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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gas Gimmics

Did you know that if you replaced your air filter you would safe 35 cents a mile on fuel consumption? Really, I heard it on the news it HAS to be the truth. With the ever increasing cost of fuel, there are all sorts of magnetic contraptions, additives, pills, tune-up kits, etc that are marketed to save you LOADS of money on fuel. Maybe it is just that one bone in my body that is causing me to be skeptical (I should have it surgical removed), but I call Baloney.

Now I would say that if it was THAT easy to increase gas mileage wouldn't the automakers being using these devices already. Yes, I am making the assumption that the automakers are not in bed with the oil companies. Did anyone else realize that the additives that they put in the gas during the winter time actually REDUCES fuel efficiency? I used to always think it was the snow tires that was the culprit, but than this past week my mileage jumped from 20 to 24 and I am still running my snow tires. So while I pay more for the fuel, it actually gets me a lower gas mileage; can someone please explain that to me since I am not educated enough to comprehend all that?

Now I am going to offer you some no bull gas mileage improving tips, now they might be a little far out there but trust me they work. Of course, your improvement in gas mileage will vary slightly than other peoples and mine, so while you can anticipate the savings on your fuel bill, you might not want to compare your improvements with your neighbors. I would caution the reader that comparing miles per gallon is probably not the best approach and one should consider the more analytical method of miles per dollar (since we are worried about the cost of driving). Side note: my car actually gets more miles per dollar when running 88 octane fuel.

For those who have taken a physics class already know that fuel is consumed at the rate necessary to propel your vehicle and the energy required to do that has some dependence on weight. The first suggestion is to reduce the weight of your vehicle as much as possible. Start with the trunk, most cars have all sorts of things (golf clubs, umbrellas, shovels, gas treatments that increase gas mileage that we purchased by the case, drinking water, etc) stored their that could just as well be left in the garage or at home. Next we have the spare tire, go ahead and remove that as well, after all who gets a flat tire these days. The trunk should be completely empty at this point and as a result we have reduced the GVW by 100 to 200 pounds. Now in true systematic fashion we move to the back seat; six pounds of cheerios (and other food crumbs), two pounds of gravel and mud, two floor mats, one baby carrier, etc and should be about another hundred pounds of weight savings. Continuing on to the front seat; another four pounds of gravel and mud, ten pounds of spare change, six pounds of misc paperwork in the glove compartment, ten pounds of receipts (bank, Starbucks, drive through, etc), four pounds of parking tickets, 65 pounds of CDs, twenty pounds of sun glasses, ten pounds of floor mats and two pounds of misc tools (tire pressure gauge, window scraper, etc). Not sure what that adds up to but lets just call it 100 pounds. Now lets look under the hood...hum...Well, we don't need the windshield washer fluid (13 pounds), driving lights (14 lbs), hood support rod (2 lbs) and I am sure there are others things we could part with as well. So far we have lost what about 400 pounds in car weight. WOW, that should at least save a few cents a mile.

Now that we have slimmed the car down, lets see where else we can reduce weight...hum...You know I bet if we all drove around naked we could lose an additional ten-twenty pounds(depending on weather conditions) per occupant in the vehicle. Of course that might be a little drastic for some, so maybe just reducing the weight of clothing down to a minimal amount of clothes would be more practical. Other ways to save weight would be to make sure to use the bathroom before you go driving, don't eat or drink for a few hours before a trip and take no unnecessary items with you. Sorry folks, your can't always take the 350 pound wilderbeast to the store if you are concerned about the cost of driving places.

So we now have a car that is completely empty being driven by a naked driver and filled with naked people. Of course, one can't expect to see results over night so you should at LEAST average the results over three complete fuel cycles. I did warn you that my methods might be a little drastic and far out, but I think everyone would be pleasantly surprised at the fuel savings and the support that other people will give you in your attempts to safe on fuel.

Another option would be to mooch off other people, and no I am not talking about stealing fuel. Chaining your vehicle to the back bumper of your neighbor's vehicle and only going places that they go could save you a few dollars as well. That might be a little bit bold, so one could also try hiding in the trunk of the neighbors car (remember they are probably going to be driving naked so the back seat might not be a good option) and being a stow-away on their errands.

I now apologize to all the readers who thought I was going to give out some HUGE secret about dropping a magnetic device in your gas tank or dumping in two fifths of everclear. On advice of legal council I am required to mention that the fuel savings might not cover the cost of the public nudity citation.

Friday, April 25, 2008

More Copier Fun



WOW...

Yeah, I know completely amazing and I should be a professional wildlife photographer for being able to take such a perfect picture.
Not bad for quick snap out the window of the car while driving down the highway, eh?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stimulus Package

For those who haven't been keeping track. Here is the IRS's schedule for paying out the stimulus package.

DIRECT DEPOSIT

Last two SSN digits: Payment will be transmitted:
00 through 20 May 2
21 through 75 May 9
76 through 99 May 16




PAPER CHECK

Last two SSN digits: Payments will be mailed by:
00 through 09 May 16
10 through 18 May 23

19 through 25

May 30
26 through 38 June 6
39 through 51 June 13
52 through 63 June 20
64 through 75 June 27
76 through 87 July 4
88 through 99 July 11
















More information can be found here.

For those who are wondering what the money really is worth, check the chart.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spectacles of Amber...

The most difficult part about relationships would have to be all the little games that get played. At one point in my life I was complete oblivious to all these little test, challenges, flaming hoops or what ever you want to call them; it would be so nice to be able to revert back to those days and erase all the negative stigma that I have come to know. Yes, I am completely frustrated and bitter about the whole 'dating' game. Without going into details, mentioning names or providing links to their blogs; here is what dating has taught me.

Number one, communication spoils the ability to determine if the other person is 'the one' (a term I will use VERY loosely since I don't subscribe to that drama). Rather than talk about an issue, one should just see how their date deals with the perception of a problem. Now I know it is really nice when the other person is completely tuned in with a situation and is able to do and say the right things, but that is the exception to the rule. We are all humans, have our own dilemas on our minds and often make little lapses in judgment. Some of us really believe when told you would rather not talk about something and will not cram a pry bar into the situation and attempt to force information. I can not think of a better time to establish lines of communication than when trying to get to know someone. Communication was listed first intentionally since it is the foundation that a solid relationship is built upon. Without great lines of communication, how can one possibly deal with embarrassing life altering traumatic events later in the relationship when you can't even openly discuss who you are as an individual?

Number two, deception leads to disrespect. Pretending to be anything that you are not to obtain the approval or favor of an individual will only lead to failure. Once the curtain of deception is lifted, the pain of being misled gets paired with an apparent lack of respect of ones ability to be able to deal with the true situation. Hiding from reality only will last so long and than the relationship will take a little trip in a hand basket and once again you are both back on the street.

Number three, apathy is like a termite dining on the combustible framework of the relationship. While I do not have a great understanding of History, I do know this area was settled by a bunch of adventurous individuals who resorted to trapping, to sustain their way of life. Relationships are not single story and the work does not stop with the commitment ceremony that forms a legal or spiritual bond between two individuals, much like most houses are not completed once the first level is framed up. Netting a good one does not imply you don't have to put in a continual effort into the relationship, and the effort is WAY more than maintaining the status quo.

Last but not least (ok so maybe I am stopping here to keep the post short), no matter how much one person wants to be in a relationship they can not put enough effort in by themselves. My favorite game definitely has to be, "if it is true love they will ask me to stay or convince me to return." Now while this makes a great plot for a novel or movie, in real life it doesn't work. Not all people are going to stalk you to the point that you become ensnared in their web of deception. Further more, stalking someone who has already booted you to the curb is not only creepy and annoying, but it is in fact ILLEGAL and your name will end up in the paper for everyone to see. Learn to know when you are not pulling your share of the relationship. I know life keeps us busy, but there really are more than four days a year that we can show love and devotion. Continued random acts of kindness, respect and appreciation go a long way to fuel the furnace of forever.

While it would be so easy to dwell on the negatives, how many of you saw the positive things that can be done to keep the relationships sweet? So while some of you would like to classify me as a bitter and unhappy person, I find that I am way more realistic and enjoy the slivers of happiness that I have come to know because of the bad and can appreciate the good that much more. For all you out there who might have missed it, let me give you the executive summary...Communicate, Be honest and sincere, respect each other as individuals but strengthen the covalent bond, don't take anything for granted, learn to let go of everything and show your respect and appreciation on many random days.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April showers bring, what?

Ugh, tomorrow is Monday which means my office changes back to a desk piled with papers and a computer screen. A far cry from my office this weekend. Yes, the squad was my office and the burn barrel was the water cooler, to put it into speak that all the gopher town employees would understand.







The fire academy started off with a bang and quickly became bogged down in the snow and cold. For once the weather man was correct in his prediction of cold and snow. I have yet to figure out why they get it right when they are forecasting bad weather and one really wants the weather to be decent. There should be a better way at securing the weather forecast; I wonder how China is doing with their experiments of controlling the weather for the Olympics?


The county snow plow operator was supposed to take care of the snow berms/drifts in front of the station doors. What do you think? Mission Accomplished? That is going to be a lot of hand snow removal if that is the best that they can do with the plow. It is sad that the most winter we have gotten has been in April. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Just when I thought my life couldn't any busier...

Well, if the past two weeks are any indication of what the fire season is going to be like this year, WOW! Spent eleven hours working a water fill site for a 'little' grass fire today.
Lots of access issues and very unfavorable weather conditions made for a very interesting day. Right after this picture, I dropped my camera into a mud puddle. I was completely disappointed, but it appears the only damage was a lot of sand stuck to the camera. Still managed to get a few pictures.
Yeap, count them not one but two DNRC helicopters working the fire. Normally we don't get priority when we request an airship, so getting one is a difficult task. We lucked out that both of them were just sitting and waiting for an IA.


video

Sorry, I missed the water drop but thought it was a good video anyways. Nothing quite like sitting on top of the tender/pumper and getting pictures of all the action two miles away. Yeah, I know it IS a SHAME that I wasn't any closer to the action. At least my rig still had both mirrors, front bumper, pump engine and all its accessories at the end of the incident, unlike some of the other apparatus on the fire ground.
This was my office for Friday afternoon, completely different from what the normal office looked like. I kept waiting for the river bank to give out and see the whole works go sliding over the edge. Well, I best be getting some more water and Gatorade into me. Hope everyone had a great Friday...

Some More!



Why things get broke...

I just had to share this one, a look at how things get broke at the fire station.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cute...

How smart are you?
Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

Take this test and find out.

Fill out this poll when you are done to see how you compare to the rest of my blog readers...



Remember, the only loser is a cheater, so be honest about your score. :)

Don't tell my Mom!!!

WOW! I so want this adrenaline rush!

Or maybe even this one!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Technology is Evil!

A quick note before you watch the video, it does contain a couple of strong words and grown up situations so little ears might want to be covered...



Now my only question is, "Why? Why would a man want to go and do something of such magnitude that will get his wife all fired up and willing to air out the dirty little secrets of their relationship in such a public venue as YouTUBE?"

I would like to rant on about how the male side of the situation has been completely misrepresented and portrayed in a way as to filter and spotlight all the negative, but as a Man I know that we have this genetic anomaly, or recessive trait if you like, that makes us do stupid, senseless, moronic and completely selfish acts. I do pity the poor fool, he has stoked a fireball and someone is going to get second degree burns...

I wonder if it is too late for flowers and an apology?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Vegan, Vegetarian or Carnivore?

Have you ever had one of those meals that you are most certain you don't want to know the preparation steps? Today for lunch I had Labersnoodle Chow Yuk, Green Curried Stray Tabby and sweet and sour pigeon...Wow, what a meal!

Ok, so maybe that wasn't quite the actual ingredients but based upon my ability to taste (sense of smell still hasn't returned from sabbatical) and the interesting texture of the soybean enhanced meat products I wouldn't have known the difference. I am always amazed on how some restaurants can make even the most plain dishes interesting based upon the ingredients they use. I know there was way more soybean protein in my lunch than there was actual animal based food items; it could ALMOST be classified as a vegetarian meal.

At least I won't have to be worried as I would if I had sunk my chompers into an Authentic Mad Cow Double Pork belly non-spoiling-Cheese Burger! Give me some man-made nutrients and load me up on preservatives, I don't want to spoil before I get old...

But at least my lunch wasn't still moving...

...Content was deleted by host...

PS. That is fresh octopus by the way...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What a weekend...

Wow, what a weekend, the temps where in the seventies and the stupidity was in the nighties! There is nothing quite like the first warm weekend to bring out the brilliance in the population, which is why I don't believe in the Darwinian Theory of Evolution. Five fire calls in two days all because people have forgotten that burning on warm windy days is a BAD IDEA! The good part was that my pager does actually work and the batteries don't need to be replaced.

Other than that, my weekend was pretty lazy. Did get out and enjoy the weather a little bit, but the rest of the time was spent doing homework and housework. How was everyone else's weekends?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Of Course...



Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Do, but I Don't...

I can hear the squeaks of the chairs all the way over here in my little world; I can tell I got some of you squirming around a bit with my last post. For those who are wondering, I am not looking for multiple wives; I would take one that shared the same convictions of the heart and that would be all that I would need.

As has been brought to light in the past few weeks, there is some very serious crimes being committed from behind the curtain of the First Amendment. Standing behind the freedom of religion that this country holds so dear and that we all enjoy and committing unthinkable atrocities against other human beings should not be tolerated nor should they be allowed to continue. Can we as a society maintain the First Amendment freedoms and still crack down on these crimes? Will it result in religious persecution? Will it look like a ‘witch’ hunt? Will we single out certain people because of their name, their appearance, or how they live?

We (society) have this mind set that all we have to do is make something illegal and the problem will go away; that the police forces are strong and populated enough to keep illegal things from happening; but that my friend is where we are drastically wrong. The simple swipe of the pen on Capital Hill will not drastically change society. I don’t care if it is the passing of an ‘Economic Incentive Package’ or changing the legality status of an issue, problems can not be simply solved with legislation. An educated fool would think that we would be able to learn from our mistakes and realize that just like prohibition of alcohol didn’t stop the issues surrounding the misuse of the substance, but just like the moth we think a different porch light will have different results. Similar actions will not result in significant changes in outcomes.

Isolated compounds where one person’s ideas are practiced, taught and instilled in the developing minds of children without any outside social influences allows for no other alternatives than a perpetuation of that person’s ideas; do we want to call that religion? We all have different ideas of what religion is to us, but what should it be for the masses? If you convinced five couples to move into your house and taught them your ideas and thoughts and further convinced them that you had ‘divine’ insight, would that be religion? Would that give you the cloak of immunity offered by the First Amendment? Without providing any labels or names, is it a stretch to say that the teachings of an individual are by definition a religion?

Now for all you guys who thought you could rush right out and get you another wife and prepare for your move to my Montana Compound; that is not going to happen. There is no Church of Fred that will welcome you with open arms.

Now I don't expect everyone out there to agree with my ideas and thoughts on issues in today's society, but I do expect that we all formulate our own ideas and opinions of the issues. After all, even a busted watch is right twice a day. Just some thoughts and questions inspired by the lastest issues rattling around inside my thick skull. Take em or leave em, that is your choice but whatever you do DO NOT just assume that I am correct!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I do...maybe

I have decided to share a fear with all my readers this week. I can see people already trying to guess what it is; that is so cute. Hush, it is not the fear of commitment; you are going to spoil this for everyone.

I will admit that I am one that falls hard when I finally get there and no I am not talking about an inner ear/balance issue. Which is kind of scary in my eyes because I am afraid it would lead me into polygamy; I know some adorable ladies and I fear that if I were to get married to one of them I would like it so much I would want another. If one is great than two would have to be better and why stop at just two? Anyone who has seen the inside of my gun safe knows I don’t have a commitment issue, it is more of a not knowing when enough is enough. The way I see it marriage would just be the apex of the slippery slope that ends with my building a gigantic compound in the middle of Montana so that I might live peacefully with my thirty-two wives.

Marriage is a huge problem in today’s society. Some people take it very lightly as a simple commitment no different than a car lease, others treat it more like an ARM (adjustable rate Mortgage) and there are the few that still see it as grafting. I won’t even pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I am pretty sure I know the same thing everybody else knows. I don’t want to digress too much as I am not going to get off on a tangent, but I wanted to make the point that Marriage is the sand in the oyster.

Now I am going to complicate Marriage a little so I can go off on polygamy. I don’t have anything against a fellow having two wives, I am sure there are good reasons to allow such ‘religious’ freedoms. I don’t even mind so much if he should choose to be greedy and have three, four, five, etc, wives; I think if that is really how you would want to live, than find a country that allows that religious freedom and relocate. My issue is with those individuals who call polygamy a protected ‘religious’ freedom and try to stand behind the First Amendment. I don’t think that polygamy is anymore a protected religious freedom than owning a suicide bomber vest, but maybe that is just my interpretation.

Polygamy is nothing more than an excuse for sexual predation; Grown men who take teenage girls to be their additional wife are just sexual predators who are abusing the power given to religion in the first amendment to further their abnormal desires. I am not sure what I find to be more revolting, the fact that the government is lax in taking a stand against them or the fact that they even think this should be a religious freedom. They don’t even stop there; they will even go as far as to take their own siblings and/or offspring to be an additional wife. From where I stand and understand the law, albeit I am not a law scholar, there are multiple legality issues here.

The flip side of Polygamy is that there are some who take multiple wives in much the same way that most guys will obtain a wife. If two women(or men for that matter), who are of legal age and sound mind, decide to share a husband(wife) with the only law being broken the law of singularity, is that such a bad thing? When good spouses are so difficult to find that might not be a bad choice, but is that the exception to the rule? Could there be such a thing as a happily marred couple that involves three people?

I am not sure where this rant is going, other than I think we really need to re-evaluate our stance on Polygamy. Is it really a healthy religious freedom between multiple consenting adults or is it just sexual abuse and predation of underage women.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tiz a Good Day!

Dad and Mom had me over for supper and cooked one of my favorite meals; a far cry from the chicken noodle soup that I have been dining on. Dessert was a wonderful cheese cake. Unfortunately the taste was wasted on my taste buds since I have been unable to taste anything, but the medley of textures was amazing. Thanks to everybody for the birthday salutations!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Oldies, but still funny...I think...

Since I am under the influence of cough and cold medicine, this week will be some oldies since I am not sure if my sense of humor has been compromised. **AAACHOOO!!**



Thursday, April 3, 2008

Enough Already...


Dec 1993 - April 3, 2008

After a long and playful life
Heifer was laid to rest.
The last few years of her life
she has suffered from arthritis
and several strokes.

She will be missed by all the kids,
grandkids and their pets. She is survived
by her much younger play companion Guinness,
who no doubt will miss her immensely.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The First Amendment

As with all American who have not completely failed Government and History classes their whole life, I am sure that you know what the First Amendment Reads. But in case you might have forgotten here it is one more time.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "

Wow, I have this warm fuzzy feeling right now, I can type whatever I want and am cloaked by those few words. Those same words get me agitated and spitting fire. There are those who think that cloak of security applies to them when they are busy bashing this country. Well, let me just tell you how I feel about that...

If you are in MY country because WE have given you political asylum, DO NOT THINK that you can use the first Amendment as a shield for bashing our policy of warmongering and our aggressive actions against the country you fled from with you life. If things were so bad that you feared for your life and came here, applied for and was granted political asylum, you are just as much to blame as we are when it comes down to the Good Ol' USA attacking YOUR Country. We wouldn't know about the problems in your country if you were not over here sniveling about the terrible conditions. Go back and fix the problems of your Motherland if you don't like how we are doing it, we will gladly revoke your status here.

If you are here Illegally, stop whining about all the things this country doesn't do for you. You don't pay taxes, you have not done the necessary paper work to get any kind of temporary status, so from where I sit as a descendant of legal immigration; Do it right or GO HOME! My tax dollars have better things to do than to provide you with free health care and the other benefits that you seek.

For those of you that are immigrants, which of course I realize is the majority of the people in this country, let me tell you about your responsibilities. YOU and ONLY YOU are responsible to teach your kids their heritage; no way shape or form is the public school system responsible to teach your kids their heritage or native language! I was not taught my heritage or the languages of my ancestors by the public school system, but they did teach me everything I needed to know to be a productive member of society. Learn and teach your heritage on your OWN time, the school system has a big enough job educating our children without having to turn them into multi-lingual, political astute and correct individuals.

Now for those that are Native to this land, I know you still have this chip on your shoulder and think the Government should continue to pay you for the land that we "stole" from you. The only problem is that you lost the war, had you won than you would be telling us what to do and we would be living under your rules. When we fought for our independence from the dreaded British we did it because we didn't want to live under their rules and leadership; and since we won we now enjoy our sovereign rights and self rule; You want to be sovereign you know what you need to do.

Oh you thought you were safe? Think again, now I turn my tongue towards you apathetic whiners that call this country Your Homeland. You whine and snivel about the cost of fuel, taxes and the basic necessities of life; but guess what...IT IS YOUR FAULT! We want an increase in minimum wage, which we get and that results in the dreaded 'I' word, which causes companies to take their manufacturing elsewhere which causes unemployment, which leads to a negative economical trend and eventually becomes the 'R' word. And now we are all looking forward to the 'Economic Incentive Checks' that the government has decided to give each and everyone one of us tax paying Citizens; Ever wonder where this money is going to come from? Yeah, that is right; Just print a little more, devalue the dollar even more, after all it is just paper and we can print more of it.

We need to come together and start making some better decisions, kick the free loaders back to their countries of origin, deport those that are here illegally, give the leaders of the Country a pay cute (after all if they can afford a $4300/hour 'Escort' I think we are over paying them a little), develop alternatives to foreign oil so we are not constantly required to spend time, money and citizens to maintain that flow of oil our way, take away the large tax breaks to giant corporations who are not using American Citizens as their work force and in general take control of our economic destiny.

That my friends is all made possible by the blood of Patriots that fought, both to obtain and preserve the Bill of Rights. Never forget those who gave their lives so that we might experience liberty.

"It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives." - Dorothy Thompson

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Check it!

News Flash

The video clip from the Local News Feed is finally available, check it out here.

25% Complete

The first quarter results are in for 2008 and I present to all my readers the executive summary. First of all, I want to recognize the top blogs and thank them for funneling some of their readers to me. The top five referral blogs are as follows...

NUMBER FIVE

The View from #1910

Number Four

Starling's Nest

Number Three

Mike, Tracy and Boys

Number Two

My M&Ms will Melt your Heart

and the

NUMBER ONE

referral for the first quarter of 2008
(Drum Roll Please)

Some Chicks Blog

A big thank you too all my readers (known and unknown) who have made it easy to keep, at least this one, my 2008 New Years Resolution. I couldn't have kept the verocity of the posts going without all your supporting comments and signing of my guest book. For all the Lurkers out there, thank you for stopping by at least once and don't be afraid to drop in every now and again.

Other Statistics
295 Visitors from 6 Countries
1085 Visits from 37 States
1095 Visits resulting in 1766 Page Views
1766 Page Views from 160 Cities

All for a total of
2 Days 11 Hours 50 Minutes & 52 Seconds
(2d:11:50:51.999)
of time wasted right here!

As they say, you can waste all your money and with deligient effort earn it all and than some back, but time that is wasted is lost forever! Hopefully all that time wasn't completely wasted.