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Bubba


I have finally been convinced of what I consider to be fact and that is … There is very little difference between the two major political parties.  Now before you take issue with this statement let me elaborate just a little.  First, I know the statement is not original.  Untold numbers of pundits and analysts have been saying the same thing for years.  The primary problem, I believe, is not many people really care one way or another.  Those of us who do care were highly invigorated when the Republicans took back the house in 1994.  Since 1994 the Republican led congress has gone out of their way to conceal their so called conservative viewpoints.  Those of us who voted for a Republican controlled congress did so for a reason but those we put into office put their own interest above those they chose to serve.  Now we are stuck with 535 members of American royalty sucking the lifeblood out of American taxpayers.

Let’s not forget the executive branch either.  I voted twice for “W” and given the choice of Gore and Kerry, I would do it again but “W” gives the appearance of a closet liberal.  Look at our policies on education and immigration. No Child Left Behind is nothing more than Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society with another name.  Every attempt to legislate education rather than attack the core problem further complicates everyone’s life.  Our education problems in the United States are more of a cultural issue than a political issue.  Immigration on the other hand is a huge political issue.  Nothing has been done under the current administration to stem the rising tide of Hispanic immigrants into the United States.  This is an old song but one that needs to be sung by all citizens, natural born or otherwise.

Now we are reading about the document signed between the United States and Mexico in June of 2004.  In case you have not heard the document basically gives Mexicans illegal or otherwise access to Social Security once they have accumulated 18 months of documented working time in the Estados Unidos.  If you do not know how this translates you need to get used to it.  The treaty, or document as it were, has not been sent to congress for ratification.  Why not you ask? Well because Congress only has 60 days to ratify this “treaty” or it becomes a non issue.  Due to the current political climate in the USA, there might just be a little consternation if such a deal between the U.S. and Mexico becomes too widely known. The Bush administration for some reason does not want Congress to let this issue die nor do they want the American public to gain much knowledge about the issue. For more information go to this article on the subject (“Critics say Social Security deal would give billlions to Mexicans”) at the Houston Chronicle Newspaper online.  Interesting reading!

As of this last week we are blessed with a Democrat controlled congress.  I cannot tell you how much better I sleep knowing this bunch of clowns is in charge.  I seriously doubt we will see much difference with the exception of additional taxation.  “W” has almost two years left in office and nothing to lose so I would really appreciate him using his veto powers to try and hold back the tidal wave of entitlements and tax increases we are bound to see.  Minimum wage is just the beginning.  No, I am not against the working man earning a decent wage.  Minimum wage is nothing more than another political football.  The statistics of those earning the minimum wage are very revealing considering that the majority of individuals in this category are young, work part time, are not the sole breadwinner for a family and live above the poverty line.  Why then is such a furor being created about less than 1.5 % of the working population?  The answer is simple; it makes good press and sounds good.  Will raising the minimum wage help those living in poverty?  Probably not, because they will be the first ones laid off and their goods and services will now cost more.  The price of increasing wages is not going to be absorbed by business or by any business owner.  The increase will be absorbed by you and me and any one else who purchases goods and services and this is how it should be.  Can we wipe out poverty?  Can we make someone go to school or strive to be the best they can be?  Can we make laws outlawing ignorance and poverty?  The answers are evident and the answer in all cases is NO.  We can attempt to educate and assist those in need and we can try and instill the desire to succeed in our employees, friends and family but we will never be successful 100% of the time.  Our elected officials would rather make all citizens suffer at the expense of a few.  This is not the prudent way to run a country, business or family.  There comes a time when facts must be faced and the needs of the many may exceed the needs of the few.  Will any politician have the courage to tell the truth and stand behind their belief?  Time will tell, Time will tell!

Terry


OK. Here I go again about the clean windshield issue.

If you read this blog regularly (Terry and I call it the LABS project), maybe you’ve read a few posts I made about windshields and Aquapel by PPG.  And you would also know that my ’94 740 BMW (with over 230K miles … paid fo’) got smacked by a flying shock absorber a few weeks ago and I had to come off the hip for $635.00 + change for a new windshield. No tears, please. S–t happens. Stay with me, I’m almost there.

Anyway, since I had to replace the windshield, this meant I needed to re-apply the Aquapel rain repellant to my new windshield. Why? Because, as I posted before, the stuff works. And it works like magic. Ergo, I was not going to drive around for long with a new windshield and no Aquapel protection. I got around to doing this two weekends ago (Why am I just now writing about it? I don’t know – and who cares!). I also bought enough to re-apply my wife’s Explorer since it had been close to a year since I did both vehicles. See loves it, too. While I was at it, I put on some new wiper blades for her (she loves me!).

Anyway, it rained the following week … all day. To work and from work. Lots of rain. First time out with a fresh Aquapel application … awesome. This is the truth. I’m 1 mile from the interstate. Take it for about 13 miles then a couple of miles to the office on surface roads. For those 13 freeway miles, at 70 mph, I never used the wipers … NEVER. Rain just blows off the windshield at this speed. Unbelievable. You got to get this stuff – it’s magic. And you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to use it. Until next time.

Richard

PS – I do not work for PPG and no one paid me to say these nice things about Aquapel. It’s just good stuff that works!

UPDATE: 14 Mar 07 … I have discovered you can purchase Aquapel on the Amazon store – just search Aquapel.


Where did all the dads go that showed their kids how to do all the little things on a car? Like check the oil, the air in the tires, changing a flat, etc. To look around at all the cars running around, it doesn’t appear anyone keeps a tire pressure gauge in their glovebox any longer. I don’t know about you, but my dad taught us to keep the correct air pressure in our car’s tires. And I still do it today. And winter coming on, everyone needs to check the air pressure in their tires. It ain’t brain surgery.

I can’t say this any better than the following from the Car Care Council website on proper tire inflation:

Description: Proper tire inflation pressure is the specified air pressure given by a carmaker for a certain tire on a specific vehicle. This pressure specification should not be confused with a tire’s maximum pressure, which is usually listed on the tire’s sidewall. Some vehicles may specify different pressures for the front tires and the rear tires.

Purpose: Correct inflation pressure is critical for good fuel economy, safety, maximum tire life, and proper vehicle handling performance.     

Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: For the small amount of time it takes, checking tire inflation at least once a month is one of the best investments you can make to get the maximum life out of your tires. Proper inflation can also improve gas mileage by more than 3%, when maintained regularly. Keep this in mind: Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi (pounds per square inch) drop in pressure of all four tires. You may want to check your tires more often during the winter months. Tires will lose about 1 psi of pressure for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature drop.

Keep an accurate tire pressure gauge in your car’s glove box (many gauges at “air stations” give false pressure readings) and check the tire pressure when the tires are cold. Never trust the appearance of a tire as a gauge for inflation. A tire could be 10 psi low on pressure and not appear to be low on air. Use the recommended inflation pressure listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the inflation sticker found on the driver’s door jamb. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the spare. There’s nothing more annoying than a flat spare when you have a flat tire.  

Look, Christmas and the holiday gift giving season is right around the corner. Forget all the cutesy stuff and go for practical. Get the ones you love who drive a tire pressure gauge and teach them how to use it and prepare them a schedule to remember to check their tire pressure on a regular basis. It might just save their life and will save on gas and wear and tear on that expensive vehicle in the driveway. It ain’t brian surgery.

Have a great day!

Richard


One of the rights of passage for a lot of young males and some females is the annual preparation and participation in opening day of deer season.  For some fortunate individuals this event can actually happen twice per year, once for bow season and once for gun season.  If one is really lucky and lives in a state that separates black powder hunting from bow and gun seasons, they get to participate three times.

 

I am not one of those people against deer hunting!  I have fond memories of participating in opening day and the entire season and I actually miss some of the camaraderie enjoyed with my family and friends.  Some of my best non-hunting friends never understood why anyone would want to shoot bambi or his mother and father but they never experienced the thrill of opening day.

 

In my part of the country deer season runs for a month or more and allows one to properly prepare their deer camp or leased hunting area in advance.  The preparation process begins in late August and early September when several trips to the woods are required to build tree stands.  My father-in-law was such a perfectionist. We had to build tree houses that included sides for our deer stands.  These structures were usually 4 X 6 feet and included chairs, an alcohol heater, and an empty can in the event mother nature beckoned.

 

Opening day morning began with breakfast at my father-in-law’s house and included myself and two brothers-in-law eating a massive breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and grits at 2:30 in the morning.  Some years we actually got some sleep.  The breakfast was completed when my father-in-law would reach for a half-gallon of Jack Daniels and announce to all of us that it was now time to quote “be somebody” and we would all partake of a least one shot of sour mash bourbon.  Well hell, when I was younger, drinking at 3 A.M. was accepted and besides we never loaded our high powered weapons until we arrived in the woods.

 

After a shot or two we would load up the vehicles with all manner of firearms, ammunition, food, liquor, beer, jackets, radios, chairs, toilet tissue, sleeping bags and anything else we would need for our day in the woods.  All of this paraphernalia was loaded into the back of an aging Ford Falcon and then four or five of us would pile in the vehicle for the 45 minute ride to the woods.  Upon arrival we would greet the hardy souls who had spent the night and then pour another shot or two just to be socialable.  The obligatory lies would be told and around 5 A.M. the caravan would drive the final 15 minutes to the hunting area. 

 

Prior to actually walking to the deer stands we had to apply doe urine to our shoes to cover our scents.  Then, under the cover of darkness we would stealthily find our way to the aforementioned deer stands (tree houses) by shining our flashlights on the path and looking for red or green plastic tape we had tied on branches.  I always had visions of Elmer Fudd walking to a deer stand on his tiptoes.  (If you do not know Elmer Fudd look it up on Google.)

 

Were the truth told just about everyone went to sleep as soon as they climbed into the stand.  There is always one exception and he or she usually got the first deer.  Naturally the truth has never been told in a deer camp so there were many stories of massive 10-point bucks walking just behind some brush so that no one could get off a good shot.  Whoever fired the first shot would wake up the rest of the fearless hunters and everyone would come down from their stands agreeing that all of the deer in the county were now long gone after the first shot was fired.  This normally happens around 9:30 in the morning.  Everyone would walk to the rally point and wait to see who had fired the shot.  If the person who fired the shot had no carcass to display as a result of his shooting then the razzing and kidding would continue for the remainder of the season.

 

By 10:30 almost everyone was back at the camp telling lies, smoking cigars and drinking their beverage of choice.  Two or three members of the hunting party would be cooking enough lunch to feed a third world country and someone would always have a portable TV with enough tin foil wrapped around the antenna to bring in some kind of signal.  The ball game would be on and drinking, smoking and eating dominated the remainder of the day.  Oh yeah, there were always one or two smart asses who wanted to hunt in the afternoon but we did not bother them if they did not bother us.

 

Deer hunting after all, ain’t brain surgery.

 

Bubba Terry


Back on October 18th, I wrote a post entitled Blinded By The Light. It was about using sunglasses and keeping your windshield clean – inside and out – so you reduce your odds of having a wreck (and maybe getting killed) and creating hassles in your life. And if you’ve ever had a car wreck in your life (the average is once every 7 years for most Americans), you know that it causes hassels in your life. And Terry and I are ALL about eliminating hassles. Now THAT ain’t brain surgery.

I want to bring something else to your attention that involves clean windshields. It’s about a simple and easy-to-use product on the market that you have probably never heard of before. It’s called Aquapel by PPG (you know, the paint and glass people). Disclaimer …. I have no connection to PPG or Aquapel – I just think it is way too cool and I use it and I tell everyone about it. Aquapel is a rain repellent glass treatment. And it works. For about a year. Then you do it again. Not brain surgery.

This from the Aquapel website:

Using technology innovated for the aviation industry, PPG’s Aquapel® Glass Treatment forms a chemical bond with the glass which increases water repellency, causing it to bead and easily shed off the glass. These fluorinated compounds apply in just minutes to a clean, dry windshield or any exterior glass surface, and last up to six times longer than silicon-based products.

Additionally, Aquapel® Glass Treatment remains highly effective after months of normal use, including driving in rain and snow, car washing, and glass cleaning.

Look, Terry and I work in and around the automotive aftermarket. When I discovered this product about three years ago, I tried to get body shops, mechanical shops, and windshield replacement people to take this product and create an added-value service to offer their customers. None did. Why? I don’t know – lazy I guess. They could get at least $19.95 per treatment for this. I know I would have gladly paid someone to do it if they had only asked at the QuickLube place or when I took my car in for service …. but “NO”. Once again, it ain’t brain surgery.

So, find Aquapel on your own. Visit the website. Buy it. You may have to go to your local professioanl shop supplier. Ask for it. They can get it. They may have to order it, but they can get it. PPG is a BIG company.

Apply it yourself. It is very easy. Takes no time. You won’t believe how well this stuff repels water and helps keep your windshield clean. For a clean windshield fanatic, it is awesome. Give it a try.

Richard

UPDATE: 14 Mar 07 … I have discovered you can purchase Aquapel on the Amazon store – just search Aquapel.


The following compilation of stories is based on true happenings. Some of the events may be slightly exaggerated but for the most part they really happened. The names may be changed to protect the innocent. Now there are a few stories from grammar school and high school that personify bubba but the true measure of a modern bubba is found in his college days. Ah college, the heady days when one learns that his bed need not be made up every day and that drinking beer any night of the week is accepted.  Going to class is an option and generally becoming involved in foolish and sometimes dangerous acts is commonplace.  The most memorable bubba I have ever know was an acquaintance of  mine during high school and once in college we were able to forge a friendship that has lasted for 4 decades.  (If I forgot to mention it Bubbas are loyal also.)  For the sake of saving a marriage and preserving some dignity I will refer to this individual as Jerome.    

Jerome and I managed to squeak by our freshman year in college with minor bouts of debauchery and alcohol abuse. Little did we realize we were in training for our sophomore and junior year?   One must keep in mind that the Vietnam War was in full swing and the military draft was alive and well.  For example in April of 1968 the total number of individuals drafted was 50,000.  The United States Marines were even taking draftees in 1968.  This was the largest draft since 1943-44.  The draft is important because the only way most of us stayed away from the draft was to make decent grades in college or as an alternative, get married and have a baby.  We were so young and stupid we envisioned the marrying and baby idea as worse than going to Vietnam.  A key comment in the prior sentence is the “decent grade” comment.  Now this seems like a fairly simple task.  All one must do is go to class and study enough to keep their young ass in school.  If this feat was accomplished then no worries concerning being shot at by some 5 foot oriental who was protecting his homeland. Fail to keep up your grades and it was “GOOoooood Mornin VietNam.”  We somehow managed to make it until spring quarter of our sophomore year before the reality of the real world set in.  (More on this later.)   

Fall quarter of our sophomore year.  Man what a great time.  I had a grade point average of about 1.7, my roommate had about the same and Jerome and the rest of our crowd had all achieved the sought after status of being drunk and stupid, but well liked by the student body, the local bartenders and some of our professors.  This distinction was not lost on my mother who often lamented that she hoped I saw her tears in the bottom of every beer that I drank. ( No, she is not Jewish but would have made a great Jewish mom.)   The art of assigning guilt was finely honed in our family and since I am an only child I managed to be on the receiving end more than the giving end.  After receiving my 1A status (eligible for the draft) she once told me that if I did not straighten up that I would go to Vietnam and end up coming home in a box.  Instead of feeling guilty I was now determined to prove her wrong.   Several circumstances during my sophomore year helped set the stage for my remaining college career.  One of these circumstances involved drinking beer at a local slop shoot, (a redneck bar).  Four of us, including Jerome, had ventured to an establishment we had named The Star.  The Star got its name from a beat up old fluorescent sign that was shaped like a Star.  This fine establishment would serve alcohol to anyone tall enough to reach the top of the counter and lay down some money.  The legal age in Georgia at the time was 21 and we were all between 18 and 19 with ID’s from various colleges that said we were 21, not that anyone at The Star every asked us for and ID.  Anyway after a few rounds of beers, the door to the bar opened up and one of our buddies said  “ohhh Sheeeit!  A neighbor from his home town over 220 miles away had dropped in for a cool one.  Upon seeing Mac, the neighbor came over and spoke to all of us and asked if we were having a good time prior to sitting down with his group.  Once the neighbor left our table Mac said, “Son of a Bitch.” And it was at that point that we knew were in deep kimchi.  As it turned out the neighbor was a state revenue agent and a great friend of Mac’s family.  During the dark ages of 1967 you could get into real trouble by drinking under aged and returning to the college campus drunk.   

A couple of more pitchers of the local draft beer took our minds off of the potential trouble we faced and once the locals arrived and cranked up the juke box we were all lost in the frivolity of the moment.  Hell, once we quaffed several beers we all were too tan, too tall, too smart and too good lookin.  We could do no wrong.  Then we screwed up big time.  We returned to campus to find the dean of men and his assistant waiting at the dorm steps for us.  When asked by the Dean if any of us were drunk Jerome spoke up, or rather the alcohol spoke and said “hell yes I am drunk and so are the rest of us.”  We did not receive double secret probation but social probation was tacked upon our records and believe it or not we were put on a curfew and relocated next to the dorm mother.  Our dorm mother was a closet wino and this turned out to be a great move.  More on that subject will appear in the next chapter. Life ain’t brain surgery but is sometimes more complicated. 

Bubba Terry


The typical picture painted of a “bubba” includes dirty overalls, a short haircut, work boots and a wad of tobacco firmly implanted in the left cheek. Everyone knows that a real bubba can chew tobacco and drink Budweiser beer with no danger of mixing the juice with the alcohol.

In the usual scenario bubba is probably driving a beat up Ford pickup truck with a decal on the window of a little boy taking a leak on his least favorite NASCAR vehicle number. The truck will always be equipped with a gun rack and if the owner is prosperous a spotlight will be attached for shining deer after dark. (For those un-indoctrinated to deer hunting, the spotlight is used to illuminate the deer and render the beast temporarily paralyzed so that bubba can get off a good shot). The practice is illegal and every October and November several bubbas are introduced to the fine dining available at their local country jail as a result of the “shining.”

The inside of Bubbas vehicle will be filled with a variety of snuff cans, beer cans, McDonald hamburger wrappers, empty potato chip bags and a couple of empty coke bottles. In addition the glove box will be filled with several rounds of ammunition and at least a 3 inch knife. The rear of the pickup will have the obligatory tool box and numerous tools and devices that Bubba may use in his day to day work activities. (Note: several of these tools will have broken handles). More likely than not their will also be a dog, usually a lab or pit bull, although the lineage of the dogs may be in question.

Now that we have painted the usual Hollywood or television picture of Bubba let me offer a more realistic description.

The typical southern bubba will be dressed in freshly laundered khakis or blue jeans accompanied by either a polo shirt or a pressed button down. His feet will be sporting either boat shoes or loafers and if it is Spring or Summer he may choose to be sans socks. Tobacco is a thing of his past and he has taken to drinking Miller Light or whatever import was on sale at the local Kroger or Wal-Mart.

Bubba is probably driving a truck more expensive than Volvo’s, 3 Series BMWs and even more than the new line of Mercedes.  (Mercedes has managed to join the league of inexpensive mass produced cars for the masses)  The truck will have a “W” sticker on the back and most likely the bumper tag from his University on the front or in a window decal on the back.

Bubba likes to go hunting occasionally just to get back to his roots. This hunting may be on leased property where he and his buddies have a deer camp. The camp is generally not used for hunting but rather for drinking and reminiscing about past conquests and plans for retirement. The thrill of sleeping in the woods in order to get in a good days hunting have long been overtaken by the desire to sleep in a warm bed with a good woman, so bubba will take his leave of the camp in the early afternoon and journey back home where he will share a good meal with his peer group and drink wine and Scotch rather than sit by a fire and swill beer with the boys.

The present day southern bubba works in a variety of occupations including the professional ranks. Some Northerners and a few individuals from the South confuse the term Bubba with redneck, good ole boy or some other commonly used derogatory term. I am here to tell you that bubba is nothing to be ashamed of. Bubbas were most likely Boy Scouts and members of the MYF or BSU and might have even gone to (God save us) Catholic School. Again, for those who are uninformed MFY is Methodist Youth Fellowship and BSU is the Baptist Student Union. Remember in the deep South you were most likely Methodist or Baptist because these were the two physical churches that dominated the most prominent landscape in any downtown region of most Southern Cities. The Catholic Church although prominent in some areas, Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans is of little consequence in the rural South.

Regardless of his outward demeanor and dress the usual Southern bubba served in some branch of the armed forces and although he is extremely loyal to the Stars and Stripes you most likely do not want to downplay the importance of the Confederate battle flag. A lot of second rate organizations attempt to use the Confederate flag as their own and hold rallies while waving the flag and speaking disparagingly about cultural changes in our country. Here again we have an incorrect stereotype concerning Southern heritage and the real meaning behind the Confederate flag. The whole concept of the Confederacy was not to deprive minorities of any rights, hell, the average Confederate soldier (Yankee soldiers too) was uneducated and fighting for his country, not because he was trying to maintain the practice of slavery. A vast majority of those fighting and consequently those killed did not own slaves and were not much better off than the slaves themselves. Bubba in 1860-1865 was fighting because he was loyal to the South, and NOT what the privileged land owners were afraid of loosing.

Bubba’s never have internal conflicts concerning the treatment of women, children, small animals or anyone who cannot defend or otherwise take care of themselves. The obligatory “can of whoop ass” will be opened on those who insist on mistreating anyone or thing that may fall in these categories. Simply put, bubba sees no excuse for anyone beating up on a woman, (although some women can damn sure whip most bubbas.) picking on a child in any derogatory manner, picking on those less fortunate either physically, mentally or financially and for damn sure never beat or kick bubba’s dog or his friends dogs or any dog he may know. Most dogs are one of God’s gentlest creatures and deserve a pat on the head and perhaps a good belly rub but definitely not a whipping or beating unless bubba sees fit to perform discipline.

All of us who recognize the term bubba as one of friendship and love also realize…..

Life ain’t brain surgery.

Bubba Terry