Back in the day*, when MTV played music videos and I had a crush on Martha Quinn…Holding Back The Years by Simply Red.
*1985 when TV was all 4:3
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1252
Back in the day*, when MTV played music videos and I had a crush on Martha Quinn…Holding Back The Years by Simply Red.
*1985 when TV was all 4:3
We have the standard 6 ft. fence in the backyard, and a few months ago, I heard about burglaries increasing dramatically in the entire city. To make sure this never happened to me; I got an electric fence and ran a single wire along the top of. I bought the biggest cattle charger Tractor Supply had, made for 26 miles of fence. I then used an 8 ft. long ground rod, and drove it 7.5 ft into the ground. The ground rod is the key, with the more you have in the ground, the better the fence works.
One day I’m mowing the back yard with my cheapo Wal-Mart 6 hp big wheel push mower. The hot wire is broken and laying out in the yard. I knew for a fact that I unplugged the charger, so I pushed the mower around the wire and reached down to grab it, to throw it out of the way. It seems as though I hadn’t remembered to unplug it after all.
Now I’m standing there, I’ve got the running lawnmower in my right hand and the 1.7 giga-volt fence wire in the other hand. Keep in mind the charger is about the size of a marine battery and has a picture of an upside down cow on fire on the cover.
Time stood still.
The first thing I notice is my belly button started to turn inside out making my T-shirt billow up. My ears curled downwards and I could feel the lawnmower ignition firing in the backside of my brain. Every time that Briggs & Stratton rolled over, I could feel the spark in my head. I was literally at one with the engine. It seems as though the fence charger and the cheapo lawnmower were fighting over who would control my electrical impulses.
Science says you cannot crap, pee, and vomit at the same time. I beg to differ. Not only did I do all three at once, but my bowels emptied 3 different times in less than half of a second. It was a Matrix kind of bowel movement, where time is creeping along and you’re all leaned back and BAM BAM BAM you just crap your pants 3 times. It seemed like there were minutes in between but in reality it was so close together. It was like exhaust pulses from a big block Chevy turning 8 grand.
At this point I’m about 2 seconds (seems like 30 minutes) into holding onto the fence wire. My hand is wrapped around the wire palm down so I can’t let go. I grew up on a farm so I know all about electric fences. But Dad always had a crappy charger made by International or whoever that were like 9 volts and just kinda tickled. This one I could not let go of. The 8 ft. long ground rod is now accepting signals from me through the permadamp Ark-La-Tex River bottom soil.
At this point I’m thinking I’m going to have to just man up and take it, until the lawnmower runs out of gas. ‘Damn!,’ I think, as I remember I just filled the tank! Now the lawnmower is starting to run rough. It has settled into a loping run pattern as if it had some kind of big lawnmower race cam in it. Covered in poop, pee, and puke on my chest, I think ‘Oh God please die… Pleeeeaze die’. But nooooo, it settles into the rough lumpy cam idle nicely and remains there, like a big bore roller cam EFI motor waiting for the go command from its owner’s right foot.
So here I am in the middle of July, 104 degrees, 80% humidity, and standing in my own backyard, begging God to kill me. God did not take me that day.. He left me there covered in my own fluids to writhe in the misery my own stupidity had created.
I honestly don’t know how I got loose from the wire. I woke up laying on the ground hours later. The lawnmower was beside me, out of gas. It was later on in the day and I was sunburned. There were two large dead grass spots where I had been standing, and then another long skinny dead spot where the wire had laid while I was on the ground still holding on to it. I assume I finally had a seizure and in the resulting thrashing had somehow let go of the wire.
Upon waking from my electrically induced sleep I realized a few things:
1 — Three of the fillings in my teeth have melted.
2 — I now have cramps in the bottoms of my feet and my right butt cheek (not the left, just the right).
3 — Poop, pee, and puke when all mixed together, do not smell as bad as you might think.
4 — My left eye will not open.
5 — My right eye will not close.
6 — The lawnmower runs like a sumbitch now. Seriously! I think our little session cleared out some carbon fouling or something, because it was better than new after that.
7 — If a burglar does try to come over the fence, I can clearly visualize what my security system will do to him.
A couple weeks ago I tweeted, “With Gameday Audio from MLB during innings I hear the local commercials, but on MLB.TV any ads are blacked out. Why?”
I think I know why, Adblock Plus.
When you click on the link to open the video of the game it opens in a separate window and 99.9% of the time I’m using Firefox, which is my default browser. In FF I run the Adblock Plus add-on, but yesterday I tried watching the game using Internet Explorer with no Adblock and lo and behold I get to see the NESN’s commercials on MLBTV.
Normally I abhor commercials, but they are actually better than silence with this image showing for 2 to 3 minutes:
Got the “Payment Applied” email today from our mortgage company, we know we’re getting close to paying the note off, so Donna asked me to go online and see what was left. We are now about 10 payments away from owning this baby free and clear.
Citibank, being ever helpful, had a bright blue box in the middle of the loan details page that let me know that I could save over $600 a month if I took advantage of a 4.125% refinancing on a 15 year note. They’d even waive any fees associated with the loan.
Now let’s do some ciphering, $600 times 10 is $6,000 savings. OK that’s nice, but to the get those savings, all I have to do is make 180 monthly payments of $180 or a total of thirty-two thousand four hundred dollars. Uh huh.
Yesterday at The Valve Store™ we got a small piece of cake and had free coffee from the vending machine in the cafeteria.
125 years ago, on September 5, 1888, Automatic Switch Company was founded in Baltimore, Maryland; it was privately owned by the Darrin family. At that time, its products were automatic controls for elevators & generators, and pressure controls for pumps & compressors.
In 1904, Automatic Switch Company moved to Grand Street in New York City and sold its patents on elevator controls to the Otis Elevator Company. The Company then focused on the development of solenoid valves and switches under the ASCO brand name, and was the first company to successfully market an internally operated solenoid valve. ASCO introduced the first Automatic Transfer Switch in 1928.
In 1947, with 65 employees in tow, Automatic Switch made a major move to its first company-owned plant at Lakeside Avenue in Orange, New Jersey. Within 10 years, Automatic Switch grew to 575 employees with a variety of products and customers. In 1957, the Company moved to a brand new building in Florham Park, New Jersey, where it is still located today.
Starting in 1959, Automatic Switch started its overseas expansion, primarily setting up its own businesses in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Netherlands, Japan, UK & Germany. By 1966 ASCO US employment exceeded 1,000 people and required a substantial addition to the Florham Park facility.
On May 17, 1985, Automatic Switch was acquired by the Emerson Electric Company of St. Louis, Missouri. Shortly after July 1988 Joucomatic, a French company also involved in the solenoid valve industry & Fluid Power, was acquired. In 1990 Joucomatic was integrated into ASCO. Subsequently, in 1996 General Controls was acquired for our Valve business.
On October 1, 1998, the Company split into ASCO Valve and ASCO Switch, Sirai an Italian Company, was acquired by ASCO Valve and Firetrol, a US Company was acquired by ASCO Switch. Over the following 15 years, ASCO Fluid Automation (part of Emerson Industrial Automation) and ASCO Power Technologies (part of Emerson Network Power) made several acquisitions — - Nurnatics in 2005 for Fluid Automation; ENP Surge in 2011 and AVTRON in 2012 for Power Technologies.
Both ASCO’s have enjoyed continued growth & development; they are leaders in their respective markets. We recognize that our employees make ASCO a great Company that has evolved and stood the test of time. Thank you all for making our Company successful and a great place to work.
ASCO is getting ready to celebrate its 125th Anniversary and to commemorate this milestone; ASCO Fluid Automation & ASCO Power Technologies will host a series of events to celebrate this important date. Details will be announced shortly.
The Purple Whale ticked past the 35,000 mile mark on one of the many trips up to the SMH.*
We are in western North Carolina visiting my sister and her husband this weekend. This morning we went into downtown Hendersonville to visit the Mast General Store where you can buy all sorts of candy by the pound and spend lots of time looking at spendy outdoorsy clothing. I bought cheap knock-off of a sort of Tilley Hat. It is a distressed wide brim cotton hat that sort of looks cowboy-ish to keep the sun out of my eyes and off the back of my neck at the same time. We promptly removed the leather strap that loops under your chin to keep the hat from flying off your head as you hunt rhinos from the open back of a Land Rover or while galloping across the north 40. Probably have to put it back on when I wear it while driving the Miata.
This afternoon for entertainment we went to the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. We were going to go see the pig races at Hogway Speedway at 3 o’clock but, we were too early, so we headed over to the Got To Be NC Stage to watch clogging. There were several hundred seats under the awning, but no real place to sit because all the chairs were taken by cloggers, their support staff and families. Diane and Allen managed to talk one lady into allowing them to sit in some empty seats as long as they promised to vacate them when her kids came back.
*I want to say it was Donna and I that nicknamed Diane and Allen’s southern retirement place the Stricker Mountain Home, but they have made it official with a carved wood sign to that effect next to the sidewalk leading up to their front porch.
Hendersonville is always painting and creating art bears to display along Main Street in downtown. I’ve been taking pictures of them since way back in 2003, but I’ve seen this phenomenon so many times now on our visits there that I stopped even paying attention to them anymore, but yesterday I found this one fascinating.
You can’t really see it from this angle, but along with the pointy ears they even have him doing the Vulcan salute.
A whole bunch of years back, after I related the story of the bird that committed suicide by throwing itself into the grill of the Miata, my good buddy Mark asked if I’d ever seen a dead crow on the side of the road. When I said I hadn’t, he asked, “Do you want to know why?”
Now Mark is an avid outdoors man and the go-to-guy for any wildlife related questions (he was the one to identify the dead bird in the grill), so I knew if anyone knew why I hadn’t ever seen a dead crow on the side of the road it would be him.
“Because,” he said, “crows always travel in groups and there is always one crow designated as a lookout and when it sees a car coming it sounds off: caw, caw.” Now, I knew that crows are social birds and very smart, smart enough that they use tools, so it sounded reasonable.
Mark is also our go-to-guy for quick witted retorts and pranks, so when a couple years later I did actually see a crow as road kill, I got to thinking about his explanation…
Mark didn’t say, “caw, caw.” He said, “cahr, cahr.”
I’d been had.
I have been wearing a beard since 1978, before then I only sported a mustache because that is all the facial hair I could have as a Naval Air Crewman. Beards prevented full sealing of the oxygen mask.
Nearly every guy on this year’s FRS team is sporting a beard and they come in a large variety styles and lengths. It started with a couple of the off season’s free agent signees in Spring Training and over the season has spread through the clubhouse like a zombie virus.
I’ve always kept my beard trimmed, but I want to help the guys in their quest to go from worst to first and hopefully beyond this year, so until the Red Sox season ends, be it being swept in the division series or winning the World Series in seven games, I won’t trim my beard (sideburns and mustache excluded.)
Lucky for Donna my beard isn’t very thick and doesn’t grow very fast, so I won’t end up looking like a member of the Duck Dynasty or ZZ Top.
Here’s A recent NY Times story on the bearded Bosox: Bonding With Beards, the Red Sox Repair Their Clubhouse Chemistry and the team also features many winners in Grantland’s Base-Beards (The 2013 MLB Beard Awards)
The FRS have announced that Wednesday, Sept. 18 will be Dollar Beard Night at Fenway Park. Any fan who shows up with a beard real or fake will receive one $1 ticket to that nights game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Also, as you can tell from the above image, they have a added a site where you can add a virtual beard to an uploaded photo or one from your Facebook page — redsox.com/beards
After dining out this evening we stopped into Kroger to pick a couple of items we needed. Donna had a coupon to get a dollar off if we bought 3 bottles of Suave body wash, so those were among our 10 or so items. There was a speedy lane open, but I prefer the DIY approach of the self-checkout.
When I got most of the way done scanning, Donna headed over to get the attendant to scan the coupon. The attendant who wrangles the 6 self-checkouts was not inside the self-checkout area near her console. When she was interrupted from visiting with another Kroger employee, she leaned into the area and asked had we purchased the required 3 items to satisfy the coupon (had she been near her station it would have been self evident that we had.)
As she made her way around the counter to get to the screen, she paused to chat with a customer in the speedy 10 items or less line briefly. Then once she got towards her screen at the station she started helping another customer who asked for help after we did, because that customer was closer to her station. After she helped that other customer she finally started to scan our coupon.
She tried at least a half dozen times, pausing between scans to tilt her head in wonderment that her wand wouldn’t do its magic, because the coupon just wouldn’t register. By this time we felt we had waited a little too long to make it worth it for saving a dollar on our order, so we abandoned our bagged items and headed for the door. As we walked by the attendant’s station, on the other side of the counter, I heard her apologize about it taking so long as she looked in the direction we should have been. It was too late, we kept on going right out the door, but not before I snatched the coupon back out of her hand.
If we recall correctly, this isn’t the first time we have had trouble redeeming a coupon at the self-checkout, so when we go back tomorrow to get the things we need we’ll probably use the 10 items or less aisle.
The night before last’s photo run through something called underpainting1 on BeFunky.com, an online photo editor with effects.
Some more (and hopefully the last) Red Sox Beard updates:
Last week the Purple Whales scored a league low 51 points, twenty one points lower than the next lowest scoring team. My fantasy team was outscored by 6 of the 12 league’s teams benches (including my own.) To compound matters the Whales were beaten by the team that scored the most points last week, 143, the North Augusta Meatheads, a team that was awarded a draft grade of F by ESPN.
This week my team has scored 112 points, which is more points than 10 of any of the other teams, unfortunately I’m playing the only team in the league to outscore me…so the Purple Whales start this season 0 and 2.
No big thing, every team makes our league’s playoffs.
We went for a Sunday morning hike in Hitchcock Woods and when we got near Fulmer Stable towards the end of the walk we could hear a murder of crows squawking like crazy. It sounded like a hundred thirty three thousand birds shouting about something. As we exited the woods onto the sandy road leading to the parking area we could see what all the hullabaloo was about, a very large bird of prey was perched in what was obviously their favorite tree.
I had just enough time to get out the camera, locate the bird, zoom in and snap this one photo of his backside before he flew to another branch further into the tree. The crows never stopped making a racket and a few minutes later our hawk had had enough and he flew right over our heads and deep into the woods. I never did get another picture of him.
Today on the way to work this morning the Emperor ticked past the 133,000 mile mark, so tonight I gave him a sponge bath in the garage as a present. Well, that and he got filthy when the grounds crew at the plant weed-eated the strip of grass right behind where we park.
After a promising start to the day the Purple Whales faltered and are now a sure lock for being the only team in the EZEFFL without a victory. Right now I trail by one point and my opponent has a kicker going on Monday night. The one in a million shot is that Denver gets shutout or Matt Prater misses as many field goals as he gets points after. Like I said last week: No big thing, every team makes our leagues playoffs.
Just like last Sunday I planned to wash the dead bugs of the Purple Whale and didn’t because I spent the afternoon parked on the couch with the FRS on the big TV and an NFL game in a small window, along with ESPNs Fantasy Cast running in another, on the laptop.
After going to Five Guys for a birthday burger (Thanks Joan) Donna and I went to Lu Lu’s and rode through the automatic car wash in the Sonata.
All the clubhouse celebration photos of the FRS from last Friday showed the players all wearing this shirt. Do you think that they were contractually obligated to do so? Or did they just not care what the heck they were wearing after downing several Bud Lights (the official beer of MLB Playoff Clinching)?
First off they don't own the East, at best they were leasing it for a year. Secondly, last night the Braves donned T-shirts with the same words on it. So just who does "own" the East?
The only thing worse than that shirt is this hat!
This is the back end of the new BMW M4 covered in camo because they are not ready to actually debut them yet, although they are out test driving them. I drove its predecessor, the M3, back in 2008 at a Susan B Komen Ultimate Drive and effervesced about the experience:
414HP V-8. Yikes! This car should be illegal, but I’m glad it is not. Just the exhaust note alone is enough to make the hairs on your arm stand up. Not deep throaty Detroit rumble, but raspy, race car purposeful. One suggestion, when you mash the go pedal to the floor you should already have your head back on the headrest or it will be snapped back to it. This is as close as you can get to experiencing a catapult launch from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier on land, unless you drag race funny cars on the weekend.
If I was really rich, or kinda rich and single, this thing would be my daily driver, but seeing as I’m neither of those things I drive a 10 year-old Miata (not that there is anything wrong with that.)
What I think might be cool, and I wouldn’t even have to be rich, would be to find a place that vinyl wraps cars and cover the Miata in that black & white swirly camo. Although, I think to do that I would need to be single, or if I did that without asking for permission, I would end up single. 🙂
Made a trip into the NC/TN mountains this weekend. We were celebrating my birthday, our anniversary and on a recon mission for an MMC trip up here in November. Total distance traveled between 7:00 AM Friday morning and 1:00 PM Sunday afternoon was 760 miles. I drove every one of them and enjoyed the heck out of myself. We bought premium gas 4 times in that time (if you count the fill up before we left), 2 in the NC mountains with an average cost of $3.89 and 2 in SC midlands with an average cost $3.39. For the trip the Emperor got a little over 28 miles to the gallon, which ain’t half bad considering that about 2/3rds of the driving was spent in 2nd and 3rd gear at 3500 to 4500 RPM being flung around turns.
We stayed in a one bedroom cabin at a place called Fontana Village and had a mostly great time. The only real fault we found with the place is that you are a captive audience restaurant-wise because the nearest place to eat is Robbinsville, 22 twisty mountain miles away and what they have there really isn’t anything worth going for. As such, dining at one of the two open restaurants on the grounds can set you back a pretty penny. On Saturday morning the breakfast buffet at the Mountain View was our only option and at twelve bucks a person (total bill with tax & tip; $29) it was not as good as the $7.95 one at a Golden Corral in Aiken, just served from nicer containers. Dinner at the Wildwood Grill on Saturday night was $40 for 2 hamburgers a beer and a glass of wine. But now that we know there were serious about the fully equipped kitchen in the cabin, next time we are bringing our own (well as least as much as we can carry in the Miata.)
The photo above is of the Hiwassee Reservoir taken at the overlook of the Hiwassee Dam on at about the mid-point of the loop planned for the Saturday drive when we take the Miata Club to Deals Gap. This is the same loop as we did 2 years ago, but we are hoping the weather in November this year will be a lot more like our weather this weekend and not anything like the cold and wet of the 2011 trip.
This afternoon the Emperor got a well deserved bath while I ignored NFL football and its effect on my fantasy football team. I may not watch any games next week either, if that is what it takes, because the football Purple Whales are winning 118 to 106 and I still have one guy playing tonight and my opponent has nobody left to play at all.
Yesterday was Donna and my wedding anniversary. This year we are celebrating the one that is right about halfway between major milestone and holy crap that long.
Because we are usually shopping together when it comes time to buy greeting cards for each other for Valentine’s Day and Anniversaries we take turns, one person shops for cards while the other loiters in the magazine section or an aisle over. Then we swap places.
This is a lot better than one couple we know, who never waste money on greeting cards, they both stand in the store/aisle and select a card they would like to give to the other and show it to them right in the store. Then instead of heading to the checkout counter, they put the cards right back in the slot where they found them.
This year because we were going away for the weekend we packed our cards separately to bring out on Sunday morning. Donna gave me my card first and as I opened it up she said, “I just love the picture on the front.” When I saw it, I instantly recognized it and said, “Well then, you’ll love my card.” That’s right, we has each chosen the exact same card. First time that has ever happened.