Just Walt's Mental Meanderings

Walter Blevins

Walter Blevins
Vista, California, USA
August 22
I'm a 60 year old guy who lives in Vista California with my wife. I spent the 30 years before moving to Cali in Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota. And I have 2 grown children, a son and a daughter who live in Virginia and Iowa and a 22 year old step-daughter lives with us here in Vista. I'm a proud grandpa with 2 grandaughters living in Virginia. I like to write about a whole variety of things from my kids to cooking to politics to the car industry to my status as a "Cheap Bastid" and "Old Fart" and just random thoughts. And I really love writing about cooking really good, homecooked comfort food cheap. That's why they call me the Cheap Bastid. By the way--all the stuff I write is my stuff and you can't use it without my official OkeyDokey

Dee dee dit dee dee dit dee dee dee...Breaking news today from the Associated Press:

 "Washington--The Senate votes Thursday on legislation that for the first time would give the government control over the production and marketing of tobacco products, a long-sought goal that supporters say coulRead full post »

To heck with “fancy schmancy”, pretentious “foodie” fare.  Occasionally we like to get decadant with a super easy dish that is incredibly bad for you but which is just flat out tasty.


I call it 2D’s Toots.  I named it after my daughter and one of her favo/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 8, 2009 11:22AM

Laura Bush "Pleased" about Sotomayor Nomination

This just published on Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Former first lady Laura Bush says she's pleased that President Barack Obama nominated a woman for the Supreme Court.

"I think she sounds like a very interesting and good nominee," Bush said of Sonia Sotomayor, the federal appeals judge Obama pickeRead full post »

Note: This is the first in a short series I decided to write about being a Dad. I know, the OS Book Club has decided to hold off until next week on its Fathers Day writing contest, but I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to do thisRead full post »

Note: See my previous Wednesday posts for Rules 1-3.  Rule 1: Start shopping from home. Rule 2: Shop for your money first. Rule 3: Be realistic about your trade.

You now have the preliminaries out of the way.  You’ve done your homework by researching vehicles and have selected the mod… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 1, 2009 1:31PM

GM & Chrysler in Ch 11--What's Going to Happen Now?

I’ve been trying to put some things about the automotive industry into some sort of mental perspective lately and quite frankly it’s a challenge.


Now, both GM and Chrysler are in Chapter 11.  Bear in mind that this level of bankruptcy is not necessarily a bad thing.  Think/… Read full post »

This morning, Reuters is reporting that former Chrysler CEO and icon Lee Iacocca will be losing both his pension and lifetime company vehicle as Chrysler proceeds through bankruptcy.


Now, I don’t think that Iacocca losing his company car is any huge deal to him. He can probably afford to… Read full post »

It’s Friday morning.  We just got done cleaning in the apartment and Carolyn is back from a run.  And we just got done saving precious California water by taking a shower together.


This is something we’ve enjoyed doing together ever since we’ve known one another… Read full post »

Note: See my OS post of 5/20/09 “Car Buying 101—The 1st 2 Rules of Buying a Car”.  Rule #1 Start your shopping at home and Rule #2 Shop for your money before you go to a dealership. This post starts with Rule #3.

In car sales, over 80% of transactions involve… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 26, 2009 2:59PM

Excerpts from Cali Prop 8 Court Ruling (Strauss v Horton)

It’s interesting that there is so much flying around the media, online and right here in OS about the just issued ruling on California Proposition 8 Case.  The decision in Strauss v. Horton (the Prop 8 Case) was 136 pages long with 40 pages of concurring opinions and 1 dissenting opinion./… Read full post »

Two Foodie Tuesdays ago I posted a piece on how I got my (self-proclaimed) nickname of “Mr. Gravy”.  This Foodie Tuesday I thought I’d share a recipe with you from “Dad’s Cookbook and Kitchen Survival Guide”.


This is a cookbook of my recipes which I wrot… Read full post »

MAY 25, 2009 10:27AM

Memorial Day Meanderings

It’s the Saturday before Memorial Day and I’m kicking back, reading Jeff Shaara’s “Steel Wave”, his new novel about the Normandy Invasion and I’m also watching “Band of Brothers” on the History Channel (about the 4th or 5th time). And it gets me to thin/… Read full post »

MAY 22, 2009 2:23PM

Obama vs. Cheney--Back to Basics

Bear with me just a bit while I mentally journey all the way back to the mid-70s.  Forget the wide bell-bottom jeans and fitted polyester double-knit shirts and harness boots.


I’m trying to recall lessons learned from lectures and readings—as well as all the introspection over… Read full post »

This year I finally bit the bullet and joined Barnes & Noble’s “club”.  You know, the one where you give them $25 at the beginning of the year and then you get 10% off all your purchases (I think it’s more on hardcover books but remember, I’m the “Cheap Ba/… Read full post »

NOTE:  Following is a blog entry I wrote on my “other” blog a couple of months back about the process of car buying with what I consider the first 2 “rules” for buyers. Hopefully, it might contain some useful information.

I spent years selling new and used vehicles and add/
Read full post »

Perhaps the retirement of Justice David Souter is what inspired this. I’ve been thinking a bit more lately about the Supreme Court, the Constitution, Con Law and our basic freedoms. So, I’m going to try and do something totally serious here on a topic I have wanted to write about for… Read full post »

I must be dating myself badly because I have this image of the characters from the movie “Damn Yankees” going through my head—the locker room scene where the players are singing “You Gotta Have Heart” with that incredible high descant harmony.


The reason is that ye… Read full post »

MAY 13, 2009 11:53AM

Is California "Too Big to Fail"?

I think I finally figured it out.  You see, I don’t like the 6 measures which are being put before the voters. It seems to me that the so-called “solution” is a cop-out by the Governor and Legislators who have now tossed it to the voters to validate. 


Unfortunately,… Read full post »

I have this certain reputation in my extended family, and if I do say so it’s well deserved.  I love to make gravy.  Turkey gravy, beef gravy, sausage gravy, pork chop gravy, red-eye gravy, chicken-fried anything gravy.  I love ‘em all.


I can take the drippings of jus… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 8, 2009 2:00PM

1000 Hours Labor Will Pay Univ of California Tuition

The San Diego Union Tribune reports today that the University of California Regents approved a 9.3% tuition increase for next Fall’s school year.  That 9.3% represents a tuition bill of $8,720 for the year. 


I wonder what that does to the dream of a college education for high s… Read full post »

I grew up a Methodist.  From the time I was a kid at the Palma Ceia Methodist Church in Tampa to 1st Methodist in Grand Forks, North Dakota to Ocean Beach United Methodist in San Diego, I seem to default to that denomination. I was confirmed in the Methodist church. I/… Read full post »

Do junior high boys even have P.E. class anymore?  I wonder.  It’s too bad if they don’t especially with the number of kids I see going down the street every day on their way to school who are obviously overweight and out of shape.


Growing up in Tampa, Florida in the… Read full post »

In the early 80’s, I lived in a small city of 6000 in northern Iowa. It was a nice town, a regional trade center with a downtown, small mall, public and Catholic High School, hospital, etc.

We had a small “mom and pop” bakery called Reit’s Bakeshop. It was owned by a/… Read full post »
MAY 4, 2009 3:59PM

High Anxiety in a Jobless Way

Today is Monday. I’ve been out of work now for about a hundred days. As an independent contractor I wasn’t eligible for unemployment benefits.  So far, we’re OK financially.  We’re living on the money we had saved up for a house.  Guess we’ll be apartment/… Read full post »

After years of careful study, devising metrics, evaluating data, scrutinizing reviews and every other possible objective way of determining which movies we want to see my wife and I have come up with a fool proof rating system which we are offering to the public and to the motion picture industry… Read full post »