Where is John Galt?

Where is John Galt? Follow along as we find out!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I should never be left alone with the News…

While sitting around waiting for the car to be fixed, I’ve been reading the news. Of course, that was exactly why I wanted to get out of town, too much news.

Nearly a year ago we shut off our cable, sorry Beck, and stopped watching so much television. Instead, we have been filling out minds with old British Sitcoms, and Historical Dramas. They are far less stress inducing, since all of the political jokes are out dated. But, while we’ve been in stir, there isn’t much else to do but read up on what is going on in the world.

I think it is unfortunate that the supposed genius’ that we send to Washington D.C. have not figured out how to solve America’s debt problem without borrowing more money. I figured it out, and I have never even seen Harvard, but I have balanced a checkbook. I have also been Bankrupt, and know what causes it, finally. The major problem they have is too little backbone, and too much of someone else’s money. I think I can solve this problem right now, STOP SPENDING MY MONEY!

Right, barring that, it’s time for the grown-ups to take over, too many children are have tantrums around the world. I fell bad for the Greeks, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Irish, the Brits… oh heck, all of them, but for the love of Pete, Grow UP! There is no more money to play with. George Soros, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, George Lucas, etc, etc, etc… do not have enough money, if you took it all to pay for the ridiculous spending sprees.

Is America broke? I don’t think so personally, but I think the money we do have has been so grossly mismanaged by both side of the political spectrum, that I am ready to run on the Bull Moose ticket, assuming I could get the right from the Roosevelt Family.

I feel badly for the Baby-Boomers, you are almost ready to retire, you’re looking forward to Social Security, and a nice quite little get-a-way with the money you socked away in you 401K. Sorry kids, but the nice Government man that promised you jam tomorrow stole your bread today. None of the money you put into that Ponzi scheme is there, and it hasn’t been since you put it there in the first place. It was spent, just a fast as it went in, but take heart, I’m sure the Government got you something nice with it.

I mean look at what the British Government got their people with all of the Social Spending, well maybe that is a bad example… Look at Greece, nope that doesn’t work either, Spain, nope wrong again. Well there is Russia; Russia looks great. Socialism worked so well for the Russians, they look to be on the verge of trying it again. Of course, this time the Good ol’ US of A won’t be pointing all those nasty missiles at them to keep them from annexing all of Europe. I’m sure the Eastern Europeans won’t mind, I’m sure they miss the Good Ol’ Days...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another Saturday in Vegas...

Picked up the rental car today. It's a Chevy Evo, or some such, white, four door. Not to disparage Chevy, but this little car is, quite frankly, gutless. Now granted it's speedometer goes up to 120 mph, but comming off the line, well it leaves a bit to be desired. I understand I wasn't renting a Porche, but wow do I miss the little red SUV.

I must be honest, and mention the positve features of this car... It's new(ish) and the AC works passibly well. The radio is nice, and the controls were reasonably easy to learn, though the windsheild wipers were a bit tricky (it almost never rains in Las Vegas, wouldn't you know it started raining on the way home).

But, the interior, while I would imagine is roomy enough for a couple to jaunt around in, assuming average sized people, was a bit crowed for my larger size. The backseat, is a bit on the snug size for a family the size of ours, with the girls crowed onto a bench seat about 4/5th the size they are used to. I couldn't even imagine trying to transport a pair of teen boys with this car. Further, it sits a bit lower to the ground than I would prefer, again I am a bit larger than average and getting in an out is a bit of a challange.

All in all though, and for the money, this is a fine little car, even if it's a chevy.

But I still miss our SUV...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another Day Lost...

Sorry I missed a post, but frankly nothing exciting happened yesterday. Without the car we are trapped in the house, it's too hot to take the girls down the street to the park, or even walk to the grocery store.

Anyway, today I called the mechanic to try and get a better estimate for the repairs, since the last time I called they told me " maybe middle of next week" Middle of next WEEK?!? When I spoke to Sammy, he told me the engine replacement would take 8 to 14 hours depending. OK, thought I, a day, maybe two on the outside, but of course that was before I found out (today) that the nearest used engine for my little red wagon was in ARIZONA, although there is a right cheap one in Battle Mountain, NV (only $400.00 plus an estinated $550.00 for shipping - Battle Mt. is north of the test range (about 500 miles as the crow flys, about 1000 as the roads roll).

So, since we hate being trapped in the house, and we are running out of food, how much food do you leave in your house when you go on Vacation? I decided that it would be a good time to break into the trip funds and rent an econo-box from Enterprise (they'll pick you up). This way, since we are stuck here in Las Vegas for another weekend, we can at least go to the grocery store, and go to church on Sunday.

With any luck, the car will be in the pink on Tuesday or Wednesday, and we can start out on this grand adventure (finally).

I think, depending on how the next week goes, I will make sure we get photos of all the really nice places we visited on the limp back to Vegas. We didn't bother to photograph them on the way out, so maybe that is why we didn't make it, you can't have a travel log with out logging the places you've been.

I'm sure some one will complain if we take too many pictures...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Paging Dr. Kildare… or at least his automotive counterpart…

Today I managed to limp the little red wagon into the garage, and Sammy bless his heart even gave me a ride home (Thank God since it was 9:00am and already pushing 90 degrees). Around 2:00pm, Sammy called to give me the damage estimate, and it turns out that some how or another I’d managed to burn through a piston, or something like that. On the positive side though, it isn’t anything a little money couldn’t fix. So, the little red wagon is going to get a heart transplant, I just hope the new engine has the same spirit the last one did.

I didn’t mention just how impressive this SUV is (or how much heart it has), while limping back to Las Vegas, I didn’t want to stop for fear I wouldn’t get it started again. We spent the entire trip nursing the engine, and praying we wouldn’t run out of gas, well we did… right after I put the trailer in the driveway. Our little red wonder wagon gave it’s all to get me (and more importantly, my family) back home.

If this had been the family dog, the newspapers would be trumpeting the bravery and loyalty of the family pet. As it is the little red wagon is just a truck, a thing, a tool to be used and discarded, but I think our little bus is something more, oh sure it’s steel and rubber and plastic but like Steven Kings “Christine” maybe, just maybe our car is more than the sum of it’s parts.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What a difference a day makes

Well here it is Tuesday, and I feel like I’m not where I’m supposed to be… Oh Yeah, I was supposed to be soaking up the ambiance of Yosemite National Park, instead, I’m home trying to find a mechanic that 1) is reliable, 2) cheap, and 3) will answer the darn phone. I guess it is my own fault, I told Sammy (my Mechanic) I would be on vacation of the foreseeable future – how was I to know that would only be about 10 hours.

On the plus side though, our Parish Priest called to see how the vacation was going, and when we told him what had happened, wouldn’t you know it, he has a guy… Luckily for Sammy though, Father Peter had to look up his guys contact information and while I was waiting I called Sammy back to (try to) schedule an appointment tomorrow, and finally got through (he almost lost out to Fr. Peter’s guy).

So, since there isn’t anything better to do, and really I don’t want to unpack, I spent the day napping (well the wife did, I can’t sleep) and playing Fallout (New Vegas). It is strange to play a video game that is set in your own town, if I wasn’t so stable it might make me paranoid or something.

Anyway, since today was a total write off, let’s see what tomorrow brings, I’m still holding out hope that Sammy will pull off a miracle, I would hate to take this trip with a strange car. I know our little red wagon, and I am comfortable with the odd smells, broken trim, and funny sounds. It just wouldn’t feel right taking a Stranger around the country.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The journey ends..?

Well, I guess I asked for a sign from God and boy did I get one, maybe… We started out bright and early on Monday, a little later than we wanted to, but well within vacationing parameters. The little red wagon was humming along and pulling the trailer laden with our survival equipment like a champion. At least until we reached Beatty, NV, as we were pulling up the long low grade into town the engine started to make noise.

After pulling into the local rebel gas station, we saw and smelled a fairly noxious cloud of smoke. Not being the most mechanical person, and wanting to get us back on the road, I asked around for a mechanic, and was advised to call John, the local go-to-guy for all things automotive (I highly recommend him). Unfortunately, the damage was too severe for John’s skills (especially at eight o’clock in the morning – he showed up to help after a stranger woke him up, and wouldn’t accept payment for the trip, see I told you we would meet good people). John’s recommendation was to top of the engine with oil, and limp it back to Las Vegas.

Not wanting to break down in an even more remote locale, that is exactly what we did.

Maybe this wasn’t the right day to go, maybe I have something else I have to do in Las Vegas, but if it is at all possible I am now, more than ever, determined to make this trip. I have faith in my local mechanic, Sammy, if anyone can revive our faithful Ford (yes, I know someone out there is saying “Well now I know what the problem is…” but the little red Ford has served us well since we left Washington State nearly 10 years ago, and I am loathe to blame her) it’s Sammy.

So, for today, we end in sorrow, but the dawn will bring another day, and either Sammy will fix the Ford, or we will find another vehicle to help us on our way. Either outcome, I refuse to be defeated, my girls deserve to see the ocean, a real forest, and mountains (and the people of the coast deserve to see my girls).

This journey isn’t over, just postponed, stay tuned…

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Last Sunday in Vegas... at least for a while

This is the last Sunday, heck it's the last full day in Las Vegas before the Great Western States trip, and I have to admit I'm a little frightened.

All the things that could go wrong with this, and all the reasons not to go are plaguing me, but I also can't help but feel that there is a bigger reason to go. I just wish I knew what it was...

Maybe (and this could be wishful thinking, or conceit, I just don't know), we are supposed to do this, in which case God, or fate, or kismet, (take your pick) will make it all turn out for the best. Maybe this trip is less about us and more about the people we will meet along the way. Maybe this is bigger then broadening the girls education seeing the beauty of the Country and more about the country seeing them.

If it is, I hope I don't screw it all up (though if it is God, even I can't screw up that bad). So I'll share the condensed version of the gospel today.

After doubting this was a good idea for most of the preceding week, the Gospel in church today was the story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter walking (part way) to him. The upshot is that the story was about having faith and following God's commands. If that wasn't a sign to stop being a coward and move forward, well then maybe I'm delusional.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The clock is ticking…

So, the Great Western States Tour is in the final stages, with any luck we will have everything we need ready by Monday, and not a moment too soon.

This morning our wonderful neighbor (a renter) woke us up to the sound of his Dirt bikes, of course 5:30am is the appropriate time of the morning to rev a motorcycle engine in any neighborhood. I of course asked if he was done so I could go back to bed, and apparently, actually speaking to a neighbor is a no-no. I guess this is why the local police are buried in nuisance calls; no one wants to talk to each other.

With any luck our quest across the West will uncover some of the “Normal” folks we all remember from our childhood. I know they exist, every now and then we run into one of them in the grocery store or at the mall.

You know who they are, they are the people that smile and wish you a good day, that apologize for stepping in front of you inadvertently, or hold the door for the mother wrangling children and an armful of groceries.

I like to think that I am one of those people, and I understand that some days are better than others, but…

Maybe this trip will help me be a better neighbor by their shining example; I know living in the city is making me worse. I look forward to meeting some of you and learning by your example.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Going Galt! Coming to a Valley near you




Well someone has to start this, so I guess it’s going to be me and my family. In the midst of the worst economy in my lifetime, I quit!

I finally grew tired of paying for other people, for ensuring that the “poor and mistreated” have a fair break, even if it was to my detriment. Therefore, with that in mind, I saved my pennies until I could no longer drag myself off to a soul-destroying job in a ‘Mega-Casino”. I cashed out my 401K, paid the Government man his cut (wow and they said Vegas was run by the Mob… At least the Mob gave you something for your money), told my mortgage company to do physically impossible things to themselves, and now we are going to see a piece of America while we still can.

When we tire of that, I’ll get a job that pays me under the table or such a miniscule amount that the government gains little by my poverty, and we will starve the beast.

All right, one family, not much starvation, but I can’t fight them any other way, they have all the really good guns, and the professionals to use them. Will it be worth their time to hunt me down and punish me? I don’t know, but I’m willing to find out, someone somewhere has to “fire the first shot”.

I guess this little bit of revolution isn’t as impressive as Lexington and Concord or as inspired as the Boston Tea Party, but I’m doing something, and I invite all of you to follow along, for as long or as little as you would like while I and the rest of the family push back, so join us...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My, My...

Well it seems that the main stream media has started a campaign to illustrate how robust our great leader is for example (http://news.yahoo.com/photos/obama-turns-50-a-progression-of-gray-1312395064-slideshow/#crsl=) and / or (http://news.yahoo.com/video#video=26141886),to me though, a Sci-fi fan, it brings to mind a different politician and the result of six little words in the wrong ear…



It could be wishful thinking, but… Don’t you think he looks tired?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I’m sorry…

I’m Sorry, I’m sorry… Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…

I apologize for the huge gap between posts, I didn’t realize when I started this blog, just how much the wide world would intrude into my home life. I am certain many of you can understand how much work and life and all the other things that get in the way can take over for all the things you want to do. So please accept my apology and stay tuned for some new adventures with me and the family.

We are still dedicated to bringing Serenity Valley to life (so don’t despair Brown coats) but at this point I want to bring more people into the fold. Therefore, Brown coats, meet Ayn Rand…

In this new adventure, instead of waiting for Serenity Valley to come to us, we are going hunting. Somewhere in the US is a place, a little Serenity Valley, and a little Galt’s Gulch. I intend to find it, baring that though I hope to meet a lot of interesting Americans, and maybe introduce them to you.

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