Happy New Year!

Everyone I know is going out tonight to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  I’ve been invited to several parties and I think I’ll go to the one for the fire department. Those guys are good people and I want to spend my first early hours of the New Year around some down to earth, wholesome guys.

The snobby and pretentious people that I have to work with are not the ones I want to celebrate with. This is the first job I’ve had that I don’t want to socialize with my co-workers. It’s strange but I can deal with it.

Anyway, here’s to a very Happy and Prosperous New Year for all my friends and family and readers of my blog!

2016 could be a good one

Happy New Year for 2016

Trick My Ride

My Tahoe has been giving me trouble, so I thought I’d put an ad on the internet and see if I could find anyone to buy it, “as is.” I was hoping to get enough cash from selling it to have a nice down payment on a newer car. But after running an ad for the past 3 weeks, I only had a couple of calls and haven’t had anyone seriously interested.

So now I’ve decided to spend a little money on fixing it up and I’ll just keep the Tahoe for another year or two. One of the first things I want to do is upgrade the car’s sound system. The speakers and receiver are just factory issued, and I’d like to get something nicer with a nice subwoofer or two to really kick it up!

Shopping online for the right audio gear to trick my ride, I am going to count on ShopWiki to have both a buyers guide and the most stores to check for the brand names and best prices. I’ll start with new car speakers and then look at the different receivers to see what kind of budget I’ll need, then I’ll move on with some subwoofers. I’m pretty sure that shopping online first will make me a more educated consumer and I’ll probably save a lot of money over going to a local shop and just selecting my new audio gear from what they have on the shelves.

Mailboxes Add Curb Appeal

There are several houses on my street sporting “For Sale” signs suddenly. They are down the other end of the street, but they are still a part of my core neighborhood. Everyone on my end of the end is pretty well settled and stable. I’m pretty sure most of them are planning on living here until they retire or even longer. In fact most of them have lived here long enough that I suspect their homes are completely paid for by now.

The house down the far end of the street are mostly tenant occupied and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the houses for sale are landlords who are sick of dealing with tenants and just want to get rid of the properties. They did a little spiffing to the yards and exteriors of the houses, pressure washing the vinyl and driveway, planting a few new shrubs. Two of them even replaced the old mailboxes with new Classic Mailboxes, which really added to the curb appeal of those properties.

I’ve been thinking about replacing my mailbox and having the driveway repaved this Spring. I’ve looked at the Gaines Mailboxes online and really like this one:
gaines mailbox

The website had a lot of different colors and styles of mailboxes and posts. I found the site when my boss was talking about shopping for Keystone Mailboxes and having to get one with a keyed lockbox. He does not lice in a gated community and they are having some problems with mail theft in that area. IF you get important documents and checks in the mail, it might be a good idea to look into the security features available now. For a reasonably small additional charge, you can get a lockable insert that fits right inside the regular mailbox shell. You can’t even tell the difference from the street. But when you open the front flap, all you can see is the locked security box inside.

My Bass 4 String Guitar

One of the most memorable Christmas’s of year’s gone by was the one that my parents some how really pulled it off and surprised with a new guitar. It was a fantasy of mine (like most kids my age had) to become a rock and roll star and I couldn’t possibly reach my goal if I didn’t have a decent guitar to play.

Normally we had our Christmas tree and all of the gift giving moments in the family room down in the basement. But for some reason this year my parents decided to try and do it differently, which meant having the Christmas in the living room, in the corner closest to the front window. People that went by the house could for the first time since we lived there see our beloved Christmas tree along with the other holiday decorations that we spent so much time on making and decorating each year with.

This year after, all the presents were opened and before we all gathered at the table for breakfast, my mother handed me an envelope that I didn’t expect her to give to me. I opened it up (most likely with the rolling of the eyes that kids that age are so known for doing) and was surprised to see my mother’s handwriting telling me to go downstairs to find a special surprise.

I remember practically diving and doing cartwheels all the way down the basement stairs and quickly sprinting into the family room where I found a rather large box wrapped up with my name written on it. I couldn’t get the paper off of there quickly enough to satisfy me. I basically remember a flurry of paper and cardboard while the rest of the family came on down to join me.

I never expected to really find an electric bass guitar and one of the cool on stage stands in that box. My mother was prepared with a camera in hand and she managed to snap a couple of pictures of me while all of this was going on and they have become some of the funniest pictures taken back in the days of our youth.

I wish that I still had that guitar. We made beautiful music together for many years. I do believe that having this guitar kept me out of a lot of trouble that could have made my life even more complicated than it already was. But some how the darned thing got misplaced, lost or stolen because no one in the family remembers the last time they had actually seen me with it. I some times think that I will take some time and climb up into my parents attic and see if it some how was put up there. But the last time I was up there my sister was there as well and it some how turned into a search for treasures of her childhood, not my guitar. I got frustrated and it left a real bad taste in my mouth and I haven’t been up there since.

Time Zones

Sometimes I get confused with the time zones and the current time of day in other parts of the world. I have a nephew in the Marines who is serving in Japan, and it is really hard to me to figure out when to be up and awake to be able to call him on the phone or perhaps catch him on instant messenger.

clock

To help keep me on track, I found a web site called The World Clock that shows the current time on a chart of cities all over the world. You can update the display as often as you need to. This has been so helpful to me for keeping in touch with my nephew and also for business conference calls involving our European associates.

It also has a lot of good information that I think most people aren’t aware of, and maybe not even interested in, but it fascinated me for some reason. To think that we will be setting the clocks back an hour in just another couple of months and then it will be another long dark winter upon us all.