Of interesting incidents

March 6, 2018

Sometimes the best intentions land one in situations that are
tougher than an old boot. Today I attempted to do something nice
for Dad and ended up in the Twilight Zone. I went through it and
still don’t believe it.

On the way over to Dads house this morning I stopped in a
grocery store that had a bakery and sold fresh bakery goods each
morning to feed those with a sweet tooth. After looking around
some sweet rolls with blueberry globs in the middle caught my

Dad loves blueberries so I wandered to the front and the
cashiers that awaited me there. And the Twilight Zone awaited.
The little machine that reads the credit/debit cards refused to
recognize my card. Since I don’t carry cash, I didn’t get the rolls.

No problem, I was in a store that had a branch of my bank in
the store. So the ATM beside this branch also informed me my card
was invalid. Walking around to the teller windows a sign
informed me the bank didn’t open until 9 am. It was 8:23 am when
I read it.

So I cruised over to Dads and after a good visit returned to
the bank in the store at 9:45 am. The nice lady behind the
counter took my card, typed something on a keyboard, and got a
strange look on her face. You know, the one someone gets if they
suck on a lemon.

She then said my account was flagged for fraud and asked if I
was in another country two days earlier. I naturally replied
that I was not. She then claimed that my account was flagged
due to charge for an International Border Crossing fee. Lord
love a duck.

I was invited into a little cubicle and tried to get to the
bottom of the problem. The lady told me I would get a new card
and I was not a happy camper as that would mean notifying those
who direct deposit into the account and the automatic payments
that go out.

My account was frozen over this border crossing fee which
turned out to be 8 cents! Luckily I kept my wits about
me and did finally walk out with my old card working like it
did before the ‘fraud’. In the end a company I’ve been dealing
with for over 3 years added the 8 cent fee on a separate
invoice and made my day interesting.

Enjoy our Tuesday and the white fluffy love from above.
Comments are always welcome.


Got it wrong?

February 28, 2018

A friend sent a link to a site that promised the honest truth
about you according to your birthday. Not usually having any
success with such sites I decided ‘why not?’

His birthday is about a month after mine and his result said:
“He puts on a brave face every day, but the truth is that he
feels everything very deeply. He is an incredibly sensitive
person and he cares for the ones he loves more than anyone could
ever imagine.”

Sounded almost like poetry to me, and the results would have to
similar for me, or so I thought. Mine turned out slightly
different and sounded more like a judge announcing sentence.
Mine said “He will never give up without a fight. He has been
through a lot in his life and it has built up an inner strength
that cannot be easily broken. He has the confidence to know what
he deserves in life and he has no problem fighting for what he

Wait a minute. Why does mine mention fighting twice? This may
have been a good description 25 years ago but not today. It
sounds like a stranger to me yet when I read it to the wife and
mentioned my thoughts she laughed. Granted I have been through
a lot, but I am 66 years old! And I am bull-headed and it’s
pretty hard to change my mind. And I do go in with confidence
when I believe I’ve been slighted.

Oh. Perhaps it’s a better description that I first thought.
Enjoy our Wednesday anyway.
Comments are always welcome.

Robo calls

February 19, 2018

It’s been a gloomy day with rain showers off and on which means
not much got done outside. Since we were inside I noticed a jump
in telephone calls, most of which were automated trying to sell
us time shares, lower the interest rate on our credit cards, or
just offer us a deal too good to be true.

Some of these numbers are local and it’s hard to resist calling
the numbers back and chewing someone out. Yet I’d bet we
wouldn’t be the first and the people didn’t know their number
was being used in such a way until they got that first call.

We’re going back to just not answering the phone when numbers
we don’t recognize show up on the caller I.D. It someone moved
and wanted to give us their new number they can still leave a
message. If the call is indeed a spammer no messages are left to
listen to. That isn’t a perfect solution, but it works.

Remember the ‘do not call’ lists? We were on all them and
updated when things changed. Now the automated calls are even
going to my cell phone. Not answering that for unknown numbers

One has to wonder why people keep sending out these calls but
here on the east coast of Iowa we’ve seen no let up. On the odd
occasion we do answer we hang up the instant the automated
message starts. Advances in technology are great until some
bent mind alters it for their own gain.

There probably won’t be a fix for this either in my lifetime.
Enjoy our Monday as it’s a great day to be alive. Now I need
more caffeine in my system.
Comments are always welcome.


Feeling my age

February 9, 2018

As I sit here hurting in places I didn’t know I had places from
removing more snow, I got to thinking of something mentioned in
an earlier post. I had mentioned that when the wife took her car
in for an oil change the dealer suggested several things that
should be done at 30,000 miles.

These included a transmission flush, a fuel injector flush,
a coolant flush, a brake flush, PTU service, and rear
differential flush that totaled $910 on the estimate. Our
youngest informed me the PTU is the power transfer unit, which
I think is akin to a transfer case in a 4×4.

Since then research has told me the PTU isn’t factory sealed,
can leak, and may fail if driven under low fluid conditions. As
someone who is both old school and a tightwad this seems like
overkill to me. Some make sense to have done and others don’t.
But since I know way more about 50+ year old vehicles than I do
new ones we’ll probably have some of the work done.

Especially since we may be taking another vacation later this
year. She has owned the car for about 14 months and it worked
flawlessly on our trip last year, yet it may be better to get some
things looked at.

To show you how much I pay attention, I just found out today
the car has air-conditioned seats! Really? The heated steering
wheel had amazed for months; but air-conditioned seats? I’d
still rather drive a 48′ with manual steering, transmission,
and brakes! Of course with a stock drivetrain I wouldn’t want
to drive it to California either.

We’ll make up our minds before the vacation rolls around just
in case. Enjoy our Friday as it’s the last one we’ll get this
week. Now I need something for my aching back and more caffeine.
Comments are always welcome.



February 2, 2018

This post will cover two completely differet subjects and we
hope you enjoy them both. First we’ll share a link to some
pictures of lunar eclipse and then we’ll mention a new engine
that may be a game changer.

As a teaser we’ll share this photo by Mike O’Neal taken in
Oklahoma that is the first picture on the EarthSky website.
The pictures are among the best we’ve seen and may even make you

Now on to a different kind of engine that is getting tested in a
Ford F-150 pickup. Estimates are this two-cycle, three cylinder
engine with six pistons and no spark plugs, should bring gas
mileage up to 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined city and
highway driving according to Achates Power and Aramco Services.

Claim is gas engines now use 25% of a gallon of gas to move
the vehicle with the rest wasted to heat. This new engine would
up that to 45% of a gallon to move the vehicle. The control of
this engines response curve is done by modulating pressures
through both a supercharger and a turbo.

There is a 4-cycle version and other companies are doing
research also. Being old school it seems odd to have a three
cylinder engine using 6 pistons and two crankshafts. But hey,
if it performs as promised and is reliable why not?

Enjoy our Friday. Now I need some coffee before I grab the
camera and head outside.
Comments are always welcome.


Doesn’t make sense

February 1, 2018

In this age where kids getting their driving permits can’t
sign them because they don’t know cursive yet gadgets and phones
become obsolete monthly due to technology, one has to wonder
where our society is headed.

Back in the day if you were old enough to get a driving permit
and couldn’t sign it you were considered illiterate. Yet
somehow we have beds with USB ports and vehicles with more
cupholders than seats. And we’re told technology hasn’t dumbed
us down.

We have smart TVs, smart phones, and smart meters for utilites,
all of which can inform some huge entity when we’re home and
what we’re doing in our own home. Even our vehicles are
computerized to the point we shut off the engine by using the
start button.

Our younger generations are not dumb by any stretch of the
imagination and they are amuzed by us oldfarts who are
challenged by technology. But some of us were too busy learning
cursive, Latin, and algebra at their age along with getting our
chores done and going fishing.

Schools used to teach the three Rs. If you’re old enough you’ll
know what we mean and if you’re too young we oldfarts might
start talking in code. We’re not sure when we get to the point
that instead of changing for the sake of change we preserve
some of the sanity we used to have.

It makes this oldfart wonder if all the interest in self
driving cars is to ensure people who have no interest in learning
how to drive can do so anyway. Enjoy our Thursday because the
weekend is just a dream away.
Comments are always welcome.


Best intentions

January 26, 2018

Our day started with two goals in mind, do a blog post early
and get a picture of the moon.

The deli had a sale on meat and a little farther down the
aisle the bakery had a sale on doughnuts. Then the wife
said she a coupon for a free dozen fresh cookies! I was batting
1,000. The deals just kept coming.

So we arrived home, unpacked the groceries, and the wife said
she wanted to go get a new wireless router. Our internet speed
had been slowing down so we thought it worth a try since the
tests I ran couldn’t find a problem.

So off to the big box store we run to replace our 5+ year old
router. A clerk who didn’t look old enough to shave and kept
mentioned games we’d never heard of, was helpful but not pushy.

I learned a long time ago that if the box says easy to install
or mentions less than than 5 steps in the installation, I’m in
over my head. This was such a case. The box stated that in 3
easy steps we’d be surfing the internet on our wireless devices.

After almost shooting the computer, threatening to throw it out
the window, and almost having a heart attack in the process, the
wife took over. In less than 15 steps she had the router hooked
up to the network and we were ready to change networks on our

Didn’t get the moon picture because while we were wrestling with
the computer the clouds blew in and hid it. So now I sit with the
day almost done yet closer to getting out this post. So yes, the
post is late again. I don’t think it would have been any earlier
though if I had just shot the computer.

Enjoy the rest of our Friday as I know we will, now.
Comments are always welcome.