May 31, 2005

Back to work blogging.

So...A couple of weeks ago, Ford and I were installing the first of the newest iteration of the TKE controlled elevator, and we got a visit at the jobsite from the boss. No big deal. It's his business, so if he wants to step out and see what's going on it's his perrogative. We were talking about the new ICON controller, and he stated that he had a little computer that could be plugged into the mainboard of the elevator that would allow him to control nearly every aspect of what it was doing. While he was describing it to me, he stated that "With this thing, I'm gonna make you an Adjuster. I know that you know computers, so it sholdn't be any trouble."

I kinda blew it off as a left-handed joke, at the time. Even Ford an I joked that he was gonna make me an adjuster. The joke was in that the adjuster is the most highly trained, anally retentive, attention to detail oriented, rules knowin', bitchin' about what went wrong, individual in the company. He's the guy who comes out after a job has been "roughed in", and smoothes all the edges out to get a good running elevator, that will pass a state inspection. I've only been doing this type of work for about eight months, so it's kind of absurd that he would be grooming me for this sort of thing.

After Ford and I got done installing that elevator, we met at the shop to see where we were going next. Ford was sent out to install a four-stop, in ground elevator, and I was sent out with the adjuster. Hmmn. Interesting that. Luckily, Phil is a great guy, and we can get along with each other, so working with him has been a breeze. Two of the three elevators that we worked on over the last two weeks were ones that I had a hand in installing. He would some in and start talking about what was wrong with the processes (and results of same) that we used to install the thing, and I would set to work (in conjunction with him) to correcting these little niggling things. It was a lot of fun, to see the things that I'd missed in a new light. It's not a personal criticism that Phil brings to the job, but a general idea of what is wrong, and what should be fixed. I like that.

After riding with the adjuster for almost two weeks, I've learned quite a bit about what we've been doing incorrectly, and it's my aim to fix it. It would seem that the boss man has other plans for me. Myu sole ambition is to be the guy who "roughs in" the elevator, and when the adjuster arrives, the only thing he's got to do is say "Good Job". An honorable goal. I'll be given a helper within a week's time, and sent out to put one in on my own.

Damn, I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:36 PM | Comments (3)

May 30, 2005

Every Day...

This is my living room. 'nuff said.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)

May 29, 2005

Wow! ctd.

I haven't even started with what Tuning Spork had to say, and now Stephen Macklin has weighed in. I'll just keep on with my thoughts about what Rachel Ann had to say, and go from there.

Rachel espoused the explicit nature of Talmudic Law, and went on to ask:

Is it a subjective thing?
In my opinion, Yes. Everything is relative. The fact that the Rabbi's have undertaken to create a ruling for any given situation is quite a noble effort, but I think it's something that can never be completed. In attempting to predefine the rules to every situation, they created many situations where laws are applied to a particular happenstance where they don't necessarily apply, thereby doing wrong to the people involved. This type of thing will happen whenever an absolute is determined. As I've stated, I don't think there aren't any Black and White situations, it's not that simple, but it certainly is a lot easier to live life when you can force a particular shade of gray into a definite Black or White. I think that looking at each situation unto itself is a more honest approach, but it is not a very practical one. There is no dearth of ignorant people out there who are unable to reason out what we've been discussing on their own. "Because God wills it" seems to be the only thing that works to get these people to behave. I liken it to telling your child "Because I said so!" when they are balking at your decision of when their bed-time should be.

I know how it works, and I understand why it works, but I don't have to like it.

I've got to go put in a new linoleum floor in my roommate's sister's kitchen, so I'll pick this up again later this afternoon.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:52 AM | Comments (3)


Check the comments of the last post, and you'll find some wonderful work by the talented Rachel Ann, and the erudite Tuning Spork. This is great stuff folks.

Rachel disusses the fine points of Talmudic law, in a perspective that I've not previously been privy to, and the arduous process of repention forthe Orthodox Jew. I generalized things by stating: or that YHWH will judge them and there's nothing they can do about it so let's just get on with our lives. It seems that my interpretation of the Jewish God was incorrect in regards to absolution. It is possible, but it ain't easy. Atonement is a progression that has been spelled out by the wise Rabbi's of her faith. There's nothing wrong with that. The vast majority of those cat's had their "Stuff" together, and could come up with excellent ways of controlling their population/worshippers.

In accordance to what I've observed, Judaism is the first "One God" religion, and it is the first form of government. It was formed back when the term "government wasn't even devised yet, and it was filled with so many scholars that it couldn't help but come up with a book as filled with good sense as the Bible.

I'm a bit too drunk to carry on with my thought process, so I'll sign off now, and continue shortly.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:41 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2005

Rachel Ann is egging me on...

It appears that the wonderful blogger (and fellow MuNuvian) Rachel Ann at the Willow Tree is wanting to start up a discussion regarding my "Truth" series. She sent me a lovely email today, and the more I read it, the more I wanted to respond to her (Don't get scared Rachel, we actually agree). Specifically (and I hope it's not bad form for me to quote her) the statement where she says:

I felt, still do, that it is easier to be moral
within a religious context than it is to be moral without G-d standing beside one.

What can I say? She's absolutely correct. It is Orders of Magnitude easier to be, and remain, moral when there is a Diety there to answer to. I'll now explain my perspective to you.

(backstory) In my early formative years, my family was a group of "Sunday-Only" Baptists. We went to church, and I remember doing the whole Bible-School thing. Pretty average folks, for being in the South in the late Seventies. I remember being Baptized (very vaguely). I remember the teaching of the Ten Commandments, most of which I didn't understand at the time, and the Golden Rule. Then we moved to another city in Tennessee and had to join another church. Here's the juicy part. The new church decided that they needed to Baptize me again. Yup. I've been Baptized twice, and my middle name is Paul so I've been named very closely to the most popular Pope of the modern era. I should be religious as Hell.

Unfortunately, the second Baptizm sparked the urge in me to question my religion, and in fact, religion in general. After looking into most of the Big Ones, I even started looking into some of the alternative faiths. None of them "clicked" with me. There was always something that seemed false. Flash forward twenty-some years, and you get the Athiest I am today. (/backstory)

It is my contention that the very foundation of Every Religion (with few exception) is at its core, the same. The base precepts are essentially alike, and that led me to think that these core ideals are more of a simple human reaction, than they are derived from a devine source. "It's how we're built" is a lot harder to accept than "G-d Wills It!". The concept of "Absolution" becomes null and void. The idea of a "Cruel God" comes into the spotlight, except the "Cruel God" is Me. I am my own worst critic. I look back and see where I've failed, and then the guilt sets in. For someone who has a G-d to lean on, they can make it all better with just a few Hail-Mary's, or the understanding that Jesus forgives them, or that YHWH will judge them and there's nothing they can do about it so let's just get on with our lives.

For the devout, ultimate responsibilty lies at the foot of the Diety. For the Athiest, it all lies at one's own foot. Which one's easier? You tell me.

Thanks again to Rachel Ann for the wonderful inspiration.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:44 PM | Comments (10)

Another "Truth" for ya.

We've decided what the definition of freedom is, and determined that we are individuals. Now comes the tough part. Going against our nature as social individuals to stick our big ass noses where they don't belong. Trying to attain that pinnacle of not being a miserable fucking busy-body. It's not easy kids, but it can be done.

All you have to do is completely redesign the human psyche into something else. Simple I know, but it takes a lot of time and a very extreme culling of the herd. You see, the problem is in finding people who are capable of seeing what they are doing, intelligent enough to understand it, and can get over their self-affectation to assert their beliefs on others. (Maybe "assert" isn't the right word for the previous sentence, I think I meant to say "force".)

Let's look at the Insurance industry for a minute. Specifically automobile insurance. (My definition of insurance is thus: Paying for an eventuality.) I've known people who have spent several times their annual salary on insurance over the years, and never needed the coverage. When they did need it, they had to pay more (Deductible) in order to recieve a portion of the monies that they've already paid in order to correct the damage. A really good idea if you have an issue of tree's "jumping out in front of you", but a shitty one if you haven't had any issues in "umpty" years. You, as the good driver, wind up paying for the mistakes of the bad driver. Why is it an issue? Because recently the state I live in decided that they would pass a law requiring me to carry insurance on my vehicle. Wait a minute. The gummint is mandating that I give my money to an organization (Taxation) which is operated by people I didn't vote for (without representation). I seem to recall a little document that said that this behaviour wasn't kosher. I could also call it robbery (which defines as: The act or an instance of unlawfully taking the property of another by the use of violence or intimidation.) which I think is another word that fits the bill.

More soon. (Stop laughing. I really mean it.)

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:50 PM | Comments (4)

May 19, 2005

The Truth about the Truth

This will be a continutaion of the thoughts I posted here, then here. My apologies for the delay.

As I was bitching about in the last post on this subject, I really HATE it when someone wants to force their ideology on me. Any type. Doesn't matter. A discussion amongst civilised people is preferred, Hell it's frickin' welcomed, but when it comes time to disagree, you just gotta agree to disagree and move on. But that's not how it normally goes. I'm always up for a dissenting opinion, but if it's not up to par with what I've observed in my meager years on this Earth, well you've got to expect me to hold my ground, and at the same time I'll respect where you're coming from. I understand it, I just don't believe it to be fact.

There's the burden. There's the crux of it.

You see, I am a libertarian, and an Athiest. I believe in personal responsibility...In all aspects of the phrase, and that happens to preclude a god. I am also an avid believer in personal freedom. As long as you do "what you do" without causing undue harm to those around you, you don't take a life unneccesarily, take something that is not yours without permission, or force your ideals on another (by whatever means other than respectful discourse) then anything is fair game. I think it's the very definition of freedom. To be untrammeled by the decisions of others.

No. I'm not an Anarchist. I believe that there should be some type of governing body to take care of the little thing that a society needs, but the issue is that all governments are flawed. Yes. All of them. It doesn't matter which particular leaning you have politically, philosophically, or religiosly, once you come down as a fanatic or a zealot on any side of any issue, you're wrong. Things just arean't that clear cut. Each instance of anything that happens is individual unto itself, and must be looked at relative to the situation at hand.

A it's been said: "The Devil is in the details", and that statement is true from both sides of the coin. If you look at a situation from a pigeonholed standpoint, all your details are defined by what you can immediately see. If you are looking from outside of the pigeonhole, all you see is a series of different boxes "one of which might have your name on it" that clearly represent the differences between individuals that make us all the same. We are fucking individuals.

I've got to work early tomorrow later today, so I'll close for now. But I think there's more to come.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:18 AM | Comments (6)

May 18, 2005

Accidental Catalyst

So...I've been sitting here drinking. I only worked six hours today, and only two and a half hours of that was actually work, but hey. At least I got a few hours over yesterday to make up for the shortfall. I got home early enough to get the lawn mowed, and I'm pleased with that. I do enjoy mowing now that I've got a riding mower. It cut the task down to about an hour, as opposed to the three to four it used to take.

Yesterday evening when I got home, my roommate's signifigant other (J) told me that she'd raided my music stash (CD's) in order to rip some new music for the M'uh P'uh 3'uh playlist that we listen to on the back patio of an evening. She wanted to make sure that I didn't get upset when I went looking for one of my CD's and found it in the incorrect place. This was the right thing for her to do, as I am bound to get upset if I didn't know about it and extrapolated it later, but since she came right out and told me she was in my shit, it's fine.

One of the Cd's that she wanted to listen to was MeatLoaf's Bat Out of Hell. I think she cut the whole thing to PC format, as this evening's playlist was really heavy with it. (I won't waste Pixy's bandwidth on putiing up a song, but I trust you know who I'm talking about)

The Record in Question was released originally in 1977, and was something of a phenomena. Aparrently, it was a favorite of J's Mom, so it became a favorite of J's. It's also a favorite of mine, so ti worked out good that I had it...or not.

You see, J's Mom died when J was 12 years old. I don't know all the details of her passing, but you can imagine how this would effect an early teenage girl. This is the linchpin of her life. She carries it with her everywhere, and I think she sorta blames herself for what happenned. This is the event that permeates her life.

Tonight, as we are eating supper, she gradually became more and more despondent. It was clear that she was sliding into a state of depression, and for all my efforts, I was helpless to push her out of it. AS the playlist was running, she would periodically get up and change the song, and almost invariably the next tune would be from the album mentioned previously. The more she listened, the worse she got.

She was having a tete a tete conversation with my roommate, who can be a little thick sometimes, about calling this psychic that is currently seen on the Montel Williams daytime program. It seems that this lady has the ability to contact the "spirtit" of anyone who has shuffled off this mortal coil, and takes personal calls to do so from people who can pay the $700 fee for the service. J is really into this person about now, as there are cetain things that remind her of her Mom.

I made the mistake of stating that "these people are quacks" or some such in the presence of my roommate who decided to take things to the N'th degree, and badger her about it. After about a half an hour of listening to his shit, I decided that it was time for me to vacate the back porch and come on into my living room. My roommate obviously took to berating her for an idiot for being a fan of this medium, who could put her in touch with her Mother, and J became more and more upset.

There was a point in the evening when she came into my living room and asked me (With tears in her eyes) if it was okay after seventeen years to still miss her Momma. I said: "It never goes away sweetie. It never goes away."

I'm certainly more than understanding of her current condition, and I'm prepared to be a friend to her if she needs it. But I won't lie to her, and I hope that helped.

I can only hope that it wasn't my MeatLoaf CD that set off her current state of sadness. If it was, it wasn't on purpose.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 01:13 AM | Comments (3)

May 16, 2005

Work talk.

So...Last week I finished up installing the elevator we were working on, and I must say that it went together quite well. I was expecting it to be a lot more trying, as we have gone from the "tried and true" Northern controller (it's basically a recent iteration of a Dover) to the brand-new TAC22 ICON controller. The change includes an elimination of a lot of the more mechanically-inclined fiddly-bits of the elevator, and their replacement with more "modern" ways of performing the same tasks... and I don't like it. Previously, the task of the "Final Limits" (The switch that ensures that the elevator does not go too far above the highest landing, or below the lowest landing) was performed by a mechanical switch that is set in a normally closed position, and a cam that is physically attached to the elevator. The cam hits the switch, the switch opens, and power is stopped to the elevator. Simple, reliable, proven. The new system doesn't have any of this, and instead uses the magnets that are attached to the selector tape, and the reader to determine when the elevator is going too far and should stop. There's no reason for me to not like this system, as it is used to determine where modern elevators are in the hoistway, and define the landing area for the controller. The vast majority of elevators out there use this type of thing, and there have been no incidents with its failure causing any type of harm (other than the discomfort of being trapped in the conveyance until someone can get you out) pretty much EVER. But I don't like it. Go figure.

Ford and I went out and stacked the rails on another job today so the driller can come in a dig the hole for the jack. Put in an eleven-hour day, and I still feel pretty okay. Tired (I only had about four hours of sleep), but okay. It's allright, I'll get over it shortly. We got done with that today, so we'll head on out to another job to build the entire damn elevator in a new hotel tomorrow. Such is the life.

I'll be continueing my whole "Truth" series when I can get up the gumption to write it out, and I hope you'll find it interesting. Also, I've had many requests for "Emil" to come out and do his magic...sometimes even to the lawn, and I hope to have a new installment shortly. Maybe a cartoon, or a picture or two would suffice. Who know? Tomorrow is a new day.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:56 PM | Comments (1)

May 10, 2005

Customer Service

So I'm mowing the lawn the other day on my new riding mower (which is very similar to this one. I'm very happy with it, and it only cost me $400, when they sell new for $800 to $900.) and got done with the parts of the yard that I could use it on. It was time for the Weed-Eater to get some Johnny time. As I attack the remaining bits of grass in those "hard to reach" areas, I had a brief respite while travelling from one growth to the next. In that time, my roommate's significant other inquired to me as I passed "Can you wear a thong while you do that?" While talking with the neighbors over dinner last night, it was revealed to me that the lady next door was of a similar opinion when it comes to my landscaping attire.

Hmmn. (I said softy to myself) Could this be a business opportunity? I could send over one well-tanned Adonis (That's me) to perform lawn-care services whilst wearing a "nut-hugger" style swimsuit, the lady of the house would get all lathered up watching me perform my feats of landscaping. Then when I've completed my task, I will ask "Do you have anything else that needs to be taken care of?" which will be code-speak for hot monkey lovin' on the freshly hewn turf. There's likely to be spilled lemonade all over the picnic table on the back porch (I'll help clean it up, but that'll cost you extra).

I'm thinking of calling my bidness LaCWAHE. That's Lawn-Care With A Happy Ending. Kinda catchy I think. The ladies aforementioned have decided that I should be called "Emil the Lawnboy" while performing my services, and I think it's a good idea. (Invoking really bad Spanish accent) " 'Alo, I am Emil. How may I service you?"

I'm gonna make a frickin' MINT!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:13 PM | Comments (12)


The next-door-neighbor lady went through a divorce about six months ago. She kicked the bum she was married to "to the curb", after putting up with him being a louse for too many years. She's a nurse so she works odd hours, so she got herself a nanny to help take care of her 1 girl and two boys. She needn't have bothered, as they are over at our house nearly every day. She had an arrangement with the teenager that lives on the other side of her for him to keep her lawn mowed, and after a months worth of growing, her grass was getting up to the point where you would sooner call it hay, than grass. Since I recently purchased a riding lawn mower, I decided that I would go ahead and help her out, and mow it down. No need in having one of the kids snake bit or some such.

Since I went through all the time and effort, doesn't that mean that I get sex from her? Help me out, I'm out of the loop for that sort of thing these days.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:37 AM | Comments (8)

May 08, 2005

Mom and I.

We have a strange relationship, especially since I've become a "grown man". I know that she worries about my welfare, but she won't call to check on me. She seems to have enough faith that I'll be allright, to abstain from becoming the stereotypical "Jewish Mother". Whenever we interact, I always feel like I'm appreciated, for who I am...the person I've become (despite my heritage) is okay with her. So, I ain't exactly a Momma's Boy.

Momma is a little bitty thing. She stands at about five feet two, and I can sneak up behind her and rest my chin atop her head without a problem. I am still cowed when she states that "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out".

I can say no more than...I Love You Momma.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 01:24 AM | Comments (3)

May 06, 2005

Aaaah! Naked Site. Must Post Something!

Well, I've been down with the flu or flu-like symptoms for the last week or so. The first few days, I was firmly in denial of my condition, and the last few I've been downing a NyQuil-esque product like the stuff was going out of style. I can say that I am now on the mend, but I ain't up to a hunnert percent, yet.

What the heck have you been doing, and why haven't you blogged about it? (foot tapping)

Let me 'splain it to you this way: When I'm feeling under the weather, my partner is left in the lurch to build elevators if I don't show up. If I take time off, I also don't get paid. I LIKE to eat., so I've been at work. This week, every time I've gotten home from work, I've found that all I can do is stare in a braindead fashion at whatever is in front of me until it's time to pass out from the "NyQuil-esque". I've been lurking around though, so I at least know what's been going on with all of you.

What else?

While I was still in my denial stage of illness, there was an afternoon that was just so damn beautiful that there was no way I'd be spending it indoors, so I fixed my minivan. It has been running rough and backfiring for a couple of months now, but that evil, mean, nasty, ugly thing called Winter was in the way, so fixing it has been put off and put off. It had been speculated that I had a problem with my oxygen sensor so the ECU was telling the injectors to put more gas into the combustion chanbers than was needed, and then the excess fuel was expunged in the exhaust stroke of the piston and then being ignited by the heat of the exhaust manifold/pipe. Savvy? If not, trust me it's plausible. I plugged a jumper into the proper place, and turned the ignition to standby...and the ECU told me that everything was "Just Ducky" with all the sensors. Hmmn. at least it wasn't in the emmission control system, as fixing those type of problems is quite a chore, and the parts are pricey. I put new plugs in it before I went down to the "Family Reunion" so I knew that wasn't it. However, I didn't replace the plug wires as General Motors' car designers (In their infinite wisdom) decided that they should be run in a little plastic channel to keep them safe. The channel that is right behind the upper engine stiffener, and cannot be removed without disassembling the aforementioned stiffener. (The previous sensor should be read as: "big pain in the ass.") It appears that every previous owner of this vehicle had a similar procrastination in regards to the plug wires, as they apparrently were from the factory. Only lasted 134,000 miles. I just don't see why they can't make anything to last nowaday's.

Anyway, my van runs correctly now, and I am extremely happy with that. I also managed to screw up at work. We are putting in a two-stop holeless hydraulic elevator in a new office building, and I managed to overflow the oil tank. The machine room is upstairs, so not only did I cover the machine room floor in oil, but I got the room below it as well. Two-hundred and fifty pounds of kitty litter later, I had the mess cleaned up. Luckily, the oil that we use is essentially Vegetable Oil (with a few additives) so it's bio-degradeable and can just be thrown in a dumpster. Otherwise, there would have been a Haz-Mat team out there to clean it up, and I would likely not have a job. The Best part is the fact that even though I got about 15 gallons of oil all over the place, the total damage was the cost of one suspended ceiling tile. That's IT. See? Even when I mess up, I get out light.

After my boss heard of the incident, he wanted to let me know that the "rule of thumb" for filling up hydro tanks is to "put in one barrell first, then top it up as needed". ford and I both found this amusing, as the tank overflowed with the contents of the FIRST barrell. So far as I know, this has never happenned to anyone in the company before (Others have overfilled the tank, but always AFTER the first barrel of oil was in it), so I didn't get in any trouble. Damn I'm lucky.

I'm going to go get in the shower now, and prepare to drink away my sickness this evening at the bar. I hope to have fun, and I wish you the same.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 04:18 PM | Comments (5)