Free is just another word….

I have a mantle clock. It is just a small little thing. I received it as a going away gift when I left my position as a Shipper / Lead Hand at a small manufacturing company back in the winter of ’99.

The curious part of this was that I did not receive the going away gift from my employer, but from a supplier who took me out for breakfast and gave me a catalogue from Amway. I was allowed to pick anything I wanted from that catalogue, it was already paid for.
I’m never good at picking a ‘free’ prize. It’s like some kind of test that I ultimately end up failing.
In my senior year of High School I won a writing award. the prize, donated by the local historical Society, was a $10 gift certificate at ‘Sam the Record Man’. This is back in 1986 and $10 would have gotten you any album in the store.
So there I was, standing in the store and looking at all of the cassettes. Anything I wanted! I must have looked for over an hour!
Def Leppard? Dire Straits? How about some Men Without Hats?
All the choices in the world and what do I walk out of there with?
ABBA, The Album.
Yep.
The last time I remember listening to it all the way through was on a mini vacation, driving across Manitoulin island right around Midnight back in ’93. I still have the cassette though….
Years later, I was at a Fork Lift Rodeo (there used to be such a thing). It was a skills competition. I was pretty good at it, but truth be told I liked it just for the chance to be able to drive the nbice new Toyota propane Fork Lifts. At the end of it all, there was a prize table and you got to pick a prize from the table based on your standing. Being that the competition was put on by the Industrial Accident Prevention Association, most of the prizes were safety related. I found the one that wasn’t.
A propane torch.
Realistically, I did not own a house. But I knew that I would….someday.
Three years later I bought a house. Now I would finally be able to put that torch to use!
Interestingly enough, home ownership does not guarantee the need for a propane torch.
So I waited. I was patient.
In 2004 my patience was finally rewarded! In a cold snap of over -40, the pipes in the crawlspace under my house froze solid! No problem! I had just the tool to tackle that task! A brand new, nerve been used propane torch! I knew right where it was not just a little bit of smugness that I retrieved it from its safe storage in the garage and eagerly prepared to save the day! I turned on the propane and flicked my bic and…..
Nothing happened.
Apparently if you leave something like a propane torch sitting for 13 years, it may or may not work. My model came down decidedly on the ‘may not’ side of things.
Which brings me back to my clock.
My clock and I lost tough for a few years. Many things happened in my life, much change. Some change the clock was around for, some it was not. At some point though, the clock stopped working. I knew it awhile back, but had always assumed that it was a dead battery type issue. So the other day I ‘found’ the clock again and happily put a new battery in it.
Nothing happened.
The clock hands remained immobile.
Well, there goes another ‘pick your own prize’ down the tubes!
No worries though. It really is a good looking little clock, and it still tells the right time, if only twice a day!
 clock

Just some thoughts…
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While you see a chance….

My understanding of the Steve Windwood song by the above name, which was released in 1981, is that it had a remarkable lineup of musicians playing the instruments.
If you count Steve Windwood that is.
He played all of the instruments, recording them one by one until all was done. Very patient…very talented!

The end result is a pretty good song, with a pretty good message.

So, the other day I found myself in a situation where I saw a chance….and I took it.
I have had a motorcycle license for over 30 years, but sadly, my own motorcycle has become a permanent fixture of my garage since 2001.
As luck would have it, I tripped over a 2008 Suzuki GS500F at a used car dealer. It had been there quite awhile, and they were apparently very eager to get it off their showroom fllor. I offered them $900 less than they were asking for it and they accepted!
It had just over 1000 miles on it!!!!

If you want to see happiness, picture me on a motorcycle for the first time in well over a decade. That night, I went for a nice drive with the woman I LoVe holding on behind me.
Life….is good!

Cheers!

bike

All the news that’s fit to….wait a minute!!!

This morning, on Google News portal, under WORLD NEWS, the following articles:

WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa outbreak

AND

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Kiss During Romantic Dinner in Italy …

From my blurry eyed, just woke up perspective THIS is what is wrong with our society!!! Why should I care that George Clooney and his fiance engaged in PDA??? Hell, if they saw some of the things that my gf and I have done in public…oh wait, different blog!
My point being….fluff news does NOT belong under “World” subheadings!!!

Still, I wonder what they had for dinner?

:-

A better idea….

I woke up at 5am and literally one minute later the power went out!
No problem…I have candles and oil lamps.
A few minutes ago, shortly after 7am, the power came back on.
It is raining. Dull. Dark. Windy. The rain is making a melodic symphony upon the roof of my bedroom.
I could stay here all day….

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The importance of Initial Stability

A quiet Sunday morning. I’ve already had breakfast on the deck with a beautiful woman. The sunrise was beautiful, the weather a perfect summers day!
How contradictory it is to sit under a pergola on my deck, just the two of us. My house is in the country, on an acre of land. Just my lady and I on a beautiful morning. Last week we were in Manhattan for several days. I was out and about in that huge metropolis at all hours of the day, and there is NO place on that island where you feel alone. Lonely, maybe. But never alone.

Later in the morning, while listening to The Sunday Edition on CBC radio I casually did some surfing on the internet and happened across the main page of Wikipedia. Today, they announced, is the anniversary of the sinking of the Swedish war ship Vasa. On this day, 386 years ago, The Vasa was on its maiden voyage. It had taken two years to construct and outfit this huge warship, and it was on its way to take part in the 30 Years War. After sailing just under one mile, a gust of wind caught the ship. It leaned hard to port, with its open gun ports going below water. The sea rushed in, the ship filled, and promptly sank in front of thousands of people onshore who had gathered to see her off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship)

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It was found, during an inquest and in the years that followed, that the reason for sinking was a “lack of initial stability.”
In layman’s terms, they built the ship wrong!

This wasn’t just any ship. This was to be the flagship of the reverse fleet. The King of Sweden was very anxious for it to take up station. While he was in Poland leading his troops in battle, the new prize of his navy was sinking to the bottom of the Baltic. Sadly, there were many involved in the building of the ship who knew that the design was flawed and that it would most likely meet with a disastrous end. Presumably they did not see it coming this quickly!
They never told the King….because they were afraid of his reaction.
Thirty men died.

Almost 400 hundred years later, we all recognize that trait in our everyday lives. How often have you avoided telling someone bad news because you were afraid of their reaction. How many maiden voyages have we embarked upon that have sank in the first mile? Sometimes we all lack that ‘initial stability.’
But even if we lose a flagship now and then, there is more to life than one bad voyage. Life really is about the journey, NOT the destination!

Cheers to all!

SAM_3160