Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Citizenship 101

i votedI’m not ordinarily an advocate of early voting because there could be late developments in election campaigns that would affect a voter’s decision. If you vote early and your candidate is revealed to be a dirtbag, you have no recourse.

That said, I’m convinced that there is nothing that could make me want to vote for nearly any of the Democrats on the Arkansas ballot, so I went with Maria to the courthouse annex and cast my ballot to retire Sen. Mark Pryor, retain Congressman Rick Crawford, and put Republicans in the governor and lieutenant governor’s offices.

While I was in line waiting to vote, I got a call from one of our tenants reporting that their sewer line is backing up. Again. They serve people sentenced to community service time and I suspect one of their clients is flushing inappropriate stuff down their toilet.

I called our fix-it guy and he pledged to have someone there by 3 p.m.

The joys of being a landlord. Happily, they pay their rent on time and are good tenants.



It’s been more than 20 years since I first saw a “Loud Pipes Save Lives” sticker on a helmet at Daytona Beach Bike Week. I marveled at the idiocy of that statement, almost as much as I am baffled by the stupidity of people who argue that motorcycle helmets cause accidents and injuries.

The sound of really loud pipes triggers the “fight” part of my “fight or flight” response. Loud exhaust creates a negative impression about motorcyclists in the minds of non-riders and makes us all look like inconsiderate Neanderthals.

Edgar G. Ulmer - King of the B Movie Directors

Here's the entire 1:10 movie for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Good stuff

JDTH_Flasche_70cl_300dpiThis stuff is dangerously smooth and tasty.

I picked up a bottle while we were at Mr. T’s Riverside yesterday afternoon looking for deals on inexpensive wine.

Very smooth and painless. Oh, did I mention it’s smooth?



How can you not like a raccoon with a weapon?

We finally got around to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy on Saturday night and ended up liking it more than we expected.

The 1970s soundtrack and the talking raccoon (Rocket) and tree (Groot) help take this space adventure to an unexpected level of engagement and entertainment.

I haven’t bought a movie on DVD or BluRay for a year or two, but I can see owning a copy of this one.

There is a hint or a sequel at the end. We’ll be waiting.



My bank debit card is worn out. It developed a crack that makes if difficult to use with card readers and, besides, it was issued by Liberty Bank before it became Centennial Bank.

So I dropped by the bank this morning to get a new card, preferably with the same number since it’s on record with a few businesses where I have an online account.

But it turns out that my card number, as well as Maria’s, is on a list of compromised debit card numbers from a recent hack of The Home Depot’s database.

The young man at the bank said new cards were mailed to us on Oct. 15 and should appear in our mailbox today or tomorrow.

And since the numbers were compromised, we have new debit card numbers, which will necessitate some extra work online to get accounts updated.

Thanks for being negligent, Home Depot.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cool packaging


I don’t care if it is made in France, I almost bought it just for the reusable aluminum flask.

Selling fabric on Ebay

farm fresh

Maria has decided to part with some of her high-end quilting fabric, so we have 16 patterns in varying quantities listed on Ebay.

Proceeds will, of course, be used to buy more fabric.

aunt grace

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Someone is conspicuously absent

The Subaru report

subaru tired and clean

Our 2002 Subaru Forester developed a worrisome noise in the left front wheel last spring which I supposed was a disintegrating CV (constant velocity) joint.

It came at a time when major automotive surgery wasn’t in our budget, so we parked the Subaru and Maria took over the Lexus while I celebrated late spring, summer and early fall on BMW motorcycles.

Good riding weather won’t last forever, so I decided on Thursday it was time to get the Subaru back in shape for winter.

I drove down to Gateway Tire where it was discovered that the left front wheel hub and bearings were shot. Also, the fuel line was leaking. If we continued to drive the car as it was it was just a matter of time before the wheel fell off or it caught on fire.

So I left the car at Gateway overnight and they made the repairs, plus an oil change and lube in time for me to pick it up after lunch yesterday.

I was a happy camper until I noticed a rather violent vibration in the steering wheel when I got up to 60 mph on the way home.

I took the car back this morning and it was determined that the right side tires were out of round, probably as a consequence of sitting in the same spot for more than three months. We knew the car needed new tires more than a year ago, so I green-lighted a set of tires at $100 a pop.

And the car was filthy, so I treated it to a car wash before I left town.

New rubber notwithstanding, the vibration reappeared on the drive home. I phoned Gateway as I turned onto our road and arranged to bring it back first thing Monday morning.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My nomination for the stupidest product of 2014

kohler no touch

“The KOHLER touchless toilet is the no-touch flush for your home. Just hold your hand over the tank sensor to activate the flush. No handle to touch means fewer germs to pick up or leave behind.”

The flush handle is probably the cleanest thing you’ll touch on a toilet. What about (if you’re a guy who is socially responsible) using your bare hand to raise and lower the seat? Where’s the power assist for that process?

And, of course, there’s the potentially problematic business with the toilet paper.

This is on a par with 2010’s moronic Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System that dispensed a squirt of soap when you waved your hand under the spout.

Why does it matter if there are germs on the conventional pump, since they’re about to be washed off of your hands anyway? And people who wash/sanitize their hands frequently probably have fewer bacteria on their hands to begin with, making the conventional pump marginally cleaner than most surfaces you touch during the day – like money or door handles.

No wonder people in the Third World think we’re insane when it comes to germs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



I rarely laugh out loud at cartoons, but this one had me howling when I found it on Facebook this morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


We have double sinks in our master bathroom. Each sink has a 2 handle Delta faucet and my faucet has a very slow drip.

It’s so slow as to be practically unnoticeable, by me at least.

But Maria claims it’s been going on for months and it’s become a source of great irritation for her.

I watched a how-to video on YouTube and tried tightening a couple of nuts, but the drip continued.

Mind you, this is a drip so slow that left to my own devices, I would be happy to ignore it for years. Unfortunately, I can’t ignore my wife for years.

So I watched another how-to video on YouTube this morning, disassembled the hot and cold water controls, extracted the cartridges and their spring valves, put one set into a Zip Lock sandwich bag, and rode the K75S down to a plumbing supply shop in Jonesboro.

The counterman opined that I didn’t need to replace the entire cartridge assembly – just the springs and rubber gaskets. The cost? A mere $3.97, tax included.

I came home, reassembled the faucet assembly with the new parts and voila! No drip. Now, five hours later, the sink stopper where the drip used to land is bone dry.

And peace has been restored.