Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category


Corporate Name Evolution

   Posted by: John

If you lived in the Pacific Northwest in the 70’s and 80’s, you probably remember Pacific Northwest Bell.  They were the telephone company.  They merged with some other Bell companies to form U.S. West.  It’s no secret that their service sucked big time.  I used to call them US Worst.

Then, in 2000, US West merged with Qwest Communications.  I used to kid around that US West’s brand was so bad they had to change their name.  Service still sucked for quite a while, so I started calling them Qworst.

Now, Qworst has merged with CenturyLink.  I have already had some bad experience with them.  Make a change to your service, experience 2 months of headache.   The CenturyLink name is a little more difficult to work with, but I have finally come up with their new moniker…Clunk! 

And that is name evolution in the corporate world.


Spell Check is Not Your Friend

   Posted by: John

It amazes me how many people can’t put together proper sentences and phrases.  I also don’t understand how so many people can’t spell properly.  Perhaps that is because I am able to spell words very easily.  At some point, some years ago, someone decided to invent a spell-checker for word processing.  It’s a cool idea, and it will let you know when you mis-spell a word.  It also is not your friend because the English language has lots of words are spelled differently yet sound the same, like too, to and two. 

Here’s another example.

Acceptional spelling <-- Intentional mis-spelling

Oops.  The good thing is the word is definately spelled correctly.


First Snowman of the Year

   Posted by: John

Yes indeed, it snowed this morning.  It is almost all gone now, but there was enough for Ashley to make a small snowman. 

Once there was a snowman...

Now, lest you think the sudden turn of the weather to Winter is a fleeting thing, here’s the forecast for the next week.

Colder than a witch's nose.

Summer held on late, we had a very short but spectacular Fall, and it looks like Winter is here early.



   Posted by: John

Tuesday, I rode with my buddy Ryan up to Cottonwood to deliver a trailer.  He had driven down to Ogden, Utah to get the thing and did not make it home until after 2 AM.  So I went with him to help keep him awake or drive if he needed a nap.  Nice trailer.  Even the cop who pulled us over for not having plates on it thought so.

New Trekk Trailer

Monday evening/Tuesday morning there was a very nasty windstorm that went through the state.  As it turned out, there were a number of power transformers that were taken out by it, so the whole area from Grangeville up to Lewiston had no power for quite a few hours.  We didn’t know that.  We got to Cottonwood about 2:30 PM.  There was a sign on the door that said they were closed until the next day.  We found that our cell phones did not work well at all, so we started walking up the street to find some place we could use a phone.  As we are walking, we noticed that the town was just shut down.  Bank closed.  Store closed.  Restaurants closed.  It was weird.  Ryan said he felt like something from Twilight Zone. 

The first place we found that was open was a hair salon.  Ryan used a phone, then the lady who owned the place proved that if you want to know the scuttlebutt going on in town, the hair salon was the place to go!  It turned out the power had just come back on.  Since people couldn’t do any business earlier, they just shut down for the day. 

Anyway, it was a nice trip.


Wishing for the good old days…

   Posted by: John

…when a fuel pump on the car was mounted on the engine block, came off with 2 or 3 bolts, and was easily replaced. 

No, they are all in the fuel tanks now, and the only way to replace them is to take off the tank and disassemble the dang thing.  You are guessing right…I had to replace the fuel pump this week in my daughter’s car.  Fortunately, I know a guy in the neighborhood who is a mechanic, so he was able to help me out a little. 

Disconnecting everything was not too bad, but when it came time to drop the tank, I waited for my mechanic friend to get here.  We lowered it down and had the old unit out pretty quick.  The whole assembly looks similar to this.

Fuel tank assembly

He had to take the assembly apart to replace the pump and screens, but that was not too bad.  It took us longer to get the thing back in the tank than anything else.  He helped me get the tank back under the car then I was able to finish it up myself. 

So, in the end, it turned out fine, I didn’t spill too much gas, and best of all, I didn’t go out in a blaze of glory!


Some Changes to Links

   Posted by: John

In an effort to provide some handy links and keep some kind of order to them, I have created a couple of link categories.  These are to the right of the posts, at the top of the first column.  They are currently listed as “Coupons and Frugality” and “Political”.  More may be added as time goes on.


Bird house…with a surprise

   Posted by: John

The tree out front has a little bird house in it.  I took a couple pictures of it and went in the house to look at them.  The first picture looks real nice.

Bird house in tree

The next picture though, from a slightly different angle reveals a surprise.

Wasp city

It would appear the thing is chock full of wasps.  The little buggers are also nesting in the siding trim on the house.  I need to get some more wasp spray I guess.


“Starter Husbands”

   Posted by: John

So Karen is on Facebook last night and sees that her niece Carli was tagged in a photo saying something about her and her husband.  Carli is 19 or 20 years old, and last we saw her (Christmas 2008) she was living with her boyfriend.  Naturally, I asked if this was the guy.  Karen starts texting her sister and finds out it’s a different guy that she has not known that long.  Along with that, I think the comment we got back said “That’s what I hear” in reference to the marriage question.


Turns out that Carli and her mom haven’t really talked to each other for a while, something about disagreeing about tattoos and probably some other stuff.

Also, it turns out that Karen’s mom did not know anything about it either.  So, we were and are in the dark.  It’s her life, but I am really surprised.

While discussing and waiting for return texts I made the somewhat flip comment about Carli likely having a “starter husband”.  I meant it as kind of a joke, but got to thinking about it in some detail.  An even more interesting term might be “entry level husband”.  Kind of like a first car, or starter house. 

This morning I did a google search for “Starter Husband.”  I was quite surprised at the results.


Apparently this is not so flip a concept after all.  The first article listed, called “The Starter Husband“, describes in quite some detail a woman who apparently married (at age 27, so not so young), decided she had made a mistake, and divorced him less than a year later.  Her biggest problem with him?  He was boring.  So, she left, divorced and moved on.  Some years later she met and finally married another man.  They have kids together.  Sounds like it’s all good for her, right?  The final paragraph:

Andi lifts her 2-month-old daughter up to her breast in the middle of the café. I ask if her second husband is The One, since they have kids and all. “I’m happy, but I try not to think about it,” she says. “It’s like, if I thought I had to have my hair the same way for the rest of my life, I’d freak out.”‘

She doesn’t say it, but the implication I get from her final statement is this: “I would divorce him and move on if I thought I wanted to.”  How pathetic.  This is a perfect example of an egotistical and selfish person.  Does she love her husband?  Probably, and she very likely loves her children as well.  But it doesn’t sound like they are the first and most important things in her life.  If she thought she had a reason she would leave and move on to the next husband.

I went to school with a lady who was from Argentina.  (We had previously worked at the same place, so I knew her before school).  At the time, Karen and I had just had our 13th anniversary.  She was astonished and told me I should write a book about it.  I was amazed, because 13 years does not seem a long time to me.  She started describing her current husband and marriage.  I did not ask her how many times she had been married.  The cavalier way she talked about it let me to think she was on husband 3 or 4.

You have to understand that I was raised with the idea that marriage should be a lifetime commitment.  So far I am almost 18 years into that lifetime commitment and I am not sorry at all about it. 

I have never been one to tell people what they should and should not do (except for my kids of course).  There are times when a divorce is the best thing to do.  What bothers me is the extension of the throw-away society.  It is no longer limited to the 3 year old car that’s “out of style” or the alarm clock that quits working.  It now applies to marriage and family.


Recommended Reading

   Posted by: John

While I was at DI (Deseret Industries for those who aren’t familiar), I found a couple of books by James Herriot.  His stories are fun, moving, and inspirational.  There are a number of books in the series.  This one just happened to have the dustcover still on it.