Sunday, August 24, 2008

Round Tuit

I got this from my wife, along with a honey-do list. I'll be busy for a few hours today, but I'll be back later in the evening.

Thanks for being great friends and buddies, and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day-shift, again

Arrggghhh....I hate waking in the early AM....

Coffee...two cups. Now I can think....maybe....

I have an hour to get ready for work, and half an hour to read my mail. Then I'm off to the Pasta Plant to put little tiny noodles in little boxes. Today is different though, I'll be riding in our new ( pre-owned ) mini-van.

Jose' came through with the title yesterday, we've been waiting for several weeks. Jose' is from Mexico, and has to return for a period of time to reapply for his visa. So...he sold us his mini-van! He's a great kid ( about 22 years old ), and a good worker ( actually he's had several promotions and is in line for a supervisors job ).

When Jose' and his wife and child showed up with the van ( his wife and child were in their other vehicle, a nice new Ford truck ), I began to wonder how he could afford two nice vehicles on the wages he and his wife make. It turns out that he doesn't pay taxes, if he only stays for five years ( that's why he's leaving, to re-establish his tax-exempt visitors status ).

Now he's off to Mexico, were he'll have at least several thousand dollars to live on for half a year before he comes back to resume his job at the Pasta Plant.

Mexican nationals make up about one third of our work force. From what I've seen and heard in the last five years, nearly all are legal. We did have a small raid by INS about four years ago, it would seem that three Mexicans had the same Social Security Card. ( how does that work? )

My wife and I are going for a 'drive' this afternoon, and I'm taking the camera. It will be nice to ride around with Air Conditioning for once ( of course our old Mercury had the standard four-by-fifty-five AC unit; roll down four windows and drive fifty-five mph ).

I'll post some pictures....

See ya....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Before and After

This is me, as I looked for a barber. There are many in Sparta IL, but I'm really picky when it comes to letting someone close to my neck with a sharp object in their hand!

In this picture, I'm standing in front of a modern, uni-sex shop who's prices start at $14. That's why I'm laughing!

I did go in, and tried to talk to the lady at the front desk, but she was really pushy, and the first thing she wanted to know was my phone number ( ? ). What the....

I don't give out phone numbers, SSAN numbers and such to every merchant I meet, so I laughed, and asked if I could get my beard cut off, and maybe a shave too. No such luck, so it was off to the next shop, laughing....

I found the shop I was looking for in the old part of town. If you look close, you can see the prices on the wall ( hair-cut includes beard ! )

I talked with the two barbers for about half an hour while one cut my hair and beard. We spoke of good times, and bad. We found we had a lot in common.

And during the entire visit, no one asked for my phone number, SSAN number, proof of residency or any thing like that. I'll be going back for trims and such, and maybe just to talk a bit.

So, what do you think? Before or After, Better or Worse? $14 or $7.50 ( + tip )?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Going to an Auction

My wife and I had planned to buy a mini-van today, but that didn't work out well. The young man called and said his girl-friend couldn't find the Title! Oh well...maybe she didn't want him to sell it.

We did go to an auction, to look for a riding lawn mower. We got there early, and found several that would work for us, but we had other errands so we left, hoping to come back in time to bid on the red one in the picture to the right.

On the way, I got some photos of a lot of great stuff! Old toys, Shot-guns and magazine collections. I really wanted the National Geographic collection, but I have no idea where I'd put them in our small home.

Somebody spent a lot of time reading, and dreaming of distant places. I will always wonder who bought these magazines, and how much they sold for.

I really loved this wagon load of toys, and I especially liked the black truck in the middle of the table.

Some guns, nothing special. Just a few hunting rifles and shot-guns. I imagine anything rare or valuable went to the children or heirs.

Anyway, if you want to hear what an auction sounds like, check the video out. It's a short ( one minute ) clip. I just love the cadence of the auctioneer's voice!