Monday, August 30, 2010

Coming Soon...The Millersport Sweetcorn Festival

This Wednesday starts our last major fundraiser at the church. It is the Millersport Sweetcorn festival. In four days we will clean, cook & serve over 100,000 ears of corn. You can read more about it and see pictures from last year if you click here.

The bad thing about it this year is I am scheduled to work 5 AM to 3 PM this week at work. I am also supposed to drive the van down to the festival loaded with folks who had to work regular jobs (Some of our folks take the week of and stay at our church organization's campground which is next door). The van leaves at 4 PM and doesn't get home until somewhere around 10:30.

Our mid-week service is moved to tomorrow instead of Wednesday as normal.

It's going to be a long rest of the week.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Automotive Repair Tip

Here's something I learned the other day. If your car is overheating, don't automatically assume that your thermostat has gone bad.

Friday, I had a doctor's appointment right after picking "The Boy" up from school. My truck was running hot (which started the day before) so I deduced that my thermostat had gone bad. I went to the auto parts store from doctor's office, picked up a new thermostat & gasket, then went home so my truck could cool off enough for me to do the swap out (WARNING- Never try to swap out a thermostat while the engine is hot. You will get burned).

While the truck was cooling off, I mowed the grass and went out to eat with my wife & grandchildren. When we got home, she took the grandkids home while I went about to work on the truck.

My wife advised me to reread the instructions on how to do it in the Haynes Automotive Repair manual that I have for my truck. Hello, I'm a guy. Guys don't read instructions. I decided to anyway. In the book, it says that before you condemn you thermostat, check the trouble shooting page for more reasons your vehicle could be overheating.

When I did that, one of the entries was "You radiator cap may not be sealed properly." I went out to check. Not only was the radiator cap not sealed properly, the seal was almost non-existent. I called my wife and explained what I had found. I also told her that the auto parts store closed in 20 minutes.

She got home & we dashed off to the store. I walked in with four minutes to spare. The same employee who had sold me the thermostat was still there. Looking at the radiator cap, he exclaimed "Wow, I'll bet that there's your problem." I exchanged the thermostat & gasket for the radiator cap and came out $1.29 ahead. When I replaced the cap (and added more coolant) the truck ran like a top.

BTW- on a related note, If your vehicle occasionally won't start after you've driven it, you battery may have a dead cell. I replaced my truck battery on Thursday for that reason. I got good service from that battery, seeing that it was older than my truck. I drive a 1992 Silverado, and the battery was purchased in 1984 (It was in the truck when I bought it).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flashback Friday # 102

The Sleepover

Welcome back, faithful readers. We again travel back into time to a bygone era that once enveloped me.

In last weeks post, we saw my older brother head off to the Army. Once he left, I made plans to take over his bedroom. World domination (at least the total control of the upstairs of the house). His room had all the amenities that mine didn't (closet, door, bed). I slept on a sleeper sofa before he moved out. He had a roll-away bed. It rapidly became mine.

Once I laid claim to his room, I was told that I couldn't lay claim to his stuff. I piled the closet floor with it. When he can home on leave, he could decide what he wanted & didn't. I rearranged to room to suit me.

After I was settled in, I asked Mom if I could invite a passel of Aunt Shelly's kids over to spend the night. Before time, I could have one of them over at a time. I wanted several over at the same time. She agreed.

I got on the phone and invited five of the cousins closest to me. Pork, Skeeter, Chawly, Munch & Tiny all got to come & spend the night with me. There was my new bed plus my old bed to sleep the six of us. They were used to sleeping many to a bed.

They came over and we played like a pack of Indians until it was time to get ready for bed. Mom shooed us upstairs and told us not to make too much noise. Six boys between the ages of 14 and nine should have no problem keeping quiet. We ate too many snacks & we stayed up until forever.

When we were ready to turn in, Munch took off his shoes & socks. Every eye in the room began to water. I've smelled road kill that smelled better. Remember, Munch was the one who got the bath in the front yard.

All I knew was that I couldn't stand another moment of that smell. I told Munch to open the window and put his shoes & socks on the roof beneath the windowsill. I then told him to close the window so the aroma couldn't waft in.

We all slept like we were in a coma. When we awoke we made quite the discovery. It had rained while we slept. Munch's shoes were soaked. They smelled like wet road kill. His brother told him to stop complaining. He would have to change his socks when he got home (something he didn't do very often).

We had a great time. We had kept the noise down to a quiet roar. My folks had no problems with us, so they agreed that we could do it again.

How about you? Do you have any sleepover stories that you're willing to share?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Money Saving Tip

On the back of the pages of my page-a-day Dilbert calendar are jokes, puzzles, quotes & tips. Here is yesterdays money saving tip. "Take your lunch to work one more day than you normally do."

Since I take my lunch to work every day, that got me thinking, "Why would I want to take my lunch to work on Sunday?"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Have Shear...Will Travel

Here is a gem of a picture that is in my instruction manual for the pneumatic shear that I run at work. I've sent this picture in to a couple sites at the cheezburger network (where I hang out a lot) but I thought my blog homies would like it too.

This is what the blurry text says: "Have Shear...Will Travel. Move this shear from place to place on a fork-lift truck to reduce work handling and keep it busy where it's needed."

The manual was printed in 1960. I have NEVER driven the shear around with a woman sitting on it. Ever.

I wonder what OSHA would have to say about this?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flashback Friday # 101

Rebel Without a Cause (Part II)

A warm & gracious greeting to those who have stopped by to find out the rest of the story about my not-so-bright brother, Sir Gattabout, and the consternation he caused my parents.

When we left off in last weeks story, he and my parents had just had a long talk (for those just coming in, read Flashback Friday #100 to catch up with the rest of the class).However, the talk didn't go as my parents had hoped. Gattabout was just as obstinate & rebellious (and stupid) as before. Nobody was going to tell him what to do.

To prove this, he went back to school and withdrew. That's a fancy term for dropped out. He felt like he knew it all, and another half year of school wouldn't make him any smarter (he was a Senior at the time). There were too many rules and nobody was going to tell him what to do.

To prove that he was his own boss, he made a major decision that changed his life. He joined The U.S. Army. (Oh yea, Nobody's gonna tell him what to do in there)

When he told Mom & Dad what he had done, they pleaded for him to reconsider. Nope, wasn't happening. He made his decision and he was sticking to it.

When the time came for him to meet the bus to take him to basic training, Dad drove him to Columbus to meet it. He was afraid that it would be too much for Mom. He said Gattabout didn't look back.

The first letter we got from him from his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, sounded like he woke up from the fog that surrounded him. He was homesick, sore and really didn't like his D.I or the Army in general (no pun intended). He did say that no matter how unpleasant it became, he would never shame the family by going A.W.O.L. like my cousin had from the Navy.

My chief tormentor was gone. The one who had blackmailed me for years was several states away now. No more nightly pummelings. Mom & Dad were sad, but I was ecstatic. It didn't take long for me to begin the takeover of his old bedroom (he had a door & a closet, I didn't).

So here you have it. My previous posts were my life B.A. (before Army). Henceforth, I will post of my life A.A. (after Army). It's now the middle of my 8th grade in school and I'm facing the trials & tribulations of a 14 year old. And we all know know that that is a rough time in any one's life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cat? I don't think so.

For those of you who do not know, I have glasses that are as thick as the proverbial Coke bottle bottom special. I think the person who made this sign may need to borrow them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Making the Big Time

Our granddaughter, "The Girl", is adored by her babysitter. She took a picture of "The Girl" and photo shopped it. I love it. Here it is.

In my mind's eye, these workers are replacing the mural of LeBenedict, in downtown Cleveland, with a giant mural of my granddaughter. Too cool.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Flashback Friday # 100

Rebel Without A Cause

A warm greetings and a cheery hi-ho to all those who have clicked their browser my direction. As you have noticed, this little column, that I lovingly refer to as Flashback Friday, has hit the century mark. Did you think I would have lasted this long? No need to worry, Facebook isn't shutting this blog down.

Anyway, I saved #100 for a very special time in my life. Just as time has B.C and A.D., my life has B.A and A.A. I will explain those initials later (in next week's post). I was in the eighth grade, and my brother, Sir Gattabout was a Senior in high school. A big bad Senior.

My brother was bad alright. It wasn't enough that he tormented me throughout my life, he began to hang with a bad crowd of kids. Monkey see, monkey do. And boy was he full of monkey doo.

He had a car. He had a job. He paid for his own cigarettes.He had turned 18. He stayed out past curfew and sneaked into the house through the upstairs window. He skipped school. And while all this was going on, his friends continued to egg him on.

About mid-way through his Senior year, he and some of his friends decided that they were going to skip school and take a road trip. I think they were planning to go to a concert in Cleveland or Cincinnati. My parents caught wind of the scheme somehow and made sure he got to school. He had to find a way to get out. But what?

He decided that if he couldn't take the time off of school, he would make the school give him time off. With his cigs in his pocket, he headed off to the boys room (cue Brownsville Station's greatest hit right now). He said he was on his fourth cigarette before a teacher walked in and caught him smoking. He didn't deny it or anything, he suggested that they take a trip to the Principal's office. The teacher as in shock. Nobody ever volunteered to go to the Principal's office.

Once there, Gattabout was grilled by the Warden,er, Principal. "I understand that you were caught smoking in the restroom", said the Principal. "That's right. I get suspended for that, right?", Gattabout replied. The Principal answered" Under normal circumstances, smoking in the restroom is a three day suspension". Gattabout was filled with elation. He was going to get his time off. Then the Principal popped his bubble. "But this isn't normal circumstances." continued the Principal,"I think we'll let you off this time".

Let you off? LET YOU OFF? The words rang like a gong through my brother's hollow head. All his planning was for naught if he couldn't get off. Then he had an idea. A very bad idea.

"Let me off", he exclaimed, I don't think so". And with that, he fished out a smoke and lit up right in the Principal's office, and blew the smoke in the Principal's face. Needless to say, the principal wasn't impressed. "Three days suspension" he bellowed, "Starting Monday" (this was Thursday). " I don't think so", My brother shot back. "I'm starting it today". With that he strolled out of the school.

When Mom & Dad got home, there was storm clouds on the horizon. When they got there, Gattabout wasn't there. He was at a friend's house making ready for the road trip. They called the friend and told him to get home. He screamed at them over the phone and told them that they couldn't tell him what to do. When he finally came home (with friend in tow). Dad met him outside as he got out of his car.

He told Gattabout that as long as he lived under his roof that he would follow his rules. He would not be talking to his Mother that way, and he would get his school situation straighted out. All I know is that my momma didn't raise TWO stupid boys. Gattabout yelled at Dad and said "I told you that you can't tell me what to do". With that he balled up his fist and began to take a swing at Dad. Dad's fist shot out and connected on Gattabout's chin faster that a rattler strike. Gattabout dropped like he was pole axed. He was unconscious before he met the ground.

Well, His friend saw what happened (and I don't think he really believed it). He kind of acted like he was going to help out my brother when Dad roared "You wanna lay down there with him? Make one move and I take you out too." The friend unclenched his fists & backed away slowly, then skedaddled home. When Gattabout came to, there was a long talk.

To Be Continued...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Live Fantasy Draft Guy's Afternoon Out

Today a bunch of guys from the church got together , had lunch, and conducted our church league's fantasy football draft.

The Punt, Pass & Praise Football League has eight teams. This is the third year of it's existence. There are four of us who have played all three years. This year we also have a "lovely" trophy to award to the winner:

You've heard of the Stanley Cup? I think this is Stanley's Cup. Fortunately, it's not game worn.

This is the championship banner that some lucky individual gets to hang from the rafters in his man cave:

(any guess where we conducted the draft?)

Here is the draft board just before the draft began:

And here is the board about three hours later(Each color represents a different position. Orange-Running back, yellow-wide reciever, light blue -quarterback, green- tight end, gray- team defense, white-kicker):

While we were drafting, we enjoyed great food & fellowship. We also had a few laughs along the way (what's the fun of a live draft if you can't rib someone about their selection?). Here are a few quotes that I scribbled down:

(While someone was looking over the menu trying to decide what to order) "Come already. You're not drafting your food."

(Someone looking down the sheet to cross off the player just selected) "Where do I find Manning?" "Look under quarterbacks." came the reply.

(While looking up information on their blackberry) "Hey, You're not calling your wife to ask for advice, are you?"

(Spoken after an injury prone player was taken) "Better get the Carfax on him to see if he's broken."

(Spoken after the selection of a player who has had brushes with the law) "You'll have to post bail on him first.

(Spoken of a player with a hyphenated name) "He must have wanted to keep his maiden name".

A good time was had by all, and we're all looking forward to the season starting.

BTW- Here's my roster (if you're at all interested)

Frank Gore -SF RB

Drew Brees NO QB

Calvin Johnson DET WR

Ryan Matthews SD RB

Vernon Davis SF TE

Anquan Boldin BAL WR

Tony Gonzales ATL TE

Justin Forsett SEA RB

Pierre Garcon IND WR

Baltimore Defense

Dwayne Bowe KC WR

Brandon Jacobs NYG RB

Joe Flacco BAL QB

Mike Sims-Walker JAC WR

Clinton Portis WAS RB

Mason Crosby GB K

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flashback Friday # 99

The Outhouse Came Tumbling Down

Hello my friends. Welcome back for another trip back into time. Are you ready? Lets begin.

Many of my long time readers know of the adventures in our old outhouse that we had turned into a clubhouse. Of how we had booby trapped it, redecorated it and nearly set fire to it. All good thing have to come to an end. Since we had indoor plumbing "the necessity" wasn't anymore. It had fallen into disrepair.

The outer wall that had contained a hallway/ entryway began to sag. This was a weight bearing wall that held up the roof. We tried everything we could think of to prop the wall up, but nothing worked. Dad decided that the outhouse must come down before someone got hurt.

In order to tear it down without getting hurt, Dad attached a chain to the wall and to our riding mower. He popped the clutch and ripped that wall right off. Once the wall fell, the roof came down too. We then went in with hammers to take out the remaining walls and what was left of the other side of the roof.

Once the outhouse was down, we had the task of dragging the pieces over to the burn pile. I was in favor of burning it right there, but there is a time & a place for everything. The large pieces were dragged by the mower while we boys carried the smaller ones. There was a great & glorious bonfire that was made from that old outhouse. Dad said he was going to put a storage shed where the outhouse stood. To this day it has never happened.

On a somewhat unrelated topic, today is Dad's birthday. If you know him, call him and say Happy Birthday. He'd get a kick out of that.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Bad Enough When...

How many of you put out bird seed in feeders? How many of you also have squirrels who raid your feeders? We do.

It's bad enough when a squirrel raids your bird feeder. It's even worse when they realize where you store the feed, and don't wait for it to get to the feeder. Here is a picture of the lid of the trash can that we keep on the front porch to keep bird seed in. The squirrels have chewed a hole in the lid:

Those little monsters (known around here as "tree rats") are constantly in the can gobbling up the seed. What is funny is when we hear the little boogers rustling in the can, if you pound on the window sill, they scramble out and climb the tree and squeak (cuss) at you. Here is a demonstration ( I cut it off before the squirrel cusses because this is a PG blog):