Monday, July 24, 2017

I hate complaining

I hate complaining about as much as I hate hearing complaints. I am wading through a fair amount of negative stuff and just need a vehicle to cast off some ballast. July should be a time of relaxing, swimming, BBQs, sleeping in, vacations, and just taking time off.

This has been my usual practice anyway. School is out and the traffic a little lighter so driving up and down the freeway is less stressful.  This July has gone against the grain. One of the reasons I like July, in addition to it being right after Father's Day in June, is it is my birthday month.

As you have guessed by now, it has not gone according to previous years. 

It has been hot temperature wise in northern California this year, after a wet winter and my allergies have been debilitating.  I have had a couple of days I could not stop sneezing and blowing my nose. I took lots of decongestant with no relief.

My auto registration renews in August and this cycle, I had to get a smog inspection. This minor inconvenience turned into a major expense. I took my car to the station that inspected it a couple of years ago and was informed they could not do it because of equipment repair that would take 6 to 8 weeks to complete. That surprised me a bit but I just found another service establishment to do it.

Everything was going swimmingly. After a short 15 minutes, I received a new smog certificate and a bill for $54.00 with a comment that looked like someone had not tightened the coolant reservoir cap sufficiently. I did not think too much of the warning and drove my car on the 4-minute drive home.

After parking the car, I noticed the fan continued to run after shutting the car off. It was a hot day and I know they have to run the car while doing the inspection, so I did not think anything was amiss. I was wrong. I did not drive the car for a couple of days but the next time I did I went on a very short drive and the fan continued to run after shutting the car off. This is something that had never happened before getting the smog inspection. I began to think about the warning I received at the auto service center and wondered if I had been "had." It would not be the first time I experienced a failure after getting something minor fixed.

I called my Volvo dealer and explained my car was overheating and he told me to bring it in. After inspecting the car and burning his hand on the coolant reservoir cap when he tried to remove it; he sent me home with a loaner car and said he would call with his diagnosis. He called and said he had to replace the radiator, the coolant reservoir, and cap because I had a radiator leak. This was on a Monday and they were extremely busy. When he called to tell me how much it was going to cost, what I thought I heard him say was it would be $477.00. When he called after doing the work, he said the bill was $984.00. This was more than I was expecting.

I visited the emergency room at Kaiser on May 29th and had a few tests done because I was having lower abdominal pain after having a colonoscopy at the VA a week before. I figured I would get a bill for $400.00 or $500.00. When the bill finally arrived and it came in chunks, it was more than $8,000.00. So my budget is hemorrhaging.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Musings on our new president

Avoiding talk about politics or religion is great advice and I've followed it in writing my blog to this point. However, our record-breaking new president provides so much to write about, I just couldn't keep silent.

Donald Trump's antics remind me of two children's fables." The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Anderson, and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" by Aesop. If you're unfamiliar with these stories, the first is about two weavers who convince the emperor they have created an invisible suit for him that can't be seen by stupid, incompetent people and the second is about a Sheppard boy who cries out for the people of a village to help him protect his flock. The villagers tire of the boy's game and do not respond when a wolf actually arrives.

Making America Great Again

Our president finds himself in a precarious position after 110 days in office because he has a very casual relationship with the truth. In his world, it is totally acceptable to stretch the truth or even outright lie in his expression of how great he is and how well he has done. His focus on winning and being successful to the point of being unable to accept failure and loss is complete. His description of the crowd size at his inauguration is a fabulous example of seeing things that don't exist and he was livid when the Park service provided comparisons to previous inaugurations. His explanation for not winning the majority of votes is the number he lost to his opponent were cast by illegal voters.  Few people believe this, but he will not move on to other things. He maintains the reason some people see his foibles is the democrats are sore losers. It appears to me, he is a sore winner.

Conflicts of Interest

Maintaining an untrue position, over time, results in people losing faith and belief in their leaders. President Trump maintains the liberal media is fake and is out to get him. His memory is very short as the institutions he declared to be "the enemy," the intelligence community, the media, the democrats are no longer likely to be friendly, but that is his own fault. Trump ignores rules governing conflict of interest acting as though he is above the law.

Cover Up and Avoidance

His insistence in obscuring reasons for his strategy and beliefs is unfathomable. He denies his campaign or advisors have had any contact with the Russians, but we find out his closest advisors have. Instead of being an open book, he spins lies he has to amend, retell, and amend again. The boy telling the villagers story after story until they don't believe a word he says.