General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com

Thursday, August 08, 2002
Thanks to Mr. Possumblog himself, I have finally figured out how to do in text links. I do not think three months is too long to learn something as complicated as that. I sometimes am amazed that people pay me for my limited brainpower. Now if I can just figure out how to put some links over on the side bar and get the counter so that I can be thrilled if someone other than me reads this stuff.

Snakehead Fish!
I don’t fish. Remember, the only adventures in my life are dealing with my ten year old pickup and Mr. Softy, but I tell you, this snakehead fish story is scary. I live on the side of a hill, but there is a creek only ¼ miles away. I am thinking of building a fish fence between my house and the creek. I mentioned a while back that I do not own a firearm. A sword does not seem to be an adequate weapon to defend against killer fish and you have to get close for a chainsaw to work well. To the back of my house there are 80 undeveloped acres, mostly covered with Kudzu, a real haven for a variety of animals such as possums, raccoons, squirrels and snakes. Until now, the cleared space between the kudzu and the back porch seemed adequate, but with snakehead fish roaming about, I no longer feel secure.

I wonder if they eat squirrels and kudzu.

Call from daughter in Denver. Her car is making a bad noise. This is the second such call. The last one was three weeks ago. Things don’t look good. Send her to Pep Boys. They are closed. She finds Joe’s Fix It through a friend. Takes it in. They tell her that it has a leaking power steering hose and it will cost $75 to fix. The final bill was $77.43. I am amazed that they don’t rip her off. The Ford dealer recently quoted $700 to repair the rear brakes on her car. Pep Boys charged less than $200.

I am a Car Talk kind of guy for my children and their friends. I get calls at 2:00 AM asking if the loud noise and sudden stop are bad signs. Once I was asked to tell the person on the other end of the line where the sparkplugs were in his car. He had decided that they needed to be replaced. I am still trying to figure out how he diagnosed the problem without knowing where the plugs are. I advised against changing the plugs, so he changed the car. Made a lot of sense to me.

I drive a ten year old pickup. I could buy another one, but the seat is now molded to my body. The heater/AC motor speed control resistor recently burned out. I took it out and rebuilt it, but miscalculated the resistance in the wire I used so I now have 2 ½ speeds rather than four. I have almost high, high and very high. Works really well on these long, hot Alabama days and nights. Cools down quickly, but then frost starts to form around the dash vents and on passengers. I suppose that I could just buy a new resistor but that would take away the little bit of adventure in my life. Without the pickup and Microsoft, I wouldn’t have any at all.

Had one of those wonderful Microsoft moments last week. Actually, it was more of a Microsoft week. I was working on a long, complicated contract document when my computer said something along the line of “No one loves me, I am totally stressed and will leave now”, and it did, taking my operating system with it. My co-worker has been telling me to buy a backup hard drive but it had not seemed to be a priority. Two days later, a new external hard drive and a lot of luck and I have most of my files back. The only major remaining problem is the Norton recovery program refuses to recover my recently purchased anti-virus software. Something about too many downloads. Actually, there was one after the first crash, but before the second so I guess they are right. Of course, it turns out to be impossible to contact them in less than four days. Kind of makes me yearn for those days of yesteryear when I would have been typing my 40 page document on an IBM Selectric with memory. Lessons learned from this: Always back up your files. Don’t download any software. Buy the CD. Hate Mr. Softy. Oh, sorry, that last one isn’t new.

Sitting here working on a long contract document and listenin’ to WVDX (www.wvdx.com) out of Clinton, TN. Except for the work, it doesn’t get any better. WVDX features mountain, Bluegrass and traditional music (older than me even) with few if any interruptions. They may play a dozen versions of the same song back to back. It is absolutely great. If you have never listened to this old stuff, do yourself a favor. Whoever in the Blogosphere told me about WVDX has my everlasting gratitude. Sorry I haven’t said so sooner. If you like old music, tune in.