Old School …

imagesDo you remember when the Milkman delivered milk to your front door, and you could sneak over to his truck and get a handful of chipped ice.

How about the Ice Cream man, he actually sold Ice Cream and not dope, like they do today. Continue reading

More Of What Matters

Christmas officially being retired, it is now time for the annual rush BACK TO THE STORES to fill up on even more crap.  As a matter of fact …. I just got back from the Mall.  The wife did a lot of shopping and I sat in the truck out in the parking lot (evidently security does not allow people to walk around the Mall in their pajamas’?). 

Over the holidays I came across this little thing here, and it just about sums it all up.

The American Dream in Full Swing. 

What was really scary was as I watched it, I saw a lot of myself in this. 

Check it out.


Tilting At Windmills

It seems as if “everything” shuts down during a thunderstorm.  What is the use of having all of this technology at your fingertips, if you cannot use it during certain times of the day or the week.  Tried to check my email this morning and it is not allowed, storms in the area, so therefore, information will not be distributed.  Same thing with the Dish, 200 channels, but you are relegated to sitting there watching it “search for an available transponder.”  Technology sucks.

Yesterday’s mail brought me an answer from Shell Oil Co. on my credit card snafu.  No good news to report there, and as I suspected in the beginning, “they do not care about me nor do they care about my problems.  Recently I wrote them about it and I published it here.

Yesterday the mail carrier brought me my official-unofficial-kiss off reply.

The official response was “they did not understand the nature of my problem.”  To be specific it read:  “Dear Mr. Smith   Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Shell account.  We are unclear on how we may assist you.  Please call us at 1-800-331  Blah-blah Yada-Yada.”  And that was it, nothing more, and I suppose, nothing forthcoming.

I mean if you cannot read, what good is a telephone call going to do?

Must be nice, to have a job, where you sit around all day and just blow people off.  No real responsibilities, most likely do not have to come in early or dress for success.  Just send off a form letter that basically says … Go Away.  I could sit down at the keyboard and fire off another missive, being very explicit (which I thought the first one was to begin with) and make it quite clear “what the nature of my problem was.”  But what is the use, they would just ignore me again.  I am trashing their card, and going back to cash sales.  Most likely I will discontinue doing business with them altogether.

Another thing I find interesting about all this, the letter was signed “S. Larson.”  I have seen this name before, when I made inquiries on a VISA card for instance.  You don’t suppose that all letters are naturally forwarded to this “S. Lawson” to answer do you?  That would be something.  I sincerely hope that when I die, I don’t get up to the Pearly Gates, walk up to a desk with an Angel sitting there and the name tag on the desk reads “S. Larson.”

If this is the case, I am going to be in some serious trouble, let me tell you.

Maybe I caught them on an “off day” or something.  Maybe they perhaps thought they were awake, but an important and overused part of their brain was asleep when the letter arrived there at the “credit card center.”  You know if you deprive rats of rest, this causes their neurons to start shutting down at random intervals.

The rats in turn, appear to be wide awake, but if you hook up little tiny electrodes to their brains this will show that the neurons responsible for eye-hand coordination are currently turned off, making it harder for them to rip sugar cubes and of course, answer letters from consumers.

Wait a minute, rats don’t have hands.  What could I possible be thinking here.

Thirty-five percent of Americans don’t get enough rest each night according to the CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention).  Maybe they are as my grandson is fond of saying …. “Zoned out?”

Gasoline is now on the way down, currently .16 cents below the national average here.  Wife came in yesterday and said, “Gas has gone down Honey!” as if she had some big earth shaking news, when it gets back down to say something reasonable like a buck fifty a gallon tell me about it.  At three fifty-plus per gallon, that just doesn’t seem to row my boat, I am sorry.  It sure doesn’t help having a lousy credit card from Shell Oil with a $400 limit on it either.

But they don’t understand my problem.

What they cannot tell you is why they put a $400 limit on your credit card and then turned of the pump at $376, declined the sale, and embarrassed you at the pump.  But when you have the only game in town, I guess you can do just about anything you want, that is, if your name is S. Larson.

Have a good weekend.


Corn Fed Unlead

Ethanol ... America's Latest Witches Brew

Gas is on the move again, inching towards some unseen pinnacle of avarice.  Bob in Massena, New York who is stuck in the slow lane, is having gas pains, he is concerned about the price of motor fuel, and for good reason I must admit.

Hard to figure, demand is flat, supplies are ample, the American Highway for the most part is empty, but the price of motor fuel continues to rise.  Bob erroneously (in my opinion) believes  that OPEC is the main culprit in this high-octane-scenario, but the main players are here at home, big oil and the government.

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were being touted with Ethanol as the magic elixir to solve all of our energy problems, if not eliminating them, then surely it was going to make a dent in the overall oil import problem. Now a fair piece down the road we discover that it is all smoke and mirrors.

Once again, our government who has time after time promised swift action to alleviate this problem, has served us another crap sandwich and it still tastes the same.

Ethanol is a scam nothing more than a $7 billion dollar federal subsidy to farmers to grow corn. It is for all intents and purposes a second rate fuel, designed to reduce imports, that has failed miserably. Now there is growing concern that it also adds to our environmental problems to boot. It creates MORE air pollution than regular gasoline, and it delivers in the end, less miles per gallon.

Ethanol eats up rubber seals in your engine, it works hard to produce nitrogen oxides and other key pollutants by about 7% over gasoline. It is corrosive to fuel lines in older cars, lawnmowers and other non-road engines. So why is it being shoved down our throats.

Mr. Obamma has just mandated the increase of 10% per gallon to 15% by executive order. Good news for the Ethanol industry who has over-built their factories and money in the bank for the American farmer.

You on the other hand … well … You take it in the shorts again … Same old deal.

But there is hope for Bob in Massena, New York, and the rest of you. It comes in the form of the Ford Fiesta, a spiffy little car that is gets downright stingy with a gallon of gasoline.

2011 Ford Fiesta

It’s miserly fuel consumption estimated at 30 mpg in town and 40 mpg on the road is going to be a big draw when gasoline hits the three dollar plus mark. This little car may be one of the reasons Ford Motor Company just posted a $1 billion dollar profit.  Ford incidentally is the “only company that didn’t line up at the Federal trough for free taxpayer bailout money.”

It is a small car, which on the inside, looks a lot more expensive than it truly is ($15,675 U.S.) and with it’s impressive fuel numbers should be a big hit in the coming months as gasoline continues its upward spiral. The other thing I found interesting was the reviewers comment at the end. He said: “the fact that the car is oozing-molasses slow. 30mpg in town and 40mpg on the road.  A big draw is its impressive gas mileage. But will people find the Fiesta interesting enough to buy when gas is cheap?

Cheap gas?

I don’t know what this guy is smoking, but I would like some for the weekend.


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Up On The Soapbox Again

Hi Guy’s, greetings to all of you this Monday morning, I trust you had a productive and fruitful weekend and were sated and amused.  As I am an inquisitive sort, I often wonder about things.  All sorts of things.   Things in general, things that don’t seem right, this thing and that thing.

Take Ol T Boone Pickens, my favorite West Texas Oil man, for example.  Before the elections Ol T Boone was on every channel, telling us we had to get rid of the trucks, that we were dependent on foreign oil and that we needed a windmill in every back yard.

This includes Martha’s Vineyard Teddy, you don’t get a pass on this either.

Where is he now?  You don’t see hide nor hair of Ol’ T Boone and I am wondering, “What happened to this West Texas brush popper?  He doesn’t seem to be anywhere to be found these days.”  Could it be that Big Oil discreetly told him to shut up?  Perhaps pointing out to Ol T Boone, that talking about national energy problems and God forbid, unabashedly presenting solutions to those problems, was not in his best interest. That it might be more prudent for him to just be quiet, if he knew what was good for him.

Here is another “thing” that bothers me this morning.

Why is it we are constantly being dumbed down or kept in the dark on most everything, like mushrooms, fed a constant diet of BS and never allowed out into the sunshine.  Why is it we are always being “fed bad math” when it comes to oil and oil reserves in this country?

Why is it when a report is issued that is favorable in nature, why is it never “reported.” Being as T. Boone Pickens, an oil man, the modern day energy savior of the country, has all the answers.  Perhaps he could tell us why was this particular U. S. Geological Service energy based report was kept hush hush?

The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April (’08) that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big.  It was a revised report (hadn’t been updated since ’95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota; Western South Dakota; and extreme Eastern Montana.  Check this out: The Bakken field is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels.

Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable … at $107 a barrel, we’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.  When first briefed, legislators on this were virtually ignorant of its existence, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.’ says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst. This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years reports, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’  And it stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada.  For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end.  Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago.  However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels.

And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!  That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight. And if THAT didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should – because the report is from TWO YEARS AGO.  You can read all about it.  (U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World! Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006)

Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lay the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels .. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted.

With this mother-load of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?

The report also reported this stunning news:  It is entirely possible that we have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:  8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia  – 18-times as much oil as Iraq – 21-times as much oil as Kuwait – 22-times as much oil as Iran – 500-times as much oil as Yemen – and it’s all right here in the Western United States.  I find it somewhat curious that no mention is made of Venezuela who we import 5% of our crude.

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this?

Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil.  The major oil companies secreting it away doesn’t seem to help matters any either. Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy.  WHY?  James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East -more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped.

That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.  Don’t think ‘OPEC’ will drop its price – even with this find?  Think again!  It’s all about the competitive marketplace, – it has to . Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?  Got your attention/ire up yet?  Hope so!  Now, while you’re thinking about it … and hopefully find yourself just a little bit P.O’d, do this: you should stifle yourself.

The next time you want to complain about gas prices (and you will, Americans LOVE to complain) remember this .. because by doing NOTHING, you’ve forfeited your right to complain … cold hard fact of life, sorry. I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent a copy of this to every one in your address book.

By the way… this is all true …That is the truly sad part.

If you have any problem with it and doubt its validity, please check it out at the link.

Think about this the next time you are reaching deep into that pocket to pony up some bucks for a tank full of liquid gold.  If any of you happen to come across Ol T. Boone, let me know, I want to ask him a question or two.  We now return you to the REAL NEWS in this country, which seems to be which movie star or media personality and/or celebrity is currently pushing up daisies.


Another Mantic Interlude


This post will be “One Hundred percent A.I.G. free” and there will be no mention of Rush Limbaugh, Larry King or Jane Fonda.

Now I ask you … “Where could you get a better deal than that?”

To all my rowdy friends in the Internet world, I hope that you had a great weekend, and that things went well for you and yours.  I spent the majority of mine (if anyone cares) hanging around the house and no trips to the Big Town.

Like Mama sez, “it is a lazy snow-day, go away boy, you are bothering me.”

So I just assumed a low profile and that was that.  I became “Polar” as my grandson would say, which is for the uninitiated, “Beyond cool.  Colder than Ice.”  Spent the majority of my time trying to retrieve my email system that went south, and it only took two and one-half days to get my somewhat illiterate, un-edumaycated computer assisted dumb butt back into working order.

Bought a new laptop, I am now also into the wonderful world of Microsoft Vista and I am working on the learning curve on that.  Which is okay if you are young and quick on the uptake, and we all know my answer to that, don’t we?

Unfortunately, I did manage to somehow lose most all of my email addresses of those folks who were communicating with me when I made a data transfer.  So if you see this, read this, come across this on a bulletin board at the local laundry, stuck up there with a piece of plastic in the shape of a Pear or Banana, get back to me.

I am somewhat excommunicated but still online.

computerThe weekend was not fraught without its fair share of problems.  My old printer went south on me this past week, it had served me well, first purchased in November of 1998 I have no earthly idea as to how many reams of paper has gone thru this machine.

It was an HP model 722 Deskjet I believe that is what it was called.  Figuring that I had such good fortune with HP then it just seemed natural to pick out another HP for the replacement.

So I trot off to China-World and I find one on the shelves for under $40 with taxes included.  I pay for it bring it home and open it up and start unhooking wires and all that.  Getting down like a reptile and crawling around in the dust of man, hooking and hooking in the limited space area under my desk.

First thing I find out is the thing has TWO INKERS a #22 and a #21, the #22 is there (color) but the #21 (black is not).  I didn’t care for this at all, but it is not the end of the world, I go back to the store, and I purchase the errant cartridge, $13.47 plus tax.

Now I have both inkers installed, I hook up the power cord, little green lite comes on, everything is working out swimmingly.  I look around for the printer cable, it turns out that this model has a USB port type printer cable, it is not there.  I search the box again, it is not there.  Now this … This has a profound tendency to hack me off, I look at the instruction sheet and it reads:  “You may or may not have a printer cable, and might have to purchase one separately.”

Are you kidding me?

You sell a printer and it does NOT HAVE A PRINTER CABLE?

Carefully I inspect the box (which evidently every consumer in America ought to do when purchasing an American Product these days) and low and behold, there it is.  “Requires USB printer cable, not included.” In somewhat smaller print than the rest of the nomenclature on the box.

I go back to China-Mart and locate the USB printer cable, $14.80 plus tax, and take a guess who manufacturer of this particular cable …. Yeppers …. you guessed it.  HP.

computer-duckNow here is the rub.

If I had bought a printer that was manufactured by say the Japanese, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that the machine needed in order to function would be in the box.

It would be all there, and I might even add, possibly contain a note of thanks for purchasing their new product. It would NOT be missing key items and parts needed for proper printing.

This is lousy business, no matter how you look at it.  HP can kiss the part of me that goes over the fence last, I am not buying another thing from HP and I suggest the very same thing to you.  Unless you just happen to be into aggravation, unwarranted frustration and haven’t any better ideas as to where to spend your time and money.

As my grandmother used to say, “always look for the rainbow.”  All is not lost, there is good news in some of this.  At this particular juncture in time, I fail to see it, but I know it will improve, if not naturally, then maybe I will have to “help it along.”

Now I am off to see if I can find a link for HP on the net, and I am going to send them a copy of this article and then wait for them to reply back to me and tell me it was “the Viet-Namese-Dude who packed it” he is the guy that screwed it all up.

So there you are, today’s wonderful little post-it-note from my corner of the yard.  Another diatribe on America, a fine and proud country who now has unfortunately plummeted to the status of third-world-knuckle-draggin-boobs, a disorganized clump of business incompetent greed hungry dollar mongers, a country that is now where most people don’t know what they’re doing, and a lot of them are, like HP, really good at it.

Printers without ink AND printer cables, what a novel idea.

A little less than honest I would say, but then again, what do I know, I am just a consumer.  And the rest of the world wonders why we have to bail these American companies out?