Monday, September 20, 2010

Living with less is more

I am not writing today out of envy to those who make the big bucks, but to mention a few of the things I do to get through this life, spending less and keeping happy.

1. I have no credit cards. I have managed to live without that weight around my neck for the last twelve or so years and have gotten along just fine without them.

2. I have no car payment. I've had many cars over the last forty-four years and have had one car payment in my life. In 1975, I borrowed $ 1000.00 to buy a 71 VW camper. All the rest of my cars were bought outright. When one vehicle tells me it's tired, I start saving and planning for the next one. I have never paid more then $ 2000.00 for a used car. The majority of the cars I have bought were about $1000. The 89 Volvo I am driving now, I paid $ 1200.00 about six years ago.

3. Garage sales can supply many great things at a fraction of the cost of new. Three years ago, I got a beautiful sofa for $ 20.00 in perfect shape, fitting into the perfect space in the living room, and even matching the existing rug! My entire stereo system, I bought used: Bang & Olsen speakers $ 40.00 Kenwood receiver $ 20.00 Teac direct drive turntable $ 35.00. Stunning dinning room chairs (one, hand painted and priceless to me) $100.00

4. Thrift stores such as Goodwill, etc. are great values also. I have gotten pants, dress coats, coffee percolaters, wine glasses, paintings and more for a pittence.

5. I'm not too proud to stop at the curb and pick up a thing or two. Some of the prizes were a violin (which I fixed and sold for a profit), several beautiful paintings, a rattan love seat which I patched up has lasted for over three years and now ready to go back out on the curb again. I love finding odd hunks of wood/lumber left on the curb from someone's project leftovers. Wood is very expensive at the lumber yards or hardware stores.

6. Make something into something else. I salvaged a CD rack for the 1/2 inch dowling to repair furniture joints, cut into molding, etc. A roll about dishwasher, no longer working is stowage cupboard in the kitchen and shelf for the microwave and toaster.

These are but a few examples of how to save big, stretch the ole dollar, and allow one to keep a few bucks in the pocket to treat the family out to dinner on special nights, buy a bottle of good wine and much more. Almost all of my musical instruments, I have aquired used, saved a bundle and gotten a higher quality than if bought new. Almost never buy a new book; people give them away, libraries have sales, and the book shelves are full in my house.
Many go out and spend to find happiness or to quelch their bordome. Since I stopped watching TV & going to the movies years ago, I find I have more time to read, write (like now!)learn how to fix things and most of all compose my music. Everybody is not a musician or composer, but I truly believe God gives everyone something that they do better than anyone else. Everyone has a special gift and it's up to each and everyone to find it and enjoy it.

God Bless

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Food Critic Instal. 2

Friday, Theresa and I usually go out for dinner, fish fry for the most part, but not always! One of my favorite places is Antonetta's Italian Restaurant 1160 Jay St. on the west side of Rochester. It's only open for dinner on Friday nights and during the week for lunch.
I usually aspire to try new dishes at restaurants, but it's hard at Antonetta's. It's hard to get past the sauce here. It brings back the memories of my mother's kitchen. Anyways, I almost always get the spaghetti and meatballs; it's that good! Last night was no exception. Theresa decided on the triple Parm plate: Veal, Chicken and Eggplant.
The place is old fashioned Italian decor; intimate, with tables with the red and white checked tablecloths, photos of Frank Sinatra on the walls of the back dinning room, and sports pics on the walls of the front room. The setting is intimate and the clientele, a mix of nuns, police, blue collar workers, families, all coming back for the best Italian eating in New York State.
Theresa licked her plate clean, while I left a small amount of sauce on my plate. I just simply could not eat another bite! A small salad, the house Chianti, and nice crunchy Italian bread rounds out the meal. I have never been able to eat desert, my tum tum too full!
The place is almost always packed; lunch or Friday dinner. One will never be disappointed with their meal, and oh yea, at a very modest price! This is the place to go for the best food in town; bring an appetite!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


September 15, 2010
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Reading 11 Cor 12:31-13:13
Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The case of the fickle bulb failure

Most of you know I drive an old 89 Volvo. Well, the brake light went out on the right rear side. There is removable panel in the back to get to the bulbs. The bulb holder is removable by turning the holder counter-clockwise. The whole holder comes out so you can change the bulb easily. Re-assembly is in reverse order and the three bulb connections line up with three stationary points on the light assembly. Well, now that the car is 21 years old, the three stationary fingers that make the connections are worn out and one even broke away. I modified the assembly by removing the bulb holder, drilling small holes in the connection tabs, soldering three wires to the tabs, covering with shrink wrap, and crimping male spade connectors on the other end of the wire I just soldered. I removed the stationary connection tabs on the light assembly, and plugged my new wires into the original with the spade connectors, replaced the bulb connector. Hmm, with the stationary tabs removed from the light assembly, the bulb holder would not fit tight in the light assembly. A small block of wood with some duct tape wrapped a few times around it, fit behind the bulb holder and wedged it in the light assembly neat as neat. To change the bulb, I only need to pull out my block wedge, remove the bulb holder from the light, and pull it out from the compartment. I made sure my new soldered wires were long enough to pull the bulb holder out far enough to change the bulb. Cops love to pull ya over for a stupid light out! Long live Gustoff, the Volvo!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

That's Right, Pass the Blame

I read this morning where BP, the oil giant is blubbering about how the giant mishap is not all their fault. That's as non relevant as a ship captain sinking his ship and saying "I'm not to blame; I did not build the ship.!"

It does not take rocket science reasoning to figure out many things fell into a sequence in order for the accident to occur. What bothers me is the irrelevancy that their statement does to my intelligence. Because of their "oopps," that incident and many others are pushing our beautiful earth over Niagara Falls in a tuna can.

Lets see how fast we can destroy our planet. We are cutting down and ruining almost all of our tropical forests, blasting away our mountain tops to get to coal faster, polluting our oceans and sucking the crude oil out of the earth's crust, eliminating our wild lands in the name of settlement, and who is profiting from all this? Why big corporations, of course!

There really will never be an end to the folly. Power is perverse and corrupted. Power controls the entire world, elects the leaders who will make the laws to benefit the power that is destroying our entire world.

I wonder if God ever gets a stiff neck from shaking His head at our maliciousness.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Food Critic

OK, I'm a breakfast person for my mostly two meals a day. Today, Saturday, Theresa was with her son, getting him settled in his dorm to start his first semester of St John Fisher College, so I decided to go out to breakfast than do some chores at home while she was gone.

I usually go to a great all day/night diner in Rochester but today for time and distance sake, I decided on somewhere a bit closer. I picked Jim's Restaurant on Main St. I have had not too good luck there twice before but I figured, it's gotta be better today! The other two bad times was just a quirk.

I went in and over to the counter. The waitress came right up and asked if I wanted coffee. "Yes, please" I replied. She brought over a cup and pot of coffee, filled the cup, walked away to some other customer and plopped it down. She came back, smiled, and took some other customer's orders, stopped back by and said "I'll bee right with you." Then she proceeded to take more orders from others, and came back by and said something, I did not understand, than went to yet other customers, leaving me sitting there still without coffee. I waited there, trying to be patient for a few more minutes, observing her going by me several more times. I got up and walked out. Three strikes and they're out.
Double thumbs down to Jim's Restaurant, Main St Rochester.

I got in the car and drove the extra distance to my usual diner, Gittzie's on Monroe Av. and enjoyed my western omelet. By the way, I got my coffee, right away, and was served the wonderful omlette in less time than I waited for my coffee at Jim's.

I highly recommend Gittzie's if anyone is ever in Rochester!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Thank you, God for making me an un-educated plough boy

Sept.2, 2010

I read in the news today, oh boy! Stephen Hawking says there did not need to be a God to create the universe. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing."

Just a quick refresher on Stephen Hawking; He has been the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, the same post held by Isac Newton.

OK, how can I, little ole me, question the mind of a world class genius? I have often noticed that some of the most intelligent people I have encountered, did not believe in God. Math was my worst subject. I must trust those with bigger brains to do the "Math." I have heard arguments against Mr Hawking's statements.

Our entire universe set up could not have been created from nothing. Everything about it hangs on precision movement, alignment, and yes, gravity. If we did not have other planets revolving around the sun in those particular orbits, or if our axis was not just so, or if any one of millions of things was not just so, we would not be here. Nuff said bout that.

As to the bible argument, if Genesis is not correct, then why is it that all the other books in the bible are credible? There were many prophets that foretold of Jesus's coming hundreds and hundreds of years before Him with surprising accuracy. All of the predictions so far in time were dead on, therefore, why then should I not believe the predictions yet to be fulfilled? It seems so strange that the bible would start right out being inaccurate.

Back to the question of why the most intelligent people (I've run across) find it so hard to believe in what I seem to see as plain as the nose of my face?