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Showing posts from November, 2019

"You've Gotten Some Bad Fuel!"

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We recently had some trouble with one of our cars not starting immediately. It was uncharacteristic for this vehicle that it took three tries for it to finally "fire the cylinders." This is our second car that is used locally for short distance driving to the school, post office, grocery and drug stores. Monique depends on it and when something like this happens, she quickly loses confidence in "her car!"

I tried to diagnose it without success. A quick check of the battery showed it to be fully charged. The starter didn't seem to the problem since it started five times in a row. I next thought it might be the fuel pump. Since most cars have that pump in the tank these days, it is impossible to know if this was the problem. I was quickly out of suggestions to explain this anomaly!

So, with anything related to automobiles, the best person I know to consult is my Dad, the lead mechanic of our family. Since December, 1961, Dad has been the proprietor of Joe's A…

What Are You Leaving Behind?

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It was sad that we had to leave some things behind after our five-week visit to Normandy, France this past summer. And I'm not just referring to family or some damaged luggage. During our visit, I got a "hankering" for a good, old fashioned butter cookie to eat along with my evening coffee during movie time. The French know how to bake almost anything delicious, but I had to "get my fix" at the local grocery store. It was a "packaged item," but it hit the spot and became an instant favorite each day. The product was labeled, "Petit e'colier" and was a little buttery biscuit half-dipped in rich milk chocolate. Each one had a royal-like imprint of a little school boy.

My sister-in-law really doesn't regularly eat these sugary delights and certainly is not as fond of them as I am. But when we left behind two boxes on her counter, she decided not to waste them. She ate each 2-pack of cookies until they were all gone... three months later…

"Use Your Words!"

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Our youngest grand daughter, Klaire, is quite precocious! You would expect a "doting grandfather" to say this about any of his grandchildren! She is admittedly pretty smart and aware of things in her 2 1/2 year-old world. By comparison to the eight grandsons, to me, she seems to be ahead in her verbal skills. Now, it was not always that way! She used to squeal when she was frustrated and couldn't make her family understand what it was that she wanted. I distinctly remember hearing her mother repeatedly say something rather adult to her, "Klaire, use your words!"

When our middle son, Marc was a little guy, his brother, Matt, did a lot of the speaking for him. Marc had chronic ear infections that left him unable to hear what was being said and this impacted his ability to speak with clarity. So, he learned the "point and grunt" technique of communicating. For example, in the mornings for breakfast we would open the pantry and ask the boys what cereal th…

"Let There Be Light!"

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Anticipating colder than usual temperatures, I recently had the furnace serviced by a local HVAC company with whom I have had dealings for over twenty-five years. Of course, I had tried to implement a "diy" (do it yourself) strategy to avoid the service call, but noticed while vacuuming the ash from the burners and rechecking my filters that the pilot light was not functioning. It is true that I only have a rudimentary knowledge of the inner workings of a furnace, but I have re-lighted a few pilot lights in my time. So, I thought I would give it a try.

While holding down on the gas control knob for the recommended 30 to 60 seconds and using my handy-dandy long reach butane lighter, I was able to immediately re-light the pilot and admire  the beautiful blue flame it emitted. However, I soon discovered that the flame would not hold after releasing the button. A quick search on the computer gave me some needed information. The problem was likely due to a failure with the "…