The 2012 Beetle Got Awesome

The last New Beetle was totally bogus. The 2012 Beetle is much cooler for a number of reasons a few of which I will mention here:
  1. They dropped the name "New Beetle" and just call it the "Beetle".
  2. It's not a hemispherical bubble (like the New Beetle), it's actually shaped like the old Beetle.
  3. Those wheels are quite possibly the coolest thing I have seen on a new car in years. 


Squirrels and Derailments

Some of you may have been wondering what became of the filthy foxes that I posted about earlier this summer. I am happy to report that the battle is over and I won. I will admit to nothing, but know that they are gone...  until next spring at any rate.

In the mean time a new enemy has infiltrated the foundations of a number of buildings in the rail yard. Squirrels. Mean, conniving, relentless squirrels. They don't actually live in the rail yard, they live across the street from the depot in some big pine trees that surround the old superintendent's house. I suspect that they moved over about the time that I ran the foxes off. So, I have unwittingly found myself wrapped up in the intricacies of nature and the natural order of the food chain. Nonetheless! I will prevail. 

Hopeful I will have better luck against the squirrels then I did on my first rail speeder ride this past week. Rail speeder look like this:
I spent about eight hours in a safety class, took a 2 hour long test, and spent a morning being instructed on how to operate one of these speeders. We are getting ready to do some pretty extensive track upgrades at the railroad; as part of that the railroad management wanted an inventory of the their track structures done. Some of these track structures are only accessible from the track right-of-way itself. I volunteered to walk, but they insisted that the speeder would be more effective. After all of that training I had been on the speeder a grand total of five minutes before I managed to fling the thing off the track. My downfall? Switches. During the class there was a good hour or so on switches. "Oh I know how to work those", I thought to myself, "I had a toy train. It's not rocket science." Apparently, it must be. I had left the shed where the speeder was stored and I was reversing to a switch at the other end of the yard. Naturally, I had my head craned around to see behind me. As I got closer to the switch I eventually noticed that the switch was set against me, but unfamiliar controls meant that my reaction time wasn't quick enough to get the contraption stopped. A few shorts moment later and I was sitting in the dirt. The track crew and master mechanic showed up and helped me set the speeder back on the track and I was off, not without a good bit of teasing though. In fact, by the time I got back to the yard that afternoon the whole railroad had heard about it. Yeah, they're going to keep bringing that one up for awhile. Live and learn.

Next Best Thing

As some of you may know one of my favorite books ever is "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller. A few months ago a friend of mine lent me this book and said it was pretty funny. First off, I can't begin to describe the brilliance of this book. This is the only work of this author who died before the book was ever published. Sometime after the author's death his mother took the book around trying to get publishers to pick it up and it ended up winning the Pulitzer. Fare warning, if you did not like "Catch 22" you will not like this book. However, if enjoyed that WWII satire then you will love this book. I can't believe I hadn't read it sooner.


I can do that...

I am happy to report that after a harrowing and epic struggle I managed to retire from the dental office last month. Upon finding myself retired I took a victory trip. I first traveled to Utah to pick up a 1990 Jetta Turbo Diesel that I thought I would be bringing home to add to the collection (more on that later).

I then packed up and headed North. I first stopped in Blackfoot to visit Vintage Jag Works, which is actually a dilapidated farm house 15 miles outside of town where a genius craftsman works miracles. I then continued on up to Bonners Ferry, Idaho for a few days of food and site-seeing. It was summer the day that I drove up to Idaho, but that was apparently the last day as the next day was obviously Fall.

My main reason for making the quick trip up North was to attend Pig-Out in the Park in Spokane. The food was delicious and I (and everybody else) was wet. Fall had decided that copious amounts of rain was called for on the day that I decided to attend Pig-Out in the Park. On the bright side, this meant that the lines at the food booths were non-existent. We quickly ran from booth to booth eating as fast as we could. Also, everyone knows that its easier to stuff yourself when its cold. I ate huckleberry this and that, bacon wrapped hot dogs, other stuff. It was tasty, but I might have to try again next year and hope for better weather.

My goddaughter is nearing three years old and is a very assertive go-getter. Every task was met with a cheery, "I can do that", from opening car doors she couldn't reach to cleaning up her little brother's half digested lunch off of the carpet. At one point I was in the garage fixing a sticking accelerator on the Jetta and I turned around to see her holding a screw driver. "Oh, hi there", I said. She asked what I was doing. "I'm just fixing my car", I said. "Don't worry, I can fix your car", came the cheery reply. Very cute. Here parents are working on finishing their basement this month and I'm sure she will be right in there.

My friend took me down to Wallace, Idaho to look around. I had bought a book about a huge forest fire that happened there in 1910 the last time that I was up at my favorite book store.

Their mayor has some lofty theories. They had a lot of interesting things to see. We stopped by a few museums, ate lunch at a saloon, went on a short hike, and I even restrained myself from going to the bordello museum.

After my quick trip I returned to Utah where I attended my cousin's wedding. It was a lot of fun getting together with family and eating and laughing ourselves sick. The Jetta was then requisitioned for other purposes and I returned to holding my breath and hoping that it will still be in once piece by the time their done with it.

Post wedding, I was on the "return Polynesian grandpa to his house" duty. He didn't nap on the trip down nearly as much as I had hoped he would. We had a good time though.

More on retirement to come...