March 31, 2005

How'd that happen?

One year ago today, I posted that:

But...I have plans to move this thing up the charts so far that I won't even be able to remember the little people I stepped on to get there. :)
Hmmn. How'd that work out? Not too good. Only 8200 on the old sitemeter. I guess that Life just happenned between then and now, and I'm not able to dedicate the kind of time it takes to create a really big blog.

No big deal though. If I only had the choice between blogging, and going out and Living, well I say "Choose Life". No that I'm giving it up or anything 'cuz I can do both, just neither as well as I'd like to.

At any rate, I've had the wonderful opportunity to meet some of the most outstanding people in my life, made a few new friends, and sired a couple of blogs along the way. All, it's been a damned interesting year.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 07:01 PM | Comments (8)

Long Day

I awoke at 7:00 AM and made it to work at 8:00. When I left, there was a fully functional Stair-chair where none had been before. Left out at 5:15 PM, and got back into Knoxville at 10:00PM. Went to have a beer with the kids, and left the bar at midnight. I've been sitting here trying in vain to catch up on my blog-reading, and my eyes will no longer focus. Work looms at 7:30 this morning. I'll tell you a few stories as soon as I can.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 01:46 AM | Comments (2)

March 28, 2005

Road Bloggin'

Here I sit in the lobby of the Best Western in Tuscaloosa. It's really weird to be blogging from here, but this is a lot better than no blogging at all.

We had an eneventful drive down here this morning, other than the driving rain, and the gusting winds that threatened to hurl the little shop van into the hinterlands, it all went smooth. There's another thing that had me a bit nervous, Bryan is the worst driver known to man. He pays no attention to where he's going, or what is immediately around the vehicle. He also seems to have no idea of how to keep a motor vehicle in its intended lane for more than 15 feet at a stretch. I don't see how he hasn't crashed us into anyone yet, but I hold out hope to actually survive the trip. If I have to, I'll take his keys away from him.

Once we finally reached our destination, we went right to work. We got all the rails installed, and the controller set, before we knocked off for the evening. Really good progress considering that he has only helped one guy put in another one of these stair chairs, and I haven't even done that. We're rocking this thing together, and if we do it right, we'll have the lift running tomorrow evening. I still won't be back in town until Wednesday, due to the travel time, but only taking two days to install one of these is considered "quick".

I'm off to do alittle light reading and have a beer or two before I toddle on to bed. Just thought I'd update...because I could.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 07:59 PM | Comments (8)

March 27, 2005

Great visit.

It didn't last long enough, but hey, I took what I could get. Silly girl tried to pay for lunch, or at least her's, well I put my foot down. She altered her route to come through my hometown just to visit for a short while, and I was gonna be damned if she payed for a meal on my watch. To her credit, she relented quickly, and let me have my way for a change. It is Tammi's World after all.

(Brief interlude) Since I was typing this, I was thinking about her, so I had to pick up the phone and make sure that she was okay. 42 minutes later, we hung up the phone. :^) Tammi's fine. Yawning a little bit (Duh. She's been on the raod since 7:00 this morning), but she's within an hour of "home", so she'll be just fine. I went out on the front porch while talking to her, and there has been a little rain (aka: torrential downpours) this afternoon, so I couldn't sit down. Everything is wet. So I set my bourbon glass down on the porch, and was pacing around like I am wont to do when on the phone. After speaking for awhile, I went back to retrieve my glass and get another "sup" of the Old Kentucky, and I found a (shell-less) snail had climbed almost to the rim of my glass. That little fucker didn't even offer to go in "halvsies" on the bottle, so I flicked him into the weeds. Dirty little snail tyring to wolf my booze. He's lucky that I was in a favorable mood, or I'da squished him into paste. (Interlude abates)

If you think Cody's picture is cute, you should meet the little bugger in the flesh. I'm here to tell you that he's a "Born Killer", and he's "Meaner than a stripe-ed snake." I'm just happy that Tammi never used his code word for "Go for the frickin' jugular" when I was around him, else the only thing that I could post here would be "RIP" (by slapping wads of ectoplasm upon my keyboard). It wouldn't have been pretty. There's evidence of this epic meeting between the most important male in Tammi's life and myself. It'll surface sooner or later. ;^)

We had an exemplary meal at this little Italian place that I had recommended. (Actually, it's a place not too far off of the Interstate that I've been meaning to go to for awhile, but just didn't have a good excuse.) The restaurant's name has the word "Johnny" in it, so you know it had to be good. The meal was exquisite, and the company was without compare. Many subjects were covered, and no secrets were revealed. We had fun, and I got to see Tammi's winning smile. (She's stingy with it) All in all, I had a great day, and I hope that I was able to help her through her trip. If you have the means, and you get a minute, call her and tell her how special she is, if you can get a word in edgewise. :^)

All I can say is: I hope she makes it there safely, and when she comes back through town, I'll bring the kids out to meet her too. Should be fun.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:37 PM | Comments (5)


I made the call last night to make sure that Tammi was on the road, but
I got her voicemail. Okay, I was a little worried, but I figured that she was talking to Teresa, or TNT, or T1G, or somebody, and couldn't break free of the conversation. No big deal, she'll call when she can. Two hours later, she did! This was around 10:00PM, and she tells me that she just got on the road. As usual life happenned, and she got a late start. we talked for a little while, and I tried to cajole her into coming through Knoxville instead of going through Nashville like she usually does. Neither of us had access to a map, so we weren't able to see if it was a feasable route for her. When we hung up, I made sure to tell her to "Pull in and stop for the night" if she got over-tired or anything like that. She promised that she would. Good Girl.

When I finally crawled my happy ass out of bed this morning, I gave her a call to see how much progress she'd made. She didn't quite make it to Atlanta (as she'd planned), but she had Teresa talk her into a hotel last night, so she was okay. During the conversation this morning, we were able to nail down a route for her to take up through Knoxville, so I get a treat! Lunch with Tammi, Yay! I get to meet Cody, Yay! She should be coming out of Atlanta as I type this, so she'll be in town in about four hours.

I guess I'd better shave, so I can look at least half-way decent when we do lunch. She says that she looks terrible, but I don't care. I get to see my Tammi!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:23 AM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2005

Not that Evil.

My Evil Plan, turned out to be not as evil as I thought it would be. Maybe it's 'cuz I'm such a nice guy.

Evil Plan (tm)!

Your objective is simple: Criminal Activities.

Your motive is a little bit more complex: To show them all

Stage One

To begin your plan, you must first traumatize a scientist. This will cause the world to whisper among themselves, unsettled by your arrival. Who is this really bad guy? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good as a dark gunslinger?

Stage Two

Next, you must desecrate Fort Knox. This will all be done from a haunted woods, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will wet their pants, as countless hordes of mean english teachers hasten to do your every bidding.

Stage Three

Finally, you must covertly move your needlessly big weather machine, bringing about pain, suffering, the usual. Your name shall become synonymous with all that is wrong with the world, and no man will ever again dare take your lunch money. Everyone will bow before your unbreakable will, and the world will have no choice but to whisper your name in fear.

It's Tammi's fault.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:47 PM | Comments (6)

What the Hell?

First, I find out that Susie has Beal, so I try to be a good person and leave her a comment. When I submitted my glowing words of encouragement and support, I got this error:

Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: yahoo

This sucks. The only place in the entry that says "yahoo" anywhere is in my email address, so I tried to break it up into ya(remove this)hoo. A creative work-around I thought, but then I got this message:

Invalid email address 'cyberp_john@ya(remove this)'

That's IT! I'm going back to bed!


Susie went a little power mad with the MT blacklist. It's okay now though, so go and encourage her in her time of crisis!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:16 PM | Comments (4)

I HATE Contractors!

I take it back, I don't hate all contractors, only the ones who don't give us what we need to do our jobs. We were sent down to Birmingham, AL in order to install a wheelchair lift in a TGI Friday's Restaurant, and were to go on to Tuscaloosa to install a "Stair-Chair" lift in a private school. Monday morning, we found out that we were only delivering the stair-chair as the school wanted to wait until Spring Break to have it put in. No big whoop, stuff changes all the time. We loaded up our rental truck, and headed on down there. We arrived around 4:00 PM, and went in to check out the site. When we met the contractor, he seemed like he had his stuff together. He was working his crews in two shifts, and he assured us that he would have the 3 inch "pit" and permanent power ready for us "first thing in the morning". Lots of "windshield time" and one day went down the tubes.

Bryan and I showed up at 7:00 AM (local time. Alabama is in the "Central" time-zone) ready to get to work. We found that of the two things he was to have ready for us, absolutely none of them had gotten done. It would have been nice if he had at least started one of them, but no such luck. We wait around while he has some guys cut the floor out and scoop out the tiles and underlayment. He found a sub-floor under all of that, and figured that he was in good shape. Two-seconds with a tape measure, and we found that his pit was too shallow, and we advised him that it did indeed need to be 3 inches deep (as the plans called for). We talked to the electrician's and explained to them where the power needed to be. Since we were stopped on this job, we explained to the contractor taht we were going to head on down to Tuscaloosa and deliver the stair-chair while he got the pit and the power ready. Assurances were exchanged, so we hit the road.

The hour long trip down to Tuscaloosa was uneventful, excluding the torrential downpour and the Tornado Warnings. Fun trip. We met up with the contractor for the school, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a guy who knew his business. He asked the right questions, he had his field superintendant there, his electrical contractor was there, and a representative from the school. Before we even openned up the back of the truck, we had a plan together for next week (when the install will happen). Damn, I like that. We got the truck unloaded, and then went back to Birmingham. On the way back, we had to stop by another school that is being renovated in order to measure a stairway for a chair-lift we are bidding for the install on. We got that done and headed on back to the TGI Friday's.

We were very impressed that our contractor had gotten both things done...Jack and Shit. We couldn't put off working on this lift any longer, so we just went to installing it with what we had. We got everything "dry fit", and looking good, so we went ahead and anchored it down, installed the upper door, ran the wires for the call-stations, and by that time we had been at work for twelve hours, so I called a halt and we went on back to the hotel. Day two was gone, but at least we made some frickin' progress.

7:00 AM of day three came awful quickly, but we were both ready to get this lift running, so we hit it hard. We finally convinced the contractor that we needed power, so he had his electrician's rig us something temporarily. We got her running, set the limits, installed the stop switch in the pit, and tested the whole thing out to our satisfaction. Unfortunately, when the lift was at the lower level, it was sitting about 3/4 of an inch too high. We advised the contractor that "since the pit isn't deep enough, you're going to have to bring the floor up to the lift. You are also going to have to get permanent power to the lift, and make sure that you mount the lower call-station at least 24 inches away from the lift, and exactly 42 inches from the floor to the center of the button." He stated that he was "Cool with that.", so we packed up our tools and rode the four hours back to Knoxville. I wonder if he got any of that done? We covered our end of the deal, so if the lift doesn't pass inspection, then it's on him. Also, there will be a "reinspection fee" applied to the contractor if we have to go back down there and fix his screw-up. I really hope he has to pay it.

What a knucklehead.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:17 PM | Comments (2)

March 21, 2005

The Big "T"

So what do you do when your insomnia is acting up the night before a big trip? Well, you blog. Of course. It's kind of wierd that the guy who got hired on two weeks after I did, just got his own shop van and a company phone. I'm still a "fifty-percent helper". OF course, I've been out of town doing the big jobs, and he's been around the shop, and tying up loose ends. I've been learning the trade, and he's been thrown to the wolves. I must say that I'm a little jealous.

While I've been studying under the greats (Whgich boils down to watching them put the parts together while I get to sit around and watch), he's been out there getting it done. He is pretty good at it too. The worst part is that I like the guy, and we work quite well together. BUT. (There's always a but.) He doesn't know much about building "real" elevators. He's worked on chair-lifts, the most rudimentary of residential elevators, and that's about it. If you've been paying attention here, you know the scale of things that I've been doing. IT's difficult to keep things in perspective under the circumstances.

The last job that I was out on, Bryan drove his van out with Matt and I in attendance, to the site. Within 15 seconds of our arrival, I took over. In all fairness, the job includes a residential 3 stop lift that is a lot more reminiscent of a real elevator than what Bryan has previously experienced, but nonetheless, I took the damn job over. Through what I've experienced working on larger elevators, I was able to show him the mistakes he's made on this particular job. He was pissed at himself, to his credit, and I had to be the mentor to him, and encourage him that things would be okay. He's the lead guy on this trip, but I'm certain that I will actually be the MAN.

IT's just a part of me, that when I'm in my element, I assert myself. IF the responsibility is mine, then I will automatically lead, and do the most important stuff myself. Just like the guys I've been working under in the big jobs. I think that I'm (almost) naturally suited to the job of a lead mechanic. All I lack is the experience. The thing that is holding me back from getting a vehicle and a company phone of my own.

My Brother In Law keeps advising that I be patient, and I'm taking his counsel to heart. I have to wait for the recognition to come, and the little jobs like the ones I'm being sent on this week are the key. Soon, I'll be called upon to go out with a helpere, and install a "big" elevator on my own. That will be the day that I prove my worth to the company, and that's the day when the money will start rolling in.

I feel confident that my ability will shine through, but I must wait for the trust to be established. It takes awhile, but it can be done, and I'm just the guy to do it. This is an opportunity that will not (like as not) be repeated, so I must make the most of it. I intend to show my true colors on this trip, and it will go right! God save the one who fucks this up, 'cuz it won't be me.

Shortly I'll be in Birnimgham, AL, and after that, I'll be in Tuscaloosa. Home of the University of Alabama. A long-time rival of the University of Tennessee! therefore, as a member of the Rocjy top Brigade, it is my Duty to show the flag to the people of Alabama. So this afternoon, I bought a new baseball cap. It is camouflage, with a big Orange "T" in the middle. I initend to wear it during my entire time in the great state of Alabama. I wonder what the locals will say?

I'll tell them that the big "T" stands for "Tuscaloosa"> I wonder if they'll ge it?

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 01:02 AM | Comments (2)

March 20, 2005

In answer to your question...

Since there has been a rash of stories in the news of people abusing children lately, there have been a few posts around the blogosphere of people venting their rage against the people accused of performing these crimes, and the crimes themselves. The anger that is being displayed is absolutely justified and the punishments that have been suggested are apt. In a post by my Blog-Daughter Sarah, she asked the question:

How can we keep this from ever happening again?
, and I have the answer to it.

We Can't. Does that mean that we shouldn't try? Hell No! But people have to realize that there's no definitive "Do this and it will work" solution to this problem. It has been my observation that due to the diverse and complex nature of the human animal, we will always wind up turning out people that have something wired wrong, and they will do these kinds of acts. It's unnavoidable.

We must be ever vigilant for the monsters that would harm our children, and punishment for the ones that we catch must be swift and severe (in hopes that we can deter future monsters from acting on their unholy urges). We can't ever believe that this problem is solved, because human nature won't allow it to be. We still have mass-murderers, rapists, bank robbors, purse-snatchers, armed-robbers, etc. The list can go on for day's. We aren't able to fix any of these people's abherrent behavior's, so we won't be able to fix child abuser's either. I don't like it, but it is what it is.

Watch out for your babies, folks. These people are out there, and they're always gonna be.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 01:05 PM | Comments (7)

March 17, 2005

It's HER fault!

So, I was gonna put up an absolutely brilliant post about how we can save the rain forests, and perform the perfect act of fellatio simultaneously, but that damn blog duaghter of mine had me pre-occupied on the telephone, last night. There was so much brilliance in the conversation that the Sun was shamed, Shamed into ducking underneath the horizon. I Swear!

So tonight, after arriving back in town from my sojourn to the Tri Cities, I figured
I'd head on to the house and have a beer...Not So Much. An answered phone-call later, and I wind up at a local watering hole with who? (Is it Nixon?) No Virginia! (Is it Jackson?) Which frickin' one? Ullyses S.? Michael? Jermaine? Be more specific!!! (swallows valuum with a Bourbon chaser) Okay. I'm Okay. No it was HER again.

As usual, it starts out with "How about a beer? It's two-for-one happy hour!". NExt thing I know, I'm blogging from someone elses house, in my underpants!! (That may or may not be a lie). Anyhow, I'm off to eat some home-made chili (and corn muffins) (AKA Fuckin ' Cornbread! People, PLEASE!). Alas, I'm off for some good grub, and some good talkin'. Hope you have the same.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:26 PM | Comments (4)


Two days ago, I was informed that I was to be going up to Virginia to begin a new job. Stacking the rails in a completely Virgin hoistway. My reply to this information was something along the lines of:"Okay". (I'm not certain you understand. The vagaries of time haunt me.) Wait! I don't think I mentioned that I was in Chattanooga all day yesterday. WEnt back with one of the adjusters, to finish up some nit-picky BS. It was allright, up until the point where there were problems with the door locks. On both freight elevators. This sucked about eight ways from Tuesday, but I came through it with a light heart, as none of these issues were of my creation.

Today, after I returned from Johnson City, TN, (Actually it was Bluff City, but that place only has one stoplight.) it was revealed that instead of heading North (Into snow and cold and much bitchitude), I was to head South. Into Alabama. I realize that the film Deliverance was filmed in Tennessee, but it was based on people from Alabama! (I'm making that up as a defense mechanism.) Are you starting to see why it is difficult for me to make any sort of plans? From one day to the next, I am to be 600 miles North vs. 600 miles South. "Dinner on Thursday?" Sure, but it may have to be at the "East Asshole" McDougal's. Canya make it?

This is the biggest thing that sucks about my current means of employ. I never know where I'll be, or what I'll be doing more than a day in advance. If I do, it is subject to change without notice.

Alas, Such is the life of an Elevator Man.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:11 PM | Comments (3)

March 15, 2005

Just stuff.

Well, we finally finished up our "cable-job" this afternoon. Jebus Tits that was a lot of pushing and pulling and finagling and hitting stuff with hammers. One of the Old Salts of the elevator bidness described it as "A good job o' work." Nice turn of phrase ain't it? I'll be adding it to my repertoire. Anyway, I have been completely wiped out from this job. The stress level was incedibly high, and the hours were long. Also, we changed shifts (Start and End time of work) four times over the course of seven work day's. Also, there were only three people on this job (myself included) that were there every day of it. The other three floated in and floated out, thereby adding to the stress levels.

My primary job on this deal was ensuring that everything went well with the counterwieght. This was a big responsibility for me, as none of the "lead" mechanics ever even came down to the pit. If you'll recall the (pitifully drawn) picture from this post, this machine was roped "2 to 1". How we do this type of job, is we run the elevator all the way up until the counterweight is sitting on its buffer stands (Or up on jack stands like we did these). The counterweight is heavier than the car, so it makes sense to set it on something solid (if you set the lighter car there, if something went wrong, then theweight would come down, and the car would be propelled through the top of the hoistway). Since the "weight" is so heavy, and has to take up so little room in the hoistway, it is quite tall. Let's see, sitting on eight foot jack stands, plus the 16 feet of counterweight, (carry the four) and you find yourself a "goodly" ways up a ladder in order to get to the shieve.

Since w are pulling the cable up through the top of the hoistway, The only thing that is holding it up is a couple of cable grips. If one of those failed, I would get anywhere from 100 to 400 feet of wire rope coming down on my head.. while standing on a ladder 20+ feet from the floor. I should have stuck a piece of coal in my ass, because after one was moving through there, I could have shit a diamond. Times twelve. (six ropes per car, two cars re-roped.) If crunching numbers was this exciting, I'd still be doing it.

There were only a few {exciting moments) on this gig, but the few there were, was at least once a day. I've come home so stressed/tired that I could only stare at the wall (and drink) until sleep overcame me.

The strangest part is: I still like this job.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:53 PM | Comments (6)

March 12, 2005

Formulaic Thinking.

It's kinda funny to me. Now that I work for a company that actually builds things, that my skills from my previous employs don't seem to have atrophied all that much. You see., My roommate is still working for a retail store. He is quite an intelligent individual, which is why I like him. He's currently trying to make it into management at the store, and is trying very hard to show his worth to the powers that be. He started out unloading trucks, and he is now out on the sales floor taking care of the bike rack. This is one of the "special" area's of the store that is not controlled by the Inventory Management System.

The IMS is the computer-driven, autaomated stock ordering system that handles the major lifting of making sure that a store gets the product it needs in order to take care of the demand for the aforementioned sale item. Bicycle stock orders are handled manually, due to the nature of what they are. Since most companies are going to a system of "Real time delivery", most manufacturers are waiting until the order is placed before they produce their product. Due to the nature of the item in question, it takes approximately three weeks for a bike to be produced and delivered to the store. I think that the system is geared more towards a One Week delivery schedule. It can't handle the variance, so it must be done manually.

There's been a moratorium on manual orders at the store lately. It seems that the home office is bitching that the system doesn't work because too many people are circumventing it. Unfortunately, corporate believes that the system hasn't been able to prove itself due to manual orders, instead of recognizing the fact that the system is comprised of Bad Code, and can't react timely enough to respond to the current customer demand. (Computer's only do what they're told to do. If the parameters don't match the reality, it's not the fault of the the system, but of the person who programmed it.)

Over the last year, my roommate has been manually ordering bikes, and has been reacting to demand with a good degree of success, but the bosses don't want to recognize his value, and are following the poliocy handed down from corporate. Steven would like to state his case against the bosses to prove what he can (and did) do. He started out with MS powerpoint. Unfortuantely, it's a piece of software that I've not had a whole lot of dealing with. He wanted me to do a little foramtting of the slide he created. A few color changes was all he needed. After searching eight ways to Sunday, I could not find a way to do it. I asked him about the "Raw numbers", and he stated that he hadn't had a chance to look into them yet. I was touting the benefits of MS Excel the whole time.

I went to a fish fry down at the docks. All things were merry, and many family members were in attendance. "Home-made wine" was consumed, but not the "Pour it in your gas tank and gain 50 horsepower" type. Merly a few muscedine berries that were properly massaged into the correct liquid configuration. A bit sweet, but it went down well. I went back home, to collect myself.

Shortly after I arrived, Steven came into my living room with a minor question: "How much do you know about Excel?" My answer was a little cocky: "I used to be able to make it do a song and a dance for me." Well friends, I still can. He was asking for a percentage comparison of the year before last versus this last year, of bike sales on a weekly basis. All 52 weeks, plus a yearly summary. Sure, he had typed in all the raw data, but he couldn't figure out how to get the numbers. I went into the other room, typed in a formala in one cell, changed the format on it to a percentage, and drug it across. It took less than a minute to solve his delimma. Also, the numbers showed that, under his stewardship, sales had increased by a net of 20%.

I don't know what else to do for my friend. I hope that my formulaic thinking can help him prove his case. Kick their asses ,buddy. Goodness knows I've done it before.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:43 PM | Comments (8)

March 11, 2005

Body Revolt!

The alarm was set for 5:15 AM. Kevin called at 7:46 AM. My phone (which is also my alarm clock) is set at vibrate and ring, was four inches from my head. I slept through it all. When I woke up, my watch said it was 7:00 AM,. but sometime in the night, it lost an hour. My sister called at 7:07AM by my watch, and informed me that it was 8:04.

So much for only needed 5 hours of sleep a night. I think my body is trying to tell me something. "Sleep more! You ain't eighteen any longer!" Stupid body. Off to work, Late.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)

It's starting again.

Some of you may wonder why I chose the name of Johnny - Oh to post under? If not. Read on anyway, because if you don't, baby-seals will be clubbed to death, and YOUR fingerprints will be placed on the beating stick. I'm not kiddin'. (/megalomania)

Simply put: My first name is John, and my last name starts with an "O", but it goes a little deeper than that. In the last four or five jobs I've worked at, I have made a few friends. Generally, people like me, so it comes as no surprise to me that it happenned. However, the name "John" is not very conducive to creating a nickname from. So before long I usually become "Johnny". Some of the more creative folks usually wind up adding in the last initial, so I morph into the infamous "JohnnyO". All I did was take that and add a hyphen (and due to my flair for the dramatic) the final "H".

I like the "Oh" part of my name due to the flexible nature of the that little word. It could mean: "I can't believe that he made me feel THAT way. (tremble) I hope he does it AGAiN." It could be an expletive of surprise! It could be an Eeyore-esque Expression of resignation. It could be a question. Just a wonderfully versatile little word.

So, I'm working on elevators with a slightly different crew. This one includes Kevin of the Union City trip, and also Terry who completes the Trinity of traction elevator guru's. (Ford is the other one.) Well, I was up in the machine room today, and I heard Terry's voice waft up through a hole in the floor. "Hey Johnny! I need you to go down to the pit." Ah yes! I only wonder now, how long it will it take them to add the "Oh" on the end.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:08 AM | Comments (10)

March 10, 2005

Oh THAT hurts!

I just noticed that my blog-bro _Jon left me a comment in my post on Lego's. As soon as I clicked through to this site, I got excited. Woohoo! I can cheaply get together enough pieces to build a working freight elevator! Ha! I'll show you all that I can rise to the challenge that my blog-daughter laid down. (Remind me to take away her allowance.)

Then I clicked the link for the best deal they had.

This item is currently not available.

Curse you Amazon!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:34 PM | Comments (4)


I think I got to sleep about midnight last night. It only took about a 1/4 of a gallon of bourbon to get me there. Add in the fact that I ate exactly one meal yesterday, and you can probably see my delimma: I'm not sure if I'm hung-over, or still drunk. Luckily, I set the alarm early enough to go get something to eat this morning. Hopefully, it'll soak up enough alchohol to make me, at least, moderately effective at work today.

I stopped by the retail store that I used to work at yesterday. Just to pick up some Acetaminophin for the body-aches. I wound up spending about two hours just standing around talking to my former coworkers. It was kinda nice. Mildred, (The absolutely "One of the sweetest ladies you'd ever like to meet") was door-greeting when I sauntered in. She allowed that she's proud of me for bettering myself with the new job, and that she's praying for me. Gave me a warm-fuzzy, it did. When I was talking to my buddy Chris, he mentioned that the college kid was given an opportunity to quit before he got fired. It seems that Nick was calling off of work WAY too much, for no good reason. A quote from that conversation goes thusly: "Thomas said he was a "damn drunk", but I said "So was John-Oh, but he was here every day". I'm proud that Chris noticed.

Last evening, I got a call from an old friend. I met her when I was a junior in high school, and she was just a freshman. Back in those days, we were almost inseperable. I remember many times when we would gather up oour meager resources: one dollar goes in the gas tank, and the other three went into the pool table. She just bought a house. I'm so proud of her I could bust. I even offered to help her move, despite the fact that she's moved most of the heavy stuff already. Even though I only talk to her three or four times a year, she's still part of my support net. I wonder if she knows that.

I guess that's enough random thought for this morning. I'll just toddle off to work now. Am I awake? Sort of.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:03 AM | Comments (3)

March 09, 2005


Something that is supposedly very good for the human animal. My patterns here lately have been upended by the crazed work schedule. After working for so long in CHattanooga, I got used to getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning, and getting to work at 7. Then I get back home, and I don't have to get up until 6 or 6:30, to be at work by 7:30 or 8. Then, this week, I've arrived at the job at 9pm, 7pm, and 6pm the three day's I've worked this week. I was supposed to go in at 4 this evening, but plans got changed, so I now have to go in at 7:30 tomorrow morning. Yeesh. How the hell am I gonna get to sleep?

This week, I've gotten back into my natural rythem of getting in be at 3 or 4 AM, and rolling out at 11 or 12. This ismy sleep-cycle when I'm not working (aka. jobless). It's got a kind of comforting feel to it, and I've had a chance to reacclimate myself to this, only to be dashed. The worst part is: that it makes perfect sense to curtail the night shift, and go ahead and re-rope this elevator. I can't argue with the logic a bit, as I was one of the people standing around questioning "Why aren't we re-roping this thing?" Foist on my own petard, I was.

Anyway's. I'll just keep drinking and blogging. In hopes that the SandMAn will call early early enough tonight for me to be effective on the morrow.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:15 PM | Comments (2)

March 08, 2005


Just goes to show that it's good to be a "John of all trades". A quick run down to Comp USA. A mild upgrade to a better power supply. (I didn't realize it, but the old one was only 250 Watts. Now its got a 450 Watt Bad Boy in there.) I'm baaaack!

It's bad enough that I actually know what to do in these situations, and it still freaks me out when I don't have access to my machine. I can only imagine how bad it is for you non-technically-savvy folks out there. Take the machine to a repairman, wait 4 days until they can get a look at it. Find that the power-supply is shot. Get quoted a price that is roughly equivalent to the GDP of Paraguay, to purchase a new part, and get it installed. Get PC back from the shop two weeks later, and then try to catch up.

No thanks. I'll fix it my damnself.

I've got to be to work at 6:00 PM tonight, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to post more this afternoon. As long as the network is up when I get home, I promise to post like a crazy man.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 02:51 PM | Comments (4)


Had a pretty-decent night on the job, so that's something. We did have one little snag that cost us about two hours worth of work though. Just to clarify, we've actually not been replacing ropes on this job yet. What is getting done, is we are having the "Drive (or traction)" shieves re-ground on all three of the elevators in this "bank" (Not a financial institution, but a group of elevators that work in conjunction with one another). In order for us to be able to do that, we have to take the ropes that are there and move them out of the way, so that the guy can get his lathe in there. No big whoop.

We had gotten started on rigging up the right-side elevator (We did the one in the middle on Sunday night) when we realized that there was no way we could pull then through the drive shieve due to the "shackles". A shackle is a piece of threaded rod that has a means of being attached to the rope, and then stuck through a hole in the floor (or a mounting plate) and nuts are placed on the end of it to hold it in place. Nowadays, we are using a "Wedge Type" shackle that is exactly what it sounds like. There is a little V-shaped basket with a hole in the bottom. The rope comes up through the bottom of the V, is turned in a loop, and then passed back through the hole again. A Little wedge is inserted into the loop, and then you pull both ends of the rope until the wedge buries itself into the basket. The weight of the elevator pinches the rope inside the basket and the wedge keeps it from moving. Simple design, and the best part is that you can take it apart and reuse it.

What we found was that the shackles on the car we started on were "Old School". These go together a little differently. Think of an inverted cone with a hole at the pointy end. The hole is only just big enough to pass the rope through it one time. Once the end is stuck up through there, the rope is unravelled just a little bit. Each one of the strands is then bent away and down, to form a mushroom shape. Then the mushroom is pulled down into the cone. Since this is not enough to keep the rope from pulling through the hole, "Babbitt" is used to hold it in place. Babbitt is a kind of lead (and some other metals) that is melted into a liquid, and then poured into the top of the cone. Once it hardens, it is well-nigh impossible to get back out of there, so you can see our delimma. In order to get the ropes through the machine we would have to cut the ropes off of the shackles, and we had no spare "wedge-type" shackles to replacethe babbitted ones, so we were stuck. Luckily, the car on the left had wedge-typed shackles on it, so we just moved over there and did our thing.

When I finally got home last night (aka this morning), the BAD SHIT started. I went to sit down at my computer, and noticed a high-pitched whine was emanating from the nether-regions of my PC. Grab the mouse, to wake it up, and get no response. I tried hugging it, tickling it, screaming at it, and hitting it with a sawed-off pool cue, to no avail. My power supply has gone to the big scrap-heap in the sky. "No problem" is says to myself. My roommate's have some more PC's in the house, so I'll just use one of them. Much to my chagrin, I find that the cable-modem is down. Arrrrghh! Seven computer's in this house, and I can't get to the web from any one of them.

Thank goodness, that the network is back up this morning, as I'd hate to think of what may have happenned if it weren't. The scenario "Up on a roof with a Magnum" springs to mind. Well, I'm off to try to get another power supply for my machine, and I'll keep you guy's posted. It's a good thing I ain't addicted to the Internet. I can quit any time I want.


Posted by Johnny - Oh at 01:24 PM | Comments (2)

March 07, 2005

Looks like another night shift

although tonight, I'm headed over there earlier than last night. I just got a call from the lead night-shift mechanic, and he asked if I could get over there at 7:00 instead of 9:00. I hope this means that we'll get to leave earlier, as I'm not real interested in staying there all night. I will if I have to, but I don't wanna.

I'm off to make elevators go up and down. I'll give you a report when I get home.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

Are You a Mythic Person?

I don't know why this one caught my fancy.


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmn. Red pill, or blue? Who'm I kidding? Larry Fishburn I ain't.

Via Sissy.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 04:17 AM | Comments (3)

It Had to Happen Sooner or Later

As you all know, I drink a little from time to time. For the most part, I don't cause no trouble, but sometimes stuff happens. You see, there was this girl. I was vulnerable, and my guard was down. One thing led to another, and what's done is done, but I never expected the outcome that I got. The sickness. The pain. Then the sudden burst of joy. Yep, It's a Girl. (Passing cigars to everyone in the blogosphere) I'm so Proud!

One and all. please welcome my blog-kid Sarah the Penguin, to the Family. She's only been blogging a couple of day's, but she's really going strong. I knew that she'd enjoy blogging just because she's always been a good storyteller. She comes by this trait honest. She does a nice job of 'splaining the meaning behind the unique name of her blog (Hey, would I have a blog-child that wasn't unique?), Because We Have Thumbs. She's also got a wacky sense of humor, which bodes well that she'll be able to stand up to the onslaught of the rest of the Bad Example Family. I feel that she has all the right tools to make it in the big bad blogosphere. She also Loves her Pappy and ain't afraid to talk me up. Sucking up to blog parents? I wonder where she gets that from? Certainly not her Mother, 'cuz I have no idea who she is. At least Tammi will have no trouble adding her to the Family Tree.

At any rate, go tell her Hi, and that you Love her stuff, 'cuz if you don't, I'll drop an elevator on you (or something).

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)

March 06, 2005


Much as I hate to bitch about work (Pause to allow the guffaws of laughter to die down), I have to complain a little bit. It's not really the Job's fault per se, but the owners of the elevator's. We recently picked up a big contract to service all the elevators in the local teaching hospital, and we need to do a re-rope job on a few of their older ones. Unfortunately, they have this "thing" about shutting down a bank of elevator's during bidness hours, so we have to do the work as quickly as possible. Therefore we need to run two shifts. Guess which shift I got? Yep, the night shift.

Here's the bitch though. The night shift starts at 9:00 PM, tonight. Ugh. I've been running "wide open" all weekend, and now I have to go in and work until something like 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. Stupid hospitals with their stupid elevators. Another thing that will be interesting about this job is that it is more complex than the last little one I just did. The one in Union city was roped "1 to 1", and these are roped "2 to 1". Since it's difficult to explain the difference without writing a full technical manual, I've decided to draw you a pitcher. (BTW the heavy blue line is a "rope")

(click to enlarge)

As you can see, the "2 to 1" is a lot more complex thatn a simple "1 to 1". The five-stop in Union City used about 50 feet of rope for each strand (there is always multiple strands). If the eight-stop over at the hospital was 1 to 1 as well, we'd be using around 8o feet of rope per strand, but in the 2 to 1 configuration it will use around 400 feet of rope per strand. Times six ropes per elevator, times 3 elevators. I'm gonna be dealing with a LOT of wire rope. Ah well. I wanted to be an elevator man.

See you all in the morning.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 07:52 PM | Comments (4)

Dept. of Not Surprised

I hate it when the quiz nails me in one. I'm such a stereotype.

Redneck Bear
Redneck Bear

Which Dysfunctional Care Bear Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

It's Harvey's fault.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:27 AM | Comments (4)

March 04, 2005

An Interesting Trip

It seems that Kevin is besieged with poor luck, and nobody bothered to let me know about it before taking to the roads with him. I mentioned the other morning that it was spitting a little snow outside, right? No biggie. Just a few flurries. However...when I mentioned it, I had only seen the very beginning of what was to become a bona-fide snowstorm. Yep, it was comin' down "purty good". Undounted, Kevin points the shop-van west on Interstate 40. We should have gone back to bed.

Once we cleared West Knoxville, we start to notice that the snow is "sticking" quite nicely to the road. As usual, the DOT was caught with their collective pants down, so there had been no salt or de-icer layed down on the roads. Max-speed was about 40 mph. Keep a good following distance, etc. (Thank goodness that the sun was clearing the horizon at our backs around the time we really got rollin', because this section of our trek would have been a tinge more exciting if we couldn't see the pitfalls before us.) I'm sure that you've all seen the signs out there on the highways and byways of America that state: "Bridge Ices Before Road". It would seem that the literacy rate in the state of Tennessee is not quite up to the level of actually comprehending those signs. We began to see see several vehicles scattered along the sides of the road. Most had been "scuffed" just a bit, as pinballing off of the cement bridge railing tends to leave a mark. Let's just say that I appreciated Kevin's extra bit of caution as we crossed bridges and overpasses. Max-speed dropped to around 30 mph.

Needless to say, we were both getting a bit concerned. We are still in the valley, and we have the Cumberland Plateau ahead of us. If it's bad in the valley, it's always worse on the Plateau. At one point, some trucker had parked his semi on the inside median of the road just past an on-ramp. The road is climbing up a hill, and all the drivers out there are a little nervoous, so they slow way down. One poor slob in front of us actually brings his mini-van (with which he is towing a U-Haul trailer) to a stop. On the bridge. On the Icy bridge. The one that goes up hill and cambers off to the right. every time he tried to get moving forward, the front of his vehicle just slid down the camber of the bridge toward the guard rail. Luckily, Kevin had stopped with a good 25 feet to go before the bridge so we were able to get 'er rolling again. Albeit with much laughing and pointing.

The ride was starting to get allright after we climbed up onto the plateau. We are still seeing vehicles stuck in the median and the ditches on both sides of the road, but the DOT had been able to catch up and got some treatment down on the roads. We are actually clipping along at 60 or 65 mph. Life is good. Until we get about 40 miles this side of Nashville. That's when our max-speed dropped to zero. (Insert four hours of sitting in traffic here.) AS we are rolling past the scene of the wreck, we note that both of the tractor-trailers are pretty mangled up, but one of them is a little worse than the other. I'd be amazed if the guy driving actually made it through the accident, because the entire cab of the truck had been dislodged from its frame. Ugly business all the way around.

After we cleared the wreckage, we were able to finally make some time. It's still spitting snow occasionally, but the sun is well up into the sky, and nothing is sticking to the road. We fly around Nashville, and I get to point out the apartments where I used to live over there, as we pass by. Stop for a McBurger on the other side, and keep on rollin'. We finally make it to the appointed gas stop (at exit 126, I live just off of exit 384) when Kev's luck strikes us again. Just as we exit the van, our olfactories were accosted with the most noisome odor. It would seem that the fates had determined that we didn't have an interesting enough trip yet, so they placed the septic tank truck there to liven up our day. Not to mention the clerk there who was about "as sharp as a bowling ball".

Just a little further down the road, we hook North on Highway 22. It was then that I realized that I'd been misled. We weren't going to Memphis, we were going to Union City. Please note the maps linked to above, and you'll notice that the two places are decidedly dissimilar. Now I don't want you to think that I'm "Throwin' off" on Union City, TN, but it ain't exactly what I would call cosmopolitan. We roll on up the mian drag, in hopes that we will be able to secure a room at the Hampton Inn there. Walk through the doors at quarter 'til five in the evening, only to discover that the place is booked solid. Alternatives? A Super 8, and the Hospitality House. Not lookin' good for the home team. When we drive around back of the Super 8, and notice the pry marks on the lower floor windows, and decide to cruise on across the road to the Hospitality House. It is a remodelled circa 1940's Holiday Inn, and it didn't look too bad from the outside, but it never hurts to be cautious. Fortunately we were pleasantly surprised. The rooms were really nice. Finally something is looking up.

At around 6:30 in the evening my workday started. We arrive at "THE TALLEST BUILDING IN UNION CITY" to begin working on their five-stop elevator. Oh yes. I'm not saying that the town has slowed down a little bit, but that elevator was installed in 1931. Not exactly what you would call a happenin' town.

The building maintenance guy had taken the drive motor to be rebuilt, and when he reinstalled it he didn't get it square with the reduction gear that drives the shieve. On the ride up, the car was shaking like a dryer with a pair of workboots in it. Not exactly a comfortable feeling I can attest. So instead of getting to work on rigging the car up in the hoistway, we start in correcting the drive motor issue. After that, we run the car all the way up so that its top is level with the fifth floor landing, and sling it up. Since the counterweights are heavier than the car, we have to go down below them and set some rail-chocks to hold them up. Then we get to quitting-time. 1:30 in the morning. What a long day.

That was just day one. Luckily, it got a little less interesting as the rest of the trip went by. I'll update soon.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:34 AM | Comments (7)

March 01, 2005

It seems that Kevin is running a little later than I originally anticipated, so I figured I'd blog. I'm watching the Weather channel, and I just got some good news. It looks like it will be 46 degrees (fahrenheit) over in Memphis today, as opposed to the high of 34 that Knoxville will achieve. Warm. I like warm. Since I am the only coffee drinker in the house, I decided that I'd just run down the street to the convenience store, instead of dragging out the coffee pot and making a mess. On my short journey, I noted the fact that it is currently snowing. Not hard, but it's definately there. Sheesh. It's March already, I shouldn't have to put mup with this.

Kevin just called, Gotta, go.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:42 AM | Comments (0)

A Prayer in Memphis?

I'm not sure if I'l have one or not, but I'm headed out there this morning. Luckily, I'm only going to be out there for two to three days, so my blog won't suffer. There's an elevator out there that needs to have its wire ropes replaced, so I'm heading out there with Kevin (Who happens to be another of the "Old School" guys, and someone I can learn a lot from). It would seem that the "powers that be" with the company want me to become the new "traction man" as the guys who are currently experts aren't getting any younger. I'm certainly fine with that. I'll let you know how it went in a few days.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 05:50 AM | Comments (4)

Will this man EVER stop copulating?

So, here I am. About half-lit, on a Monday night, and I arrive home from a wonderful evening of hanging out with a friend, doing the dinner-and-a-movie-and-a-cocktail-or-two-afterwards bit, when I discover that I have a new blog-sister.

Yeesh! At this rate, it'll take a person a half an hour just to scroll through the "Family" links on the sidebar! Pam of Camp HappyBadFun has just been admitted to the family.

Welcome Pam, to the happiest, most funnest, blog-family going in the 'sphere.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:54 AM | Comments (2)