Thursday, October 17, 2013

End of the day. Thank God.

It's raining here and it's cold.  I have been drinking black coffee all afternoon because I just can't seem to get going.  The political situation in the country is terrible and that bothers me.  Sometimes I think I'm not as secure up here as I've always thought. Maybe things are happening that could sweep me right off the mountain. I've read a lot of history books where the author would wax eloquent about how bewildering it was that the German people let Hitler come to power. I'm beginning to understand how that happens. Suppose you don't like what's going on, there's nothing you can do about it. How are you going to stop Obama any more than the Germans could have stopped Hitler?

Trivia for today:  The can of coffee I opened this afternoon went into storage 12 March 2012.  Instead of looking down the shelf for the oldest one I just grabbed one. Violation of procedure but today I don't care.

My computer is acting up. While he was here my son changed a bunch of the settings  and forgot to put them back to where they were. I'll have to call him and see if he can talk me through it. He's genuinely brilliant with computers but he's also absent minded and lives in the "right now."  He found out when he got back to the apartment that he left the patio screen door open the whole time he was down here. I can't wait for that power bill when it comes in.

The scanner has a lot of traffic going.  Some lady left her job in the next county and has come over here to kill herself. They go up on the gap and there's this big cliff called "insurance cliff" because people used to push their cars over it to collect the insurance. People jump off it.  So the Sheriff is going up there because they "pinged" her cell phone and that's where she appears to be. If she's serious they don't have a chance in Hades of getting there in time. Never a dull moment.

My daughter hit some pole in the parking lot at her apartment awhile back, and it messed up the side panel over the right front tire. Now her seventeen thousand dollar Commander looks like something out of the Grapes of Wrath. I did not know this until she was here this past weekend. I need to buy a new side panel but I know going to the dealer would be stupid.  Maybe the J.C. Whitney catalog has one.

Left Front

 Right Front.

I was not pleased with this discovery.  I have told her before,  this is a good vehicle and should last a minimum of 10 years ( I usually get 13-15 years of hard use out of a vehicle because I maintain them.)

If this one goes down due to neglect,  I am not buying another one.  She can't afford to buy a vehicle. So if she wants to avoid riding the bus,  she has to take care of the Commander.  She told me, in all sincerity, that the part is purely cosmetic.  Maybe so,  but we don't have Tijuana Taxis in this family.  Our credo is take care of your equipment. I don't care if it's hiking boots or a vehicle. I'll try to find the part and get it shipped up there, then her boyfriends pal the shade tree mechanic can stick it on.

So life goes on......


  1. It doesn't look all that bad. Really just that molding piece needs put back on. Or maybe it's just the pic doesn't look as bad as it would in real life?

    So question. You don't have to answer this if you don't want but I am honestly just curious for research purposes and it's hard to get honest answers from people you know face to face.

    How much actual financing of your children's bills do you really take on? I have seen you mention the insurance before and you bought the car pictured.

    I recently found out that one of the locals that is always bragging on their son's ivy league education and how much money he is making is actually financing alot of said son's expenses. Just wondering if this it is more common than people let on. Not judging it in anyway or trying to make it sound bad or anything just curious.

  2. I make sure my kids don't go without. As long as they work hard and are doing their best, I don't want them laying in bed at night worrying about money. Life is too short to worry about that kind of thing. I reserve worrying for things that are serious, like illnesses or problems of that nature. They are essentially self supporting but they can't accrue much in the way of savings. So when something like this happens, and it won't get fixed if I don't help, I help. I'm not rich but even after 2007/8 I can assist the kids when they need it. It could be worse. I've told you, I think, about my 32 year old nephew who went to college, became a grad student, got his masters, then got his doctorate in Astro Physics, and couldn't find a job. Now he lives with my sister. He's a good guy, he just can't hack it in todays environment. The main thing for me is that they have a good life. They sure as hell aren't going to work at some elementary school cafeteria so they can take scraps home for supper.

    No, there's no damage to the car I can see. The piece of fiber glass or plastic or whatever it is just broke in half. If I can get the part I'm sure it just pops back on.

    1. See it's stories like that that really bother me. I am not rich either. I mean I can afford to go without working for long stretches (mostly because the jobs I can get don't pay much anyway) but I cannot afford to pay out for college or anything. At today's prices who could? But I really don't want to see my son take on all that student debt and I am not sure it would do him a bit of good if he did.

      I see so many locals brag about how their daughters have made it after they put them through college and without fail they all ended up school teachers. I just haven't seen anyone's sons make it yet.

    2. Well, being a school teacher wouldn't be so bad. My daughter and son went to excellent tech schools in Canada, but haven't been able to find jobs in those disciplines. Largely, I think, because I don't have the contacts that are necessary to get them an entry level job. It's about who you know now, because there are too many young people and too few jobs worth having. Personally, I favor tech school over college because at least you come away with a marketable skill that you may eventually be able to use. I could help my son, and maybe my daughter, with getting jobs in the oil patch but neither of them have any desire to do that and that's a pretty tough life.

      About all you can do is let them try to make it and help when they need it. The days of getting a piece of paper from some four year school and just traipsing into a job are over for good.

  3. I agree with PP .. Doesnt look too bad to me either.

    I also know too many people that are in the same position as your nephew. If he can't find a job, he should enter the Navy as a Nuke.. Those guys even the lower ranking enlisted get paid really really well, plus bonuses...

    1. I wonder if they would take him at 32? His dad was a Marine Officer. He died of a brain tumor a few years back. Somehow I don't think my nephew could survive the military, he lacks the physical endurance and the mental toughness required.

      I just need to find the part in the right color. I guess the Whitney catalog is the place to start.

  4. G'day Harry,

    Send some of that rain down here! NSW is in trouble again with bush fires, the lower Blue Mountains and the north & south of Sydney are particularly bad. Nothing in my neck of the woods yet but I have the Rural Fire Service website up on my PC here in the office so I can keep an eye on the situation.

    I agree with your policy on motor vehicles, my last car was a Holden Rodeo one tonne ute (I think you would call it a pickup truck). It is a rebadged Isuzu MV as I refuse to buy anything from Ford or Holden who are are our 2 domestic car makers, I made that mistake once and got a ford station wagon, worst car I have ever had. You just can't beat the Japanese (and also the Koreans) for quality and toughness when it comes to cars. Anyway, my Rodeo lasted for 325,000 kilometres before it started to cost me money on things wearing out, I always had it serviced and it never let me down.

    1. Sgt,
      I hate to hear you are having a drought again. We had one here six or so years back and it was brutal. The rain isn't bad, and it does keep the creeks and river up , and that keeps the lakes up.

      I had a Cherokee Grand Wagoneer that was one great vehicle. I kept it 13 years. I put a new engine and transmission in it and it went on and on. Eventually I just slap wore it out but it was a fun vehicle. I'm a Jeep fan. If I could find an old Jeep truck in good shape I'd buy it just to have it. I have a big Ford F250 with extended cab, long bed, and saddle tanks but it's a beast to drive.

    2. Ironically it's because we have had good rain over the last year and the grass & undergrowth in the bush has really shot up. Also not enough hazard reduction burns were done before this years bushfire season as the Greenies still would rather see people die and hundreds of home lost than agree to contolled burn offs as we used to call them. Of course when we get these devasting fires they totally destroy the bush, cool controlled burn offs cause little damage but get rid of the grass and leaf litter that fuel the big blazes but you can't get a Greenie to see reason!

      I am looking at getting a new vehicle next year, Jeeps have been around in Oz for a while now, might go & check some out.

    3. I'm not sure what our status here is on controlled burns. It seems to waffle back and forth.

      Take a look at the Wranglers. I had a great little Wrangler. The wife hated it, it has a stick which she couldn't drive. No trunk. Only room for two people. We traded it for the Land Battleship , the Commander my daughter now drives. I'll get another one some day. Next time I'll get the four door hard top but it'll still have a stick. A Wrangler with an automatic is obscene.

  5. I can see your frustration. Suppose any way we cut it people treat and look at things they pay for differently than those they do not.

    Ironically we tend to buy gently used vehicles with cosmetic body damage. The reason is it gives the price a steep hit without in any way affecting the functionality or total life of the vehicle. The SUV we recently sold had a crack in the front bumper from a parking lot type oopsy, we got an awesome deal on it.

    1. I think my daughter has different priorities. To her, if the vehicle is functional then that's good enough. To me, I want it looking like the day it rolled off the line. I don't want sand on the floor boards, and I don't want tissues and soda cans all over the place. If she'd bought it herself, I think she would be just the same. I know my wife would drive off on Sunday to go back to her mom's with bird crap on the car if I didn't get out there first and wash it. My daughter got her genes. I tend to be obsessive about maintaining my equipment and property. It comes from having to do much with little when I was a young man.

      I see the logic in spending less for a vehicle with some damage that doesn't affect performance. I have to admit though, it would drive me crazy and I'd have to get it fixed. It's a personality flaw. That's why I am always working here on this place. I'll climb all the way up on the roof to straighten out a shake the wind has canted, even though it makes no difference functionally. That's also why I am getting so wrapped around the axle about not being able to maintain perfect order with everything now that my age makes it harder for me to accomplish some tasks.