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Thread: So... Once Upon a Time...

  1. #91

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Now that is a cool story.

    Good Samaritan x2.

    The police officer must have been thinking "hmmm" lol.
    John 3:16

  2. #92
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    There was a hint of suspicion!

  3. #93

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Hint of suspicion.... you shoulda got a medal.


    So 1 year ago yesterday I was finally able to correctly guess that "type what you see here" correctly and actually join this site. If memory serves it took a bunch of tries to correctly type in the box what I thought it said. I want to say for a few evenings I tried until one evening it let me through.
    Within a short time I got the confirmation email.
    But the 1st three posts required the same.

    I had been landing here as a lurker for a few weeks and was curious what members see vs guests. I really had no intentions of posting very much, or participating in many discussions. 4000+ posts in a year...well that didn't work out... but anyway....

    I posted #1 and logged out. Later after fighting with the "type what you see here" box again I knocked out #2 and #3. I logged back out.

    Welp it was some time before those 3 were approved. Back to the "type here what you see" box. Dratz!! I had read a ton of threads in many locations and so I knew this was a well moderated, orderly place. Seemed kinda scary at first. Lots of "thread closed" were seen where a discussion was taking place and WHAM! Thread closed. Well I knew from countless hours searching on car forums where legit questions were asked and by post 4 the thread was way off topic and the question never answered... this would not be the case for flashlight info here. Yet I did get the occasional pm from mods and was corraled in a few times.

    I remember my first pm from a mod that did not advise me of a policy I had violated. Nice.

    Looking back, it was a time where the Coast HP-7 was the greatest flashlight in the whole wide world in my mind. Folks wrote "yeah I like them too, but mine are in a drawer now."... as it turns out 1 year later so are mine. Back then the 300 lumen thing was the norm with quests for 500+ being the typical and speak of cracking the 1000 from a single emitter. Pft, that's same ole stuff now. Only 500? Are kidding?
    Man I was happy with 250 after using mini mags for my search lights for years. Using a 'titanium' colored HP7 to see the top of a light pole at 250' in the rain for the first time... Wow! Anything brighter than a 2 log campfire in a handheld flashlight was unimagined by me at that time.

    Tonight I begin a night shift at work. Back at the same project where it all began. The job was completed but some items have failed during the 1 year warranty period of this heavily travelled roadway. So lanes are closed at night to perform repairs. It was the project where the car crashed into that truck near the workers.

    I spent yesterday getting info for duties involved, meeting folks and generally getting familiar with what is going to take place. Today I'm going through a mental list of my favorite flashlights, what they meant to me upon the first uses, what fuel they use and deciding which ones will go with me tonight. My wife took over the 'titanium' colored HP7 so my brain says "arrive early, go to Lowes and purchase another one." My first 2D Mag LED...the 'pro' is on the list. So is the fairly new tech Streamlight ProTac HL4 with its frosty 2200 lumens. A couple of rechargeable cop lights will go too. A Stinger and an early model LED Strion. A couple of PK products and a Malkoff or two will go. And my trusty SureFire G2x Pro will certainly get some playing time.
    A Coast headlamp was purchased the last night I worked last year, so it'll get used for the first time as my last night was rained out back then.

    Being a huge fan of incans I figure one or two of those will be used for plan reading or low light needs. But the construction folks use light plants that mimic sunshine. So LED brightness is needed to light up shadows mostly.

    I'll spend the remaining 'dog days of summer' 016 working at night. If all goes well by mid september I'll be using sunscreen again. But last year a 3 week stint ended up being 4 months... so we'll see.

    Either way it'll be nice to get paid while playing with flashlights. I am supposed to be sleeping while typing this, but I'm too excited thinking about all the flashlight time. Plus the trashman in the neighborhood has my dogs all wound up.

    It's been a fun year.

    Edit:
    There is a vast assortment of lights to choose from. But I'm finding that for night shift on a construction site my duty lights with their bright white beams are in my bag.

    This place has taught me a lot. I hope that I'm able to pass it on at times. I've e-met a ton of cool people, had lunch with some, exchange messages with some and speak on the phone with some. If the Lord takes me tonight my wife and family will never have to buy another flashlight, nor batteries nor bulbs. So there is that.

    But most of all as my body has gone through some changes, partly due to mileage and past mistakes but partly due to father time... my brain has been stimulated during the adjustment period. Yet most people in my daily life have no clue I am a flashaholic. lol.

    Thanks for letting me in the door folks.

    Next night edit:
    Tonights commute was about an hour before the eternal flashlight turned off for the evening. On the way it occured that about this time last year I was commuting at the same time. I had just purchased an LED Mag 2D and was shining it on road signs a quarter mile away getting all excited that they'd illuminate in daytime... trouble was I was doing that while driving, yacking on the phone with my wife and photographing it. I contemplated repeating it.
    Tonights thought was "man are you crazy?!"
    Another thought was how exillarating it was then. I'm still having a blast, but at least the excitement is contained long enough to drive safely. lol
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-11-2016 at 08:52 PM.
    John 3:16

  4. #94
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Wow how things change.

    Last week, after having lunch with some friends, I stopped in a Walmart near where I grew up. A predominately white neighborhood. Irish, Polish, German, Italian. The area is a mecca for immigrants. The latest influx has been Hispanics, and Asian Indians.

    Remember when you were in High School, and someone dropped a dish in the cafeteria, and everyone clapped and cheered? Well, yeah, some of us never grow up

    So here I am looking at some camping equipment, and some guy and his lady friend pass by a stack of 8 garbage cans, stacked one inside the other. Somehow, he managed to snag one of them, and they all fell over. He was a little embarrassed, and started picking them up to stand them back up. Of course the kid in me just couldn't let it go I had to let out a ohoooooooooh

    He looked at me and laughed a little. I smiled and went back to looking at those emergency blankets. Then, out of the corner of my ear, I heard someone calling... I turned my attention to the direction of the sound. It was him... calling me... "Hey... White Guy" "WHITE GUY!" He smiled and gave me a salute, and I saluted back, we both laughed, and went on our ways.

    WHITE guy!!! Is that how I stand out now?
    Boy oh boy, things have changed.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  5. #95
    Flashaholic CanadianSurvivalCompany's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    You sir are so correct on so many levels hahaha
    Providing objective views on quality gear and tools
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  6. #96

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Poppy, I was raised to be color blind regarding flesh tone. But like you, whenever I visit "the old neighborhood" it is pretty obvious that things have changed.

    What troubles me is how many folks are angry at each other over their skin tone, dress code or generation.

    But I still hold the door for strangers and notice others do for me as well.
    So as changes occur in the old hood some things stay the same. Everywhere you go there are still ladies and gentlemen. They just look different these days.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-31-2016 at 06:50 PM.
    John 3:16

  7. #97
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    When traffic stopped on I95 as I traveled north through South Carolina, I got a hotel room. Before settling in for the night I went to a supermarket to get some snacks.

    After a bit I realized I WAS the only WHITE GUY in the store. It didn't matter. If you are light hearted, and treat people kindly, they'll treat you the same.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  8. #98

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    When traffic stopped on I95 as I traveled north through South Carolina, I got a hotel room. Before settling in for the night I went to a supermarket to get some snacks.

    After a bit I realized I WAS the only WHITE GUY in the store. It didn't matter. If you are light hearted, and treat people kindly, they'll treat you the same.
    Walk softly and carry a bright flashlight sir.
    But seriously it just makes me smile to see perfect strangers greet each other with common decency. And you probably made that dude in Wally World feel like hero instead of zero.

    Hopefully those folks in the old hood can make their way up the ladder and also look back some day with the same happy thoughts of their humble beginnings also.

    What bothers me is when folks think"this is as good as it gets" never realizing that quite possibly it is just the starting point.
    John 3:16

  9. #99

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Ok, so I'm doing this EPIC passaround thing here at the site at the request one histories most influencial flashlights dudes ever. The products to pass around did not have batteries. Well I wouldn't invite folks to my cook out and expect them to bring their own mustard and ketchup, right? But dawg gonnit my 123's are down to 4 battery stations and a Panasonic. I need 8.

    Ok, order online Friday afternoon knowing package goes out Monday? Or go to a local battery store and buy Streamlights for $2.50 each? Store it is.

    I get there and checkout dude is like "hey bro, where you been?"... I'm running on fumes after only getting like 6 hours sleep in 3 days. I'm thinkin "whothuhell is this cat?"... and so I said "whuthell are you talking about?" He says "man you don't remember me?" Ok I've not been there since winter...
    Anyway I toss a 12 pack of 123's on the counter and go look for 16650's. They didn't have any. Dude man has rung up my batteries and given me 33% off. Cool.

    So I say "can you get me some 16650's?"... he goes and grabs 18650's. I say "naw dawg I need 16mm's." He enquired why and I answered for flashlights with 16mm tubes and he replies those 18650's will fit. Uh oh.

    Ok it goes back n forth for a minute and dude is insisting they'll fit ANY flashlight that takes 2x123's... I say "dude that's a BOLD statement... matter of fact I'll bet you they won't."
    I grabbed an overpriced ProTac HL3 and say "I'll buy this over priced piece-o-*** and every 18650 in your store if it fits." If they don't you toss in another 12 pack at your cost.


    Easiest bet I ever won.

    Turns out my wife knows the guy and she's trying to tell him do not bet my husband. If he bets more than a Pepsi it's because he is going to win...
    I left the store while he was Googling 16650's. For good measure I said "look up www. 17650's too while backing out through the out door" lol.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-13-2017 at 12:00 PM.
    John 3:16

  10. #100
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Easiest bet I ever won.

    Turns out my wife knows the guy and she's trying to tell him do not bet my husband. If he bets more than a Pepsi it's because he is going to win...
    I left the store while he was Googling 16650's. For good measure I said "look up www. 17650's too while backing out through the out door" lol.
    Oh man... I literally laughed out loud. !!!

    My wife would bet me on a regular basis, and then change the conditions of the bet... I never got paid, even though I should have won.

    We are more alike every day my friend. I am not a gambling man. I almost never even buy a lottery ticket.

    My dad will offer a Penny bet, then make you look it up to prove your point. Oh my goodness, the presentation that he'll make giving up that penny! Yet, when he wins one... he'll gloat, and claim that he will polish it and place it upon his mantle, with his other won pennies. It's all in good fun.

    But like you... don't bet against me, for more than a buck, or... you sir, are going to lose.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  11. #101

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    The day I met Tony Hawk.

    It was around 1979 or 80. I was ate up with skateboarding, covered with scabs or scars and had a noticable limp at 16 years old.

    I hung around with guys in their 20's who had full time jobs and surfed a lot. They'd go to a nearby skatepark on Tuesdays... L Skates team got to skate all evening for $1. I was picked to be on the team. Nice.

    At some point I'll tell the story about the adventures of riding there with Paul Spain and why people begged to ride in Joeys Corolla wagon instead....

    Anyway there was this area of a snake run shaped 'ditch' of sorts that I rode in a lot. I tended to ride alone doing tricks that slid the board around but kept it near the ground. The older guys did acrobatics that would scare Evel Knevel.

    This one Tuesday there's this van full of dudes that pulls into the parking lot of the park and out came some fellows who were surrounded by chicks and photographers. Hmmm

    Well the L Skates team were hanging around with local hot shoes Mike something or other and Nicky Cosgrove. The two best skaters I ever saw.

    In comes the crowd of folks from the van and their paparazzi. Nicky says "cool it's the Bones Brigade." I went about skating my little spot all alone, looking up and seeing this Stacy Peralta character and Steve Caballero... folks I'd seen in the magazines. There were some other folks I'd never seen before but dawg gonnit they were doing some crazy stuff. Even Nicky was like "I've died and gone to the big pool in the sky" as these folks were doing 360's air out of the parks pool, leaping from bowl 1 past bowl 2 and landing in bowl 3 so high it looked like they could jump a house.

    I couldn't help but notice the antics of these guys. And they were all laughing and joking while time stood still in my little world. I'd still skate my spot and at times stop to watch the show. The L Skates team, Nicky and Mike were standing around mesmorized. I'm just rolling back n forth in my little chunk of snake run shaped like 3/4 of a half pipe with rounded tops.... smooth, smooth, smooth.

    Here comes this tall lanky kid who looks like he's 10 years old wearing pink shorts. He goes whizzing down the snake run and leaps over into the next bowl. He nearly crashed into me in the process.
    A couple of minutes later he rides up and says "sorry" but I just nodded my head like "it's all good kid"... he rides off, does some more amazing stunts and rides back up to me. "My names Tony, you skate pretty good wanna come skate with us?"... I'm thinking who me? I suck... so I said "thanks, be there in a minute" but I never went over where the crowd was... too much chaos for me with chicks popping gum and photographers popping pictures... I just wanted to ride my skateboard. Nicky and the L Skates team had asked me to skate with them every Tuesday in vertical wall portions, the pool and other spots they loved, but were why I limped, had scabs and scars and just preffered to skate mellow spots while my wounds healed. Those famous guys were skating those areas too... nah no thanks.

    The next issue of Skateboarder Magazine in the "who's hot" section was that tall lanky kid... none other than a 12 year old Tony Hawk.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-24-2016 at 08:14 PM.
    John 3:16

  12. #102

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Love the Bones Brigade. Stacy and Steve are my two fave skaters! So jealous...

  13. #103
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Nice story Mr. bykfixer, skate board rider, knee skinner.

    You put a lot of miles on those old bones eh?
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  14. #104

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    Nice story Mr. bykfixer, skate board rider, knee skinner.

    You put a lot of miles on those old bones eh?
    Indeed. But I can predict the weather better than the guy on tv...

    My mom used to say "geez as much as we spent in this orthopedics this year it looks like they'd have better waiting room furniture".
    John 3:16

  15. #105

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephron44 View Post
    Love the Bones Brigade. Stacy and Steve are my two fave skaters! So jealous...
    I'd forgotten all that until recently receiving a jacket from a friend...



    Stacy and George Powell re-united to form "skate one" and put out reproduction items along with Skate One long boards.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-13-2017 at 12:08 PM.
    John 3:16

  16. #106
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    This weekend we did a Friday through Sunday cabin camping trip with the cub-scouts. The kids really had a good time. The leaders had classes on Scout lore, First aid, fire building, shelter building, knot tying, and compass orienteering.

    First aid was taught by one of the dads, a Registered Nurse. He did a terrific job! He then set up a bunch of supplies in one of the cabins on a table. The kids had to run around and find staged injured people, go to the cabin and get the needed supply for the particular injury, bring them to the victim, and discuss how they would apply first aid. "Hands-On Learning" is the best teacher.

    I taught my grandson 6 knots, and he and a few of us taught the other 15-20 kids. We then went outside and had a tug of war. The big kids against the little kids (there were a few more little kids). The big kids dug in a little bit, but won without an excessive amount of effort. Ah... but now the learning comes in. I gave the little kids the advantage of tying off to a tree, and using a pulley. With the mechanical advantage of almost two to one. At first they surprised the big kids, and the whole line started to move, then the big kids, REALLY dug in, and for a moment, the line stopped. The little kids pulled a little harder, and the big kids were plowing up dirt with their feet, but couldn't stop the little kids.

    It was a great learning experience for all involved.

    LOL... you gotta love it when a plan comes together, eh?
    Last edited by Poppy; 11-13-2016 at 09:12 AM.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  17. #107

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Another great story from a "good joe"...

    My first grandkid is a boy. My wifes oldest and I had a big blow up a few years back. He's still mad at me. I drew a line in the sand and he crossed it.
    Long story, but suffice to say I don't see this guy taking the boy camping unless his pop gets his attitude right.
    John 3:16

  18. #108
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Hopefully, with age comes wisdom and the understanding of what is really important. For him, not you... And hopefully the little guy doesn't suffer for it.
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

  19. #109

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    Hopefully, with age comes wisdom and the understanding of what is really important. For him, not you... And hopefully the little guy doesn't suffer for it.
    Thanks Scout. The little guy will be fine. He is surrounded by loving folks including his dad.
    Sometimes lines get crossed that there is no going back from. It's kinda like a bowl of melted ice cream... never the same.
    My wife was stuck in the middle for a long time so these days I keep my distance to ensure her and the grandkid won't be caught in any crossfire.

    At one point somebody had to be the "bad cop" in the deal. Me. Then as the boy moved from house to house with other family members those others decided they too preferred I be the bad cop. Years have passed, they all forgot the role they placed me in and now act like... well they still want me to be the bad cop at holidays and such so they don't have to. Like I don't have feelings or something.

    I took up for the boy when he was innocent and came down on him when guilty. At 31 years old he still resents the bad cop (forgetting all the 2nd chances). Maybe he'll be pissed at me forever. Don't know, don't care.

    I just know that baby is going to be ok. That's what really matters.

    Boy did we have some adventures back then. One year at thanksgiving his grandma pulled her 44 on him type adventures. lol. Not the kinda 'camp fire stories' for this thread, but those were exciting times that's for sure.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-14-2016 at 07:55 PM.
    John 3:16

  20. #110
    *Flashaholic* Chauncey Gardiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Some adventures?! Reads like dysfunctional turmoil to me.

    I had the misery of occasionally being around an older sister/drug addict for the better part of 25 years. I remember the Thanksgiving when it finally occurred to me that I wasn't responsible for making her behave. I literally felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. She died at 57 a few years ago. Another weight was lifted when I was finally able to forgive her for all the ******* **** she put our whole family through. She never sobered-up or asked for forgiveness.

    GrandPa, Fixer, Have you forgiven your stepson, and told him so? You're not responsible for his reaction. It'd be a shame for you and your grandson to miss-out on the pleasure of each others company.

    ~ Chance
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  21. #111

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    This wasn't about drugs or that stuff. It was about a mixed up kid who didn't think rules apply to him.

    He crossed some boundries you don't come back from without genuine remorse. The remorse is not there. So I stay steadfast in my resolve to protect those around me.

    In life you have sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. It's my role as sheep dog to protect my family from the wolf. If that means I don't get to know the wolf's pup... I'm ok with it.

    I have friends who've faced the same deal. Raising angry step-kids is not a new thing. Sometimes we compare adventures of life back then and laugh pretty hard at the strategies and struggles. Then we raise our glasses and toast the ones who ended up going the right way.

    My wife's middle one was 10x harder to deal with. That meant bad cop had to ratchet it up a few notches. He is going the right way now and hopes to council troubled youth someday.

    When the youngest came home with red eyes and cotton mouth I reminded him his two brothers were practice for me to get the technique down if he decided to follow their lead. And that I couldn't wait to try out my new dictator skills. He decided after his 'so-called friends' rat'd him out for their crimes that was not the life for him. (Phew! I was glad.)

    I used to tell my wife "we're those people you only see on tv". She'd laugh and say "can we change the channel?"
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-15-2016 at 03:54 PM.
    John 3:16

  22. #112
    *Flashaholic* Chauncey Gardiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Reads like a wise choice of action if he's still living the part of the wolf.

    ~ Chance

    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  23. #113

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    ^^ the baby and I hung out all day yesterday.

    Last night while laying in bed wondering if Rolaids should be on the bedside table my mind started wandering back in time to numerous Thanksgiving meals of days gone by.

    My life has kinda been in episodes. The awkward little kid, the brash teenager, the 20 something year old dad, the divorce years, the "this might be the last one with my dad" years and now the settled twighlight years.

    By 2am the wife was snoring loudly and my mind had turned to all things Bykshop. Before that point I remembered the year of the 'electric knife' where my uncle whips out this contraption that looked similar to a miniature hedge trimmer. We'd eat at my grandmas house and play croque' after. My uncle was one of those "the Jones" guys who had the best car, the best gadgets, the best shoes... crocodile skin loafers, big ole Cadilac car.. you know the type. My dad rolls his eyes knowing his old faithful carving knife was way better. Eh, I was like 10.

    During the teenage years we couldn't wait to get this thing over so we could go hang out with friends. If I had any regrets it would probably be that period. Thinking back I realized a lot of great football moments took place. Roger Staubachs hail Mary is caught just in time to take the win over the Redskins. Being from Viginia you were a Redskins fan at my grandmas or you ate your dinner in the kitchen... seriously. There was a breakfast nook in there. Nobody wanted that distiction so everybody at least pretended to be a Redskins fan that day. (I was a Ken Stabler Raiders fan.)
    After the meal about 20 people would be packed into a 9x9' den watching a 13" black and white tv. Yup, My grandma never owned a color tv or a cloths dryer.

    Time passed and the teenager was a 20 something year old father of 2 baby boys. My sister had kids, my twin had kids, and my oldest brother had kids. Holy crap that 9x9' den was crowded. Well that won't do and grandma was alone in the big prep because my mom had suddenly died. So then it was time to have dinner at my house. And I had me one of those electric carving knives buddy. One year I asked my dad to carve the turkey. He promptly left and returned shortly after with his razor sharp carving knife. Thinking back, that was the juiciest turkey ever. He swore the knife could make or break how dry the breast meat was or wasn't. I don't know about all that but he was a turkey carving master.
    We had dinner at my twins a few times but his was chaotic and unprepared so the fam-damily insisted it be at my house. At my place dinner was served promplty at 2pm. At my twins it was not telling when we ate underdone bird, overdone pies and really crunchy stuffing. lol. One year I had bought my grandmas house and we had dinner there. The following my first wife and I had split up.

    During the divorce years dinner was at my sisters at the beach. The first couple of years my ex wanted the kids at her moms and my sisters place was 3 hours away. So I'd pack up whatever floozy I allowed the honor of riding to the beach with me, hang out at my sisters a couple hours getting all stupid drunk, acting like a complete @$$ then go back to my hotel room and drink until I passed out. A couple days later I'd visit a local fish store for grill food and end up buying cases of wine to take back home.
    My siblings all rode with my dad who insisted on returning home the same day. Yeah, the first couple of beach years were a flop. One year I had my kids and my dad etc stayed the night. That one was fun filled. I stayed sober, the others played nice together and we'd made a weekend of it. At that point both my brothers were divorced, but they had their kids too. The "grownups" I knew as a lad were all dead except my pop.
    So with a bunch of little kids we'd fly kites, play yard games, board games and generally have a blast. Oh, and my brother in law was an awesome cook. We'd have BBQ'd bird, or Italian bird, Asian... all kinds of ways to prepare a turkey.

    Well a few surgeries later my dad couldn't make the trip anymore. So everybody piled into my dads house. Now the issue there was the little kids were all super-sized, but my dads house was not. I remember one year sitting on the floor in his living room watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving... my pop was nodding off in his easy chair when Snoopy was battling the lawn chair. My pop wakes out of his stuper and says "WHAT THE HELL ARE YALL WATCHING!?" A chorus of "Charlie Brown" rang out.
    In a huff he got up and went to bed.
    The following year... same scenario, but we're all watching football... he says "why aren't yall watching Charlie Brown?" lol. At that point the idea was 'this might be the last one with grandpa' as he was growing more feeble as time went on. So we put up with 20 people packed into a tiny kitchen, grouchy gus grandpa who hated to have all those house lights on... and all the noise of all those people interupting his peace and quiet. Yeah, that one ended abruptly when after walking the planet solo for a decade I was dating a girl who soon after became my wife.
    My siblings were relieved when I asked "you guys mind if I take dad to ma-in-laws this year?" "GO FOR IT!" they said.

    At some point my sister and her daughters became Vegans, but swear deviled eggs aren't meat. So they refused ham, turkey or even my famous slow cooked lima beans because they were cooked with ham-hocks in the sauce. Poor brother in law never gets to fry turkeys anymore so he goes hunting on Thanksgiving day alone.

    One year my wife had tossed out 'the wolf' who moved from house to house. Her family was pissed off at us so there was no turkey day as usual.
    We had a small gathering at my current house with my dad and our kids. That was the last one with dad and my wifes moms husband passed away suddenly just after Thanksgiving that year. She had the wolf living with her at that point.
    The next year she had boot'd the wolf and mended fences with my wife. We ate at her house again. This time without my dad (RIP). The wolf shows up unannounced with this gay pothead who'd just gotten out of jail for attempted murder of his mother. The dinner was cool with no issues other than the wolf refusing to remove his hat at the dinner table. Later, the wife and I were leaving. Everybody else had left but the wolf and his weird friend. I asked the wife if we should stay. "Nah" she says.
    So like 15 minutes later we were about a quarter the way home when my ma-in-law calls my cel phone to say thanks for coming. I asked if she was ok because she never calls people after 9pm. It was 10. She says "I am now... but I pulled Rays 44 on those 2 idiots and told them to leave". They were saying they weren't leaving without her giving them all the leftovers. In essence they were going to rob grandma of the leftover Thanksgiving food.
    So we turned around and hung out at her moms for a while to ensure no retaliation occured.

    It's been at my house ever since. Her family finds comfort the fact the wolf is not allowed on my property. They know I'm not going to wait some 30-45 minutes for the cops to show up, but will take care of business, then call the police.
    Last year was remarkable since my wifes middle son had turned from his evil ways, gone sober, had a full time job at UPS and graduated high school. When I handed him a jar of cranberry moonshine for a taste his eyes got huge. "Who me?"... That was my way of saying well done... the hatchet is officially buried. He took a taste then hugged me.
    I had been a flashaholic for about 4 months and after dark was playing with my Malkoff'd stuff.
    This year the youngest had turned 18. He peeled the potatos and made the stuffing. My wifes middle son carved the turkey. My wifes oldest son, the wolf was working since at his work they were serving the Troops. And his baby boy hung out with us. He is one month old and is still learning what his hands are for..stuff like that. The weather turned out ideal as a dank cloudy morning turned into a mild sunny afternnoon. After the meal was done and dishes put away I stepped outside for a smoke and noted how absolutely quiet it was. See, I live near the interstate and when the wind is out of the east there's a steady din of tires rolling over asphalt at 75mph. Yesterday the gentle west bound breeze was nearly silent except for the sounds of it passing through nearby trees. Oh, and I heard happy children in every direction.

    As time has passed and episodes have unfolded the family has grown, shrank, and grown again. My sister and hers are so pissed off that Trump won the election they refused to answer my "happy Thanksgiving texts"... even though I wrote in Ben Carson. lol...my oldest brother cut fire wood all day and didn't participate at all, and my twin... I don't know where he was this year. We still get along great but for whatever reason the topic of discusion was never "whatchyou doin' this year?".... Probably because his mother in law is a whack job who always stirs up some kinda drama at their gathering.

    At 2am today I had a big smile on my face, and elbow'd the wife for two reasons. First to get her to change positions to stop the snoring so I could get some sleep. But second to say "hey baby, how about next year we do a green bean cassorole like my grandma used to do?" I hear "ok zzzzzzzz". lol

    It also dawned on me that all 3 homes I ever bought, they've all had hip roofs.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-25-2016 at 10:33 AM.
    John 3:16

  24. #114
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    That is a very poignant piece of your Family's history. Thanks for sharing. I get a peaceful easy feeling that things are going the way you intend they go. All the best.

    Prometheans #253

  25. #115

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Life is like a river. It flows wherever the force of nature takes you.
    - Augustus McCray, Lonesome Dove

    I'm glad to not be stuck in some edy Sgt.

    The 67 Cougar:

    My first Hot Wheels car
    Yup I still have it.

    I was 4 (or so I've been told). We were in Sears looking for whatever my parents went to Sears for. That little hot rod caught my eye. Apparently I talked my mom into relenting 49˘ for a scale replica made by Mattel. The Hot Wheels cars had just been launched. Of course I didn't know all that back then. I just knew I wanted that toy I suppose. See, 49˘ was a lotta money in 1969. It was a bad time to be an 18 year old male in America. A few neighbors went to Vietnam. A couple didn't come back.... alive anyway.

    Years went by and numerous other Hot Wheels car were obtained. Every little boy in America either had some or wanted some... GI Joe, Big Jim and Evel Knevel had nothing on the little Hot Wheels lineup. They were tougher than a Tonka Toy and cooler than a 5˘ pop fresh out the soda machine.

    At some point my mom cleaned up my former room to turn it into a sewing room like most moms do after the youngest child had left the nest for good. She placed toys in metal tins. It was a great time to be an 21 year old male in America. The Nixon/Ford/ Carter recession was ending, Morning in America was in full motion and I had just gotten married to my high school sweetheart.

    One night eating dinner at moms place she handed me a lard tin full of my old toys. That Cougar was in there. At about that time a college chum asked if I knew anybody who wanted to buy a 67 Cougar. It was burgendy with a black top. Ok in the grand scheme of things months are minutes when looking back. So it may have been a year or two between the re-unitement with that Hot Wheels car and acquiring the life sized version, but I bought the car from the guy.

    It was sitting under a tree 30 minutes from my home out in the country with a broken motor. But it came with a working engine.
    I made the drive cash in hand and bought it as is. Uh, bad move. I'm buying a house while attending night school and raising a family on a entry level government employees wage.

    I'd make the 30 minute commute to begin pulling out the old engine, which was ready to pull after a couple of adventerous afternoons. The dudes brother was a complete moron and was prone to do the darndest thing at the drop of a hat. One memorable experience was ducking shot gun pellets as he was blasting away at a tree one day. There were other events as well. But the worst was when he removed the tarp from my back up engine to cover his motorcycle in a rain storm.

    The motor was ready to pull. The car was positioned for pulling the engine via a come-along from a tree branch. With the motor tranny combo 90% out the branch broke and the transmission poked through the windshield. DOH!
    A tarp was duct taped over the hole later.

    Time to rebuild the spare engine. Pull off cylinder heads to find rusty water on top of the pistons. At some point dudes brother had put the tarp back on the engine so we never knew it had rain water inside. Pistons were frozen. I took the block to a shop in hopes it could be saved. Nope. Rust had entered the cylinder walls past the depth any bore could remove and still find rings for.

    So I bought a crashed Maverick with a straight six hoping to modify things enough to work. I had the Cougar hauled to my back yard. The Maverick was taken to the former home of the Cougar, donor parts removed and it went to the scrapper. Custom motor mounts were acquired to plant that six. If it were an air cooled system it woulda worked. But the length of those cylinders inline caused fitting issues with a radiator installed. Craaaaaap!!!

    So I found an XR7 version of the car, again in the country. The motor along with chrome strips, a windshield, better seats, headliner, emblems, an uncracked dash board and a bunch of XR7 accessories were purchased. Being out of funds the car sat while I saved pennies for an engine build. By then nature had begun to return the car back to it's natural elements. Time to start the restoration process. At that point I had about $1500 in the car and just borrowed another $1500 to build an engine and paint the car. In my life then that was like $15,000.

    I removed the cracked dashboard and installed the nice one. Time to swap out seats. They had plastic covers over the bolts under the car. I plucked a cover off and a football sized chunk of under carriage came with it.
    Oh No!!!

    The floor boards were completely rotten from stem to stern. Another day I noticed the welds in the trunk area had disintigrated too. At this point I was like 3 grand into the project and now the chassis is crumbling? I'm done!!

    I put the car up for sale as a $500 parts car. No takers after about 100 days. I lowered the price to $100. Still no takers. I placed an ad for a free car... just come get it.
    Still no takers. So I called local junkyards. They actually had the nerve to want to charge me to take it away.

    I donated it to charity. Yup, emblems, chrome strips, seats, windshield... everything but the hubcaps, XR7 wine bucket and original (never issued) license plates. I kept those and the engine.
    What a drag.

    A couple years later I sanded the hot wheels car to bare metal and sprayed it with a custom color model paint blended by a friend who was liscensed to make model paint for certain NASCAR cars. Once the paint cured I applied a few 'dings' to the body as an attempt to replicate the project car that had never reached fruition.

    That one and some others are still part of my man cave display to this day.



    These days I'm into year 4 of a 1997 Honda Prelude restoration. The project has been sidelined for about a year while I pursue other avenues. It sits under 2 nice covers until the day I decide to resume. But my thoughts at times are on that Cougar and I wonder if that same fate awaits. With todays internet I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have to donate that one to charity. That combined with my son owning one and some friends who do as well, the parts n pieces would be placed into their projects. So at least there's that.


    So while this waits...


    This is the current project


    After some activity yesterday
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-23-2017 at 04:01 PM.
    John 3:16

  26. #116
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quite some stories you've got there Mr Bykfixer!

    I'm glad that your Thanks Giving Day went well.

    Back when my kids were about 7 and 12, my wife and I took them to see the Macy's Thanks Giving Day Parade. As is typical, it was a cold, rather dank day, threatening either rain, or maybe snow.

    We planned to get there early so that we could be right up front with the kids. But of course, we didn't leave early enough.

    I dressed in a warm insulated jump suit, and wore this really ugly smurf's blue polyester fleece hat, that was complete with ear muffs, and a tie string. It wrapped around the back of my neck, and was just warm and snuggley.

    I carried two Spackle buckets with covers. One had cookies and snacks, and two thermoses of hot tea, and hot chocolate. The other had extra warm clothing, and rain gear for four.

    I asked... "Hey, does anyone want to carry one of these buckets? When we get there, you can sit, or stand on them." LOL.. no takers.

    Of course, my pre-teen daughter was embarrassed to be in my presence, and I overheard her tell my wife... "Let him walk ahead of us. I don't want anyone to know that he is with us!"

    Sure enough, when we get to the parade, we are five people deep to the curb. No sooner than I put one bucket on the ground, than my son stepped right up on top and was able to easily see over the crowd.

    I put the other one between my legs, and straddled it, so that no one would trip over it. Now... standing in front of me, is my pre-teen daughter, struggling on tip toes, trying to see over the crowd, and looking a little to the left, and a little to the right, trying to catch a glimpse of the parade as it marched by. THEN she would turn around and look at that other bucket. NOPE... she would struggle, trying to catch a glimpse. FINALLY, she couldn't stand it anymore, She turned around, moved that bucket, and stepped up onto it! Yahoo!

    That was one of those few times, that I actually got to do my HAPPY DANCE! (LOL... not really) but it was one of those little victories, that I'll never forget.
    ------------------------------------------------------

    A few years later and we went again... this time when I asked if anyone wanted to carry a bucket, there was no problem. No question. Yahoo!

    So... we are walking through the Port Authority (a major bus terminal) and everyone stops for a potty break. While standing outside with the buckets, I am approached by a Police Officer. I opened them up for him to see the contents, and told him the story of years past. He laughed and walked off.

    So... they come out of the rest room and we head for the exit. Ah yes... there is the officer. He points to me, and then the buckets, and said, with a big smile, "Hey... you going to the parade? Great idea!"

    I laughed... "Yep! Thanks!"

    My daughter turned to me with a scowl on her face... "You were talking to him... weren't you!"

    Er.. ah... yeah... guilty

    ---------------------------------------

    Fast forward to Thanks Giving 2016.

    My son, and grandson.

    Last edited by Poppy; 11-26-2016 at 01:49 PM.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  27. #117

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Smurf hats are cool.

    My job requires I'm outside all day.
    In winter we have outdoor meetings at times. The office dwellers make fun of my attire as I'm ready for the long haul, not the fashion show. They show up dressed to walk from a car to a building.

    "You cold?" they quip with a laugh. My answer is something like "in 20 minutes I'll still be warm, hopefully you will too"... after 30 minutes I could probably auction my smurf hat for $100....
    Last edited by bykfixer; 11-26-2016 at 03:32 PM.
    John 3:16

  28. #118
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    I am WITH you bro. It has been a LONG time since I was concerned about being arrested by the fashion Police. Function over style, is my motto.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  29. #119

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    I am WITH you bro. It has been a LONG time since I was concerned about being arrested by the fashion Police. Function over style, is my motto.
    When my boys were little I read an article in Readers Digest called "daddy cool". It was about how it was more important to be cool to your little kid than to the crowd. There was a photo of this fellow walking along a beach riddled with bikini clad chicks while he had on a goofy dog hat with his little boy riding on his shoulders. He was not ashamed to be seen as some goofball by the crowd as doing right by his son was more important. That stuck with me but...

    There was that time when my first wife wanted to go Christmas shopping but demanded I change cloths first. I wanted to wear my bright red/orange/yellow plaid wool pants with a black and white checkered dress shirt. Oh it was quite the loud combo and she refused to be seen with me whenever I wore that combo.
    Eventually those pants and shirt mysteriously disappeared along with my completely worn out leather Nike's. She never dug my 'punk rocker' look for some reason but did put up with the doogy choker chain clasped at both ends by a master lock. Oh, she never liked my magnetic clip on ear ring either. But I knew fashion is a temporary thing and never (to this day) got a piercing or tattoo.
    Being a foward thinker back then I didn't want to end up as that guy with a faded wrinkled up tattoo, holes in my ear lobes for no reason or worse... that guy who thinks disco will be back any day now... you know the type...

    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-23-2017 at 04:02 PM.
    John 3:16

  30. #120

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    Once upon a time... stories around the campfire.

    Once when camping with some friends, we had cooked some burgers or steaks for dinner, and had all eaten. There were a couple left on the grill, and we were asked who wants the last one. Sitting there with my fork in hand, I reached for it and jabbed it to put it on my plate. Unfortunately for my friend, he reached for it with his bare hand. Opps! Sorry, fortunately I didn't break his skin, and I jabbed for it again... lol... opps! he had reached for it again... this happened THREE times! We all laughed, no one was injured and there was no malicious intent.

    Sometimes, I guess the fork is an essential survival tool for obtaining food.
    Reminiscing my campfire moments with my friends, too

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