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Two Hurricane Jokes
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After The Hurricane
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MRI Results
Posted: 10 Aug 2017
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The Eclectic Garden

Making a little bit of everything look just right.

Winter in Florida

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:25 pm

It felt like Summer in Central Florida today. The mercury was resting at just over 80 degrees all day long. Even now, at 5:15 in the evening it is 79 degrees. My wife longs for cooler weather, but I love the warm Winters.The picture below was taken about 3:00 in the afternoon.

1/3/2015 ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 157 times

Fire College

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:09 am

Well, my son graduated from Fire College last week. It's been an intense four months for him. We got to visit in October and witness some of the training. I can say that I now have a greater respect for firefighters.

Here are a few pictures from his training. The last one is graduation day.

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

Graduation Day ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 185 times

That Didn't Work Out As Planned

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:09 am

Sometimes the simplest task can turn into a real nightmare. For example, on the way home from church this past Sunday our car overheated. I won't even go into the ordeal that it took to get it home, but I finally managed to get it there. I checked the radiator and the coolant level was good. It didn't take a lot to surmise that the thermostat was the culprit. I thought to myself, "At least it shouldn't take very long." Boy was I wrong.

I made the ten mile trip to the auto parts store and purchased a thermostat, gasket and a gallon of antifreeze. Once I was back home I pulled out the two screws holding in the thermostat housing and removed the old thermostat. I cleaned off the old gasket material, put in the new thermostat and screwed everything back together. It only took me about twenty minutes. At this point I was pretty happy with the outcome. I didn't even lose any coolant so the gallon of antifreeze wasn't needed.

My first mistake was not checking for leaks before test driving the car. I got down the road and the temperature gauge shot over to hot. I turned around right away and headed back home. By the time I got there steam was boiling out from under the hood. I popped the hood and could see that water was shooting out from around the thermostat housing. After things cooled off a little I took a closer look and found what was wrong. Apparently I had torn the gasket when I put it in.

So, I made another ten mile trip to the parts store and bought another gasket. Back home I pulled everything back apart, installed the new gasket and put everything back together again. Since I blew out all the coolant in the first go round I also filled the radiator back up. This time I checked for leaks before I drove anywhere and found a trickle of antifreeze coming out from behind the thermostat housing. Ugh! So… I took everything back apart again, cleaned both surfaces really good and then put it back together. The leak was still there!

Thankfully, it was about this time that my wife let me know that dinner was ready. I sat at the dinner table frustrated and aggravated and while I sat there a funny thing happened. It started getting dark. I had completely forgotten about the stupid daylight savings time and how darkness was going to start coming one hour earlier. I don't have lights under the carport and I wasn't about to struggle with a flashlight to get the work done so I realized that my work on the car was over for the day. I can't say that it hurt my feelings either. I called my boss and explained the situation and he didn't have a problem with me staying home to get the car running. That's about the only good thing that came out of this experience; I got to stay home from work.

The next day I started with a fresh attitude. I took my time and pulled everything back apart again. I gently removed the thermostat housing and watched in utter disbelief as the gasket promptly ripped in half. So, here I go once again on a ten mile trip to the parts store. I picked up the $1.29 gasket and headed back home (I spent more than that in gas). I started to buy an extra gasket just in case, but my stubbornness and pride wouldn't let me.

Back home I took a look at everything one more time before putting it back together. It was then that I finally found what was preventing everything from seating properly. There was a very small piece of the old gasket almost cemented to the housing. I had to work pretty hard to get it off, but once that happened and I got everything back together the mystery of the leaky thermostat housing was finally put to rest.

When everything was said and done it took me two days and three trips to the parts store to complete what should have been a twenty minute job. And who knows what my blood pressure was reading all that time? Sometimes it's easier to just let someone else work on the car.

Last edited: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:35 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 215 times

Farm-ly Feud

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:42 am

So, my wife, my youngest son and I went to a pumpkin festival on Saturday. My daughter, her husband and the baby met us there. My daughter always wants to get involved in something fun. They had something called Farm-ly Feud going on. It's the same thing as the game show Family Feud... just a lot more low tech.

Anyway, we signed up to participate. The family we went against was nice. In fact, before it started the mom was hooping and hollering like she was having a good ole time. But things changed when we ended up winning. After the game I walked over and shook hands with them. I went to shake the mom's hand and she said something that I can't write here and stormed off. I can tell you that it included a four letter expletive that begins with the letter "f".

You know, the game was all for fun and it wasn't like we beat them out of some great prize. Why in the world would someone get so upset over something so silly?

I didn't let her stupidity ruin our day. We got our picture taken and collected our high dollar prize... an empty, cloth bag with the name of the farm printed on it. Eat your heart out Miss Potty Mouth.

Last edited: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:56 am

This blog entry has been viewed 166 times

Selling The Ranger

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:50 pm

Yesterday I made the decision to sell my 2001 Ford Ranger. It's not running, but I'm fairly certain it's got a bad fuel pump. In addition, the water pump also needs to be replaced. I could do all that, but I really don't want to, especially since replacing the fuel pump requires dropping the gas tank. So, about 6:00 last night I posted it on Craig's List for fifteen hundred dollars. I couldn't believe the response. By 10:00 I finally had to shut my phone off. Originally I was willing to go down to one thousand dollars, but the very first person who texted me kind of ticked me off. I know that everyone wants something for nothing and I posted it knowing that people were going to try and haggle on the price, but to try and get the price down before asking about the truck itself? Uh… no. Let me explain.

Here is the first text that I received: You still have Ranger

My response: Yes.

His response: You take 800

Now, I am somewhat anal when it comes to structuring sentences and I really have a problem with the text speak that our culture has developed. I ignored the grammar in his first text, "You still have Ranger", but I couldn't ignore the second one. There wasn't a dollar sign in front of the number or even a question mark at the end of the… do I dare call it a sentence? To make it worse there was no asking about the mileage or what size engine was in the truck. No questions about the tires or the last time that it ran. Only, "You take 800". From my perspective this text was saying "You will take 800!"

So, in response to his insulting offer and pathetic grammar I sent my own grammatically incorrect text: I take 1500

After that he asked a couple of questions about the truck. I answered all of them and then once again he came back with: You take 800

Same insulting offer, same bad grammar. My wife had been following the text conversation with me. At this point she said, "Give me that phone!"

Before I could even utter a protest she had texted back: You on crack?

His response: You are

My wife's response: No, but I should be… LOL

His response: God bless...750… LOL

So, I took the phone out of my wife's hands and deleted the conversation…. LOL (honestly, I have a problem using LOL and have never used it in any text, but it seems to fit right in here).

Then I got the first phone call. He had a thick Spanish accent and I had difficulty following his conversation. He finally got to the price and asked, "What the lowest, lowest price you willing to sell?"

I'm not the best negotiator, but I know that I'm not going to throw out my lowest price right at the beginning of the negotiations, especially since the person asking me has never even looked at the truck. So, I answered him with a version of the same question he had just asked me, "What is the highest, highest price you willing to pay?"

This kind of threw him off and the phone was silent for a few seconds. After my words finally sunk into his brain he said, "Ummm, one thousand dollars."

That was the amount that I was willing to take, but at that split second I changed my mind and decided that I wanted at least twelve hundred dollars. So, I went high, "I'll take thirteen hundred."

His answer was, "You call me when you ready to sell at one thousand."

That remark helped me decide to never, ever call him back… even if I didn't get another interested party. But there were plenty more people interested and it sold at 8:00 this morning for twelve hundred dollars, less than one day after posting it on Craig's List.

I had a few other interesting phone calls and texts. One guy wanted to have it shipped to Canada and pay me with PayPal. Definitely a scam. Another phone call was a recording that wanted me to give all of my personal information and they would buy it sight unseen. No thank you. Nearly everyone asked me my "bottom dollar" and most of them didn't even read the description in the listing. I made it very clear that it wasn't running, but at least three different people asked me if it was running. Hello? If it was running I wouldn't be selling it for fifteen hundred dollars.

All in all it was an entertaining exercise. I don't think I want to do it again anytime soon though.

Last edited: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:36 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 167 times

My Grandson

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:43 am

Okay... I just have to brag a little and share a picture of my six month old grandson. This is our first and only grandchild (for now). My wife was there for the birth back in March and she stayed with them for about a month. They live nearly five hours away so we don't get to see them as much as we'd like.

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 158 times

9/11 Firefighter Remembered

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:21 am

My son posted this picture on Facebook yesterday. He is currently in Fire College and the instructors gave each person the name of a fire fighter who lost his life on 9/11 and told them to carry it around all day in remembrance. No doubt they took time to remember all who lost their lives on that day, but I think this simple gesture was extremely touching.

9/11 Firefighter Remembered ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

Last edited: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:23 am

This blog entry has been viewed 162 times

Work Plant

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:51 pm

This picture is of the plant that I have on my desk. Last year we had an intern working with us who bought this plant when it was very small. She was out for a few days and I noticed it was dry so I watered it. She was grateful and when she left for bigger and better things she gave me the plant. I repotted it and fertilized it and it's doing well. Does anyone know what it is?

A little explanation of something odd in the picture might be in order. I work in the electrical engineering department of a fire truck factory. We're on the second floor overlooking the production floor. The character wearing the Hawaiian shirt by the window is a dummy that was used by the design guys to get a life-sized representation of a fireman. He is no longer used and doesn't have arms beyond the elbows or legs below the knees. We set him up at our window as a joke to keep an eye on production. He's stayed there a month or two now.

Anyway... Help with the plant would be appreciated.

Plant at work ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

Last edited: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:38 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 252 times

Kids Are Growing Too

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:19 am

My oldest son headed to Fire College yesterday. He's already gotten his EMT certification and after Fire College he's going to pursue being a paramedic. I can't believe how quickly this time has gotten here. How does it go by so fast?

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 195 times

Close Call

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:00 pm

The light turned yellow just as I got there so I was the first one in the lane to turn left. For some reason I wanted to know how long the light was going to stay red so as I rolled to a stop I glanced at the digital clock on the dash. It read 7:29. I'm normally by myself on the way to work, but my youngest son, Joshua, started at the local college this week and it's right across from my work. It works out well because we can ride together and it gives us a chance to talk. Joshua is pretty good about talking to me. It's normally about computer stuff, but that's what he is into and hearing how much it excites him makes me happy. At 7:29 Joshua was explaining something to me about static and dynamic RAM. To be honest, I didn't understand completely and I was concentrating so hard trying to comprehend what he was saying that I missed it when the light turned from red to green. It had probably only been green a second or two and once I noticed I took the time to look at the clock. It read 7:30. I remember thinking, "One minute, that's not too bad." I took my foot off the brake and pressed the accelerator. I had only gotten a couple of feet when I noticed something moving to my left. I hit the brakes and some knucklehead in a Ford F-150 pickup truck blew through the red light and whizzed right by the front of my car.

It took the better part of the day for my pulse rate to go down. I thought about how close of a call we had all day. If Joshua wouldn't have been talking to me would I have pulled out quicker and gotten hit? What if I hadn't been timing the red light? I mean, it did take me a second to glance at the clock before I took off. Was that enough time to prevent an accident? And there's something eerie about me glancing at the clock. In a worst case scenario I could have been timing my own death. I know that is morbid, but that's where my mind has gone with this.

I'm very thankful that an accident was avoided this morning. It has made me think about how quickly things could go bad though. I always try to be a careful driver, but I will be even more careful now. Maybe this close call has prevented something worse from happening.

Last edited: Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:55 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 177 times

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