Not what you want…

February 27, 2013


There have been times in my life when I
seem to have an uncanny knack to pick a
sales person who drives me nuts.

I like to think I’m an informed consumer
and try to do research before making a
purchase. I check Consumer Reports, ask
friends, and read reviews first.

This isn’t a new phenomena with me, it
actually goes back to 1968. I decided I
wanted a brand new Camaro, had the cash
to buy it, and cruised over to the local
Chevy dealer.

It started out good, the salesman asked
‘can I help you?”

To which I replied: yes, I want a new
dark blue Camaro with a 350 horse 327, a
four-speed and a posi rear-end.

And it began. He replied with ‘ I think
you would be happier with an older Impala’.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the Camaro.

Another time I went to an Appliance store
with the intention of buying a TV. Same
thing. Started out good with ‘how may I
help you?’

You can help me buy a new 25-inch Zenith
black screen TV.

And then it happened.
You don’t want a Zenith, let show you
something else.

Why do they even bother asking us what we
want only to try to talk us into buying
something we don’t?

And don’t get me started on cell phones.
Have you ever tried to buy a phone that
only makes phone calls from these people?

The last time I went looking for such a
critter I ended up with a phone that takes
pictures, does text messaging, and probably
even doubles as a flashlight!

Now I’m getting bugged to get a “smart”
phone. I usually respond with; why do I
need one?

Then I get the old song and dance about
being able to receive and send emails, surf
the internet, take pictures and video, check
the weather, and listen to songs.

But I have a computer, a camera, can check
the weather on TV, and watch my radio for

If my computer goes down I can still take
pictures. If the radio quits working I can
still check e-mail.

If the phone goes berserk, and I get rid
of the others, I’m lost. Sometimes progress
just doesn’t make a lot of sense to this
old fart.
Comments are always welcome.

News to me trip

February 26, 2013


The wife has graciously told me that I want
to cruise out-of-town. She also informed me
I want to get a Motel room when we do.

She even said that I wanted to do so on
Thursday. When I asked where we were going
she implied that I knew but didn’t let her
in on my secret.

What would I do without her. So if there is
no post on Thursday you can complain to her.
Usually when I pick a destination there is
no WiFi or cell phone reception.

I like to take the back roads past the old
farmsteads and small towns instead of the 4
lane expressway where everybody is a hurry
to get nowhere.

At least we have no snow forecast for that
day. Even though she didn’t tell me I think
I can rule out looking for another project.

And that must mean I was planning on taking
her someplace special. Someplace with a
Shopping Mall, a Book Store, and the
Golden Arches.

Thursday is getting closer so I better get
busy figuring out where I’m taking her. I’ll
have to ask around and see if I told anyone
else about this adventure.

After all, we do have to eat.
Comments are always welcome.

Courtroom circus

February 25, 2013


If you have been following the coverage of
trial of ex-Alderman Meyer, you know the
verdict is in.

Though I admit to chewing my fingernails
down to the second knuckle I was reasonably
sure he would win.

There was as much local media coverage as
there would be for the trial of a serial
killer. Opinions were being thrown about
like rice at a wedding.

When the jury came back Keith was found
not guilty. If it wasn’t a closed courtroom,
we would have loved to be there to see the
faces of some members of the media.

All we can say is that sometimes the Justice
system does work. In our opinion this was an
incident that just got out of hand.

We await to see how much coverage this
will get now that Keith won. Sometimes when
you think differently than current
administrations you are criticised and

There are times when we have to stand up
for our rights regardless of what others
think. It may not make us popular, but it
makes us what we are.

Congratulations again Keith.
Comments are always welcome.

Almost over quest

February 24, 2013


The quest to find, and conquer, the evil
little electronic tablet from hell is almost
at an end.

The wife seems happy that I have downloaded
11 books to the tablet with only 37 assists
from her.

Going into this I thought, how hard can it
be? I have calmly worked on classic Jaguar
motors, built and remodeled houses, and
dabbled in art.

The hardest part, at least for me, was
mastering control of my fingers. I punched
icons like on a keyboard, but this resulted
in strange actions by the machine.

For some reason the camera kept activating
and I had several pictures of the top of my
head but no books.

So I watched her manipulate her tablet
until I got an idea. The goal wasn’t to
finger punch the device into submission,
but to gently persuade it to do my bidding.

Once I tried this action my luck changed.
If I petted the evil thing, instead of
jabbing it, the machine worked!

I killed it with kindness and it rewarded
me by actually doing what I wanted it to.

Now I have to put up with the wife bugging
to read something on it. I have explained I
am close to finishing a paperback.

The only problem I am having now is unlocking
the screen. I swipe my finger over the icon
a couple dozen times and it doesn’t open. It
just stares back at me.

The wife confused my even more when she
said I needed a stylist. I thought, what
does my hair have to do with this tablet

She explained slowly that she had said
stylus. Which got me wondering what the
tablet had to do with record players.

But she patiently explained it was like
a little pencil without lead. Really?

If they come up with something new, they
should have to come up with a new name for
it too. It confuses us oldfarts.
Comments are always welcome.

The quest II

February 23, 2013


The wife and I went out again to find the
answers to the questions we had concerning
e-readers and tablets.

We returned without answers, but this time
we did come back with some expensive

She got a Samsung Galaxy something or other,
and I, I returned with a tablet recommended
for ages 4 and older.

Both had the Android, hers had the ice cream
cone OS and mine had the jelly bean. I figured
it was about to be put up or shut up time.

After charging them for several hours I
watched as she put hers through its paces.
I turned mine on and knew there were going
to be problems.

I told her “there’s some grumpy old fart on
the screen of this thing”. She came over and
started laughing, which I thought odd.

Then she said “that’s you dummy turn off the
camera”. Sure enough, turning off the camera
got rid of the grumpy old guy in there. Now I
know why I don’t look in the mirror.

Getting bolder, now that the camera was off,
she proceeded to tell me how to get a book
online. It sounded so simple.

I found a book I knew I’d read and proceeded
to follow directions. Next thing I know the
text turned to German!

I didn’t know what icon to push and didn’t
want to buy a Volkswagen so I shut off the

It looked so harmless and even the box said
safe for ages 4 and up. Do not believe the
boxes my friends.

If you are used to older Windows operating
systems, don’t own a smart phone, and still
haven’t been able to set the time on your
VHS player, these things are not for us.

I’ll figure it out. It may take a while
but I’m not giving up without a fight. I
missed the race and got a headache today,
so I figure this machine owes me a rematch

In the meantime, I’ll be reading a good
old-fashioned paper book.
Comments are always welcome.

The quest

February 23, 2013


The wife informed me that she was going to
buy both of us e-readers or tablets. So of
course I replied I had plenty of tablets in
the file cabinet.

And that is when I got an education. With
the e-reader you can check out books from
the library to read, but they disappear
after two weeks.

Nobody we talked to could tell me where
they go. After visiting a couple of brick and
mortar stores to get enlightened, I was
worse off than when we left the house.

Ice cream cone operating systems are not
as new as the Jelly bean operating system?
Really? Who designs those things, 7 year olds?

So nobody could tell me why I needed a front
and rear facing camera to read a book on a
little piece of electronic plastic. Is that
so you have photographic proof you actually
read something?

I have a desk top computer that serves me
fine, but was expected to know what Android
and WiFi meant.

So now I was being told that in order to
read a book on one of these things I needed
two cameras, the Android and WiFi, and email.

I don’t want to browse the internet, check
emails, or take two pictures at once. I just
want something that will let me read a book
in peace.

I was told that what I wanted was a “Nook”.
But then I was told it only contained books
from Barnes and Noble and didn’t have many
free books on it, and I couldn’t check my

I was advised against buying the “Nook”
even though I never got to see one. Who
knows, I may have liked the little bugger.

It was two hours of my life I’ll never get
back and I’m more confused than before I

I have come to the conclusion that it would
be easier to write a book than figure out
what I need to read one.

This low tech redneck is officially waving
the white flag.
Comments are always welcome.

Simple things

February 21, 2013


Dad stopped by and had coffee and talked
for quite a while. Then when our son dropped
in we, along with the wife, went to lunch.

We talked of everything from healthcare
costs to the size of the twin screws on a
destroyer. We talked of work on the farm
and leisure time out camping and hiking.

Talk of summers past, the upcoming snow,
and Dad being in the winter of his life.
We talked of things we’d done, things we
didn’t get done, and how aging gives you
an attitude adjustment.

We talked of the prettiest sunrises with
the sun coming up over an ocean of green
corn with golden tassels reaching to the

The sunsets on the ocean and the luck of
having witnessed the green flash that can
be seen at sea.

And of course we talked about missing mom
almost 3 years after her death. It didn’t
get somber because we always remember the
good times, and there were many.

She had a saying for almost any situation.
One of my favorites is “there are three sides
to every story; yours, mine, and the truth”.

Dad is 87, still lives by himself, and
has the attitude he is going to enjoy what
ever time he has left.

We mentioned that the wife’s folks had moved
into a Senior Living Center and really liked it.
Dad didn’t think he’d care for that because he
liked being in his own place.

The wife mentioned that the old ladies out-
numbered the old men five to one and Dad joked
that it might be worth looking into.

After the lunch, I drove us all back to the
homestead and we all talked a while longer
in the driveway, before they left.

I don’t know about the rest of us, but I
had a really good time and needed a short
nap after devouring my mile-high cheeseburger
and fries.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can
put a smile on your face and contentment in
your heart.
Comments are always welcome.

Legal questions

February 20, 2013


The trial of ex-Alderman Meyer will begin
tomorrow. We don’t know what happened that
led to the charge of ‘assault while displaying
a dangerous weapon’, but admit to having

According to, “Examples of assault
include swinging a baseball bat at someone
but not hitting them,waving your fist at
someone without making contact, and pointing
a gun, loaded or not, at someone, while they
are aware that you are pointing a gun at them.” defines aggravated assault as “An
unlawful attack by one person upon another for
the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated
bodily injury. This type of assault usually is
accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means
likely to produce death or great bodily harm.”

If a weapon is not pointed at the other
person involved, and no threat of using
said weapon is made, is it still considered
assault while displaying a dangerous

If there is no attack, is it still considered
aggravated assault? And if one had an unloaded
gun for defense, did not threaten to use it,
nor intend to, is it still considered assault?

It seems to us as if it is going to boil down
to a he said, he said. Only the two people
involved know what really happened and if
there was any threat.

We don’t have the answers so will have to
wait to see how the trial goes. We hope
things work out.
Comments are always welcome.

Double circus trouble

February 19, 2013


An article in our QC Times doesn’t make our local
political circus look very good.

The fur is flying, the feces hit the rotating
cooling device, and elections have consequences.

Our city government wants to spend $46+
million dollars for gambling boat it doesn’t
want and a gaming license it can’t own.

In our city of around 100,000, a lot of us
have been saying no. Now a poll has come out
that says over 90% of city residents polled
want to vote on the deal.

Government said no, that can’t happen.

Add to that the fact another Iowa city is
trying to put another new casino well within
driving distance and the problem gets

That leaves the upcoming elections. People
around here seem to like our Mayor, but now
pundits are saying if this goes through he
can’t win re-election.

Some are predicting a political death knell
for any Council members who vote to go through
with the deal.

We do like a precious few on the council,
but they’re involved also.

The intellectuals are meeting to defuse the
situation while the rednecks are lifting long
necks in celebration.

So, can Rocky save Bullwinkle from the evil
clutches of Boris and Natasha? We don’t even
pretend to know the answer.

But it should get interesting real soon.
And good luck to Keith.
Comments are always welcome.

Empty driveway

February 18, 2013


I sold my 48′ Chevy last year to a kid who
really wanted it and over the weekend the
rest of the Cruiser collection went to good

The son sold his 60′ Ford pickup to an
ex-drag racer from Illinois and the wife
sold her 40′ Plymouth to a car nut from
our side of the creek.

The weekend was a haze of phone calls,
visits, offers, and counter-offers. In the
end I think everyone was happy except my

I loaded enough extra parts for the
departing vehicles to build another one.
Both rides were driven while we owned them
and we hope the new owners enjoy them as
much as we did.

If the good Lord grants us more time we’re
sure there will be more to follow. We just
haven’t given much thought as to what the
new rides will be.

We’ve always thought that it isn’t the
destination, it’s the cruise to get there
that counts. When we get one it will be
a thrill, but chasing down the leads to
find it is a blast too.

The neighbors will like not being awakened
at 6 am by loud pipes when we leave for an
out-of-town, or out-of-state, show; and we
have room in the garage for another project.

That seems like a pretty good end to a
great weekend. We honestly thought we’d be
sad when the 40′ left, but the cash brought
by the new owner eased our pain.

A friend drove by the house then went home
to call. When he saw the car and truck gone,
he thought we had moved!

If you’re a car nut you understand and if
you don’t get it we can’t explain it. Just
keep the shiny side up, cruising season is
almost here.
Comments are always welcome.