Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Our Government–A Repost From MyOldRV.Com

Link – > Our Government

By Andy, on August 26th, 2012

Andy’s note:  Before you go busting my ass about specific facts and figures cited in this article treat it as I did — it is a modern day parable. One fact that is indisputable –  Government is only going to get bigger. It never gets smaller.  From 2008 to 2012,   private sector jobs decreased 6.6% while Federal Employment grew 11.7%.

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.”

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”

So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”

So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?”

So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.

Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.”

So they laid-off the night watchman.

NOW slowly, let it sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the Department of Energy during the Carter administration?




Didn’t think so!

Bottom line is, we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!


It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, to lessen our dependence on Foreign Oil. (Ed. note — very disingenuous and simplistic  — see cite here)
Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

And now it’s 2012 – 35 years later – and the budget for this ‘necessary; department is at $24.2 billion a year.  It has 16,000 Federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees……..  and look at the job it has done.

34 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes — good old Federal bureaucracy.

Now, we have turned over the banking system, health care and the auto industry to the same government.

Hello!! Anybody Home?


The Night Watchman”

Common sense and logic, very foreign to the Government!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mars In High Definition

Go here, it’s awesome when you go full screen and look around!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mice, Smelly Dead Mice

I came up to the RV last night and I opened the door and the smell of rotting death assaulted me. I called Ronda at home to try and explain the smell and I couldn’t do it justice! I have smelled dead animals before but never one that died inside of an RV that was subjected to high heat and humidity. I spared you all by not taking a picture of what I found… oh it’s ok, no need to thank me. Smile 

Let’s just say it’s so much better to catch mice in the winter! I came here last week to cut the grass and the traps were untouched. So this unreal stench happened in the space of 6 days! I cleaned up everything and tried to clean the carpeted area under the kitchen sink. The mouse had, how do I say this… ahhhhhh well it, leaked… that’s the only word I can think of. Gross I know!

Ronda bought this odor neutralizer a while ago and after I cleaned the carpet I sprayed a liberal amount into the carpet and around the area and aired out the RV with the Fantastic fan on full blast blowing out. You know what's coming next right, oh yeah you guessed it, METHANE!!! I figured I was cleaning so why not clean the toilet? Yep, cleaned the bowl and flushed and the fan sucked a large amount of methane up into the RV.

So, dead animal smell mixed with black tank odor, more than I can handle, I left the fans going and took a drive. I came back 45 minutes later and it smelled much much better but there was still an underlying odor that was something I could deal with over night.

I was yanked out of actually sleeping (rare for me at 4:30am!) up by whatever runs on our roof every friggin morning at 4:30am, only this time there was a fluttering sound included. No clue what it is or was because whenever I investigate I find nothing. The smell is much better this morning but I either have memory of the odor or its still there slightly. I’m going to head over to Collier RV in a few minutes to discuss the emergency flashers and turn signals they fixed earlier this year. I’m going to look for something to use on the carpet and then I think I’m going home.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Good Morning!

Straight East, beautiful sunrise! It’s going to be a hot one today! They predict 96.. Smile with tongue out


Straight North, storms coming!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Started A New Blog - The Viking Ham Blog!

I put a link to the right, if you click the picture it will take you there as well. I figure I should try and keep these two hobbies separate.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday This And That

Today was Prevost day, I must have seen 20 of them heading east on I-90 just West of Elgin, IL. It was also Class A day as there seemed to be a LOT of Class A’s on the road. I love watching them go by, it makes me wonder what kind of journey they’re on or what they have seen.

Today I cut the grass on our RV lot and trimmed everything and made it look nice and neat. Then I went home and did most of the same things there until my back and right hip went out. Then I went back inside and plopped onto the couch and did nothing for the rest of the day.

Oh yeah, I think I left some lights on inside the RV and forgot to plug the rig on and turn the batteries off… ack… going back there tomorrow night to set it all right.  Disappointed smile


Have a great week everybody!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sometimes Life Throws You A Curve…. And It’s A Good Curve!!!

I have written this blog post several times and have deleted all of them. I’m not sure how to write a thank you post to somebody I can’t talk about here. Time for some back story. I sold my Icom 746Pro to pay down some debt and to help insure we could RV for another year. We were/are also scaling back but my decision to sell the radio was a bad one, I was gung ho to sell “stuff”, any stuff.

During emergencies these types of radios can often be the only source of communication available. In my haste to scale back I sold off a valuable asset, an asset very hard to re-acquire without substantial investment. There are HAMS out there that make claims that Amateur Radio can be done cheaply, I humbly disagree, unless you have LOTS of free time to seek out bargains.

Anyway, fast forward to the past few weeks. I had a discussion with Ronda about saving up for a new or used radio because 1. I miss it A LOT and 2. if something should happen it could come in very useful. She agreed 100% and said she tried to tell me not to sell the Icom, she was right, as usual and I have regretted that decision to this day.

Here is the Icom 746Pro I sold, an all mode radio that really did handle almost all frequencies including 2 meters plus it was portable and could plug right into the 12 volt system in the RV. Disappointed smile What was I thinking?? The other unfortunate thing about it is the cost to replace it with something new from Icom is $3,600.00!!! Needless to say that is way out of my league right now and for quite some time to come.


I wanted to get another radio but I also wanted it to be the equal or better of the Icom 746Pro. Not an easy task for very little budget and I could not find a decent used 746Pro anywhere so that was ruled out. I happened upon several rigs on Craigslist and eBay, most of which were too expensive as well, including the one pictured below, a Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark-V, I logged that as “I wish!”. Priced at nearly $2,000!! I kept several rigs on the burner that were more affordable but kept going back to this one, what to do, what to do. I discussed it with Ronda and her response was buy it, we’ll work it out. I couldn’t do it, there is no way I could spend that in one big chunk, I didn’t feel it was fair to her.

I can’t go into too many details but somebody purchased the radio for me as a gift. It came out of left field and I’m still in shock and it’s been almost 3 days! I still can’t express in words what this means to me.

It’s an incredible radio out of the reach of most people, new or used. It came to my home last night, I can’t wait to have my first QSO in the new to me rig! Sometimes life throws you a curve that puts a smile on your face. I’m going to set up the RV for mobile use, not sure how yet but will investigate it and post about it soon.

Here it is all boxed up.

 IMAG0920 IMAG0918

The rig all set up, probably not how it’s going to look after this weekend but it will do for now! I have a remote control cable coming so I can control the rig from my PC. That’s it for now, tomorrow I head out to the RV to mow the lawn and bring the rig in to get the emergency flashers fixed again.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Oh Yeah…. Can You Say Awesome?

More details to come, just put this in my shack. A Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V, how much did I pay? You will be shocked when you find out, no matter what you guess, you’ll be wrong. Smile with tongue out


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Finally A Cooler Weekend Coming! Restoring Windows 7 From A Network Image After Using Windows 8 Preview

Unless they change the forecast that is, we’ll finally be able to sit around the fire possibly with sweat shirts on Saturday night, how cool will that be?

Nothing against Windows 8 but the RTM is coming out and I wanted to go back to a fully working desktop environment. Typically doing this kind of restore is easy and fast… stupid me… Disappointed smile 

I decided to restore my system back to Windows 7 from an image I created using Windows 7 to create both the image on the network and a restore DVD. How did it work? IT DIDN’T! I have restored Windows 7 from a network location before but after it refreshes the network location it comes back blank.

So now I’m copying the entire image folder to an external USB hard drive and trying again. Oh, for those of you using Windows Live Mesh to sync multiple computer Microsoft has eliminated Live Mesh from working with Windows 8 and are moving to Sky Drive, which does not sync computers… thanks Microsoft… NOT.

I’m posting this in Windows 8, the image is done copying so it’s time to his post and try this restore again. Have a great night everybody.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ford Maintenance, Saturday Thunderstorm & The Sikh Shooting

I dropped off my car last Tuesday for it’s 21,000 mile maintenance plan, a dash rattle, a rear dash rattle, a strange steering wheel buzz that sounded kind of cool but shouldn’t be there, a wheel imbalance and the massaging drivers seat that had a mind of it’s own. This was the first service outside of the maintenance oil changes. My $38,000 2004 Acura TL had been in the shop 18 times in the same time period for a list as long as your arm. Most wouldn’t hear the rattles or feel the imbalance, my wife thinks I’m obsessive, I can’t help it if I feel anything out of balance or have freakishly good ears or that this car is THAT quiet. Disappointed smile

On Friday I picked it up and they had fixed the steering noise, balanced and rotated the wheels/tires, repaired the front dash rattle, the rear dash rattle and could not duplicate the massaging seat inflating on its own. It was fantastic to drive with no rattles again, ok, let me explain the rattles a bit. The newly designed 2010 Ford Taurus was designed to take on Acura and the likes of the Lexus E350 and beat much more expensive cars in cabin noise. It succeeded, the car is tomb quiet at any speed, maybe too quiet, shhhhhh don’t tell my wife.

When I test drove the car back in January 2010 I was biased against it. I for years felt the Taurus was a rental fleet car. The Ford Five Hundred in my view was a better name for their top of the line car so when I got the call from my salesman that a new candy apple red model came in with everything except the SHO option and Navigation I went to check it out just for the heck of it. I miss-took it for the SHO because it has the SHO candy red paint job and the SHO wheels/tires. I thought it was gorgeous!


I did however have a hard time with a “Taurus” costing nearly $35,000, this is Acura, Infinity and Lexus territory. Heck a full blown loaded Taurus Limited with all options is north of 40k!! What balls for Ford to use the Taurus name on such an expensive awesome car! I told my salesman 2 years ago when we found out about the re-design that I would never buy a $30k plus car named “Taurus”, the car is worthy of a better name, like the Ford Five Hundred. So what did I do after the test drive, I bought it of course!

Anyway the guys at the Ford dealer fixed the issues but today on the way home one of the wheel weights fell off and the imbalance is back. Drat, so I’m calling them tomorrow to schedule a rebalance and unlike Acura I know they will handle it. I have done business with Ron Hopkins Ford since 1983, they always do their best to handle any issues that come up.

On the the thunderstorm in Saturday, it was AWESOME!!!!! Power went out down the street and there was 50+ MPH winds and thunder and lightning, simply awesome! Hopefully nobody got hurt, I feel guilty about enjoying storms like that one if people get hurt but watching mother nature, especially after months of drought can be so beautiful.

Next weekend I start getting the rig ready  for our upcoming vacation, 25 days and counting! We are heading to Shipshewana, Indiana and Elkhart, Indiana to enjoy 9 days of camping, museums and Amish country. We can’t wait.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the Sikh temple, another lunatic has caused families to lose loved ones and lives are changed forever because of the actions of one lunatic. No words can convey how people feel for the needless loss of life, I wish I knew the right words to say.