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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to take a few moments and reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by so many, and so often virtually forgotten by all but those they have left behind.

The grassy fields of Gettysburg, rows of crosses on a foreign land, rows of graves in the National Cemeteries, the names engraved on the granite walls, the plaques and memorials, the statues and emblems of wars gone by, and those still underway. What differs seems to be only the faces and the names; perhaps the name of the memorial, or the name of the war or action. And, the faces and names of the loved ones who mourn timelessly for those who sacrificed all for the country they loved.

Those of us who served alongside others who were killed in action, or who never returned, will never forget those brave and noble warriors. Even now, those who served in a conflict long over, Vietnam, are having their names added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known to most of us simply as "The Wall," having succumbed to wounds and injuries inflicted long ago.

So, on this Memorial Day, bow your heads and say a prayer for every fallen warrior who has allowed you to enjoy this day. Because without them, and those who follow in their silent footsteps, there would be no freedom for you to enjoy. And while you're at it, if you see a service man or woman, tell them "Thanks for your service." They deserve a big thank you.

And, finally, should you meet a veteran, tell them "Welcome Home." Many never got that when they returned, and it would mean a lot to them.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Award!

I'd like to thank Laura at OurScented Cottage for bestowing this great award on my site. It's much appreciated. I never think my site can hold a candle to hers, with her fine poetry, and ability to purvey the finest in recipes and homemade cures for just about everything under the sun, so her nomination is that much more special.

As time goes on, I'll be nominating some special sites to share this award with and post them right here on WWW in America.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Joys of ...Car Washing!

How many of you can remember the old days when we washed our own cars? When only the well-to-do, those whom we considered the lazy, and of course, those who didn't care much about their cars, would subject them to the evils of the automatic car wash?

When a bucket of suds, a garden hose and a Saturday morning meant washing that American Iron, or even that little foreign car, with every inch carefully washed and wiped clean of dirt and grime. Then, for the lucky vehicle, there was the anointment with polish or wax. For those with muscle to spare, the Simoniz Wax job was the supreme gleaming effort, where taking the wax residue off was much harder than putting it on. Those who dared open that yellow can, and smear that concoction on their paint, were treated to a shine that seemed to last for months, or at least longer than the cheap and quick waxes and polishes on the market. Or, maybe it just seemed that way, because of all the hard work.

You knew every inch of your vehicle. Every tiny flaw, every scratch, ding and imperfection. The pride of ownership, the knowing that you personally had maintained the finish and put heart and soul into making it look its best. Same with the interior as you cleaned, vacuumed and polished. Especially important for those with a Saturday night date, or other important social schedule, such as cruising the car hops.

The "quarter car wash" came into being in the 1960's and it truly was a quarter. Not that you could wash and rinse your car for a quarter, but all it took was a quarter to get it started, and for fifty cents, you could get the winter salt off your car or at least the heavy grime. Sometimes your car became encased in a block of ice if you lived in the colder climes, but what the heck, it was a cleaner block of ice anyway! Many learned the trick of putting tape over the drivers' door keyhole so the door lock wouldn't freeze! (Remember, the only "remote" door locks was on de-chromed custom 1950's Mercs with solenoid buttons hidden in the rocker panels!)

The ubiquitous car wash that it seems everyone now uses seems so generic. What'll you have, brush or brushless? Car pummeled by plastic brushes, alleged soft cloths that just cleaned a muddy 4X4, or high pressure water that could peel the paint off an Army tank? Of is it the "hand wash" by a group of people that really don't care how clean your car is, who allow it to sit in the sun and water spot after it leaves the wash bay, haphazardly clean the windows, (don't even ask if they clean the window on the fastback or hatchback) and watch in horror as the dropped towel is again used to wipe the $50,000 vehicle in front of yours...or was that yours? All for a mere $12.00 including tip, with coupon.

No, thank you. Today I washed both our cars, and had a major appreciation for fine automotive craftsmanship. The flowing lines and the finish, several hair thin scratches that only show up in certain light, the location of each tiny rock chip that has been carefully touched up, and the appreciation of looking at the finished work and being pleased with the results. It took me back to my boyhood washing my first car, and all 38 cars since then. It's a pleasant tiredness when I wash and shine two cars in a morning, a feeling of satisfaction that still comes about after all these years.

I must confess that some have, shudder, gone through the car wash, due to circumstances which were unfortunately unpreventable. Such as the vehicle which had to be parked outside and under the pine trees, and saw the soft touch car wash often. But it was a work vehicle and I waxed it often and tried to use only one car wash, but the ravages of the wash still showed in the swirls in the paint.

A point to make about the washes with the plastic brushes is that the rough plastic brushes will actually strip the wax off your vehicle. It's like sanding the paint with a weed whacker with thousands of tips. I felt the outside of a vehicle after a wash and the paint actually felt rough, needing to be clayed and waxed again, only weeks after a thorough waxing. Not what you'd want to do to your finish!

There are some great automotive products out there to make your job easier and more enjoyable. I don't hawk labels, but the products from Griot's Garage fill my cabinets and not only do they work extremely well, but they back everything with a super guarantee. For wheel cleaner for factory wheels, however, I really like Hot Rims by Meguiars. Dissolves brake dust immediately, virtually no scrubbing and leaves wheels with a shine.

Happy Motoring...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Immigration...Thank You Arizona!

Way to go Arizona! If the US Government won't do what they are supposed to do, then the States must take action.

Yet, we see cities, and yes, school districts passing "resolutions" condemning Arizona's new law. Where in hell did they ever get the idea they have the right to condemn another state's laws? What balls! You want to know why San Diego Unified School District and others want so badly to see laws like Arizona's defeated? Because they will lose money! Sure! They get paid by the State and Federal governments to educate, feed and transport illegal alien kids while we, the taxpayers, foot the bills! The schools cut transportation schedules so our kids ride public buses that we pay taxes for, and pay for each and every ride too, and don't get don't get free school bus transportation, increase the requirements so our children don't get to participate in the free lunch program, and guess who gets all those freebies? You got it! The illegals. Hell, in some school districts, they actually come across the border for the free education and we have to teach them in Spanish at the expense of our education system and our own students!

Want to be mad as hell? Read the following:

"Every day along the 1,952-mile border, children from Mexico cross into the United States and attend public schools. No one keeps statistics on how many.

Citizenship isn't the issue for school officials; district residency is.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled illegal immigrants have a right to an education, so schools don't ask about immigration status. But citizens and illegal immigrants alike can't falsely claim residency in a school district.

Enforcement of residency requirements varies widely along the border. Some schools do little to verify where children live beyond checking leases or utility bills, while others dispatch officials to homes when suspicions are raised.

Jesus Gandara, superintendent of the Sweetwater district, with 44,000 students along San Diego's border with Mexico, said tracking children at the border goes too far. "If you do that, you're playing immigration agent," he said. "

Even more disturbing was the television interview yesterday with the girl who is an honor student, who admits she is an illegal alien, and who is protesting the Arizona Law. Here is a kid who appears to be about sixteen who should be sent back to Mexico, or wherever she comes from. Honor student or not, illegal is illegal. That doesn't give her or any other person the right to be here illegally.

What the hell do these people not understand about illegal. Is it the word that somehow loses something in translation in their language? Or is it because in their country nothing is illegal, so they think nothing is wrong with whatever they do, or wherever they go, and someone else should bear the consequences for their actions?

Wait...that's it! It's finally sunk in! To them there is no difference between legal and illegal. They have tons of kids without marriage, the hospital ER is the family doctor, they lavish their babies with gold jewelry but they can't afford medical care, drive cars without licenses and insurance, run away from accidents, but then want all the benefits afforded to legal US citizens. They then call us racist when we want them to go the hell back to wherever they came from because we don't want to support them!

It wouldn't matter where they came from. Mexico, Peru, Germany, Holland, Poland, Canada or anywhere else. If you didn't come here legally, don't let the door to my country hit you in the ass on your way out. And take your illegitimate kids with you! Oh, by the way, take that damned sign with the family running across the freeway with you too.