Category Archives: General

Godspeed, John Glenn

It is with a heavy heart I write today’s post.  Today we lost a true hero – the last of the Mercury Seven – John Glenn.

I suppose I am just “old” but the Mercury Seven represent for me a time when we as a nation and society traveled through time’s finest hour.

Godspeed John Glenn…  May you travel well…  Godspeed…


Just imagine the stories these glorious seven are sharing now…

Astronaut John Glenn photographed in space by an automatic sequence motion picture camera during his flight on “Friendship 7.” Glenn was in a state of weightlessness traveling at 17,500 mph as this picture was taken.


Hitachi RB 24EAP Leaf Blower


6 month old Hitachi Leaf Blower

I’ve had enough of the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  Anticipating company that will soon be arriving I decided to fire up my 6 month old Hitachi leaf blower and clear out the driveway, front walk and back patio – after all, Thanksgiving weather is in low 70’s today, here in the Upstate of South Carolina.

And sure enough the damn thing refused to start.  On close inspection, the reason for the failure appears to be the carburetor is not priming.  Press the rubber bulb, right?  Well sure.  But the grommet leaks and fuel spills out instead of getting pumped into the carburetor.

img_4133And here is that grommet I speak of.  It has two rubber lines coming out of it, and they are just press-fit in the two holes on the grommet.  Of course, when one pumps the bulb, fuel spills out through the little lines.

And yes, I have followed the recommended fuel requirements:  this blower is using 100% straight fuel (or at least that is what the pump said) instead of that ethanol laced crap sold today.

Of course we all know the reason for this:  today’s fuel is just not what it used to be.  All these rubber parts are made of the cheapest materials.  The grommet pictured above should be made of Viton so it would be impervious to today’s fuels.  But no.  This stuff is mass-produced and this part would eat at the bottom line.  That CEO at Hitachi would fail to get his bonus.  Instead us consumers get the shaft.  Again, this blower is only 6 months old.

Fortunately, these parts are available online.  I just placed an order for a new grommet and fuel lines because you know the minute I go replace this those lines will be brittle and start leaking themselves.  Oh but here is the kicker…  These parts totaled about $8 bucks with a $7.95 shipping & handling charge.  Go figure…


Mopeds, Trucks and Mustangs

img_4128My friend Jeff sent me this photo just a few minutes after leaving work yesterday, November 22nd.  I suppose this is as good an example of “necessity being the mother of invention” as any…

Interesting how mopeds are becoming more and more prevalent in our busy streets.  The sad part about this is that these transportation conveyances are so non-regulated.  Then again, this is why they are so easy to acquire and to ride.  Catch 22 for sure.

Don’t take me wrong, I am not scorning folks driving these machines on city streets and highways but some of these folks certainly go to extremes at the expense of their own (and others) safety.  And adding insult to injury with no regard to basic laws and driving conduct; ie., driving in the left lane, hogging the road or hauling a keg of beer, etc.

img_3947While on the subject of mopeds…  I took this photo several weeks ago.  It shows two extremes in transportation – a sign of our times.  On the left a fully loaded $60k Ford pickup and on the right another moped.  Two chariots providing the same basic concept – moving from point “A” to point “B” – but with different levels of safety, comfort, status, and the list goes on.

Finally, a short story on the silver high-dollar truck shown in the picture:  The truck was a “loaner” given to a co-worker by a local Ford dealership  Turns out several months ago my friend had bought one of the new Mustangs with the V6 engine.  Said Mustang developed a voracious “appetite” for engine oil and eventually started making strange noises.  The dealer took the engine apart, put it back together and that yielded more strange noises.  After weeks that turned into months the good folks at FOMOCO did like Tammy Wynette standing by her man and in this case, stood by their steed:  they sent a brand new crate engine replacement.

All is well now after the engine transplant and my friend is back on the road enjoying his Mustang.  I guess this must have been a bad omen though…  FOMOCO has ceased production of the V6 engine Mustang…

So happy Thanksgiving 2016 to you all.  I for one have much to be thankful for and with much optimism that America will be made Great Again.


Spectacular Spring Day

IMG_3628Today was a spectacular Spring day.  Weather in the Upstate of South Carolina was just perfect – a very pleasant breeze, low humidity and comfy temps.  Good times indeed.

So wifey bought a set of patio “ambiance” lights – I call them glorified Christmas lights – and today we hung them on the pergola on our back yard.  Yes it took some doing to get them strung just right but the end result turned out quite impressive.

A few minutes after I took today’s featured picture, we had dinner under the warm glow from the lights.  Turned out nice actually.  Too boot, if you look closely at the picture you can see wifey gazing at our handywork, and Cooper – our Welsh Pembroke Corgi – watching over his domain.  He really takes watching over his realm seriously!  And yes, since I am partial to British cars, I am partial to the Corgi breed.  Cooper’s mate, by the way is Didi… She has been featured previously in this post.

Finally, to top everything off…  We enjoyed a wonderful Petit Sirah from Vina Robles Winery in Paso Robles, CA.  We have visited the winery and became members of their wine club,  the last time we were in Paso Robles – and it is highly recommended!


Good times indeed!!  :mrgreen:


The Jim Ladd Show


My XM Radio and my old-school headphone tube amp tuned to The Jim Ladd Show, LORD HAVE MERCY!!

The Jim Ladd Show is broadcast every day on XM/Sirius satellite radio on Deep Tracks, channel 27, from “high in the Hollywood hills”.  If you have never heard it, you need to.

The format of the show is free-form and during the four-hour show, you get to hear some amazing stuff.  Very obscure “deep tracks” with great commentary.

Well, yesterday was the 1,000 installment The Jim Ladd Show.  There were many phone calls and many stories mainly of how the show started and so forth.  Here is a shout out to Jim – amazing show Jim!!!