Friday, May 1, 2015

Break Time

I have been writing this blog – with almost daily postings – since March, 2010.  It has been great fun, only occasionally a pain in the ass, and it has served its intended purpose of keeping the old brain active.

That being said, I think it is time for a a break. 

I haven’t published anything I wish I hadn’t, but the quality does seem to have fallen off lately.  With that in mind, I think I’m going to take a few days (or maybe weeks) off to regroup and recharge.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015



Car buffs are all familiar with Mecum Auctions, the source of some of the most sought-after automobiles in existence.  This year’s Indianapolis auction will feature something truly unique – a 1970 Hemi Cuda with 81 actual miles.

The Plymouth Barracuda with a 426 Hemi engine  was special-ordered and purchased new at Shreves Plymouth-Dodge in June 1970 by Bill Reardon of Clarksburg, West Virginia, who was finally buying his dream car at 62 years of age. One of the last 10 Hemi Cudas built in 1970, it was exactly as he imagined it: Tor Red with a Black interior; Torqueflite automatic transmission; Shaker hood with tie downs and color-matching steel wheels with dog-dish hub caps.

Bill immediately began the modifications needed to ready the car for the drag strip, removing the intake and carburetors, the complete exhaust system, rear end, rear wheels and tires and front shocks. He replaced all these with the best performance parts available, while carefully stowing the originals in safe storage. In his first season of racing, Bill made approximately 30 passes at three local drag strips.

Less than a year after acquiring his dream car, Reardon died.  It has passed through several other owners  over the years, none of which bought it to drive.  Unrestored, and show-room perfect, it is expected to bring six to eight hundred thousand dollars at the auction.

You can see more details HERE.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Sooner or later, enough is enough.

horwitzIrwin Horwitz, a college professor with 20 years experience, apparently found his tipping point.  He just failed his entire management class at Texas A & M Galveston, and announced that he would no longer be teaching the course.

An email to the class said, in part, "I am frankly and completely disgusted. You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course just on a grade level," he wrote, "I will no longer be teaching the course, and [you] all are being awarded a failing grade."

That blanket fail probably won’t take.  University officials say that the grades will be reassessed and the department head will take over Horwitz's class for the remainder of the semester. Some students need the required course to graduate with business degrees in May.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Muscat Ramble


I have always been a fan of Dixieland Jazz, and one of the things on my bucket list for as long as I can remember is a visit to Preservation Hall in New Orleans.  We have been planning to be in that area soon, and I was thinking I could finally check that off my list. 

Then today, I saw an announcement in the Times of Oman – the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be performing tomorrow night at the Royal Opera House in Muscat.

What’s the old saying? - Man plans, God laughs.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Standing With Blue Bell

jenis661All of the local coverage has been about the problems at Blue Bell, and the outpouring of support for the beloved Little Creamery in Brenham, but there was another Listeria-connected recall last week. 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream of Ohio pulled all its products after the Nebraska Department of Agriculture found Listeria in a sample pulled from a Whole Foods Market in Lincoln.

The Listeria bacteria is commonly found in soil and water that can be tracked into a facility or carried by animals. It can be very difficult to get rid of once it contaminates a processing facility, partly because it grows well in refrigeration. It is commonly found in processed meats, unpasteurized cheeses and unpasteurized milk.  Although ice cream from Blue Bell has been linked to illnesses in four states, Listeria generally only affects the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and their newborn infants. It can cause fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Blue Bell’s Brenham plant did make some ice cream this past week, but it was strictly for testing.  None of it will be sold.

To put things in perspective, there have only been three Listeria-based fatalities in Blue Bell’s entire history.  In 2011, Canteloupe from just one farm in Colorado caused thirty deaths.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Because we opted to have our swimming pool filled in last summer instead of taking a trip, it’s been two years since we’ve taken our 5th wheel trailer on the road.  I’ve been getting it ready for the past couple weeks, and it has been challenging to say the least.

So far, in addition to normal cleaning and dewinterizing, I have had to fix the water heater, the DirecTV satellite system, and a small but persistent leak at one of the slide-outs.  Yesterday, the air conditioner - which had been working fine – decided to quit. 

The compressor comes on, but the fan just hums.  I found that giving the fan a little spin would start it running, an almost sure sign of a a bad start capacitor, but replacing the capacitor didn’t help.  Now we are waiting for a new motor, which should be here Monday.

The only good news is that this happened now, and not a week into a 30 day trip.