June 07, 2009
I am now a married man. So what has changed? Absolutely nothing.
We are still as silly as we were before. The inside jokes are the same as before. It's essentially everything it was before, but more. My Wife is someone who I'll always be true to, because she's mine. As the minister said "You are now more than yourselves... You're One".
When we first got together, I told her that what I was looking for was a Partner, and I've truly found one. I also told her that I would likely be out of town after the honeymoon, and that's been the case. It's still the same. She tries to rake care of everything when I'm in town, and fails. but it's all the same.
All I know that is I'm blessed to have her, Just the same. It's what I wanted, It's what I deserve. It's the same.
Ever shall it be so. Amen.
April 20, 2009
Nothing Personal, but You're Not Invited...
You see, I've been sent "out", once again, to the beautiful environs of the South-East Kentucky coal country. Harlan to be exact. Got a little project up here that (I hope) is only going to take a week to get done. Seeing as how I get married in a little over two weeks!!!!
"What's this? Married? Where's my invitation? I was there when he first started on the internet. If he hadn't already boycotted himself, I'd boycott the living crap out of him!"
Yupper's! The nuptuals go down on Saturday May 9th, at (undisclosed location) and at (undisclosed time). It's been kind of fun for me helping plan the ceremony. "What kind of music do you want sweetie?" gets my reply of "The only song I give a Tinker's Damn about is the Wedding March!" What about detail "x" or detail "y"? gets a reply of "The only thing I care about is that we're married at the end of this! Everything else is just stage dressing!"
I'm just glad that we are having a small ceremony that is just close friends and family. Personally, I think that if you spent "2 months salary" on the engagement ring, you might want to rethink your priorities in these trying times. Sure, she deserves it, but I gotta keep the lights on for those 2 months, so let's do that.
At any rate, I'll be a happily married man in a few weeks, and I've never been more excited in my life. I'd have invited every one (or even both) of my readers if I thought I could pull it off, but alas it's not to be. Just around 25 to 30 folks is about right.
So now you know what's been keeping me away from the keyboard for so long. When I ain't working, I'm spending time with my Sweetie! Who knew that being happy would be bad for blogging?
March 26, 2009
So I Don't get disowned...
June 23, 2008
Back in town...
Yes friends, I've been working out of town. In Memphis, TN. For the last two months. 400 miles west. Not home. Leaving out at 6:30 AM on Monday, and not arriving back again until 9:30 PM Friday. The Hotel had only intermittent interweb connectivity, and that was only in the lobby. I have never felt more information starved in all my life.
Luckily, I've completed my task out there, and am now back in a position where I can sleep in my own bed at night. (Yes Tammi, I finally got the new box, and you were right. It's much better now.) This job is 2 hours up the road, and in a coal mine of all places, but I get to come Home! No more trying to cram a week's worth of home life into two days. Gone are the times where I stay up late to cram my gulliver with as much info as I can... to stave off the hard times. Away with the crappy hotel rooms, and the constant lack of human attention/interaction, then playing catch-up.
All I had to do was, attempt to learn an archaic electronic system, with nothing more than intuition and a set of schematics. Apply a modern (by comparison) system to this old thing, to get the functionality of a new machine. Do it all with little support, and a helper that knows less than I do (whom I'm supposed to teach what I'm doing, as I do it, and learn it myself.).
Yes Eric, Some people are THAT busy. Much Love Bro. I'll be down, when I get the time... roughly 2010, I'm thinkin'.
May 17, 2008
The spammers have noticed me!
It would appear (by my sitemeter) that a whole bunch of spammers have found my little site a veritable breeding ground for their trade. I've noticed that over the last week or so, my visit counter has jumped more than 200 points, and I haven't even visited it in at least a week. I guess since I've kinda stopped posting, It's nice that someone is visiting... Lemonade and all that.
The job's been interesting. I've been slated to be the new "modernization" guy, so I'm applying a newer add on to an older (circa: 1960) controller. It's interesting and fun and frustrating, all at once. needless to say, I'm learning a ton.
Another development is my taking advantage of the tax refund check. $600 can go a long way, and in the spirit of Kim's BAG day, I did something a little flagrant. Three weeks ago, I purchased a Taurus PT140 Pro handgun in .40 Smith and Wesson. I've run roughly 400 rounds through this weapon without so much as a hint of failure. In order to qualify for the State department of safety's qualifications for a handgun carry permit I had to shoot at least 50 rounds into an approved target. After shooting a box of 50 rounds, my instructor had me shoot another 50 to qualify. Off hand, strong hand obstructed, weak hand obstructed, seated, everything. I scored a 97% hit ratio. I'm proud of that.
My Bianchi carry holster will be in shortly, and pending my application to the department of safety, my Handgun Carry Permit is forthcoming. I'll probably relegate this weapon to my girlfriend, and pick up a .45, but for the time being , I'm packing. .40 should be good enough, No? ...
February 07, 2008
LCD, ADHD, and Autism
I'm going to paint a little picture here... A picture of a couple of effects, with one cause. I did a post a hundred years ago about "Lowest Common Denominator". Alas, I can't find it on a site search, so the gist of it is that in our Public Education System, the emphasis has migrated from Common, to Lowest. I contend that "Average" (or Common) has been skewed down to incorporate under-achievers, so that they may feel better about themselves. This is something that you see in little-league sports competitions all the time. They don't keep score (but the kids do), everyone gets a trophy for participation-but no one gets one for winning, etc. Now apply this concept to academics.
With the endless repetition of base concepts prevalent in current Public Education, (I experienced it myself, and I'm Thirty-Six years old) I can see a certain propensity for children to get bored. Not just the fourth repetition bored, but the thirteenth repetition BORED. At a certain point, all children will reach this threshold, and start acting in ways that bored kids will act.
It used to be that children were given lessons, they were Tested on their knowledge of the information presented, and then class is resumed at a level based on the results of the tests. The Average results. Now, it seems that the class restarts at the level of the worst test results. The rest of the class may be doing long division, but one student may be stuck on multiplication (aka: basic addition), so everyone is stuck back on simple multipliers... For as long as it takes for the stragglers to "Get It".
Now there are two basic kinds of kids... the ones who are extroverts, and the ones who are introverts. When a child becomes bored, they will lean on what comes natural to them. They will either "Show out" or "Close up", based on their own proclivities. They will react in whatever way comes "naturally" to them.
If a child is Extroverted, they will become more emotive in order to attract more attention. If Introverted, they will find something else that interests them, other than the things currently being studied. Luckily, there's a few diseases out there to take care of these issues.
ADHD for me, equates to "I'm bored so I'll just do something to attract attention to myself". Autism for me, equates to "I'm bored so I'll just read this science fiction book until something interesting happens in class".
These things aren't hard and fast, but they are there. Of the two most over-diagnosed childhood afflictions, ADHD and Autism top the list. If there's less than 85% of people diagnosed with either of these afflictions that aren't scored above average, I'd be genuinely stunned.
January 14, 2008
A delay.. If you will.
I'm fairly certain that the A17.1 2004 Code doesn't prohibit me from talking about this, so I will continue.
.... watched a movie the other night and thought of you..... hey, how easy is it to crack open the top hatch of an elevator and climb up there?.... it seems like everyone in Hollywood is hiding away up on top of elevators..... what gives?....
... I suspect that there is some kind of lock..... can you shed some light, or do I have to worry my life away every time that I take an elevator that some Hannibal Lector might be crouching up on top of my ride as I slide down to the next floor?.....
That was a comment by my good friend Eric left in the middle of December. I respond Thusly:
Yes it's true... All elevators have an escape hatch through the top of them. Yes it's true! There's a hole that you can get out of if the damned thing stops!
Unfortunately, you cannot reach it. It is concealed by the drop ceiling that's installed in every conveyance. Even if you are 7+ feet tall (and you can find it) you can't get through it... Because it's locked from the outside.
Yessir, It's possible for the "Mask-Clad Evil Cannibal" to get to you from the cart-top, but if he isn't an "Elevator Man" already, it ain't gonna happen.
These, "escape hatches" are locked from the outside... With "Deadbolt" locks.
The elevator is designed so that if you are "trapped" inside it, then you cannot escape it without outside assistance. This is to insure that anyone who is ignorant of how an elevator works (roughly... everyone... by design) is unable to release themselves from the cab. Stopping them from falling to their death, or being crushed into the "Overhead" by their Ignorance of how an elevator works.
Even a little-bitty Fucker like " Sir Anthony Hopkins" couldn't get out of an elevator.
For crying out loud... He could hurt himself!!!!
January 09, 2008
A philosophical post... S.I.T.M.
So... Jennifer was telling me the tale of her last couple of days (I was in Kentucky, Adjusting a couple of conveyances) and it was a complete nightmare for her. She failed to follow the adage "Never discuss Politics or Religion at work", and allowed that she was a Republican/Conservative by responding to a couple of her Coworker's conversation. The general gist of their palaver was "I hope there's a Clinton/Obama Pres. & V.P. and I don't care which is which." The response was "I'll either kill myself, or them!" (spoken tongue in cheek, of course.) The rejoinder included: racial slurs/generalities (She's White, they're Black), general impoliteness, office gossip, office gossip while they should be doing their job, and general laziness all around. All the while, Jenny has been doing her job to the best of her ability. Jennifer works in a Service Organization that answers phones and schedules rides for folks who are unable to get themselves to the Doctor. A "Tater-Toter scheduler", if you will.
I've done a similar type of job for several years. I was miserable.
Now, I build things. I work long hours, I do hard physical labor, and I still program computers. (Not pretty interfaces with a lot of gee-gaw's, just a bunch of archaic things that work... All the time... Every Time.") I'm happier for it. at the end of the day, I can look at something I've built, and be proud. I can talk to everyone that's not Mexican (and some who are) about my political leaning's, and not offend them or get offended.
If you are someone who Showers In The Morning, aka: I've been at this for thirteen hours, and haven't broken a sweat. I'll call you a Liberal.
If you are someone who, arrives at the job... can taste his work on his lunch sandwich, and can continue the job... Showers At Night (to keep from soiling the sheets he sleeps upon) and I can call you a Conservative.
There's work and then there's WORK. If you haven't broken a sweat by the time you've left your cube... Then you ain't workin'. If you have, you're Workin'.
I don't care who you are... If you only Shower in the Morning (S.I.T.M.) then you ain't Working... You're just doing a job. If you clean yourself... morning and night... you might be a person with O.C.D.
If you shower in the evening... then you do productive work, don't care how you look when you're doing it, and have some sense. It's you folks who we need to vote.
Otherwise, the "tools" Win.
November 30, 2007
No One Cares...
You see, I had a slight mishap today. No, it wasn't anything like "an elevator done crasheded on my head" or nothing. I just went to hop up out of the pit (4 feet deep) in a manner most spry, and I failed. On occasion I've been able to just jump straight up, stick out my left foot (bent at the knee) and land on the, well, the landing. This time, I was unable to get my foot up high enough (Had a hitch in my git-along) so I had to push my knee forward, and land on my shin. Needless to say, I bruised my boo-boo.
I'm a rough and tumble construction worker (or Woika, as Jimbo might say) so shortly afterward, I just kinda forgot about it. Until this evening when my bad habit of sitting on my legs kicked in. A direct quote from me at this happenstance would be: "Ouchie". After extracting my leg from under myself, I rolled up my pants leg to assay the damage. Nice big bruise, accompanied by a divot that was created by a section of "rebar" that was protruding from the incomplete sill. Nice.
Jennifer, angel that she is, came over to look at my most recent injury. She first commented on the severity of the injury, but it was the next question that really stung: "I'll betcha Bobby (My Helper) didn't even kiss it, did he?". Followed shortly by: "I can't believe he didn't Kiss it and make it better!". Then. Then. THEN!. You know what she did? I'll frickin' tell you. She Walked Away.
So... Here I sit (dejected I might add) at my keyboard. Regaling you all with my tale of woe. With an Un - Kissed Boo Boo. Here in a minute. I'm gonna eat some worms.
November 26, 2007
Don't know why...
but I've been thinking about religion again lately. I think maybe it's because of this story I heard about on the radio today. The Money-Quote for me is
"I didn't like having a termination, but it would have been immoral to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world."(Emph. Mine.) I find it interesting that she chose the word "Immoral" to describe the situation, and would be willing to bet more than I have, that her religious persuasion is either: Agnostic, or Atheist.
It's been my experience that people who are not satisfied by traditional religions, usually pick something that's a rough substitute for what they didn't get from God. They attend the meetings with the same fervor. They are activists, trying to draw other people to their beliefs. They place upon themselves the same limitations that a "believer" does. They are just human beings looking for a bit of reason and substance in a world that contains little of each.
So they Manifest it.
I've encountered a lot of Atheists, and "Secular Humanists" that have gotten on the bandwagon of "In God We Trust" should not be printed upon the American Dollar, and others that think that "Under God" should not be a part of the Pledge of Allegiance".
These people are Idiots in intelligent clothing.
What they don't figure out is that, the lack of religion, can become a religion in itself. "I may not believe in God... But the Lord Environment will become harmed if I don't behave in a certain way."
Something that I discovered, was that I was alone. I found out that I was a true aberration... I am an Atheist Without Agenda. I don't want you to believe what I do. But ,If you do, you must concede that there is a higher power that youo cannot understand, that you can't explain away.
If you can... You Are Normal. If You can't, Then You Are Strange.
November 23, 2007
I know.. I KNOW!
it's been a freakin' Month! Here's the excuse list:
1. Work... I spent two weeks running around doing adjuster stuff, and the last two I've spent up in Virginia Coal Country, slamming one in.
B. Vehicles... I've been having the very dicken's of a time with Jenny's van. A few weeks ago, the damned thing stopped running right, and I've thrown the book at it. Fuel filter, distributor cap & rotor button, plugs, wires, Idle Air Control Valve, Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor, and a few vacuum lines. All this and six weeks later, it's finally fixed. Getting calls from a freaked out woman whose vehicle has just stalled for the umpteenth time, is no fun. Not fixing on the first try is even less fun.
Trois: Here lately, writing comes Hard. it's not as fun as it used to be, or the release that it once was. I must censor myself in so many ways to keep from hurting people I care about, or myself, that it's more like work than any job I actually Do. I'll still do it, mainly due to the very fine friends that I've made over the course of writing this thing. It's special, and I can't let that die.
Wow, that was Heavier than I expected it to be. Ah fuck it. I'll put up the new links to the people that I met at Eric's later. Erica, Jerry, Bou, Teresa, Sissy, Mo, Jim, Denny, Tommy, Rick, Georgia, Eric, Fiona, Eric's brother (sorry I can't remember his name), Gary, and... his wife (dammit, another name I can't remember... Curse you, demon spirits!).
It was the Best time I've had without my "Ersatz" family, in as long as I can remember. Thanks all.
Okay, I'll hit Post now.
October 25, 2007
This is why I never make plans...
So... I was hanging out at the Circus last Sunday. I'm Thirty-Six years of age, but it's the first time I've actually been to one (that I remember anyway), and I made the mistake of not turning off my cellular device during the show. Due top this happenstance, I spoke to our dear "Straight White" friend, to confirm my attendance to his shindig. Well, the conversation was short, but I confirmed, and advised that I'd confer with him at a more opportune time.
Later that evening, we palavered, and affirmed that it would be acceptable for me to install my camper onto "Hell's Half Acre" for the duration of my stay. I'm looking forward to the inaugural deployment of my latest acquirement of camp-style utilities, except for the fact that I'll be sleeping in a tent for a couple of nights. Sometimes it's fun, but this time it's October. I've got decent sleeping bags, so I'm sure that it'll be fine.
This Monday, I was informed that I'd be installing a conveyance into a school (which I've done before), but the Boss caught me and explained about the "opportunities" that were present in this project. Whenever he uses this language, I know that it will require a Herculean effort on my part. "All the Overtime you can stand" is a direct quote. It's Okay, I'm up to the challenge. It's the end of day four, and I've got a good run on building the cab. Tomorrow we set the car-top, and complete the "Mechanicals".
It never fails... whenever I make a plan more than a few day's in advance, this type of thing happens. Gonna take a vacation? My vehicle breaks down. A trip? An injury occurs. A night out? No 'Sitter. A birthday for someone in the family? No cash. I want to leave for a few day's? Relationship is in a Nightmare stage.
Not this time. Everything is cool. Girlfriend and her daughter will "miss me", but they'll get along. "Press Time" on the elevator, but it's been met. Good Scotch for my host? Not so much... I've got bills to pay.
Doesn't matter. I'm gonna have a good time this weekend. And I wish you were here.
October 03, 2007
So Why the Hell are you blogging now!!?
Well, just to break up the monotony I guess. I mean, I've been lurking about so many sites that post regularly, that I've been positively shamed into finally writing.
I've been busy entertaining myself for the past month or so. I've been to a Monster Truck Show (opinion: Meh. It was in a local civic auditorium that isn't even big enough for them to haul in any dirt. There were just five trucks. The headliner truck was one that comes in at the lower 25% of the trucks that show up in big venues. Fun? Sure. But it wouldn't have been worth the price of admission if Jenny hadn't scored us some free tickets from a local radio station.
Went to the local fair, and I'm pissed off about it. My favorite part of any fair is the small engine show. They have all sorts of neato machines that are old and run on interesting means of propulsion... ie: Internal combustion engines that are sparked by wax candles! How cool is that? Unfortunately I was held fast to the main midway, and the Demolition Derby. Folks, If you've never been to a Live Demo Derby, you should do this before you die. I've not had more fun (with my clothes on) for a whole lotta years. Cars careening off of one another, mud flying, and sensational crashes. Friends, It just don't get any better.
I got to spend a wonderful evening on Mom and Dad's houseboat, watching a couple of million dollars worth of fireworks being shot off. Got my Mom to do a quilt/wall hanging for the house, and replaced a few light fixtures. I took a week off for a vacation, and didn't go anywhere. And I've built a few elevators.
I don't know about your life, but I just call this... life. I'm loving it. I hope you are too.
September 13, 2007
Aesop "Hit it on the Nose"
There's this book store just a few miles away. I've probably passed it a couple of hundred times over the past twenty years or so, but never had occasion to go in. It's in kind of a ratty-looking older shopping center (point one against it), and it's right next to a Mexican Supermarket and other such (point two against it). Jenny (being a little more adventurous than I) went in there a few weeks ago, and told me how unbelievably cool it was inside, and eventually dragged me out there.
As soon as I stepped through the doors, I was absolutely enthralled. Row upon Row, and Stack upon Stack of old hard-bound volumes. I was like a kid in a candy store. I think we spent an hour and a half in there that day, but it passed like it was five minutes. I came out with a volume entitled "Oil Hydraulic Power and its Industrial Applications" written in 1949. But Jenny had got me a gift from her first visit. A "Harvard Classic" Copyright 1909 "Folk-Lore and Fable Volume 17".
I finally started reading the tome this evening, and I got out to page 13... and it struck me. I'd been wanting to do a post on 9/11 (six year's after) and I couldn't come up with anything that felt right. when I read the fable "The Man And The Serpent" from this P.F. and Collier Collection, I was ashamed that I hadn't read it earlier. I'll quote it here in its entirety:
A Countryman's son by accident trod upon a Serpent's tail, which turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, and pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in revenge began stinging several of the Farmer's cattle and caused him severe loss. Well, the Farmer thought it best to make it up with the Serpent, and brought food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said to it: Let's forget and forgive; perhaps you were right to punish my son, and take vengeance on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to revenge him; now that we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?" "No, no," said the Serpent; "take away your gifts; you can never forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail."
"Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten."
I can't say it better.
August 29, 2007
Never Ever let me work on your car...
...in your front yard. Hell, even in my own front yard. Back when I was repairing my Fuel Injector, I accidentally dropped a bolt that was on the front of the fuel rail. After searching through the grass for a half an hour, I just gave it up as a bad job, put everything back together and went on about my life.
So... a few weeks ago, I noticed the distinctive smell of gasoline emanating from under the hood. After a couple of minutes of investigating, I determined that the bolt I'd dropped previously, was the one that holds the Fuel Pressure Regulator onto the front of the fuel rail. After dome time and pressure, the Regulator had worked its way out of the housing, and wouldn't go back in for love nor money. In my feeble efforts to reinsert the regulator, I managed to bend its mounting bracket, but I figured that I'd be able to make it work.
After ordering the replacement bolt from GM (Of course it was part of a bolt Assembly, and therefore cost me eight times what the bolt by itself costs) I attempted to get the old regulator to go back in its hole. Nothing doing. $75 later, I've got the new Regulator installed and I'm on the road again.
This past weekend, we drove out to Clinton, TN (a good half-hour up the road) to pick up a new (to us) sofa and Love-seat. When we got back into the driveway, my truck died, again. After looking into a few things, I figured out that my alternator had gone out, and left it for this weekend to correct. Well, this morning, my shop van decided that I really needed to fix my pickup tonight by dumping out all of it's transmission fluid on the ground. After getting a ride out to the job site today from my helper, he was kind enough to carry my butt back to the crib this evening.
I commenced to remove my alternator from the truck, and while doing so, I realized something. The alternator is right below the Fuel Pressure Regulator. I guess the charging system for all the vehicle's electrical systems doesn't like being doused in gasoline very much. I figure that's why the danged thing failed on me.
While pulling the old alternator, and replacing it with the new one, I dropped several bolts, but was completely non-plussed by the happenstance. You see, I now have a kick-ass Paved carport in which to do my auto-mechanical-type work. Instead of losing the bolts in the grass, I was able to just scoop them back up and continue working.
Yup, it's true. I frickin' Love this place.
August 09, 2007
Shadow Pooper vs. The Bears
It's seems that through no small effort of my own, the "Shadow Pooper" has moved on to greener pastures. By "no small effort" I mean No Effort Of Mine. I think the whole getting awakened by a 60 watt bug-light literally inches from your head making you shit-your-nest and fly off, dynamic, had something to do with it. A couple of times of that happening to you, and let me tell you, you'll find another place to crash.
Or it could have been...
When I took Jennifer around to the folks' houseboat, we had a big time hanging out and eating some good grub. At every opportunity, we would enjoy our repast on the upper level of the boat under the party-top. Unfortunately, my Mom has a couple of hummingbird feeders up there, and she got to see a few flit by and have a drink. (For the uninitiated: a hummingbird feeder is a glass container that's filled with a sugar solution that auto-feeds into some fake flowers that the birds drink from.) Jenny had to have one.
After procuring a proper bird feeding apparatus from the local Wally-world, she nagged at me until I finally hung the dang thing up. It is placed in a most opportune location, under the eave of the carport, whereby the little wretches can get to it, and we can also see it from the comfort of the air-conditioning. No sooner had the device been placed, I heard from her "But what about the Bears?". "What?" I proclaimed. Then she showed me this.
Now I'm uncertain if my "Manly Prowess" (or my complete inaction), or the threat of huge omnivores (Bears), was the ultimate reason for the expulsion of the aforementioned Wren.
Alas, my Barbecue remains inactive.
August 02, 2007
I've been living here in the new crib for a couple of weeks now, and things have settled down a bit. I finally met the landlord yesterday, and it was very cool that he dropped in unannounced, and I had no compunction in letting him in to survey what we've done with the place. In my old place, none of us had enough room for our things, so the word of the day (all day, any day) was clutter. Now, we've got enough room to get organized, and thus keep things clean. Much nicer.
Anyway's, there's still a few things left to do... install a few light fixtures, replace a couple of ceiling fans, Update the fuse panel to a breaker box, and other stuff along those lines. One of my major projects has been to get light bulbs into all the fixtures in and around the homestead. Several of these are outside, and a few are out in my awesome carport. I replaced a couple of spotlights that are attached to a motion sensor at the front of the 'port, and put a bug-light in the older fixture towards the rear of the house.
Now that we've established a routine, when I get up in the morning... I head for a cup of Joe, and Jenny let's the dog's out to go potty. In order to perform my duties, all I gotta do is pour some sugar into a cup, then coffee, then enjoy... Jenny has to open the door from the family-room onto the carport, then open the gate to the back yard so the puppies can enter. Now that I've fixed the lights, she (appropriately) turns them on before exiting the building, thereby creating the mystery that I titled this post after.
Two mornings ago... Jennifer opened the door and turned on the light, and was under attack! There was an immense flutter from the rear fixture, a certain amount of feces was emanated, and the offender disappeared. Was it a bat? We don't know, but that was the popular theory. From her description of the event to me, we dubbed this creature the "Shadow Pooper".
This morning, when she let out the dogs, the "Shadow Pooper" struck again. It's emanation's were falling "Danger-Close" to the seat of my riding mower so I decided (yeah, she nagged me into it) to investigate the home of my nefarious malcontent.
While peering into the busted up glass of the squarish light fixture on the back of my carport, with my trusty mini-Mag-Light, I discovered that the culprit was a small wren.
I'm not certain what our course of action is from this point, but I can certainly state that the inclusion of this bird is not a part of the equation.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
July 30, 2007
I don't want to do your Sleepwalk Dance anymore.
Did you ever have one of those weird dreams... I mean one of those Really weird dreams? The one I had last night was vague when I woke up this morning but it still kinda got to me. I remember getting up to go to the bathroom but after that I've only got kinda "sense memories". I remember searching for a T-shirt to put on under my work uniform shirt. I had a short conversation with Jennifer, and I went back to bed.
Okay, here's the strange part. When I woke up this morning, I realized that I had a shirt on, but I went to bed without one. Luckily (I guess) Jennifer gave me an account of what went on. It seems that I had gone into the wrong bedroom... rifled through all the clean clothes that were laid out on the bed... put on one of HER t-shirts... and then went to sleep on the bed in the spare room. She noticed that I wasn't in bed at around 2:00 AM, and searched the house until she found me, and brought me back to bed.
For some reason, even the door to the closet by the front door was wide open. The door to the room I was sleeping in was shut though. Definitely strange.
As far as I know, I've never sleep-walked (slept-walkded?) before in my life. I wonder what else the aliens will tell me to do. I always thought that I woke up with sore muscles because I work hard for a living. Apparently it's due to the fact that I've been dong sleep-calisthenics for some time. Ah well... at least I'm getting my exercise.
July 25, 2007
First off... thanks much for all the kind comments from everyone. I greatly appreciate the kind words and phone calls. Anyway...
Here lately, I've been chasing around from one job to the next trying to wrap things up. It's been more than a little crazy, mainly due to the change in attitude, and work habits. I'm used to hearing things like "John - Oh, I've got another Rush Job for you." I get sent out with a mandate of "Get it done by date X" and I then proceed to get it done. The general rule of thumb for installing an elevator is: One week for each landing, and one week for the cab. For a two-stop elevator, that would translate to three weeks. My personal record for a two-stop hole-less install is seven days. (hope that gives you an indication of what my work ethic is like)
Over the last month or so, I've gone from "Build that elevator" to "Complete that elevator". I've got my shop truck outfitted to allow me to build one, but I don't have all the little things I've needed to complete them. It's a different tool-set and a different mindset. The tools are easily overcome, but the mindset has been a little harder. I can no longer let something go in order to get the job close, I've got to get things to a "ready to turn over" state of readiness. The devil is in the details.
It's one thing to breeze in and assemble a couple of cabs in a couple of day's, but to get everything working properly, you've got to go over every moving part and ensure that it functions properly, and above all quietly. It's a proven fact that there are a lot of people out there who are seriously "freaked out" by elevators. People that are nervous about them will still ride them, but they are looking and listening for any indication that there is a problem with the device, and will complain most loudly if it is there. It's now my job to remove every indication (real or perceived) that there is a problem.
Today, I went out to a job that I built from the 15% point to completion. The problem was that there was a "bump" in the ride at the midpoint of the travel. In the up direction, a certain scraping sound was heard, and in the down, there was a pronounced metallic crash that shook the whole elevator. After about four hours of work, you couldn't tell that there was ever an issue with this machine. I like that.
At any rate, I'm off to Kentucky in the morning... to "close" another one.
July 21, 2007
Well folks, here's the scoop... Week before last, I got an ultimatum from my roommate that I needed to be out in a week's time. This was on Wednesday. During that time our adjuster was out of town, so I got the duty to take up the slack. Needless to say this was a "high stress" time. Go "Wide Open" all day, and then come home and pack all night.
Since I didn't have a destination, I just packed all my stuff up and moved it into a storage unit. A couple of truckloads a night, but it was still enough to poop my little behind out. Luckily, one of my coworkers knew of a place for rent, and informed me of it. I got directions, and carried myself over to the other side of town to check it out. Older houses, cars being worked on, kids riding bikes, dogs in front yards, and plenty of pickup trucks. A nice "Blue Collar" neighborhood. I liked the house too... from the outside.
Meanwhile, my week's notice was winding down, and I still hadn't found a new place. On "moving day" (Wednesday before last) I got a call from my other roommate (Jennifer) stating that she'd been given until the end of the day to get her stuff out. Fuck! I broke out early from work and proceeded to pack like a crazy man. Five hours (and an additional storage unit) later, all of my stuff, her stuff, and her daughter's stuff was moved into storage.
On that day, I was notified that my coworker had the key's to the place that I was interested in (it's right across the road from her place) and I could come out and see it. I saw the inside, and let me tell you, the tile work is immaculate, the fresh paint looks great, and there's a bunch of other stuff that needs to be done. Doesn't matter, the place is great, and then landlord rented it to me sight unseen. I called him on my "cellular device" and set the deal in place.
I've been living here since last Saturday, and I've been without the InterWebs for at least that long. Goddamnit I've missed you all. I'lll be posting more lately, so expect it.
June 20, 2007
It was Memorial Day weekend. I had decided that I was going to take the whole three days off, and that WAS FINAL. I hadda buncha shtuff to do to get my affairs in order around the house, and I also was in dire need of some actual relaxation.
Saturday. Chores and more chores. They were performed in a leisurely fashion, but they were done nonetheless. Sunday, Down at the lake and hanging out with my Sister and Brother In Law. Water, Sun, Companionship, and Beer. I think I stood up to go take a leak, and it hit me... I immediately noticed that there was something strange, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I went ahead and relieved myself, and studied on the situation... Still couldn't figure it out, so I went back out on the deck and cracked another beer.
About half-way through my beverage, it occurred to me that it was not anything that had been added to my life, but something subtracted... Pain.
Friends, I can do multiple Pull-Ups on demand. I can pull a Twelve hour shift in Ninety degree heat. I can lift more than my own body weight, over and over, any time that it's needed. I can work six (and even seven) day's a week.
I can do all of this for at least a year straight. But I can't do it no more. From here on out, I'll be working Ten or Twelve hours. Five days a week. Stuff wil still get "Did". But I'll not be killing myself to get it done.
May 26, 2007
So....it's been since the end of March (I remember because it was my sisters Birthday) that my pickup ran correctly, and frankly, I've been crestfallen over the situation. One day, it was runnin' like a damn sewin' machine, and the next it had a "miss" in it "worse than a cross-eyed sniper". Back then, I figured that it might be something simple, so I put a tune up onto it (Oil and Filter change, new plugs and wires, Air and fuel filters) but the stutter in the motor still persisted.
It would still start every time I turned the key, and it would drive up the road, but it didn't have the power to pull a "greased string out of a cat's ass". Since I've been working so much lately, I've only been able to get back to it intermittently. When the engine first started "missing" the "Service Engine Soon" light came on in the instrument cluster (which is an indication of anything from "The damned engine blowed up" to "You runned out of Windshield Warsher fluid".) so I carried it down to the local Auto Parts emporium and plugged it into a computer. This high-tech piece of diagnostic brilliance informed me that I had a code 1033 (or somesuch) and that translated to "Cylinder Three Misfire". Huh, I knew I had a miss anyway. At Least they didn't charge me for the use of the OBD II code reader. I cleared the code, and went up the road, but it wasn't even a mile before that light was back on. Fuck.
In situations like this, the cause can be one of three things: There's no fuel...There's no spark to ignite aforementioned fuel...or there's something majorly mechanically FUBARed in the valve train. Since I'd already addressed the spark issue with new plugs and wires, I figured it wasn't gettin' no gas, and I got a new fuel injector for it. It took me something like four hours to get it installed, as I've never had to pull the throttle body and fuel rail off of a vehicle before. With the assistance of a Haynes Manual I prevailed, and fired that mother up... Double Fuck! Still miss-ing.
At this point, I've almost resigned myself to the fact that I've purchased a "Lemon". One of the suggestion's in my Shop Book is to get a Compression Tester to determine if there's anything mechanically wrong with the cylinder or valves. I was scared of the outcome, so I put it off for at least a month. This afternoon, I decided that I would bite the bullet, and find out just exactly how bad things were going to be to get this damned thing fixed. I laid out the 25 bones to get a Compression tester, and commenced.
In order to get a baseline, I pulled the plug from the number two cylinder and checked the compression. 130 PSI. Cool. I hooked up the nefarious cylinder number three, and got the same reading. COOL! Well Fuel and mechanicals have been eliminated, so I guess it's back to spark. The only other thing to replace is a solid-state coil pack, that I figured would cost me an arm and a leg. I want a fully functional POV, so I cinched up my checkbook and went to the parts store. They had eight of them in stock... the one I bought was worth $25. Twenty minutes of replacing the part later... I pulled out of the subdivision and chirped the tires shifting from first to second gear.
I've got my damned truck back!
May 07, 2007
BWAH HaHaHa ha ha ahem...
It's on to the post for May 2007! Everyone ready? Let's Go!
A friend of mine referred me to a little story that they found out on the Interwebs. Here's the Linky. For those who are overly lazy (like me) here's the quote:
Vandalized elevator fights back Looks like an open and shut case after doors lock up, preventing escape MOST PECULIAR! APRIL 29-MAY 5, 2007
OSLO, Norway - Two young Norwegian vandals overlooked a small but crucial detail when they started smashing up a train station elevator: They were inside it.
And the elevator at the Lillestroem Train Station, north of Oslo, appeared to be the vengeful sort, sealing its doors and holding the two for the police.
“Vandalism is always sad, but a lot of people do see the humor in this,” Ellen Svendsvoll, of the National Rail Administration, said Monday. “They got what was coming to them.”
The two vandals, identified only as men in their early 20s, went into the elevator late on April 21, waited for the doors to close, and started to kick them, she said.
They kicked so hard that the doors jammed, and the elevator stopped, sending an alarm to security guards. The guards tried to lower the elevator, which only jammed the doors more, so they called the police and fire department.
'Caught in the act'
The firemen freed the two suspects, while the police waited outside.
“Talk about being caught in the act,” said Svendsvoll. “I’ve never heard of anyone being trapped by the elevator they were vandalizing. I don’t know what they were thinking. They couldn’t have been thinking much.”
The two now face criminal charges, as well as a claim from the railroad for the cost of repairs, which Svendsvoll said would probably exceed $16,700.
It’s likely to be an open and shut case. Apart from the elevator closing up on the two, a security camera recorded the attack.
You see, I have a personal rule that I have named "The 2% Rule: You must be 2% smarter than whatever you are working with." It's abundantly obvious to me that these individuals were a trifle lacking in the smarts department. Another good rule of thumb: "Don't attempt to destroy something that you have no idea how it works." This incident is a prime example.
With my inside knowledge of what an elevator does and how it goes about its bidness, this incident is funnier than hell to me. Mainly because the conveyance did exactly as it was designed to do. When they kicked the car gate loose, they disengaged a specific safety device that will stop the car from moving. When the car stops between floors, another safety device holds the gate from opening. (If the door won't open, then you can't fall down the hoistway and kill yourself.) When they called for help, the damage that they'd caused, created even more damage when the rescuers attempted to extract them.
I hope they throw the book at these ignorant little shits. It's probably less than they deserve.
April 17, 2007
1.) You can't change the past.
2.) You can't predict the future.
After being deluged with accounts of the Killings at Virginia Tech for merely a day, I'm already OVER IT!. TV, InterWeb, Radio, I can't frickin' get away from it. It's not the actual news that's bothering me, it's all the talking heads that are bloviating about it between the arrival of facts. The ones that have an agenda are trying to use this act as a means to their end. The ones that have no agenda are merely spewing inanities just to get on the radio or TV.
To all the armchair quarterbacks out there saying that "They should have done this or that, or should have done that or this better": The act is done. If you've got nothing constructive to add and are just trying to lay blame on anyone and everyone (however tangential), here's a factoid for you... You can't make these people not be dead (see #1 above) and even if you were there, you probably would have acted similarly (see #2 above).
To all the "We've got to DO SOMETHING!" folks out there: The act is done. Any rule or regulation that you add or omit will do nothing to make these people not be dead. (see #1 above) and whatever rule or regulation that you add or omit may or may not have any bearing on whether or not something like this will happen again (see #2 above).
To all the people who have been in the media who were on that 26,000 member campus and had no contact with the gunman or did nothing to assist the wounded: I hope you've enjoyed your fifteen minutes of fame... Was it worth it?
In my opinion, everyone just needs to calm down. For your soul, pray for the families and the wounded. For your heart, grieve for the lost. For your emotions, hold your family close and let them know you Love them. For your mind, think of ways that you could avoid being a victim in a similar situation. For your peace, turn off the damn TV and do one of the above.
Above all, remember items #1 and #2, as they are Facts that cannot be refuted, and pleasepleasePlease... Shut The Fuck Up and get on with your life. Thanks.
April 09, 2007
The Dangers of Work.
So, I've finally returned from the wilds of Virginia, and I'm looking forward to starting another job here in glorious Knox-Vegas. (Sleeping in my own Bed! Can you say WOOT!?) I'm working at a local High-School who is finally getting the elevator that they've been planning on since '02 or thereabouts. I thought that the principal was going to hug me when he saw the Company Logo on my shirt. I always Love it when the customer is stoked about getting a finished product.
When I arrived today, I removed the barricades from the hole, and found that the block masons had left one hell of a mess, and the contractor still needed to install a hoist beam for me. Ah well, I need to unload the equipment from the trailer anyway, so I'll just focus on that while the rest gets taken care of. No Biggie, as it were.
The building in question here, was constructed around 1969 or so, so the hoistway is an add-on to the side of the building. This wouldn't normally be any kind of big deal (and it really isn't with this one either) except for the strange architecture. There's a central area that has a stairwell, and three buildings that radiate out from it on right angles. All of these structures are two-stories, and are connected with a large roof-structure that creates a courtyard between them. My shaft sits underneath the courtyard roof, and is stubbed directly onto one of the side buildings. The challenge lies with how they cut out a ledge that runs along the upper section of the courtyard roof, and that it has been a pigeon roost for more years than anyone there can remember. Yes friends, not only is there sawdust, bricks, cinder blocks, steel chunks, and dust by the ton, I've got Pigeon Droppings in my elevator Hatch.
One of the guys from the shop had to bring me out a key to get into the storage trailer, and while he was there he asked me about the job. I advised him that things looked pretty-good "except for the Pigeon Crap." He quipped that he would have to get me an "MSDS" (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the Pigeon Dung that I could keep on the job. We all got a good chuckle over that one.
This evening, I was farting around on the old InterWebs, and decided to try a search for "Pigeon Droppings MSDS", and Lo and Behold I actually found one. I thought that working around asbestos was bad, but this "shit" could give me meningitis and frickin' Kill Me!
Sometimes folks, Ignorance really is bliss.