Rule of Three

Once upon a time I was told there is a rule of three and things don't happen just one at a time but three at a time.  This has been the week for door problems.  The first was the renter asked her husband to make like a tree and leave. (leaf?)  I went over to the rental house and it took me an hour an a half to change two dead bolts and door knobs.  It was a new lockset that is designed to let me change the keys without changing the entire system.  My biggest problem was getting everything to align in a dark room.  I guess I am now at the age where a good light is better than the right tools.

The second lock to need replaced was the knob between the garage and the kitchen.  The Schlagle  latch failed and I did not have one in the vast collection of parts I own.  I have a dish pan full of knobs, dead bolts and screws.   I went by the Rental property and when I opened the garage door, the dead bolt broke off and I had to break in.   When I went to the hardware store, I bought a new knob and latch for our house and a dead bolt wrap around reinforce for the garage.  

The garage door took almost an hour to reinforce and make it work.   I also had to reinforce the door and the frame because of the age of the wood.  That done, I returned to Rabbit Run   The good news is that the new knob and latch went on fine and it all worked great.  Easy Peasy.

Because of the advanced Heat Index today, we went for a bike ride early.   I ride about 8 miles each time and Barb rides until she see's something worth taking pictures of.   At least it is mostly flora and fauna at the lake and not me. 

Yesterday, I took the crown Vic to the car wash and there must be something wrong with the machine there.  Instead of rinsing off the car with water, it looks like it waxed the car.  It left a serious coat of something that is attracting dust big time.  It looks almost worse today than it did yesterday.  At least I did get the vacuum to work so most of the rocks are gone.   

At noon, the Heat Index is 98 and not going to get any cooler until much later today.  What ever else I do, it won't be outside. 

We are right in the middle of the tomato harvest here and I'm pretty sure that we can't eat all that are on hand with a new basket full each day.  I made salsa but that didn't dent the supply much.




This morning Barba and I decided to work on making things out of all the tomatoes we have.  Barbara made pasta sauce and I made salsa.  I have to be careful to not touch my face after cutting up the Jalapenos.  I will let the salsa sit in the fridge overnight and then decide what to do with it. (if THERE IS ANY LEFT AFTER AN ATTACK OF SCOOPS)  

I have been assigned a new project to see if Roxio will add music to a slide show.  I may have to set up a stand for videos of the pictures and overlay the songs.  Oh well, I'll try anything once.  I am far from an expert in Roxio but I have been able to make copies of music on CD's for the Chorus Music. 

Won't be but a few more days and our friends the Reimer's will arrive from their travels around the world.   Their daughters are growing into such fine young ladies.  The sad part is they just get over being shy with us and it is time to leave.  Oh well, it is like an ice cream cone, enjoy it for as long as it lasts. 

Yesterday the wind was out of the north and there was almost no humidity in the air.  This morning the good old south breeze was back and the grass was wet with a heavy dew.  I guess I can't have perfect weather all the time.   The good news in Kansas is that nothing lasts very long except for dry spells.  Nothing like out west this year but there have been years like that.  The gardens, the corn and the soy beans are all liking the rain this year.

My brother has a Prius and it has almost 200,000 miles on it.  It is running strong and doing well.  Makes me wonder if that is just the car to buy.  They aren't cheap, but dollar per mile sounds like they are a bargain.  Speaking of cars, the Ford started making a strange sound out of the rear passenger side brake this week.  I guess I'd better get it up on jacks and see if I can repair it.  Most of the time if I catch it early enough I can do it fairly cheap.  Might check on the brake pads on the front wheels while I am out working on it.  Pads are cheap and if done in time, I can sometime not have to replace the rotors. 

Have a great day out there.



What a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Another of those strange July "Cold" fronts passed through yesterday and today it is a lot cooler and the air is dry (for Kansas).   Barb convinced me to get the bikes loaded on the car and we went to the lake for a ride.  I swear it couldn't have been much nicer.  We try to not ride on the weekends because of all the foot traffic.  Today the numbers of people was way down and even the dog walkers seemed to be at a minimum.  The only thing I would change is that we need a little rain to help out the tomato and soybean growers.  We don't have any beans but the tomatoes are taking over.

While I was loading the bikes on the car, Barb went to the garden.  I told her to not pick any more tomatoes and she came back to the car with one in her hand.  She said it fell off the vine and she just had to bring it.  In her defense she did give it to one of the ladies working on the gardens at the lake.  A little while ago, Barb asked me what I wanted for lunch.  I told her that as long as there was bread, lettuce, bacon and tomatoes that was the answer.   Silly girl.

I am going to take the Ford over to the car wash and give it a good bath.  I'm not sure where, but some birds thought it looked like a lavatory.  It won't hurt top give the inside a good vacuum.   It is always the small things that keep me busy.

Oh well, better get moving.



Screw Globally, I'm going to act Locally

At least for today I will try to do my best to not even think about the world and the big problems, I am going to focus on local issues right here at Rabbit Run.  I started out fixing breakfast and then cleaned the driveway off.   I am about to get cleaned up and go to the rental house to change the locks.  Our renter threw her husband out and wanted to feel a lot more secure so she asked me to change the locks.  I will throw in the labor but she did pay me for the locks.

Yesterday we had a visitor that has been here before but not for month or so.  There is a silver grey kitty that shows up once in a while.  He was a pretty regular visitor for about a week and then not for a month.  Barb  and I assumed that he had been found by some varmint and fell victim of the food chain rule of order.  I would put up a cat house and feed it if it would stay but Barb thinks all I do is attract other critters.  Between the squirrels, raccoons and possums we don't really need any more visitors.  If I could encourage something to eat the squirrels, I would attract them as much as possible. 

For one of the few times this year, I played hooky and didn't go sing with the Barbershop guys.  Just wasn't able to get my degree of give a darn high enough to get cleaned up and go.  Not sure why, just didn't practice the songs so I thought it would be a waste of my time.   I will try to go to the Sunday sing out this next Sunday.  We do four or five songs and rotate what church we sing at.   I won't be here for the August Sunday sing and two out of three isn't bad.

Better get up off my duff and get a few things done here at home.  Have a great day out there.



I'm Skeardt

When I was a child, I grew up in a neighborhood where there were an abundance of kids from the Ozarks that had all sorts of funny ways to say things.  When they were afraid the would be "skeardt" and if it was really scary they would add "to death."   Well boys and girls, here we are at a pivotal point in the history of the world and people are mad that the President broke into the Price is Right to tell us about what is biggest problem with the Russians since the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 60's.  Good old  Vlad Putin has us in an almost untenable place and I am afraid that could easily lead us to war. 

A part of me wants to see the President stand tall and rattle our sabers and a part of me wants to say that part of the world can just go missing and not change the way I live.   I have listened to so many people say that President Obama is so self serving that I no longer have the full faith and allegiance I once had.  Throw in that double talking bastard John Kerry, and my world is really shaky.  There are many of you out there that don't remember John Kerry's reports of actions in Vietnam that painted many of us a "Baby Killers and Rapists."  So many of us worked so hard to conduct that war within the limited rules that to say that about us was just as damming as seeing Jane Fonda sitting in an anti aircraft gun position without a care in the world.  That "Giving aid and comfort" to our enemy would have cost her any hope of Citizenship in my book.  By the time John Kerry said what he did, we had mostly given up on that war.

As you go about your activities today I would ask you to be mindful that there are things happening in the world that have far reaching consequences.  Be afraid that we are at the point where the Israeli's and the Russians are making sounds that could have a disastrous end for us all. 



Life is not Fair!

This is a collections of things that I have noticed are in the category of life is for working and living the best you can with what you earn in life.  Simple rules from a simple man at the end of his working days.

1.  The Government does not owe you anything but the simple rights that are spelled out in the Constitution.  It is designed to give you the opportunity to get an education, get a job, work hard, pay taxed and die.  What you do with your opportunity should not be something the government is responsible for.  I darned sure don't want to be taxed to make up for your lack of effort.

2.  A notable exception was that a large number of people thought through the 60's that equal meant separate.    It took a lot of effort and legislation to change the balance that gives everyone a level starting point.  There is no way the Government can "Make it up" to the people that were not given equal access but to make sure the field is level from now on.  Reparations is a joke that is lost on those that started poor and finally made it.

3.  If you do what you did, you will generally get what you got.  With that said, changes can be achieved by hard work in your life and this is not a color or starting point issue.  Getting an education is free through High School.  How many people goofed off through the free part and now complain about the cost of college?     (Me, pick Me)

4.   I think that being poor was motivation to get better for me.  A government making you feel poor and giving you things they take away from the middle class won't make you feel special.  It might just make the middle class poorer.  I refuse to worry about the rich, they will take care of themselves.

5.  Why do people repost cartoons on Face book over and over?  Have they slipped into such a boring place that they think I need to be entertained also?  One or two a week but multiple things every day is a reflection of your life not mine.

6.  If you don't know who the problem child was in your family, it was probably you.

7.  If you told my mother that you were bored, she would tell you that you are boring.  I wonder if being poor made me rely more on me to be happy than things.    Besides, I loved summers so I had time to goof off and enjoy my own rat race. 

8.  I love to read.  I always start my day with the newspaper and try to read a book now and then.  My eyes aren't as good as they once were and I would read more if they weren't so tired of looking at this darned computer screen. 

9.  Do you have a hobby that lets you express yourself in a way that other people clap at your success?   I sing with a Barbershop Chorus and good bad or ugly, it does keep me feeling like I am trapped with nothing to do.

10.  A part of me wants to travel to far and away places.  The other side of me only wants to be gone about a week.  A part of me wants to fly but the cheap part of me would rather go by car.  We drove to Maine a couple of years ago and it took three days to get there and three days to get back.  The middle part had rain about two out of three days.   Not a trip I want to replicate.

11.  I have a Garmin to tell me how to get there.  Now if I could have a Garmin application that would tell me is the fun places to go. 

12.  We love to ride our bicycles and want to include a bike trip on our vacation some year. It is really a hassle to get them where we want to go and we darned sure aren't up to riding our bikes to far away places    

13 I would love to go to the lowest point in the USA.  If it weren't called Death Valley, I might want to put it in our next trip plans. 

14.  When I was a kid, we would go to my grandparents house because we were so poor that we could not afford to stay on the road.  Now that we can afford it, we want to go to visit our parents to see how they are doing.  Dang I hate it when that happens.  Is life circular?

15.  Life doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  When I was young, I didn't want a leg up from my parents.  The more independent we could be the better.  Now from the other side I keep wanting to help out our son and his wife.  Doesn't make sense to me either. 

16.  Once upon a time I dreamed that someday I would be rich enough to be able to drink a beer and smoke a good cigar now and then.   Now that I can afford to do that, the Doctor told me to stop drinking for the life of my liver and we all know the pressure of no smoking.  Dang.

16.  One part of being able to afford better food is that now I have to take statins for my cholesterol and blood pressure meds for the blood pressure.  The really good part is that they work for me.


Income Inequality Part 2

Is this how it starts?  Today's paper has an article about the problems of the poor and income inequality here in Kansas.  In Command and General Staff College for the Army they had one lesson that talked about the third world.  It seems that there if a person only got a bowl of rice they could be happy.  If they were getting two bowls and one was taken away it would stir up revolutions.   Is all this talk of what the government owes us kind of like taking away that second bowl.  Barb seems to think that all the giving to businesses and not the poor is the cause of the unrest.  I contend that it is the Government's involvement in our economy that caused our recession and that's why it is tough at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale.  Too much dependency on the Government is not the solution.

I can't remember the study, but there was a replication of George Orwell's story Animal Farm that showed if people were given all they needed to live, they would lose some of their desire to produce and will let Government take it away from the rich to keep the middle class fed. Pretty soon the middle class disappeared and people had to stand in line for bread. I think that Russia ran an experiment like that and their ratio of rich to poor just kept getting more and more out of whack.  Now that they have abandoned the communist system, they are having trouble with the lawlessness and there is a new class of the rich growing and it is now the gangsters not the Politicians getting rich.  There is no perfect system but ours works better than the others.  Find one that works better and I will work for a change.

I have a friend that lives in the area around Australia.  He talks about what a joke our system in the USA is.  Last time I looked, if you want to go to live there, you have to have a critical skill and about $75,000 dollars on hand or the best you can do is a tourist visa.  He grew up fairly rich and had a lot of things given to him and it was the exact opposite of what I had.  I grew up poor and only through hard work and savings am I anywhere near what I call rich.  I'll be damned if I will let some silver spooned rascal make me feel guilty for working my way to the top. 

The one problem that I do have with our system is that we here in the good old USA have the highest proportion of our citizen in prison.  The highest proportion of that group is Black and Hispanic. Got to be something wrong as this is at a cost way more than we need to pay.

Oh well, back to the salt mines.



I really don't mind fixing plumbing except that it is generally in places where I can't get at it.  When we bought the house that Dave lives in, I had no idea how much trouble PEX lines could be.  There is a complex of lines under the bathroom floor that seem to leak at will and it takes hours to crawl under there and fix them.  No matter how hard I try, the PEX connections always seem to have a drip or two after the repair.  I laid in the mud for about 6 hours over two days to get this mess fixed.  Other than digging a basement so I can stand up while doing the repairs, there doesn't seem to be a good fix.  I even invested almost $50 dollars in a crimper that puts the PEX clamps on securely.  It works with varying degrees of success,  One clamp will hold tight and another will drip.  Dang it is frustrating.

Once I learned the secret of soldering copper pipes. I would never do an installation of PEX.  All I will do is fix old places as they start to leak.  One of these days I will have to replace Dave's Air Conditioning system and at that time I will need to find a better way to gain access.  Not sure how but it does need done.  One thing I need to do is to improve the ventilation under there as minor leaks and the AC condensation keep it way too wet. 

The other day I heard an old joke that really happened to me in the 4th grade.  The teacher at the end of the year told us that one person in our room wasn't going on to the 5th grade.  Dang, I knew that after getting a grade card full of D's I had flunked fourth grade. (D's were for Denny) She then laughed and told us that she was the one that would be in the 4th grade next year.  Scared the crap out of me.  I should have known that teachers were notorious for giving me D's so they wouldn't get me next year.  I could get good grades on the tests but I hated homework.   Oh well...

I guess it is time to send my camera back in to Nikon for service.  It doesn't seem to be working.  I can get the camera to link up to transfer pictures through the cord.  It will save pictures on an SD Card but it doesn't seem to want to charge properly. 

Oh well, on with the day.