Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by raymond » November 24th, 2023, 8:55 pm

I was hoping he had some Nolet's reserve dry gin, vermouth, pimento stuffed queen olives, and a bottle of olive brine.
And some Arturo Fuente Opus X cigars in his humidor.
Raymond


"On the day when crime puts on the apparel of innocence, through a curious reversal peculiar to our age, it is innocence that is called on to justify itself." Albert Camus

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » November 24th, 2023, 9:20 pm

My tastes are a bit lower down the ladder, like 25 rungs down. :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » November 25th, 2023, 11:01 am

Happy birthday to me. Doc says she's using "different kind of candles' on my cake this year. She can't fool me. I know a stick of dynamite when I see it.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » November 25th, 2023, 11:03 am

Are you eligible for Social Security yet?
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » November 26th, 2023, 12:08 pm

Soon. Very soon.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOLLOWS -

Have a fella in the San Antonio area who is still looking for an engine.

Have another fella in the San Antonio area who is looking for a complete front suspension assembly.

If you have both, or either, and are within a reasonable distance from SA, let me know and I'll put you in touch with the buyers.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » November 26th, 2023, 3:12 pm

Depends on whether I am considered "reasonable" distance. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » November 27th, 2023, 12:16 am

I think you'd be having to lick a LOT of stamps.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » November 27th, 2023, 9:13 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
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12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » December 7th, 2023, 1:44 am

It has been a day of weirdness. Last night Skippy The Kid reached out to me with news that a 'Certain Concern' reached out to HIM; it being desirous of having a tracked vehicle present at an promotional event where they were going to have a tent set up.

Backing this up just a bit - somehow, the topic came up outside of my presence and Skippy made the tragic error of mentioning that I had a half track. I'm sure he thought he was doing the right thing but, pile upon that ANOTHER error where the person he was speaking to misunderstood and thought that it was Skippy who had a half track and that person went and reached out to the 'Certain Concern' with the news that he had located a half track, and perhaps it might be rentable for the event. So, the 'Certain Concern' reached right out to Skippy The Kid on VERY préavis très court and Skippy The Kid then tried to reach out to me in an attempt to sort it all out without actually spilling the beans as to what it was all about....

and then let his phone go into Do Not Disturb Mode....

and then missed my return call....

and then claimed that I had not called him back as promised.

Another day LOST.

When I finally DID find out, there was no real contact info to be had which meant I had to do some sleuthing, and a whole lot of leaving some Have Them Contact Me notices with whomever I spoke to.

Now, keep in mind that I am in deep-deep-deep in Post Party Mode around here and I'm up to my jingle bells in Christmas decorations that need to be boxed, labeled, packed in tubs and transported back to storage will they will sit in the dark for another 11 months. In short, I already have PLENTY to do so, this business was not nearly as welcome as it might otherwise be.

But, to be entirely fair, firing up the half track has been on the list of Dumb Things I Really Gotta Do...chiefly because I'm not really keen on going out at some point and finding my self facing another stuck valve from lack of use....but apparently no so keen that I do it as regularly as I should.

L-head motors are finicky like that.

So, I stopped packing my jing-tinglers and my floo-floobers and my electro who-cardio flooxes and began the onerous process of getting Mister Bones to start...because what is supposed to be a very sensible monthy run-up has become a bi-yearly run-up.

Me? Procrastinate? Perish the thought! Because, why risk the usefulness of having a half track that can actually run at a moment's notice should someone be willing to pay for it? Does all this humor hide my shame? Probably not.

While I was outside doing that, who should show up but my buddy Ryan who just happens to own the only other half track in the area (if you are willing to call being three Texas-sized counties away, "In The Area.") What are the odds that Ryan would show up today? I mean, YES, he did owe me and Billyboi lunch for saving his bacon earlier this year and YES, he was there to make good on that.

Bill and I were outside going through the motions and my half track fired up very nicely but died of fuel starvation and it quickly became apparent that it had an electric fuel pump that needed to be replaced. Otherwise, with a bowl full of fuel, Mister Bones ran very happily....which gave me a wonderfully warm feeling all over, even in the face of having to R&R a fuel pump....which is really nothing compared to a stuck valve.

And then, the phone rang. It was the 'Certain Concern'. They had somehow found me and I laid it all out for them, very plainly. My half track simply isn't all that presentable at the moment...at least not for a promotional event and I thought that they wouldn't be satisfied to have an obviously not quite finished half track representing their brand. Overhearing that I was sort of bowing out, Ryan began waving his arms around like he was trying to take flight, or direct a helicopter to land in my back yard. I eyeballed Ryan who was, by then, pantomiming riding an ostrich or perhaps doing something terribly pornographic...

depending upon your perspective.

"Yeah, that kind of leaves me out but, would you like to talk to the OTHER half track owner in our little crowd?"

So, Ryan took the reins on the deal and I went happily back to tinkering, with the pressure now completely off. Over lunch (thank you Ryan, it was yummy) we talked over possible plans for moving his track up here on a gooseneck without becoming involved in rush hour traffic and without having to deal with additional risk...because half tracks just don't grow on trees. The last thing you want to do is have an accident with one on a trailer because people will immediately think you're made of money. Meanwhile, the 'Certain Concern's' representative had taken her leave and had probably begun talking to corporate to see if she could get the money to make her deal happen. Seems kinda backwards to go shopping for a rentable piece of armor without having any idea how to pay for it...but what do I know?

Ryan took off for home and a rush job of unburying his half track and getting it fired up after 6 months of ignoring it (it's a half track owner thing - you wouldn't understand) and I went back to packing up Christmas party stuff.

In the end, 'Certain Concern's' corporate weenies declined to pay (and Ryan and I have walked this often rocky path before so, it's always cash on the barrel head or nothing at all) and the whole deal fell through.

Yeah. THAT.

Ryan also found out they had looked into renting a tank from yet ANOTHER 'Certain Concern' and the cost of shipping a tank reared its ugly head and broke THAT deal. So, the whole lame duck deal finally trickled down to the tiny fish who own half tracks. We are the poor country cousins in the world of tracked armor.

This is the problem with dealing with people who only see big green metal things on display. They have no concept of what it takes to move stuff like that around....much less keep stuff like that running. And those of us who own the larger stuff don't pussy foot around because we DO know.

In the final analysis, having the whole deal slide sideways and off into a ditch and then over a cliff was sure easier for everyone on our end but having some extra folding money to throw around just before Christmas would have been nice. Oh well.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on December 7th, 2023, 2:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » December 7th, 2023, 9:59 am

So, Where did Skippy slide of to during all of this since he was the one that started it? Or is his phone mysteriously back on "do not disturb"?
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
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12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » December 7th, 2023, 2:18 pm

College. Studying for finals, I hope.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » December 9th, 2023, 3:06 am

Another interesting day. If someone had called me in the morning and if that same someone had told me that, before dinner time, my great bolshy yarbles would be soaked in cat vomit, I would have called them crazy.

Now, I don't know if I mentioned it but, our 12 year old under-cabinet microwave took a powder at a critical moment in the party food preparation phase, with something like 40 people in a que waiting for someone to ring the dinner bell. So, naturally, The Good Doctor is a little bit gun shy about keeping this particular microwave on duty, despite the fact that I can probably repair it by replacing a $5 thermal fuse and despite the fact that after repairing it, it will have a whole year to prove itself to be, once again, reliable. Make no mistake. This ol' microwave is something of a Cadillac where microwaves are concerned so, I am not particularly enthused about parting with it and once repaired, it's going on the shelf as a backup unit. But there is the matter of the lag time owing to having someone ship the new part to me. So, Doc came in this morning, gazed at her still inoperable microwave oven and informed me she's transferred some money to my account for a new rig. Git 'er done!

Message received.

The Billmeister, who was only just returning from an appointment in the big city, got informed by me that we are going shopping for another microwave and he, knowing how I shop for appliances, decided he had better make a pit stop because this might take a long time. Meanwhile, I found that I needed to return to my laptop at the Command Post Table. I plopped into the Commander's Chair and after tapping out a quick email, I stood up and suddenly, my nether regions began to feel chilly...like they were wet...and that feeling progressed down the insides of my thighs.

WHAT THE...!?!

I reached back and my hand was suddenly full of goo....because in MY world, no effort is one and done. Nothing is a nice, straightforward deal. EVERYTHING requires at least 32 individual steps before I can move forward on ANYTHING. SOooo I carefully disrobed, got everything that needed to be rinsed off, rinsed off, got everything into the washer, got into some new duds, put them on and then remembered that the offending seat pad was just as nasty, if not nastier than the rest and I set to getting THAT corrected because if I didn't do it THEN, I would forget about it and would soon be right back where I started. Meanwhile, all the cats were walking around like nothing was amiss AT ALL...

the little LIARS.

Believe me, I was happy to eventually get the H-E-double toothpicks out of the house. Home Depot was waiting patiently for our return...and my money. I marched straight back to the microwaves and Señor Beel peeled off to go see what was on sale. When I got back to the appliances, I found a very fetching young saleslady who looked just old enough to have a driver's license. Her youthful appearance made me suspicious, so I asked her straight up - "How are you on the matter of the finer details when it comes to microwaves?" She told me not to worry and waved her Home Depot two-way communication device which was able to cough up all sorts of little facts about stuff being sold in the store.

Good enough. So, she and I went shopping together like old pals, and after consulting her electronic gizmo and showing me several possibilities, she said they also had a few floor models for sale, on clearance. Now, when the words 'Clearance' and 'Sale' appear together in the same sentence, well, that gets my immediate and undivided attention. I'm what my mum used to describe as being "VERY Scotch".

Lead on, baby!

She and I ended up staring down at two very similar floor models on a flat cart. They reminded me of two stiffs waiting to go into a drawer in the morgue. Only one was going to be within my size limitations but, it was (theoretically) NEW and it boasted .1 more square feet of cooking space than my old microwave. 'Bigger' is an undeniable bonus even though it is actually such a tiny bit of space it's probably better suited to saving belly button lint than for cooking food. The really big deal was, this microwave was HALF of the price of a new, shiny, still-in-the-box rig with all that annoyingly clingy plastic wrap all over it. The bottom panel was dented (I can fix that), the stovetop light lens was missing (I can fix that) and the bulbs were missing (I'll find new ones)....AND it came with 1.54987 pounds of free -FREE!- warehouse dust and since we collect dust at my house, I doubted anyone would really notice once I vacuumed most of it out.

The little gal got a manager to come over and approve the sale and they threw in a couple of bulbs which, in the end, didn't actually fit but, whatever...

Now came the dicey bit. Dicey, because when Home Depot takes product out of a box in order to use it as a floor model, all the ancillary bits and bags of paperwork get put into one giant box in the back so that they might be stored with all the OTHER ancillary bits from all the OTHER floor models and then they shake that box until EVERYTHING in it is all mixed up, so as to save it for later when the floor models eventually get sold to cheapskates like me. Sure, they give you pieces and parts and paper...but there's no guarantee that it's actually for your new rig. It's really just to keep you shut up until it's time to try to install it and by then, it's too late.

You may get it cheap, fella, but I can guarantee it's gonna be painful.

So, in addition to my dusty, new, mo-biggah microwave, I walked away with a lower support that didn't fit my model at all but looked very suspiciously like it might (so I screwed it to my wall and it sorta worked) plus two different templates for drilling microwave mounting holes in expensive cabinetry...none of which were for my unit....which I found out AFTER the danged holes were drilled....plus instructions and clearly very important parts for some other brand of microwave...oh yeah, and a partridge in a pear tree.

BAH!

HUMBUG!

Through a process of combining trigonometry, calculus, differential equation, geometry, mathematical equation, quadratic functions, algebra, and SWAG factoring I reckoned where two more new holes might be drilled in the cabinet. And my math teachers always lowered their chins to their chest and shook their heads in the negative when discussing my prospects for getting a passing grade. I was considered unteachable, chiefly because no one could actually tell me why algebra was useful. So, from that time on, I thought the whole math thing was a sham. Well, look at me now! I can hang a microwave under a cabinet using holes located WITHOUT a template. By the way, SWAG is an acronym for Scientific Wild Assed Guess, for those of you who didn't know.

Doc has a new microwave and would be very happy about it, except her busted up knee is spoiling all the joy in her life at the moment. As for me, well, the washing machine chewed my seat cushion to bits but left my clothes smelling as sweet and clean as morning dew on a field of clover. It ain't much, but I'll take it any way I can and who knows, maybe I can find that sweet little gal and get her to help me shop for another seat cushion.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on December 9th, 2023, 11:42 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » December 9th, 2023, 9:37 am

And I do suppose you gave the good doctor back all the money you saved by buying the floor model, right? RIGHT????? :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » December 9th, 2023, 11:30 am

I offered but she knows she'll see it back in the form of a Christmas present so she declined.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » December 14th, 2023, 12:57 pm

Turning me loose and unsupervised in an as-yet uninvestigated county....my wife should know better.

You know the drill. There you are, wandering around with nowhere to be and no time to be there. You tend to slow down and take a closer look at things and slowing down is actually one of the main advantages of retired life. But, in an odd twist of fate, by this time in life, a lot of us older guys aren't seeing so well. Ask Santa for a set of those little binoculars that come in a cheap zippered pouch. There is really no need to get the U.S. Navy binoculars that are 18" long and allow you to see to the horizion. Those are expensive, heavy and don't fit well in the glove box. Just a pair of the little price-leader jobs that are offered up by Walmarts and Bass Pro-type places as the Perfect Christmas Gift for Dad will do nicely. Well actually, they are perfect for granddads too. All ya have to be able to see is as far as the row of fence at the back of the farm yard...

where the good stuff is kept....

and keep a set of el-cheapo binocs in EVERY car.

So Doctor Amy announced that I would be taking her to her friend's house an hour away from our place and her plan was that I would drop her off to spend the better part of the day with her chum whereupon they would do paint-by-numbers and drink themselves into bliss. Her friend is also a medical professional...

so they know how to medicate.

And that's as far as that plan went. I would be cut loose in an area that was 87.4% agrarian. What would I get out of all this driving (besides and hour or two in the Doctor Car on the heated seats with 8 different kinds of massage settings)? Well, a small dinner party in the latter half of the day was in the offing for sure but, what to do in the in-between time was left entirely up to me. So, I decided to wander up to Bandera which is yet another several counties away, and check out their rather wonderful antique store, maybe investigate some back roads and then vector back home to ensure that Cooper The Wonder Dog had a chance to shake his pants. I commenced to moseying. This plan barely got off the ground.

Because I was in the Doctor Car, instead of Longfellow, I didn't have my usual kit with me. No binoculars. Phooey. But, I did see a little Ford tractor for sale; one of a similar size and vintage to mine. I was not in the market for another tractor, but it always pays to know what other people are asking for their machines. I turned around, went back and pulled in. Ah crap, this was a business. Businesses are the worst sort of places to buy used stuff because they are in business and making money is usually the very first thing on their mind. But, I wasn't there to buy a tractor, I was there to get a better look at the For Sale sign.

What I was pleased to see was that the tractor was pretty much parked in by a sizable pile of used implements. Hmmm. A gal about ten years my junior walked out of the shop with a Fonzie leather jacket and bedazzled jeans that were just a little too tight. Probably having some trouble coming to grips with her advanced age, I thought. But, she was nice enough. Would I be interested in buying the tractor? I told her the truth. Nope. Not in the market. But, looking over the gear, I had spotted a rather nice PTO-driven auger which was just the sort of kit I really wanted for ol' Nickel. Further conversation revealed that the tractor had been her father's (I assumed he was no longer with us) and, poor thing, she REALLY wanted to sell it. And, the implements belonged to the owner of the shop, her employer. I assured her I would not be buying a tractor today.

I finally announced that I wanted to know more about the auger and, disappointed, she went in to get the Jefe. He strolled out, clearly offended about having to take time away from business concerns to deal with me. This might be tough going on both of us. So, we did the thing where both parties stand around the the item that is for sale and wait to see who blinks first. Finally, he admitted that he hadn't given much thought to pricing the implements individually and he really thought they might go with the tractor as a package deal. "Ah well, that's too bad," I said. "I was thinking your auger was just about everything I wanted in one little package. I suppose I'll just have to keep looking." Then he admitted he had taken some earnest money for the tractor but that the implements weren't part of that deal. Sneaky. Very sneaky.

Okay,

Now the real fly in the ointment was the fact that I had arrived in the Doctor Car. Had I showed up in one of my older rigs, I might have gotten a bit further, much sooner. "Why don't we just see what we can find on the internet," he said. He was afraid my next move would be to saddle up and drive away. "Sure, why not," I replied. I made the attempt on my phone. He went back to his office to look into it....probably on a dusty old TRS80.

Now, this shop is a place that deals with hydraulics and it has the contract with just about everything and everybody in the county. What wasn't farming in that area was devoted to huge gravel pits. Hydraulics EVERYWHERE. What a great place to have a hydraulics business. But, in such a business, they know down to the tenth of a cent how much profit is to be made on everything they make and do. So, I reckoned this was going to be a deal that was so tight, it would make the pips squeak.

After a bit, he came back out and looked kind of surprised that I hadn't driven off; which was my signal to him that I was actually serious about buying. All I could find were comparable examples that weren't actually all that comparable given that this was a nice, big, American-made rig and nowadays, most new stuff was being made in China and looked kinda spindly. He was obviously at a loss for data so we tag-teamed this investigation on my phone and talked it out. He wanted to sell and I was willing to give him fair compensation for it. Finally, I called a halt to what was slowly devolving into idle banter and said, "Waddy want for it?" That caught him off guard. He blurted out, "two fifty," and I could tell he immediately regretted say it because $250 was a bonafide steal. I pounced on it. "I can do that," and pulled out my wallet.

I handed over $250 and he, being a clever, crafty old dude, boldly said, "I believe I said three fifty." He hadn't, of course, but it would be entirely fair to allow him to correct himself. Besides, I had foolishly showed up in the Doctor Car which is a really bad way to start any process of negotiations. However, $350 was actually what I had already decided I would willingly pay for it...if negotiations went that far. New Chinese-made augers start at $600 for the little ones and the prices rise dramatically from there. This thing had a gearbox the size of a large pumpkin and came complete with all the stuff needed to run it and the brand (Rotomec USA) was being promoted by John Deere. JD has name in the game and they care about their customers getting good equipment. In short, it actually was worth $350...and maybe more. In a pregnant pause I quietly looked him in the eye just a moment longer than was comfortable for him and he said, "And when you come back, we'll load it for you with the fork lift," which was EXACTLY what I wanted to hear.... for $350. The darned thing was going to weigh a ton.

I fished out another hundred bucks, which pretty much cleaned me out.

With the deal done and my mad money gone, I kinda raced back home across three counties, watered the dog, hooked up my trailer (with new tires, no less!) and hustled back in order to get the auger loaded before the end of their business day.

Winner Winner - Chicken Dinner!

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on December 15th, 2023, 11:13 am, edited 4 times in total.

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