Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Still working it Out

It has been a busy time for me. That translate into not much time to write or to read. But still I have made note of a couple of items of late.

For example:
  • The mostly conservative Supreme court has taken the Health Care Reform bill under consideration listening to arguments this week and I gather for the following two weeks. The primary argument against is that you can not force a person to buy health insurance. It seems a little odd to me that if they can force you to buy auto insurance pay for a drivers licences on the state level yet the federal government can't force you to buy health insurance. Don't get me wrong I not really a fan either. But the reason is due to nature of law favoring the insurance companies not the people by leveling a fan against those who fall thru the cracks that work yet incomes or too great for state and federal help but not enough that they are force to give up a luxury like food or housing to pay for it. It seems strange to me that the federal government program like Medicare can provide health insurance that is really good for $100 a month. To me it only makes sense to make it a universal plan available to all.
  • I also couldn't help but note the constant rising fuel cost. In my area it is up to $3.90 a gallon. Yet the normal reason sacristy of supplies do not apply in as much as it is pure profiteering. Fuel imports are down, domestic production is up, US reserves are at a all time high, combined with increased in fuel efficiency and increased use of public transportation. Yet fuel cost at the street is up. From what I understand it is all pure speculation and manipulation of the futures market. In other words another fat cat making money off our sweat. So think twice before you make a unnecessary trip to the store. It isn't just the cost of the bread you pay.
  • On Politics is it me are you also tired of the nonsense that is going on for the race for the republican nomination of president. The one thing the longer it goes on the more they show their true colors. THEY CARE NOTHING FOR THE COMMON WORKING CLASS. THEY SEE US AS SHEEP TO BE LED.
On projects I have managed to actually complete some of them.

I am now the owner of a 1997 Dodge Dakota PU with a 4cy 5speed tranny. Mechanically sound but cosmetically it needs some help. Bought from a individual she has a lot of miles but for $1500 I can't complain. The immediate need of a complete rebuild on the rear brakes cylinders and drums took care of any immediate needs. The charging of AC (done by myself) supplied me with cold air for when I need it. The Rest is just cosmetics and over the next year i will address those more for protection against rust than it bothers me.

I will post an acutal photo in a later blog. Fuel efficency seems to be in the mid 20's so far. There are a couple of things I will do to tweak the fuel ecconomy I write about later as well.

I managed to complete the repairs to my Power Chair. I managed to get the wheel strut off that was bent and for $10 a local body shop applied just enough heat and was able to bend it back into shape.. An hour after I had it home I had my power chair back in business. Unfortunately the power chair is essential for me to get around in and around my house as well as at the flea market as I can't stand or walk far with my old wore out joints.

I also bought the 1/2 inch wood I needed to build a remote caddy and have started on that . I will post a photo when I am done.

Reading unable to get any done

Movies watched but nothing worth noting.

That is all I have for now. Stay frosty brothers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Class warfare

I was trying to come up with a subject and realize that I really didn’t have anything new. I mean if I think about nothing has really changed and I am growing tired of sounding like an old nag.

Yet some things need to be brought out. We need to be reminded. We need to be NAGGED. We just have to be careful as individuals to not allow us to become acceptance of the status-quo.

So with that in mind let me start with this President Obama has been accused of trying to start a class war. That the democrats are trying to drive a wedge between the have and have-nots. Well that was done a long time ago. We just have been ignoring it.

The first shot of this class war began under Ronald Regan who systemically began to dismantle the power of the Unions beginning with the Air Traffic Controllers Union. This followed by a media campaign to make the Unions look like a bunch of over paid selfish louts runned by the Mafia.

Was there Mafia or organize crime in the Unions? Of course just as there are in the finical sector. Where there is money to be made these highly motivated well organized folks will be trying to stick their fingers into the pie.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the Unions are the reason that the Middle class was so strong for so long. Because the common working man had a voice.

This voice of the working class was champion first by the Democrats and it was understood that this symbiotic relationship between the Democrats and unions was a good thing and it was despite the greed of certain members from both the union and democratic officials.

Then the war on the Unions began in 1980 combined with the Democrats support of the Free trade acts began the slow dismantle of our manufacturing sector with the shipping of factories off to third world countries beginning with  the Maquiladora plants that lined the Mexico/Us Border starting in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The is that these factories that were shipped off to Mexico to India to China were the backbone of the bulk of what was considered the middle class. The wages they received were good because the Unions were there to demand their share of the wealth that these working men and women created. Now these men and women who made up the blue/white collar middle class are now scrambling to make a living with low paying jobs in the service industry.  

It is time for the working class folks to get their head out of the sand and realize that these neo-Nazis-Tea Party-John Birch Society- Republicans as well as the blue dog democrats are not the friend of the working man. That the rhetoric being tossed about is total BS. It is time to remind the elites and uber-rich that we are the reason that they have the wealth they have and that they need to share it if they want it to continue.

I say support the 99ers’ yes but support Union rebuilding even more. It took us 34 years to get in the condition we are in now and it goes without saying it will only get worse if we don’t step up and strike a blow for the common man. How can you strike a blow you might ask?

Well a couple of steps would be.

·         Buy American where you can inculuding buying local vs. Wal-mart.

·         Continued support of the 99er’s they are the beginning not the end.

·         If you have a Union in your plant or job join even if it is weak you as a member can make it stronger by you membership.

·         Vote. Yes vote for the individual who not only talks the talk but walks the walks as well. If they don’t the boot them out.

·         Change in government policy begins only when it has become a common policy among the people and law only legitimatize the changes. (ie. Pot becomes legal when the overwhelming acceptance of its use causes ignoring of pot laws) On its’ own governments never act to change the status-quo until change has become the status-quo.

So enough of my standing on a apple crate preaching. Do an act of civil disobedience each day. It is good for your mental health.


Shop time has been on my power chair repair. But I am hoping that I can begin work on a few small projects soon as well as setting up my second well honestly forth hand pickup truck. In the mean time I well keep trying to dismantle the power chair so that I can remove the left front wheel strut so I can take it down and have it straighten.

Willam Gibson’s book “Distrust That Flavor”: a collection of essays both previously printed and new material proved to be overall pretty good. But realize dear reader I like essays and particularly on the creative process. I particularly like the commentary on futurist and the mis-guided ideal that SF writers write about the future. Well I don’t want to be a spoiler but understand it isn’t everyone’s’ cup of tea. On a scale of 5 with 5 being the highest recommendation I would give it a 4 on readability an 3.5 on content.

I’ve as a result of reading WG book I have ordered from Amazon Spook Country and Zero History and awaiting their delivery.

There is a new movie coming out that I have on my radar called “Prometheus” that the trailers have appealed to me.

I also can’t begin to comment on the season conclusion of “the Walking Dead” without being a spoiler but wow.

Grandson’s and I have had a Tremors movie night and they were just as fun this time around particularly with the young ones.

Enough for now.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Random thoughts on a shop

With the warming weather and sunny days I find myself thinking of getting out into the shop. In Fact I undertaken the job of cleaning up and in general making sure that all is well in my little piece of tinker heaven.

Yesterday I was working on my power chair; a front caster wheel bent; and as I was looking for a pair of needle nose pliers to pull cotter pins with I begin to reflect on what kind of shop I might end up when we eventually move to another rental. Part of that reflection rest upon what your philosophy or desires for a shop.

Several years ago I while reading a book on community design the author an Aussie living in the USA spoke of a community he lived in just outside of Sydney. He spoke lovingly of how while the houses were all fairly routine each house still spoke of it’s owner. Part of his reminiscence reflected on the shed in the back yard.

This shed was the domain of the man of the house and was where here at least he held sway. It contained his hand tools, work bench, garden supplies and usually stored his barbecue grill. From this small shed (as I understood a 8X8 ft size) bicycles were repaired, mower blades sharpen, and old chairs repaired. It was where you could always find the right bolt or screw or piece of scrap wood for a what ever purpose the home might need. For the author he saw this as a necessity and not a luxury for people to help have a connection with their home and their community. What he preached I understood and became a believer.

  As a result of the author I became fascinated with folks who took any available space and turned it into their shop. In turn I understood that you didn’t need a warehouse space for project to come out of but just enough room for a few tools, supplies and memories to be built.

So as I have been working out in my current garage shop I have started reflecting on different scenarios of what I can do to assure that I have piece of my own tinker’s heaven.  But whatever space I end up with I know there will be one be it a one car garage space or 8X8 metal shed.

Projects – Reading

This past week has been spent working or trying to figure out how to straighten the caster wheel holder on my power chair. Small spaces and my artheritc hands are not very compatible. But I think I have found the parts list for the Merit power chair I have and hope either to order another caster wheel holder or figure out how to straighten and strengthen the existing one.

I received two new books this past week Willam Gibson “Don’t Trust That Flavor” a collection of previous publish and new material essays that so far has been very enjoyable.

The second book is by James Lee Burke called “The Rain Gods” a mystery set in west Texas on the border. Judging by a few passages I have snatched from the bo
ok so far It will be as expected for this author very good.

Well that is enough for now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Monkey House

Just a quick note but first a question. Are you as tired of hearing about the presidential elections particularly about the GOP runoff’s?

I know I am. Seriously they want you to believe what is coming out of these folks mouths like it matters. That each candidate is seriously different.  I got to ask how are they different. It is like looking at the silver ware drawer. You are looking for a spoon and you have an assortment of styles but in the end they are still all the same just a spoon. A tool of the elite.

Their ideal of saving the economy is to cut social services like Medicare and Medicade along with privatizing the Social Security giving access to the corporate conglomerates in the form of investment capital thereby risking our safety net while protecting their own capital. Ask a lot of the city and state government retirement programs that did just that as to how it work out for them. Many of a ex-government employee are scrambling to figure out what happen to their safety net particularly since many of them opted out of the SSI system.

If you believe that the elite and big business international conglomerates have your best interest at heart. Then I have a bridge to sell you in New York City.

Am I saying the Dem’s are any better. Hell no! But at least they talk the talk even if they fail to walk the walk. The dems can at least be expected to attempt to put a chicken in every pot even if that chicken is just a ghost of what a chicken should look like.

I already know that I will be voting a straight democrat ticket and refusing to vote on races that only have a republican to vote for. Unfortunately not having a democrat running for a city or state office in Texas is not uncommon.

I am reminded when I watch republican debates or congressional debates on the floor of the senate or house of going to a monkey house and dodging the feces that are thrown at us by the chimps (congress, senate and president) at us chumps looking in at them. No matter how much you try you are going to get some on you. It stinks and doesn’t come off too easily.

I read once a sarcastic comment offered as a prayer by a native American. That said “Lord, Protect me from those who wish to do me good.” In the end that is all we can do is to pray for protection. Just remember be careful for what you pray for you might just get it.


Recently watched “The Bang Bang Club” a movie about real events and people.  It based on a book about a group of photo-journalist that were documenting the fight for equal rights in South Africa in the 1990’s. The movie is available on NetFlix and well worth watching. The book is as well.

I have been following the ABC series “The River” filmed in the documentary style about a rescue attempt of an anthropologist chasing after some mythical place in the Amazon River Basin. You can pull off the internet past shows. Take time to get into it and if you can follow from the beginning.

Reading I have mostly been finishing “The Dead Lagoon” by Diddin and have pulled out my copy of Bruce Sterlings’ “Heavy Weather” a great book that I have read several times already but worth reading again.

Projects- Well that has been mostly building a dividers for my old 2 drawer tool box, going through my tools servicing them when needed and continued the cleanup. I am finding that I have tools that have walked away and can’t be found and tools that I don’t remember buying. I also have been deciding on whether I want to try to repair the wheel on my power chair or not. I think I might give it a whirl if I can get the front left wheel off to straighten and strengthen the wheel bracket. We will see. Wish I had a cutting tourch and welder.

To my family and friends who are reading this both items are on my wish list if you want to buy me a 110 wire welder or a small portable cutting torch rig.

Well Enough for now.