Thursday, December 18, 2014

My music is the best...No mine is!!!!

You hear this all the time whether it is the 60's, 70's 80's and so on. It all depends on you doesn't it. Music connects with memories and emotions and events at the time you hear music. It is a bonding thing much like the smell of apple pie or favorite food.

But if you love music you will expand your selections trying a bit of this and that from blues and r&b to classical to hip hop to jazz. Try different artists along the way. Chances are you will be surprised even if it you like only one song or two.

It is like learning another language. You may not get it right but people will appreciate the effort, especially someone younger or from a different race or country.

And if you do like then do one more thing , dance! Like no one is looking even if they are. Enjoy the moment!

ray

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hey! I am not old so what is with all the wrinkles?

Nobody thinks of themselves as old, even if the calendar begs to differ. Laying in bed the other morning I rolled over and happened to take a look at my arm and this thought popped into my mind.
WTF!!
The skin looked like something from the history channel. Sigh...
And the arm itself was kind of jiggly. Why I look like I am 62! Wait, I am.

I am still pretty strong, can still lift and move things, knees not withstanding, can still hit a golf ball pretty far and so on.

But time marches on doesn't it. The elasticity of the body just wears out and the snap just isn't there anymore.

Try this. Lay your hand flat and pull on the skin. Watch how quickly it goes back. Someone young, well, it goes back quickly while mine relaxes back in place,

One is not supposed to mention anything related to age as our culture worships the young but it is what it is. If you think you are not getting older remember the average life span in the USA is around 70.
If you are older than 35, well, welcome to middle age!

on that happy note...

ray

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

thoughts 12-2-14

people who I think are smarter then me ask me all the time my opinion on a variety of things. scary.

the smell of cut cucumbers is so incredibly good.

the love of a dog is a wonderful thing

only matched by the love of your children

people rarely hang out with people with different view points

racism is really hard to disguise

one must be introduced to the arts at an early age to appreciate the world around us

reading must be encouraged with children but it only works if you read too

the line most used " successful people are not fearful of failure" is only partly true, they hate it too but have the grit to try again

many things do not have the option of failure-learning to walk, dress yourself, ride a bike and so on

apps are a wonderful thing but only work because of the internet and electricity, take that away and they have no value

anyone can be perceived as clever if what they do makes them money

rock and roll will never die until all the rock and rollers are dead

are there any news people left that are trusted to report the news as news

the difference between religion and a cult is the number of members

what ever happened to living in harmony with nature

the fight for the lowest price is a victory of sorts for shoppers but will soon be forgotten if the service isn't there to back up the sale

some people don't realize that life does not have  a straight line to success, it is a series of zig zags

most people don't care about the effort and decisions that it took to get the final results

everything you do in life counts for something

everything you don't do counts for something

a new years resolution starts the day you decide to start, not January first

be aware of things and events around you, listen to your mind and body,
tweak things here and there, you will surprise your self

enough for today

old ray





Sunday, November 23, 2014

Why should we care about them, they work in retail don't they?

They're not real people anyway. I have been in retail for 35 plus years or so. We are real people. We have homes, families and we we work hard for our paycheck like anyone else.

We are not to be compared to policeman, fireman, hospital workers, essential people who work year round ensuring our health and welfare.

We are not to be looked down upon for wanting to celebrate a holiday with loved ones. I have seen the comments from people who dislike and look down upon them as lowly people. All so that you can wait with thousands of others to buy, yes buy that unbelievably priced doll, game or TV. Limit 5 per store.

For whatever reason, Thanksgiving is the last day of the year that means a lot and means nothing, No presents are expected, guests may or may not attend, If you are lucky the table will be filled with edible goodies, the TV on with the sounds of football playing, belts being loosened.
A day of joy and relaxation, a day away from the daily grind. Save money, don't buy anything.

We may not work in an office, have a cubicle, wear a suit and tie but in our own way we are essential.

Please don't Scrooge up another day. Thank us instead. Without us you would not be able to buy that Tap dancing Elmo!

Happy Thanksgiving

ray

Friday, November 21, 2014

What you see when the company has a party

Last Sunday our company had a little party after work. Most employees attended. I almost skipped it as it was a long work day. I was glad I went, some close work friends were there and it was a fun couple of hours.

We do have a diverse work place with people from 19 to 72 years old. What surprised me was how people dressed for the occasion. If you think you are up on the current fashion trends and styles, let me tell you, you have no clue. I certainly don't.

It was hip hop heaven. I was totally surprised by the fashion statements, not that it was bad, but I was blown away.

As I looked around I felt very old.

But now for the funny part. You would not believe how many guys in their forties and fifties were trying to blend in. It was funny and yet a bit sad. I understand we wear shirts and ties all day long and this is a chance to look different, but still.

I still wish I had thought to bring my new Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd t-shirt.

Now that would be age appropriate!

old Ray

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Jon Stewart Interview


A very interesting man.


http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/10/jon-stewart-rosewater-in-conversation.html?wpsrc=nymag

Friday, October 31, 2014

Simple things make me happy

sometimes 
it doesn't take much
being alone
nothing pending
sitting
with a 
book in hand
playing 
old tunes
tickling the ears
soft breeze
caressing the face
feet up
relaxing
sun streaked skies
natures palette
sounds
of water
gently cascading
downward
four paws
come
closer
head scratch
looking
for tidbits
game of catch
sipping
the drink 
of the moment
eyes
grow heavy
close for a 
moment
smile


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Send out the clowns and the tigers too!

It is almost 2015 and it is time to stop the use of a couple of relics of the past.

The Zoo

Really, do we need to see animals in captivity any more? The world has changed much over the years and what was once a curiosity about the world around us is very passe. More and more reports come out on how devastating it is to the animals to live in captivity. I would add in Sea World also. Orca and the gang need hundreds of square miles to roam and hunt and instead they are held captive in the equivalent of a bathtub to live their lives out in.

There was an episode of Twilight Zone where the main character is kidnapped by aliens and transported to their planet. He awakens in what appears to be a house. It turns out to be a display of his normal habitat. He is an attraction in a zoo. Touche!

The Circus
How many more reports of animal cruelty do we need before they are ordered to shut down. Elephants balancing on a ball? Abusive treatment to keep them in line? Whips to train the lions and tigers? I always root for the animals.
The circus coming to town was a big diversion years ago, adding a bit excitement and side shows designed to separate the money from the marks.

Vote with your feet and wallet. Don't go.

ray

Thursday, October 16, 2014

He used to write a lot remember?

first year
2009

237 posts

second year
2010

237 posts not planned, just worked out that way

third year
2011

308 posts

fourth year
2012

246 posts

fifth year
2013

78 posts

sixth year
2014

67 and counting

It is not that I have run out of ideas, it is just, I don't know....something, work, health, maybe.
On the plus side, six years is a long time and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon!

coffee time

ray
xo

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gore Vidal

I recently watched a documentary on Gore Vidal on Netflix. If you never read any of his writings you owe it to yourself to pick one up and read it. He went toe to toe with William F. Buckley in a debate of sorts and left Buckley gasping for air, brilliant stuff. The following are some of his best quotes.

Gore Vidal during a Los Angeles interview in 1974.
Gore Vidal: 'Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn'. Photograph: AP

"I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television."

"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail."

"A narcissist is someone better looking than you are."

"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically by definition be disqualified from ever doing so."

"Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice like, Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they're both just aspirin."

"Envy is the central fact of American life."

"Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little."

"The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country — and we haven't seen them since."

"Every four years the naive half who vote are encouraged to believe that if we can elect a really nice man or woman President everything will be all right. But it won't be."

"Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an IQ of 60"

"A good deed never goes unpunished."

"All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting to encounter yourself."

"Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates."

"Fifty percent of people won't vote, and fifty percent don't read newspapers. I hope it's the same fifty percent."

"Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences."

"The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return"

"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."

"The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes."

"The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so."

"Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that's the end of the constitution as a working machine."

"We should stop going around babbling about how we're the greatest democracy on earth, when we're not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarised republic."

"As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not
the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to
be these days."

"Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself."

"Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die."

"There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices."

"There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The journey continues

I mentioned I have an idea that I am working on. What I didn't mention was that I tried to get the attention of Elon Musk and Richard Branson. No success, obviously there are too many buffers between them and me. But I do aim high. My little brain is working on this all the time. I am not an engineer, I suck in math, but that is okay because I can hire those people to make things work.

What I have realized is that people aim to low. There is the fear of failure mixed in with the fear of success. Everyone can imagine the fear of failure. But success? If one achieves what you are shooting for and succeed, what next? Is success what you thought it would be?

When you are blazing your own trail you can only guess what is next. If it is something new, your map that you are drawing only shows where you have been and the starting point and the ending point of your journey, well you don't know where it will lead to.

That is an idea worth pursuing all on its own.

ray

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Parenting, long hours, no pay

It is true you know. Just out of sight, never out of mind, the job of a parent is never done.

We have our own personal challenges daily, day in and day out and yet our children no matter what age lurk in the background. As a parent we hope for the best and yet best has several stages and levels.

At a certain point there is nothing we can do.

It becomes burdensome at times, yet we all give and give until there is no more. And give some more. You stand on the shore with a lifeline, realizing it is too short, hoping they can swim closer, hoping you taught them how, fingers crossed. Hoping for a happy ending, fearing for a bad ending.

A parent is supposed to be the rock, stoic, unshakable, it is just a mirage as a parent knows.

And the wait. see how it turns out. Hope for a happy ending, a soft landing, no crash and burn.

fingers crossed.

ray

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thought Process

I have read many biographies of famous and or important people over the years. Two recent examples are Nikola Tesla and Elon Musk. I like the fact they wanted/want to do something to benefit mankind.

That is the thought that surges through my mind and controls my thoughts, not money or fame but to help everyone, to come up with a game changer idea. My strength is my ability to envision something, my mind goes through the pros and cons of an idea. My weakness is the inability to proceed.

I am sure that I will find what I thought were insurmountable problems will be laughable down the road. Publicly stating a course of action and documenting the course of events will be exhilarating and scary, there will be butterflies a plenty for sure.

There will be applause and handshakes from some and head shaking from others as I continue along this journey. But this time there will be not failure from not trying. That alone will make me successful.

I will start a journal of sorts and at some point in time share it.

Time to draw a map and get started, no gps needed!

ray

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The disappearing man

Almost to the day from a year ago, I have lost 30 lbs. The last 12 lbs have come from giving up candy, cake, cookies, and ice cream. I bring coffee (black), tea (unsweetened) and water to drink throughout the work day, close to 120 ounces, each day. I do eat something for breakfast and dinner when I get home.  I never hit the vending machines at work.

This is not rocket science of course. I am old or getting older. I hurt in many areas, knees and heel bone spurs are on the list.

I am on my feet upwards to 12 hours a day, sometimes more. The last few hours, as the sales floor slows down, the mind no longer occupied becomes painful. I experiment with food choices. I realized long ago the addiction to sugar. The more I read I realized sugar wasn't the only culprit.

Processed foods. It is not real food is it? Additives. Artificial coloring. Artificial flavoring.
Natural flavoring. Whiteners.

Is it real food? How can it be? When you go through the drive in and order up and complain how long it took to get your food (we all have), ever wonder what you are eating that can be served so quickly? Chicken nuggets? boneless wings? pretend ice cream? hamburgers? (why do they call it a ham-burger when there is no ham in it?) but I digress.

Cheap food is not real food. It can't be good for you.

Labels. Read them. Spend some time looking up what the ingredients mean and do. Titanium dioxide is a whitener and it is on a golf ball and in paint.  Trisodium  phosphate, known as tsp, in the paint aisle, used to de-grease walls before painting, in foods. Be aware, be active, do it. If not for you, for your kids.

Next.
Another 30 lbs. Even then, that will bring me back to 1980 weight wise. Not enough but goals have to be attainable.

Wish me luck, wish us all luck. I will need it.

Ray

Monday, September 8, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why is hemp illegal? Here is an example.

There is always a reason and most of the time it has to do with money.
from wikipedia
In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed in the United States. It levied a tax on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. The reasons that hemp was also included in this law are disputed—several scholars have claimed that the Act was passed in order to destroy the US hemp industry,[106][107][108] with the primary involvement of businessmen Andrew MellonRandolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.[106][108]
One claim is that Hearst believed that his extensive timber holdings were threatened by the invention of the decorticator, which he feared would allow hemp to become a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry.[106][109] Modern science suggests that this fear would have been unfounded. Improvements of the decorticators in the 1930s, machines that separate the fibers from the hemp stem, could not make hemp fiber a very cheap substitute for fibers from other sources due to the fact that the long strong fibers are only found in the bast, the outer part of the stem. Only about 1/3 of the stem are long and strong fibers.[33][106][110]
Another claim is that Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America at that time, had invested heavily in DuPont's new synthetic fiber, nylon, and believed that the replacement of the traditional resource, hemp, was integral to the new product's success.[106][111][112][113][114][115][116][117]
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict decided in Leary v. United States, and ultimately superseded by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
Hemp was used extensively by the United States during World War II. Uniforms, canvas, and rope were among the main textiles created from the hemp plant at this time.[118] Much of the hemp used was cultivated in Kentucky and the Midwest. During World War II, the U.S. produced a short 1942 film, Hemp for Victory, promoting hemp as a necessary crop to win the war.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp
ray

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When I was a young lad I thought the Dave Clark Five were better than ...

the Beatles, mainly because of Dave Clark who I thought was a better drummer then Ringo at the time. I had all this expertise because I thought I was a drummer or really I was a wanna be drummer.
They had energy, a sax player, great singing and great songs. And their own movie!

It was a great time for music and the world was collectively waiting.

Below is just a snippet. The first album I ever bought was one of theirs.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy - Pharrell Williams All Over The World 157 Countries!!

Title says it all!
So the next time you hear someone say something bad about another country, think of this video. Music and dance bring happiness to the world.


Granted, you may be sick of this song at the end but I am willing to bet you will want to watch every country dance!

ray

Saturday, August 30, 2014

When after desperately searching through 500 channels and there is nothing to watch I turn to...

Netflix, of course.

A little bit of this and that it seems like there is no end in sight in finding something that interests me.
Sometimes it may take a bit of doing but suddenly I will find something that I take a chance on, love it, follow the next recommendation and before I know it I am binge watching or learning something new.

Learning while being entertained whether it is while reading, doing, watching or listening is and always be a huge thrill for me.

How about that, no grumpiness this morning even though I woke up at 2:00 am and have not been to sleep since and I have a twelve hour labor day ahead of me!

mucho coffee time

ray

Friday, August 29, 2014

Man up and apologize, whether you are a leader, government, business or church, say you are sorry!

And don't wait for someone else to say it for you, say five hundred years later, sorry Galileo!

Really it is not that hard. Be responsible for your actions, admit your mistakes, it will make you a better whatever you are.

Please no pr spin. We can see through it. There must be some hidden rule that says do not admit to any mistakes, ever. Deny, deny, deny. No one and I repeat no one is infallible. Sorry pope.

Imagine if we had said we were sorry for dropping not one but two bombs on Japan, killing thousands of people and wiping out cities when Japan was already in the process of surrendering to us. We could have said "We just spent millions of dollars on development of these bombs see, and well, we had to try them to see what would happen even though we already tested them and knew what kind of destruction it would wrought, not once but twice on your land. To make up for it, we will rebuild your cities and help care for whomever was still alive." That would be right but it didn't happen.

Or if all the drug companies said we make stuff that we say will help you feel better but in reality we have no clue what will happen long term but it is not safe and we warn you through the disclaimers while we show you a pretty lady walking on the beach smiling wondering while the medicine she is taking makes her want to kill herself, ask you doctor for it by name.

You tell your kids to say they are sorry when they do something wrong.
Try it yourself.

Ray

Friday, August 22, 2014

Really, really really early morning thoughts from RJ

Good morning...

Ever wonder why we don't roll off the bed while sleeping? Is the body aware of the edge while we sleep? If we were on a ledge on a side of a mountain would we roll off? Just wondering.

Netflix is popular because it comes through with the promise of what cable was supposed to be, pay a monthly fee and have no commercials.

I am envious of people who have found what their true calling is in life. But do they ever get bored doing what they do?

It is a toss up this morning,what woke me up, having to get up to use the bathroom or my aching knees. Sigh...

After talking about something at work the other day, one of my fellow workers called me a genius. I said "If  I was so smart, why was I working here?" He said "Because you are too honest.."

I watch a lot of documentaries. One thing that I have learned is that people in general don't aim high enough in life with their goals and aspirations. Short changing themselves is oh so common. Guilty.

Is it nurture or nature? Confidence breeds success or success breeds confidence? I don't know. Watch a sport or competition and you will see mostly failure, one who fails the least wins most of the time.

I have yet to ever have to figure out mathematically if two trains are traveling from different directions at different speeds from different distances who will get to point A first? Just get there!

Can anyone still know how to read a map? The folding kind?

Have GPS apps gotten better or we have learned to ignore the mistakes they make?

If you are going somewhere new and strange and are going to get lost please do it in the day time. Lost at night is bad.

People who work on commission are slowly being weeded out as part of the sales process. I am a salesman who works on commission. A bright future ahead! Five to seven more years needed.

I almost never see anyone looking through the racks in the store at the music and video selections.

Tv salesman used to make huge amounts of money, not anymore.

Car companies are scared of the self driving cars of the future. Buying a car is an emotional purchase more so then a functional purchase.

Once one has a truck, going back to a car is painful. That is not going to happen.

Enough for now. Thanks for stopping by.

bye
ray






Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mask of a Warrior...son


I didn't really know her, did you?

You know how it is, some neighbors you ignore, some you wave to, some you chat with, some you wish would move. Well this neighbor I would have wave to or say hi in passing. She lived on the other side of the street, alone, in a very nice house, the nicest one in the area. And then it happened.

I had gotten home from work and found out that the police had been at her house, she was found dead, The coroner confirmed suicide, I do not not how. Information came out later that she was in her 70's, had been a teacher, had been divorced for many years, had some sort of retail job to keep herself busy and had lived in that house since the mid 80's.

What made her do it? I don't know

A wave, a friendly hi, doesn't seem like it was enough now was it.

ray

Friday, August 1, 2014

I know how we can get back at another country, Economic sanctions!



  1. Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country (or group of countries) on another country (or group of countries). Economic sanctions may include various forms of trade barriers and restrictions on financial transactions.
    Yep we don't like them so lets do it. And who really gets affected, the people, not the leaders or the government. it means bad conditions get worse. It means food shortages, money shortages, job shortages. It means maybe the people will rise up and...do what? Do what we as a country couldn't do, diplomacy having failed?
    The world has been built on compromise, I win, you win. Everyone gets theirs.  But I guess I am not that smart to figure it out, or so I have been told.
    coffee time
    Ray

Saturday, July 19, 2014

US vs Them

Us vs Them, that is what is comes down to it right?

In many instances it is purely harmless, your favorite team or flavor of ice cream or whose home town is better. But when it comes to politics or religion, oh boy.

I respect any discussion that shows someone has done their homework, differences of opinion, interpretations and so on. But I can tell when someone speaking is just parroting what they heard on the radio, TV, or the local newspaper. The words sound the same. Ask them to explain what they said or their source of information, they get that look. Blank look.

I have found that the older people get the more they seem to blame others on their shortfalls in life. One thing I have noticed is that they embrace the notion of no foreigners please. They forget that everyone that lives here, with some notable exceptions came from somewhere else. I don't get it. It is like it is preordained that no one should like or accept who comes next. We should be honored that people desperately want to live here yet we collectively shun them as a society. Instead of complaining about costs we should get them into the workforce to be productive members of this country.

Politics new definition is the ability to get paid to do nothing and to make others do nothing while at the same time berating them for doing what you are doing. The art of compromise is gone and we have entered into an era of a lack of accomplishment is the vehicle to get elected. Maybe they have realized nobody has read the bills to be voted on and they don't want to be held responsible when things go bad.

The wars on religion has been going on for centuries, people clinging to beliefs they don't understand because that is the way it has always been. I have a different outlook, they are all wrong. It is not that one religion is better then another, they are not. They are all wrong.

Time for a cup of coffee and another work day.

Ray


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What is most difficult for me

Confession time

I find it most difficult to have total confidence in me. There I have said it. I will be 62 in November and I seem to have been battling self doubt all my life. Confidence breeds success or is it success breeds confidence? I don't know. I come up with the occasional great, brilliant idea and lack the courage and or confidence to follow it up to see where it can go. I am a somewhat successful salesman, been one almost my whole life and yet I am not the superstar I should have been.

I wrestle with self doubts daily. How boring, I know. It is tough to talk about, not manly I know.

I feel I am running out of time to make my mark in the world. I do a better job of encouraging others then I do myself.  I applaud their effort and yet I barely acknowledge my own attempts at something. I help others all the time and yet I don't look for help from others. My life has been unfulfilling in the big picture of things. Who wrote this script and why do I follow it?

I need someone to sit me down in a room with a desk and chair and paper and pencil and say show me how it works and what do you do next? And continue till it runs its course. Does this make sense at all? Am I scared that my brilliant deductions and ideas and reasonings really aren't worth anything and I am afraid to find out?

I learned to be a loner in most things, do it on my own, figure out how and move on. Don't ask for help, that is my motto.

maybe I need a new motto.

coffee time
ray

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Paradise found

the sounds of many birds singing got me up and about
all taken from the backyard









welcome to paradise!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

RJ's thoughts 4-25-14

I have been helping out with my daughter's new house. It seems that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. To top it all off, she had ordered four bathroom vanities and granite tops. They were delivered and left out on the driveway, no call, no notice, two days before they were supposed to arrive. There was no one home to sign for it. Over $4,000 worth of material. Luckily it didn't rain. They sat there over night. We thought one vanity was stolen, turned out to be back ordered. Wrong colors here, broken parts there...sigh.

She had all the plumbing valves, inside and out replaced. Many leaked and would not shut off completely.
Plumbers are expensive. Much of the work that was done I don't know how to do. It was wise to bring in a professional. We are putting a lot of time and effort to get things right for her, she appreciates it but wishes it was over.
She has spent a lot of money to get things the way she likes, she will never do this again.

As a commission only salesman, I have found that I need everyday to have selling goals in place or I will not even be close to being successful. Each day is a marathon of sorts and you have to try again and again with each new customer. It is all about hitting the numbers.

Sometimes it seems that one is in a survival rut, doing enough to keep ones head above water. In a place where golf can be played every day of the year, April is almost over and I have yet to swing a club in vain.

I commented to my daughter that helping her with her house has been fun and that I have seen more of her the last three months then the last 5 years ( work schedules and sleep schedules mainly to blame ). We have been either to Home Depot or Lowe's everyday. It is getting to be a running joke.

Sadly, once the house is complete and she moves out with her dogs, I will rarely see her. I am enjoying it while I can.

When we shop together, I am having her buy tools needed for repairs or general fix its so I don't need to bring anything. She jokes at her work that I am treating her garage like it is mine!

coffee time

ray


Monday, April 21, 2014

Fast and Furious


the teacher asked for a drawing with movement
I think he succeeded 
do you see the second car?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

bird on the table


another classroom assignment

Thursday, April 17, 2014

appliances, final thoughts

finishing up with some keywords

induction
the stove or cooktop of the future. it is a cooktop that cooks but can't hurt you. it works on electro magnets. your pot or pan must be able to have a magnet stick to it. it will activate the cooking surface, for example hot enough to boil water but remove the pot, put your hand on the surface and it will feel only warm. it is more efficient then radiant cooking or gas and very safe. it is available now and as more people buy it the costs will continue to come down.

convection
for the electric oven. a fan back of the oven moves the air allowing for even cooking, eliminating cold spots (cold spots being relative)

true convection
same as above except that there is a heating element with the fan. cooking time is reduced and results are better.

built ins
from wall ovens to refrigerators, the appliances are no deeper then 24 inches.

cook tops
can be electric, gas, or induction. any electric products must be hard wired. during replacement, the size of the cook top width, length and depth must be known as sizes can vary from one manufacturer to another.

hard wired
replaces a plug in application. must be turned off at the breaker box if needed.

so that is it, my thoughts on what I do for a living. I am sure I left something out so if you have questions let me know.

your friendly appliance salesman

ray

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Shattered Dreams...son

an idea came to him, this is the result!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Laundry appliances explained

there has been a gradual change for the past ten years or so in the efficiency of washer and dryers. the machines have gotten so smart, but we will start with the basics.

dimensions
widths can vary from 27 to 29.5 in width, same with dryers.
depth is important too. as machines get bigger in capacity they get bigger in depth. measure what you have now, paying attention to doorway openings and such. if you have it in a closet, you will be severely limited in what you can put in there. with the depth of the dryer add 3 inches because of the lint duct.


water efficiency

some people still have a basic washer with a large center agitator to move the clothes around. most people will overfill the water setting and use to much soap. why? because that is how they have always done it. most older people do not want to change, will quickly say that and I do not try to change their mind because they will complain and return their purchase. never mind the fact that that they waste a tremendous water and their water bill is way to high, capacity is between 3.2 cubic feet and 3.9 cubic feet.

the government mandated that the manufacturers make the washing machines more energy efficient. so they did!

he soap
use the high efficiency soap for todays new machines.
they are low sudsing, and you use less soap to do the job. the warmer the water, the better job the soap can do.
all machines use cold water for rinsing.

front loaders
the tub has a tilt to it so that the water, soap and clothes come together. there are paddles that move the clothes around. the design mostly eliminates off balance loads. hundreds of small holes allow for the spin cycle to eliminate the water. the more cycles to choose from the better the clothes will clean and last longer too. most people will still pick "normal" and hope for the best. front loaders use about 12-14 gallons of water. because they can't see how much water is used, most people will not complain about the lack of water.
capacity up to 5.0 cubic feet.

top loaders
people are amazed that 4 inches of water and that "little agitator" will clean the clothes, but it does. top loaders use about 16 gallons of water. many have clear tops and many people will watch the loads wash because of that.
most machines will show a picture of how much water an old machine used and how much is used now.

dryers
just about all dryers have sensors that measure the moisture inside the drum, when there is no more moisture, the machine will go to cool down and then shut off. unless you have something real thick, this works real well.

racks
some machines offer a removable rack that sits inside the dryer. great for drying out sneakers or delicate clothes. the drum and air moves around but the rack does not move. eliminates the shoe banging noise.

steam features
many machines now have a steam option in the washer and dryer. steam in the washer helps breakdown heavy dirt. in the dryer it can refreshen an item worn previously or take out most wrinkles in something hanging in the closet or drawer.

pedestals
pedestals lift up front load washer and dryers to a more comfortable working height. eliminates moving heavy loads while bending. most run about 200 dollars a piece. expensive yes, but you will be thankful you bought them. the height adds about 15 inches to the overall height of the machine.
top load washers don't need them.

front load washer and dryers can be stacked, dryer on top of the washer. mostly to save width space. a stacking kit is needed (Velcro and clips are used) or else the dryer will fall off. there are a few exceptions to the machines that can be stacked.

one piece stack units. you have all seen them, washer with the dryer attached to the top. sometimes you don't have a choice and have to use one, better then nothing. slowly getting better.

dryers for tight spaces
if space is tight, you will need to use what is called a flat back dryer, capacity at 6 cubic feet. most dryers have a bulge at the back to give a machine additional size. sometimes that is all you can use, deal with it.

direct drive machines
if you have a choice get one with this feature. ball bearings spin the washer drum, much quieter and last much longer. go with it if you can.

someone asked me is there a top loading dryer to go along with a top loading washer, there is, it is made by Fisher and Pakel, not available everywhere, they are out of New Zealand.

apps
some machines now come equipped with smart phone apps that allow a diagnosis with your phone. you can also operate it from a distance.

washer as a dryer
some machines now have a drying fan built into the washer to dry the clothes if you forget to take them out, takes about 16 hours, featured on whirlpool and maytag

this is all off the top of my head.

my job is to take features and show you the benefits, making it as easy as possible for you to use.
i have one more post on appliance to go.

ray














Wednesday, March 26, 2014

backyard view





I decided to share the view that I don't always have time to see or enjoy



the tree that you see is being gown over by a second tree, the lighter shade bark. 
eventually the old dead tree will be engulfed by the new one.



this view shows more of the man made lake, one more house over, past the palm tree on the right would give us a great lake view, but oh well, this will have to do!


a back of the house view!

thanks for stopping by!!

bye

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wish You Were Here (Full Album - Vinyl Rip) - Pink Floyd


haven't done this for awhile.
for my own enjoyment
and hopefully yours too!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

appliances ...part two...dishwashers

I know dishwashers are not popular everywhere, but here they are in every kitchen.

first the good news

The size of the opening is 24 inches. there is a smaller 18 inch but it is rarely used.
the height of the dishwasher can vary by 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch

keep in mine that if you put a thick tile such as mexican tile or marble in, you will have to remove three tiles every time to replace or repair the dishwasher. the installer or repairman will not do it.

the type of countertop that you have is important.
if you are getting a new countertop such as granite, quartz or a solid surface, make sure a piece of wood is put into place so that the mounting screws can be attached. your countertop guy will know what you mean.
if not you will need a dishwasher that allows you to screw sideways into the cabinet. there wil be a little cap that has to be removed to set the screw and then put back on.

colors
again, most popular is stainless, black and white in that order.

quietness
it is measured in decibels.  the lower the number the better.  ranges from 64 down to 40.
once you get in the low fifties the machine will be hard to hear, that is a good thing. stainless steel is the preferred interior, easier to keep clean and adds to the quietness. as you go up in price you will get more spray leading to a better cleaning. a higher price will give you more cleaning options leading to better cleaning.
Samsung, LG, and Bosch to name a few do not have a heated dry option. they use the stainless insides to help in the drying process.

some come with handles with controls on top, some have control settings on the front panel, personal choice.

price can run from 200-1500 dollars, style, features , quietness and cleaning will determine price.

ray

Monday, March 17, 2014

Why so serious?...son

he told me it was a challenge to get the makeup right, looks like the challenge was met!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Appliance buying tips from your friendly sales specialist!

You may come into the store and breathlessly say you need ...and list all the kitchen appliances. It is a big deal to you and to me but we hear it all day long and it is nothing new, to us anyway. But let us get down to some basics. Luckily there are some standards in appliances.
color popularity in this order, mostly stainless, some black, very little white, and biscuit is in the last stages of its death rattle as a color.

If you have a range hood now and want to put in an over the range microwave, you may not be able to do that.

standard widths apply 30 inches.

range hoods- 6 to 8 inches in height-hard wired to two lines coming out of the wall. Many times the cabinet above is too big for a microwave to be installed. (two wires come out of the wall for power)

microwaves-16.5 to 17.5 in height
it needs a cabinet to attach to. (microwaves are held in place with a back plate and two bolts through the cabinet above) An outlet for the microwave only(110) must be in place, power for the microwave only. a hole is also cut out for the cord to go through. a dedicated outlet is needed.
From the cooktop to underneath the cabinet you will need 33-35 inches for the install. 35 inches is preferred.
Too low will violate code,cause safety issues, and possible damage to the microwave.
please note if you have tile on the backsplash as that could limit what size you can put in there.

ranges-stoves

standard widths apply 30 inches

gas stoves are either natural gas or propane. different fitting are needed for propane, most ranges give you both. a new supply line is recommended, inexpensive in cost. you will need to change it out.

electric stoves are either coil or smooth top.
coil has been around for ever, are a pain to keep clean, spill overs mean taking the burner apart for clean up. positive point, when parts go bad, and they will, you can replace them your self. in most cases. parts are not cheap.
smooth tops look good and afford easy clean up. there are many configurations to chose from, choose the best for you, think of how you cook.

some ovens have convection.
it is not a mystery thing. there is a fan on the back wall that draws the air past an element heating the air an blowing it back into the oven, creating even temperatures and a better cooking experience and cutting down the cooking time.  it is an option, please use it.

manual clean ovens
are a pain in the butt. Chemical sprays are a pain and not healthy.

self clean ovens are easy to use. there are two types. the normal self clean, gets up to 700 degrees and burns all the crud off.  if cleaning, take everything out including the racks. it will take up to 3 hours. do not use oven cleaning products with a self cleaning oven, it will void the warranty.

new steam clean! uses water only. the oven element is hidden underneath. you pour a cup or two of water on the bottom, it will heat up and steam clean everything, taking about 20 minutes and another 20 minutes to cool down, then just wipe everything clean. easy peasy!
note: do not put foil on the bottom to catch drips, it will melt to the bottom of the oven. it will not clean off.

now for the refrigerators.

there is not a standard size, not a one size fits all. the bigger ones, 25 cft. and more, need at least 36 inches in width and 70 inches in height, a few are larger than that. many are now much deeper to all for more cubic feet. measure the opening wall to wall and from the floor to underneath the cabinet above. do not bother with measuring just the refrigerator, though additional information couldn't hurt.
the french door style is the most popular because of the flexibility and ease of use, especially with the freezer. you will enjoy it!

I will go into dishwashers at a later time.

there is much more I can go into so if anyone has questions I will address it for you,  happy to help.

I will do a post on laundry products in the future. trust me, there is much more to talk about.

yes, I know CAPITAL LETTERS are mostly missing, not in the mood today lol

ray

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The little man inside my head must be an absentee landlord

It must be. How would you explain the fact I have enjoyed the same music, more or less all these years and still don't know every title and the words to every song that I hear? Or that for some songs I join in singing at the same point each and every time?

Or I can pick up a book that I have read many times before and still have it feel like it is a brand new and enjoy it once again?

Or that I can watch a movie or TV show again and again and still enjoy it all over again? Or use again too many times in this post? ;-)

I guess it takes something special, whatever the genre to find a special place in my mind. It checks in but never checks out. The little man is laughing right now, I have discovered his secret.

But what about those fantasies? Thought for another column.

ray

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A gift to a birthday girl...son

an invite to a birthday party resulted in a request for a portrait drawing present of the birthday girl done by my son.
it pays to have skills!


she liked her present!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Green Eyes...son


I wonder who caught his eye?

****found out she was on the voice!****

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why the NFL and the NBA are the smartest of the professional leagues

Because they use colleges as their minor leagues and farm teams for free. Free!!!
Baseball and hockey have to train and nurture future players that aren't quite ready for the bigs. That cost a tremendous amount of money and there is no way around it. Even though the expenses of day to day operations are much smaller it is a major expense never the less.

Colleges however foot the bill for the NFL and the NBA. Football is the main revenue producer with basketball second best. Baseball and hockey are funded by football money for the most part.

Sad to say, higher education is not about learning and future income producing jobs, it's about who is number one!
Yes, I followed that logic for many years.
But we often wondered when the student athletes had time to study, sadly many did not. The dream of the big time money paycheck was missed by most of the players. It was only an illusion.

TV money supplies the rest. The networks fight tooth and nail for the rights to broadcast sports. Everyone makes money on the deal except the players.

Someday it will end. Football is facing its biggest scare with head injuries, parents are not letting their kids play. Hockey and baseball are finding it harder to find good players. Basketball and soccer will continue to thrive because all you need are two nets and a ball.

It won't all change in my lifetime, but change it will.

ray

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why the big monster salaries in baseball, simple, supply and demand

To be able to play baseball at a professional level takes an unbelievable skill set including, eyesight, reflexes, strength, speed, endurance, power and lack of fear of a baseball hurtling at you at close to 100 miles an hour while being thrown or hit at.

Remember the little league games with hundreds of little people in their uniforms scampering around trying to act like their heroes? Most of them are not good enough, never will be.

At the beginning, there are three or four per team that seem to have a future. Those hopes are soon dashed.
If you are not the best player on your team, you are not good enough. Simple. Parents soon realize that little johnny can't play and lose interest and so do they. It is rare to see parents attend a high school game.

The funnel gets smaller and smaller as the kids get older. Then something funny happens.

They stop playing. Forever.
Organized leagues take the fun out of the game.

The ones that play high school, college or the minor leagues try to keep that dream alive. But there are not enough good ones which is why baseball, desperate for players searches the world for someone to get on their team.

The World Series actually is a world series now a days. It has no other choice.

ray

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sometimes he amazes me...son

My son, Nicholas, woke up at 2:00 am, decided to do something. He told me who this was, I forgot immediately. This drawing I was told, took 4 hours. As always, blame the poor photo quality on me and my cheap camera!




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sometimes I am to tired too be the voice of reason

It was Sunday night at work, it had been a long day, and I was waiting for the shift to end. I was tired, I hurt, and I didn't have much energy left.

And then it happened.

Some of the guys started talking about Russia and the Ukraine and the Vietnam and getting louder and agreeing with one another and nuke this and nuke that and we are the super power and screw them all.

I apologize.

I was too tired to point out that we had not been on the winning side of a war since WWII. That it was the last time congress had declared war, ( only congress has the power to declare war), we were no longer a super power, that Vietnam was a police action, that Korea was never officially ended as a conflict, that we have bases in over 150 countries, we never leave, that we may be respected as a country but no longer feared, that our military budget exceeds the next 10 countries combined, that we can't tell Russia not to invade another country because it is not right, ( because we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan ) , that congress is useless as a governing body, that there is no longer a major difference between republicans or democrats, that there was a huge uproar when social security was introduced ( much like the healthcare plan in play now ) that retires count on to survive.

They do get quiet when I start talking, like I know (pretend to know) something

Yea, I was tired.

Sorry.

ray

Monday, March 3, 2014

classroom homework time...son

not all fun and games or is it?


still life



a blanket tossed


assortment



call waiting



lady in hat


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Has it really been six years of posting already?

My how time has flown is the common refrain. A lot of ideas have come and gone. It is true that I always have something to say. Last year though, there was a huge drop off in writing as I struggled with financial and physical pain, both striving to be resolved as we speak. It did cause some mental weariness. As anyone who writes on a regular basis knows you have to be motivated to put words to the screen.

But I am feeling motivated by my kids, all in their twenties now, they all seem to be in a good personal phase right now and that is making me happy.

So i will continue to write my little silly stuff and hope someone continues to read it.

thank you
ray

Friday, February 28, 2014

What would we do without?

Things we take for granted are all around us and we use them without thinking, things that were discovered or invented sometimes out of necessity, somethings that took many years, somethings overnight, such as...

spray bottles

screw on caps for bottles

lights

electricity...no one really knows how it works!

radio

TV

remote controls

buttons

zippers

pockets

shoes

pants

the wheel

bikes

cars

planes...who understands lift anyway?

boats

stoves or ranges

gas for cooking or for cars

As you can see the list is endless and I haven't touched on the information highway or computers.

What can you add to the list?

ray


Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Beatles, Last thought, Garage Bands

We wanted to look like them, dress like them, sing like them, but how about play like them?

Garage bands. As simple as it sounds, someone clear out a garage, buy some cheap equipment, practice like crazy and be a star!

Sometimes they played in a basement too. Sometimes there was competition between one group and another. As far as I can recall, no one made it big. It was all about being popular in those days. Being that I wasn't, I played at home on my own, in the basement, for hours trying to play what I heard. I still had fun doing it.

Great time for music.

At the time, what group did I like better than the Beatles? The Dave Clark Five. I thought the drummer was better.
Oops!

That is it, some of my thoughts from 50 years ago.

ray

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Beatles started the British invasion

Before you knew it, The British were coming! The British were coming!
A groundswell of music washed over an adoring public. True, some of it was silly music but it was fun music.
That brought on competition from the Americans. And the music wars were on.

New and exciting times, ears glued to the radio waiting for the latest releases from your favorite group or artist.
Radio djs having nightly contests to see who would win in the battle of the bands.

When it came to music, I was in the right place at the right time!

ray

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Beatles- Yep, we were all singing!

At the time, we did a lot of singing in school so it was a natural progression to sing our own kind of music. Any music that came out that we liked, we would get together and sing, taking turns as the lead singer on each song. There might be twelve songs on an album, you were expected to know them all.

The Beach Boys, Motown like the Temptations, were popular choices, in reality though, anything in the top forty on the radio playlist was fair game.

We would gather on the street corner and sing, background vocals were just as important too.  I dare say, for the times, we were pretty good. There was a surge of good music at the time spearheaded by the Beatles.

A fun time!

ray

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Beatles effect-albums

Suddenly, albums had a theme, a style, that fed on its self, one song after another. The music had a life of its own. We couldn't wait for the next one to come out. We were mesmerized by it all.

It changed how we looked and listened to a group. With the beginning of FM, yes, I am older then dirt, the music sounded better. To be different from AM, the stations would play an album side, not just one song. It was amazing.

Elvis changed things for the moment. The Beatles changed things forever.

ray

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