One Pint

I've just eaten the fruit of the Gods.  It came in a tiny one pint container of Ben & Jerry's Peach Cobbler ice cream.    I could not believe how awesomely good this stuff was.  the shiznitI bought some peaches not too long ago and  of course I forgot about them so they went bad.  Yesterday at the grocery store I just happened upon the ice cream aisle.  Set aside the fact that is plainly said Peach Cobbler on the label, it says "Willie Nelson's Peach Cobbler".  If he will put his name on it, well, then it must be full of THC...no, no, not really, but it is addictive!

A Million Dollar Example

I received this email and I thought I'd pass along.

How many zeros in a billion?

This is too true to be funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the
word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about

whether you want the 'politicians' spending

YOUR tax money.


A billion is a difficult number to comprehend,
but one advertising agency did a good job of
putting that figure into some perspective in

one of it's releases.


A.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were
living in the Stone Age.


D.

A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E.

A billion dollars ago was only

8 hours and 20 minutes,

at the rate our government

is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain...

let's take a look at New Orleans ..

It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator,

Mary Landrieu (D)

is presently asking Congress for

250 BILLION DOLLARS

to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number...

what does it mean?

A.

Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans

(every man, woman, and child)

you each get $516,528.

B.

Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in
New Orleans , your home gets
$1,329,787.

C.

Or... if you are a family of four...

your family gets $2,066,012.


Washington, D.C.

< HELLO! >

Are all your calculators broken??


Accounts Receivable Tax
Building
Permit Tax
CDL License Tax

Cigarette Tax

Corporate Income Tax

Dog License Tax

Federal Income Tax

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge
Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago...
and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.


We had absolutely no national debt...

We had the largest middle class in the world...

and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened?

Can you spell 'politicians!'

And I still have to

press '1'

for English.

I hope this goes around
the

USA

at least 100 times

What the hell happened?????

Little Umbrellas

in my drink

while I sit on the beach

with sand in my toes....

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a ONE-piece bathing suit these days? Do retailers just assume that the only people who want to wear them are either pregnant or plus sizes? I might not be of the larger persuasion, but I don't have a slim, trim, 19 year old body either. The only 2 one-pieces that I found were at Target and they were practically two pieces. The sides cut in so far that basically the only thing covered was my belly button. It sucked. Why are you trying to find a new bathing suit, you might ask. Well, because I woke up one morning, not too very long ago, and miraculously my body had changed form. For years now, I was a size 3ish. I knew I was gaining a bit o' weight because I DON'T DO ANYTHING. I'll be the first to admit my laziness, but when I realized on that fateful day that I couldn't fit into any of my shorts anymore and my jeans were only wearable after putting them on and squatting in my bedroom for 20 minutes, I was kind of put off. My spirits were brightened though when it dawned on me that I could go shopping for some new shorts. There is nothing better than going shopping to make a girl feel better. The only place I could find decent shorts was Target (again with the Target). I quickly grabbed up the size 5's and headed off to the fitting rooms. I've learned never just assume that the size is right. I put them on. I couldn't breathe, but I got them on. I thought to myself that well, I usually don't buy clothes at Target so maybe the sizes run differently. I bought a 7. Today, however, I discovered that everyone's sizes are wrong because I had to buy 7's in two other brands of shorts too! And good grief, I had to buy a large in a tank top at American Eagle. For God's sake, I only weigh 120 lbs. Who sizes these clothes at these places anyway? This shirt was in the women's department, but holding up the small tank, it would have probably fit my 6 year old.

Obviously, this is a rant because I'm getting older and have no control over the spread of my ass. I'm just not ready for the polyester pants and matching sweat suits just yet. I did, however, find some nice clothes at Steve & Barry's. Sarah Jessica Parker's brand, Bitten, is sold there. I found the clothes were stylish and actually comfortable and didn't make me feel like I was trying to look 10 years younger than what I actually am. Bonus: they were having a Grand Opening Sale and everything in the store was only $8.98.

The whole point of this is the fact that I wanted a new bathing suit. A new bathing suit that fit me. A new bathing suit that covered up so I don't look like a beached whale while I was, well, on the beach. I'm really glad that my friend, Ky Jeep Chick, asked me to go with her on a trip to the beach. We just got back from a nice family vacation. Even if the kids did leave early. This is going to be a girl trip. Just us and our girls. It should be an adventure to say the least. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to go our not, but I thought about it and yes, I did want to go. Today I got a fortune cookie that said and I quote,

"Many a false step is made by standing still."

Glad I decided to go.

George Carlin - Religion is bullshit.

Thought for the Day


OPEC sells oil for $136.00 a barrel.
OPEC nations buy U.S. grain at $7.00 a bushel.
Solution: Sell grain for $136.00 a bushel.
Can't buy it? Tough! Eat your oil!
Ought to go well with a nice thick grilled fillet of camel ass!!

Time Away

We are just back from our camping trip. It was great to get away from the house and all that bother for a while. Even if it was just a short while. I swear I think it was cooler at the lake than it is here at home. It was nice on Thursday, crowded and loud and rowdy on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and nice again on Monday and Tuesday. Monday the lake was so still because there were hardly any boats out. It was peaceful and beautiful and relaxing. Here are just a few photos of our trip.


View from our campsite of the Barren River.


A cove on Mason Island.


The kids swimming away.


Good advice.

Warming my toes by the fire.

View of Barren River Lake from the top of dam.

Anger Management or Day 2

To start off with, "Day 2" was actually supposed to wait until Monday, but it was decently cool outside and cloudy so we decided to give it a go. I had grocery shopping to do earlier in the day so I stopped by Advance Auto Parts to pick up a manual on "her". I haven't decided on a good name yet, so I am open for suggestions.



First order of business was to remove the shifter from the transmission. Relatively simple procedure. All went well. No complications.


Next we had to remove the bar that is supporting the transmission mount. The passenger side bolts and nuts came off with a little effort, elbow grease, a hammer, and sweat. The drivers' side, however, is a royal pain in the ass. See those two cute little bolts at the bottom of the picture? Well, they are the equivalent of having a broken bone in the middle of the wilderness without a cell phone to call for freakin' help, OK. Those damn bolts are just not coming out. Well, not today anyway. Hence, the anger management lesson of the day from Dr. Dad. When you start to yell four letter words that look like this *&%$, then it's time to walk away and evaluate your situation. So...that is what we have done for the day. This is why doctor's don't work on weekends. It's stressful and usually doesn't go as planned. Weekends should be reserved for fishing, swimming, and general not giving a shit.
*Medical note: Buy six point 13 mm socket tomorrow. For use with "pain in the ass" bolts. cb


Minor Surgery or Day 1

A.K.A. "Picture(s) of the Day" of sorts.


Which may turn into MAJOR surgery. It all depends. Wait, let me give a back story of sorts.


All my days, of driving age at least, I've been plagued by the car gnomes. These creatures find it ever so amusing to cause all manner of problems to vehicles I own. From flat tires to tie rods, it doesn't matter....it's happened to me. Currently, we own three vehicles. A Ford, a Dodge, and a Chevy, none of which are "younger" than 12 years old. The Dodge is running fine now, but refer to the previous postings to see what happened to it just after purchase. The Ford, well it's a Ford. :) Needs a new computer and an O2 sensor. See the computer is all jacked up and telling the engine it isn't getting enough go-go juice so the fuel injectors are constantly pumping it full of the good stuff and then it chokes on it's own life giving crap. Oh, yea...and that ever popular...oil leak. Blah, blah, blah. I don't like those cars anyway. I want my truck back. Yes, it's old. Yes, it's dented. Yes, the paint is all but gone. Yes, it has 248,000+ miles on it. No, I do not care. I want my truck back. She's been good to me. She's run through all manner of bad things and kept on going. Always trusty, that one. Months ago, strange and disturbing noises began to emanate from the transmission/clutch area. We've wrestled with which it could be. Not wanting or being able to afford to put a 12 year old vehicle with 248K+ miles on it in the shop, she got parked. While parked, seven different people stopped here wanting to know how much it was for sale for. I always fell short of saying, "Wow! How in the world could you tell it was "For Sale"? I don't see a sign ANYWHERE!" We even had one guy pull up in our drive way in a rollback one night. Like he just assumed we would sell it to him.


Enter "Dr. Dad". Able to diagnose most any vehicle issues by sound or just, hey it's making a noise like this, or it's doing such and such. This great ability comes from the fact that the "car gnomes" I mentioned earlier I inherited unknowingly from him. So over dinner last night, the conversation of just checking out the truck to see if it's shade tree mechanic-able came up. Dr. Dad says he wants to hear it run so off we go to remove the battery from the Ford and transplant it into the Chevy. All goes well. Now the real test. The truck hasn't been started in more than 6 months. Fingers crossed, battery cables attached, clutch pushed in....I turn the key. It turns over! Success!...but then it sputters out. That's OK, try her again, but gently press the gas to keep her going. OK, I say. I'll give it a whirl. I turn the key. It starts. I gently press the gas and keep the RPM's to about 2 grand. I give it a minute. I let off the gas. She keeps running!!!! Wow...what a gal!


Today begins "Day 1". Since Chris works day shift, it's Dad and I. I've always been one to want to know "how it works" so getting my hands a little dirty or greasy isn't a problem for me.

And so the process begins....
First we had to get it up so we could get under. No jack stands in sight so....concrete blocks and 4X4 it is. TADA! Front end is up, rear end is chocked. Step one complete.




We have decided that the "throwout bearing" is where we will begin to replace parts. Then we will go from there. I know a little bit about some of the terminology and where some things are located, but I'm not ASE certified or anything. :) Today we are removing the drive shafts. Yes, I said shafts. Because I can't have a normal vehicle just like I can't have a normal pet. But that's a whole other blog. Back to the story... Dad climbs under, I climb under. We commence surgery for the day. The rear portion of the drive shaft, where Dad is, comes out with virtually no problems. I am laying under the front half of the drive shaft. The half that is sticking out of the transmission. The half that leaks lubricate. Especially when you remove the drive shaft from the transmission and the vehicle is tilted in a fashion so that all the fluid comes out ON YOU! My truck essentially pee'd on me today. I did know that the fluid was going to come out, but I forgot the truck was tilted up so..... my bad. Unfortunately, we neglected to document that portion of the surgery. Of course, next time, I'm making sure the "head surgeon" is in the line of fire and not me, the lowly assistant.
I have to say that today's surgery was a success. Organ "A" was removed successfully without much problem. We could have gotten a little bit more done today had it not been for Mother Nature deciding that it was time for a little thunderstorm. I guess it's good though that we don't do too much all at once. We are practicing medicine without a licence, ya know.

Wait...take me with you!!

I wanna be a gypsy too! Please, please!

I wanted to move when I was a kid. I hated the town I grew up in, hated the people in it for the most part, and hated that there wasn't a single thing to do in the whole stinkin' town...if you want to call it a town... I went to the same school all through elementary, junior high, and high school. It was boring. For fun, we just walked around town, went to the park, sat on the rock walls in front of the funeral home or the Methodist church. At high school age though, the sitting on rock walls changed to driving down gravel roads, parking in fields at midnight, drinkin', smokin' and jokin'. Those are actually good bring a smile to your face memories. Of course, there are some not so great memories too, but for the most part, we just ignore them. Finally, when I turned 18, I moved out. I didn't make it too far, but at least I was out of there. Now, 11 years later, I'm definitely not the same person I was then, but that town hasn't changed one tiny little bit. Oh, well a few things have changed over the years. A new mayor, the hosiery factory closed and moved to Mexico or Guatamala or some other place where they speak Spanish and only get paid $1 a hour, but for the most part....that's all that is different. I have to admit...it's kind of comforting. To be able to go back to where you came from and recognize things. I hated it then, but now... not so much.





However, that doesn't change the fact that I long to travel. I am supremely jealous of my bestest friend in the whole world who is jumping ship and going all the way to the sea. There are so many places I want to see and things I want to do. Now, first on the list is Savannah, Georgia. Seemed like a nice enough town before, but now I have a real reason to visit. And that is likely going to be the only place on my "Places to See" list that I actually get to. For some reason, I feel like Ireland, Italy, Greece, Istanbul, Japan, the Great Wall of China, Egypt, and Hawaii aren't really places I'm going to make it to any time soon. I've always wanted to take the yearly family vacation road trip to all of the country's National Parks. That too is seeming like a distant dream. Traveling of any sort right now is just too expensive for the average American family. Sticking close to home seems to be way to go these days. Especially now. We'd had hopes of going to the Outer Banks of North Carolina this year. Camping on the beach, seeing the beautiful lighthouses of Hatteras and Ocracoke, taking the kids to Kitty Hawk, telling them about Orville and Wilbur, but alas, nope. We are going to the old stand by. The lake at the state park. Don't misunderstand what I am saying here. I love going to the lake. I love camping there. But I really wanted to show my children the things I didn't get to see when I was young. Take them places, show them life. Damn OPEC and $4/gallon gas. Yea, that's right, damn you. Riding around on your camel. It's hot here...I bet it's a million degrees out there in that Middle Eastern desert. Ha! That's what makes me feel better. Except I know they aren't actually roasting in any desert. All the money they make from $150 barrels of oil insure that their A/C runs 24 hours a day.


..........but that's OK because I'm going camping next week. And I'm not going to think about it.


Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers

....only a week left until VACATION! Whoopee! I can't wait. Camping for 5 days...with the kids....I must be insane. I'm just glad to have something close to where we live that is enjoyable to do and doesn't cost an arm, leg, or first born. Gas is already starting to top $4 a gallon in some places here. We are lucky our family enjoys things like camping, boating, and fishing. Don't get me wrong, we'd also enjoy going to Florida or somewhere else for vacation, but jeez who can afford the gas? We did think we were going to have access to a boat when we made our reservations though and now we aren't going to be able to use it so I'm scrabbling to find things to keep the kids occupied while we are there. Of course, we'll drive over to the "beach" a couple of days, but with this heat, we can't stay out there too long. Neil is just now getting over a bad sunburn and I don't want him to get burned again. They do have a nice leisurely walking trail next to the campsite so that will be a good thing to do too. Looking on the bright side of this, we don't have to pay for gas in the boat, which I am sure will be at least $5 a gallon and we won't have to find somewhere to park the boat every night. We almost weren't going to be able to go. When I checked the website, all the lake front campsites at the State Park and Bailey's Point were taken already. So we had to get a spot at Tailwater instead. I'd rather be on the lake, but at least we found a spot and it's not that far to the beach from where we will be. It's nice, shady, bathroom facilities are close at hand, playground equipment just down the walkway, and it's an all around good campsite. I'm just looking forward to getting there and de-stressing. I am bound and determined that I'm not going to let anything bother me once we get there and I am going to relax and enjoy myself...damn it. So There! all you worrisome thoughts... to hell with you...I'm going camping.