Monday, September 12, 2011

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XXXIV

I thank all of you who have visited this blog of late. This space has been visited more lately than at any previous time in its history going back to 2008. Apparently I'm getting better at this blogging thing. Part of it is I am getting better at picking topics that interest people and I am using more embed codes.

Back To School

I have resumed my coursework at Cuesta College North County Campus as of three weeks ago. I am working on maintaining my current 4.0 GPA and from the looks of things I have a reasonable opportunity to accomplish that objective. I am taking a 3-unit Economics class, a 3-unit American History class, and a 4-unit Spanish class. Last week I aced the first unit test in that Spanish class.

Houston, We Have a Problem

The Bureau of Automotive Repair  agreed to retire my 1994 Chevy S-10 Pickup as part of its CAP  vehicle retirement program and pay me $1,500 for it. Unfortunately, my pickup refused to start near the end of its time with me. It was not an issue with my battery or ignition system. It appeared instead to be caused by my key-triggered ignition security system locking up the ignition system as if the security key were not inserted in its place although it was inserted. My friend Mike arranged to have a friend of his install a remote starter in the old girl and get her back on the road for one final short drive to the state-approved dismantler just north of Paso Robles. Once that installation was accomplished we fired her up and she ran just fine for a pickup running with Cylinder #1 dead in the water and only God knows what else wrong with her as a result of driving around with that bad cylinder for the past year or so and holding back on much needed preventative maintenance for even longer due to my ongoing poverty. I proceeded to drive her up to the facility with mom following me given I was driving without insurance for that vehicle given I had transferred my policy over to me car since I was getting rid of the truck. Once there I was informed I needed the registration for my truck despite the fact it could only have been approved for the retirement program were it already registered. Anywho, I drove home and retrieved the document and headed back up there and successfully completed the transaction earning $1,500. I then proceeded to walk the four miles home to my house having no ride and feeling a primal urge to take a long victory march after all I had been through with that truck the past few to several years. It felt melancholy dropping the old girl off and walking away and leaving her in the parking lot. I do miss the old girl but not the problems associated with owning and operating her in more recent years.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my car finally went out on me week before last with the complete failure of that erratic torque converter clutch solenoid in my transmission. I hope to get a certain fellow who was highly recommended to me to help me with it. He is investigating whether this repair is within his ability to fix. In the meantime I am unable to go to work and getting to and from school is a bit of an inconvenience although I have now learned the transit system route and schedule here in Paso Robles between the train station and my college campus. I worked up the courage this morning to drive my car to school just to see if it was actually continuing to malfunction again like it did two weeks ago. On the drive home it conked on me again. I'm glad I tried it though on the outside chance the problem had fixed itself or at least lessened of its own accord. When my car, which is has an automatic transmission,  goes bad now it basically keeps slipping into neutral without my shifting gears whenever I slow to a stop or significantly slow down. This is a problem anywhere but particularly in busy intersections. When it happens I can't get it to slip back into gear without shutting down the car and waiting a few minutes before turning it on again. By the way, guess what is going to eat up most if not all that $1,500 from the sale of my old pickup? Now you see it, now you don't!

Summer 2011 Gem Faire is History

I helped my friend Dave in his booth at this past weekend's Gem Faire at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, CA. The show itself was predictably slow for a beautiful Labor Day holiday weekend along the Central Coast of California where many folks would rather be at the beach or otherwise outside in the sunshine. As usual Dave's booth rocked and rolled all through the show to the chagrin of some of the other dealers for whom we felt sympathy. This show had even fewer "rock" dealers than it had just a year ago which meant Dave had virtually no competition as most of the other dealers sell cheap beads and/or jewelry findings or finished jewelery of all grades as well as other odds and ends. Dave does sell beads but he sells mostly beads made of real stone that is of good or better quality which is reflected in its price which a lot of Gem Faire customers are not willing to pay as they have become jaded by all the cheap worthless crap sold in mind numbing quantity at these shows.

Next Up.... 20th Annual Rockhound Roundup This Weekend!

This coming weekend the Santa Lucia Rockhounds will host their 20th Annual Rockhound Roundup gem and mineral show at Pioneer Park and the Pioneer Museum just south of the Mid State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles, CA. Parking and admission are free and I will be there both volunteering for the club to which I'm a member as well as helping my friend Dave in his Rocks & Relics booth.

 North County Lightning

I can't adequately describe in words how much I love lightning. I love thunder, too, but for me it's not the aural effects so much as the visual gratification of seeing such a vivid display of raw energy that lights up my  soul and intellect. This past weekend the North County got a healthy dose of lightning on consecutive nights last Friday and Saturday. Other parts of California got slammed by much worse lightning and with much less rain than we received resulting in a fire siege in Kern County with many tens of thousands of acres burning there right now. I heard thunder just once both nights but the lightning went on for hours both nights.


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