Thursday, August 31, 2006


How do you park your vehicle at work? Suppose you park in such a way that when you come out and get in to leave you never see the back of your vehicle. Maybe you pull up to the sidewalk , get out, walk around the front and when you get off work you come down the sidewalk and get back in your vehicle and drive home. In this case, you would never see the back of your vehicle.

The reason I brought this up is a sign I saw taped to the tailgate of a pickup yesterday as I was leaving Little Rock. This was a homemade sign on white poster board paper and it was duct taped to the tailgate of a S-10 Chevy pickup. The sign used a magic marker and the words were hap-hazardly written. Now I may be wrong but I think if the driver of the S-10 had written this message he would have used "block letters" to show he really wanted it read.

My take on it is that a worker was playing a trick on him and he didn't know it was back there for everyone to read. The message on the sign is not important. If "he" put it there that is fine but if he didn't then I am sure he will not be a "happy camper" when he sees it.

Just a note about my "links"; I have Zac in France ( my son's blog about his adventure) and Sam's life story (self explanatory) feel free to check them out and comment. One more note. You may not want to go to my "life story" sight is you are "prudish" as I tell it like it is and not "sugar-coat" it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

No more mini-vans

There soon will no more mini-vans in the United States. Everyday on the interstate I see mini-vans pulling mini-vans heading for Mexico. I would guess I see over a hundred on any given trip.

I guess every Mexican is going into the "taxi" business.

I also saw these two rigs traveling in close proximity,

I didn't receive any "free samples" from either.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Vivian is my only remaining sibling. I came from a large family but being the baby, very few of friends knew I had brothers and sisters. Vivian will be 76 years old in December and we have never lived in the same town except for a brief period when we came back from California and stayed in one of their "sharecropper houses" ( her husband owned a farm ) until my dad could get his SS check started.

Her health is failing a little and she is in a "nursing home" by her own choice. She knows she needs full time care ( more like full time supervision ). She has taken a spill or two lately and is afraid to be by herself. Two of her daughters live close to her an another lives just a few miles away. She is in great hands with the girls and I have little to worry about. Loving daughters are such a blessing for her. We had a great visit and I plan to return soon. It is over 100 miles one way. I never get 2 days off in a row and it is hard to just run down there as I need my rest between my 12 to 14 hour days. Just not as young as I used to be.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Kid Update

Zac just called for Le mans. He is unpacked and has bought groceries for the apartment. The store is right across the street.

He was out walking when he called. It is 7 hours later there. I'll try not to bore my non-family readers so I will get it go for now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I read this today

How can this be happening? If he overpaid by $10,000, they wouldn't give his money back.

At the very least he should keep the truck until the law decides. Put me on the jury and he keeps the truck and gets big money for "pain and suffering".

Plain and simple, the dealership "stole" this truck when they took it back.

The usual disclaimer; "Your opinion may vary."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Gloomy day

We have been needing rain for quite some time and finally received a little today. Day after day with no rain and I have been complaining.

This morning we had rain and patchy fog. Not dense fog but just enough to make the day "gloomy".

So in my usual fashion. I complain because it is not bright and shiny. I needed the sun to help with my "gloomy mood".

My son left for France and his year of teaching and my saddened heart really needed a nice day to cheer it up.

But on a lighter note. There must be a "Bus Conversion" rally starting or just finishing because I must have seen 12 to 15 rigs on I-30 heading east. They were all high dollar rigs even though some were 1970's model buses.

Monday, August 21, 2006

All in a days work

I can post pictures again thanks to Pea. Here is the post on her blog. . Hopes this helps anyone else having problems. Watch her though, I offered her a hug or a box of chocolates and she asked for both.

My boss called before I was supposed to go to work ( that ain't never a good sign ) and after the usual bs we have for each other, he comes up with this little ditty.

He says, "On your way to Texarkana, I need you to go by Crossett".

On the map Little Rock is "1" and Texarkana is "3" and if you follow the red I-30 line you can see it is a straight shot. Crossett is "2" and somehow I don't think it is "on my way to Texarkana".

The loading crew had left a pallet (45 cases or 180 gallons) of milk off the trailer that went to the Crossett Wal-Mart store. I get the pleasure of driving a little out of my way on 2 lane roads to deliver it.

Everything went smoothly and the store people were great ( that is usually not the case with Wallyworld stores) to work with and had me out in about 15 minutes. Just check the temperature of the milk and roll it off the truck.

It has been some time since I drove hwy 82 so I was enjoying my renewal with the route. I was hoping to get a picture of the sign at the Lewisville Chevy dealership but it had gone out of business. It's one of those things that has to be seen ( and if you are old enough ) to get a laugh out of you. The sign had Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and the name of the owner. It looked like this.


Not very amusing in print but the sign made me smile every time I saw it. It made me want to stop and try to buy a HUDSON HORNET. Probably would have gotten a some strange looks from a young car salesman. Youth is truly wasted on the young.

Since I had started my day earlier than usual I arrived at Texarkana about my normal time. All I had to do was unload about half the milk off the trailer onto a city delivery truck and swap out the trailer with the rest of the milk for the empty trailer that was there.

No, no, things are never that simple when you are having "one of those days". After loading the city delivery truck I noticed the trailers refer was acting funny. So rather than risk it not cooling properly overnight, I get to unload the rest of it onto the trailer I was supposed to bring back.

When the day is over you just look back and thing, " Heck, it wasn't that bad".

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Only 2 wheels

As I continue to have trouble posting pictures I will post a "old draft" that I had saved. This was written before I bought my Fiero. I can only afford one toy at a time.

The first scooter I was ever on was a 1955 Vespa. My
friend in Ukiah, Ca. took me for a spin around the block and I knew I was hooked for life.

After we moved to Arkansas the most popular scooter
was the Cushman Eagle. It has a 2-speed transmission and would go about 60 mph. This was before Honda made its mark.

Being a poor boy , my first scooter was a 1953 Cushman
Highlander without the fancy seat cover. I paid $30 for it. Old and ugly but I was riding. It was very worn out and only lasted 3 or 4 months. But it just reaffirmed my love for 2-wheelers.

My mom could not drive (as posted 4/30 ) so she purchased a nearly new
Allstate mo-ped for us and that was our "car". As I recall we paid $99 and with the interest at the bank, the total was $102. She would get on the back "sidesaddle" and off we would go. We would go anywhere we wanted in about a 20 mile radius of home. I carried a second sparkplug with me as a 2-cycle engine loves to foul plugs. As soon as it quit, out came the plug and replaced with the spare. So some as I was home I would clean the fouled plug to have as my spare.

The little mo-ped would only run about 31 mph but it would do it all day long and with as big a load as it would carry. I once had 5 boys on it. One on the handle bars, one on the gas tank, me standing on the pedals, one on the seat and on the rear luggage rack ( boys will be boys ), still 31 mph.
It "WOULD" do one thing the faster Cushmans could not do. WHEELIES ! Yes, wheelies. I could lift the front tire and ride. Very impressive in the day.

Sundays we would go to church and on days we bought groceries, she would ride to the store on the bike and ride home in the delivery truck that brought the groceries to the house.

She loved to fish and one time she caught a bass that weighted about 5 pounds and on the way home she was not strong enough to hold it up and when we arrived home about 3 inches of its tail was gone from dragging the ground.

After that I owned several motorcycles and I bought
my last one in 1984. It was a like new Wineberry colored 1983 Honda Goldwing Aspencade. At the time it was the top of the line touring motorcycle. Am/Fm, intercom, and cb. Mine was this color with lots of chrome extras. I rode it for 11 years and put 82,000 miles on it. I road it west to California, east to West Virginia and south in Georgia. Never once did it let me down.
My wife was having difficulty with her knees and it was getting to be a struggle for her to get on it. The last time we rode we hit a St. Bernard dog. It killed the dog and almost wrecked us. When I got home I sold it to a friend of mine.

Shortly after selling the 'wing, I broke my tailbone and thought my riding days were over. It has never quit bothering me. Lately it is doing better and I have considered buying another bike.
Not wanting a heavy bike, I have been looking at the
Honda Reflex. With gas prices it is looking better and better. I started my cycle riding with a scooter and would not mind ending on one. Motorcycles are great but there is something about a scooter that takes one back to their childhood.

I found all the pictures on the internet but they are of the same bikes like I owned. Isn't the internet wonderful?

Thursday, August 17, 2006


If you look up "Redneck" in the dictionary you would find a color picture of the 2 guys in the muddy, beatup, jacked up, and multi-colored pickup truck I saw setting in the right-of-way of I-30 this week. This pair was straight out of the movie "Deliverance".

These redneck white boys were not breaking any laws ( with the possible exception of being illegally parked). What they were doing made me rethink my opinion of the situation.

It 100+ degrees and they are changing the flat tire for an elderly black couple. Not something you see a lot in the south. Looks can be very deceiving.

p.s., is anyone esle having trouble loading pictures?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

End of an era

This week marks the first week in 10 years my son has not attended the University of Arkansas.

He has had a great run. 2 majors, 2 minors, and 2 masters. Not bad considering his "gene pool".

He will be heading to Le Mans, France to teach at the University for a year.

Sorry for the "bragging", but that is what parents do.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Zest for life

The automobile market in Little Rock is dominated by two or three companies that has several dealerships to try to cover the whole market. Car ads are all you hear on the radio.

Crain Automotive Group's ads are quite annoying as they think that "yelling" will get your attention. They do it for every one of their dealerships. Reminds me of the 60's when the ads for drag racing had the slogan, "SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY", yelled at you.

Don't yell at me and then except me to make a purchase from you.

In 1960 we were living in Calpella, Ca. and we bought soap in a bag at the grocery store. In the bag was several bars of unwrapped soap bars in three colors, white (coconut), yellow (vanilla), and light purple (lavenda or lilac). They smelled so good when you first opened the bag and I always grabbed the yellow bars first, then the white, and finally the light purple. Hey, a pre-teenage boy has a image to keep up.

Imagine may surprise when I went to the post office and along with the letters was a sample bar of ZEST soap.

I could not believe a company could "waste" so much money sending out free samples of soap. Dumbest thing I had ever witnessed in all my (12) years.

I loved the soap and thought when I was old enough to buy my own soap it was what I wanted to purchase.

I have now been a loyal ZEST soap user for about 40 years. Now that is the way to advertise.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A rich man's greed?

Vilonia, Ar. is just a wide spot on hwy 64 that is a bedroom community for Little Rock and Conway. The only businesses in town front the highway. Truly a wide-spot in the road. It has a large school for the population of the town because of the school bus routes.

Ar. hwy 107 is a hilly, narrow, curvey 2 lane road with no shoulders that leads from Little Rock to Vilonia. This is a very busy road in the mornings as people travel to their jobs in Little Rock. About 3 miles south of Vilonia there is a housing development being built on otherwise near useless hilly land. The development is for more upscale homes. All that I can see from the highway are 2 story in the 3500 to 5000s.f. range ( just a guess on my part ).

The man developing the land has sold Vilonia School District land that is undesirable for a home. It lies between the highway and a hill so there would be no view from a home. Vilonia plans to place its elementary school 3 miles out of town on this land.

This spot is at the bottom of a steep hill that often receives ice in the winter. In my opinion this is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Vilonia School District bought the land for $10. Hey, the rich guy has to have a price to calculate his tax writeoff. Plus he hopes it will jump start his land sales. Nice little concept. How can the school board put students at risk over money. Seems someone is in the developers pocket.

I'm just glad the only day I have to drive this road with my "big rig" is Saturdays.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just my luck

I have driven the Fiero to work several days as I continue to work on it. It runs great and I am enjoying it.

Judy's brother and his wife came over so I started the Fiero and moved it to make room for all the vehicles. It was the first time they had seen the little car so I decided to give the brother-in-law a ride to impress him with it power and how great it runs.

We get in and I start it and move a few feet and it dies. That's not to unusual for a carburetored car that is cold. I start it again and pull out of the drive-way and just as we go about 100 feet and over the crest of a small ridge, it dies again and will not start.

I do not hear the electric fuel pump running so I know it will not start. I don't think he was too impressed with pushing it back up the hill to the drive-way.

I checked the fuel pump with a test light and both the hot and ground are working but the pump will not work.

The next day I need to let it roll further down the drive and when I put the key in to unlock the steering wheel I hear the fuel pump and now it starts great. I drove around awhile and killed it several times and it starts right up. I think it just does not like my brother-in-law. Well, really I think I need to see how many amps it is pulling to determine if it is going bad.

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's your fault, and mine

It's a "throw away" world that we live in. We have helped make it that way. We do not take care of things the way our parents did. Remember your dad washing his shovel and drying it before he put it away. He probably only owned that one shovel his whole life. He didn't even have to replace the handle because he didn't use it for a "prybar" and he wiped it down with the same "oily" rag that he used when he serviced his pickup and then he put it in the shed out of the weather.

"Now wait a minute", you say. How does not taking care of things lead to poorer quality when new. It's very simple. When you shop for something that requires you to take care of it like a lawnmower you say to yourself, "I will not pay that price for something that will not last as long as it should". The manufacturer in turn will have to lessen the quality to meet the price you are willing to pay.

So you buy the new lawnmower and take it home knowing full well it will not last.

It is a "lawnmower" and not a "bushhog" but what the heck you abuse it anyway. It will cut the tall stuff if a run the engine at full throttle.

When you are finished for the day you will leave it just like it was when you climbed off it. Probably even leave it outside. Oh, it will be OK after all it has a hood and who really wants to wash the grass clippings from under the deck on a lawnmower that will only last 2 or 3 years.

See you were right. These things just will not last. You know yours is a lemon because your neighbor's mower looks as new as it did the first time he cleaned and serviced it before putting it away 15 years ago. He has the same brand so that proves they were made better, right.

A refrigerator is a different story. Very little owner maintenance is required (meaning you can't destroy it), so you think they are built as well as ever.

I am not saying you should buy the most expensive product you can find because it should be built better but what I am saying is no matter what you buy, if you do not take care of it then you are not getting your moneys worth out of it.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August book review

Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America?: Five Kids Meet Their Country by John S. Boettner John and his wife taking 5 teenagers on a bike trip across America. These are not 17 and 18 year olds. One boy only 12 and the other 4 are 13 and 14 years old. One of the 13 year old girls is so small she has to ride a bike with 24" wheels as opposed to the normal 26" size.

They have a trip to remember all their lives. The story is about more than just the "ride" but about "small town America". These kids are from California so it is a real eye opening adventure for them.

I was truly amazed at these young kids and in awe of John and his wife for being responsible for 5 kids for over three months.

Let me at them!

While traveling down the interstate, I observed a minivan that was having trouble maintaining a straight line. It was rocking back and forth and the driver was applying the brake to get it under control.

The closer I got to it the more concerned I was about the condition of this minivan. I was afraid it had a wheel about to come off or a piece of its suspension broken. I took several minutes to catch it.

As I approached I could see in the back window. The problem was three large kids "rough-housing". As I go around the driver is still hitting the brake to maintain control but is doing nothing about the kids that could cause a wreck at any time. She is just driving and puffing on a cigarette.

I wanted to stop and remedy the situation.

I don't under stand parents that will not make their kids behave.


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