Wasted days

March 8, 2019

I got up early, the wife got home early, we went grocery shopping early, yet I haven’t even had time for a post or coffee. I’m only on my second cup! And that’s after getting up at 5 am.

After we got back from our running and got things put away the wife informed she’s tired of the lack of light in the kitchen. So back out we went to get an led ceiling light instead of fluorescent. Swapping the new for the old would be no problem.

Or so I thought. I got up on the kitchen table alright only to discover it wobbles with weight on it. But I got sea legs and removed the ceiling panel to get to the light fixture. That came off with no problems but when I unhooked the electrical to it I noticed cracks in the insulation of the wires going to the junction box.

So I now had a little rewiring to do before hooking up the new fixture. All while balancing on a wobbly table. Once everything was up and checked the only things left were to flip the switch to ensure it worked and put the diffuser back in. Well, there was the clean-up. How is it that one light fixture with one cord coming out being matched to another cord can make such a mess?

I know some of it was various tools and other things needed to make it work but it seemed like someone threw stuff on the pile when I wasn’t looking. The new light is putting out 3,200 lumins, the area has been policed, I’ve had another cup of coffee, and after I finish this I’m changing the furnace filter.

No pictures were taken, no animals were harmed while performing the task, and no carbon was released into our air supply. At least the snow we were supposed to get last night was a no-show. Enjoy our Friday as we will now. I’m going to get another cup of coffee and fry up some bacon.
Comments are always welcome.


Of steam engines and cell phones

December 28, 2018

Yesterday was one of those days I about had to beat myself up
to get moving. Everything hurt, my brain was disconnected, and
my body said ‘oh hell no!’ to anything that involved movement.
Not sure what the problem was but hopefully it’s just part of
getting older.

This morning I was thinking of Sprint Corporation for no
apparent reason and discovered something I did not know. You may
know that Sprint is a telecommunications company that provides
internet and cell phone services. But did you know its roots
can be traced back to a railroad?

The Brown Telephone Company and the Southern Pacific Railroad
are both said to be origins of Sprint. Brown Telephone began in
1899 to give phone service to rural areas in Abilene, Kansas
and was started by Cleyson Brown.

The Southern Pacific Railroad was founded in the 1860s as a
subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Company. The company operated
thousands of miles of track and the telegraph wire which ran
alongside the track. In the 1970s the company was looking for
ways to use these lines for long distance calling.

This spawned several lawsuits between the company, AT&T, and
the FCC. Prior attempts to offer long distance calling wasn’t
approved by the FCC so the railroad used a loophole that would
allow a fax service called SpeedFAX.

Southern Pacific Communications came up with a new name to
tell the difference between the switched voice service from
SpeedFAX and came up with SPRINT. This stood for Southern
Pacific Railroad Internal Network Telecommunications.

In 1982 GTE Corporation bought the telephone operation from
Southern Pacific. In 1992 Uninet (United Telecom Data) bought
enough of the Company to acquire the original company and in
1992 United Telecom officially changed its name to Sprint
Corporation. And that’s my story.

Enjoy our Friday as the weekend has begun. As soon as I have
another cup of coffee before getting busy doing what should have
been done yesterday.
Comments are always welcome.

Interesting times

December 10, 2018

Have you noticed people get upset about the darndest things
that someone else said, or wrote, years ago and demand an
apology? It makes one wonder if artificial intelligence has
surpassed the intelligence level of us mere mortals. Whatever
happened to freedom of speech?

I’m told most people have a means of filtering what comes out
of their mouths before they speak. If so mine was broken a long
time ago. My super power is that I can offend people without
even trying.

I once told someone I didn’t believe in same-sex marriages and
got the riot act. Thing is I’m not against it if others want to
marry a member of the same-sex, just that it wouldn’t happen to
me. I fail to see the attraction is all.

If you stop and think about it; riots have now become protests,
illegal aliens now have rights, and most of what our parents
taught my generation is considered wrong. I even read that the
Supreme Court said churches and other religious organizations
could display nativity scenes on their own property as long as
they included non-secular items in the display.

So what happened? When did the feelings of those who think
different from us trump our rights? Yet now we are told that we
have to tip toe around people we’ve never met, who don’t know us,
and change our ways because of what we think? Lord love a duck!

Enjoy our Monday. Now I need to calm down with more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

Here we go

November 29, 2018

Mary Barra, GM CEO, announced a few days ago that GM would
close several plants and cut 15% of its salaried workforce.
In her 5 years as CEO, Barra has made some decisions that were
not popular but she has made the company a profitable

Along with plant closures she is removing money pit sections
like Peugeot, has authorized getting out of Russia and India,
and is getting rid of cars that aren’t selling. Two mentioned
were the Volt and the Cruise. Instead GM will develop a Blazer
and full electric vehicles.

GM will keep investing in self-driving vehicles as they claim
there is a profit to had in that sector of the market. Deep
discounts have also gone the way of the dinosaur in the name
of profit.

And despite Michigan and Ohio taking hits financially due to
the plant closings and thousands unemployed, insiders claim
this is the best plan since sliced bread. So the buying public
will have fewer choices while spending more money to get their
next vehicle and former employees will scramble for new jobs.
Thank God GM will make a bigger profit.

Won’t people be needed to build the new SUVs, trucks, electric
cars, and self-driving vehicles? I’m guessing that the Camaro
will still be around along with 1 or 2 other models, but if you
like a car that doesn’t make the cut you will be looking for
something else.

We haven’t heard a timeline for when all this is supposed to
begin but once again feel like the redheaded step-child here.
One feels like we, the buying customers, aren’t given a thought
and going for the gold is all that counts. It bothers me and I
won’t even be affected.

I quit looking at new cars when the wing windows and standard
transmissions left. I don’t need 47 cup holders, back up
cameras, and a knob to change gears.

Enjoy our Thursday as it means the weekend is almost upon us.
Now I need to calm down and have more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


November 28, 2018

Yesterday I made a few mistakes and found the old saying true;
we don’t quit making mistakes as we get older we just make
dumber ones. My first mistake was thinking water repellent
meant water proof.

The second was a result of the first. I emptied my wet coat,
contents seen above, and tossed the empty garment in our dryer.
I thought. Before long said dryer started clanging like a bell
at an old school house. So I once again checked the contents
removed from the wet coat. I forgot to take a camera out of the
coat before starting the dryer!

The camera, shown above, was removed 5 minutes after the dryer
was started. When the door was opened I expected to find parts
of this camera spread all over the dryer, on my coat, and
thinking it was now ruined.

Imagine my surprise when I took the first picture above with
the now hot camera, and it worked! No broken screen, no cracked
lens, and no fried electronics inside. Of course it will now be
afraid of dryers, but that’s something we can work on.

Now the camera is reunited with his buddies back in the jacket
and I’m glad it only took me 5 minutes to remember it was still
in my coat enjoying the dryer. And I learned something.

In the right front pocket where I keep the flashlight, smokes
and lighter, along with the small multi-tool, I place the
remains of my field stripped cigarettes. If you ever find
yourself with a wet coat and empty pockets do not feel around
the bottom of any wet pocket.

I came up with my finger coated with black sludge that
resembled motor oil that hadn’t been changed in years! After
some thought the remains of the field stripped cigarettes came
to mind and it made sense. I may add a small plastic bag to
avoid a repeat.

Enjoy the rest of our Wednesday and be careful when you check
your pockets. Now I need more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

One of those days

November 9, 2018

Our Friday started like any other except for the little bit of
white fluffy love from above we got last night. It got a little
strange as we piled in the car to cruise to the grocery store.

We noticed that every time I had to stop a buzzer went off and
a warning text lit up the dash that the front parking assist was
on. And if I had to stop for a traffic light the buzzing just
kept going until we got a green light and started moving again.

It took us down memory lane to the first computer we bought
which ran Windows 98. Being novices the first pop up that stated
we had a ‘fatal error’ almost gave us a heart attack. Once we
learned that didn’t mean we killed the computer we relaxed.

This was the same feeling. After a short talk we discovered
that neither the wife nor myself had turned the front parking
assist on and we didn’t know how to turn it off. Trying to come
up with a fix mentally I thought, just turn it off.

The problem was we didn’t know where on the touch screen in the
dash the proper icon to turn it off was. And with myself driving
I wasn’t about to pull over to find out. Pull a fuse? No. I did
that once on an Oldsmobile we had and while it did stop the
noise it also knocked out the radio and digital gauges.

By the time we got back home the buzzer had me feeling like I’d
been to dentist and told them not to use anything to deaden the
pain. I have just gotten to the point that the smallest noise
doesn’t have me jumping up and grabbing the ceiling fixture.

Guess it’s time for a short course on car computers to find out
how to disarm this unneeded and unwanted accessory. Either that
or crank up the radio and drown out the noise of the evil buzzer
from hell.

Enjoy our Friday as we will. Now I need more coffee and a book
on how to turn off whatever a parking assist is.
Comments are always welcome.

While some were sleeping II

October 1, 2018

Last week we mentioned a China company bought Americas largest
pork producer and now owns 25% of all pigs in our country. If
you don’t like pork or don’t eat it this may not seem like a
big deal.

About a quarter century ago the U.S., Europe, and Japan
produced 90% of the ingredients to supply the world’s medicine
and vitamins. Today China is the main supplier. Some raw
materials for medicines come from pork.

Heparin, a blood thinner, is derived from pig intestines for
instance. Now let’s get away from the bacon related topics but
stay with our medicines. Perhaps you heard the U.S. stopped
making its own penicillin. And did we mention China is now the
biggest supplier of ingredients used to make the antibiotic.

After hearing this I started checking the medications I take
and discovered that while American Companies are listed on the
medicines, all have ‘manufactured for’ or ‘distributed by’ before
the company information. Some say Product of China on the label,
one is made in France, one manufactured in Canada, and I couldn’t
find any that claimed to be “Made in the U.S.A.”

That made me wonder. Are these ingredients made in China
manufactured in a sterile lab environment or on a table in a
garage? I’m not sure in this case quality control is job one.
Think about it.

China owns our largest pork producer, has joint ventures with
U.S. drug companies, and has become the largest shareholder of
Saladax Biomedical Inc., a U.S. based medical care company. How
in the hell can we buy American when it’s all made elsewhere
and shipped here?

Just something to think about, I know it opened my eyes. Enjoy
our Monday as it’s the first one we get this week. Now I need
some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.