Friday, December 14, 2007

How I Found A Great Mechanic and Other Stories

One evening last year, as I was leaving the Three Rivers Food CoOp, I came upon a dread discovery as I attempted to start my car: the battery was dead.

As I pondered what to do, a kind man approached and offered to jumpstart my car.
Soon the cables were hooked up to his truck and I turned my ignition.

Smoke, sparks, noise and nasty sounds erupted. People began running away from me (and my car). This included the kind gentleman.

It occured to me that it probably wasn't a good idea to sit in a car that was going to blow up. And so, I exited my car--- just in time to see one man race toward me against the fleeing mob. A man, who apparently was willing to give his life for my automobile.

As he reached the burning jumper cables, he pulled his jacket sleeve down over his hand for protection and knocked the fiery cables off my car, thereby breaking the connection between the two vehicles....and saving my car from incineration.

Such began my relationship with Stan and his lovely wife Emily, owners of Goshen Road Auto and Legal Chop Shop. :-)

It was a sunny June day (just this past summer) when I stepped out of my house and (horror of horrors) discovered that my battery was dead. Since there were no kind passerby whom I could ask for an improper jumpstart, I decided on the next best thing....I would call AAA.

Very soon, the AAA tow truck driver arrived in a flatbed truck. However, I had a few misgivings. The gentleman, who came to assist me, looked strangely like he had come from the Rescue Mission. (It was later observed that perhaps he was confused and thought he was working for AA).

Still, I calmed myself with the thought that he was a professional and that this was his area of expertise. At least it was a calming thought until I watched him rip a hole in the front bumper of my car.

He assured me that his company would pay for damages. He asked me where I wanted my car taken. There was no doubt.

"Take it to Stan at Goshen Road Auto."

A little while later, Stan called me to tell me the good news.....the car had arrived just hadn't been secured in its journey. Luckily, Indiana terrain is pretty flat so it makes it more difficult for cars which ride on flatbed trucks to roll off and kill people.

The next day, when I visited my Mazda at the Auto shop, I discovered I had a new problem. Stan informed me that I would need a lawyer for the car damage reimbursement from the AAA tow truck company. As I talked to Stan and several police officers, I began to suspect Stan was right:
  • The owner of the tow shop was a lead member in the Outlaw Motorcycle gang and.......

  • the owner had felony battery charges filed against him after beating up a gentleman outside a certain nameless establishment. The gentleman later had a heart attack.

  • the owner was a possible suspect in his mother's murder.

  • the owner did not pay certain bills for damages incurred on City property; payment was finally obtained when the City billed his insurance directly.

Apparently, I was attracting some very bad k(c)arma. I wondered how I might drive it off. "Maybe I should ask Stan," I thought. After all, he had figured out how to actually fix my car so I was certain that he knew something about k(c)arma.

It was later on at the Chop Shop, that Emily showed me some fantastic jewelry which she kept on hand in a display case. I surmised that perhaps some customers were more comfortable shopping for jewelry at their local auto mechanic than at the mall. (I think WalMart built a business like this). The jewelry itself was beautiful. However, I already knew that you could get good jewelry at the Chop Shop. After all, it was several months before, that I had taken home a lovely pendant-- originally used as the main fuse to protect the electrical system in my car from the off-hand encounter with crossed jumper cables.

Several months later it was time for my seasonal auto service check for winter. I sat with Stan and Emily and talked about my frustrations with the medical treatment that my father was receiving in the hospital. We laughed and we cried. And they gave me hugs. All while my car was being serviced. It was a bargain.

Stan pulled out several bottles of homeopathics and Bach's Flower Remedies. He also pulled out numerous nutitional protocols for various medical problems. Stan just so happened to have this helpful medical information tucked away in a drawer near the spare auto parts. I thought his medical advice was more sound than that of the physicians we had been consulting.

I guess it was inevitable. I am now considering switching to my mechanic for all of my health care needs.

It is now apparent that I can no longer keep Goshen Road Auto a secret. I must spread the word... for mental and physical health care needs and more, call on Goshen Road Auto and Legal Chop Shop. You can get your car serviced there too.

Tell them Sandy sent you.......
Cheers to Stan and Emily!!!

Goshen Road Auto AND Legal Chop Shop

Emily and Stan: dispensers of sage advice.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

You Have Two Cows.....

Bureaucracy You have 2 cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms, accounting for the missing cows.

Liberal You have 2 cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. Instead of giving your neighbor one of your cows, you write to your congressman, demanding that he pass legislation for more government programs to help your neighbor get a cow. You hold a concert to raise awareness for cowlessness. Barbara Streisand sings for the cowless, who can’t attend because ticket prices are so expensive that only people with a herd of cows can afford to attend. You wear a ribbon that signifies that you care about cowless people, even though you really haven't done anything to help them.

Conservative You have 2 cows. Your neighbor has none. So?

Capitalism You have 2 cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

Pure Capitalism
You don't have any cows.
The bank will not lend you money to buy cows, because you don't have any cows to put up as collateral.
You have 2 cows.
You sell one and buy a bull, which you use to breed the other cow as well as every other cow in the area. Then you start exporting sperm from the bull to emerging markets.
After several years of expansion, your company issues an IPO to be listed on the NYSE. The SEC eventually intends legal proceedings against you and your spouse for insider trading. After a lengthy court battle, you are found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison, of which you actually serve 7 weeks. When you come out of prison, you buy 2 chickens. Then ...

American Capitalism You have 2 cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the second one. You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.

German Capitalism You have 2 cows.
You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

British Capitalism: You have two cows. They are mad. They die. Pass the shepherd’s pie please.

French Capitalism: You have 2 cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine. Life is good.

Chinese Capitalism You have 2 cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.

Israeli Capitalism So, there are these 2 Jewish cows, right? They open a milk factory, an ice cream store, and then sell the movie rights. They send their calves to Harvard to become doctors. So, who needs people?

Italian Capitalism You have 2 cows, but you don't know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Life is good.

Japanese Capitalism You have 2 cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top of their class at cow school. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.

Swiss Capitalism You have 5000 cows. None of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.

Russian Capitalism You have 2 cows. You count them and learn that you have five cows. You count them again and learn that you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn that you have 12 cows. You stop counting and open up another bottle of vodka.
The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

Indian Capitalism You have two cows. You worship both of them.

Irish Capitalism You have two cows. You discover that they don’t give beer. You kill and eat the cows.

Polish Capitalism You have two cows. You can’t count that high.

Enron Capitalism You have several cows. You sell 3 of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all 4 cows back, with a tax exemption for 5 cows.

The milk rights of 6 cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Islands company, secretly owned by your CFO, who sells the rights to 7 cows' milk back to your listed company and proceeds from the sale are deferred. The annual report says the company owns 8 cows, with an option on 6 more.

California Capitalism
You have a cow and a bull.
The bull is depressed. It has spent its life living a lie. It goes away for two weeks. It comes back after a taxpayer-paid sex-change operation.
You now have two cows. One makes milk; the other doesn't. You try to sell the transgender cow. Its lawyer sues you for discrimination. You lose in court. So you sell the milk-generating cow to pay the damages.
You now have one rich, transgender, non-milk-producing cow. You change your business to beef. PETA pickets your farm. Jesse Jackson makes a speech in your driveway. Hillary Clinton calls for the nationalization of 1/7 of your farm "for the children." A law is signed giving your farm to Mexico. The L.A. Times quotes five anonymous cows claiming you groped their teats. You declare bankruptcy and shut down all operations.
The cow starves to death. The L.A. Times' analysis shows your business failure is Bush's fault.

Florida Capitalism You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best.

Arkansas Capitalism You have two cows. That one on the left is kinds cute.

Environmentalism You have 2 cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.
Surrealism You have 2 giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

American Democracy You have 2 cows. The government taxes you to the point that you must sell them both in order to pay the taxes to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow which was a gift from your government.

Dictatorship You have 2 cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

Communism You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. The government seizes both and sells you the milk. You join the underground and start a campaign

Existentialism There are two cows. One is standing on the beach, staring at the sand...