Thursday, April 29, 2010

100 Grand!!!

My car just passed the 100,000 mile mark!!!
See the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVOUMEj-iTU 
(make sure your computer speakers are on).

FWIW, I was driving 60mph on a 70mph, mostly deserted, Bluegrass Parkway at 10pm
(believe it or not, when I hit 99,980,
I actually planned that route and timing around my tennis schedule,
so I could video tape without risking life or limb to myself and others!).

The digital still/movie camera did a great job!
I rarely had to look down,
checking only that the camera was running,
and that the odometer was in frame and focused!
One of the few minor problems with the car
is that the upper and left dashboard lights stopped working, years ago,
so the video is a little "dark", but you can just make out the odometer.
Considering that the only major problem
my '99 Ford Crown Victoria has ever given me
was the "idle air control valve"
(for the pre-fuel injection folks, that's equivalent to the vacuum advance/retard)
which cost all of $200 to replace, I think I can live with that!
Of course, in the pre-fuel injection era, that same repair would have consisted
of snipping off the end of a cracked vacuum advance/retard hose line!
How can they get the hard things right, and the easy things wrong?
Ah, the wonders of modern technology!
Still, with only basic maintenance, two new batteries
(about to get a third; hard cranking is the first sign of a needed replacement!),
and two sets of new tires, and not even having to replace the muffler,
I am VERY happy with this car.
Of course, Ford no longer produces it for non-fleet use,
though I'm told you can still get it if you ask nicely
or if a fleet car is available at year end;
however, its "sister" car, the Mercury Grand Marquis is still available and close enough!*

Can't wait for the next 100,000 miles!!!

___________________________

* [ADDENDUM] The Mercury brand has been jettisoned,
joining Pontiac, Hummer, and a host of others to the automotive junkyard.
Figures! The best car I've ever owned
(second only to the '77 Pontiac Bonneville,
which had lots of problems, but lasted nearly 15 years,
and I could fix virtually anything other than transmission issues)
cannot be replaced! I dread to think what my next car will be!  :,(

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It hurts when I do this . . .

My recent bad back trauma seems to have affected the entire right side of my body. As I was "listing" 45 degrees forward and the right (sort of like mechanical crane that snaps in two while lifting an excessively heavy burden), undoubtedly, I must have done some damage to my shoulder, groin, thigh, and knee, because - - BOY! - - do they hurt!!! Neither heat nor cold makes them feel any better; I'm convinced a run through my tennis club's hot whirlpool would help, but, of course, it's out of order!

Nothing new on the job front; I don't even get rejection letters or cold calls, anymore! Is this what retirement looks like?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unemployment benefits run out May 3

I went into the unemployment office (given the PC moniker of "Office of Employment and Training"; c'mon! call a spade a spade, huh?) for my 6-week "check-up", where, essentially, they ask us to prove why we can't get a job (don't be upset at Kentucky; with a population about the same size of Little Rhody, they have to do SOMEthing to justify keeping the unemployment personnel employed!), and discovered that my benefits will run out on May 3, unless Congress passes another unemployments benefit extension (this would be my third). BTW, it probably isn't a good sign that I'm on a first-name basis with the entire OET staff, is it?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fat Tuesday

I got a lot on my plate to chew through on Tuesday:

1) Volunteer stint at Central Kentuky Radio Eye
2) Dentist to fix my broken tooth
3) Playing tennis after a 3-week layoff due to a bad back

If I survive that, there's more tennis on Wednesday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Deadly dull day

Friday, I went to sleep at around 2:30am (don't know why),
woke up at 6am (don't know why),
and stayed up doing practically nothing (don't know why).
Actually, I spent 2 hours scouring the web for a job (don't know why*)
(a headhunter contacted me very late Friday,
about a job that I'm about 50% qualified for,
but could probably do, regardless;
I responded with a show of interest,
but I probably won't hear from her until Monday),
did some minor apartment cleaning (don't know why);
baked a cake (don't know why);
read my e-mail and scanned my Facebook buddies (don't know why) . . .



=======

(*) It has been pointless for the last 14 months,
so, although the number of jobs and "cold" contacts seem to have increased, slightly,
I'm not hopeful about the future,
and, quite frankly, I'm at a complete loss as to what to do.
A new degree would be prohibitively expensive;
a master's would probably be beyond my reach, at this point
(and, what, exactly, would be the point?
the last few job contacts I've received or made
all wanted me to move out-of-state with no guarantee of long-term employment,
AND pay me LESS than what I made over a decade ago;
one wanted to hire me as a senior computer programmer (30 years of experience),
but at only 1.5 times minimum wage AND without benefits!!! Good deal, huh?);
I'm at a complete loss (I said that already, but, I'm repeating it to emphasize
that I'm at a complete loss!)).  ;)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wash and watch

I did the wash at the local laundromat.
When someone comes by, overburdened by their load,
I usually open the door for them,
and, most of the time, get little more than a smile.
This time, I didn't notice that the young woman (collegian?) I was helping
was so rapt in her cell phone conversation,
that I was sure she didn't even realize I was there!
Much to my surprise, when she put her stuff down,
she looked to where I had sat down, and mouthed "thank you!"



Later, I watched PBS' "The Buddha" (was very disappointed in it).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Accomplished nothing; reporting same

I got an e-mail response to a job I applied to via the 'net.
It was posted THREE days ago (or, perhaps, re-posted/renewed 3 days ago).
The gentleman said it was already filled.

However, his letter was extremely well written;
one of the best I've seen in years.
Here's to hoping he  knows a good prospect when he sees one!

My back is about 75% better, with minor twinges, now,
though I'm very careful about what I do, especially bending and lifting.
I have to do a laundry today or tomorrow,
which will involve heavy lifting.
I also have to return something I bought on Sunday
(a window film; turns out I didn't need it),
dump the garbage,
and a few odds and ends.
Maybe I'll save it all for Wednesday (which I normally do on Wed & Sat or Sun),
and add picking up the mail to the list.

Finally finished finalizing my taxes;
I owe about $1200 each to Uncles Sam and Kentucky.
=sigh=

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Digital shades

No, it's not some new eyewear product to enhance your surfing experience!

Due to some burglaries of items in cars in my apartment townhome complex's parking lot
(my car wasn't victimized),
I went to a local home and hardware chain and bought shade "film",
which, when applied to the interior, ground-level, windows,
makes it difficult for would-be thieves to see
(I have lots of electronics, tools, etc, all for anyone to see).
It took about an hour to cut and apply to the two windows;
I wish I had done it years ago!

I went to my post office box and picked-up the mail (I do so only on Wed & Sun),
and saw that my cable company had sent me the three digital-to-audio converters I had requested.
Frankfort, KY, being one of the last areas in the USA to convert completely to digital cable,
because it is a lower-middle income town with only one utility company
(excluding satellite cable/internet), had received permission from the FCC to delay
the mandatory conversion as long as possible.
They work okay, but I hate them, not just because I have to pay an extra $1/month for each unit
for each of my 3 VHS/DVD recorders,
but, also, because the 3 recorders do not have digital tuners*,
I can only get whatever channel the converter is set to,
which, because I have 3 units, isn't so terrible,
but it is annoying to lose perfectly good functionality.
One town I lived in went all digital, but didn't force us to buy a converter,
unless we wanted high-definition or pay-per-view channels.
What's up with that? Something shady, I'm sure!

*(I'm pretty sure one of the recorders isn't digital; not sure about the other two,
but the only way I'll know is when the utility company "drops" the analog signal,
and I try the two without the converter box).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

MIA

I hurt my back over the past week,
and was in a great deal of pain,
so I was unable to fill-in anything into my diary blog.

On the other hand, I didn't do anything during the week,
so there was nothing worthwhile to write!

I'm still in pain, but am much better,
though I had to cancel last week's tennis, dental appt (another broken tooth),
and volunteer stints, and, most likely, will have to cancel them this upcoming week, as well.