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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Martin World News

ITEM:  The Adventures of Oil, Martin style.  With money being tight, my "change oil soon" light has been on for a couple weeks.  Fortunately, all one has to do is press a button and the odometer reappears.  Nice to make a problem go away just like that, ain't it?

Well, yesterday as I screamed around a corner at a high rate of speed (AKA taking one of the curves coming into the complex a bit fast)  I got a "ding" and then a notice: "Oil pressure low- shut off engine".  It lit just long enough for me to read and went away, but it bugged me enough that Scrappy and I braved the driving rain (well, maybe not driving, but definitely raining) and got a couple quarts of 5w-30 to put in it to hold Laurie over to work that night and me the next day.  What I didn't know was the Impala's little oil secret.  Not "where is the dipstick";  it stood out like a sore thumb.  Not "where is the oil cap," same story.  But when you turn the cap just so, you stumble (eventually ) onto the fact that the cap is attached to a stem which leads down to the actual oil opening; if not for this, the air filter, etc., would be right in the way.  And when you turn it just so, the stem comes along with the cap.  Which means if you don't catch on right away, you pour the oil into the hole where the cap was, and it may or may not hit the actual opening, which can  simulate a severe oil leak as you pour.  Once you catch on, though, and place it all back where it came from, you can turn it a bit different and remove the cap but not the stem.  I watched an instructional video and they didn't warn about that, for Pete's sake!

By this morning, I decided I'd had enough and would get it changed.  Of course, the brainstorm hit on the way to work, so I said to myself, I'll just text Laurie at lunch and have her look up the nearest Jiffy Lube or near approximation.

This is where the story diverges for a moment.  From Monday till late Wednesday I had little or nothing to cut because "the girl at (our big customer) has been sick for several days and they haven't been able to release orders".  A multi-million dollar company that can grind a vendor to a screeching halt because they're too arrogant to believe it necessary to cross-train.  And they wonder why all their other vendors were boning them last spring.  Anyway, it really wasn't a big deal at the time because A) I was way ahead, and B) we had orders for other things beyond their purview to keep the sewers busy (to the tune of at least 2 OT nights for them).  Today, though, three things happened to tighten that.  First, they decided to load new software into my machine which threatened to leave me down for an hour ( by the software being loaded during my lunch, my downtime was cut to ten minutes).  Second, my boss asked if I thought we'd have enough done to ride out me not cutting anything the first half of Monday because the new belt for the machine would be installed MONDAY, and would I need to work Saturday to be safe.  SATURDAY?  Saturday is Johnny Appleseed Festival, and I'd be DAMNED if I was going to miss it because you-know-who was sick all week.  And third, Just after I told my boss a few hours later that I would have nine biminis ready for them by the end of the day, that number got slashed because A) an engineer needed a certain panel recut, and B) I had to do it twice because the panel had the WRONG number on it.  (He won't be the first engineer I've been forced to ask if they got their degree at Purdue.)

So back to the original story.  Forgetting about texting in all the hoo-hah, I had to call Laurie and ask her to look it up whilst on the phone.  Now a few things you need to know here.  First, Laurie is a good hearted woman that gets up with me and Mr. Boy at 5 am for my off-to-work, despite her working till 11pm, and sometimes she goes right back to bed and sometimes not.  Today was a not, so she was half asleep when I called.  Second, I live on Google Maps.  Google Maps are my friend.  Laurie, not so much.   Third, I am an ass, and let out all-which-had-been-bottled when she proved incapable of doing what I asked.  Hanging up in frustration, I went in search and got lucky to find a Kwik Lube on Lima.  Then spent a comfortable rest of the afternoon wishing I were dead.  I hope the damn car is happy.

ITEM:  The next time that you hear the Christian faith being called hypocritical, lay on this one:

TUNISIAN women have travelled to Syria to wage 'sex jihad' by comforting Islamist fighters battling the regime there, Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou has told MPs.

'They have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100' militants, the minister told members of the National Constituent Assembly yesterday.
'After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of 'jihad al-nikah' - (sexual holy war in Arabic) - they come home pregnant,' Ben Jeddou told the MPs.
He did not elaborate on how many Tunisian women had returned to the country pregnant with the children of jihadist fighters.
Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by some hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.

So if a Muslim woman gets raped, she gets punished for adultery.  If she becomes an unpaid prostitute in the name of Jihad, she's a hero.  Okay, got it.

ITEM:  And the next time you think the "one size fits all"  discipline policies in American schools are bad, consider this tale from the city of Poznan, Poland:

It began with an announcement posted on the website of the Catholic Education Society school in the city on Sept 7, which stated: “In connection with the ghoulish story lines and occult practices contained in the children’s cartoons Hello Kitty, Monster High and My Little Pony, I am calling for teachers to note in red in the register that they have held a discussion with the class on the subject of Satanism, the occult, vampirism and magic. At the same time, bringing any items onto the school terrain (backpacks, pencil cases etc.) connected with these programmes is strictly forbidden.”

This Tuesday, the ban was withdrawn after the local education authority intervened because the director had exceeded her powers by imposing it. The Director, Monika Wieckowska, refused to make any comment at all to reporters from TVN, however, she did earlier speak on the matter to a local news website.

She claimed she heard about the dangers of these cartoons from reading “Exorcist” magazine, then heard about it again from a parent of one of her pupils. This inspired her to introduce the ban.

Parents’ opinions were divided, one telling a reporter, “We shouldn’t be looking for demons there where there aren’t any, but where they are.”

ITEM: Beijing got it's own authentic giant ducky this week:

And it only costs visitors $16  to see it up close!  Gotta love those communist entrepreneurs!

ITEM:  After an exhaustive, bleary-eyed search of the news, this was trending number three on China's Xinhua:

It's called "Sleepy Cute Squirrel".  Actually a chipmunk, and looks more like "established room temperature" to me.

ITEM:  Belgium won a dubious award yet again- highest "real tax" in Europe.  Real tax in this case is defined as "Social security contributions + income tax + value added tax (which we don't technically have), all divided by gross salary.  By this measure, Belgium at 59.2 % leads seven European nations ( the others being Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Sweden) with over 50% of their gross wages being taxed.  Try to see where the US of A would fit?  Good luck!  The web produced no straight answers, although it was suggested that depending on what you consider a tax and if you count it or not, we're between 37-52%.

ITEM:  Here's another lovely, and understandable, spam comment I was sadly forced to reject from a previous post:

Ahaa, its niche dialogue oon thee topic off this post aat this place at this
webpage, I have read alll that, sso at this time mee alsso commenting here.

my website ... marcc by masrc jacob backpack

Uuum... II Theenk urrr keyboard mighttt haveee aaa proooblem wiiiith keyssss sticccking...

Also, you just HAD to know this angle was coming...

Dear Sir/ Madam, I am Hon Prof Wallis Stanley. I am the United Nations Presidential Annex officer Force Chairman for Refugees here in Ghana. I here by pass this information to you that the Member of the Parliament is looking for God fearing person who can be the Ambassador to the African refugees to represent ongoing conflict in Syria. The meeting was held yesterday in the castle House in OSU. Your name has been nominated So that you can be the Ambassador to the African Refugees and to handle senior higher matter in world top chart. CNN/BBC.etc. I want you to forward all your details to us so that we can pass your details to the United Nation Head Office in England and America so that United Nation Head Office in England and America can put your name in the registration Book for this appointment and send you official letter regarding this appointment.The UN will be paying you $US30,000.00 Per monthly paid.Also your families will be taking care of by the United Nation authority. Reply I wait to Hear from you. Prof.Wallis Stanley

What do African refugees have to do with Syria?  Am I supposed to go to refugees in Africa and explain the Syrian conflict to them?  Or are these Syrian refugees that I have to figure out why they went 3,100 miles across the Sahara to flee Bashir Assad, how they ended up in Ghana, and what to do with them there?  And why me, when I don't speak Arabic or Kwa?  And lastly, where is the "United Nation Head Office, in England or America?  I guess the only thing to do is get an accurate count of the refugees, acquire that many old Commodore 64s with non-stick keyboards, have them moved 250 miles east to Benin, and teach them proper scam e-mail etiquette.

ITEM:  Finally, a Dutch artist named Jeroen van der Most invented a program with which he can combine all of a famous painter's works into one picture.  This way, you can tell what "color" he is.  Apparently, he's completed two such artists;  Rembrandt comes out a mottled tan-brown, while Van Gogh finishes a bright green.  Now there's great art criticism!


  1. I haven't changed the oil in my van since I lost my job and that was 4 1/2 years ago. I did add a little bit a while back. I only drive about 20 miles or less per week.

    There is more crazy muslim news out there than your blog could ever hold. The stories you reported here were ones I hadn't heard yet.

    Wrote By Rote

    1. Yeah, I wasn't so much worried about the quality of the oil as the quantity. And that particular story about Muslims I found on Australian news. I often look at Al-Jazeera but they're so darn serious...

  2. I think I started reading this post with a frown and finished with a smile.
    I love your take on spam, I get so much of the stuff, it drives me mad, but you always have fun with it

    1. But I have to wade through a ton to get to the funny stuff. Most of it lands on really silly posts and claim they got some earth shaking insight from me, then ask me to go check their insurance site.

  3. Oh that evil Hello Kitty. I used to be scared of witchcraft in everything, too.

    The chipmunk is too cute.

    I understand the car woes, we had to undergo a cashectomy last weekend when my brakes started making a metal on metal sound.

    1. I used to do rune magic... it's the stuff that's not scary you need to be afraid of- and not what comes from others, but what goes in yourself.

  4. CWM:
    You get the wackiest e-mails...LOL.

    -- As to the car's idiot light?
    (we get the CHK ENG light, and it's STILL under the hood)
    If you disconnect the battery for a minute, you can reset the e-prom (computer) and the light should stay off a lot longer.
    The dipsticks on newer cars cabn be fun to find, as can the oil "cap".

    And that's why you keep that OLD car...LOL.
    They should be color-coded (yellow for oil usually on GM products)
    Then again, if you leak a little "changes itself", and like an old pilot once told me as we stared at a WW2 bomber dripping engine oil into a pan underneath: "As long as it's leaking, I know I still got some in there."

    -- LOL...good Scrappy-vid!

    Stay safe (and well-lubed) up there.

    1. E-mails? Got a couple more aging nicely in the junk file for future review!

      Cap and d-stick: Yeah they were blatantly obvious once the hood was opened... it would have been nice to know about the detachable stem pipe, though.