too. DNE = Doug Nash Engineering, a custom kind of transmission that is not only super strong, it puts all the gear multiplication in the transmission, European style. This lets you use pitiful numbered highway gears in the back, but the car revs up like it has a 3.75, but when you get to 4th gear it’s kind of game over, and 5th gives you an overdrive on an already numb rear axle, which makes for highway cruising at just over idle speed. That gives you great mpg but you need an engine with good and smooth low low end torque. You also get a top speed in the Indy 500 realm, but who cares? I’m just thinking of ways to have my cake and eat it too, without going to some computer owned sewing machine size mini-mill with lots of turbo bits temporarily attached.

To work then. Woo hoo.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/26/2019 at 10:57 AM   
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calendar   Sunday - November 24, 2019

But of course

We’re doing what we can to clean this place up before people come over for Thanksgiving. Gave the bathroom a good scrub, and noticed a vertical crack in the toilet tank. It’s one of those Champion mega-flush things, which we bought about 4 years ago. POS, figuratively and literally I guess.

Hope it lasts through the holiday, and that no guests need to sit down with force. And we can go toilet shopping on Black Friday, oh joy.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/24/2019 at 02:40 PM   
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calendar   Monday - August 08, 2016

sky crane in the morning

Ok, I admit it. I’m a plane spotter. And a ship spotter. And a bridge spotter. And I’d probably be a train spotter too if I had an active rail line nearby. I keep my eyes open. Besides, there aren’t always girls to watch. So what else can I do?

There’s a scene in the beginning of Stephen Spielberg’s cinematic masterpiece Empire of the Sun where the kid witnesses a squadron of P-51 Mustangs attack the village/internment camp he’s in. He gets so excited he’s jumping out of his skin, running up and down the rooftops screaming ”cadillac of the skies!!” as the planes - at eye level to him and only yards away - blast the daylights out of the nasty Japs and their buildings.

I can’t say that I got anywhere near as worked up as he did, but it was kind of a thrill to see and hear a gigantic Sikorsky S-64 “sky crane” helicopter chugging overhead at low altitude this morning. I’ve known about this beast for most of my life, but before this morning I’d never seen one. And now I have.


The thing is huge. It’s got to be 75 feet long if it’s an inch. Half the length of a jetliner, although the body is spindlier than a runway model’s calves. And the blades are just as enormous, covering nearly the full length of the body. They provide so much lift that they hardly even turn. Whup. Whup. Whup. You can easily see them going around and around. 150rpm at most I’d bet.

According the Wiki, the Army retired all of theirs years ago, so this one had to be either the civilian S-64 version, or a de-miled CH-54 model. With the early morning low sun behind it it was hard to tell the color, but I got a distinct impression of something dull and greenish yellow. Which is why I thought Olive Drab and therefore Army.

Actually, the two thoughts that predominated were “that’s the biggest damn dragonfly ever” and later on “thunderbirds are go” because a chopper like this would fit right in with that flight adventure puppet show from way back when.

So, neat-o for me. Other than that, it was another dishwater dull morning up at the shack.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/08/2016 at 08:59 AM   
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calendar   Friday - August 05, 2016

screwed again


Damnation. Shit piss vinegar and damnation. Dammit dammit dammit, dammit!!

Remember how I have that garden out in the parking lot in front of our building here at the condo park? All the work I put into it, plants selected to bloom in sequence to keep the area in flower all summer long, only to have my “helpful” neighbors come and hack the entire thing back to the bare ground and call it “weeding”?

Yeah. $60 worth of alliums just about to bloom, buds swelling on the end of their 3 foot tall stalks. Dozens of them.  Gone. I felt violated.

Well, I tried to get over that. And five or seven weeks ago I laid down a whole bunch of marigold seeds, after buying a couple flats of Vinca and putting them in as a border. I spent very little but I had to do something, to show I was not beaten by their “accidental” actions.

Right. Well, I gave them time, and I wasn’t paying too much attention aside from a couple waterings during the hot dry spell, and once we had the rains some really amazing weeds started taking over. I’ve never seen plants grow so fast. Crazy. So I finally did the right thing (wanting to steal a march on my “helpful” neighbors just in case), and went out and fully weeded the whole thing the other day. I was very careful, but it was a huge job. I bet I took out 15 pounds of weeds. Crabgrass as thick as a McDonald’s soda straw. Some waxy oval flat leafed thing that sends out pinkish runners, and wherever a tendril touches down, it roots in and then sends out new shoots in 10 different directions. One run was 20 feet long. I tore that crap out by the bag, and found the queen plant that had stalks as big around as my finger. Rip!! Crivens! 

And when all was done, I had a lovely strip of annuals across the front under mulch, a nice pink and white vinca bordered 4x8 area in the middle, and bare clean earth in the other planting area towards the back. But in the middle, I had marigolds coming up. Dozens of little plants maybe 2” tall. I took away all the competing weeds, and gave them a nice drink of Miracle Grow. In 48 hours they had grown 3”, I swear. And I could see where I had to do some fill in seeding.

So I went out there early this evening. And once again found bare earth. Every last marigold plant had been plucked out of the ground and thrown away. Gone. All of it gone. Even the one “flyer” that was growing through the mulch in the pathway. The vinca was untouched.

It makes me so sad. I guess I could put down more seeds and another layer of dirt and try again, and maybe get some plants up that could produce a single blossom by the start of September. This latest rape cost me a precious month.

And I know it was you Carol, you nasty old busy body. You killed my alliums the last time, telling Jenn that they were only wild onions and should be ripped out. Jealous old cow. And you’re out there today trying to tell me it’s too late to grow marigolds. Why, the season is almost over! But what you don’t know, miss stupid, is that those tenacious little flowers will grow and grow and grow, and bloom hard until the second frost. No, maybe they won’t reach their full peak size. But I could have pumped them full of Miracle Grow and they would have done just fine. Assuming you don’t come pluck them for the third time when no one is looking.

“No, you don’t want to grow them this late. They’ll never bloom.”

“Riight, except these seeds came from plants that grew in August last year. All of them from the seeds you gave me the year before that. Well, looks like some very selective deer came through here and ate ever last plant and didn’t touch anything else.”

“No, deer won’t touch marigolds.”

“Yes, I know that. I was being ironic.”

No, I don’t think I’m going to bother to replant a third time. And I think it would be wrong to deliver a Viking-like revenge on someone with a crowbar and a 3lb rock hammer for such a minor offense as messing up someone else’s garden without permission. But right now it’s very tempting to think that way. Fertilize the soil with some blood and bone marrow. Accidental my ass, you stupid bitter jealous old bloated potato sack full of dog shit.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/05/2016 at 09:23 PM   
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calendar   Sunday - June 12, 2016

Guess I Learned My Lesson

I’ve got that parking space sized garden here in the front of our condo on the edge of the parking lot.

I dug the whole thing in last year, pulling out the tired old soil, sifting out the rocks, getting rid of a few weeds and half a foot of old pine needles, and then mixing and laying in nearly a ton of the very best topsoil. It was more work than I could manage, so while I did get almost all the bulbs planted, I didn’t get the mulch laid down nor any pavers for the little paths.

We had a very strange winter - one snow storm actually - and an odd spring. My carefully selected heap of deer-resistant bulbs - daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, and alliums - all decided to grow at once, instead of coming in in stages like they were supposed to. Seriously, I had it planned just so. It was going to be like a living fireworks show, with a burst of blooms over here, and then a burst of blooms over there, and then a bunch of little poppers everywhere when those gave out, and for a summer long finale, a high rise selection of purple puffball and baby’s breath-like alliums each more than 3 feet tall.


Alliums, first cousins to garlic and onions

Well, I got a little behind the ball, and things got a bit out of hand. Duh, it turns out that my WonderSoil that grows flowers so well also does a super job for weeds. And with the odd early growth, I had a super dense zone of greenery, with the spent tulips and daffys starting to turn brownery. It was time to go in and weed, and to do a bit of transplanting. Yes, transplanting. You might recall that I tried to do wildflowers the year before on that patch of ground, but with the drought and the heat that summer they barely even sprouted. Surprise, some of the seeds remained viable, and I had a dozen or so young plants in the front putting out little flowers in an array of shapes and colors. My plan was to transfer them over here to the side yard along the top of the cliff, where last year’s butterfly bushes failed, but more of the same failed wildflowers were doing well. Give those a bit more company, and let them take over the whole embankment if they could do it.

But I knew I had a big weeding project. The wife and I have been hand plucking a few of the bigger varmints every day as we go by. And I’d planned to go out there last evening to have at it, but I was tired and just felt too sticky in the muggy weather. So I made a plan to get up and at ‘em early this morning before the heat woke up.

And I did.

And got the shock of my life.

I feel ... kind of violated actually.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/12/2016 at 10:26 AM   
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calendar   Friday - June 10, 2016

Dewing It Rite

So I’m working at the guard shack this morning, and Mrs. Rich Lady pulls up and gives me a big heavy beetle-browed scowl. She rolls down the window of her AWD Luxury E350 Mercedes* and snaps “It figures!!! Doesn’t it just figure?” and then drives off.

Hey, I get all kinds up at the shack in the early hours.  Today it was all the dog show ladies looking for the Holiday Inn. No worries. But Mrs. “RL” is one of my nice people, so I gave it a thought. And then a look, followed by a laugh ...

Up at the top of the hill here two streets come together in a T intersection. The public Banks Street meets our private Village Road. Over time a series of parallel cracks has developed about where the join is. Wear and weather have turned three of them into pot holes. Deep pot holes.

Mrs. RL stopped to ask if our condo association was going to patch the road. I told her I didn’t know if it was even our road to patch but I’ll ask, so perhaps it might be better to call the township. “Well I was by the other day, and if you drove in that hole you could damage your car. So I had my daughter get a traffic cone from over there and she put it in the hole. At least people can see and go around it.”

And she wasn’t making it up: about 2/3 of a medium cone was sticking up out of the street. The other two potholes were coneless. And people have been slowing down for that corner and missing the hole for a couple of days now. But she’s the kind of woman who can get things done, so more power to her when she makes that call and I pity the fools at DPW who try to give her the run around.

She must have made quite an impression. Township DPW came around, and took away the cone.  Instead of filling in the holes with gravel and asphalt, Can’t have that. Why, it’s a danger, foreign objects protruding from the road surface and all !

And then they drove away.

* It just blows my mind that so many people who live here drive such expensive cars. Come on. This isn’t low-income housing, but it isn’t far from it. A small house in the neighborhood costs about three times what these units sell for, and more. So why are they driving cars that cost half as much as the condo? It cracks me up to see all the Audis, BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, mega-pickups and mighty SUVs that live here. Dude, maybe if you drove something cheap like instead, like a used Corolla, you afford an actual house?

** another piece of this pie that makes me smile: right around the corner from this is an asphalt diveway/top coat/tar sealer/power washing company. Every morning I watch their small fleet of trucks head out, often towing great round black metal tanker trailers behind them, filled with fresh hot tar. No, they weren’t hired for this job, but they could do it without hardly even slowing down. 3 scoops full of goop ought to be more than enough to fill each pot hole. Next time I see one of them stuck in traffic I’ll ask the driver if they have a contract with the township.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/10/2016 at 08:36 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - June 08, 2016

window fix

Yes, I’m finally getting around to trying to fix the window in my old Saturn. It’s been on the fritz since last winter, stuck in the closed position. I’m pretty sure it’s a bad switch, because for awhile the window would go up and down just fine every third blue moon, then be dead again. Right. So I searched and searched, and in all of the internet I found two ... two ... actual GM 21021947 switch assemblies in stock. Used. One looked a little better and has a 30 day warranty, so for the extra $5 I figured it was worth it.

I took the door apart yesterday. Well, I tried to. Got the inner handle off, got the opening lever off. Found that the door has a solid steel inner skin. I couldn’t get anywhere near the electrical connection, nor could I even see the motor, and I could just barely see the ends of the regulator arms. Screw that. I need to repair the inner panel anyway because the two parts blew out all their plastic connecting “rivets” several years ago. I’m going to do some afro-engineering and stitch the two parts together with some wire, and hold them in place with dabs of epoxy. So I’ll have to drill 50 or 60 little holes through both panels to run the stitches through. Time consuming!

Then I can figure out if I can glue the overhead light back up. That fell out the other day and is hanging by a wire. Works fine, but tends to bonk me in the head going around corners.

Ah, the joys of driving ancient cars.

No word from Pieper, but I did manage to get a card and letter off to him. Finally. I’ll send him another one tomorrow. I figure I only owe him about 100 cards and letters by now. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/08/2016 at 04:11 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - June 01, 2016

Never Miss A Chance To Drop A Good One

Yeah, I actually said it

So I’m painting the speed bumps here in the condo park, as you know. I’ve got the ones out on the main road done, finally. And my new signs seem to be getting the idea across. Our main road is divided; we’ve got an uphill lane 16 feet wide and a downhill lane 16 feet wide, with a little grass berm between them edged with Belgian Block. It looks good. The streets that the condos are on are not divided, but they are extra extra wide to allow for two way traffic.

So I’m on Overlook, the big loop street where most of the units are. The speed bump at the top of the street goes across the inbound and outbound lanes. It’s nearly 30 feet wide. So I mark off half of it for painting, which leaves plenty of room to get by on the dry side. And I put up my double sided bin sign, with it’s helpful “Go Around --->“ placard.  But that only blocks one side of the speed bump, even though drivers on the other side can see the signage that faces their way. I felt there should be a bit more. So I took one of my very few safety cones and put it out in the middle of that lane on the far side of the bump. Great, fine. Something for everyone, and now people coming from either side will see the sign or the cone, slow down, and swerve around them. There’s plenty of room, even if they swerve while some impatient type is barreling through coming the other way.

So I’m painting away, me and my baby 1” x 6” roller on a big long handle. Work that sticky oil paint in the noonlight sun. And I’m pleased with myself that folks coming from either direction understand what to do and are doing it. Nice. Ya got it figured out Drew. Well done.

And then two women arrive at the speed bump from different directions at the same time. Both stop and sit there glaring at each other.

I looked up, and the one stopped by the bin sign says “Who goes first?”

So I gave it a quick glance, her stopped at the bin, the other one stopped at the safety cone. “Isn’t it obvious?” I said, waving the other women through, “she does.”

“Why her? I think I actually got here just before her, and I could have just swerved and gone. Now I have to wait! And why is it obvious?” [ people suck. the wait was perhaps two whole seconds and was over by this point in the conversation. ]

“Well you know what the common rule is.” I told her, “First cone, first swerved.”

I think it’s time for Drew to come in out of the sun. Enough painting for today.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/01/2016 at 12:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeHumor •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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