all this stuff to do

Thanks, YouTube!

What did I do before I could watch a video that told me how things worked?

Anything is….well….not really easy….but, easier….when you can see how it’s done.

Here’s another good video about the total procedure.

Pretty cool to be able to see this without peering over your mechanic’s shoulder.

Mechanics don’t like Peeping Toms.


David Wilcox and his Olson

This is a no-brainer of a post.

You don’t have to think very hard to decide to share a story like this one.

Does it get any better than a good player with a good guitar?

I’ve been a David Wilcox fan ever since my friends loaned me a copy of his first album (on cassette!) so any story is a good story.

I’m easy that way.

David Wilcox is consistent and good.

Olson guitars are consistent and good.

Fun to hear the story of how this guitar came to be.

better late than never

Jenny has had her arms full of babies from time to time.

It’s awkward getting into the back of a minivan if the auto door locks don’t work.

Now the children are a little bigger… we’re out of that era….but I have the parts and I’m going to fix the locks….now.

Better late than never, I suppose.

Or….depending on who’s looking at the situation, I suppose that you could say, “too little, too late.”

Anyway….this is how you make the automatic door locks work again.

YouTube is a great place to see some of the possible repairs you can do.

the most exciting thing in the world to watch when your window won’t go up and it’s raining

I did this today.

In fact, I did this today….twice….with two different parts.

The first time was with a part from a place called Prime Choice that I bought on Ebay.

You can buy some parts cheaply on Ebay.

The part didn’t work, but the customer service rep said they’d refund my money if I sent them some pictures after I took it out of the car.

That’s some pretty great customer service.

They didn’t make me send the part back.


The second time was a regulator from Advance Auto.

There’s something to be said for buying local.

It’s nice to be able to exchange it quickly if you need to….and a limited lifetime warranty is a good thing when you need to bring a failed part back.

Anything is easier if you do it a bunch.

The second time I replaced it was a piece of cake.

It’s nice to have a window that rolls up when it starts raining again.



Isaac goes to college this morning.

That’s a couple of “firsts” for him….first day at school….first time away from home for any extended period…etc.

I woke up thinking about Isaac and school and then window regulators and new postal routes and big dogs and the cat mewling on the porch, waiting for her food, and then…..back to Isaac and school and Zoe at school and Nate at school and Sparrow painting the boards on the porch and….then….Isaac again…..and, then, I thought about tests a little bit, too.


I don’t know if I dreamed this or not, but the phrase “how much more would your mind be able to handle in the absence of tension?” floated through at some point in the night.

“The absence of tension”.

I guess that most of what we accomplish is done in the presence of some stress and tension.

That comes with the territory.

I’m learning a new postal route, and it’s a glom of weird turns and side streets, unmarked mailboxes, bad rutted out driveways.

It’s tense.

It’s stressful.

But….I can already feel that I’m going to get it.

And….I’ll get it my way by the end of the process.

People can tell me what I need to do….and I’ll follow instructions…..but I’ll learn it my way when all is said and done.

That’s what we do.

All we can do, really, is “my way”.

“Our way”?

You know what I mean.

As far as tests go, they should be set up so that we understand that they’re made to measure what we know ….not to give us a benchmark for our failures.

We can get a 93 on a test and lament the 7 percent that says “you can’t, you don’t, you won’t”.

A test is not the measure of who we are or what we can become….but we let them stall us or quantify who we think we are sometimes if the results aren’t favorable.

A test is as arbitrary a measure of worth as other people’s opinions of us are.

“Arbitrary”….man, that’s kind of wild.

We accept pretty quickly what other people conclude about us, but struggle to accept the positive conclusions we make about ourselves.


Awwwwww…..this is just a “pre-coffee ramble”…..I’m not sure what I’m saying other than to mention that Isaac starts school today, and I’m just figuring out that a lot of the stuff that I’ve agonized over in the past really didn’t mean all that much in the years since.

You have to pass courses.

You have to get grades that are “acceptable”.

But…..”how much more could your brain handle in the absence of tension”?

You have to figure out your own value separate from all these measures that we’ve set up for ourselves.

Work hard, play when it’s “appropriate”,….and make your way through the world.

And, I guess, believe that people really do want to help you.

Believe that they are, in general, pretty benevolent.

I should cook up some coffee now.

Isaac goes to college today.

That’s a pretty cool trip, huh?

The dude just picked up our porta potty!! VICTORY!!




The dude just picked up our porta potty.

That must be a sign that things are getting closer to normal…or at least closer to the “way things were”.

That is major cool.

After having a new septic system built….then discovering that the old cast iron flange couldn’t be repaired with two wax rings anymore….and repairing that problem with a new subfloor and a PVC repair flange…..we can finally flush without concern again.

So….why would we need a porta potty anymore?

Well, the answer to THAT QUESTION IS…..WE DON’T !!

Farewell, good and constant friend.

Porta Potty….thanks for being there when we couldn’t have done without you.

Thank you, Porta Potty.


“the way we were” Barbara Streisand




I saw an older fellow toting a watermelon out of the old store on Main St. in Saluda today….and he had such a peaceful and satisfied look on his face that it was memorable to me.

He was really happy to have this big watermelon in his arms.

That’s something to shoot for…..peace….happiness…..satisfaction.

Maybe I’ll grow into that?

I hope so.

Maybe I’m there already?

I hope so.

I know that I love watermelon, too.

homegrown tomatoes

We had a salad tonight with….homegrown tomatoes….and I thought about this song again.

Guy Clark died recently….and it was a big loss to the songwriting world.

Intelligence and a great sense of humor are real assets in songwriting….and he had both….in spades.

He was right, you know…..homegrown tomatoes are one of the all-time great simple pleasures.

magic tool

Here’s a short film about Willie Nelson’s guitar, Trigger.

I wish we could all be so lucky….to have a tool that has so much magic in it.

This makes my point again, too….that an “ugly” guitar with character and special properties outshines the….er…..shiny new guitar any day.

There’s something good to be said for a thing worn smooth by the hands that use it.


Willie Nelson could play any guitar in the world….and he couldn’t replace this one special guitar.

That’s cool.

You go, Willie!