Endings and 2015

2006_ford_e_350_super_duty_xl_capitol_heights_md_100330811228254623As many of you know, I go east for Christmas with my family. I usually make the journey by train. I find the journey relaxing, and a time to change gears.

It also has to do with my dislike of our airports anymore. Like many others, I find our so-called airport security system to be something between a joke, and an expensive charade, designed more to cow the population than to make flying safe. Not to mention that it has no basis in law. Let the airline provide what security is essential, in their minds, in a free(r) market.

2014, as likely all know will go into my books as my Annus Horribilis, it’s hard to conceive of a year where I’ve had more terrible things happen, from my health (and Jessica’s) to the distractions consequent to both, and to the general tone of society, epitomized by Ferguson.

And it finished as it was begun.

We left early for my train since we had some stuff to pick up about another hour beyond the depot, and figured that was as close as we were likely to get. Well, we get about 3 miles out of town, dim our lights for oncoming traffic and almost instantly hit a brown cow hiding in the highway. Most of us have hit a deer at some time, a cow is worse, much heavier and a much lower center of gravity.

Still thanks to a combination of seat belts, air bags, and the fact that we were driving an E-350 van, and likely God’s will, we were all unhurt. Unfortunately both the cow and the van were killed. That’s twice now, in my lifetime that wearing a seat belt has saved my life, you are simply a fool if you don’t.

pa_pittsburgh04And so, once we figured out an alternate vehicle, I made it to the depot on time, which is more than Amtrak can say!. Still they weren’t terribly late, and a lot can happen from San Fransisco to the middle of Nebraska.

So, I clamber on, and then the conductor and I find what may have been my final mistake (big one, anyway) of the year. I was supposed to board the day (night, really) before.

Say what you want about Amtrak, their people in train service are simply the best, and have been for years. The conductor took it in hand, found me a roomette, sorted my other connections (all 5 of them) with reservations, and sent me to bed, without a care in the world.

Try that with an airline! Note that I don’t recommend it with Amtrak, either. In my case, the ticket was purchased when Jessica was very ill and I simply put it in my calendar wrong, and forgot to check.

Beyond that, it was, as always, a wonderful way to spend Christmas with those I love (most of them, anyway!)

And so like so much of 2014 it all worked out, not necessarily as I wished but, it worked out.

And so, as I catch up we will resume here, and look forward together to a better year.

Happy 2015

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

25 Responses to Endings and 2015

  1. Wow! Thanks be to God you and all yours are okay! I myself will remove “likely”, and say “surely” in His, God’s Providence! I could give my own personal stories therein, from combat to just being at home! To God be the Glory! Have a good 2015 mate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      I’m pretty sure myself about that. As somebody said, “Adventurous travel”, I’d add ‘Nebraska style’!

      You too.

      Like

  2. chalcedon451 says:

    Good to have you back, Neo – and Amtrak shoul quote you 🐮

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      They treated me really well, and I hope they notice the post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chalcedon451 says:

        My tweeted reply copied them in 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Good! too often we let good service go unremarked, while we scream about bad service. 🙂

          Customer service is an improvement that our transportation services need to make a priority. This was a one off, of course, but still, it shows a remarkable dedication.

          Liked by 1 person

        • chalcedon451 says:

          Surely does – and can’t, alas, see it happening here.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Here either, really, not least because the ‘security’ apparatus I spoke of, precludes it.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    Wholly cow! What an experience you had! Glad for your smart use of S.B.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      It’s a habit I learned early and well, and I thank God for it, often.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        I’m sure you like me, remember purchasing them, lap only then, at K-Mart (or some such) and installing ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, and I remember trying to find a proper mounting point in a 1948 Power wagon as well. Company policy then, as well as good sense, it shouldn’t have ever had to become a law.

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Important lessons learned. Had to mount a goose-neck hitch in bed of dually, well guess 20 years ago for daughter’s horse trailer. Yeah, by then there were all sorts of truck equipment shops doing all that. But I knew to look out for Gruber’s for a while. Grew tired of some shops cross threading oil pan drain plugs, again 30+ years ago. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, i’ve never had much tolerance for sloppy work. Maybe that should read “no tolerance”. f I can do it better, why am I paying you to do it? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. the unit says:

    There was a story on Drudge this morning about we have become a throw-away society. I didn’t read it ’cause I have known a while. I’ve been guilty myself. Nearly impossible to find someone who can fix something, or anything.

    Funny. As I was posting this my pointer quit working and I had to re-boot. To re-boot I didn’t know how. Had to use shut off button which to restart, I clicked the safe mode, then re-boot again in normal desktop.

    Back to the topic. My auto mechanic retired about two years ago. Used him 35 years. He turned shop over to his son (mechanic) and daughter (business manager). My old workhorse, 4 wheel drive Blazer was running rich. Asked son about rebuilding the Quadrajet carb. He said he’d see if his dad would come in and do it. Yikes!

    These things worry me as I coming closer to Zeke Emannuel’s expiration, use by such and such date. 🙂 Death panels for throw-aways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly only a small segment in this generation of males can fix much of anything mechanical! I have two young but grown son’s, and they call me for almost everything (even my intellectual oldest son in the UK). Or they hire someone to do it! They are able, but just often too lazy! It’s a generational thing I believe! My father called MY generation soft, and now just look at this one! 😉

      *But, they can outdo they father on a computer!

      Liked by 1 person

      • *their

        Like

      • Note, I had my son’s in my 40’s!

        Like

        • the unit says:

          Your and my father had us in THE 40’s. 🙂

          Like

    • NEO says:

      Yep, my mechanic just can’t figure out a carburetor either, it’s all fuel injection for him. He’s mostly a parts changer without his diagnostic tools, anyway.

      Yeah, I know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Slogan is “Change and Hope.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Indeed it is, no troubleshooting required!

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I grew up with transparency at least in childhood. Jeans had buttons instead of modern fandangled innovations like zippers. Took manual dexterity to close, to lie didn’t work. Teacher said to a “can I question”…”I know you can, but you may not” (to go to the bathroom).
          Well a long time ago…Momma sent me to school wearing knickerbockers and clodhoppers (kept a tingle from going up my leg). 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. the unit says:

    And on American Thinker this morning…
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/01/america_is_being_transformed_into_embrazilem.html

    Like

    • NEO says:

      Really good link, Unit. He’s right almost completely. The only thing I disagree with is that he has utility billing backwards (sort of). You always pay more for the first few units (KWH in electricity), that is to cover the fixed costs of the installation (poles, wires and such), as your consumption goes up the price per KWH goes down because the infrastructure is being used more efficiently. But it’s a small point, and functionally equivalent.

      Liked by 1 person

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