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Posted By Ed B

When I blog, I like to craft a pithy, concise tableau of words

I want to provide a springboard for a discussion of some of the issues of the day.
Or point out an interesting mental connection I haven't heard somewhere else (or that I stole).
If you wanted to hear more of my personal life, you'd look me up on Facebook.
Not that I post much there either, as I just don't have that much drama going on in my life these days.

There are two major dramatic themes in my life these days, my employment and my wife's health.

On employment, I've always, and I mean always, relied on my God given talent that I would find employment when necessary, and until the meltdown, that was true.
And during the meltdown, I felt safe until I saw the decent management move on, leaving me exposed to the machinations of a couple of managers who were having an affair.
One of them was my boss, the other was the QC mgr.
They were both married (and not to each other).
I went into the plant after hours one night and caught them alone together.
I couldn't care less (except for a general concern for their moral well-being and that of their spouses), but my boss was an ineffective joke, and a large part of that was his poor attention to his job and his excessive attention to her.
Many found it comical (especially when his wife came in looking for "that whore").
I complained to the plant manager frequently that I wasn't getting support from the maintenance department because our boss wouldn't schedule them to support me, which would result in my being alone in the plant at night, programming robots and machines, drilling and mounting fixtures, all for a product launch the next day.
Why would I do that?
Because if I didn't, it wouldn't get done.
If it didn't get done, we'd lose the work.
And I'd lose an employer.
So I'd complain to the plant manager and it would get better, for a couple days.
And I had people at corporate tell me I was indispensable.

Then it came time for a short layoff of a couple weeks because I got caught up on my work load and everyone else had been seeing rotating layoffs.
I was looking forward to the two weeks off after months of 70 hour weeks.

While I was laid off, however, the plant manager and the human resources manager both left the company, and the QC manager was made interim plant manager.
And I was notified that I would see my layoff extended.
After four months and my being hired on elsewhere, I was given a severance package.
I said all this to say that since then, I've yet to feel comfortable about my employment.
Until now.
Yesterday, the plant manager and the engineering manager where I currently work both expressed their appreciation of what I've done and am doing for the company.

As for my wife, we've been praying that she would get in to the U of M Neurology Clinic for testing prior to her appointment next year.
Besides wanting quicker relief, this would also help us financially with insurance costs.
We got a call last week, she was seen a couple days ago and just before Thanksgiving she will move in to a room there for up to a week, while wired to some diagnostic equipment that will pinpoint the precise location of the source of her seizures when she has one for them.
They will then have a better idea of how to proceed with treatment.

As for political commentary.
I am overwhelmed by the stupidity of the American Voter and fear greatly for this country.
Everyone agrees they have the right to vote.

Few agree they have the responsibility to research the issues, other than listening to  the proclamations of the president as he offers them the free lunch.

And if you're not listening to Bill Whittle on Afterburner, you're missing one of the sharpest essayists this country has ever produced.

Posted By Ed B

When I don't see someone post for a while I get concerned.

In programming equipment, we sometime put in a "heartbeat" signal that tells us the equipment is still in cycle, or as Johnny Five would say "Alive!".

In the last week:

  • I've polished the headlamps on my car taking years off of their apearance and making them more effective when driving.
  • Changed the serpentine belt to eliminate the horrible squealing that started after the head gasket change.
  • Flushed the heater core at the quarter car wash, so we've got heat now.
  • Did the same for the neighbor lady's car.
  • Mowed the leaves.
  • Wished Obama would give me the satisfaction of falling over dead every time I see his smirking face on the television. (I know it's wrong)
  • Snaked out the sewer lines.
  • Gone to church and enjoyed our youth groups impromptu worship team lead worship.
  • Had dinner with Nate and Norma at their retirement center.
    All the shrimp I could eat. Not should, could.
    And their wonderful company. It's like having parents again.

I'm considering upgrading my web hosting and using Wordpress.
I'm done considering that now.
I'd just like the comments to work better and also have some idea of how many people actually read this.
The way it is now I don't have access to those neat tools other people use.

I'm waiting for Scherie now (that's not new) so that we can go to the UM Neurology Dept. for an evaluation of her treatment and to see if there are some procedures that will help her (us).
We're anxious and excited about the prospects, until the subject of brain surgery (removal of scar tissue or electrode implants) comes up again.

Well, time to go.

Posted By Ed B

I was thinking about the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters this morning.
I had heard Bill Whittle on the Midnight Trucker Radio Network (fifth hour, Monday) and after listening to his description of them as pampered and "entitled" I began to think of them as the Eloi, from H.G.Wells "The Time Machine".
Funny, since Wells was a notorious Progressive.

The Eloi were fed and pampered and hadn't a clue as to who were providing for them (or more insidious, why).

That about sums up this crowd with their I-Pods, I-Pads, and no clue as to how they came to have them.

Then I was reminded of an observation I made years ago about upcoming generations.
As parents become affluent and give there kids a wealth of material goods, those kids get addicted to those goods.
When those kids left the house and couldn't provide those goods for themselves, in order to maintain their addiction, they turned to petty crime.

Breaking and entering, stealing 8-tracks and CBs from vehicles, dealing weed.
It's worse today.
Now they're protesting that they want you and I to support them, since their parents won't or can't.

Pay off their loans, give them an income stream.


Or they might get violent.

Posted By Ed B

The One (percent)

Posted By Ed B

You may not have been aware of this, but a head gasket on my wife's car gave out last week.
I never overheated but I was blowing fluid out of the radiator tank like crazy.
My brother Tom and I removed and replaced the head gaskets this week, finishing up the job last night.
Normally, I'd find that to be daunting.
I haven't done it in a few years, and cars are more complicated these days.
But Tom has been keeping his hand in more and it was nice working with him on an engine again.

We last worked together on an engine in 1968 when I was 15 and he was 11 or 12 and our dad had given me his car that he had burned up the motor in and told me where I could find another used motor to fit it.
He also said that Tom would be able to help me swap the motors.
He was right.

This engine is a common Ford product.
I have one in my Ranger (the car being a Taurus).
For years, when torquing the heads (tightening the bolts to a certain specification, Freddy), you started with the middle two bolts and tightened them to say 30 ft/lbs, working your way in a spiral to the outside bolts.
Repeat to 60, then to 90.
This squeezes the gasket from the middle, out.

In looking up the specs for a 99 Taurus, it turns out that for 96 to 98 there's one technique, for 1999 another and for 2000-2002 yet a third!
Thank God (and not Al Gore) for the internet.
About $330 and it's running again.

Thanks Tom.



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Ed B
Ypsilanti, MI


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