Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vacation with TEN kids...

Decided to go visit my oldest daughter in Salt Lake City so we put the camper on the truck and loaded up the family and headed north. Just about an hour out of Phoenix the truck decided it didn't want to run anymore and just lost all power, coming to a stop on the side of the road. I turned it off and we sat in silence a few minutes contemplating on what to do next. Finally I turned the key on and it started back up but was running quite rough. We turned around and headed back towards Phoenix but Taylor convinced me to turn back around and try to stretch our luck. Well, we hobbled into Vegas with the truck way under powered but still running. I drove down the strip to show the kids all the billion dollar casinos and my old stomping grounds. They were shock-ed and amazed. By now it was about two in the morning and we decided to keep on trucking. Four hours later in Cedar City the truck flat out died but I managed to coast into a Auto Zone. Here I bought a new fuel filter and changed it. This helped out a little and the truck started back up but still was running on only four or five cylinders. We pulled into Salt Lake and the next day I took it down to the Ford dealer. Walking into the service department a service tech came up and said, "How can I help you sir?" I said, "I'm looking for someone I can bribe," Motioning with his hand toward his cubicle, he said, "Come right this way sir." We went in and he shut the door. "So what do you need," he asked. "Basically, I bought the worst truck Ford ever made and I"m sick of dumping money into it and I'm just wondering if you could run this through the service department on someone else's warranty or something like that," I said with a smirk.
    "Weeeeell, if the truck was a few years newer I could help you but ever since this depression, Ford has put the screws to all the dealers and won't allow us to do any warranty work without proof. But...I can line you up with a mechanic that works really cheap." So he calls over a mechanic and we walk outside to discuss it. He proceeds to tell me he can work on his own time at the dealer and use all their tools and get Ford parts under wholesale prices and that he would charge me thirty bucks an hour instead of one hundred  ten bucks that the dealer charges. I said "Go for it," and he had it fixed and done the next day for twelve hundred bucks instead of three grand the dealer would have charged. Four injectors were shot, plus the fuel pump. Believe me, while there I was mighty tempted to trade my rig in on a new 2011 gas model. Folks take a lesson from this. Don't ever buy a diesel truck unless you are going to use it for what it was made for......towing large loads. First of all diesels are 8 grand more then gas pickups and all diesel parts are way more expensive and diesel fuel is now 50 cents a gal more then gas! So, if your are going to make money with your pickup, then by all means buy a new Ford diesel (not chevy or dodge..heh) and and giv'er ell man.
    Now with that all behind us we've been here for a over a week. Of course the weather was terrible during the whole week with snow, snow, snow. The Wasatch  Mountain now have a record amount of snow totaling fifty feet deep! Should have went skiing but we didn't. Maybe next time.
   Today is the first beautiful day with great temperatures and full sun shining down on us, and we're LEAVING! waaaaaaaah.......
   One very positive thing happened while here was I meet with a friend who is going to build me a website and help publish my book. FINALLY, hooray!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Borrowing from Mom's house :(

   I know it definitely looks like I fell off the edge of the planet, but I"M BACK! for at least a post or two. I decided to take advantage of my dear Mother's Internet for now.
    A lot has happened since I last posted so I'll try and catch up a little here. I have been very busy with my orchard and ranch. We have had only about 2 inches of rain since Jan of 2010! Unbelievably dry. We normally get about 16 inches a year. The July-August monsoon season didn't rain at all, neither did it rain with the Dec-Jan winter rainy season. So, the river didn't even get muddy, much less flood. And now, with the dry weather, the cattle are starting to show it. We have been moving them around the ranch, mainly down in the river area. So far this season we've had over 120 calves born, so at least that's going good.
   To make matters worse we had a cold spell a month or so back and it got down to 11 degrees! That is the coldest temperature ever recorded here, and what a disaster it made. I lost over 1200 pomegranate trees! My brother Aaron lost as many or more. It froze all the vegetable crops in northern Mexico and prices have doubled already. The normal coldest temp here is about 25 degrees. I have to say, the weather is going NUTS. I know it sounds like I'm complaining but I'm not. When I see what's happening in Japan I count my blessings and pray for them, wow it is sad.
    I want to give my condolences to my good friend Thomas in Dallas who just had another relative killed in the violence in Juarez Mexico. That is so, so sad and it makes my blood boil when I think of the dastardly murderers who kill to get gain. They are sick bastards! I'm sorry for your loss, my friend. May God bless the family of the innocent victim.
   Good night all.