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Perhaps you haven’t sniffed out the fact that I’m generally a die-hard conservative. There have been several times over the years in my Fb discussions with liberal friends, they flash-jump to point out that “fake news” items from the right are wrong because Snopes says so.

I’ve responded that it sometimes seems to me like the Snopes angle seems to be coming from left field, in fact, way over by the fence. They dog-paddle back with the response that Snopes is totally non-partisan, unbiased and completely truthful. I’ve just never been inclined to buy and bite their hook, line and sinker.

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon a Forbes article that tossed Snopes credibility to the dogs. Permit me to share a couple of paragraphs from that article followed by the link.

This creates a deeply unsettling environment in which when one tries to fact check the fact checker, the answer is the equivalent of “its secret.” Moreover, David’s responses regarding the hiring of strongly partisan fact checkers and his lack of response on screening and assessment protocols present a deeply troubling picture of a secretive black box that acts as ultimate arbitrator of truth, yet reveals little of its inner workings. This is precisely the same approach used by Facebook…

…From the outside, Silicon Valley looks like a gleaming tower of technological perfection. Yet, once the curtain is pulled back, we see that behind that shimmering façade is a warehouse of good old fashioned humans, subject to all the same biases and fallibility, but with their results now laundered through the sheen of computerized infallibility. Even my colleagues who work in the journalism community and by their nature skeptical, had assumed that Snopes must have rigorous screening procedures, constant inter- and intra-rater evaluations and ongoing assessments and a total transparency mandate. Yet, the truth is that we simply have no visibility into the organization’s inner workings and its founder declined to shed further light into its operations for this article.

Forbes Snopes story

I feel a little bit like I did November 9. Sometimes it just doesn’t go down like the lefties promise it will.

When I try to look at the world from their vantage point, I end up still hungry after all the courses in their full-meal deal. As hard as it is, I try to love my bleeding heart friends even though I don’t always like the direction they swing from.

So unless clarification comes to light that Forbes has come clean and is forthcoming about their sources and political leanings, I’ll continue (in secular matters) to chart my course by inspiration combined with the Idiot I trust the most.

 

Often I feel like giving up on this blog. I’m in the Blog Desert by myself, throwing out boomerangs that usually come back empty. I need water and grub once in a while. It would be nice to hear some comments, even if negative or rebuttalish. Likes and shares are always appreciated. Especially on good posts if there are such animals in my kingdom.

Last week I heard positive verbal props from a couple of people I would never have guessed would give them. Made my day! I delight in feedback so if you ever have the urge, don’t restrain yourself. Heaven knows I don’t.

This blog would love to be a two-way street. Likes, followers, shares and comments are always appreciated.

I’m amazed at the the number of views and followers that have continued to escalate. Of course, the $500 carrot is helping.

If not for my stats info, I would have given up on this time-gobbling sucker months ago. 811 views last week compared to 5 the first week when I started in February. There must be a good post at least once in a while. Thanks to all who have been appreciative and responsive readers!

If you think I’m blowing smoke on what keeps me blogging, check me out on Snopes. They’re supposed to have all the facts.

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Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

The more you like, talk back and share, the more I’ll bare.

 

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Facebook picture of Pat Irribarren and wife?

Back in the eighties when I began my tire business in Basin City, one of the more colorful and fun people to deal with was a local character named Pat Irribarren. I think Pat is originally from Spain and has a most interesting accent. Unless I listened closely and asked probing questions, I would often get his communications upside down.

If he said he needed tires on his truck, I thought his duck was on fire.

If he needed baling twine, I was absolutely sure he was requesting Mailing Wine.

After each misunderstanding, we would have an interesting conversation before I finally caught his drift. I’m sure he was quite frustrated with my poor listening skills.

Pat was always trying to talk me down on my price. I often felt like I was at a reverse auction where the price went down instead of up.

Pat was a wheeler and a dealer. He always seemed to have crazy deals going on in various locations and angles.

One day while several of us were eating lunch at the cafe in Mesa, Pat walked in and we talked for a bit. As he walked out the door, my friend Scot said “There goes the Iberian Tycoon.”

They didn’t have to sweep under our table that day. We cleaned it up from rolling on the floor laughing. It was memorable. We weren’t laughing at Pat. We were enjoying Scot’s never-ending wit.

A friend and neighbor of Pat’s was the patriarch of the Mesa Bailie family.  His name was Ray Bailie. Both Pat and Ray were interesting guys. Both loved to chisel me down on my prices.

After Ray had walked into the tire shop a few times, I quickly learned (after a few costly educational sessions) to jack the normal price of the tire up fifty or seventy-five bucks in my head before I opened my mouth to quote.

He had no idea what the price of the tire was or if it was on sale. All he wanted was to dicker and insist on getting several lower and lower quotes. He wouldn’t be happy or buy until I had dropped the price a minimum of at least three times.

He was happy on those initial occasions. I was not.

But I’m a quick learner. Two or three years after he started this practice, I started figuring out that if I quoted him a tire that was on sale at $110 and quoted him the sale price, I would end up selling it to him for $70. My cost to buy the tire was $80. Four tires mounted for Ray meant a net loss of $40 for me. And he usually got me to throw the spin balance in for nothing.

But if I started out quoting the sale price as $160 and then let Ray jew me down until I agreed to sell at $110, it worked. He was happy. I was happy.

So today’s drawing landed on Pat Irribarren. Pat, if you follow my blog and share it’s posts, you are $500 richer. Wait, let me play you and Ray’s game. You are now $400 richer. Wait, I mean $300 richer. That’s my last offer.

Let me know!

I did a little checking and I think Pat missed the boat too. He’s my Fb friend but not a blog follower/sharer.

I wish we could hurry up and get this giveaway completed.

 

So far a few of my Facebook friends have been picked but none were eligible.

Al Yenney, Christine Jenks, Austin Fox, Cameron Yount, Nichole Davidson and if I’m not mistaken Pat Irribarren missed the boat. These are great people but each came up 25 twenty-dollar coins short.

Last night I had a dream. (I’m not kidding about this part. I really did have this dream)

I had a dream. I dreamt I was Martin Luther King’s kid brother. I was not at the Washington Monument but I was standing at the Washington Driver’s License Department in Kennewick in a long line.

Granted, it was a little convoluted and cockamamie but it was still my dream.

Oh, Yes! I had a dream. It was a dream that one day each one of my Facebook friends will also be one of my blog followers. Which meant that in my dream there were no losers in my blog drawing. It also meant each one of my friends had already signed up as a RecoveringIdiot Blog Follower. Everyone was a winner! Yes, folks and Facebook Friends, they were each legitimate winners!

(Unless they died before I got around to drawing their name in the weekly contest. You see, if I draw once a week, the numbers are that some people, even though they are eligible, will be 231 years old before their number gets drawn.)

That is, unless I jettison a couple of my Facebook friends who, when it comes right down to it, are not really that great of a friend. By doing this little shuck and jive, some of my true friends reap the distinct advantage of being only 230 years old before they win the cash.

Back to my dream.

Yes! I had a dream that someday each of my blog followers will share each post that comes forth from these eight fingertips and two useless stubs. That from sea to shining sea the miracle of this blog will roll forth without ever having a reboot or getting that dreaded blue screen.

Let me take it one step further by switching into the present tense. I have a dream that someday I will have enough dough from one of my crazy inventions that I can pony up $500 for my blog giveaway every day! Yes, no longer will I have to get the money from PayDay Loans or my wife’s purse like I am right now.

And even better yet, I dream that I will soon be bringing in enough cash that I can give away ten times the $500 to each of my Facebook friends when their name is drawn.

And last but not least, every day that I draw a name, there will be no question as to whether this Dude Follower or that Dude-ette Sharer is eligible. I won’t even check. Because I know I can trust that they all will have followed my simple instructions and therefore get to keep the cash, unlike in today’s world where few have made themselves eligible.

And if I do happen to check, I dream they will all be followers and sharers and therefore each will enjoy the fruits of the RecoveringIdiot.com fruit basket. Not one black sheep will be left out of the fold and come up empty-handed.

The bottom line of my dream is…

Sign up and share my blog posts. Don’t live with regret the rest of your life!

That’s all I can remember of my dream.

 

I promise I’ll try to keep the posts entertaining and the cash flowing.

Stay tuned, there might be other giveaways down the road!

It just depends how often my wife sets her purse on the kitchen table and then leaves to use the restroom. That, my friends, is the chief criteria concerning my cash giveaways.

I promised myself when I started this blog that I would limit my posts to one a week. Then it stretched into two.

Carving one of my weeks into just two slices makes for very long posts which I don’t have time to write and you don’t have time to read.

Since I’m getting backed up more each day when I don’t post, I therefore must flush posts more often than originally planned. Perhaps every time you are seated in one of your pre-flush activities, you can utilize your time better by grabbing your phone and check out my after-flush post.

My day today included calling Karla O’Malley (who I labeled yesterday as a girl who had a crush on me in high school and looked at me with adoration on the school bus every night). I warned her that I had posted our prior romantic information online for the world to become familiar with. She was nice, didn’t have a problem with my description of our relationship and we had a nice talk.

I have never met her son Shawn but watched him played Spring Ball with the Mariners in Arizona this last March. Didn’t get to meet him but I did get to meet a few fellow fans in the crowd who wanted my autograph after I introduced myself as the guy who Shawn’s mom had a crush on in high school. My wife was not one of them.

 

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After we hung up, my first business of the day was dismantling the multiple framuses that I’ve installed on grain bins over the last several years. One of the counterweight cross pieces I took down caused me some problems on the underneath section as can be seen above.

I should have started this dismantling process last December since I would have had a few less dogfights in the sky with this squadron of wasps. My manlift is not near as agile at bin roof altitudes as these little stingers with wings are.

Unlike most fighter pilots, I didn’t have a parachute on. So, I resigned myself to staying in the cockpit and swinging wildly in the air until I finally got my manlift basket landed. I think the trip down this morning was the slowest those hydraulics have ever gone.

Several people drove by during the battle. They probably thought I was just being overly emphatic with my waves to them. Actually, my waves had nothing to do with them.

My next order of business was cleaning out some rotten corn that was on the floor of  a bin containing a bit of bottom-dwelling corn that got some rain damage. I should have carried it out in a bucket but took the “easy” way of using an auger. Pretty quick the pit auger froze up and you’ll never guess why.

I popped the top off the auger tube to find the problem. At first, it was difficult to find the problem because there was a concrete-like compaction of newer and older corn hiding my view of what was wrong with the auger.

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The multi-colored mosaic initially was quite eye-catching and interesting. I thought about putting a couple coats of varnish on it before photographing just to make it a little more shiny and impressive.

I’m glad I didn’t. Soon I realized that perhaps this tube full of vulcanized corn was not hiding the problem. It was the problem!

Hammers, pry bars, skinned knuckles and fairly loud and exuberant exclamations filled the bulk of the morning hours after Karla’s pleasant call.

 

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When I finally got it cleaned out I kicked the power on and walked around to make sure everything was running properly. Walking back into the control room, I noticed a smell similar to an overheated car and flames on the wall like a boy scout campfire. (Notice how I didn’t capitalize the boy scout portion since I’m a little at odds with the way they’ve radically changed their program in order to be politically correct.)

Back to the out of control fire. I flailed away and finally got the flames out. The afternoon was spent replacing and repairing burnt electrical components. By the time I finished, I decided to take a break from the hot afternoon and relax. I figured if I did nothing else, then nothing else could go wrong.

 

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My buddy Scot stopped by and I sat down on the concrete ledge to show him the burnt electrical breaker. The breaker can be seen next to where I was sitting just before the next round of bad news.

I had no idea Scot was going to grab the tube of the framus housing the wasp nest. Scot had no idea there was a kingdom of wasps just above his hand. Who’da thought he’d bang it against the bin in an apparent effort to dispel the boredom of me talking to him.

His idea worked. Two seconds later there were two grown men running for their lives. Let just say there was some stinging going on and Scot should have been but wasn’t the recipient.

Another day in paradise. Maybe I should just stay in bed tomorrow.

Don’t miss out on my $500 giveaway. Sign up to be a Follower so you don’t miss any posts and then share blog posts on Facebook. You never know when I will make my last post.

This was the predicament several years ago (2013) of an 11-year old boy named George at my work site. A very sad funeral, an OSHA encampment and spendy lawsuits loomed into sharp focus for me in a matter of seconds.

His dad was paralyzed with fear and could do nothing. I was in the same boat until inspiration kicked in. None too quickly I might add.

In the next few minutes I managed to dodge several howitzer-sized incoming shells of reality and saved the day, the kid and my bacon. George’s story is in my book.

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This picture is where the episode began for me. It was taken an hour or so after the event.

Let’s stop the rewind now and talk about today’s event. I got a call this morning from George’s father about a pipe. I had the strange feeling he was calling just to talk and that in reality he knew I wasn’t the guy to talk to about solving his pipe problem.

However, I was busy breathing corn dust, sweating like an old fat boy and shoveling billions of yellow kernels. I didn’t have time to talk. I told him he should call my brother. I knew Brad could take care of his need. Jorge was so very friendly on the phone.

I felt bad giving him the brushoff.

I got back to shoveling corn and about an hour later, he appeared at the 2013 trauma site. He was so talkative. He was so friendly. He looked at me with such adoration.

You will naturally ask, “How do you know it was adoration?”

I would respond, “No one EVER looks at me with adoration. If I get even a hint of the positive vibe, you better believe I know it when I see it.”

The first time in my life I saw adoration like that was on Max Kinne’s school bus. A neighbor girl had a crush on me and she often just sat and stared as we made the trip home. That girl doubles as Shawn O’Malley’s mom now. Shawn plays for the Mariner’s.

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Her name is Karla. It was quite a blow to my ego when I recognized her one night a couple of years ago at Texas Roadhouse. She had no clue who I was. I was able to salvage a little bit of pride when she finally remembered.

A few months later I stopped by her mom’s house and she happened to be there. It was fun reliving old memories with her. She’ll probably deny the adoration angle but in my mind it was there.

Back to Jorge’s look of adoration. It was precious. Last year he stopped by in Basin City when I was up on the man lift. I came down and for the first time since the incident met George. Again, adoration.

It is so nice to know that Jorge has not forgotten. I know I will never forget.

It took me a couple of years before I could tell the story without tearing up.

Some people don’t believe in miracles.

I do.

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My wife and I acquired and keep a nameplate on a file cabinet just so we can always remember the Lord’s helping hand that day and to count our blessings.

In the last few months, I’ve published 34 posts. Unfortunately, I’ve got another 43 ready to go. I’m restraining myself by instructing my wife to lop off another finger whenever I put it on the “Publish” button. I’m very aware that it’s so easy to get too much of me.

The possible 500 cash giveaway is coming Saturday. I do hope we draw someone eligible. If you’re not a blog follower, head to the top of the page and get signed up. To date, four people have missed out on the easy money.

I feel bad. Nichole was picked to win the five hundred bucks Saturday but she hadn’t done the necessaries. She just got on Fb and realized her near miss. She then threw in the following post:

Anyone who enjoys intelligent, idiotic humor, head over to recoveringidiot.com to check out Ben Casper‘s blog. Seriously, why are you still reading this? Go. Now! The Casper’s Christmas cards were the ones we anxiously anticipated each December due to the wit, hilarity and real-life stories. Thanks Ben! Hey idiot, still reading this? Get your own recovery on and head to the site.

Thanks Nichole!! Remember, you’re not out of the running. Become a blog follower and share Fb posts and we just might draw your name again!

So Cameron Yount’s name was drawn this morning from my Fb bank of friends for the $500. Unfortunately, Cameron had pulled out of Facebook a while back and hadn’t done the necessary steps.

I decided to do a redraw for this week. Looking at my list of Fb friends, I discovered from last night until this morning, someone had decided to quit being my friend. This is most likely from one of the following reasons…

  • They didn’t like my post concerning my attitude about burning and/or the Dept of Ecology
  • They were tired of being my friend
  • They were mad that their name hadn’t been drawn for the $500
  • They were like a former Fb friend of mine that I have known for many decades. He threw me off his Fb account when I made a post wondering if Obama was going to steal stuff and vandalize the White House like Clinton did when Bush took over. Talk about a thin skin!
  • Their occupation is bureaucratic and they don’t like the guilt that crops up inside when people like me start venting about them and their “work”.

I guess I don’t really mind if I lose a bureaucratic and red-tape packing friend or two.

So the name produced from the redraw is Nichole Davidson.

 

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Nichole lost her father Joe a few weeks ago. I miss the happy soul. He had a choice at one point in his sojourn and did me right. I like, even treasure friends like Joe. Good friends are a valuable commodity in life. Especially in today’s world.

I would love to be done with this giveaway and hand over the dough to Nichole.

Nichole, let me know if you did your due diligence and are eligible!