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This category contains 51 posts

“It’s Never As Easy As It Looks!”

When I was a P.I., working the Bob H. at T.E. & A (enough initials for you?), I remember getting cases that had little information with which to start, but soon, all fell into place.  And others that appeared to be a slam dunk, only to get mired in something complex and nerve-wracking.

I remember sharing my observations about all this with Bob, and he responded, “It’s never as easy as it looks.”  I told him we should have a sign over the squad room with that very saying.

Fast-forward from 1981 ’til today.  Here I am, post car repair.  My 2000 Olds Intrigue has been rapidly deteriorating over the past couple of months, in need of new front brakes and some-kind of engine-repair, minimally, just to keep her road worthy and safe.  (She also needs two tires, and A/C repair, but, those will have to wait. :-(  )

I just don’t have the funds.  I live paycheck-to-paycheck on my disability.

My dear roommate offered to front me some funds to get the necessary repairs done!  We got the car into a local garage of good reputation, and waited.  Turned out the engine problems were the result of the old ignition switch failing.  We opted for the generic switch over the factory ($300 difference!) and this gives me one key for the door, a second for the ignition.  No big deal, right?

Well, not exactly.  These are not your grandfather’s ignition switches.  Seems they are having difficulty getting the security of the key to match the security programmed into the car.  Or something.

It’s never as easy as it looks!  And all this to make a 15 year old beater drivable again.

Sigh.

(Update – I got my car back, ignition switch now working, and engine running better than before, but not like new.  The brakes have been replaced, but the dashboard brake light comes on after about 20 brakings and stays on until the car sits for about 20 minutes(!)  Of course, it’s SUNDAY, and the earliest I can get back to the garage is Tuesday.)

It IS never as easy as it looks!

:-(

(Update Two – I bought two ‘gently used’ tired for the front, as the ones I had were paper thin.  Good news – they hold air, and are balanced!  Bad news – my right front wheel has two partly stripped lugs.  So I’m running on four instead of six.  It’s always something.)

(Update Three – my SESservice engine soon – light went on when I dared drive FIVE miles, yesterday!)

Guffaw, Now PLEASED!

I sometimes get frustrated with the ‘stuff of life’.  I’m disabled, on a small disability income, my 15-year old Oldsmobile is more or less parked for lack of funds for needed repairs, and with my disabilities regarding walking, standing or even sitting it is sometimes difficult or painful.  And a little less than two years ago I lost my home of 18 years.

Yes, sometimes I whine about other stuff, too.

BUT, I try to keep a stiff upper lip.  And keep chipping away at those things that I can do something about.

My stand-alone desktop computer has been waylayed for a little over a month.  For most folks having their home computer not functioning correctly is an annoyance, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal.

BUT, not being very ambulatory, and now even less mobile, it became readily apparent my computer is a window to the outside world.  My email, and 3-year-old blog being it’s primary functions.  I can talk back to the TV, but it rarely responds.

FORTUNATELY, my roommate J loaned me an old laptop she wasn’t using for me to keep up with the day’s events and continue to publish my blog (such as it is) daily, as I’ve done since March 6, 2011.

For this I am forever grateful.

Being less-than-competent with regard to computer/Internet stuff, I’ve not been able to diagnose the problem with my computer, determine if it was even repairable, or what the cost might be.

J left town to visit her daughter and become a tourist for the holiday weekend, and I’m left as the dog wrangler again.  This is okay, because I love the dogs (and the cat – more or less) and it gives me more time to try to move files to the laptop and play at fixing my old computer.

I DID IT!

Somehow, something inadvertently changed a couple of settings (not me!) – I changed them back (with about 100 missteps in the interim) and now the computer connects to the Internet, again!!

HUZZAH!

I’m using my original machine to write this!

This may not be watching a rose bloom, or being in love, or a new car, but DAMN I’m pleased!

pleased frog

 

They’re Breaking Up This Old Gang Of Mine

Every day my morning ritual includes signing onto the Internet, checking my email, the news (such as I can stomach) and doing my blog (such as it is).

Then, usually after I read the daily almanac, I start perusing my blogfriends (TM), many of whom are listed as ‘The Usual Suspects’ on the blog.

But, more and more I’m distressed.  In the 3 1/2 or so years I’ve been reading blogs, many have dropped off the radar.  Some due to unfortunate circumstances (death, illness, law-enforcement-interaction), others just because they lost the interest or material to continue blogging.  To wit:

Whose Paranoid, Eternity Road, TJIC, Hedgeroot, Misanthropic, Tall Tree-Short Rope, Tango Juliet, North, A Girl And Her Gun, To which I replied, Tranquility Lost…

And one or two more who went ‘dark’ or are now password protected.

(I’m certain I’ve missed a couple of others.  Apologies.)

The most recent is Kevin Baker’s The Smallest Minority.  Due to family illness and business concerns, he’s not stopping blogging entirely, but is cutting back.

And I’m sad.  He and the others are missed.

PS – Does anyone know CoolChange’s (Tranquility Lost) status?  Last I knew he was quite ill and hasn’t responded to my email.

When It RAINS, It POURS!

visa(aka, back to whining, for a moment)

SO, I’m in-line @ the pharmacy, and my cell goes off.  As one is discouraged from taking calls in-line at the pharmacy, I demurred.

THEN, my med purchase is declined!  She tried to run it as a credit charge, again no go.

She advised I should step out-of-line and call my bank.  I did.

Turns out, someone attempted fraudulent charges on my Visa debit card in both Nevada and Florida!!  (I’m in AZ)

(Ironic happening to a former credit card fraud investigator, huh?)

My options were to go to an ATM, get cash for my prescriptions, then visit the credit union and have a new card issued.  Or, just visit the CU and have a new card issued.  My choice.  In any case, neither a debit nor credit charge was going through.

Sigh.

The Credit Onion is only 1 1/2 miles away, so I went for the more permanent fix.  And returned to get my meds.

Thank God it wasn’t on a Sunday, or after hours.  Or 1990, when I would have had to wait a week to 10 days for a new card!

It was annoying the hold on the phone was longer than the wait at the CU to get a replacement card.  And, the rep on the phone was difficult to understand, and was rude.  At least it sounded like Oklahoma and not India.  It’s also an annoyance I now have to memorize a new card number and security code!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post, sans whining!  Or with less whining…

Sigh…Here We Go AGAIN!

Got up ‘late’ (0730!), something  I  never  do.   Okay, rarely, now that I’ve done it.

Went to work on the  blog – except  I couldn’t get the @&-+=#&! computer  to work!

AND THIS IS THE ‘NEW’ HAND-ME-DOWN’ COMPUTER!

Sorry guys.   No quote, funny, beauty  or video  this  morning…

image

Thank God  for my cell and the puppy!

Beat-Up Cars and Guns

I’m not rich.  Even when I was able to go to a regular 40-hour/week job with benefits.  I was lower-middle class, at best.  Now that I’m on medical disability, I can barely make ends meet.  I lost my home a year and a half ago.

Cars and guns are important to me.  Guns apparently more so.  I currently am driving a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue with over 140K miles on her.  She needs a lot of work I cannot afford.  And I certainly cannot afford a (newer, in-better-shape) different vehicle.  Sigh.

I also own two guns:  a custom 1911 and an electroless nickel Smith .38.  Both have seen better days, but, just like the ol’ clunker, THEY WORK!

Murphy’s Law recently posted a photo of his workhorse pistol, a Beretta 92F.  She looked a little like she had been dragged behind something for a while.  Obviously, this made no difference to Murphy, who said she worked and shot like a champ!

Which brings me to my point.  My car looks and works like crap, but she still works.  My 1911 and revolver both function, albeit they are cosmetically imperfect.

So I’m a bigot.  :-)

I LOVE the look of a nicely appointed vehicle and a fine firearm!  When I first saw Murphy’s photo, my heart sank.  I thought how sad it looks like that, and how much she resembled my well-worn 1911.  And, I see nicely running cars on the street, painted all pretty, and I secretly loathe my beater car.

Okay, I don’t know if it’s bigotry or shallowness…

Thankfully (as of this writing) the car and guns still function, but there’s always tomorrow!

h/t Lagniappe’s Lair

A 1912 Eighth Grade Exam

The American Dream shows us yet another example of how dumbed-down the population has become.  An Eighth Grade Examination, circa 1912.

Excerpts:

A man sold a watch for $180.  and lost 16 2/3  a/c.  What was the cost of the watch?

How many parts of speech are there.  Define each.

Name and give the capitals of States touching the Ohio River.

Name the organs of circulation.

Describe the manner in which the president and vice-president of the United States are elected.

Describe the Battle of Quebec.

There are many other questions in this standard exam for eighth graders from Bullitt County Kentucky at the link above.

My suspicions are that very few eighth graders today could answer 50% of these (and the other) questions.  At least not without the aid of their smartphones.  Not to mention most adults.  Go to the link above and see for yourself.

Test yourself, and your children.  And perhaps cry a little about our collective ignorance.  (emphasis Guffaw)

‘Of all the vehicles I’ve loved before…’

The lovely Tamara had a recent post regarding personal vehicles, with political stickers there-a-fixed.  The consensus among correct-thinking-folks is to maintain a low profile.  No longer is a pro-gun, gun rights or even a libertarian rear plaque or bumper sticker deemed appropriate.

At the very least it’s considered non-tacticool.  Don’t want to alert potential auto-burglars of the Glock possibly stuffed under the seat in our absence!  (One of the Bob’s had one stolen outside a coffee shop in broad daylight!)

In my callow youth, I owned a number of nondescript cars, mostly with libertarian bumper stickers attached.  Never had a problem.  One did read ‘Question Authority‘.  Never had a problem during traffic stops for not current registration.

But, as the 90s appeared, and political clouds foretold of personal liberties being trashed (the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban, for example), I opted to be less visible.  Not concerned with the bad guys (criminals) as much as the bad guys (government).  And I attached fewer stickers.

After the accident, I acquired my dream vehicle – a 1989 Isuzu Trooper.  Molly and I had been looking at them, as the ‘gee, perhaps one day’ car to take us to the desert to shoot.  She never got to see her, but she paid for her.

She was christened Molly’s Trolley with a dash placard.  And once my time payment Life Membership to the NRA was paid off, I affixed an appropriate sticker on the driver’s wing window.  Remember those – wing windows?

But no other defilement was allowed.  Low profile, in a silver 4×4 with a cammie spare tire cover.  Yeah right.  And many trips were made to the desert, and to friends in New River.  And other places.

trooper2

My youthful dreams of joking magnetic door signs reading ‘ANFO Distributing‘ never happened.  And I never even considered the ubiquitous gun show sale bumper sticker, ‘Vote From The Rooftops‘.

I did see (once, during the Nixon years) a sticker on another car reading, ‘Where is Lee Harvey Oswald When You Need Him?

I don’t think that would fly, today.  No one remembers who he was.

h/t Siddhartha, Tam

A Girl and MSgtB – What a Team!

A Girl and Her Gun tells us of a story from MSgtB.  A boy and his dad, and the boy has cancer.

Being disabled, not a man of means and spending much of my day on the Internet sometimes gets me to whining.  The state of the Nation, our rights being systematically eroded, yatta, yatta.  And me with my own petty health issues – which I won’t detail here.

But here’s a kid who has his whole life ahead of him.  And his dad will shave off his ubiquitous (since high school) mustache to raise $500.  $500 for his son’s care.

$500!  Are you kidding me?

I can’t afford to contribute, but you can do so here or at MSgtB’s site above.  Let’s see if we can make it $5000!

Team Sammy

h/t A Girl, MSgtB

Gotta Love Computers! NOT!

hate computersSo…here I am.  Just pluggin’ along, doing my daily blog, checking email, the usual…

When suddenly, I start getting error messages on Outlook.  To wit:

A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.

Script:

https://a.gfx.ms/fullex_9GP2W-k-NPTasebleVep1Q2.js:2

Whatever the HELL THAT means!  (I am not a geek – I only play one in the blogosphere!)

So, I do the standard remedial stuff…reboot…run malware software, run security protection software, update malware software and re-run the LONG version (4 hours+)!

Nothing, nada, bupkis, the big goose egg…no viruses or malware found.  Still getting error messages every few minutes on Firefox.  Look for solutions on the Internet.  Nope.

SO, I do as I said I would never do.  Crawl back to Internet Explorer 9.  And upgrade it to 10.  And start using that.

*sigh*

I miss Firefox.

And IE10 is not without it’s bugs.  *double-sigh*

Suggestions?

This Just In  –  After failing to properly ‘repair’ FF, and being sick of IE 9/10 silliness after a few days, I downloaded CHROME.  I’m not a big fan of Google, but it seems to be working flawlessly and without a hiccup.  Thanks for all your suggestions! - Guffaw

 

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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