This Is Why I Am On Blogcation

Because the state of my country has me so pissed off right now I fear I have nothing good left to say about anything. I feel I want to reach out and knock the shit out of somebody, anybody deserving of my irritation with this countries state of affairs. This is why I have been hiding under my rock. I don’t want to be an agressive ass whose first inclination of late is that Donald Trump and every R in office needs a visit from me, for the sole purpose of punching them in the nose…

So I stay home. I venture out into my blog community rarely. I try to stay away from political posts, because I don’t want my already fuming and disgusted derriere getting knee deep in some political rant, because I do not need the frustration. So, I like my rock, I try to stay there and manage my daily activities, already full of stresses I do not need. My mother is in the H, doesn’t look good, she may die soon. I have many more stressful issues I’m trying to juggle as well, I don’t need any more bullshit. OK?

Then I get mail. From the desk of VP Mike Pence no less. A 4 page screed full of bullshit and begging for $. Ooooh, a return envelope to the Republican National Commitee, in DC no less. They want me to match this bogus check they sent for $35. Because it is so important that they have the $ they need to put their R cronies in office. Well I have taken the liberty of scanning this 4 page load of steaming BS for your pleasure. As well as my reply, which I will sign with my real name and stuff in the envelope they so graciously gave me 🙂 That is assuming the wife will let me, she is afraid the Trump Nazis might show up…

Mike Pence $ Begging 1 001Mike Pence $ Begging 2 001Mike Pence $ Begging 3 001Mike Pence $ Begging 4 001

Here is my reply:

Fuck you Mike Pence. Fuck you Donald Trump. Fuck you, to every one of you treasonous republican rat bastards in the House, and the Senate, for failing to act on this out of control POTUS.

If ever there was a time for good people to stand up and do the right thing, this is it. The right thing is to vote out you bunch of goddamn lying, cheating, deviously underhanded, thieves, liars, and crooks. Since day one this administration has attacked every institution that holds sleazy bastards like you accountable. You have attacked clean air, clean water, the poor, the downtrodden, the immigrants seeking asylum, everything worth working towards in this country you have set back by 20 years. You have attacked the press, the FBI, and law enforcement in general. You have even attacked our allies and in the meantime managed to cozy up to dictators across the globe. All of this while being covered by the slime of the Russian collusion scandal. There seems to be no end of scandal nor any bottom to how low this can go.

The only thing you (Trump administration, R’s in general) have managed to accomplish politically, is to make America a laughingstock of the world. That and passing tax cuts and roll backs on regulations to make the filthy rich even moreso, at the expense of every hardworking American in this country, as well as the environment we are a part of.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, yet apparently none of you pathetic low life bigoted republican assholes have the simple decency to be ashamed or the vision to do the right thing. I hope every one of you cowering, gutless, accomplices… get tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rough hewn rail. That is what it would take, to make this country great again.

Take your begging for money screed, full of mistruths and lies, and shove it firmly up your republican ass.

I’ll be voting Democrat till the end of my days. You can thank everyone in this administration, who hasn’t the moral fibre to walk out already, for that.

Sincerely,
Shelldigger
PS: My apologies to any Republican having the bravery to speak out against this administration, who may have got caught up within my broad stroke of the brush. There are maybe a handful undeserving of my words. The rest of you, you know who you are, and so do we, the people.
PPS: If my country needs a Paul Revere, I’m ready to ride. (end reply)

 

Anyone with me?

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The Last Word

Looks like I got back in the saddle here at least for a little bit, I saw a Lawrence Odonnell (Host of The Last Word) segment the other night that really caught my attention. First I have to say I am a big fan of the show, and absolutely love Rachael Maddow who precedes Lawrence on MSNBC, weekdays.

The discussion was about the Trump administrations use of the bible to justify recent atrocities committed by the administration in their immigration policy. Perhaps you have heard the kerfuffle concerning the separating of children from their parents?. Anyway the WH acolytes used the bible of all things as justification, the panel on the show was disussing a response to the administration with a couple of guest religious advoates, a Bishop Michael Curry and a Father James Martin.

A lead in by Lawrence:

“In a country that enshrines separation of church and state in
the constitution, we never need to use religion to justifying a government
policy. But American politicians love to do it. And the Trump administration
is doing it to justify their policy of child abuse at the southern border.

Attorney general Jeff Sessions has cited what he calls biblical
justification using a bible passage that was frequently used to justify
slavery. And now Kellyanne Conway has come along and pulled Catholicism
into this bite. At the same time that the Pope and the catholic bishops
and catholic priests have objected to what the President is doing to
children at the southern border.”

Kellyanne Conways remark from a few days back is the topic: “As a mother, as a Catholic, as somebody who has got a conscience and wouldn’t say the junk that somebody, said, apparently, allegedly, I will tell you that nobody likes this policy. ”

And Father James Martin replied thusly: “Well, I think
what she is saying absurd. I believe she has a conscience obviously, but I
think most people who see what’s going on in the border realize that their
conscience is telling them this is outrageous and it’s sinful. There’s a
reason why we are so outraged. It’s because God moves through our
consciences and tries to move us through action. So it’s sinful.”

Then the Bishop Michael Curry had his turn, saying basically that the bible tells us to love thy neighbor, and this policy is not doing that. Then Lawrence said this:

“To the people in our audience who are not religious, have no
religion, to atheists, they can come to the conclusion that this is an
immoral act without any religious guidance whatsoever. And morality can be
found in certain positions without any religious guidance whatsoever or any
religious belief.”

And to that I say Halleluja! Just wanted to bring this to your attention, it caught me by surprise, and I just wanted to share. My admiration for Lawrence Odonnell grew a little more that evening.

Oh, FWIW our asshole in chief signed an executive order just a little while ago canceling the policy THEY put in place, which separates children from their parents at the border. I suppose he will trumpet about acting like it wasn’t under his goddamn guidance in the first place and what a really nice guy he is. Disgusting piece of shit.

The transcript of the Lawrence Odonnell show from which I gathered my quotes, look for it a fair way down the page (look for “Begin Video Clip” followed by “Kellyanne Conway, White House Counselor”) is here:

http://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/the-last-word/2018-06-18

 

EDIT: I have been looking in vain for the video to accompany this post. MSNBC appears to have the wrong video in the 6/18/18 slot, and I cant get a youtube vid to load, says unavailable. So, Im going to let it go, I still have a life lol. If anyone finds the video in your travels, please drop a line and let me know. I figured I might not be able to post the video due to copyright issues, but was hoping I could at least point to the time stamp.

Rapists and Murderers

Some of you may know I am married to a nurse.  Well, she works in a home health setting and has been working with 3 year old girl with a lot of health issues.

The family was at a graduation party tonight celebrating the success of 3 college grads, and I had to pick my wife up there. The family is Mexican. The civic center (in a small town mind you) had probably 75 – 80 people there, almost all Mexican. There were a few white boys there, but this was a true Mexican gathering. There was a DJ, playing Mexican tunes. There was much food, which folks kept trying to get me to eat, I had just eaten though and had to graciously pass. I met the family of the little girl, I met several other fine fine folks as well. As I sat there watching the children play, and the people enjoying themselves, a tear formed in my eye. Here was a community of fine hard working people, people with kids, hopes, and dreams. People just like the rest of us. I could not help but think about the climate within this country now, and while I have known for a long time it is filled with racist horseshit, this scene really drove it home.

I often find myself in a position where I feel the need to apologize for my gender, today I feel the need to apologize for my country. I freely offer my sincere apology to all who would suffer at the hands of my racist countrymen. I wish everyone could see a snapshot of the gathering I witnessed this evening. I wish everyone could see what I see, that we are all brothers no matter the color of our skin. And that to treat any one person that looks different than you any differently than you would treat your own, is a crime against humanity itself.

Begone Republican party. Begone Donald Trump. Begone the asinine ass kissing R led House and Congress. Begone every ignorant racist redneck who thinks they are the epitome of human achievement. None of you are fit to live in this country let alone have a hand in governing it.

There, I feel a little bit better…

 

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been around much. I gotta tell you I just haven’t been feeling it. I have been taking a blog-cation. I just reached a point where I was tired of chasing down the same old hound dogs that get the majority of attention. I mean I know that people/situations/ridiculous claims/ etc. need to be called out for the sake of honest open discussion, and it is often funny observing the antics of deluded. It just wore thin on me, and I’m taking a breather. Also have way too many things to keep me busy right now, I’ll be back up and around before ya know it though. So y’all behave cuz when I come back I’ll have my hound dog hunting stick.

So Where Has SD Been Lately?

Well, I’ll tell you. But know now, the end of the world could be near! This statement might make more sense by the time you get through this mini series drama.

My youngest son recently got his drivers license, and a job, within one day of getting his license. Well we have another brat that is working too, plus my wife works also and I’m the driver getting her to and fro.

We only had 2 road worthy vehicles and pretty much needed a third. I happen to have an old 1990 full size Chevy Blazer that pulled many a boat loaded down with shells, many a mile, but it has been sitting idle for several years after I bought a new truck. It needed tires, brakes, a new muffler/tailpipe and other minor things like wiper blades and a headlight, small stuff. So I took care of the tires and brakes, paid for the muffler guys to do the muffler work, and signed the truck over to our eldest son (still living with us.) Him needing a bit of reality (responsibility) in his life I signed the truck over so it was his baby. We took him off of our insurance, and now he pays for his own. After all we just had a brand new 16 year old driver come aboard and we aren’t the Rockefellers. So it was a twofer situation, we took the older brat off the insurance, rolled the younger brat into the vacated spot to save some $$, and at the same time put the older brat in charge of a vehicle with the added responsibility of paying his own insurance. I thought that worked out pretty well. And it did, for a while.

About two weeks ago he was driving down the road and the truck died. After being towed home by the younger brat (I was taking the wife to work at the time) it refused to start again. It would hit a few times like it wanted to start, but refused to comply. I know this truck is the boys to take care of now, but the truck being down also made it my problem as we desperately need 3 running vehicles.

So, being the gear head that I am, I went to trying to figure this out. I have done my own mechanic work since I had my first bicycle, and I’ve been the self employed type for as long as I can remember, which by nature necessitates having some basic mechanical skill, if you want to stay gainfully employed. My grandad was a renowned mechanic in his time, I guess perhaps I inherited the mechanic gene, if I did it has served me well.

Anyway I have had an issue similar to this in the past with an old Mercury Cougar, it was running fine, driving down the road and it just quit, and resulted in a no start condition. Turned out it was this little doo dad in the distributor called an Ignition Control Module (ICM). So that was my first suspect. The problem is I had put a new distributor in the truck not that long ago, as well as a new fuel pump. So I was fairly sure that neither of these were the problem (The ICM is in the distributor). But… I got the distributor from E-Bay and I did not know where the ICM came from. It could have been some el-cheapo made in who knows where part, so it was still suspect despite being new. So after doing some basic stuff like checking that the battery was fully charged, and the ground wires were freshly cleaned up and reseated to ensure we had a good power supply, I tried to start it. Nothing. Still a cranking- but no start condition.

So, after some thought on the matter I ordered all new AC Delco (recommended GM parts) ICM, a pickup coil (which lives inside the distributor and requires removing and disassembling the distributor to replace) and a new ignition coil. It more than likeley had to be one of the three and I figured rather than just replacing one part it would benefit the trucks future (and mine) by putting them all in at the same time.

So Amazon to the rescue. By the way if anyone does any kind of work on your own vehicles let me tell you a dirty little secret. It really pays to get your parts from the internet. You can save 50-60% on parts from E-Bay/Amazon/Rock Auto (They are all within a few dollars on most parts) versus buying the parts at your hometown Auto Zone or O’Reillys. Did you hear me? 50-60%! Now I don’t mind someone making a profit but this is a bit ridiculous. I still support my local auto parts stores IF they can sell me my part at or close to the price I can get it off the net. If it’s a few bucks more that’s fine considering I can get the part now and not have to wait or pay for for shipping. But I’m not paying 100% + markup from the net price. No way. No how. It pays to do your homework on auto parts, and boat motor parts for that matter.

Well the parts all arrived same day and in the same box which was nice. I got to work and pulled the distributor, disassembled the thing, put the new ICM and pickup coil in, and reinstalled. On a whim I decided to try and crank the engine. Nuttin. Well I was a little concerned at this point. I thought it was the ICM. So I looked at the coil, it was going to be a tough job getting it out, but I managed. But guess what? They rivet the brackets to the original coils! So I had to put the damn thing in a vise and grind off one side of the rivets, then punch the rivets through. I then dug around in my hardware drawer and found a couple of skinny bolts with washers/nuts that did a fine job of securing the new coil to the brackets. Well once it was put back in the truck, it fired right up! Still running well for now and hopefully with all new ignition parts, will stay that way for a while.

And then… I looked out across the front yard. The weather has been a little spring like recently (nevermind that right now we are looking at falling temps and it is snowing at the moment) and the wild onions were getting pretty tall. So I figured to crank up the riding mower and get the yard to looking a bit better. I delegated this task to one of the boys while I was raking up some fall leaves that I had not had the time or inclination to get to. Well the boy made maybe 2 passes through the front yard and the mower started smoking like a mosquito fogger on steroids. I knew this was not good. With my mechanical background I had a hunch the oil ring on the piston had given way and I was in for an overhaul. Well these days when it comes to mowers and you get to the point of an overhaul, the best decision is probably to just get a new mower. Lawn mower engines are not something I have ever torn down completely, I know my limitations and  hiring someone to do the job would probably cost close to 50% of the cost of a new mower, and I figure anytime you are looking at paying anywhere near 50% of the cost of a new anything, to repair the old, well that 50% goes a long damn way towards a down payment. So I spent the next few days looking at mowers. I went to Sears, found out my old Sears card had been shit canned because I hadn’t used it in years, and so reestablished my Sears card. I also looked at Wal Mart, didn’t like what I saw, and went to Lowes as well. I found a mower at Sears and one at Lowes that were very similar in the important to me categories and either one would cost right around 1500 bucks.

Then I figured since I just got my Sears card going again I’d probably go with the Sears (or Craftsman if you prefer) mower. Well I took a gander at my paperwork on the new card and I saw it was 26.5% interest!! Holy hell! No wonder I had quit using the darn thing…

Well I decided to stew on that for a few days before I made any decisions, maybe something would come up on sale somewhere, but I really needed to just take a couple of days and decide if I really wanted to pay that kind of interest or just go to my local banker and get a proper loan at a much lower rate. I mean sure, we could pay cash, but 1500 bucks will put a pretty good dent in your “Oh shit! Something Broke Again!” stash. I really prefer to leave that $$ alone and deal with problems any other way possible, unless that problem becomes an absolute gotts get it done right now scenario. So…I’m stewing on the matter and on a whim I did a Google search on “Briggs mower engine smoking really bad.”  Well, it turns out for a Briggs (Briggs&Stratton) engine, the terrible smoking, is a common, well known issue that is caused by a blown head gasket. Oh really?

Well I found the gasket kit I needed (off the internet) and ordered it. While I was waiting for the kit to show up I researched torque specs and valve adjustment specs for this engine. Also watched a youtube vid outlining the process. This was right down my alley, and certainly worth a 21 dollar roll of the dice for the gasket kit to see if it would fix the engine. Discovering that I would need an inch lb torque wrench, I rented one from Auto Zone. Now I’m ready.

The gasket kit showed up and I tore that engine down to the head gasket fairly quickly, it isn’t exactly rocket science, and the head gasket was clearly blown. No doubt about it. This gave me a bit of a lift, knowing if I did this job right I might be back in business for a grand total of 21 dollars.

It cranked right up, then sputtered and died. I was like “oh shit, I’ll be getting a new mower now!” Then I remembered that I had pressure washed the engine a few days back because I knew that when tearing an engine down you want as clean an environment you can get just to keep debris from being an issue when engine internals are exposed. And I realized that just maybe I got some water into the carburetor. After a few more attempts at cranking the engine it finally coughed through the water and started running great! Still a bit concerned things might fail in a spectacular fashion, I decided to cut some onions and take it slow. Well, it ran fine and still does, it is running better now than it has in a long time actually. Another small victory in a small world.

Well you might think this post is over now, but it’s not! You may recall that Dec. of last year a dumbass deer decided to run smack into our Nissan Altima, please note I did not hit the deer, the deer hit me, and totaled the car. Well we used my 3/4 ton truck to get around for a few months and finally decided to get a car out of self defense, as it ain’t cheap to keep a 3/4 ton truck in gasoline. So we got us a 2013 Ford Fusion from a Ford dealer. Well it didn’t take long after driving it a bit, but every so often I would notice a whiff of burnt oil when sitting at a light or a stop sign. I took it back to the Ford dealer and told them they did not tell me the car had an oil leak. So they looked all over the car engine but found no leak. They then put fluorescent dye in the engine oil and had me come back a week later to see if they could spot the leak. Nope. Then I did a Google search on the car and found out that this car was under a recall. Nobody told me there was a recall when we got the car. I was a little pissed. They explained that it was a coolant sensor thing and the parts to fix it weren’t available yet, but as soon as they were they would fix it. Well, ok, fine..I guess. But I drove home still not knowing where the damn oil was coming from. Typical of my usual luck. Any way this old world can find a way to give me a good screwing, it usually will. So I wrote it off for a while. The car is still a nice car, and it runs fine, I just every once in a while smell some burnt oil and none is really disappearing from the dipstick, and we aren’t seeing oil puddles on the ground, so it can’t be too much of an issue. I have to live my life every day and can’t spend too much of my time worrying about it.

Then a letter comes in the mail. It is from Ford. They have the parts available now to fix the recall issue. All I have to do is schedule an appointment, drop off the car and get it fixed. While I was dropping off the car I told them while they are under the hood, again try to see if they can find the oil leak. I talked to them on the phone the next day. They found the leak. The leak is from a cracked head. Well this conversation was going south fast, I felt like I’d just been punched in the gut, now I’m looking at having to put a new head on the car. But then the conversation took an unexpected turn. They informed me that if the head was cracked in a certain place, it was a known issue caused by the part that was under recall, and that this head WAS cracked in the right place, therefore it is covered under the recall.

Well whoopty doo! It isn’t going to cost me for a new head! Cool. So now we are waiting for Ford to get me a new head. I realized that if there was going to be a new head put on the engine that, if it was me, I’d replace the old timing belt and the water pump while the engine was torn down to that point. Neither of the guys at the service desk seemed to have thought of this and I got a couple of funny looks, and later one of the people at the desk informed me that they had confirmed with their mechanics that this would be a good idea… At that point I decided they needed mechanics working the service desk, but who am I to tell Ford how to run their business? Anyway I informed them that when they installed the new head to put a new timing belt and water pump on the engine, I’d pay for it. I also brought up the issue that I don’t have a car, and really need one, and this looks like it might take a while. They obliged by putting me in a loaner. 🙂

A week later they still don’t have a head, can’t get one, there doesn’t appear to be any. Well, crap… Oh wait! What? They are putting a NEW ENGINE in my car! I gotta tell you, I’m not real sure how to act right now. This does not compute. Given my past, vast, history of the world taking every opportunity it can to screw me over in some fashion, I feel like I’ve all of a sudden been transported to first class. But at the same time I know deep down there must be some kind of karmic error here, I don’t get first class, I get the shaft. There must be something wrong somewhere. Too many things have gone too well in a short period of time. I’ve been looking for other signs that the world may be coming to an end. The wife has been nice to me lately, and I actually saw my cat sleeping with the dog a couple days ago. I’m really getting worried!

I hope you guys and gals are doing well. If the world is coming to an end it has been really nice knowing ya. If it isn’t, I sure hope a bit of luck passes your way. 🙂

 

# March For Our Lives

I was walking through the living room, the wife was on the couch, vacuum cleaner turned off in the middle of the room, and she was riveted to the boob toob. I looked to see what she was watching, it was the children speaking at the rally in D.C. I couldn’t help but stop and take in some of this myself.

I was amazed at the ability of these youths to speak so eloquently, so truthfully, so passionately, so enthusiastically, I was both proud and at times wiping a tear from my eye, from what I was witness to. That these kids have become the adults in the room, and are taking on Congress, R’s in general, and the NRA, in such a convincing fashion, makes me again proud to be an American.(it should also be noted that any and every one of these children are better speakers than our orange idiot of a president)

These kids are what our politicians should be. These kids I hope incite a political pushback against Congress, R’s in general, and the NRA, that not only stands the test of time (and it will need to) but is strong enough to encourage sensible gun restrictions that honestly should have been done a long time ago. Mass murder after mass murder, after mass murder. Thoughts and prayers ad infinitum, lots of tongue wagging, and zero action from our elected officials. The time has come for CHANGE.

No child should be in fear of a crazed gunman killing them and/or their friends when they are at school. That simple fact seems elusive to those in power. These kids however aren’t just pushing for gun restrictions, they are also pushing for voter turnout. With any luck the youth of our era will be what rises up and brings common sense and credibility back to our country. Vote Them Out, should be the battle cry.

I see the political spin of the NRA, “these kids are puppets of the rich Hollywood types.” Or “They are trying to destroy the 2nd ammendment.” Or the ever popular “They are coming for your guns!”

I see the odious Rick Santorum telling students to learn CPR instead of trying to get laws changed. What a fucking moron. That is tRump class moron-ism right there…

I see fear in their eyes. It has been a long time coming.

Vote Them Out!

 

 

 

The Things We Learn From Our Children

My youngest just turned 16, got his drivers license two days ago, then landed a job at the golden arches yesterday. I have been running around for the last couple of days taking care of insurance issues because of our new driver/job holder, and pardon me for a moment while I feel some pride for my son… Got a job the day after his license, damn.

Anyway, this youngster loves to get his laughs from internet memes (maybe he will be a JZ or a Scottie some day) and he showed me a video yesterday that made me lol. This video is supposed to be a representation of every online gaming argument ever. But I think it trancends that particular category and might cover every argument between theists and atheists ever. Take a look and tell me if you think I’m right 🙂 Even if I’m wrong, I found it hilarious.

 

EDIT: May Not Be Suitable For Work!

E Cig Flavors Toxic To White Blood Cells

Who needs white blood cells anyway?

I know to a smoker, or a vaper (is that a word?) there is nothing worse than an ex smoker harping on the ills of the habit. Well I have been of the opinion from the advent of vaping that trading one addiction method for another is somewhat ridiculous and that the side effects of vaping are relatively unknown. Why make yourself a lab rat?

While the ingredients in vape juice are considered safe to eat, there is a misconception that those chemicals are safe to breathe. Well, not so much. I quote:

“Previous studies show that flavors used in e-cigarettes cause inflammatory and oxidative stress responses in lung cells. Users of e-cigarettes also show increased levels oxidative stress markers in the blood compared to non-smokers. The new study extends this to assess the effects of commonly used flavoring chemicals, as well as e-liquids without nicotine, directly on immune cells — namely, a type of white blood cell called monocytes.

Exposure to the e-cigarette flavoring chemicals and e-liquids led to higher production of two well-established biomarkers for inflammation and tissue damage mediated by oxidative stress. Furthermore, many of the flavoring chemicals caused significant cell death — with some flavors being more toxic than others.”

Also relevant:

…”while the flavoring compounds tested may be safe for ingestion, these results show they are not safe for inhalation. “Cinnamon, vanilla and butter flavoring chemicals were the most toxic but our research showed that mixing flavors of e-liquids caused by far the most toxicity to white blood cells.”

And finally:

“Our scientific findings show that e-liquid flavors can, and should, be regulated and that e-juice bottles must have a descriptive listing of all ingredients. We urge regulatory agencies to act to protect public health.”

I could not agree more. There is way too much we do not know about inhaling the chemicals in vape juice. Again, why be a voluntary lab rat? At least we know what tobacco will do to you.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180130123244.htm