Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Trip

Well, we're off to St. George, Utah Monday for a semi-reunion of Jean's family. We're going to spend time with her cousins that she has not seen in over 50 years. Their dad, Jean's uncle, died quite young and their mother remarried and for some reason, contact was lost. One cousin who is Morman was doing a geneology project and contacted her aunt for information about her dad's side of the family. One thing led to another and we're getting to meet them. We'll be meeting Jean's sister and her husband in St. George and we'll stay together. Hopefully we will get to see some of the National Parks in the area. Those are the plans anyway. I'll post any good pictures that I get.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Alex's Graduation Gift

This is a picture of the chest that I built for Alex's Graduation. It is sitting on the floor of my shop before I packaged it for shipping. FedEx did a great job of shipping it, there was not any damage to even the cardboard wrapping. The second picture is Alex opening the chest after getting home from Graduation. The bottom the chest is inscribed in calligraphy "To: Alex Gardner-Nelson on her graduation from Northampton (MA) HS June 1, 2007 From: Grandpa and Grandma Gardner" We're really proud of her.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Politically Correct

I'm on a list serve group for insulator collectors, you know, those little glass things found on telephone poles. I suppose you have to be a little different to see beauty in those little blobs of glass, but there are a couple of guys who log on quite often who sometimes get on my nerves. So, being too chicken to call them on the crap they spread, I'll blog instead. Lately they have been complaining about the use of politically correct phrases and lamenting about the loss of simple business names. i.e. Quest substituted for American Telephone and Telegraph. The most vocal of the two is, I think, either a policeman or a corrections officer and he doesn't see what's wrong with relating an ethnic joke in our discussion group. I wonder if he would find a joke about a donut eating pig beating up on a 12 year old blind girl as funny as the ethnic joke he told. My experience has been that things are funny until it's your ox being gored. As far as the political correctness goes, he seems to think that all Hispanics are illegal aliens, and are therefore violators of the laws of our country. I would like to tell him about a friend of mine, who when asked what label he preferred, Hispanic or Mexican American, he replied, "I prefer American, my family has been in the US for 6 generations." Which, I might add, is about 3 more generations more than my family and probably more than our Germanic named blowhard.

As for the unsimple meaningless names used today I suspect our blowhard goes to Home Depot or Lowes when he needs a big ticket item and only goes to the small local hardware store when he needs a washer or a bolt. There are no "Mom and Pop" stores any more because they can't compete with Wal-Mart or even Albertson's or Stop-N-Shop. And it's our fault, we have been seduced by low prices even though it may mean lower quality as well. Instead of owing our soul to the company store, we'll owe it to the Republic of China.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just a Quick Report

Don't have much to say tonight. I thought I should write something. We just finished watching 3 hours of "The Deadliest Catch" about crab fishing in Alaska. That is a tough way to make a living. They make a years wages in a couple of months, if they survive. I know that the film crews show only the worst of the voyages, but even so, that is just plain hard work. I must give the people who do that a big well done. I hope those folks who order the all you can eat Alaskan crab appreciate what the fishermen do to get that crab on the table. They couldn't pay me enough to do that job.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Price Gouging

We just got back from our visit to Massachusetts. We were a day late in returning because bad weather grounded a lot of flights out of Hartford and a lot of other airports in the east. We wound up on a 5:45 AM flight out of Hartford and a 5 hour layover in Chicago. And, that brings me to my newest rant. Thanks to the TSA you can no longer take bottled water or other drinks through the security screening. You can however buy it after you get through the security checkpoint. So, in the spirit of good old American capitalism the water that you can get in the stores in the terminal costs nearly as much as a case of the same water outside. A 16 oz bottle of water goes for as much a $3 a bottle. That's outrageous! The food dispensers are no better! Because they're in the security area, places like McDonalds charge an additional amount to serve you. I guess we should applaud them because they're not jacking the price 400% like the water sellers and only raising the price 25%. Aren't we lucky! I think that the airport vendors should be investigated, but we'll find that they have to charge more because of the outrageous rent charged by the airports. If they're not careful, they will kill the golden egg laying suckers like yours truly. If a boycott of the airport vendors for a week were possible, we might make a change, but I fear that won't happen. If I were a conspiracy freak, I would suspect that the TSA is in collusion with the vendors. The next step is we will be required to use only TSA approved luggage and that will only be available inside the security area at a 400% markup. Then they will make us purchase our clothing inside the security area. I can see it now, we will have to strip and walk through the metal detectors in the nude. Any clothes we wore will have to be discarded, or you can mail them to yourself for a charge. Then you will have to purchase new approved clothing which will be one size fits most paper clothing for only $300 each. If you need clothing for use at your destination, you will have to ship it ahead in TSA approved containers. They could make more money by making everyone park 10 miles away and only arrive in, you guessed it, TSA approved transportation which would never cost more than $100 each way. nuff said

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Spring Time in Massachusetts

Well, I have access to my daughter's computer so I can check in. We went to Alex's graduation last Friday and it was great! The only complaint that I had was that it was held outside on the football stadium and for some reason people think it's alright to talk rather loudly to one another when someone is making a speech. I think that the kids had some pretty good speeches but I couldn't hear them all because the jerks behind me were talking too loud. When we got back, Alex opened her gifts. She got a digital camera and an I-Pod Nano plus other stuff from the Nelson grandparents. She seemed to love the "Hope" chest. She had guessed what it was, of course, it was hard to miss sitting in the middle of the living room. She has to clean her bedroom before we can move it upstairs. It still sits in the middle of the living room, covered with blankets.

Apparently we are sitting in the middle of a tropical "disturbance" which means it rains like a cow on a flat rock at least once a day. Although, that didn't happen yesterday , Wednesday, so the disturbance has moved away to disturb someone else. We are having a great time, getting lots of sleep and just hanging around. The past two afternoons have found us hitting the antique stores, I look for insulators, everybody else just looks. I did find one New England Telephone and Telegraph insulator for 5 bucks the other day. I don't have my price guide, but we don't see many of them in Eastern Oregon, so I'm happy with my find.

On a sad note, I saw the news on Fr. Jake's blog that Jim Kelsey had been killed in a car wreck on Sunday. Jim and Wes Frensdorf were the leaders in the birth of "Total Ministry" and both have now died in life shortening crashes. Jim was a vital resource to us in the old Seven Rivers Cluster and just a really good guy and a truly committed Christian. The purple shirt didn't seem to change him as it has so many bishops. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I can see Jesus hanging up his halo and putting on comfortable clothes and shooting the breeze with Jim.