Thursday, July 27, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
And again, I haven't a clue what's up with blogspot tonight but I couldn't even put the pictures in the order I wanted them. Above is a shot of my bedroom.
Another shot of the bedroom, this is where RT rests his weary head after a long day on the railroad.
Here's my loo... It's a lot better than my place in Athens. There the tub had a huge wall to wall mirror in the shower. That was creepy and it took me months to get used to that. The one plus to it though was it was easy to shave in the shower.
And now the kitchen. Notice the electric range. Apparently gas ranges are illegal here in West Virginia because in the two years I've been here I've yet to see one. It was a bitch to re-learn to cook on electric without burning everything I tried to cook.
Another shot of the kitchen. Still no dishwasher, but I'm working on it!
And mein lebensraum. Not much going on here, but you can see where I come up with all my warped and twisted ideas. I still haven't hooked up the TV to satellite or cable because I just can't justify spending the money on something I'd never watch.
A view from my back yard (Garden to my mates in the UK and Australia) of Cheat Mountain.
The outside view of my place. It's really four apartments but my entrance is the only one in front so I've got the sole use of the huge porch and it looks like I'm the only one living in this huge old house.
Another view of the front. Not bad for $250 a month!
Hope all of you had a swell weekend!
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
Happy Funny Foto Friday!
And don't forget the I HEART Ranger Tom contest! Go here for details:
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register (Orange County, CA) which, of course, was not printed. So, I Decided to "print" it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined.
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one,suggests we should tear down the Statute of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.
Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them.
All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from.They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules; one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.
And for that suggestion about taking down the Statute of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
Monday, July 17, 2006
So I've been having some problems with my truck the past few weeks. I've been trying to get things done, but with the hours I work I never have free time when anything is open. Auto parts stores, garages, anything. I get done early enough, around 6:30 or 7 PM most days, but nobody stays open for business after 5 PM around here, and don't even ask about weekends. Nothing is open.
So It took me over two weeks to get a PCV valve... That little tiny thing that is on the valve cover that when it goes bad blows motor oil all over the place. Because that valve was bad I was going through about 2 quarts a day.
So I finally got a PCV valve at NAPA last week when Jimmy and myself went there to get some parts and supplies. I changed it right there in the freight yard and everything was ok. Until Friday when I was on my way home I noticed a Valvoline Quik-E change place still open in Elkins. I stop in and have them change the oil and I thought everything was fine.
I thought wrong.
By the time I get to the top of Cheat mountain on my way home I can hear my valves chattering like I'm low on oil...
The first of many "What the fucks" to happen over this past weekend.
I get home and just park the thing and Saturday morning go out and check the oil. The dipstick is bone dry! It was then I noticed a pool of oil under the truck. From the time the PCV valve was bad, my entire engine was covered in oil so I couldn't tell where it was leaking from. I added oil and went to the grocery store and that was about it.
I parked it and didn't go anywhere else. I checked the oil Sunday and it was fine. A little low, but well within the safe range to get me back over the mountain Monday morning on my way to work where I can stop at the only place open that early, a Exxon station in Huttonsville where I can get some more oil.
So this morning comes around. The alarm goes off at 4 AM and I roll out of bed. I get ready for work and head out at 5 AM to work. I start it... And there's that damn valve chatter again! I get out and grab my MagLight and I see all FIVE FUCKING QUARTS of oil on the street under my truck. There is no Goddamn way I was driving 20 miles over the mountain with a bone dry oilpan.
I call Jimmy and tell him what's going on and now I'm stuck until the closest place in town I can walk to opens up at 9 AM to get some oil so I can at least get to a garage to get it fixed, whatever the problem is...
I get to a garage in Bartow, the next town over from Durbin and the owner puts my truck up on the lift... And guess what?
The fucking oilpan drain plug was on so loose it came off in his hand when he went to check it! The bonehead dumbasses at the Quik-E oil change place never tightened the bastard when they put it back in and the vibration of the engine running loosened it enough that it was pouring out almost as fast as I could replace it.
So, not only was I out the sheckels I had to pay for the oilchange, I was out for another six quarts I had to put in over the weekend, I'm out almost $500 for the days wages I would have gotten if I could have worked today...
Next time I'm just going to do it myself... The only sure way I know it'll get done right.
Any of you know of a cheap ($1,500 to $2,000 range) 4WD for sale? Let me know, ok?
And don't forget the I HEART Ranger Tom contest! Go here for those details:
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden