Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Drink your Moxie" and stuff...

The following is adapted from a reply to a friend’s “Mrs.Calabash” email in which his cohort of readers were extolled to “make sure we drink our Moxie”:
Hello R,

I'm sitting here with a glass of Moxie that will soon need to be refilled.  It was a good day indeed!  Good to see you and M after this winter.  Kristen* is sitting with her crutch on my rocking chair here in the living room and my batch of war nickels that I thought I'd paid too much for are on the table waiting patiently to be put away.

* Kristen is a Vermont Teddy with a bandage on her leg, wearing a hospital jonnie and holding a crutch.  She was ‘adopted’ at the flea market Sunday morning.  I know her name is Kristen because her wrist band says so.

Today was even busier than yesterday!  Mum and I went first to [our local] town offices to pick up the paperwork to make my little flea business legal.  Then we went to the insurance company to make the van legal.  That took the rest of the morning trying to figure out if I'd need commercial plates or if I could 'get away with' regular passenger plates.  Standard passenger plates here in Marxistchusetts cost $50- for two years.  Commercial plates are $40- per thousand pounds GVW.  Since the van weighs in at just under four thousand pounds that comes to $160- for two years.  (They round up.)  We ended up deciding on the commercial plates.  Hopefully I won't need the van long enough to have to renew!

Then we went to the bank in the lobby of the building where I work to get some cash to move over to my business account in another bank.

After going to yet another town hall to get a certified copy of Mum's wedding certificate for the Social Obscurity Office we went to my other bank to make the deposit.  While I was there I also ordered some checks for the business account.  I couldn’t find any but the starter checks when I went looking for them before we left the house.  It turned out that we hadn’t actually ordered any! 

After that we went to New Hampshire to see if I could get my hands on some TSA knives to go through for my collection, um, I mean, to sell at the flea market.  Yeah that's it...  To sell at the flea market!  (Herr looks around randomly whilst whistling…)

But they were closed. 

Mum was told on the phone that they were opened until four but the sign said they were only open until three.  And there was another sign on the door that said they won't be open for public sales again until June!  Something about an auction…

<expletive deleted>!

Oh well.  It only cost us most of the afternoon, a bunch of gas in Galileo and $4 in tolls to get there…

We got home with plenty of light still left (in fact it was still bright and sunny out even as I was writing this yesterday afternoon) so I set about moving Thunder. 

Thunder is my other van.  He's a 1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia full camper.  Thunder weighs even more than the flea van.  Nearly five thousand pounds, if memory serves.  And he's been sitting in that spot for about two years.  What's more I'd forgotten that as I was getting ready to put him up on jack-stands to work on him I'd set the parking brake.  Two years ago.

Thunder did not want to move from the spot to which he'd become accustomed.

I tried moving him on Saturday with a little block and tackle that uses paracord and with my flat bar under his back wheels.  Not a chance!  In fact I snapped the paracord in the process.

Sunday after the flea (and a very pleasant lunch with some good company!) Mum and I went over to Harbor Freight where I picked up a 4000lb. rated come-along.  I figured the 4000lb. one should be adequate since I'm trying to move Thunder - not lift him.

I extended the cable with the tow rope I keep in Galileo's 'oh crap' bag and some more paracord wrapped in about five loops to make up the foot the cable was too short.  After putting on as much tension as I dared with the winch I got out the big crowbar.  The one I remembered I had after I gave up on Saturday.  Working the passenger side back wheel with the bar didn't do much.  But when I tried on the drivers side I felt the brake come free and the van actually moved a few inches!  I moved Thunder about half of the distance with the come-along and the rest of the way levering the back wheel.  His back wheels are now sitting where his front were for the past two years.  It may not seem like much, but that lets me park the flea van in back of Thunder and opens up the carport for Galileo.

I hope Galileo appreciates all my effort on his behalf!  I think I'll go refill my Moxie and take a couple of aspirin!

Oh by the way, those war nickels turned out to have cost me less than melt!  So even they are in the money!
My friend replied with the following:
Good Lord, [Herr]... "I'd" have registered the van as a passenger car. Much cheaper, and I don't appreciate the advantage of "commercial tags". Glad though, that all has been accomplished.
     That old Westfalia camper of yours sounds scary at this point. Locked wheels will need pulling off. The brake shoes must have rusted in place. Don't know if you can do mechanical rebuild stuff like that, and hope you now don't just have another lawn ornament on your hands like your bug that sat [at the old house]! Oh Lord!
     We enjoyed seeing you two on Sunday too. We're so glad that the flea has started once more! Next Sunday we'll do it all again, and perhaps this time, the weather will allow M and me to set up our junk.
     Talk to you in a bit......... R ;-)

I replied back with this:
Fritz, my antique beetle that we sold last fall (and star of the world famous Official Rules for Punch Buggy), is back on the road with his new owners working on restoring him.  Hopefully Thunder will be too one day.  I had advertised him on Craigslist a while back and will before long again most likely.  I could do the work myself - if I had the time.  I don't.  That's why both cars sat so long.

The commercial plates are a legal requirement here in Marxistchusetts.  It's yet another way the .gov tells small businesses we're not welcome here.  It's all about revenue for the Commonwealth (a concept they are taking much too literally these days.)  While the van has windows all around like the passenger version, the headliner ends at the cage behind the front seats.  There are no seats in back and no mounts in the floor to attach any to were I to find them on Craigslist for cheap.  What is back there are shelves intended for tools down both sides.  Clearly this is a commercial work van.  Any Marxistchusetts cop that might drive up behind me on the road could easily tell that is what it is.  I don't know what the fine is for having passenger plates on a commercial vehicle, but you can count on it being steep.  Then I'd have to pay for the tow and the storage.  And I'd have to get commercial plates to put on it anyway or I wouldn’t be allowed to drive it out of the impound yard.  And on top of that I would not be reimbursed by the RMV for the balance of the time left on the passenger plates when I turned them in.

So as much as I'd love to save the $110- difference in the price of the plates, I believe it would end up costing me hundreds more in the long run to see how long I could "get away with it."

It sucks to live in a communist hellhole!  That's just one more reason I'm so wanting to own that house [that’s for sale in another state].

From behind enemy lines here in Marxistchusetts,


And a little follow-up for my loyal reader here at the Dragonfly:

I picked up the plates today at the home office of the insurance company.  That’s when I found out that in Marxistchusetts, while passenger plates need to be renewed in the month the car was registered two years hence, commercial plates run from January 1 to December 31 two calendar years hence.  And if you register your van in April your plates are not prorated for the three months you are not getting.  

Just a little more evidence that the former “Massachusetts Miracle” has long since gone the way of the dodo. 

Why does our economy suck?  Because the Commonwealth believes in Robin Hood!  They seem to think that anyone who has or wants to start a business has buckets full of cash sitting around doing nothing and that if the Commonwealth could just get their grubby paws on it they could redistribute it in ways that would do oh so much good for all the regular folk who don’t have these imaginary buckets of cash.  (At least to the ones that vote in the approved manor…)

The longer government policy remains based on fantasy, delusion and outright lies the harder it will be to repair the very real damage those policies are causing.

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