oh well

I went for a thirty mile ride today.  Ten minutes into the ride a bug flew in my mouth.  AACGHH!!!  .............  Nothing more to say.


Staff Sgt. Frankie Zoly Molnar

In my last post I linked to my latest books. One of those books was a story about men in the Korean War. This post, with Memorial Day weekend beginning tomorrow, is in a similar vein. In today's local paper, The News Tribune, there was a column by Rick Malwitz honoring Staff Sgt. Frankie Zoly Molnar. He was born in West Virginia but resided in New Brunswick when he enlisted in the Army. Thus he is listed on the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall. This entry is due to my never being able to understand how all the young men in the service, especially those that saw combat, in whatever war or conflict, did what they did. Selfless service. This posting honors all of them who served and are serving our country. While I was nestled safely in the hills of western Pennsylvania attending college, there were young men my age being put in harms way and doing the job they signed up for. This is not to question the reason we were in Vietnam. This is, as I said, to honor all those who served. Sgt. Molnar was one of those. He served and he gave his life.  He was given the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

Here is part of the article that appeared in the paper today. It is the citation that accompanied the Medal of Honor. The full article can be seen

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SSGT Molnar distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry during combat operations. Shortly after the battalion's defensive perimeter was established, it was hit by intense mortar fire as the prelude to a massive enemy night attack. SSGT Molnar immediately left his sheltered location to insure the readiness of his squad to meet the attack.

"As he crawled through the position, he discovered a group of enemy soldiers closing in on his squad area. His accurate rifle fire killed five of the enemy and forced the remainder to flee. When the mortar fire stopped, the enemy attacked in a human wave supported by grenades, rockets, automatic weapons and small-arms fire. After assisting to repel the first enemy assault, SSGT Molnar found that his squad's ammunition and grenade supply was nearly expended. Again leaving the relative safety of his position, he crawled through intense enemy fire to secure additional ammunition and distribute it to his squad.

"He rejoined his men to beat back the renewed enemy onslaught, and he moved about his area providing medical aid and assisting in the evacuation of the wounded. With the help of several men, he was preparing to move a severely wounded soldier when an enemy hand grenade was thrown into the group. The first to see the grenade, SSGT Molnar threw himself on it and absorbed the deadly blast to save his comrades. His demonstrated selflessness and inspirational leadership on the battlefield were a major factor in the successful defense of the American position and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army. SSGT Molnar's actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the U.S. Army."



I just finished the second of two books which I thought worthy of mention.  You can see them by clicking on the link in the right column or here.  Now onto my next book.


Resistance is futile

No it isn't the Borg on Star Trek. But resistance still seems to be futile. What am I talking about? Facebook. The dreaded Facebook. It seems that Pat knows things going on in California with Kevin and family well before I have an inkling. And there are occasions where I don't find out until much later. Lately I have been viewing it through Pat's homepage on Facebook, but now wonder if it is inevitable that I too must join. For example, Kevin puts pictures up on Facebook that never seem to show up on Phanfare, where I look regularly. This also applies to Lauren's family too, but not to the same degree. So, what do I do? Do I keep hijacking Pat's site to see what is going on? Or do I break down and do what I said I would never do? Aghhhhh!! For now I will resist.


Dishwasher followup

I am sure everyone was waiting for the final chapter in the dishwasher saga. Since there has only been one other "chapter", I think this is doubtful. But, nevertheless, I will relate the ending of this story.

I had called "our" plumber after failing to get the small leak to stop dripping. He called me back that evening, Tuesday, and suggested putting some pipe dope on the threads of the compression fitting and some teflon tape on the ferrel itself. After I went to Home Depot to get the pipe dope I undid the fitting, put the dope on, but couldn't get the ferrel out of the nut. It was because I was working under the washer and couldn't get both hands onto the copper pipe. So, I just used the dope. Result? Still leaking, drip.............drip.............drip.

Next morning plumber calls me to ask how I did. I explain my futility and he said he will come over to fix it for me. But during the night I lay awake for more than a few hours worrying over my problem. This is standard procedure for me. In addition to the small leak I thought about the fact that I couldn't really get the unit to feel solid and set in the opening. I tended to move a bit when the door was open or closed. Not good. Also I wondered if I had tightened the clam enough on the drain hose. The instructions called for tightening to at least 16 pounds of torque. Who the hell has a torque wrench? So, with all these things in my mind I told George, the plumber, that I was going to call the store and see if they could send out an installer to reinstall the unit.

When I called the store that day they were surprised that when we were in the store buying the dishwasher that noone mentioned installation. They gave me the number of the installer and I called him but he was busy that day and the next. So, today, Thursday, he finally came to bail me out. I debated whether to admit that I was the boob who couldn't do the job or blame it on a ficticious friend. Because he was a nice guy who I got a good vibe off of right away I went with the honest approach.

His basic solution to the leaking compression fitting was to trash the copper tubing that was in place from the old unit and replace it with flexible tubing. If I had had that I might have been able to do the job. But I wouldn't have been able to make it feel solid and part of the cabinetry as he did.

When all was done I thanked him for bailing me out. He said it is all about working with the same thing over and over and getting comfortable with doing it to get the confidence. For me it is knowing my limitations. And going forward I will try to remember them.


Know your limitations

Being a homeowner there have been opportunities for me to do some plumbing work as part of routine maintenance as well as upgrading and improving the house. The first decade in the house I made futile attempts to do simple plumbing repairs with very poor results. Numerous trips to Channel or Rickel (years before Home Depot and Lowes) provided little help and there are many copper pipe connections in the house that are covered in epoxy to stop the one drop a minute leak that was the result of my work. In the years since then I have learned my limitations and have employed a plumber whenever there has been a need for plumbing work. There are exceptions to this however. Those occasions involved drain work and toilet repair, basically where there was no water pressure involved to produce a leak. But with the new compression fittings I even installed a faucet now and then. So, when our dishwasher died last week and we purchased a new one I removed the old one and saw that there would be one simple compression fitting in the installation of the new machine. That should be simple enough. No solder to sweat into joints. A simple compression fitting. Well it was delivered today at two o'clock, and after getting it all installed, leveled, wired up, and water supply connected, I turned on the water and ran a rinse cycle as directed by the instructions. And laying on the floor with a flashlight I saw it. The one drop a minute that has defined many of my plumbing jobs. I tightened the nut a bit more. Now the drip was maybe a minute and a half. Another quarter turn on the nut. Still a drip. So, what do I do now. Simple really. Turn off the water supply and call the plumber; which is exactly what I did. I left a message for him explaining my situation and now I wait for his return call. I became over confident and didn't listen to my own words....."Know your limitations."