A bigger fish

June 30, 2008

We’d been working on a post for about a week and still
felt it wasn’t right. Imagine our surprise when we got
the latest edition of Street Thunder magazine, and the
editorial was on the subject of our post. The following
is the editorial by Mark Simpson, Editor and Executive
Director of the National Street Machine Club magazine-

“So when are you going to finish it?” My father’s
voice rang out as he entered the garage. I believe I’ve
heard those words as often as “So, what color are you
going to paint it?” and from far too many people to
recall.

Certainly dad could remember the many times I drove the
old Chevy over to visit, but the simple fact that the old
car was all apart again seemed to cloud his memory of it.
I paused for a moment, in the same manner I had for the
countless others who asked the same question.

I explained, “Dad, it’s not a race to get it done quickly;
it’s a hobby.”

I could tell by the look on his face, as he scratched his
head and made his way to the refrigerator for a cold soda,
the thought of working on an old car simply for enjoyment
was something he never considered. I went on to explain,
“Just because it’s done, doesn’t mean I can’t take it
apart and make it better.” He mumbled something, before
coming to rest on the stool next to the workbench.

I grabbed the new driveshaft to mate the 4L60 transmission
to the new nine-inch Ford rear axle and slid beneath the
old Chevy. As I snaked the driveshaft around the rear axle
and through the driveshaft loop, I couldn’t help but think
how our hobby compares to others. I suspect no one has ever
questioned a golfer as to why they have played the course
more than once because it’s assumed they want to improve
their skills and achieve a better score. Nor does anyone
question the fisherman who returns to the same lake, and
often the spot, in pursuit of a bigger fish.

As I slid the U-bolts into the rear axle yoke and called
out for a half-inch wrench, it occured to me that maybe the
difference lies in the simple fact that so many consider car
repairs to be “work”, and certainly nothing about the task
that is seen as work could be enjoyable unless it is completed.
While the prospect of clubbing plastic balls around someone
else’s lawn, then chasing after them, only to club them again
seems more like work to me, the biggest difference may be how
others perceive our chosen hobby.

The distictive ring of a half-inch Craftsman wrench sliding
accross the concrete toward my head returned my attention to
the task at hand. Dad soon called out again, “I gotta go!”
As he turned the knob on the garage door, he stopped to ask,
“So when are you going to finish it?”
————————————-

Amen! It’s a matter of, if we have to explain it, you
wouldn’t understand. We thank Mr. Mark Simpson for his
insightful look at our crazy hobby. Comments on this, or
anything else, are welcome.


Helpful Hints

June 30, 2008

We feel another public service piece is in order, so we’ll offer
the following thoughts. A few were sent to us, the rest we just
think make sense. These are common sense solutions to everyday
problems, and are free or cheap.

1. If you can’t fix it with a hammer, it’s an electrical problem.

2. If it works use it, if it doens’t work, paint it gray.

3. A mouse trap placed on top of the alarm clock will stop you
from hitting the snooze button, rolling over, and being late
for work.

4. In the kitchen, to avoid cutting yourself when you chop up
vegetables, have someone else hold the vegetable while you cut.

5. For marital happiness; you can avoid arguements with the wife
about leaving the seat up by just using the sink.

6. For when you’re sick; if you have a really bad cough, take a
lot of laxitives and you’ll be too scared to cough.

7. When in doubt, keep quiet. It’s better to have people think
you’re a idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

8. To make someone’s day when they have a flat on their car just
reassure them it’s only flat on the bottom.

We’ll end with a thought for the day-
Some people are like slinkies- not really good for anything, but
they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

We can’t be sure all these will work, but the few we’ve tried
do. Comments on just about anything are welcome.


News release

June 29, 2008

The Guardian Angels have sent a new release, so we thought we’d post it. There is more on the incident on Bard’s blog that we mentioned in an earlier post.

IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE

At approximately 02:15 am Sunday June 29th two Guardian Angels
disarmed and arrested a man armed with a loaded handgun during a
physical altercation with 2 other men on the 300 block of west
3rd street in downtown Davenport . The Guardian Angels will be
holding a press conference at 1300 hours (1:00pm) Sunday June 29th
at the Guardian Angels headquarters located at 230 west 3rd street
#200C in downtown Davenport .


Teenage baby killer?

June 27, 2008

I’d been thinking that America has been in a moral
delcine for some time. I’ve said that we are
lowering our expectations. I was rethinking my
stand on the issue when I read the QC Times
today.

On page A7 was a story out of Baytown, Texas with
the headline “Teen charged with murder in baby’s
death”. Then I read the story. Seems the police
charged a 14-year-old girl with murdering her baby
in the school bathroom after she secretly gave birth.
And the school was a junior high school!
She’s being charged as a minor with capital murder.

She stuffed the baby boy’s mouth with toilet paper
and drown him in the toilet. Her attorney is saying
she didn’t know she was giving birth. Say what?
Wouldn’t the baby popping out be a good clue? And
with all the ‘Safe Havens’ in this Country where a
baby can be left with no questions asked; did she have
to kill the baby?

We’d also like to know where the father is. Is he
underage also? If not, can he be charged with a
crime? And if not, why not? Nothing about the
baby’s father was mentioned in the article.

Didn’t her parents, friends, classmates, or someone
notice she was pregnant? This is a story that should
cause an uproar, and we’ve barely heard a whisper.
We welcome your comments.


New Guardian Angels blog

June 27, 2008

Thought we’d do a little public relations post today. We have a new blogger out there, and the blog is pretty impressive looking. Bard has started the Quad Cities Guardian Angels blog. He has one post on it, but we’re sure it’s going to grow. He has various videos and a slideshow set up, along with a link to the Guardian Angels webpage. To check it out go to his blog.

Bard was our Chapter leader until recently. He stepped down to spend more time with his family, and you can’t blame him for that. So welcome to the blogosphere Bard.


Bonus opinion rant

June 26, 2008

I’m going to do something a little different this post.
This post is going to be about MY opinion, not the usual
‘our’ opinion. I say this because it’s true. This post in
no way way reflects the beliefs of any group, club, church,
or organization to which I belong.

It comes from a lifetime of being taught by two loving,
caring parents. They taught me to open doors for ladies,
to respect my elders, to never hit a lady, and to always
wear clean socks and underwear in case of an accident,
among other things. If you feel like commenting with name
calling, I prefer “American”.

That being said, I am not racist, sexist, homophobic, or
full of hate. I am a son, father, husband, uncle, cousin,
nephew, friend to some, and a veteran.

Growing up here I’ve seen the gradual decline in our morals.
I grew up in a different generation. When I was a lad men
supported their families; if a young lady got pregnant, she
dissapeared until after the child was born, and most people
didn’t know any single-parent families unless it was due to
war. Parents took the time to teach their children respect
and proper manners. Most living rooms or parlors had a piano
because there were only three TV stations, and of course we
kept busy rather than get bored.

What a world today. We have hundreds of choices for TV
viewing, game boys, PSPs, MP3s, and more. But is it better?
Recently during a TV movie I turned to the wife and asked
“What the hell are they doing in bed?” She didn’t know either.
But our kids have access to this stuff too. We long for the
times when the only thing that got kissed on TV was Roy Rogers’
horse.

Kids are having babies, and young girls are raising them alone.
The sperm donors are nowhere to be seen for support, bonding,
or staying up when the child is sick. Some youth of today take
pride in perforating other kids with bullets and respect almost
nothing.

It saddens us to see this happening because opinions don’t mean
much anymore. If you don’t go with the flow, free speech is gone.
I think it’s about time to say “ENOUGH”! If you want a special
day, just pick one. Why does everyone have to get government
involved. And when some minority group doesn’t get their way, I
know it will be my fault. Because I spoke my mind. But here’s
the deal, it’s ok. I know life isn’t fair. It’s one of the many
things my parents taught me.

That’s my opinion, your comments on this or any subject are
always welcome.


All over rant

June 26, 2008

It’s Thursday, which means the time has come to rant, whine,
complain, or be against everything. Once again we’ll say that
this post is our opinion. Our opinion and a buck and a half will
get you a cup of coffee. We state these opinions to see if
some agree with us, or for those who disagree to open a
discussion of the subject. There are no warranties expressed
or implied.

Several things have had us scratching our heads lately, so in
no particular order we’ll address some. The Supreme Court ruling
that the guy who raped his 8 year old daughter
didn’t deserve the death penalty is bull. If anyone deserves the
death penalty, it is animals like the this. We need to stop the
revolving door policy of the criminal justice system and get
tougher.

We assume that by the end of the week, LeClaire park will be
out of the water enough to assess the damage. It’s said if the
park has to be resodded, it can’t be used for about 40 days. With
that in mind, the riverfront will lose not only the Sturgis on
the River, but the Blues Fest and the Bix Fest. We regular folks
just love these musical chair events where we don’t know where
things are going to be held until a day or two before the event.
If we are truely prepared for floods, shouldn’t an alternative
site be part of the flood plans?

Senator Clinton has finally returned to her job. How nice that
she took eighteen months off, with pay, to run her campaign. We
Americans are so generous.

Word has come out that ethanol refiners recieved $3 billion in
subsidies last year. That’s a big chunk of change for a product
that isn’t doing what it was supposed to do. It doesn’t pollute
less, it doesn’t give us even equal fuel economy, and it cost
more and uses more energy than the gas it is supposed to
replace.

Ms. Pelosi and others are blocking legislation that would allow
oil companies to drill offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. So by not
letting our companies drill they are allowing other countires,
including Russia, China, and even Viet Nam to drill. This also
doesn’t make sense to us. The anti-oil, green-at-any-cost crowd
is once again costing us average Americans more money.

They have known of solutions since the 70s, and have set on
their butts doing nothing about our gas problems, while always
finding the time to get themselves a yearly pay increase. They
have to have the only job in the nation where bad performance,
or no performance is rewarded every year.

Something else in the news is Congress wanting to bail out the
people who have trouble paying their mortage. Why? We have the
largest number of homeowners ever, and a very small percentage
of people who can’t pay their mortage. Let them move out, move
on, and learn from their mistake. The country doesn’t have the
money in the first place, and there are much more important
issues that should be addressed.

And the Supreme Court just struck down Washington, D.C.s ban
on handguns. We’re not ranting about this one, just figured when
a group uses common sense, it should also be noted. Now, if only
we get a concealed carry law passed.

That’s our take on some issues that have been in the news. You
can agree, disagree, call us crazy, or comment on something else.


Phishing

June 25, 2008

The following is from the CyberAngels June newsletter. The
CyberAngels are part of the Guardian Angels and are the
largest internet safety group in the world. If you don’t know
what phishing is, or how it works, here’s the article-

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of online fraud in which a scam artist uses
an e-mail or website to illicitly obtain confidential information.
Phishing scams frequently involve a copycat website designed to
mimic that of a reputable company, often a bank or other financial
institution, asking users to transmit sensitive data.

How to Identify a Phishing Scam

Phishing scams are often effective because scam artists are
skilled in replicating websites and can make it difficult to
differentiate from the original website. This can be achieved by
directly copying an existing website, and even linking to graphics
stored on the real company’s servers. However, keeping a few
things in mind can help you determine whether your information is
being kept safe.

If you received an e-mail reporting a problem with your account,
first check the address from which the e-mail was sent. If the
address does not match the company’s website, it is fraudulent.

Advanced scam artists can make their e-mails appear as though they
are from a legitimate company. If this is the case, make sure any
links or URLs point directly to the real website. Many phishing
scams will employ a different domain – e.g. http://www.ebay.net (note the
.net domain) or http://www.eebay.com (note the double E) instead of
http://www.ebay.com, the real website.

Legitimate companies do not ask for more information than they
need, so be wary of any website asking you to reveal your Social
Security number, bank account number, or other private information
you do not ordinarily share.

Never send personal information via e-mail. A legitimate website
will have a secure, encrypted form. An easy way to tell whether
a website is secure is to look at the HTTP in the address bar.
Secured sites will read https instead of http. For instance,
the sign in page for eBay is https://signin.ebay.com, which tells
you that your data is protected.

If you are still unsure, try to contact the company directly by
returning to the main page. Do not use the contact information
from the e-mail or the website linked in the e-mail, as these may
be spurious. Do not send private or financial information.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group maintains a list of known phishing
attacks. Their website can be found at
antiphishing.

Most current anti-virus and firewall programs will help keep you
safe from some attacks, but these should not be relied on as a
primary measure. Additionally, some browsers will warn you if you
are being redirected to a potentially malicious website.

What to Do if You Have Been the Victim of a Phishing Attack

If you think you have transmitted private information to a
malicious website, immediately notify the appropriate contacts
within the legitimate organization. They will help you recover
data if possible, and will watch for any suspicious activity.
The network administrator can also take steps to prevent a similar
attack in the future.

If you may have revealed compromising financial information,
contact the institution responsible for your account and tell
them what data may have been compromised. Close any accounts
that may be attacked, and watch for unusual activity, including
unusual charges.

You may also consider filing a report with the police and
reporting the attack with the Federal Trade Commission, whose
website can be found at their website.

Comments are welcome.


Disaster recovery meeting

June 24, 2008

We forgot about this one, so we’ll do it now. Davenport One
will have a disaster recovery meeting for businesses who were
affected by the flood or storm water damage. Reservations are
required, but there is no cost to attend. You can make a
reservation by calling (563)823-3693, or go to the calendar of
events page at Davenport One.
Reservations have to be made by noon Wednesday so there is time.
The meeting will be held at the Davenport One NewVentures Center,
331 W. 3rd Street from 8-10 am, Thursday, June 26.


Where are we heading?

June 24, 2008

Ethanol has been exposed as a non-solution to anything. It uses
more energy to make than it produces, it doesn’t pollute any
less than regular fuel, it lowers gas mileage, and it isn’t a
replacement for regular fuel. How convient that now, when corn
futures are rising daily, refiners can’t make money making
gas out of our food.

If you think ethanol is expensive, did you add the fifty-four
cent a gallon subsidy refiners get to produce it? We find it
ironic that new ethanol refineries being built will never make
a drop of ethanol. Also ironic is the fact this is due to rising
corn prices when ethanol production wasn’t supposed to have any
adverse effect on these prices.

Lawmakers have been playing us for fools, and we don’t like it.
The latest caper that stuck in our craw was the economic stymulus
package. We don’t know who came up with that one, but they stayed
up nights thinking that one out. We could see going to your boss
and saying, we have a plan.

Let’s borrow billions of dollars from overseas, dole out a
small amount to everybody, and let them spend it on overseas made
products, and imported fuel. Oh, why we’re at it, let’s spend
millions of dollars to notify the people that we’re going to do
it. Whoever sold our learned lawmakers on this should do seminars
on ‘How to get rich in real estate with little or no money’.

We were brought up on a simple premise when it came to money.
“You never get out of debt by borrowing money”. It has served us
well. Due to several decades of bad decisions by our lawmakers,
the dollar is worth a lot less than it was. This makes the cost
of anything we import higher. Just remember, when then those
running for office talk about giveaways, it will be our grand-
children who will shoulder the burden.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. It’s time for
this bunch of spineless legislators to grow up, stop fighting
like children, and do their jobs. They should come up with
solutions to our gas problems, our money problems, and the
problem of our deficit, which they created. Tighten your
belts, prove you stand for something, and just git r done.

Comments on just about anything are welcome.


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