Sometimes Things Go Astray

Since last weekend, I’ve had muscle spasms in my back. Today, at least, the pain moderated. That was, until someone parked too close, at the gym. Crawling across the front seats from the passenger side, didn’t help matters.

A windshield rock chip was repaired this afternoon. That also occurred unexpectedly last weekend.

Tuesday, I noticed something on one of the car’s back tires, upon retrieving trash bins from the curb.

It was a large galvanized nail, bent over, but the business end was stuck in the tire. It was discovered before my dog’s trip to the vet for annual shots and checkup.

I was sweating raindrops, until we got back home. The tire held air until I made it the repair shop. Of course, the tire was unrepairable.  I was out the expense of a new tire.

Every day is a new day. Sometimes things just go wrong.

Get Tougher

Switchback roads, 717 miles, from Burma to Southern China, up and down mountain sides, through muddy, monsoon conditions; when big trucks were too big, and the 1/4 ton regular Jeep just wouldn’t do.

From adversity, came a better idea. Nicknamed the Ford Burma Jeep, tougher, more maneuverable, up to 1 1/2 ton hauling capacity, 4WD, with low range.  Some were equipped with 10,000 # front winches.

With dual rear wheels, they were mostly used by the USMC and Navy in the Asian and Pacific theatres.  Fifteen thousand or so were built and few survived.  They were sometimes used as explosive ordnance carriers and wreckers.

Cab seating was spartan, with the passenger seat turned sideways.  That was so the passenger riding shotgun could watch the road and cargo.  The powerplant was a 226 cu. in. six cylinder, with 90 horse power @3400 rpm.

Mileage, by today’s standards was nothing to brag about–9 mpg.  It was able to run on fuel with as little as 7o octane.  Top speed was 45 miles per hour.  For its purpose, there were few roads, on which such speeds could be attained.

It wouldn’t win any stoplight drags.  But, it was what was needed during wartime, on some of the worst road conditions known to mankind.  It’s  homely, but has a certain rugged charm.  I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to take a ride in one.

Image, http://www.pinterest.com

Organization, Please

It’s a good thing one of us is better organized. I’m more of a “go with the flow” type guy–unless things get too far out of control.

My wife is doing federal and state income taxes today. Something she seems to enjoy doing, and gets totally caught up in the process, till the very end.

Me, I would go H&R Block, or one of the other well-known tax preparation firms. Receipts for the year would be stashed away in a shoebox. Not a filing cabinet, but it always worked.

Not that I’m complaining, because the opposite–complete disorganization drives me berserk. I find it hard to understand those that seem to be on their own timetables, march to their own drummers,

Good Luck

In just 24 hours, it has gone from winter to spring. Pardon me, if I’m not jumping for joy. Maybe it’s too warm, too early–potential for storms?

It would be nearly impossible, not to know about a particular sporting event, happening this very evening. I don’t have a favorite team in the contest–although I reside 180 miles from New Orleans.

In the interest of good sportsmanship and fair play, may the best team win. It’s a shame Howard Cosell’s not still around to pontificate, with his polysyllabic palaver.  “Tonight these gridiron gladiators, from both the east and west coasts; these two leviathans, battle for football supremacy.”

Honey Do’s and Don’ts

Most of us married chaps have honey-do lists–whether they’re written down or not.

What would I do if I ever reached the end of the list? I don’t know, it’s never happened, and probably never will.

Why? When tasks are completed from the top of the list, undone tasks settle to the bottom, then more are added to the top to make up for the missing ones.

Today was not a good honey-do completion day. Two tasks–cleaning the inside of the family car, picking up winter-killed sticks from the backyard, have yet to be completed.

My excuses? Parts of the backyard were still flooded from recent heavy rains. No excuse for not tidying up the car.

Oh well, never let it be said that I didn’t work well under pressure. The car has to be in the repair shop this coming Wednesday, What would I ever do without the challenges of a lengthy honey-do list?

They’re Only Dollar Stores?

In response to Tanvi Misra’s 12-20-18 “Citylab” article, entitled: “Dollar Store Backlash.”

In some parts of the country there are NIMBY movements against the proliferation of Dollar Stores. Why are such stores perceived as threats?

They follow economic misery. ‘The retail meltdown…higher-end retailers in malls and shopping centers have shuttered, or consolidated. Compact low-budget Dollar Stores have easily slipped into vacant spaces left behind.’

Wages at these retail outlets tend to be lower. And there are fewer employees.

Dollar store products–especially convenience food items can cost more than at Costco or Wal-Mart.

Local retailers could be driven out of business. The same things were said about Wal-Mart stores.

Economically disadvantaged Dollar Store shoppers are discouraged from healthy eating.

Implications are that Dollar Stores contribute to “food deserts” and encourage racial disparity.

I suspect some of the areas petitioning against new Dollar Stores are the same areas that discouraged new Wal-Marts.

For an occasional can of beans, chicken broth, tomato puree to finish a recipe–my five minutes away Dollar Store, is better than Wal-Mart, thirty minutes away.

Close down my nearby Dollar General? NIMBY–not in my backyard.

Circumstances

I’ve been away for a few days, due to circumstances beyond my control.

The planned trip to the “Big Easy” didn’t turn out to be easy in most respects.

Sometimes complications get in the way of human interaction. That’s all I’m at liberty to say at this point.

New Orleans, especially the French Quarter, is gritty, grimy, and out-of-control at times. We took a couple that had never been–and they were a little shocked at the realism.

Anyway, we made it back–last night at nine PM. It’s been hotter than normal for this time of year. The effects of which were felt by all participants.

Too much activity packed into one day.  Good night!