In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Drizzly Drips

Yesterday the skies had high clouds, with a few darker solid gray layers. The darker clouds would bring light sprinkles and would pass in a few minutes. The north wind was strong, and the damp chill was uncomfortable. Today is different.

This morning, the skies were solid gray, with some low scud out of the north. It was almost calm, but the wind picked up, and the rain began. It's been like that since, and the only way to describe the weather is miserable.

One good thing is the temperature. The thermometer is hovering around 50, and I'm glad it's not hovering right below freezing. The last time that happened (decades ago), the heavy ice accumulation eventually took out the power, and it took over a week for the line crews to repair the damage.

 It was miserable, since my home at the time had electric heat, and the small generator I had could barely keep one small space heater working. The water well was 220, and although I could have changed it to 110, it was safer to just drain the pump and tank. I had a bathtub full of water for flushing, and bottled water to drink. Sponge baths were all that was available, and the water was heated on a colander placed over a large candle. 

So, this year ends with nasty weather, but better weather is forecast for the first. It won't last long, and we've expecting more rain in the middle of the week.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Cost Analysis

I found the following from the Raconteur Report. It's what the media should be reporting daily, and the reason the southern border walls should be built.

Regardless of what some people think, everyone pays taxes, whether outright on income, or through increased costs due to government bureaucracy and waste. Everyone should be pissed about how much money is spent on illegal invaders, and be determined to kick them out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Political Garbage

An eight year old boy died of an illness, so the national news reports the event. The national news doesn't report on the death of other children that died from an illness, but this one is different: The boy was from Guatemala, and is one of the illegals trying to become U.S. citizens. Regardless of how the death has nothing to do with politics, the media thinks it's important, since they think it glorifies their political garbage.

The article doesn't report what the child died from. Was it a dangerous communicable disease? Was it a simple cold, but the child was not in good health? An allergic reaction? We'll probably never know, since most people worry tremendously about their own children, and would not be very gracious towards those bringing unknown illnesses into the the country. The boy might have died from an illness not common in the United States, and the exposure to the population could lead to severe health problems.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Forecast

According to the local weather wizards, Christmas shall have a 30% chance of showers, with a high temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Since they're usually pretty close with their forecast, this Christmas won't bring weather like I experienced before.

A few decades ago, we had a Christmas with temperatures that never crept above freezing. The result was broken water pipes, a windfall for plumbers, and abridged Christmas dinners. It was a mess, and I spent some time under my house with a propane torch, cold feet, and some choice words.

A few Christmases back, we had snow (very rare on any winter day) and it was a beautiful sight to behold. It added a cheerful accent to a cheerful day; although it sure led to some fender benders for those trying to drive in something they're not prepared to drive in.

So, this Christmas will be balmy, and I wouldn't be surprised it starts out with heavy fog. Short sleeves will be worn, and the mosquitoes will have a chance to pass on some pathogens.

If I don't write again before Christmas, I wish for all my visitors to have the best Christmas they ever had, and all afterwards even better.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Silly Crap

Brake calipers are simple devices. The cylinder has a piston, rubber o-ring and a boot. The only moving part is the piston. Motion is caused by either hydraulic pressure, or the o-ring, which deforms when the piston is pushed in by the brake fluid. After the pressure is released, the o-ring returns into the original position and pulls the cylinder from pushing on the brake pads. When the brake pad wears enough, the piston will push further through the o-ring, and automatically adjusts the brake. The boot only keeps dust and water from the internal assembly.

The only problem that can occur with this system is contamination. Either corrosion, or particles can jam the piston, due to the tight tolerances. At that time, the caliper can be repaired, or replaced...or that's what used to be the solution.

You can't buy rebuild kits for calipers at parts houses, so you have to buy a rebuilt caliper, pay more, and spend more time returning the old calipers as a core. It's a win-win for parts houses, rebuilders, and attorneys. To me, it's silly crap, and it irritates me something so simple is corrupted by greed and stupidity. .

We'll See What Happens

Acting U.S. Attorney Whitaker is cleared to oversee the Muellor investigation and not required to recuse himself from this oversight.  This may get interesting, since there are considerable legal, and ethical, considerations. His immediate demands for an update of the investigation, documents acquired, individual interviews of each member of the Muellor team, and consultation with judges may open up a can of worms many in D.C. don't want opened.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas and the Interstate (again)

I'll post this again, since writing about current events is frustrating. 


W.R. pulled his coat tighter, after closing and locking the door of his truck. Stopping for a moment, he took a deep breath, hoped for a hint of fresh air, but was rewarded with the odor of diesel and the exhaust of the tractor-trailer rigs at the pumps. Moving on, he hunched his shoulders in the cold, damp north wind. The faint smell of the grill in the attached restaurant made his stomach growl, although he wished he was smelling something more traditional on a Christmas Eve.

Glancing around the parking lot, he felt the familiar feeling all truck stops brought. They were all the same, but different. All had different faces behind the counter; some he knew, some he didn't; all were the refuge of those that led a huge portion of their life behind the windshield of a truck.

Across the parking lot, in a corner isolated from traffic, he noticed the small car, with the woman standing and looking under the hood. Steam rose in the cold wind and was whisked away; streamers of lost hope and anxiety.

W.R. paused, silently argued with his inner voice, but succumbed to the urge to help someone in trouble. Changing direction, he quickly walked to the car, stopped for a moment, then offered his help.

"Do you need some help?"

The woman looked his way. For a moment a faint smile crossed her face, but was soon replaced with the hardened expression of someone that felt slight fear and apprehension. She stared at his face, paused, but replied with resignation in her voice: "The engine light came on; the engine died; so I coasted to this spot."

W.R. examined the woman's face for a moment. The glance revealed a young woman with dirty blonde hair, a pretty face, and a determination found only by those unwilling to give up, when faced with problems. He guessed she was around thirty, down on her luck, and stranded in a truck stop, while travelling somewhere important. What little makeup she wore was overshadowed by her unkempt appearance: an old flannel shirt, faded blue jeans, and sneakers that had seen better days.

"Do you mind if I take a look?"

She hesitated before answering: "Go ahead; maybe we can figure it out."

He liked her answer. Unwilling to admit defeat, she wasn't about to defer to the advice of a stranger.

It didn't take long for W.J. to make an initial assessment. The coolant reservoir was empty, and the steam was from a cracked heater hose.

"Have you checked the oil"

"I was about to."

Pulling the dipstick revealed a gray, oily sludge. W.R. hesitated, but soon announced: "You've lost coolant, and you have a blown head gasket."

"Is that expensive to repair?"

W.R. looked at her face and found a worried look. He paused to reexamine the car before he replied: "Probably more than the car's worth."

"My phone is out of minutes. Do you have one I can borrow?"

W.R. felt a pang of apprehension. His kindness had led many places he never wanted to go, but he was raised to be that way. He immediately replied: "Sure", and handed her his cell phone.

She dialed a number, waited a few moments, then answered: "Hi, Mom. I'm broken down on the interstate, so I won't be there in time."

W.R. walked a few steps away to give her privacy. Although he couldn't hear all the conversation, he heard enough to understand the woman didn't have the money, her mother would need to wire her some money, and it wouldn't happen until a family member returned to take her to wire the money.

"I'll be alright. I'll stay in the car, and I'll call to give you the place to wire the money."

Lost in his thoughts, W.R. was a little startled when the young woman said: "Thanks. I appreciate it."

A thousand thought crossed W.R's. mind. Pushing sixty, a little overweight, and with a salt and pepper beard, he felt he looked the epitome of a trashy trucker. He felt any offers to help would either repulse, or cause fear to the woman young enough to be his daughter. He looked at the woman, and her face revealed a sadness that pulled at his soul.

Ignoring his instinct to flee, he asked: "How far are you going?"

He couldn't read her reaction, but she replied: "I'm going East, to Mobile. I was hoping to spend Christmas with my mother."

W.R's. heart broke. It was Christmas eve, Mobile was a few hundred mile away, and it would be after Christmas before she received her money.

"I'm heading East. You can ride along, and come for your car after Christmas."

The woman's face changed from apprehension, hope, fear and a guarded look in a few moments. Pausing, she soon spoke: "I'll wait until you come back."

Feeling awkward, and not really knowing what to say, W.J. responded: "I'm going to get something to eat, so it may be awhile. Why don't you join me?"

"I'm not really that hungry."

"I'm buying. I won a few hundred on scratch-offs at the last stop, so I need to pass my good luck on"

She examined his face for a moment, smiled, and replied: "I'd hate to ruin your good luck."

As they walked to the restaurant, she spoke: "I'm Cathy."

Stopping, he turned, held out his hand and introduced himself: "I'm W.R., and I'm pleased to meet you."

She shook his hand, and replied: "W. R. must stand for something."

"Wendell Roberts; everybody just calls me W.R.; I like that better."

Continuing to the door, she spoke again: "It's not a bad name."

W.R. laughed, and replied: "No, but it led to a few fights in grade school."

She laughed, started to say something, but decided not.

W.R. held the door, as they entered the restaurant. Mostly men sat at the tables and booths. A few looked at them as they entered, but most just continued eating, or staring into space.

Finding an empty table, they were soon seated. A tired waitress soon arrived to take their order.

W.R. responded: "I'd like some coffee, and a little time to look at the menu.:

Turning to Cathy, she replied: "I'll have coffee, too."

After the waitress left, W.R. cautioned: "There's a lot on the menu, but other than breakfast, I usually stick to the hamburger, or club sandwich. Unless they hired new cooks over the last few weeks, everything else isn't very good."

The waitress soon returned with their coffee. Speaking as she set the cups on the table, she asked if it would be one ticket, or two.

"Put it on one ticket", W.R. responded. "I'll have a cheeseburger all the way, with fries."

Cathy was quick with her order: "I'll have the same, but cut the onions."

Writing quickly, the waitress left to give their order to the cook.

Neither spoke, until they fixed their coffee and took the first sip.

Cathy was first to speak: "The coffee is good."

W.R. smiled and replied: "It's some of the best around. It's fresh ground and makes up for the food."

Cathy examined W.R.'s face as he looked out the window. Mostly unwrinkled, the only clear lines were his smile lines. His beard was neatly trimmed, a little curly and his pale complexion was free from damage by the sun.

"Have you driven trucks most of your life?"

W.R. turned to look at her face, when he answered: "Since I left the Army in my mid-twenties." I started working for others and eventually bought my own rig. I've hauled just about everything, but it's mostly been flatbed and long hauls."

"Do you have a home?"

"Not right now. My wife of 15 years got it in the divorce settlement, and I kept what little I had for my retirement."

"Do you have any children?"

"I have a step-daughter, although she's like my own. I was hoping to see her, but she's spending Christmas with her mom; and her grandfather. I'll see her when I get back to North Texas"

"Is that where you're from?"

"Amarillo. I was raised there, left for the Army, returned long enough to marry, and start trucking."

"What about your parents?"

My dad died in a farming accident, when I was in the Army. I wanted to request an early out, but Mom wanted to sell the farm, since there wasn't much money to made and she didn't want to keep fighting so hard for so little. She's living with my sister and her husband. We never really were that tight of a family, so I only see them a few times during the year"

Saddened, Cathy spoke without thinking: "That's sad." She wished she hadn't said anything, when she saw the momentary look of sadness, and defeat, in J.R.'s expression.

"I guess so. Those types of things just happen."

Cathy decided to be quiet, but W.R. continued the conversation: "What about you?"

Cathy stared out the window and replied: "I never married. I thought I would, but my ex was full of more crap than a Christmas turkey."

W.R. silently waited for her to continue.

"He had a good job offer in Houston, persuaded me to leave Mobile, so I went to find my dreams. One year later, he's fired for drinking on the job; six months later I had enough, and a little over two years after leaving, I'm here, fresh quit from a crappy retail job, and broken down on the interstate."

Before W.R. could ask any more questions, the waitress returned with their order. Placing the plates in front of each, she placed the ticket in front of W.R. and left.

Cathy spoke: "She could have asked if we wanted some more coffee."

W.R. laughed, and replied: "I'll flag her down in a minute. It looks like only half the wait staff is here, and I wouldn't be surprised she doesn't have a relief."

Cathy looked around, and realized W.R. was probably right. Feeling a little sheepish, she commented: "I should have known. I waited tables for a few months. It's tough to be helpful, when it's all you can do to keep up."

As they ate, Cathy remarked: "The burger is good."

W.R. replied: "They make their own patties, and cook them on an open grill."

As they finished, W.R. flagged down the waitress, and pointed at his empty coffee cup. She soon returned, filled both cups and asked if they needed anything more. Both answered "No; thank you", and she was soon gone.

Sipping her coffee, Cathy said: "I'm guessing my car will be towed before tomorrow night."

"Maybe not."

"It doesn't matter. It isn't worth the towing fee."

Sitting silently, W.R. thought of a friend, made an excuse to go to the restroom, and was soon away from the table to make a phone call. Returning to the table, he asked Cathy: "I have a friend that will buy your car for scrap; if you're interested."

Cathy sat for a moment before replying: "How much?"

"He wouldn't commit, but said he just finished repairing a tire down the road, and would meet us in the parking lot."

"Well, let's go find out."

Rising from the table, W.R. picked up the ticket, and examined the cost. When they reached the checkout, their waitress was there checking out another customer. When finished, she quickly rang up their bill, and announced the cost of a little over sixteen dollars. W.R. pulled a twenty from his pocket, peeled another with it, handed it to the waitress, and said: "Keep the change."

Shocked, the waitress started to say something, but didn't when she noticed his wink. A huge smile appeared, but soon faded, when a customer called from one of her tables. With a quick "Thank you very much", she was soon gone.

"That was more than kind"

"She deserves it. Waiting tables is a thankless job, without tips."

A gust of cold wind caused both to bend their heads to the wind as they left the restaurant. Looking towards her car, they could see a service truck parked next to it, with a man looking it over.

As they walked up, the man held out his hand and spoke: "Howdy W.R.; Merry Christmas."

"How are you doing, Hank?"

"I'm tired, but the business is too good to stop. Most of my competition is off tonight, and I just had another call for a flat repair."

Cathy introduced herself and asked: "So, what do you think?"

"I'll give you a hundred dollars for it."

W.R. quickly responded: "The tires are almost new; you'll get twice that much for selling them used."

"Yeah, but I'll have to put them on, so there's labor involved."

Pausing, Hank offered another price: "I'll give you another fifty, but I won't go any higher."

Cathy looked at W.R. with a questioning look on her face. He nodded "yes", but she was hesitant.

W.R. waited, but Hank quickly responded: "You're killing me. As it is, I won't make much money."

W.R. replied: "Maybe not, but she's probably losing money."

"Okay, I'll give you one hundred seventy five, but that's my final offer."

Cathy quickly responded: "I'll take it; I even have the title."

"I don't need it, but I'll take it anyway. You sign it, and I don't have to worry about you reporting it stolen."

Pulling the title from her purse, she signed the back, and handed it to Hank.

"If you have anything in it, you need to get it now. I'll probably tow it before morning,"

Opening the back door, Cathy pulled out a suitcase and two Walmart bags, with wrapped presents. Placing them on the ground, she quickly took the money Hank pulled from his wallet.

Shaking her hand, he said: "It's pleasure doing business with you, but I need to get me a cup of coffee to go and get out of here. There's money to be made."

Quickly shaking W.R.'s hand, he was soon off towards the door of the restaurant.

Cathy stood quietly as he disappeared. W.R. could see her eyes were brimming, so he quickly said: "We need to go put your things in my truck. After that, you can go use the restroom, I'll get us some coffee to go, and we'll be off.

Hank was sitting in the truck, with the engine running, when she returned. The heater warmed the cab, which made him a little drowsy. Taking a sip of coffee, he watched, as she climbed into the passenger seat. Fastening her seat belt, W.R. put the truck in gear, and started from the parking lot.

Cathy was first to speak as Hank accelerated up the entrance ramp on the interstate: "I want to thank you for your help. I figured the car was total loss and I'd get nothing."

W.R. didn't know what to say. It was obvious she had almost nothing to her name, and little more to show for the last two years of her life.

Cathy's laugh surprised W.R. as she commented: "I only paid five hundred for it; and used it for months. Truthfully, I was surprised it lasted as long as it did."

W.R. continued to drive silently, but Cathy was in the mood to talk. He decided she was probably a little nervous and was glad for the company.

"I'll be home in time for Christmas with my mom. She'd have come with Uncle Bill to get me, but he doesn't drive on the highway any more; he broke both his legs last year, while driving to Florida, and is too scared to drive any farther than the grocery store."

"Your mother doesn't drive?"

"She doesn't have a car, and Uncle Bill won't let her drive his pickup. I'm sure he'd have brought her to wire me some money this evening, but he's visiting his daughter. Even then, I doubt they'd find any place open"

W.R. digested the information for a moment. Cathy soon commented: "You need to meet my mother. I think she'd like you."

"What about your father?"

Cathy's response was quick, and full of vehemence: "That sorry bastard is probably in jail, or shacked up with some whore."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. Mom left him years ago, and if she hadn't, I'd probably shot him for beating her."

W.R. didn't know what to say, but Cathy did: "She's about your age, and she's still very attractive."

The comment made W.R. nervous, but raised he curiosity. If she was as pretty as her daughter, she might be someone to meet. He'd been lonely, since his divorce, and his life didn't allow much time for dating.

Handing Cathy his cell phone, W.R. advised: "You should call her, and let her know you're on the way."

Cathy felt guilty for a moment. In all that happened, she hadn't called her mother, and all she knew was she was stranded in a truck stop.

"Hi Mom. I found a ride, and I'll be there in a few hours...No, a kind trucker offered me a ride...I know, but I can take care of myself....don't worry, I'll call when I get close....I can walk to the house, it's not that far from the interstate.........okay, but tell your neighbor I'll give them some gas money......I love you, too....Bye.

"She's worried. I can understand that, she hasn't had much luck with men."

Both were silent for the next few hours, except for comments about the traffic, or things of no importance. Cathy eventually nodded off, so W.R. turned on the radio and listened to music as he drove.

When they were getting close to Mobile, W.R. spoke loudly, so Cathy would wake up: "We're almost there. You probably should call your mother."

Cathy woke, took his phone, and stared through the windshield for a few moments, before dialing.

"Hi Mom. We're almost there...I dunno....that's on 65, isn't it?"

Recognizing the interstate number, he told Cathy: "I'm heading north on 65. We can meet her somewhere there."

Cathy continued: "That's that Super Walmart past Airport?....I'll ask."

Turning toward W.R., he quickly answered: "I know where that is."

"Okay...I'll see you, when we get there...Uncle Bill's home?...Great."

For the next few minutes, Cathy talked about how Mobile changed, even in the short few years she was gone. They were soon at their destination, so W.R. pulled into the parking lot and came to a stop. In a few minutes, an older pickup pulled next to the truck.

Looking at the truck for a moment brought a huge smile to Cathy's face. Climbing from the truck, she hurried to meet her mother, who she hugged tightly and kissed on the cheek. Quickly hugging her Uncle Bill, she turned to find W.R. approaching with her suitcase and bags.

"Mom; Uncle Bill; I want y'all to meet W.R."

Both smiled, and held out their hands. W.R. shook both their hands and said: "I'm pleased to meet you."

Cathy's mother responded: "I'm Ellen, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help."

W.R. examined her face, and replied: "It was nothing. It was on the way."

Ellen was pretty, just like Cathy said. Far from young, W.R. could see Cathy in thirty years.

We'd like you to have Christmas dinner with us."

"I appreciate the offer, but I need to keep going. I'm due to deliver my load tomorrow and pick up another for delivery in Dallas in two days."

Cathy pulled a small pad from her purse, quickly wrote down a number and handed it to W.R.

"This is my Mom's number. Call, if you're this way again."

W.R. took the piece of paper, stuck it in his coat pocket, and replied: "It's nice meeting you all, but I need to get going."

Cathy quickly hugged him, and said: "Merry Christmas, Wendell Roberts; and God bless."

W.R. hugged her back, looked at her face, and saw her tears. Turning, he returned to his truck, placed it in gear, and waved as he pulled away. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw them standing together, and waving in return.

Pulling back on the service road, he was soon on the next entrance ramp and accelerating into the traffic. Rolling down the window, he reached into his pocket and threw the piece of paper out the window.

For a few moments, he regretted what he did, but knew it was best. Turning on the radio, he found a rock station and turned the music up loud. He'd stop a few miles up the road; and continue on, after a short nap. He'd work on his log book tomorrow, while he waited for them to unload his truck.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Ap I Need

I want an ap for my laptop that will allow me to taser anyone that places an unwanted video, or advertisement on any web page I load. It's necessary, and I think there are millions that feel the way I do.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Call It a Standoff

Trump met with the two reprobates the Democrats have as leaders in Congress. I think Pelosi, and Schumer, thought they would meet privately with Trump. It wasn't to be, and they were forced to be publicly shown as wormy, political animals. The media acted shocked, while those that support a border wall were hoping Trump will keep his promise. We'll know by the first of the year. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Playing the Game

We have two main political parties in the United States...that's what we're supposed to believe. In reality, there are two factions of politicians with similar wants, and a strong willingness to play the game by the rules of those that actually make the rules. The only real difference between the parties is how much money is spent, while controlling the citizens the rule makers despise.

Trump, since he had good speeches about "draining the swamp", was elected to do just that. At the time, I doubt he knew how much he was an outsider, and not wanted by those pushing the buttons. I think he does now, and is finding he's outnumbered at the top, while being strongly supported by those that put him in office.

What are the ramifications of this? Trump has strong opposition, and some of those in opposition will do anything to destroy his presidency. Included in that opposition are those groomed to assume power, and some of those are even in the military he commands. With the constant problems of the Democrats, members of his own party, and the media, his struggle is great, and on some days, it looks like he's losing the game.

Trump has something those that oppose him don't have. He has patriots in the military, and I have a feeling those patriots are more than good at the game of politics, espionage, and the manipulation of the bureaucracy. If they're true patriots, they know what's at stake, and know their task is important to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens. It's a dangerous task, since it's now well known those that are in opposition will use subverted law enforcement, illegal leverage to force perjury, obvious efforts to ignore the criminal activities of those on their side, and even use those in the judicial branch either complicit, or ignorant of how desperate the sedionists have become. I wouldn't put violence to carry out the tasks out of the equation. If someone will ignore all laws to destroy the lives of those without resources for protection, it's a small leap to use violence to accomplish the task in a shorter period of time.

We have more than a swamp in the capitol. We have a criminal enterprise that is operating without any repercussions. It needs to stop, and I hope Trump is willing to accomplish this task.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Finding the Answers

If a Seal team was turned loose, I have no doubt they'd have all the answers about the Muellor investigation, the Clintons, the FBI, the DOJ and probably half the members of Congress. Maybe it's time to turn them loose.

All But Forgotten

Seventy seven years is a long lifetime, but that would only be the age of someone born on this day on December 7, 1941. It was a day when the complacency of peace time spit and polish was destroyed by the vicious attack on Pearl Harbor. Those there, or adults at that time, are mostly gone, and only their still living children can relate the horror they felt, and the determination to destroy those so willing to destroy their country.

The U.S. learned an important lesson after Pearl Harbor, and was given the lesson again on September 11, 2001. Still, the lesson is not over. We have those willing to destroy our Republic at our doorsteps, hiding in the country and impersonating patriots. They'll try again, and maybe the next time will bring the destruction of enough of our enemies to allow peace for a long, long time.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Finding Things You Don't Want to Find

Yesterday, after my truck's dashboard lit up, and my brakes did a short nosedive, I found brake fluid pouring from the right rear wheel. My first thought was "Oh crap" and called someone to help me with what I knew was a daunting task.

I helped change the rear brake shoes a few months ago. That's what concerned me, since everything seemed good after the job. I figured the wheel cylinder started leaking, which is usually just a seep; not fluid pouring on the ground.

I pulled the truck into the shop at work and jacked up the rear right side. After removing the wheel, and hub (The hub won't come off without using a 3/8" bolt in the special threaded holes) I found one of the plungers on the wheel cylinder pushed completely out. More inspection revealed what appeared to be a missing spring. Since I didn't have a diagram, I had to jack up the other side to see the brake assembly.

Sure enough, a spring was gone. Where it went? I don't know, but it wasn't in the hub. We'd put it back on after the last brake least I thought we did. I doubt the brakes would have lasted ten minutes without it.

Anyway, long story short, I didn't have any help, and what should have been a two hour project turned into four. That, and scurrying around under a pickup finds muscles that are not used often, and show their dissatisfaction by aching. I did put new springs on the assembly, with new shoes, and cussed the keeper springs designed by a sadist engineer from hell.

For some reason, Chevy put rear drums on certain pickups. Mine is one, and brake work is a nightmare compared to changing pads on a disc brake system. Still, changing rear shoes is usually only about every 150,000 miles, so the problem is not one experienced often. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Rambling is an interesting word. It can mean lengthy, confused, or inconsequential. This ramble is without consequence.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Throwing Out Numbers

I was listening to a public service spot on the radio this morning, and the announcer stated 100 million was spent last year on untreated mental illness. That's a huge number, and I wonder what they're including in the data for the statistic. I might be wrong, but I have the feeling somebody just grabbed a number out of the air, and included it in the spot.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Another One Gone

George H. W. Bush has passed. I'm sure those that called him nasty names in the past will now stand in line to eulogize him for some face time. It's part of the game, and part of the process of being a lying, backstabbing, political opportunist.

I voted for him, with some trepidation. He was far better than any Democrat, but his former CIA position was a little bit disturbing for a President. That, and he was definitely a political insider in the Beltway, where the denizens of the Ivory Towers look down upon the peons with disdain.

Anyway, his wife preceded him, and I can see where he was ready to go. Barbara Bush was a lady that didn't hold her punches - even when it was commenting on her children - and what words she spoke told me she was a patriot, really didn't care much for the bullshit in Washington, and would make the greatest of friend.

May he rest in peace.