Well… Guess I’ll Be Staying…

First, the photos below are from a spur-of-the-moment local short trip I took late morning today. Seems I have developed a fancy for CB (citizens band) radio after two decades of being away from the radio service which sparked and then turned into a Ham Radio hobby. I purchased a small magnetic mount antenna for my truck at the destination and am still shuffling through the choices of mobile radios that can work both the Ten and Eleven metre radio bands.

I used the Nikon D3300 and the Nikkor 70-300mm lens for these photos.

Moving right along, as you regular visitors have noted, I’d planned on moving this website to a self-hosted platform on WordPress.org. Well… That ain’t gonna happen! It’s a rather crappy story. A couple days back I decided to give the WordPress.com Business plan a shot. It appeared to have some features I liked so I purchased the plan.

All was fine but after a thorough trial run I decided to have WP.com remove the purchase and revert back to my Premium plan which was taken care of quickly by the WP.com team. After reverting, I was a bit shocked to learn that I had suddenly used all of my Thirteen Gig space allocation! Eh?? Previous to my changing my plan, my Admin panel told me that I’d used just fifty one percent of my allocated storage space. Really? eh??

I sent an email to WP.com explaining in detail what had happened. By the way, my attempt to move this site to WP.org and self-hosted status was a dismal failure. I spent around an hour and a half on the phone with a BlueHost tech guy today. Neither of us could figure out why the hell the new website wouldn’t accept my XML files which install the content from the website your reading now into the new site. Long story short, I ‘threw in the towel’.

It ain’t worth it. To hell with this bullshit. Nobody needs that crap eh? Blogging is an Avocation for me, not a source of income and I’m not a blogging addict. Yet I see my website as a very positive aspect of my life. In the long run, it’ll be worth the cost of the Business plan yet why the hell is it so bloody hard to move a blog domain?? Is it worth the bullshit? No. If you choose to move your site to WP.org, do choose the option to have all the work done by a pro. Money well spent.

So then, your all stuck with my presence here!!

Prolific Pigeons

This large, healthy looking Pigeon followed me a short distance on top the wall during my walk early this morning. Las Vegas has a serious population of these undersized flying vultures. After trying to tune this photo up a bit, I thought to search the internet for pigeons here in the valley. Turns out there are several local companies that specialize in keeping these nuisance birds at bay. This is one of them. After reading through the website I was alarmed…

It seems these companies use a substance called Avitrol. Further research into this pest control substance lead to YouTube videos that showed pigeons slowly dying as the poison did it’s dirty work. Being from a northern state, and growing up with deer hunters, I’m accustom to seeing animals die. Our family always used a portion of the Venison, and the rest was always donated to local charities that were happy for the donation. The kill was never wasted.

The United Kingdom banned this substance during the 1970’s. California and New York have also banned this substance. My adopted state should also ban the sale and use of this product. I sincerely don’t like to see animals die, especially like this. Yes, they are indeed a nuisance bird but they don’t deserve to die like this. There are many other humane methods for bird control, just read the website listed. Shame on them for this dirty deed.

Las Vegas FD

As I was about to get out of my truck and head for the grocer, this fine truck pulled up right next to me. This is the second time this has happened in recent weeks too! As with the last time, I was quick to thank these four men for what they do for we the public. Surely they see some bad things as part of the job. I sincerely appreciate them! This is one of the oldest trucks in the fleet.

Photo via the iPhone7, not a Nikon in sight!

Free Parking?

I was once again considering driving down to the Strip to get something different with the Nikon but what has basically killed my trips down there is the fact that most of the big casinos/hotels are now charging everyone for parking. Some hotels apparently offer free parking for locals if they scan their Nevada drivers license. Whatever. I am not comfortable with doing that!

I must have read dozens upon dozens of comments after reading a particular article from a local online newspaper, the comments were roughly all the same. Greed. Just pure greed. The casinos say they need the parking fees to help maintain the parking structures.

I say that’s bullshit – these establishments make millions. Again, it’s a bad case of corporate greed.

Lets say a customer flies into Las Vegas to gamble. He or she has a limited amount of cash to spend which is of course normal. He/she blows several hundred dollars and looses it to the casino. After this, he/she must fork out ten or more dollars to get the car out of jail? Greed. As a local, I rarely visit the Strip, it’s just too crazy down there.

But I too am now forced to pay for parking? That’s bullshit. It would be really nice to learn someday that this parking fee has had a negative backlash on the casinos, and they restore the free parking for everyone. Parking has always been gratis and should remain that way.

I don’t care about the fact that some people leave their car at a casino and take a cab to the airport, the cab fee is much less than the parking fee at our McCarran International Airport. Average Joe consumer is already paying too much for so many things in our lives including things like $100+ per month cable TV bills and such. Corporate America, corporate greed.

Truck Gauges

Well, it took all damn day almost but I finally was able to cut a deal on a brand new pickup truck! I’ve been wanting to get out of the Nissan I’ve had for three years for a good bit now. My ex and I purchased that SUV here in Las Vegas in 2014 for a traveling car, just for that purpose yet the divorce left her with a paid-off car and I with a payment. Whatever…

OK, if I must make a damned monthly payment it should damn well be a pickup truck which I’ve been wanting to get into for several weeks now. Previous to 1998, I drove pickup trucks exclusively. The yearning for the pickup life has been strong in me the last several months. This was one hell of a bartering process today too.

The truck I purchased had set on the dealer’s lot for an extended period of time due to one specific reason as far as I can tell. No carpeting. This truck is not a true Work Truck like the one I owned in 1998, which had no power windows and no power door locks. It had a rubber floor mat as does my new truck, a quality I very much sought after.

That older truck also had the same engine as my new truck which is a 4.3 litre V-6 engine, I had assumed that general Motors had ceased production of this wonderful power plant with it’s 222 cubic inch (or so) engine. Basically, this engine is roughly the same as a 305 cubic inc V-8, or small-block engine sans two cylinders. A solid engine.

The truck has power windows and door locks which makes sense and is really nice. Those two extra cylinders were a very welcome experience today on the drive home. By the way, yesterday I purchased four new tires for the older car. I had no idea I’d purchase a new truck today.

I did this on a total and complete whim, hey, why not try the other dealer at the north end of the valley? I told the sales manager that I’d like him to include the $600 dollars I’d spent on those tires which he did. Value added… All in all, I believe I got a square deal after going back and forth over the final payments price, the interest percentage and other aspects of the purchase deal no less than four times. I’m not that easy… Photos tomorrow possibly.

But I’m very interested in how this actually ‘geared’ transmission and V-6 will perform whilst climbing our lovely Mount Charleston, hence I might very well take the new truck up the mountain tomorrow. My salesman Andrew and I chatted about the CVT Transmission the Nissan had, he had one of those in a previous car. I asked him if he understood how those transmissions work? He hates the CVT.

I explained that these transmissions are basically the same as what most snowmobiles use. Yes, a simple snowmobile. I’m a Yank from Michigan and grew up sledding. I fully understand the physics of these simple transmissions yet of course the Auto version is a bit more complicated.

With your average snowmobile transmission, you have a Clutch and a Torque Converter. The Clutch grabs the rubber drive belt and squeezes it downward, forcing the rubber belt downward also which in turn spins the Drive Tines to spin the rubber track on the snow. So damn simple. Yet that CVT Transmission is basically the same animal.

With a good bit more technology tossed in for poor measure, cars are far too complex today. In any case, I’m so very happy to trade away that variable speed transmission for the real thing, there’s no replacing the actual Geared Transmission. Better power transfer, and much better dependability. So then, have I bored you to death yet!! More tomorrow.