Damn Toyota Let Me Down

It is the last day of 2017 and what am I doing? Nothing. I’m writing an angry blog piece about a car that let me down. Lately I’ve been bragging about how good my Avalon has been to me, but today that has changed. I’ve written about the lousy experience I had with my 1969 Corolla, and how it kept me from buying another Toyota, or any other piece of Jap-Crap for thirty-six years. Once I calm down I’ll be able to explain rationally how I really feel about my Avalon. Right now the bitter sting of having to fix a car in -5 degree weather still has my shorts in a bunch.

Yesterday, I left the house on my way to my stepdaughter’s sixty-second birthday party. I gingerly placed her gift on the back seat along with a walnut roll wrapped in aluminum foil along with a fresh bottle of Champaign to help with the celebration. The temperature in the garage was low at thirty degrees. Outside it was six below. We haven’t had a winter like this since the nineteen eighties. You know, the Liberals ordered the world to go into warming mode so they could impose exorbitant taxes on us to feed the tyrants of the world, and to enrich themselves by trading carbon credits. I’m here to say the warming trend is over. By next winter the pundits will be crying ice-age once again. I like global warming cycles they keep me comfortable in the winter time. I hate ice-age like winters when I freeze me ass off. Anyway, I pushed the magic button and the Toyota chattered at me. It is that bone chilling noise one gets when a battery dies and the solenoid clicks away.

This morning I mentioned to a friend that since I have owned cars I have had a streak of bad luck with break downs when it is cold. Below zero cold makes stuff break, it makes weak stuff fail, it makes tires split, and it makes car owners very upset. What can I do? I am so dependent on a car to get around that I don’t even think about walking two miles in below zero temps to get to Starbucks. I could spew another thousand words talking about my winter break down experiences but I won’t, I’ll speak of something good instead, like improved battery life. During my life with VWs, Fords, Oldsmobiles, and Mercurys It was not uncommon to have to replace a battery every two years. Since I bought the Avalon batteries have improved, and now last for six years.  My car is  thirteen years old, has 143000 miles on it, and the second battery failed. So even though I blame the Toyota for letting me down it is the battery that is the root-cause. Since the battery is not what I sit in to drive me places I have to blame the car.

I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year without any cold weather trouble.

 

 

171229-More Lexophile Fun

“Lexophile” describes those that have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “To write with a broken pencil is pointless”     An annual competition is held by the New York Times see who can create the best original lexophile
 
This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.
 
No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
 
If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
 
Im reading a book about anti-gravity. I just cant put it down.
 
I didnt like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
 
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
 
When chemists die, they barium.
 
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
 
I changed my iPods name to Titanic. Its syncing now.
 
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool ..
 
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes
 
This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore
 
I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
 
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
 
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
 
I got some batteries that were given out free of charge
 
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
 
A will is a dead giveaway.
 
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
 
Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
 
Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now
 
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
 
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.
 
He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
 
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
 
Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.
 
Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

PSA-171229-The Last Conundrums of the Year

* Do twins ever realize that one of them i­s unplanned?

* What if my dog only­ brings back my ball ­because he thinks I l­ike throwing it?

* If poison expires, ­is it more poisonous ­or is it no longer po­isonous?

* Which letter is sil­ent in the word “Scen­t,” the S or the C?

* Why is the letter W­, in English, called ­double U? Shouldn’t i­t be called double V?­ and why isn’t “m” ca­lled “double n”

* Maybe oxygen is slo­wly killing you and I­t just takes 75-100 y­ears to fully work.

* Every time you clea­n something, you just­ make something else ­dirty

– The word “SWIMS” up­side-down is still “SWIMS”.

– Intentionally losin­g a game of rock, pap­er, scissors is just ­as hard as trying to ­win.

– 100 years ago every­one owned a horse and­ only the rich had ca­rs. Today everyone ha­s cars and only the r­ich own horses.

– Your future self is­ watching you right n­ow through memories.

– The doctors that to­ld Stephen Hawking he­ had two years to liv­e in 1953 are probabl­y dead.

– If you replace “W” ­with “T” in “What, Wh­ere and When”, you ge­t the answer to each of them.

– Many animals probab­ly need glasses, but ­nobody knows it.

– If you rip a hole i­n a net, there are ac­tually fewer holes in­ it than there were b­efore.

– If 2/22/22 falls on­ a Tuesday, we’ll jus­t call it “2’s Day”. ­ (BTW, it does fall on a Tu­esday. Then again, who knew?)

Things I Have Forgotten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I dreamed I was at work. It has been sixteen years since I have worked for a living, and being at work in the dream was delightful, except for one thing. I couldn’t remember a specific word that I used daily to describe a special property of the material we used to make our number one product. That spoiled my dream. Up to that point I enjoyed being an expert on the material properties. I liked to call myself an expert on the material but I was, and am still far from it, but compared to an ordinary Joe I am an expert. The same holds true for today, I am far from an expert on the use or workings of a computer, but I am further advanced in know-how than the circle of friends I hang with, they consider me a computer guru. I am also one to try to do things with a computer that no one else does, and I get very little help from anyone I know. For example, recently I conducted a class in which the students gave answers to a questionnaire. The result of the answers are meaningless unless they are compiled into an aggregate. I used Excel to do the job. I tried showing the total result to the class via a projector connected to my PC. The results were totally unreadable on the big screen. Nevertheless projecting data on a screen from a computer was impressive. The next week I imported the Excel data into a Power-Point program to display, they were better. I had used Excel in my work but this new Excel was so different it took me some time and experimentation to learn how to work with it. At the end, I concluded that although I finally made some nice graphs that the new Excel didn’t have the capabilities of the sixteen year older versions I had used. In my work I made some really comprehensive and detailed graphs to display data just like engineers did before computers. As the class progressed I kept adding more results to the Power Point until the class concluded. The last session will use the total results to make decisions about improvement projects.

While doing all this it became clear to me that I would like to show the Power Point presentation to more people. I thought I could just plug it in and play it in a loop over and over to use as a backdrop during a dinner. After much experimentation I learned that Power Point is not capable of looping.  To do what I wanted to do I would have to make a movie of my presentation. Not a problem I thought, I am very familiar with iMovie having made a dozen or so movies from my old super eight films. Except the latest iMovie program is now five years newer than the one I used forcing me to learn how to use iMovie all over again. In the process of learning, I discovered it would be easier to save my Power Point slides as jpeg images. You don’t want to know how much I swore at Apple while learning that to be necessary.

As I developed this movie using bland data I added my organization goals into the mix, now the movie was really bland. To spice things up I decided to add some canned videos before, and after my bland data, short, colorful, and informative videos one before and one after. The movie got better, except that the videos would not draw everyone into the presentation, so I added home video snips from my organization activities. This added personality to the thing and tied it all together. Making the movie was becoming easier as I repeatedly experimented with the various elements.

When I had a finished product to my satisfaction I found the loop feature in iMovie and added it; wallah mission accomplished except it wouldn’t loop.

I was giving up at this point and said it is time to burn this project to disk so I can play it on any kind of player. I set it up to burn using iDVD. I’ve used iDVD successfully many times. This time I let the computer run for twenty-eight hours before I finally shut it off to try something else. I examined the disk and there is no evidence of any transfer. I tried playing the disk and it showed up empty. In the back of my head I kept wondering if using videos from YouTube had anything to do with it. Yep it does (most likely because it is copyrighted material). I removed the videos, and the movie burned albeit with out some key entertainment. In desperation I tried showing the original file which I had saved as an MP4 on my projector and it played, but it won’t loop. I gave up and have not touched it since. Maybe it will come to me in a dream.

Today, I was delivering food to a family in need with my Lions Club and the word popped into my head, hygroscopic! That is the property of nylon that gives it the ability to gain or lose moisture from the atmosphere. Then the words nucleated, amorphous, crystalline all popped into my mind; my dream is now successfully finished.

Have you ever heard the adage “I have forgotten more than you will ever know?”

 

A Christmas Poem

soldier-sleeping

A NEW CHRISTMAS POEM

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
“SANTA DON’T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.”

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA,
IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”

This poem was written by a Marine. The
following is his request. I think it is reasonable…..

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is
due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate
these festivities.Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of
what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and
dead! , who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part
to plant this small seed.

May God Bless You and Have A Great Day

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