29 May 2009

So Much To Do

The little Rampage gave me a hard time last Saturday. As I was pulling out of the driveway on the way to work it locked into neutral. I ended up driving the wife's car in all week.

Today I took the transmission linkage apart and freed it up, and while I was there I did a little work on the carberator and smog pump as well. When I was done I was hot, tired and sweaty and the youngest boy was clamoring to get into the pool.

After showering up, the pool seemed like a pretty good idea, so into the pool we went until the sky clouded up. It was a pretty good ending to the day.

Tomorrow it's back to work for another four days, but then I get a four day weekend as we go back to a 3 and 4 schedule. Overtime is back, I got a raise with my annual review, so we will be able to get some of the Florida travel bills paid off.

Maybe I'll be able to get this guy paid for the truck work as well, I can't wait to see Old Frank restored to his former glory.

25 May 2009

Memorial Day

Some gave all.

Remember them.

22 May 2009

Just When I Think

I've met the stupidest person in the world...

Someone comes along and proves me wrong.

Fair warning, I've just spent the better part of four hours on this site, and my sides are painful.

Thanks to Annie for the link on her sidebar.

Historical Questions

The Hotel Buena Vista in Biloxi MS had an open air deck on it's top where this lady would perform.

Her regular clientele in 1949 and 1950 included a young Army Air Corps (precursor to the US Air Force) soldier and his buddies, who would scrape up the money for a cab ride from the base to hear her sing.

That young Army Air Corps soldier was Pop.

Every night there was a drawing for a bottle of champagne, and when he and his friends were there she would somehow arrange for them to win the bottle.

Her name was Jean, her last name (inscribed on the photo) was either Wilson or Nelson. I'm leaning towards Wilson because there is a dot just above and to the left of the L in her signature.

Does anyone know this lady? I would be very curious where she is now and how her life turned out. She would be in her 80's now.

If you have any knowledge of Ms Wilson/Nelson's whereabouts, please post in the comments section.

Soul Searching

We are back home again, we got in last night. It's good to be home.

Today we went to have dinner with some friends that we haven't seen for a while and it was a good time had by all.

On the way home I remarked that it seems as if her depth perception is suffering a bit.

She told me I wasn't supposed to have noticed that. It's one of the by-products of the chemo.

She then asked me how much I really knew about her illness. I told her I knew more than I let on.

It's easy to forget what is going on because she doesn't look sick. The fact remains that she is, and the illness is fatal.

But then again, life itself is fatal. No one lives through it.

This is why we spend a lot of time not talking about it. There isn't anything we can do about it, so we just enjoy the time we have together and we don't worry about things we can't change.

This says it best.

20 May 2009

He's Right You Know

It does look like a tree rat.

Travelin' Man

I came back to NC last Saturday, and I'm going back down to Florida this afternoon.

Last week I left the wife to take care of some things for Pop. He really didn't need the help, I suspect he just wanted the company. She's more than ready to come back home.

On the way north I took a detour through Jax Airport rather than take I-295 all the way to I-95. I really can't say why.

On the entrance ramp there was a man holding a sign that said "Virginia". Yes, I stopped to pick him up. Again, I really can't say why.

His name was Mickey, and he was coming from Las Vegas, Nevada going to Richmond, Virginia where his brother lived. He had grown up in North Carolina, and had worked mostly odd jobs in Vegas for the past 15 years or so. When the economy went south so did the demand for unskilled labor.

He told me tales of his travels from Vegas to Jacksonville, and I told him some sea stories. Somewhere in the middle I made sure he had a full belly, and I let him off when I peeled off of 95 onto I-40, heading for home.

He thanked me profusely, and told me he would never be able to repay me for getting him so far along his way, and for the meal. I told him that my ordained minister parents (yes, both of them) would have never let me hear the end of it if I had let him go away hungry. Whatsoever you do undo the least of these, and all that.

Mickey was a stranger to me, but his story is familiar. His story is why I pushed my kids to get an education and learn a trade. Two of the three who should have finished a long time ago have listened, a fourth is in grade school, and I'm still working on the third. Maybe he will listen one day, too. Until then I'll keep pushing.

God bless you Mickey. I hope you find what you are looking for.

14 May 2009

Internet Verbs

I would like to submit "Pelosi" as the new Internet verb.

To be "pelosied" one has to 1) brazenly lie about something and then 2) be called out for it publicly by the person or persons you lied about. Extra points if that person or persons produce documentation (particularly video spread virally through the interwebs via You Tube or some such method) to back their claims.

Double points if the target then lies about the documentation and gets pelosied on that. Points double every time this occurs.

More points awarded if your friends and cohorts decline to be pelosied with you.

Whoever gives up or goes to jail first loses.

I wonder if Barney Fwank has been Pelosied over the whole Freddie/Fannie affair? If not, he needs to be and very soon, but I doubt anyone at Freddie or Fannie has the stones to call him out. Perhaps another lender would do, especially if it was done during one of Congress's famous snits where they call in the corporate execs that they blame the trouble on (because the corporate execs were trying to follow the dictates of congress, but none of them ever seem to say so).

Mostly linked through Ace O' Spades, and the links that aren't to Ace's place have been obtained from there. He links Hot Air, I link him, what can I say.

On The Road Again

We're back in Florida.

We left yesterday and made it as far as Jacksonville where we stopped for the night at the daughter's house. We came the rest of the way to Lake City today.

Pop is doing OK, but a good descriptive word would be "diminished". He has always been fairly boisterous, but the spark has gone out of him. Losing Mom was a blow that he will take a while to recover from, but I believe he will recover.

We spent the day going through some old pictures, I'll be posting a few later on. Until then, here's a question for anyone who reads this blog and has any knowledge of Biloxi MS in the 1949-50 time frame. There's a picture I'll be posting, I'll tell the story and I'd love to hear if anyone out there can add to it.

The question, by the way, is to anyone who can name the singer that used to perform on the top deck of the Buena Vista hotel in Biloxi in 1949 and 1950. Her first name was Jean, her last name was either Wilson or Nelson. The question(s) are, what was her last name, and what is the lady doing today?

At any rate, we will be busy. I'll be heading back to the Refuge on Saturday and I'll come back to Florida to get the wife in a week or so after the memorial is done. In the meantime, light blogging.

Thanks for the prayers and well-wishes, they are greatly appreciated.

11 May 2009

Break Needed

If I wasn't the answer to so many other people's problems I might be able to solve a few of my own.

Happy Mother's Day

Mother In Law passed away a week ago yesterday. It's the first Mother's Day that the wife has not been able to call her mother. She's taking it a little harder than she lets on.

She called my mom instead. Methinks Mom had better get used to some Sunday afternoon chat sessions.

The date and tag line is for Monday since it's after midnight as I post this. My apologies for anyone who really cares.

08 May 2009


Does anyone care less than I do what Obama had for lunch?

I thought not.

07 May 2009

The New Media

Someone needs to be harassed in a "severe, repeated and hostile manner".

That someone would be your Congresscritter.

Hard, fast and continuously. Repeat as required. The message: make sure that the unconstitutional H.R. 1966 never sees the light of day. As it is presently in committee it very well may die there, but action is needed to ensure this.

Additionally, our elected representatives should know that, by the very document they purport to serve, such legislation should never, ever, see paper. It kind of makes you think that some of them have never read the thing.

Hat tip to Small Dead Animals by way of Five Feet of Fury.

Five Feet of Fury is a new link, by the way. Go check it out.

06 May 2009

Pictures of Roanoke, VA

As promised, here are some photos from our Roanoke trip.

The Roanoke Star stands on the mountain overlooking the city. It was erected to commemorate Roanoke as a progressive city, back when progressive meant constantly moving forward rather than communistic.

From the platform in front of the star you can look out over the entire city. The Norfolk and Western (now Norfolk Southern) roundhouse that houses the Virginia Transportation Museum is down there somewhere.

The museum is the home of various bits and pieces of transportation history, such as this Packard automobile.

Wandering through the trains section outside, Chris and I stumbled upon something that every Pennsylvania Railroad fan will recognize.

The star of the show is the most beautiful steam locomotive in the world, the Norfolk and Western J class 4-8-4 (this particular wheel arrangement is known as a "Northern" everywhere but in the South).

This photo gives an idea of the size of the massive beast. The boys in the photo are my ten year old son Christopher on the right and my five year old grandson Mark on the left.

04 May 2009

Back To Work

I'm back to work today, maybe one of these days I'll be able to take some time off for an actual vacation.

Lots of loose threads to tie up, hopefully I'll be able to get everything updated and "tied off" so to speak on Wednesday.

02 May 2009

A Bad Day At The Refuge

Unfortunately the mechanic was right about the Taurus, the head gaskets are blown. The car had just sat long enough for the water to separate out of the oil, as soon as we got the motor started (with no white smoke) the water started bubbling in the expansion tank and the oil turned milky.

We got on our way yesterday and made it as far as Charleston SC before we stopped. Our nice leisurely trip had to come to an abrupt end this morning.

We awoke to the phone ringing, MIL coded this morning. They got her heart beating again, and Pop was on his way to the hospital when we left the hotel. Just north of Georgetown Pop called again. They were unable to get her blood pressure back up, and she slipped away sometime around noon.

Thanks for all the prayers, say one for Pop.