My brother, Kevin Washington, was selected by his peers at Diplomat Pharmacy in Flint, MI, to participate in a pie making contest. He told us a few weeks ago about doing this, but initially he wasn’t going to do it. At the last minute, as my younger bro is prone to do, he decided to enter the contest. He entered a caramel apple pie. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Now Kevin has long been know to be a great baker, so we hoped he would do well. He told us what time they were having the judging at the Flint Farmer’s Market and my wife Amy and I decided to go and support him.

Once we got there, we saw a panel of three judges and seven entered pies by the contestants. Just like on those shows on the Food Network, I was trying to gauge how the judges liked it by there reactions and if they cleaned their plates or not. That didn’t really seem to help a lot. One of the judges was almost licking the plates and one was taking the smallest of bites from each pie. The other judge fell in the middle somewhere with her style of judging. The audience could test out a few of the pies and make our vote but not all the pies. My brothers pie was only on the judges table so we had no first handle knowledge of how it would taste or if we needed to start mean muggin some of the judges. After a few tense moments (tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock) and teeth grinding the results were in.

Third place went to a pretty lattice topped apple pie, CRAP. Maybe they won’t want anymore apple pie. Second place…wait for it, the apple pie presented by, drum roll please, KEVIN WASHINGTON. First place went to a nice lady with a pumpkin pie, but I will be honest I was barely listening at this point. I was so happy for him. They had it set up that after the judging, members of the audience would be able to try out the pies. By now I can’t wait.

I didn’t try all of them, but I tried Kevin’s. It was GOOOOOOOOOOOD. It had a nice flaky, buttery crust, and a nicely sweet filling and wouldn’t you know it it was still warm. The temperature made it feel like you were eating pie at home and not at the local Farmer’s Market. I asked him how did he keep it warm but I won’t give out his trade secret. For me that made a big difference. All the other pies were cool in terms of temperature. Kevin’s pie just needed some ice cream. ……………………………………………………………………………………………..Oh, had to catch myself there. My eyes were rolling to the back of my head for a minute just thinking about it. Whew.

Well enough of me talking about it, Congratulations Kevin. You did yourself proud. Just remember us little people when you make it to the big time and are on Food Network, or getting one of those giant checks.

Remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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The day before I wrote this I took my truck to a local self serve car was and gave the engine the old soak to hopefully get some of the gunk off instead of getting it all on me while doing this repair. I know it’s still going to be a dirty job, but I  can try and get rid of some of the grime, right.

Got a few parts from the UPS man needed for the repair. The main part I needed hasn’t made it here yet, the FelPro Gasket set. It was scheduled to be here for another 4 days, but I was optimistic.

Tomorrow I will go to the store and pickup a few items, like drain pans, DexCool coolant, etc.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Remember…you don’t have permission to quit.

 

Jeffrey Washington

NeverQuitEver

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As many have said across the airways and internet since yesterday, Steve Jobs was a great man and I wanted to impart my personal feelings. We lost a giant in the technology industry that won’t soon be replaced. My heart goes out to his family as well as the Apple Computer family.

Most people have never met Steve Jobs; that includes me. My relationship begins with an iPod shuffle that I bought years ago. It was that old long white one that held about 256 MB of data. That Christmas, I received a $100.00 dollar gift card for my gift from my in-laws. As I’ve done many times before, I kept the gift card for several months, while I made the decision on what I wanted. I recalled vaguely hearing something about an item called an Ipod and thought I would go to Radio Shack to check it out. I had no other experience with mp3 players so this was completely new territory for me. As I said I picked up that shuffle and took it home. I was so pleased at how easy it was to add music to it through itunes. I barely had to read any instructions. I loved it. I didn’t like the lanyard that came with it, so I bought this long, small cellphone case and kept it in there. I took that thing everywhere with me. My 11 year old son has it know, but my heart has always been with that first one.

Over the years I’ve obviously upgraded to newer versions and passed down the older ones to the family. They all have their own newer ones now.

The one thing I wished I had been able to do is to perhaps talk with my father about them. I may have even bought him one or two by now. My father died in 1982 at the tender young age of 41 from a heart attack. He was a lover of music and had a pretty extensive vinyl album collection and a few 8-Tracks. Remember those?

Just the other day, before the death of Mr. Jobs, I was telling my wife, Amy that I wished my Dad was here, as I would have wanted to import a few newer versions of those old albums on to an Ipod for him. I think he would have loved it. To be able to take you entire collection of music with you in such a small package, still boggles the mind. I wish he could have experienced that. To the best of my knowledge he didn’t even get to see CD’s.

I’m so appreciative of the service that Mr. Jobs gave to the world. His love and passion are really inspiring. He brought countless to people an existence that was completely missing before him. I’ve listened to so many, artists, podcast, audio books on the go that I would have never been able to experience at home. The next time I’m doing a foot race, I’ll look around and see all the people with some version of an ipod or mp3 player and will think good positive thoughts about our friend, all of our friend: Steve Jobs.

 

Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

 

Jeffrey Washington

NeverQuitEver

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I’m taking the plunge. For more time than I care to admit, my 1996 Chevy Pickup has been running a bit rough. The idle is around 1500 rpms, while your sitting still instead of the normal of 600 rpm. I’ve taken it to a couple repair shops and have been told by both that I need my intake manifold gaskets replaced. The first place I went to said they would charge around $600.00 plus parts and knowing how much they mark up for parts, the job probably would be hovering around $900.00 or so.

The second shop flat out told me that the cost would be around $1000.00. Welll, that gave me plenty of pause. I had to buy a set of tires last year because the slipping and sliding was getting a bit dangerous. Along with the higher revving engine, I hated driving my truck in the winter. Now what is the purpose of having 4 X 4 pickup in a part of the country that gets its fair amount of snow if you can’t drive it. My sentiment exactly. The elephant in the room is $1000 on a fifteen year old pickup truck with 140,000+ miles.

I’ve always wondered if this is a repair that I could do myself. I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty. Just this summer, my youngest child, Jorden, helped me put a new alternator in the truck after it bought the farm. We had a good time and felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment after we completed the task. Compared to intake manifold gaskets, I imagine, this will look like child’s play.

I checked around on the internet and was happy to find a couple sites, where regular guys like myself, chronicled their experiences with this very same repair. They discussed the parts needed, had plenty of pictures and a lot of text explaining what they did and the problems they faced. I was elated. The parts appear to cost around $150.00. I would only have to input the time.

Well I checked around and found all the parts on Amazon.com and ordered what I needed. I thought about just going to a shop nearby, but some of the parts were significantly cheaper for the exact same item and manufacturer. I’m taking the plunge and I think I will take along this blog for the ride.

I consider this somewhat a story of keeping up with a survival skill as it is important to learn new things and save any money you can to put in more important areas in your life and family.

This will probably be an ongoing series of a few blog posts chronicling how it all went. I’m looking forward to the truck running much better and getting back to being fun to drive. I’ve got a feeling I’m really going to test my motto found below. 🙂 Wish me well.

Remember…you don’t have permission to quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

 

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The sky is blue and the clouds are few, what now are we going to do. I guess we have to pay the bill. (Priceless)

Finally that slow moving rain storm left the midwest. It must have been camped out for a week or so. It looked like it went from Michigans Upper Peninsula to the Mid-Ohio Valley, Minnesota to Buffalo, NY. It was moving east at a snails pace. It wasn’t a lot of rain, just persistent and unpredictible. Just ask the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees. Even they got rained out on the last day of September.  Well moving on.

The crew came back and finished our roof.  Actually one of the guys from the crew came back on Sunday evening around 6:30 pm and worked until dark. He told me he wasn’t scheduled to come, but thought he would try to finish the job if he could since he was in the neighborhood. We were so impressed with his dedication, we gave him a small token for his troubles to buy lunch with or something. On Monday morning the 3rd, he finished up everything and did the final clean up. Oh Happy Day.

Our house is dry and I love that. We have to pay the remainder of the bill. Do I love that? Well not so much. 🙂

I’m glad we went this route. If I had done it myself, I would still be doing the tear-off part. These guys have so much skill that goes along with their experience. Watching them stand backwards on the edge of the roof, laying down the first row or two of shingles reminded me I was way out of their league. I’ll stay in my lane.

Now on to the next project.

 

Remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

 

Jeffrey Washington

NeverQuitEver

 

 

 

 

 

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