Friday, October 31, 2008

The Police show up!

Remember when I said I had gone after the trailer? And that it would only be here until Saturday? Well you can't leave a trailer in the street, even overnight in Overland Park. So I learned this afternoon.

One of my nice neighbors decided to call the cops. Doesn't that just warm your heart? We have never left the trailer in front of our house for more than a day or so. And mostly, we just unload and head right over to storage, but I wanted to install a 12 volt wire from the converter distribution panel to the end of the cabinet by the entry door. So I brought it over to work on things.

We did learn that you can have a trailer in your drive for 48 hours, before you must move it to some place else. So I backed it into the drive. This is quite a slant up from the street to the house, and the refridge is not going to begin to get cold, but at least the cops can't give me a ticket until Saturday, and we plan to be gone by then.

Between the CC&R's (conditions covenants and restrictions) and the city ordinances, it is surprising we even get to live in these houses. I haven't enjoyed living in this community since we came here three years ago. I am from Iowa, where everyone is nice to you and very friendly. Here you are lucky if you get a nod or a half hearted wave from your neighbors. On the roads, you are constantly blasted with a horn or flipped off. Get the He!! outa my way!!

I would never select this community as a place to live if it wasn't for the grandkids.

Oh and by the way I did get that 12 volt wire installed this afternoon. I also revamped my Direct TV dish and tripod. I hooked it up and kind of half heartedly aimed it in the direction I thought the satelite would be, and turned on the TV to put it in the dish pointing m0de. Low and behold it was right on the signal. I had all the bolts out of the thing, and reset every angle, but somehow I lucked into being right on the bird. Usually you mess with the thing for a half hour before you get it tuned in.

With that said, I haven't had the receiver hooked up for about a month, and I had lost the authorization codes, so all I could watch was the movie preview channels. I had to call the people and have them reauthorize me. You can do it yourself over the internet, but I can never remember how. I messed with the web site for quite a while before giving up. But it works now!

So maybe they will come and pull the trailer out of my drive in the morning, time will tell.

Happy Halloween!

Retired Rod

Thursday, October 30, 2008


How do you make an exciting blog out of mowing the lawn? I had declared that the last time I would mow the lawn was last week. But that is before we had oooodles of rain. And even in the low temperatures, it was warm enough during the days to make the grass come up.

So this morning it was again the last time that I will need to mow the grass this year. Lol. Since we are planning to leave here on Saturday, I think this time it will actually be the last time. I ran the gas out of the push mower and the weed wacker after I was done, so they will start in April when this ritual starts again.

Last year I made a blog out of changing the oil in the John Deere garden tractor, so it will suffice to say that I again changed the oil in the tractor. I knew exactly where the oil filters were at Lowes, and they were $12 this year. But they want $80 to do it at the JD store, for 1 and 1/2 quarts of oil. I got to use the three finger compression oil filter wrench again, and since I was replacing a filter that I put on, it wasn't so tight that you couldn't get it off.

Early in the morning, I went over to the tire store in old Olathe, and had them see why the right rear tire was loosing air. Again, a small screw was right in the center of the tire. They had if off and patched in a jiffy. The job seems much easier when you are here at home, and the tire shop is one you use all the time. We seem to be having our share of nails and stuff in our tires. I blame it on the storage area where the trailers are stored. They are always working on something over there, like residing an old bus. Or junking out some old car.

Late in the day, I went and brought the trailer back to our house. I park it in the street out front, and our neighbors are not too happy with that, but it will only be until Saturday. Someone down in the end of the culdesak has an old 1950's Ford tractor and a disk on a trailer, out in front of his house, so my 2007 Jayco shouldn't be any worse of an eyesore.

Tonight Loyce was out in the trailer loading many of the things that she wants for our winter trip. We have loosely planned on leaving the rig in storage somewhere down in Southern Arizona. We'll see how that works out.

So more preparations tomorrow and Loyce has a Halloween party planed for the kids on Friday. Then we are out of here.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oil change and errands

Today was the usual run all over kind of day. But in the morning, I decided that I was going to change the oil in the Corolla.

Now usually I do not change the oil myself, but rather take the car in question to the closest Valvoline franchise. But today I thought that the little Corolla would not be hard to change myself, as the filter is right on the front, and can be seen and handled from both the top and the bottom.

It was still cold here this morning, barely 40, but the sun was out and the car was in the garage. So I jacked up the front, so my rotund body would slide underneath, and before very long the oil was draining into the drip pan.

Now about that filter. I have my new collapsing three eared filter wrench that I purchased to use on the garden tractor, and I have used it on the Honda outboard as well. So with that in hand I attacked the little cannister. It wouldn't budge. Damn!

So I changed the angle of attack, and used one hand to hold the ears onto the tin outer shell. I really pulled as hard as the small breaker bar would allow. That poked a hole into the side of the filter and oil came running out. Down my sleeve.

More bad words! Dragging the oil pan under the filter and plugging the still dripping drain plug with my finger, I groped for the plug. Once the pan was plugged and the filter slowed to a trickle, I got on it again crushing the entire cannister and it finally loosened. Why do these oil jockeys put these things on sooooo tight?

Of course by now I had oil all over. But the new filter was on and the new oil was going into the engine. It took me as long to clean up as it did to change the oil. I did save about $30 doing it myself, but I wonder if the aggravation and the mess is worth the savings. Probably not.

I still have to go drop off the oil at the Wal Mart garage, as they take used oil. They make you sign the oil book, guaranteeing that there is no antifreeze in the oil.

This afternoon we went all over the town doing errands with Chris. We waited at Honda while they made a new key for the Accord that we have. This is one of those keys that have the fob right in the head of the key. I think it was $150 to get it made. You never get the right keys with cars that come from the auction. Its always a big expensive pain to straighten out the key mess.

So tonight, I was trying to determine how to get another fob to work. A new battery seemed to bring it back to life. We will find out tomorrow.

We are still planning to leave here for points South on Saturday. Need to get the RV over here and start working on getting it ready to roll.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another day of Winterizing

Even more RV winterizing fun. Today it was South to Melvern Lake here in Kansas. This is where my older son stores his 26 Foot Salem. It still had a full complement of water in all tanks.

Since it is now 33 degrees as I write this, and it is likely to be 26 by morning, it was not optional to eliminate the water from his rig.

We arrived and immediately opened all the valves, on the fresh water tank and the big drain plug in the bottom of the waterheater. Water ran like crazy. Around on the other side we opened the sewers, since we were in a farm field, and the small amount that came out would not hurt anything.

Next we took the access panels off of the cabinets where the water heater and fresh water pump were located inside. Studying the plumbing, we couldn't see how the valves would work. We talked it out between us and still decided that the valving was backwards.

Since this is a brand new 2008 trailer, and has never been winterized before, we thought that we might have been wrong and just didn't understand the plumbing.

The water heater had the usual stop valves on both the input and the output lines, and had the bypass line with the valve in the middle, and it was off as it should have been. BUT, and this is the thing we couldn't understand, the bypass was between the water heater and the shutoff valves. Once you closed the input and output shutoff valves the bypass was on the wrong side.

We couldn't believe what we were looking at. Somebody at ForestRiver installed this thing on a Friday afternoon, thinking he needed to be home, or not thinking at all.

We decided we needed to make our own bypass from flexible plastic tubing and some NPT threaded ends. Removing the lines completely from the bypass network and connecting the red hot line directly to the blue cold line. This left the original piping intact, for the eventual trek back to the dealer for our proposed warranty work.

Once we drove up to Topeka, about 60 miles each way, and went to the ace hardware store for the necessary tubing and ends to thread into the system, it was back to the original job.

Once we installed our hose bypass, the antifreeze went right in without a problem, and was pumped to all faucets. We ran some in each drain trap and even opened the bypass valve at the fresh water input on the back of the unit. The pump smartly shot the clear water out of that line too. Once it ran pink, we let the valve shut off by pulling the screw driver back out of the hose coupling.

Driving the hour and a half back to Olathe, it was almost 8 PM when we got home. Still wondering if we didn't understand the bypass, or it truly was installed upside down.

Monday, October 27, 2008

But its too expensive to just disappear!

If you're inside the rig you can't see what is happening outside. At least outside underneath the rig. Darn, what is happening here? So I went back to Wal Mart to buy more pink antifreeze.

When I came back, I put the outside shower hose into an empty jug and proceeded to pump even more 5 buck a gallon antifreeze into the black hole. It wasn't coming out of the outside shower hose either.

Well lets start back at the beginning. It is going to freeze here tonight. Its about 40 right now and they say it will be freezing by 6 AM. So I went and bought the pink stuff at Wal Mart and headed to the storage lot.

Our rig has the valves and the suction hose, next to the 12 V pump, that goes right into the bottle of stuff. Just turn on the pump after changing the valves and get the antifreeze to come out all the faucets. That seems easy enough. But the antifreeze didn't come out the faucets. It drained the bottles that I had and seemed to go into oblivion.

In reality it was going on to the ground under the camper. The ground was wet from the neighbor who had drained his unit earlier in the day and left a big mess. I suspect that part of the water was from the holding tanks too. So with the wet asphalt, I didn't realize that the wet spot was really my antifreeze draining out of a low point drain petcock.

As I understood it, the low point petcocks are to empty the waterheater. And they do it nicely and fairly quickly. But my mistake was to think that turning off the bypass valves would eliminate the drains from the system. That is true for the hot water side, but not the cold. So I was pumping the pink stuff right out of the bottle and onto the ground.

Sometimes it just doesn't work out like you think it should. I crawled under the rig and closed the valves, and the rest of the project was over in a jiffy. I catch the clear water in a basin, and toss it out the door, and then catch the pink antifreeze and put it back in the bottle to pump it out the next faucet.

Well anyway, we are all ready for it to get cold here now. Never mind that we hope to pack up and leave next weekend, moving to warmer climes until we come back for the holidays. We think we may just leave the camper in the warmer climes, and drive back in the little car. Thats our latest scheme anyway.

Tonight I went back outside, and had to break out the winter coat. I hate it when that happens!

Retired Rod

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Party

Today is Loyce's 39th birthday again. She has been 39 for several years now and doesn't look a day over that age. We spent a quiet day here at the house, until she went on her favorite past time, shopping.

I didn't see her for the rest of the afternoon. I have no idea where she goes, and she won't tell. Well I do get the credit card billings so that is some clue. Lol.

Anyway we went over to son Ben's house this evening, and spent it with all the grandkids and their parents too.

We ordered meals from the 54th street bar and grill, which has restaurants all over KC. The young kids had a casserole that Ben made with big Manicotti style noodles. The youngest kids struggle to eat things beyond a hot dog, but the oldest boy ate all his food and wanted my french fries as well. He is growing like a weed now and his food intake has stepped up to match.

Him having my fries was all right, since I am not supposed to eat things that are white, and that includes potatoes. I had a really big hamburger with Jalapeno cheese and bacon. It also had lettuce, tomato, big dill pickles, and such. It was 1/2 Lb so it was a belly buster. Not going to loose much weight over that one.

It is going to get cold here tomorrow night, as in below freezing. Since we will not be gone before then, that means we will need to do some winterizing. Then wash it back out next week. RV's can be a pain sometimes.

I keep telling Loyce that we need to get out of here but she enjoys her house and stuff and would never leave if it were not for me. Oh well at least we will go sooner or later.

Retired Rod

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Checking the dock

I went down to the boat dock this morning to check out all the things that could be wrong down there. To be sure, we look down at the boat and yes it is still there and the lift is still floating.

But you can not replace going down and getting up close and personal. All was well when I got down there. One of the neighborhood animals had decided that the dock was their personal latrine, so we had problems in that regard, but all else is OK. The animal in question could very well be a wild animal, such as a muskrat or something of that nature, as well as a domestic cat or dog.

It is fairly wild in the woods, and I have seen most everything. We do have egrets, blue herrons and geese as well but they make more of a splat. Well that's enough of that analysis. The rain will fix the problem after some time.

I used to have to go "air" the boat lifts every several weeks as they would proverbably loose it over time. They are open to the water on the bottom and the natural wave action seemed to introduce water into the lifts. Also temperatures change and the air condenses and is replaced by water. Anyway the lifts eventually will go down. Not good, if you are in KC at the time.

Two years ago, I purchased a new boat lift controller. It is automatic. It senses if the lift has gone down into the water and refils the lift with air. This also has remote controll with a key fob. Meaning you can lower the lift from the boat, after a day on the lake.

This may not seem like to big of a deal, but when you arrive and the lift is up, you have no place to park while you get out of the boat and go lower the lift. If someone is with you, they can jump out of the boat and go put the lift down while you back away and float around at a distance.

When you are by yourself, this requires you to get out along the outside of the dock, and tie the boat up so it doesn't float away, and then go over and work the lift. Once down, then go back and untie, well you get the problem.

This product is called a First Mate and is made by a company called Aqualogic. Not only is it a remote control, it is on guard all the time to keep the lift up when you are not at home. That was a really good purchase, as the boat has never been down in the water when we didn't want it to be since.

It was on guard, and the lift had full air, just as though we had used it yesterday. It had actually been five weeks. So all was well.

We drove back to KC after going to the court house and declaring all the things that had licenses. You know so they can tax you on your stuff. The bill will be in the thousands. Iowa never did this, but Missouri is old school and taxes anything that is of much value.

The drive back to KC was mostly in the rain, and the temps were in the lower 50's. Cold and overcast.

Tonight we are reading the blogs and have talked to a ham friend up in Iowa.

We did discuss our possibilities for the winter get away, on the trip home today, but have not made any decisions, other than we want to go somewhere different this year. Hummm. Florida is way too expensive! Must be West!

Retired Rod

Friday, October 24, 2008

From Lake Ozark

We haven't been here for some time now, so we thought it was time to check the place over.

We didn't get off from KC until well into the afternoon. I went to the locker in the morning and then came back and voted about noon.

Well once Loyce heard that I had voted early, she wanted to know how I did that and she had to go get her vote counted as well.

Returning to the main election office, she went right thru, just like I had in the morning. Then she had a bunch of really important errands, that couldn't be saved for another day, Lol.

So we finally got on the road by 3:30. My grand mother used to say half past three. No one ever says that any more, at least not the folks I know.

We didn't even stop at the house when we arrived, but rather had to go into town and get some Bandana's Bar B Q. This was Loyce's idea, but it didn't take much to convince me.

Back here it was almost 9 before we were unpacked. The lake is soooo quiet in the winter. The house was quite cool, but the electric heat popped right on and now we are up to a balmy 67 inside. Electric forced air heat is drafty and cold.

So it is midnight here, and I am looking at the lights that are evenly spread across the dam, about three miles distant. At the center of the spillway, there is a sign that is red neon that reads DANGER in big letters. Still, I couldn't make it out, if I didn't know already.

The water is totally still and glass like. The breeze is from the South and is quite cold, after its trip across the three miles of water from the dam. I am chicken, and I am typing this inside the house, only looking out the sliding glass door. Still it is beautiful if only a tad cold.

I could live here full time, but Loyce has to have the city and all her shopping trips to acquire the endless bunches of stuff to award to the grand kids. And we are 175 miles or more from them here, so that will never work.

Everything seemed to be in its place when we arrived, with only the leaves blown in around the front of the house to contend with. Loyce will not be able to let that alone in the morning.

I have to go to the court house and see what is on our personal property tax roll for this year. Not that I want to add anything, but they will not let you renew license plates without the P Tax receipts, so I have no choice.

The clock bonged 12 here 10 minutes ago, so I will hang this computer on the nail in the wall for now.

Retired Rod

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An accident

We had a little excitement last night, however grandma and I didn't find out about it until this morning. Seems that our grand daughter tipped over and fell from her booster chair at the dinner table, and the chair landed on her foot.

Her daddy took her in this morning and yes indeed, she has a broken bone in her foot. She is only three, and it was painful. She slept OK during the night, but remembered immediately that her foot hurt when she got up.

The Doctors put a brace boot on her foot, that has a sole on it so she can walk. I laces up and immobilizes the foot so the bone can heal.

She spent the afternoon with Loyce, and for those that are not family members, Loyce is a retired RN, so she was in good hands.

Daddy and I had to drive back and forth to and from the auction, bringing cars back home. We didn't actually go to the auction itself, as Chris was sitting in an exam room trying to keep the little gal occupied during the extensive wait. Doctors offices can be a really frustrating experience.

Once we got home from the auction, she was watching Dora the explorer with grandma, so she must not have been in as much pain as earlier. Kids are tougher than we give them credit for.

She will have to wear the brace for up to twelve weeks. That's until Jan 30th. Lets hope its not that long, or I heard Chris wrong.

Turned cold here overnight, and the rain began this morning early. It poured all day. We had our high of the day at 4 AM of 58 degrees. We have lost temperature all day and it is now 46.
Not pleasant to be sure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back at the battle

Another day of working at the car place. The same old same old. But we are gaining. That doesn't leave much to blog about. We saw the same makes and models that are at the auction every week. Put there by the same rental companies.

They all have the same bunch of scratches all over the trunk area, caused by careless travelers, when they load their luggage into the trunk. Seems as though if it isn't beat up back there it isn't for sale yet.

The better cars come from people when their leases are up. They have to pay for damage that is done to their cars, when they turn them in. Not that the lease companies intend to fix anything mind you, they just pocket the cash and sell them as they are.

But by and large folks take better care of their lease car as it is their car, and if it looks all bad it reflects on them. We didn't find anything we just have to have. Sales are really stale right now.

Once home tonight, I made my favorite pizza for supper. Italian sausage and mushroom. I make it from scratch. Making a yeast dough out of whole wheat and bread flour. And then making the sauce from tomato paste and garlic. Turns out like "I" like it. I do pre cook the dough, and then cook the pizza with the toppings on it a second time. This would not be necessary if I had the big 500 degree oven with the steel floor, like professional folks use. But then I do not need the gas bill that goes with it either.

Tonight I have been doing the usual of reading blogs and surfing the internet.

Another day in the books, but I got to spend it with my oldest son, and we always seem to enjoy ourselves even if we don't always win the battle.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Work again!

I never know what to write about on days that I go into work. Doesn't leave much time to be creative. Lets see, I drove between both auctions and then back to the second auction again. Retracing the same 20 miles four times. In the city. But on the freeway at about 65 mph.

And ya there were cars at the auction. Lots of them. Seems like most of the cars are ones that come off lease, or from the rental fleet. Hertz or Avis and Enterprise. We didn't go look at anything since we haven't sold much for weeks.

I did mow the lawn this morning, and I hope it will mark the end of the lawn mowing season. It is cold here now, overnight. In the early 40's after midnight. That all but stops the grass from growing. I doesn't turn brown and quit growing all together, like out in Colorado, but it won't add much to its height until spring.

I really was only mowing the crab grass and some of the other annuals that build up in late summer. Next year, we need to use more crab grass killer in the spring. Not let that nasty stuff get started in the first place.

I came home and made myself some supper, and have been reading the days blogs. Seems like they are all updating with something new everyday. I do enjoy them, even when no one has really gone much of anyplace.

We continue to talk about leaving to take the trailer somewhere farther South. But then coming back for the holidays. We would not actually start our winter snowbird trip until after Christmas.

If we knew what we wanted to do, I could report it, but seems there is always a reason to stay home.

Retired Rod

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lazzy Day Sunday

I had all kinds of ideas about things to do here today. And that is where it ended they were good ideas. None of which became a project for completion. Seemed like a good idea at the time though.

I started off in the basement making a pigtail anderson power pole cube tap. The input connector is on a wire pig tail and a little PC board has three solid mounted connectors as the outputs. It will plug into the power wires, that I add under the seat of each car or truck. Then you can plug three things into the one wire. That took about two hours to make.

Then I found that my can of liquid electrical tape was dried up. So off to Lowes to get a new can, that hopefully wasn't as hard. They package the cans in a plastic shrink wrap. That must add the necessary seal to keep the vehicle from evaporating. Its a metal can, with a lid that screws down tight, but it still must let the stuff dry out some how.

I paint the bottom of the PC boards with this product and it dries quite hard and encapsulates the solder wiring from shorting out to something. 12 Volts from a car battery can literally weld things, so insulation is a necessity.

Then I went to Wal Mart, and they did not have my prescription done, as the insurance company says it is too early to get the prescription because I just got one 10 days ago. "But the Doctor changed the dosage and I take twice as much now. So the old bottle is all but gone."

The pharmacist understood this but the computer would not let him modify the prescription and it was Sunday and he couldn't call anyone. Besides he was closing the window in 15 minutes anyway. He finally said, since I did have a valid prescription, I could buy the medicine, but I would have to pay cash since the insurance wouldn't accept it. "Well, how much is that?" "$4."

"Sell it to me." So that was the arguement that was making me so upset that really didn't amount to anything. It wasn't his fault, the insurance companies computer wouldn't alow him to change things.

Back at home, I made some cowboy beans, that I like. It is four kinds of beans and a pound of hamburger. Let's see, black, pinto, great northern, and pork and beans. Oh and a can of Rotel tomatos. They make all kinds of Rotel flavors but I use the original. The jalapeno would be good, but the family doesn't like the hot so much. I add a half of bottle of Masterpice BBQ sauce and cook for an hour or more. I use the low calorie zero sugar BBQ sauce because of the diabetis.

With a nap in the late afternoon, and talking on the ham radio nets up in Des Moines later tonight, that killed the day here.

Retired Rod

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Peaceful Saturday

We just got home from kid sitting at my youngest son's house. Its midnight! They had a restful night out on the town, without the three kids. They never get away from the kids by themselves much.

So Loyce and I ran the scrimmage at their house. That lets the kids go to bed in their own bedrooms, and not be awakened in the middle of the night to drive back home. Well had they come over to our house, they would have stayed overnight here, but we do not have enough beds to give them all a bed by themselves. So it just works better in their own beds.

We played and let them stay up until 9 PM, which is about all they can handle, since they get up at the crack of dawn. They are told to go back to bed when they get up too early, but they never do.

Speaking of getting up early, I was up before 7, or even 6:30, to go to the Southside Hamfest, over in Grandview, Mo. It is held in the Middle School. They use the Commons, and the Gym to set up tables for the vendors. I bought a new antenna for the Toyota, and a magnetic mount. Cost $75 but that will give the car its own hookups, allowing any radio to be tossed in at the last minute.

I bought another bag of parts and pieces to have on hand. Seems as though I always go inventory the stuff in the basement, and decide I need another $40 worth, no matter how much I already have here.

But there wasn't much of a drive today, so I spent the gas money on parts. Lol. On the way home, I stopped at the barbershop and had a quick haircut. Could have made the last cut last another week or more, but if we leave again, I would have looked like a rag before we got back.

Spent the rest of the afternoon on this computer copying files and setting up my address book for email. You really do take for granted all the info you have built up on your primary machine.

Its late and Loyce went right to bed, so perhaps I should follow. I won't be bothersome, as I sneak up quietly so as to not wake her.

At Ben's tonight, he had recorded this afternoon's Hawkeye game on his Tivo. That gave me something to watch after the kids went to sleep. Boy they pummeled Wisconsin. Put the second team in for most of the fourth quarter. That allowed another Wisc. touchdown so the score seemed more even than it really would have been. Not like USC's 68 to 0. Why would you do that? Ego is an evil thing.

I'm tired so see you later.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More computer fixin!

Tonight we are back using the laptop to post this post. I have again invested most of the day in programming the setup of this machine. This time it is the amateur radio program UI-View.

This is a program that tracks radio transmitters that are connected to a GPS. The computer that is running the radio and GPS, sends out a position every so often and we can plot that on our computer map anywhere in the world. Internet is a cool thing!

UI-Veiw is a program written in Britain. It plots these transmitted positions. My problem today was to download and install everything from all the sources. And in the right order. I had instructions, but couldn't seem to follow them in the proper fashion.

I finally figured out that I was missing a step, right in the middle. I just needed a check mark in a box to install one more little step. But the whole thing didn't want to work because I missed it.

Loyce and our son Ben went to a indoor amusement park with all of the grandkids. I kinda ducked out, claiming that I didn't want to go. She graciously let me out of it. I'll pay later, lol.

Finally the rain let up some, but the three year old needed a nap. So I had another hour to spend on the project. I up loaded all the pictures on the back up drive. And then figured out that I didn't have the favorites files. Bummer.

When the afternoon became bright we all went for a ride to check out a city park that has a pumpkin farm exhibit. It was late in the day so we decided we would pay the entrance fee on another day when we had time to enjoy the entire park. Darkness was fast approaching.

We will be changing from daylight saving time before you know it, and then it will really seem like winter. Ick.

I have to remember all the stuff that I had bookmarked, but sadly I will not get everything. But then if I can't remember what I am missing, perhaps I won't need it again anyway.

Retired Rod

Friday, October 17, 2008

It won't boot!

Today was a waste of time. As I have said before, my laptop is acting funny. Loosing its way and suddenly shutting down. The last time was two days ago when I had trouble booting up.

I hit the eprom diagnostics and started checking out the installed components. When it came to the disc drive, it said no IDE device installed. Meaning it couldn't find the hard drive. Bummer!

I messed with it and managed to turn it off and on a bunch of times and it booted. But then it failed about five minutes later. Messed some more and got it going again. This time I was on the desk and I was careful not to move the machine or bump it.

I managed to plug in the backup mirrored drive and check all the user directories, and it hung in there for a full backup. I haven't tried to use that yet, but with some luck, the portable has all my files and pictures. If not then all is lost. Not a pleasant thought.

This morning, I couldn't get it to boot. Not at all, no matter what I did. A new drive was in order. So off I went to the local computer parts store.

They had new drives, SATA laptop 160 Gb, for $59. Western Digital. At least they weren't Maxtors. I wouldn't have bought one of those. So I came home with the new little possession.

Putting in the drive was just several screws, which transferred the rail cage and moving a connector adapter to the new drive. I fired it up and it of course did nothing. But that disc access light went out. It was frozen on with the old drive.

I had made the backup DVDs when the laptop was new, and it only took about 45 minutes to find them. So I popped in the first one and tried a reboot. Nothing! Frustration!

So back over to the linux box (Ubuntu) and out onto the internet for research. About 15 minutes later, after reading numerous posts, I found the answer. F11. Boot the ROM and hold F11 quick while it is in the ROM screen. It just sat there! But I surmised it was thinking. After a long while it said to press r for recover.

Back over to the working box and I found that this would reformat the blank drive and create the recovery. Cool.

Now this has gone on since 9 AM, and I am still downloading programs and such, and its 10 PM. I even loaded the dreaded service pack 3. As I write this, Open Office is loading.

Perhaps tomorrow I will get to my user files. Lets hope the new hard drive lasts forever. Lol

Nothing else going on here, but I am told we will be taking all four grand children to the Pumpkin Patch tomorrow. Oh I can't wait! It will be fun, but a zoo I'm sure. It will beat reconfiguring a laptop I'm sure.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bad markets again

I am finding it hard not to be very downbeat with the markets. Everyone has abandoned ship. Sell is the word of the day. Where is it a buy? Is our country going to become a secondary power in the world? Is our way of life in jeopardy?

These answers are not overly clear tonight.

We must remain positive thru all of this and understand that there will be a tomorrow. It might not be like our yesterdays, but it will be all right, if we do not collectively give up. We do need to live within our current means though. This will be a considerable shock for the folks that feel they can leverage their way to prosperity.

I read quite an article on MSNBC yesterday that blames the credit based economy for all of our problems. And stressed how shocked people are to learn that they will need much larger down payments to get things like a car loan. They will need to fill out an application and prove their ability to pay down the loan.

Gone are the days of the seven year car loan with folks being upside down for half of the loan period. I think the thirty year mortgage will be a thing of the past as well. The raining in of credit will be positive for the future, but it will hurt folks in the near term as they struggle to pay off their debts.

I went to Wal Mart to get the prescriptions that I dropped off yesterday. It was early in the day and there was no one waiting at the window. I was told to see the pharmacist about how to use the ear otic. The funny thing was that she kept referring to the prescription as eye drops. Finally I stopped her and asked is this really for my eyes? Because I need drops for my ears. She stopped and looked up the prescription and yes I had ear drops. She was just telling me something that was tottaly wrong. So much for the pharmacist's consultation at Wal Mart.

I took one of the new pills for blood pressure, and have been spaced for the rest of the day. Kind of woosey like a stiff drink. Needless to say, deep thought didn't happen for the rest of the afternoon. Hope I can become accostumed to that pill rapidly or I'll be out of it most of the time.

It has kind of worn off now, but it is time for bed.

I watched the Presidential debate again tonight. I do not know anything more than the last time I watched. Except, I think Obama is like Clinton, slick with the retoric. I'm not sure his programs are the right ones, but if delivery can make it all better, then he is the guy.

We are talking about heading out with the trailer and pulling South. Maybe down to Texas and leaving it at a storage facility South of the snow. Last year, we had to drive out of here in the bad weather and road conditions after Christmas. That was stressful for us, so perhaps it will be wise to get beyond slick roads before they occur.

We will discuss that some more and try to come up with a plan.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Doctors and Car Dealerships

Doctors office visits are not much fun! They ask a bunch of questions that you have not thought out the answer to. What about this or that? Well now you know I hadn't given that much thought.

So after $300 of charges for labs and the basic visit, I have the prescription that I have been begging to get refilied. They have been giving me 30 days at a time for refills, but now I got a 90 day refill. But of course no refills after that. That means I will run out in late January, right when we will have gone to Texas or Arizona, or where ever we decide to go.

That has me bewildered, as the only reason they do these things is to get another office visit out of you in 90 days. The Doctor needs the money you know. Yikes!

So with that , I went to the Toyota dealership to see about my creaking brake pedal. It is annoying! Every time you pull up to stop, the pedal does a creeeeeeek kind of sound as you press on it to stop. Kind of metal on metal dragging sound. Never had that noise in any of my Fords, lol. They had to enter me into the system as the owner of the car, and asked a million questions as to where I had gotten the vehicle.

I just told them I had purchased it at the Auction, and that it had been an Alamo rental vehicle. The car came right up on their computer, and it was still recorded as being owned by the Alamo franchisee. They quickly transferred it over to me, and I have about 3,500 miles of warranty to find everything wrong before its all over.

They took the car and had me wait in the lounge even though I had never been in that dealership before, didn't buy it there, and didn't have an appointment. I waited for 45 or 50 minutes, and they came and called my name.

The mechanic had disassembled the brake pedal and swing arm, cleaned away the old lubricant and relubed the assembly. I didn't crawl on the floor to see what they had done. All I know is that obnoxious creaking is gone. For now anyway. I'll bet it comes back later and won't be free to get lubed the next time.

I was surprised that they helped me so quickly, rather than make an appointment for another day. I would say that was service beyond necessary in today's world.

Later in the day, Chris and I took care of some mundane used car stuff and I was home by 6 PM.

Anothe routine day in the life. Retired Rod

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Cars

We looked at more cars today at the Adesa auction. Absolutely nothing is selling. The car market is dead. With the stock market failing and the economy so depressed, nobody is looking to buy a car. The lot across the street is advertising rent to own.

Rent to own is where you make an exorbitant payment on an older jalopy and after you have paid for it about twice, they give you the title. Of course most folks that have to do that kind of thing, never make it to the point where they own it. And lose all their money.

I don't think we will get into that business.

Tomorrow I have to be up early and go to the Doctors office. I'll be poked and prodded about the time you read this in the morning. They want to see me about every three months but I usually don't get in that often. And I'll hear about it tomorrow as well.

It is cold here tonight, as we have reached the low 50's. This is the first real dose of the cold weather we have had this fall. It rained all day as we were looking at the cars. It was a fine mist kind of rain that soaked right thru your clothes. Way worse than big rain drops. Fall has definitely arrived here in KC.

Tonight we have just hung out and talked to our friends up in Des Moines on Skype. Not too strenuous but someone has to do it.

How about that big Market rebound today? That will help get us going in the right direction, but we will give some of it up tomorrow. Always does after a big up day.

Need to get to bed so I can be cheerful for the appointment. Lol

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday projects

Seems like I can always find a project here at the sticks and bricks house. Loyce wanted her pumpkin decorations fixed this morning, so I busied myself with that.

She had broken the stick that goes into the ground, on one and had pulled the pumkin off the stick on a second. The first one had a yard stick like woden stick to go in the ground, and I replaced it with a 1 X 2. After cutting a point on the end to the stick, I used the air nailer to fasten the whole shebang to the new piece of wood.

The sceond pumkin had adequate wood but very poor staples that held it together. A few quick shots from the nail gun, and it was good as new.

This didn't seem like much of a project to me, but to Loyce it is really good to have them fixed. She wanted to glue the stick back together so I knew she needed help.

So after lunch I set about a new cable TV wire to the TV we set up next to the stationery bike in the basement. This wasn't too big a deal either, but I had to go to Lowes to get a 4 way splitter. I had the 250 foot spool of RG 6 wire that I had purchased from a liquidator in Dayton, Oh at the Hamfest in May.

So I made the short cable to attach the splitter to one of the existing connections, and then moved the wire I took off to the new splitter. It worked, so then it was on to installing a new wire on the floor joice. Of course the staple gun was all jammed and had to be taken apart, and then reloaded.

Climb the ladder staple 2 joice move the ladder, climb it again staple 2 more. It took me a good hour and a half to get that project done once I got home from Lowes. The TV now has all the cable channels.

I would have been faster, but I had the TV's on the football game, and was side tracked by that some of the time. lol

Well that was enough real work for the day, so I came up stairs to finish the games on the big TV. And of course that caused the nap in front of the TV. Real exciting stuff!

Tonight I am working with the laptop, as it has a hard drive on its last legs. I have backed up the my documents leg of the drive tree, but I would like to figure out if the drive is actually bad or if I have lost the chain sequence of the file logics. This all started after that darned service pak 3 update in the RV park. Girrrrr!

I hate to have to buy a new hard drive because you kn0w I will never get all the programs loaded that drive all the HP stuff on the computer. Wish me luck.

Retired Rod

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weeds Be Gone!

We made it to 78 today on the official airport weather sensors here a mile South of our place. I did look on our thermometer in mid afternoon and we were showing 80. Either way that's one heck of a nice day.

I spent the morning following my beloved Hawkeyes as they pounced on Indiana. They are off of three losses and seemed to have no mercy for the Hoosiers. The score was way big to not too much. Seems like most of the time we are on the not too much side of these encounters. But today was different.

After that I went to the Hamburger stand for a burger, when Loyce wasn't looking. Lets see I had pizza last night and McD's for lunch, no wonder my belt is sooooooooooo long.

Mid afternoon when the temps were so nice, I decided to spray the weeds with weed be gone. I use a hose end sprayer with the little bottle to mix up the chemical. The mixing isn't a big deal, but it does require you to drag out enough hose to cover every inch of your yard. I had to mix a second jug before I was done.

I now have the whole place stinking of weed killer. Wonder how many bushes will die rather than the weeds? I was careful, but the breeze will drift the spray just the same. Time will tell.

Not too much of the growing season left anyway, but if the weeds get a good curl on before the winter, maybe they won't be back so heavy in the spring.

Tonight, we decided to go to Bandana's Barbecue for supper. I had smoked sausage and a baked potato. I really like their Memphis style barbecue. Regular readers have heard that several times before.( :-D) See the comment about the long belt above.

I have wasted most of my time since we got home with this computer. But I did put it down all afternoon. LOL

Retired Rod

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Panic of 2008

I just read an article that described our markets this week, as the financial panic of 2008. People are acting in an irrational way and thus it is a panic. That makes sense.

They further described investors as having the herd mentality. As in a herd of water buffalo fleeing a predator. One starts to run, so then a second runs, even though he didn't see the predator himself. If your selling, surely I should sell too.

Also they said that hedge funds cannot have big losses by their nature, so they must sell to maintain their principal. When the hedge fellows get all cashed out, and the herds quit running, perhaps the stampede for the exits will slow.

Invariably, at some point the vultures will swoop down from on high and clean up the carrion. Returning to a normal market, will take several years. Even the vultures will not become fat in the near term.

Another friend at the ham club meeting tonight, who is a retired stock broker, said that historically bear markets correct 45 %. He calculated that that would take us to 7,500 on the dow. So we still are not to his projected low. He said that he made this opinion last summer. Makes me wonder if he hasn't shorted the index and is making big money off of this problem.

Of course he isn't about to say.

I became overwhelmed by watching the indexes about mid morning and decided to go out and wash three cars. They were all covered with bugs and needed to be scrubbed with bug sponges. That is really slow going, and it was a sunny no cloud in sight kind of day.

It got quite warm here in the afternoon, and the perspiration rolled off me before I was done. Eventually I gave up. Stuff needs more windexing and vacuumming, but that's the beauty of retirement, there is always tomorrow.

Our kids families have gone on their declared last campout of the season. Returning to Melvern Lake South of Ottawa, Ks. Loyce still has the nasty cold and cough that has settled into her lungs. We declared that we would stay at home for the duration. She needs the chance to get better.

It is getting quite chilly at night here so you know she wouldn't go to bed when all the others were sitting next to the fire. She can become a night owl when a campfire is involved.

Tonight at the pizza joint after the ham club meeting, I decided to refrain from drinking all that diet pepsi that I normally consume. Seems that I get home buzzed with caffeine and then sit up all night, thinking now why did I do that?

A wild week, lets hope this is the last of it. Retired Rod

Friday, October 10, 2008

Market farther in the tank!

Can we go below zero? I'm beginning to think we could loose it all. Everything will be worth nothing. Some South American countries went thru this scenario a few years back, and it isn't too nice.

I think many, many, folks are so heavily in debt, that they can't get out. This debt is the security behind most investments. If the debt all becomes worthless, then all the folks savings is loaned to all the people with so much debt. If they are all bankrupt, then you have no assets, because in reality you hold their debt. Only the bank is in the middle, so you can't see the people who went bad.

So if you saved and did without all these years, and socked it away and had a nest egg, the banker loaned it all to your shoddy neighbor. The guy that has less income than you, that has the fancy car and the 600 inch flat panel TV. The guy down the street with the bigger house, he can't make his payments, so the bank can't give you your money back. The classic 1930's depression. I thought we knew better, how not to have these anymore. The regulators have all failed to inforce the rules. Congress has deregulated all the rules!

There will be a bottom here somewhere, but it may require this election to get over. The conservatives are scared to death that the liberals will win, and all hell will break loose. So they are sellers, and the liberals have no confidence because the conservatives run the government all wrong, so the markets are essentially stalled. All sellers.

We need to pick someone, so half of the folks are happy. They can be the buyers, so the unhappy folks can sell to them. Active trading usually makes the prices go up. As long as it isn't panic trading.

There will be some really big opportunities one of these days if only we have the ability and cash to buy in. If only we had bought GE, GM, or the other old stocks in the thirties. It was ten cents a share back then. Many folks burned their stocks because they perceived them to be worthless.
In those days you held your own certificates, and they were bearer.

So do you sit back and watch your entire net worth be gone? But if you cash out how can you get back in when it goes the other way? Where will you put it while you wait? Even dollar bills have a trading value against other currency, so they are not much safer. Euroes have been declining against the dollar lately, so that won't work. Gold is all over the place and way too high priced.

My son said to save it in the bank under 250K in each bank. But that requires the FDIC to remain solvent to insure that the banker doesn't loan it all away. What's to say the Government won't go bad on the FDIC insurance if we get that far down? Need another bail out!

So its all a function of perception and belief. If you trust that you will have a strong investment, it will not cause a run on the bank. Right now everyone perceives that they need to bail, so there is no end in sight.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Zappos How do they do that?

Remember yesterday when I said I was going to order, or just ordered, a pair of shoes? Well that was at about 4 PM Central and look what was on my door step at 11:30 this morning.

How do they do that?

Zappos is on the airport, or darned near, the address label lists 376 Blvd, Shepherdsville, Ky. A quick check of the mapping program reveals that this is a town South of Louisville, Ky on Hwy I 65.

They were packaged and picked up before 11PM, and in KC by 5 AM. The Shipping was next day "air saver", UPS. Really works well since I had them in less than 12 hours.

I read somewhere that clothing purchases were usually impulse. Most of us have plenty of clothes, that we don't wear much, as well as the few that we wear all the time. So they NEED to get their shoes out fast before you change your mind and cancel.

With that said, I think these are just fine and they are that wide size that is impossible to locate locally. While I haven't worn them outside yet, so technically, I can send them back, chances of that are really slim!

Late in the afternoon I tackled the installation of the radio power wire into the Corolla. All of the cars owned by hams have essentially the same wire installed. It is a 12 volt power cable that is connected to the battery with an installed fuse close by, that runs into the passenger cabin.

We used to run the wire under the dash, to hookup a radio that hung under the dash. Now days the radios have a dash mounted control panel, with a radio box that is mounted separately. The most popular place to mount these radio boxes is under the seat, so now all of my power wires reveal themselves under one of the front seats.

By about supper time, the Corolla had a 12 gauge power wire from the battery to under the front passenger seat. It is not visible in the car unless you pull it out in front of the seat. I use Anderson Power Poles as the terminating connector.

Now as I move radios and other electronic components to the car, they have a power source that is independent of the manufactures wiring. This is important in today's cars, as the computers monitor almost everything that takes place electrically. They do not understand the presence of a large electric current usage device such as a transmitter. They will throw error codes at you and shut stuff down, thinking they are protecting the vehicle. Not good!

Its an official mobile antenna mount car now. Retired Rod

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

500 points Down

My head is spinning. The stock market looses 500 points again today, and the news media is more focused about the Presidential debate. Those guys don't have an idea how to stop the losses.

So I sit here and watch the debate, and all the pundants, who have a job to do. It doesn't matter who won, or what the truth is. Makes me tired.

So today was again a day of watching the financial markets, and the nervous reactions that all the ordinary folks have. Sell, sell, sell. Since there are not enough buyers, the prices fall, fall, fall.

I didn't leave the house, all day. I did do some shoe shopping, which I must admit, was started by reading the Bayfield Bunch blog. I have been wanting new hiking shoes since we were in Colorado. Seeing Al's new shoes, started me to looking at the shoes on . Specifically the Merrell brand that he purchased.

So as one thing leads to another, I have a new pair of low quarter hiking shoes coming from Zappos. They often ship overnight, so we'll see how quick they arrive. I need the low oxford style shoes, since I have bunches of diabetic pain in my feet. I ordered wide shoes and those are hard to find locally even in a town the size of KC. I went to several web sites but no one had the wide sizes like Zappos.

Nothing new came from our day here, but I begin to wonder if we will have enough assets left to do anything descretionary like travel with our RV. Seems like everyone is traveling directly to a destination and then parking for the duration of thier time available. Gas prices will help. but will we have any money to leave in the first place?

Retired Rod

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gas Under $3 ???

As I was driving to Omaha yesterday, something happened that I haven't seen for the entire year of 2008.

I stopped at a Love's gas station, and bought gas for under three bucks. Last winter in southern Texas, the gas was under three bucks, but not much. For a few days we saw 2.89 but mostly 2.95. As we moved to Corpus Christi in February, the price went to 3.09 and then on the way home, it was 3.19 in early March.

By May when the ham guys traveled to Ohio, we were paying 3.99 out East. Chicago had over 4 but we went South at Moline to stay away from there. We actually hit 4.19 here in Kansas around the fourth of July. Missouri was up to 3.99 and some stations were barely over 4, before the price broke in mid July.

So the station sign of 2.95 seemed something of an oddity. Here I am finally driving a little Corolla that gets 34 miles to the gallon or more on the road and used less than 12 gallons round trip, and the price goes down under three bucks. Hey I'm not complaining.

Thirty six dollars round trip from South KC to West Omaha and back. Had I been pulling the RV, it would have been $140 at 4 bucks a gallon.

Today we had the cool weather and rain that dumped snow in the Colorado mountains Saturday night. It was 60 and overcast most of the day. I think we did make it into the 70's but not for too long. The short pants, might be on their way out in the near future.

I spent most of the day heart sick as the Stock Market took yet another dive. This time in sympathy for the overseas market diving because we are diving. Will the dominoes ever quit falling against each other.

We need to get this election over and move on to more productive stuff. I see that McCain is now retaliating for the negative stuff that is coming from the dems. And of course as the retaliation cuts a bitter path, then the Obama camp needs to come back much harder. We have reached a sad part of the campaign. There is no winner, as the public is more and more offended.

Tonight, I spent some time in the chat room of the web site. Folks there are really super. They have a lot of fun, discussing anything and everything.

I'm rambling and wasting your time so until later. Retired Rod

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hamfest Sunday

I was driving South on I 29 when "BEEEEEEEEEEP" a guy in the left lane thought I was drifting too close. And I probably was over on his side some. It was afternoon and I had a heavy lunch. I pulled into the next rest area a couple of miles further on.

Stopping in the parking lot I leaned back in the reclining seat and was gone. The engine idled, and the radio had the chiefs game on, and I seemed to not be asleep. Listening in a trance. But a noisy truck pulled in next to me and I sat up abruptly. Thirty five minutes had disappeared.

My mind went back to 4:30 this morning when I had awakened to try to read my watch in the dark. Dimly reflective, I couldn't tell if it was three thirty, or four thirty. I got up. It was now four forty five.

Showered, dressed and in the kitchen, I loaded up the gear to get on the road. I left at five thirty. Messing with the GPS, I got the address in Omaha plugged into the GOTO memory. That was at a stop sign, but on Sunday morning in the dark, there was no one behind me.

The hamfest was not the best as the stuff there was mostly old junk. Well its always old junk, but this was especially bad stuff. None of it was selling much either. But four of my friends from the Central Iowa area had come and we were enjoying our comraderie.

By about eleven thirty we left the American Legion hall and went to the Golden Corral in Council Bluffs. We joked on the radio between our cars, that we were spending the afternoon in the casino, but they led me to the restaurant instead.

After parking and my little nap, before I killed myself or someone else, I stopped in St Joe, Mo and shopped at the local Menards. These are all over Iowa and the Midwest, but are not in KC. So I always stop by when I get up to St Joe. Bought some fertilizer for the yard.

I arrived home to find Loyce has a rough throat and a cough. Too close to the grand kids, and now she will be miserable for the rest of the week. Hell to get old.

Its not late yet tonight, but I will be asleep in the chair soon, so I will post this after midnight, so it will be available for tomorrow. Seven hours of driving for about three hours to see the guys. But then we haven't been together since last May.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday night party!

We had the big get together here tonight, with all four of the grandkids and their parents. This has been planned for the week as a close of the birthday week celebration. Some final presents were given and the big Baskin Robins icecream cake was cut.

We had stopped by the locker in Spring Hill earlier in the week and purchased center cut porkchops. I marinaded these in lemon, honey, and olive oil, with crushed garlic mixed in. The chops lived in the plastic bag overnight with this marinade. They were grilled on the old fashioned Weber charcoal kettle.

We had bacon wrapped corn on the cob and four bean, pork and beans. Loyce made home made whole wheat rolls and several other dishes.

Our kids and grandkids are larger about the waist after this get together. They will have to walk twice as far tomorrow.

In the morning I think I will go to the ham fest up in Omaha. That will depend me getting some sleep to get up at 5 AM and it is 11:30 now so this will be the end of this post. See you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kansas DMV again!

Back in May I told the story of getting a license for the utility trailer from the Kansas DMV. If you have forgotten or are curious click here. So today was the DMV again.

I made a resolution that I was not allowing myself to become mad again today no matter what happened. And no rant on the bolg either.

So with a positive attitude I went to the Inspection Station to have the clerks that work for the Kansas Highway Patrol look over my vehicle and match it to the title. If you bring in a vehicle from out of state or that you have constructed from scratch, it must have this inspection.

It only takes a few minutes, but they do go over the entire car and match the numbers on all the various VIN tags. The little Toyota has these tags all over the place, so she was busy for a period of time.

When they are done, you go park in the parking lot and come back to pay your $10. Once they get your paper work completed, you are on your way. That was the easy part.

Next it is over to the strip mall where the DMV has a large store front that has been converted to a license bureau. When you arrive you take a number and wait for your number to be called. There were three series of numbers depending on what you needed to have done, and I was 40 people back from those that were currently being helped. The other series were as far behind as well, so there were over one hundred folks waiting to be helped.

They call your number in the first 10 minutes by a forms checker guy. He reviews the paper work that you have with you to see if you have everything right. If not, you are sent on your way to rectify your problem. This keeps you from waiting an hour or more only to find out that you are missing a key ingredient. That cool.

I passed this test, and had all the right papers in hand and correct. So back to waiting. After about an hour of waiting, I did get to the window and after $1,200 of sales tax and license fees I had a plate. For a cheap little used car this seems quite high, but this is Johnson County Kansas. The title will be mailed in a month or more from Topeka.

So I started at a little before 9 AM and I was back home from the experience by 12:30. This is not something you would run out on a lunch hour to get completed. They never made me mad, and I knew that it would take half the day, because it has always taken that long ever other time I went to the DMV. If you could do it by mail, you would choose that alternative in a heart beat.

The rest of the day has been projects here at home, and other non productive stuff that retired folks seem to be accustomed to.

This computer seems to burn a lot of time, as when you start to research something, that leads to another thought and then another. Next thing you know the day has passed by.

Tomorrow is football again, and Sunday there is a Hamfest up in Omaha. Rough schedule, LOL.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tour of the Great Unknown!

The Social Security office.

The boss lady has reached the age of qualification. Nine months into your 61st year, you can apply for Social Security. I had researched on line, the location of the Government Stronghold. You know where they have all the gold stacked that they pay out once a month.

With birth certificate and Social Security card in hand along with the checking account where we wanted the money sent, we set out for this replica of Fort Knox. The feds have rented a normal office space in a normal one story office building, on the ordinary street in Lenexa, Kansas.

But not to let you down, they had the gun toting guard in uniform just inside the door. He immediately wanted to know if we had guns or knives. And then it was take a number, and sit in the nondescript blue chairs.

After some time waiting, our number came up. We went to the window with the clerk that checks things first and she asked the questions to see if we would qualify for an interview. We did. So again we waited to be called into the back room by name.

Barely seated and our name was called. After showing the driver license, birth certificate and social security card the interview began. I missed some of it as I had to go retrieve the actual check book out of the car. This made me deal with the guard again.

Upon return, I had to provide my SSN as well, to couple us as married folks. Before you know it they explained what the benefit would be and when to expect it to begin.

Just like that, we were back out in the street and the experience was over with.

We went to the local Chinese Buffet here in Olathe, to celebrate. The place isn't to new or overly nice, but the food was good and the dining room is clean. The hot and sour soup was very good and General Tao's Chicken needed more hot peppers. I found the pepper oil on the salad bar of all places. Adding just ever so little pepper oil and red pepper, brought the dish right up to speed.

The rest of the afternoon was spent driving back up to the auction working on a title transfer that they had forgotten to do right. Kind of hard to transfer titles when they are missing entire owners signatures.

Tonight was consumed by the Vice Presidential debate. Sarah didn't make all the gaffs that her handlers were afraid of, and Biden was Biden. I'm not sure we learned anything new. Perhaps not to be so scared of Palin if McCain should happen to win.

Another day in the books, and the stock market continues to sag waiting for the bail out. With all the tax give ups, I am skeptical if there are enough Dem votes to pass the thing now. It sure isn't the same bill they voted on Monday. If we don't do something, our trip to the social security office was for nod.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grand Daughter Birthday

Our oldest grand daughter turned five yesterday, and today was birthday at grandma's house. A special day that she and Loyce enjoyed together. Oh and grandpa got to tag along to drive the car and pay the bills.

At least I got to go, they could have declared it a girls day and I would have been outed.

Loyce went over an got her this morning, so she didn't go to school. (Preschool) She had a big doll house waiting here that was tucked in the basement for some months waiting for the day.

Loyce always wanted a doll house when she was small, but the preachers family was not able to provide things like that. She is one of seven kids, and they did quite well considering, but when you are a little kid, you can't understand when the rich kid next door has everything.

By 11 or so we went to the bank, and then to McDonalds in Gardner, Ks. We had the big McNugget happy meal. Then off to the Pumkin Patch South of town.

They spent about 2 hours in the patch, while grandpa went over and looked at used Motor Homes at the RV center accros the road. They played and I dreamed. The asking prices for the RV's do not seem to reflect the down turn in the market. They are not desperate to sell anything there.

We then went to the butcher shop in Spring Hill, Ks. We needed some burger, but also bought six thick Iowa style pork chops for our get together on Saturday. A cookout is planned for the ongoing birthday bash.

Tonight, we let the grand daughter convince us to go to Chuck E Cheese for pizza. The pizza there is about awful, and she doesn't like it much either, but running around and putting the tokens in all the games is the big attraction. 50 tokens is $10. We stayed until almost 8 PM. The place was clearing out by then.

She is up stairs wiped out, asleep. She hit the pillow and was gone instantly. Big day with grandma.

I have been reading and studying the Senate version of the Troubled Assets Recovery Program TARP. It was 110 pages in the house and was rejected. It is now over 450 pages in the senate and contains every Income Tax Revision and pet project enhancement possible, to get votes from anyone and everyone. This thing is now a really big stinker. Go read thing and be amazed. Click Here

I just read that it has passed the Senate by 74 yea and 25 nay. I couldn't find Grassley's vote, so maybe he abstained.

This has the provision in it to suspend FASB 157 Mark to Market provisions. By doing that, companies can now value their assets without any rules. This is what got Enron into so much trouble.

If banks are not forced to write down their troubled assets, then their balance sheets are not worth the paper they are written on. My accounting career is spilling out here so I had better stop before I get into big trouble. Needless to say I don't agree.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

At the car lot and auction today

Back to work for another day. We worked on a car that has been in front of the building for several days. It is an older, 2003 Buick that has bunches of miles on it but is as clean as if it is brand new.

We bought it about 60 days ago, and have not sold it yet. Spent some time re cleaning this car and we will drive it some to keep it exercised.

We went up to the auction to take care of some business transactions and preview the cars for this week. It is the same old, same old. All of the really nice Toyotas, are for licensed Toyota dealers, in a closed auction. The cars that are repossessions and hail damaged and so forth are available to general dealers, but for the really clean stuff, you have to be a Toyota dealer.

This of course keeps the prices way sky high. Not that the cars cost any more at wholesale, but the dealers will not price cut on the retail lot. That forces you and me to pay darned near new price for the used cars. Almost like price fixing.

We didn't see anything that attracted, or called out our name. Buy me, buy me, buy me. If we are not in Love, why would we expect you to be?

And also the little Corolla that I have been working on for the last several days has now been paid for by me personally. So I own it. Have my own insurance on it, and will have to go pay the sales tax and license. As soon as the auction can straighten out some of the signatures on the title.

I have resisted owning a Japanese auto, for all theses years, but now I have succomed. Well not totally, since the VIN starts with a 2, that means it was manufactured in Canada. Hey Hey how about that? The profits still go to Toyota Motors, and that is in Japan.

I have resisted talking about the 400 point recovery of the market today, because it will be over corrected to the positive and give up some of the gains tomorrow. We will have to wait and see by the end of he week.