Rabu, 23 Mei 2018

Montana People: Weird In Their Own Special Way

We have all heard tales of strange people living in Montana; the Unabomber, the freedom militias, the poor sods stuck in the Federal Witness Protection Program.

I assure you the majority of people living in Montana are friendly, polite, are reasonably sane, and will go out of their way to lend a hand to strangers.

Now, I am a cynical Californian transplanted in Montana. I cannot help but feel suspicious of helpful strangers.

Oh, the clerk wants to volunteer the use of his truck to haul a new desk to my home, does he? Back off! I know how to use this pepper spray!

This actually happened, sans threats and pepper spray.

I bought a desk at the local Staples, and then realized I had no way to get it to my apartment. The clerk offered to haul it to my place, free of charge and after work hours.

No, he was not hitting on me! The guy was at least sixty years old. He volunteered because I needed help. His no-strings-attached offer blew me away.

Desperate, I agreed. He delivered the desk as promised, said, “Glad I could help”, and left.

“Weird,” I breathed. “What is wrong with these people?”

The clerk’s admirable attitude is commonly found throughout Montana. Even the children are reasonably polite and helpful.

After three years of living here, though, I remain wary. You can take the girl out of California, but you cannot take the pepper spray out of the girl.

The communities in this state are heavily family-oriented. Community barbecues are held in a park near my home during the summer. Fourth of July picnics, duck races (don’t ask), actual church socials—if the event is wholesome family fun it happens here.

I do not attend these functions.

I have more born-again Christian relatives in this state than should be legally allowed. A relative is usually connected to whatever community event is being held.

If I attend a single one of these events, I will be expected to attend every single event following. If I fail to do so, all of my relatives will knock on my door at the same time to find out why.

The above is an example of how closely knit the communities are. Most people here are hardworking, conservative, bible-thumpers. The main topics of conversation are: huntin’ and fishin’, church, children, family in general, and ranching.

For those of us more liberal minded, not married, without children, not ranchers, and disapprove of huntin’ and fishin’ any chance at conversation is limited.

Nice people, but a trifle dull.

The crazies Montana is famous for, though, do exist.

A large muscular man lumbered into the local humane society while I was recently there. Dried mud caked his boots. Black hair draped his shoulders. He wore a leather and wool coat over his flannel shirt and jeans. The coat smelled as if he just peeled it off the back of a buffalo.

He asked for his dog in a growling voice, a scary gleam in his eyes. His hunting dog was brought in from the back cages.

The woman behind the desk told the man he needed to buy a license for his dog. He asked why. Every dog needed to be licensed. It is the law.

The man burst into a passionate speech about how licensing dogs was another trick by the evil government to squash our freedom. He mentioned something about mind-control. His muscles seemed to grow along with the scary light in his eyes.

I edged away from the man while I filled out a form for a new license for my dog. Each woman behind the desk kept a polite smile fixed on her face. The older woman kept her hand on the phone.

The man finally grabbed a license form and stalked out of the office, poor victimized devil, and took his stench with him.

What can you say after an exit like that? I hope the big guy is happy pawing the ground with his fellow buffalo men.

Montana’s weirdoes come in all shapes, sizes, smells, and personalities, but then people do all over the world.

God bless the weirdoes for making life colorful.


Ford Aspire: More Than Just As Aspiration

From 1994 up until the year 1997, the Ford Motor Company sold the Ford Aspire. This was a subcompact car that has been made available with two options as per the number of doors. One held three doors while the other one held five doors. The entire body of the Ford Aspire was crafted by the Kia Motors company with headquarters in South Korea. The engine as well as the engine components was from the Mazda automobile corporation located in Japan. It is very interesting to note that this vehicle has been sold and marketed as the Kia Avella in Asia. However, if you travel to Japan and Australasia, you would be surprised to find out that the Ford Aspire is known there as the Ford Festiva. It is just one vehicle however it has been sold under different names.

The average fuel economy for the Ford Aspire is some 30 miles per gallon which is quite a different number from what the manual says. The manual claims that it can take up to 45 miles per galloon. Aside from that interesting fact, the Ford Aspire is also very much favored for parallel parking. Also known for their resistance to submit to mechanical breakdown, these Ford Aspires have been known to have the capacity to run in excess of some 200,000 miles without having to undergo major repairs.

Upon its introduction in 1994, the Ford Aspire held a five speed manual transmission as well as an automatic transmission. This vehicle is a front drive car. It generally comes with a 63 horsepower engine with four cylinders. For the two-door model, the Ford Aspire sports fog lights, a rear spoiler as well as different types of seats made available. As per the Ford Aspire that sports four doors, it holds a power rack and pinion steering. Through the years, many changes have been done to the Ford Aspire. The list includes the removal of the front spoilers, and adding in of body-colored window moldings, rear spoilers, fog lamps, tachometer, a unique instrument cluster, special seat fabrics, special door trim fabrics, and center roof pillars. There also are changes like new front bumpers, new rear bumpers, headlamps, turn signals, tail lamps, and wheel covers. Its design has been proven to work well in allowing a fairly large amount of cargo. If the rear seats are folded, the cargo is expanded greatly.

Ford Parts and Ford Auto Parts manufactures and sells performance parts and accessories for Ford vehicles. Ford Parts and Ford Auto Parts strives to be the ultimate source for auto parts and accessories for the Ford Aspire as well as for Ford vehicles. The store’s product line up for the Ford Aspire accessories, body parts, brakes, climate control, clutch parts, electrical parts, transmission parts, mechanical parts, service tools,  and a variety of other upgrades and parts that compliment the vehicle. Ford Parts and Ford Auto Parts’ extensive array of maximum quality Ford parts are available at great wholesale deals.


Jumat, 18 Mei 2018

A Page From Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

Recently, while sitting in my chair drinking the last of my breakfast coffee, a thought staggered into my mind. I must confess most thoughts are quite lonely once they enter my mind, but this one had a nagging element to it.

Experience has taught me I should never give in to these strange trespassers. Every time I entertain any of them, I’m the one getting burnt.

This time was different. Don’t ask me how it was different, or how I knew it was different, it just was. Of course, looking back I could have been wrong.

The thought: why not surprise my wife by baking her a cake?

I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing when this suggested itself to me. But, the more I thought about it, the more delightfully delicious it sounded. How can anything go wrong if I am doing it for my wife?

The only question I needed to answer was what kind of cake should I bake.

After a long period of ruminating, I settled on a lemon sponge cake with peanut butter icing. This was going to be the best surprise my wife has ever received from me.

Sitting in a prominent place in the kitchen is my wife’s Betty Crocker Cookbook. I don’t know how long she has had that book, it’s been in our kitchen for as long as I can remember — which really may not be that long when I come to think of it.

I took the book, sat in my favorite chair and opened it. How do you read a cookbook? As I leafed through it, it did not have any rhyme or reason to me. In musing on the book I said to myself, how important is it to follow directions?

Placing the book back in its revered spot, I concluded that since this was my cake, I didn’t need help from anybody else, particularly Betty Crocker. This is the difference between men and women. Women need a lot of directions, while men enjoy the liberty of doing their own thing.

I knew exactly what I wanted. A lemon sponge cake, with peanut butter icing. What could be simpler?

Retrieving a large mixing bowl, I assembled all the ingredients I needed; flour, sugar, eggs, milk and baking powder. Everyone knows you cannot bake without baking powder.

I have no idea what baking powder is, except when you bake you use baking powder.

I put everything in the mixing bowl. The only thing I wasn’t quite sure of was the measure, but how hard could that be anyway? Betty Crocker mentioned a cup of this and a cup of that, but never defined what she meant by a cup.

I went to the cupboard and looked at all the cups. There were all kinds and sizes of cups and I did not know which one to use. I eyed a large coffee cup and said to myself, this will do just fine.

I dumped 6 or 8 cups of flour into the mixing bowl, I can’t remember how many. Then I cracked a dozen eggs and put that into the mixing bowl as well. Pouring a quart of milk into the mixing bowl, I whipped everything into a nice batter.

This was to be a lemon sponge cake but I could find nothing marked lemon in the cupboard. I opened the refrigerator, and as luck would have it, I found a quart of lemonade.

I poured this concoction into the largest cake pan I could find. As I was about to put it into the oven, I remembered the baking powder. How is this cake going to bake if it doesn’t have the baking powder?

Setting the cake pan down, I grabbed the baking powder and liberally sprinkled it on top of my batter. I have no idea what baking powder does but I put enough on my cake so it would do a good job.

Into the oven the cake went, and with a flick of the wrist I turned the temperature to 450 degrees. Remembering this was a big cake, I readjusted the temperature to 650.

The bigger the cake the hotter the oven, is what I always say.

Now all I needed to do was wait for my cake to bake. As I was waiting, I heard rumblings coming from the oven but just chalked that up to a good cake baking.

I guess I fell asleep, because the next thing I knew there was a strange odor permeating the air. It smelled a little smoky and then it dawned on me. My cake, it’s done.

What I pulled out of the oven did not resemble any cake I had ever seen. It looked like a burnt pancake, twice the size of the cake pan, with some kind of disease on the surface.

No amount of peanut butter icing in the world could camouflage this disaster.

It was about this time I began reassessing the idea of reading directions. Maybe instructions have a purpose after all.

I remember something the Apostle Paul said. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV.)

To live right without getting burnt you need the right directions.


Chinese Cars: Arrival Delayed!

Over the past year, much has been written about various Chinese automakers and the pending introduction of their vehicles to the U.S. market. Manufacturers such as Chery and Geely have been mentioned most frequently with a few smaller automakers also receiving some press. Originally, it appeared that both manufacturers would import their vehicles some time around the summer of 2007, but that now appears unlikely as several current models have already failed preliminary U.S. safety tests. Regardless, before 2009 hits, at least two Chinese manufacturers will likely be importing cars to the U.S. and at prices starting as low as $8500!

Yes, all that talk of $6600 cars from China have evaporated. Many auto enthusiasts, including yours truly, had been passing around information about cheaply priced, cheaply built cars coming from China that would retail below $7000, some $3000 cheaper than any model now sold in the U.S. Dire predictions of just what this would do to the auto industry were raised. Now it turns out that those predictions were woefully incorrect.

Well, nothing…and everything. The price mentioned was correct until U.S. automotive safety specialists got a hold of two or three models and put them through the ropes. Each and every model flunked safety tests and I’m not just talking about bumper failure: on at least one model the damage was so extensive that it was determined that the particular model as it is built now would never be approved for the U.S. market. Instead, an updated model incorporating the latest safety standards was suggested.

Despite the setback, the Chinese automakers are planning a U.S. roll out within the next few years pending:

 Lest anyone forget, the Chinese government is totalitarian and only upper government officials can approve the export of any vehicles to foreign markets. China is finding a great internal demand for their vehicles and if there is no excess capacity to export, the cars won’t be coming until that capacity has been met. Look for new factories to be built for Geely Automotive Company, Chery Automobiles, Ltd., and Diphthong Motors, the current group of leading Chinese automotive manufacturers.

Geely is far into the process of having a dealer network in place thanks to Malcolm Bricklin who created Subaru’s network in 1968. Yes, Bricklin was behind the car that bore his name during the 1970s as well as the ugly Yugo of the 1980s. Older, yet wiser, Bricklin is carefully amassing a dealer network that will be in place in all fifty states and parts of Canada by 2008, just months before the first of five Geely models arrive.
While the current models flunked, that doesn’t mean they won’t be sold in the U.S. Remember the $6600 price tag? Well, it’ll take between $1500 to $2000 per vehicle to ensure that each one passes the current U.S. safety and emissions requirements, thus the higher price tag. Any model that flunks will never be imported; instead, look for one or two acceptable models to enter first followed by updated versions of other models within the following two or three years.

At prices starting at $8500, the Chinese cars pose less of a threat to the market than cars that would have been priced below $7000. Still, the thought of buying fairly well equipped cars for less than $10,000 has many intrigued, something that the importers of the Chinese brands hope isn’t lost on you.


Selasa, 15 Mei 2018

Thinking About Scrubbing Your Rugs? Read This First

One of the most important steps when considering a carpet cleaning company is to check on their reputation. However, that's not as simple as it may seem! Read this article for tips on finding the right business to clean your carpet, and find yourself very happy with the great results!

Vacuum and shampoo your carpets frequently: at least once every 5 - 7 days. The majority of dirt and debris that is visible on your carpets is still loose and can be easily removed with a quick run of the vacuum cleaner. The longer you leave it on the floor, the harder it will be to remove.

There are several cleaning products you can use on your carpet but some products might be specifically designed for a certain type of stain. Compare different products and select one that is adapted to your situation. Read instructions carefully to learn how to use the product before you begin cleaning your carpet.

Remove all your fragile items from the room where your carpet cleaners will be working even if they have offered to move things for you. You shouldn't leave your valuables in someone else's hands despite any guarantees.

There are different ways that professional carpet cleaning companies will clean the carpets in your home. Try to choose one that works well for you. If you choose a company that uses a "wet"? method, keep in mind that there may be significant drying time before you can use the area again.

Ask any company that you contact about carpet cleaning if they have special chemicals for your high traffic areas. In most cases your carpet will be quite clean in every area other than these, so you will likely only need the powerful stuff to be used here. If they do not have such a service you should consider using a different company.

Never accept a carpet cleaning quote over the phone. The best way for a company to give you an estimate is to look at the size of the room and how soiled your carpets are. Anyone who gives you a phone quote is pulling a number out of the air.

At first, finding someone reputable to clean your carpet can seem a little daunting. But if you know the right steps, the job can become much easier! Treat yourself to a beautiful, clean carpet that will improve the overall look of your home and erase memories of any past messes.

Simple Auto Repair Tips You Must Know

Do you own an older car? If so, then you have likely encountered many issues with it. Even if your car is newer, you will still probably come across some issues at some point in time. Therefore, learning how to resolve these issues is vital. Read the below article to learn some excellent auto repair tips.

Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.

Be sure to read your owner's manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.

Take advantage of free inspections, but don't just have them fix everything on the list. There will probably be one or two extra items added on that aren't strictly necessary. If you are light on cash, ask the technician which items are the most important to keep the car running safely. Get these done immediately, and save up for the rest of the work.

Independent garages and mechanics are usually much cheaper than dealerships. You might get a discount at your dealership if you purchased your car recently but do not make a habit of going to your dealership if you find their prices too expensive. Find out about local independent garages with a good reputation instead.

Regularly clean your headlights to keep them shining bright. Residue can diminish their light output. Use a reputable glass cleaner to get the job done efficiently.

Follow your car's tune up schedule. Each car is different, and that means each has different needs. A tune up schedule for one will not be the same for another. Look into your car manual for details on a proper tune-up schedule for your model. Otherwise, you could have more problems in the future.

As this article has shown you, it is important that you are aware of how to resolve any car issues that you have. You need to know how to fix minor issues, and if there are large issues, you need to know how to find the right auto repair shop. This article has shown you how to do all of these things, so utilize all that you have read so that your car will continue to run at its best.

Sabtu, 12 Mei 2018

How To Find The Right Carpet Cleaner For Your Home

If the carpets in your home are dirty, it can worsen the entire appearance of your home. If you can have your carpets professionally cleaned, you will notice a big difference. Figuring out what needs to be done to get a carpet cleaner and what they'll do for you is going to help you out. Keep reading to discover what you need to know about having your carpets cleaned.

Using your vacuum cleaner on a regular basis is the best way to keep your carpet clean. Plan on vacuuming your home at least once a week and replace the filter of your vacuum cleaner at least once a month. If possible, invest in a quality vacuum cleaner for better results.

Avoid hiring a cleaning company that you've only seen in an ad on television. Many times, these companies are very inexperienced, but they are trying to attract people using flashy advertisements. You need to meet with all prospective cleaning companies in person and you should "interview" several before hiring one.

If a carpet cleaning company quotes you a price simply based on the number of rooms in your house, be aware that they might not be completely on the up and up. Houses vary greatly in size. Your living room could be substantially smaller (or bigger) than someone else's room. Therefore, most reputable companies will give you a price based on your square footage.

A great place to look for a carpet cleaning company recommendation is through family and friends. These people, who you probably already trust, can recommend a company they have used and had success with. Avoid picking a random company from a directory; you may end up with unreliable, inexperienced carpet cleaner

Step one in hiring a carpet cleaner is choosing which type you'd like to use. For example, there are companies which clean through steam, others who use wet chemicals and even more who use dry chemicals. You must research each type and weigh it against your budget and needs to choose.

It is best to clean spills immediately. Use a dry absorbent cloth to remove liquid and scrape away solids material as quickly as possible. Avoid rubbing the stain which will only make it spread and go deeper into the fiber. Instead blot and lift stains before applying you carpet cleaning chemicals.

You should use these tips to find a reliable carpet cleaning company. There are probably a number of options where you live, so don't rush the process. Take what you have learned from this article, and you will be pleased with how your carpets finally look.